16 June 2010
Sack of sugar, pinch of mystery
There is something about watching a treat take shape before your eyes that makes it taste better. For many years the only place for such an eye and mouth watering event to take place was inside the Magic Kingdom at the Main Street Confectionery. Today, however, sweet spells are also cast over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the aptly named Sweet Spells.The building itself is a theater, the Beverly Sunset, and is modeled after the Warner Beverly Hills Theater. The interior, which also runs through Villains in Vogue and The Scary Apothecary, has a much more menacing feel, as several Disney villains leer at guests from above, almost daring them to purchase and sink their teeth into the sickeningly sweet concoctions. Of course, the only real danger to be found here is a stomach ache or a cavity.Looking out over the crossroads of Hollywood and Sunset is the confectioner’s station. Here, apples are coated and covered with a variety of ingredients, while marshmallows and strawberries are dipped and dried. In the various display cases every sweet dream imaginable can be found, from the apples, strawberries, and cookies, to rice treats, fudge, toffee, and various chocolate covered patties. The question really isn’t what should you buy, but what you shouldn’t! Everything I have sampled here has been rich, smooth, and sweeter than expected. Perhaps it is only that personal penchant shining though, but the hand crafted items always seem to taste a teensy bit better to my taste buds.Even if you are not in the mood for something sugary to eat, and the only reason that should be is if you’ve just been partaking in the Brown Derby’s grapefruit cake, it is well worth your time to stop in to Sweet Spells for the show kitchen. Watching these artisans at work, and believe me, working with sugar is as tricky as it gets, is pure poetry. Dipping, cooling, forming, fastening, affixing, decorating, and displaying is a lot of hard work involving a lot of heated elements, and the finished products are truly works of art. Taking a few moments to watch the process and thank the hard working Cast Members will make you feel just as sweet as the confections they are concocting.Main Street U.S.A. no longer has the market cornered on sugar preparation. The Beverly Sunset, otherwise known as Sweet Spells, is a pinch of Hollywood history, a vial of villains, sacks full of sugar, and a heaping helping of artistry. Whatever ingredient brings you in, Sweet Spells has just the treat you are looking for.