Sometimes you eat food at Walt Disney World simply because it is a time-honored tradition. Just like favorite resorts, attraction and restaurants, we all have our favorite theme park snack foods. And sometimes a vacation is simply not a vacation unless we are walking around with one of these iconic snacks!
Here are my top 10 Disney World snacks:
10. The Smoked Turkey Leg.
You can smell them before you see them, that smokey, meaty aroma that leads you to small carts scattered throughout the parks. There’s probably no theme park food more maligned by guests, but there’s always a line waiting for these extra large turkey legs that are surprisingly delicious. Go ahead, give in and pretend you’re Henry the VIII. Just try not to invade France while you’re at it.
9. School Bread in Epcot’s Norway Pavilion.
School bread has two things going against it: One, it’s called bread and who really wants to eat bread topped with coconut? And two, it’s not very attractive, looking more like a potato than a pastry. But once you try this donut-like confection filled with vanilla custard and topped with sweetened coconut, chances are that you’ll also agree with those who have passed this way before you: That it’s the food of the (Norse) gods.
8. Grand Mariner Slushie in Epcot’s France Pavilion.
It’s hot, crowded, and you just spent $29 on a small, painted parasol for your 5-year old who’s currently hitting her brother over the head with it. Time for a treat for the grown-ups. These orange-flavored slushies are light on the alcohol and heavy on the refreshment, with a high enough price tag that they feel slightly indulgent. Bonus: The cute little plastic glasses fit perfectly in the cup holder of your Disney stroller.
7. The Mickey Bar, sold at various locations throughout Walt Disney World.
Sure, you can say it’s basically just a chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream bar and doesn’t taste that much different than any other premium ice cream bar you’ll find in your local supermarket, how how many of those are shaped like a delicious Mickey head and served to you in a theme park? That’s right, none.
6. The Butterfinger Cupcake from Starring Rolls.
I’m adding these cupcakes only because they’re so wildly popular that leaving them out would be remiss. Sure, they’re as big as your head, but they taste more like sugar than chocolate and the leaden texture will definitely slow you down as you run to Toy Story Midway Mania to use your fastpass before the window closes. You might want to split these among your entire extended family.
5. The Citrus Swirl.
The Citrus Swirl returned to Walt Disney World after nearly a decade, its second coming heralded by countless tweets by Disney hipster-types. If you know me, you know how I feel about hipsters, so I avoided it, obviously. What a foolish decision that was. As I discovered just a few days ago, the Citrus swirl is a vanilla soft serve and frozen orange juice treat that combines the best of sweet ice cream with a tangy punch from the orange juice. I plan on having one of these today and no, I won’t be wearing huge glasses and mustache.
I’m not sure if funnel cakes are a uniquely American treat, but they’re featured in both Liberty Square and in the American pavilion at Epcot, so perhaps is safe to assume they are. Whatever the case, these fried desserts have more in common with donuts than with cakes and come topped with everything from powdered sugar to fruit. Give one a try on your next visit. Not only are they delicious, they’re also patriotic.
3. Carrot Cake Cookie from The Writer’s Stop.
This cookie is my favorite sweet snack in the parks, with two soft carrot cookies sandwiching a rich, cream cheese frosting. As these are very large, you’ll want to share them. Or, just find a quiet corner away from your friends and keep it to yourself. After all, there’s no rule you have to share your snacks.
2.The Red Velvet Cupcake from Starring Rolls.
Most Disney baked goods served in the parks are too sweet, with sugar being the predominating flavor playing a close second to fake vanilla. They’re fine for the kids who aren’t too picky, but what adult wants to waste all those calories on something that looks pretty but just tastes okay? This cupcake is the exception to the rule. A dense, not-to-sweet red velvet cupcake is topped with a slab of cream cheese frosting that’s just tangy enough, but because it’s Disney, they’ve added a little surprise: A chunk of cheesecake right in the middle. Starring Rolls sometimes closes early, so make sure you get your cupcake by early afternoon, at the latest.
1. The Dole Whip.
The Dole Whip is the kind of treat that everyone has to try once and really, that should suffice. With a chalky, almost chemical taste, this “pineapple” frozen treat doesn’t really deserve the long line you’ll have to wait in to get it. Sure, every now and then I’ll have one. But every now and then I’ll have Spagetti-Os for old times sake too. What I’m saying is, skip it and get a Citrus Swirl.
That was my top 10, but what about you? Do you have any must-do treats in the Disney parks?
Park Wise is written by Chris Wood.
You can find Chris at Everything Walt Disney World.
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If you have any specific questions you would like me to tackle, please leave me a comment!