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.)
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!