L’Artisan des Glaces Ice Cream Review
L’Artisan des Glaces is an ice cream & sorbet shop in EPCOT’s France pavilion at Walt Disney World, with hand-crafted desserts. This WDW dining review features snack photos and tips, including our take on some of the specialty treats and seasonal favorites. (Updated September 21, 2020.)
Honestly, I don’t even know why I’m reviewing this place (slow day at the DTB world headquarters, I guess). It’s a dessert shop serving ice cream. In EPCOT’s always-excellent France pavilion. Obviously ice cream is great, as is the case no matter where you go, but L’Artisan des Glaces is next-level amazing.
No offense to other ice cream spots around Walt Disney World and Disneyland, but L’Artisan des Glaces is a heck of a lot better than the Dreyer’s/Edy’s (depending upon the coast) that comes out of a big tub and may or may not have freezer burn when it’s served to you. In fact, now that Ample Hills Creamery has closed (RIP), L’Artisan des Glaces is the very best ice cream in all of Walt Disney World…
While ice cream is our go-to here, there are some interesting creations, such as ice cream macarons, cappuccino, and martinis. These have put L’Artisan des Glaces on the radar of fans and given it a following.
Let’s take a look at what’s so great about L’Artisan des Glaces in Epcot…
We’ve stopped at L’Artisan des Glaces several times, usually just opting for the standard scoops in a waffle cone. There are 16 different flavors, mostly ice cream with a few sorbet options.
I think the distribution is usually 10 ice cream and 6 sorbet. I don’t think specific recommendations are especially useful since everyone’s preferences differ, but I’m going to do it anyway.
My normal favorites are the Caramel Fleur de Sel Ice Cream (basically like salted caramel–mildly contrasting flavors) and Cinnamon with Caramelized Apple and Crumble Crunch Ice Cream.
The flavors change from time to time, so don’t get too hyped on these exact options. Speaking of which, the seasonal options are almost always awesome…
From mid-November through the end of December, L’Artisan des Glaces typically serves Glace au Pain d’Epices. This translates to Gingerbread Ice Cream with Gingerbread Pieces, and it’s served for the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays.
My preferred Christmas ice cream is normally of the candy cane variety, but I absolutely love this. It’s refreshing thanks to the pronounced ginger flavor, with nutmeg and other seasonal spices rounding things out. Plus, there are actual chunks of gingerbread to provide texture. A highly recommended seasonal flavor.
In September and October, you’ll find Pumpkin Spice as one of the seasonal ice cream flavors at L’Artisan des Glaces.
We absolutely love this. It combines the sweet earthiness of actual pumpkin (remember that?!) plus the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, and spices we typically associate with PSL season. In other words, it’s not just the faux-pumpkin flavor we typically associate with the pumpkin-less fall flavors. We highly recommend this.
Next, the Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich with Pumpkin Spice.
This is mostly the same deal, but with more of the stereotypical PSL flavor and less natural pumpkin flavor. Which you’ll prefer likely depends upon your preference between the two, as well as macarons.
While this concoction is great, we personally favor keeping the macaron and ice cream separate. The France pavilion such an exceptional job with both that they’re best enjoyed on their own so the full impact of each is felt (or tasted). Your mileage may vary.
For a third seasonal option that combines even more the “flavors of fall & France” there’s currently the Pumpkin Spice Macaron Martini with Spiced Rum. (WDWNT has a good review & photos of that.)
Speaking of which, here’s a look at the normal Ice Cream Martini.
This is 2 scoops of ice cream, with a shot of Grand Marnier, Whipped Cream Vodka, or Rum. Given the cost of two scoops of ice cream at L’Artisan des Glaces, that puts the alcohol in this drink at right around $5.
Based upon other drinks around the World Showcase, I’ve calculated the street value of a shot of Grand Marnier in Epcot to be $6.37 (allowing for fluctuations based upon purity). This is a fairly generous pour, so I’d say it’s a solid deal relative to other drinks.
However, the taste of alcohol is pretty strong, and I’m not sure I’d want to impinge upon the divine flavors of ice cream by adding alcohol. Don’t get me wrong, booze is great, too, but maybe this is akin to bacon and chocolate milk: best enjoyed separately?
Another unique option at L’Artisan des Glaces is Croque Glace. I often lament the loss of the “edutainment” mission of EPCOT Center. Well, the Croque Glace here is a true return to form for Epcot–and then some. With this bad boy, you’ve got education: learning that everyone in France puts ice cream in their sandwiches.
You’ve got entertainment: who doesn’t love watching the preparation of ice cream sandwiches?! Then you’ve got taste: this miraculous creation is a salute to all taste buds, but mostly France’s. The end result is a work of pure edu-tastement. Card Walker would be proud.
At the same price as 2 scoops of ice cream, the Croque Glace offers solid value. The brioche is freshly made, and provides enough bread to make this a filling sized dessert for two people to share.
Likewise, the scoop of ice cream is fairly generous, and the melt-age from that plus the sauce meant that it wasn’t overly bread-y. It’s a good balance, and a unique dessert that we also recommend.
One issue I have with this that might be helpful to a few others(?) is this hurts my sensitive teeth more than normal ice cream. Normally, I can subconsciously “prepare” my mouth for the coldness of ice cream. Presumably because of the warmth of the brioche, I let my guard down and my teeth got stung a couple of times.
Much like our cat, who burns his whiskers playing with candles, I kept going back for more, because it was so good. Just something worth mentioning for those with sensitive teeth, in case my little anecdote might dissuade you from ordering this (don’t let it–burn your proverbial whiskers, too).
Overall, it should go without saying that I you should give L’Artisan des Glaces a try. After all, this is ice cream, so any of you with any sense at all didn’t need my recommendation here. In fairness, it can be difficult to stop here with the excellent Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie right next to it, even with the siren song of ice cream. The only solution? Stop by the patisserie for a nice dessert, then see Impressions de France, then grab some ice cream. Repeat as many times as necessary. (Warning: you might not make it past France in your tour of World Showcase.)
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Have you tried L’Artisan des Glaces? Any favorite flavors of ice cream or sorbet? Favorite unique ice cream creations? Considering trying this spot? Do you agree or disagree with our review? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
Ice cream has one flavor…chocolate! Preferably with chunks of chocolate in it. Tillamook Mudslide is currently the best in the world. Yeah, I said it.
I’ll be now and forever passing on anything with pumpkin spice in it, but feel free to get that if you like.
I’ve been content to sit here in my kitchen reading your updates…until now. This one brought a tear to my eye and a drool to my mouth. It makes me want to take a trip so badly. Nothing seems like a more healing action right now than looping continuously through various desserts in France. I’m sure it would heal me, heart and soul.
Not to make it even tougher or worse for you…but it really does.
There is something truly therapeutic about grabbing a meal or snack in World Showcase and enjoying the atmosphere–taste, sounds, etc. It is truly transportive, a brief escape and respite from the real world.
I got the Pumpkin Spice Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich on Halloween last year and really enjoyed it. I can’t believe that was nearly 12 months ago already. Where does the time go?
We’ve walked past this a few times but never made the leap even though we’re big ice cream fans. Now that Ample Hills is gone this’ll be on our list for December…especially if there’s gingerbread on the menu.
Hey Tom, any idea when Disney will bring back the dining pass? We are going in February and are hoping to have that option.
Here’s our speculation on that: https://www.disneytouristblog.com/when-dining-plan-return-disney-world/
“I don’t think specific recommendations are especially useful since everyone’s preferences differ, but I’m going to do it anyway.”
That, and the thing the other day about your last names being different (one is shouted) are why this is no longer just my favorite Disney blog, but my favorite blog, period.
And thank you for the sensitive teeth warning on the ice cream sandwiches. I’ll be sure to have one after I burn the roof of my mouth on some pizza, again.
When initially skimming the comments, I thought your feedback was very different from what it actually is. Thanks for the kind words!
Sensodyne toothpaste has greatly reduced my tooth sensitivity issues. I know you didn’t ask for tips, but you’ve given me so many WDW travel tips over the years, I couldn’t help but try to give a little friendly advice in return!
I just LOL’d at this post. Awesome.
We have some high quality ice-cream back home (Graeter’s), and this is the only WDW ice cream that measures up. It’s great. A waffle cone in France is even priced similarly, which is somewhat shocking.
I think the croque glas and the macaron sandwich are the two most interesting menu items, since they are pretty unique (in my experience) to WDW. I was hesitant about the croque glas – ice cream with bread? – but it really worked for me (and for my daughter, but not my wife).
Croque glace= Best snack at Epcot! If only I could eat one right now 🙁
What sort of sauce did you have on your croque glacé? The one time I ordered one, I opted out of sauce because the only options at the time were chocolate and raspberry, and I didn’t think either sounded particularly good with the caramel fleur de sel ice cream I wanted. That photo looks like some sort of caramel or butterscotch, though. Have they added more flavors?
When I ate here earlier this week, I fell in love with the lemon ice cream with crispy meringue. Highly recommended!
Good stuff. We love the ice cream sandwich too. Our go-to was pistachio with raspberry sauce, but alas, they got rid of pistachio quite some time ago. Le sigh. The mixed berry is phenomenal, too.
Quite some time ago…are you sure? I could *swear* I saw it in either December or January.
I was there the end of December and it was still gone– I’ll check next time I’m there, fingers crossed they added it back to the menu! Hope you’re correct.