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.

4.Funnel Cakes.

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!

  • Jeff Heimbuch

    Dole Whip is #1. Awwwwwwww yeah!

    Eat that, George!

    • George Taylor

      Jeff–did you not see what Chris wrote?

      “What I’m saying is, skip it and get a Citrus Swirl.”


    • Chris Wood

      But I only made it #1 because so many people like them. We need to have a Citrus Swirl meet up in Septober.

  • mratigan

    They need to bring the citrus swirl to dlr

    • Chris Wood


  • ifoceanscollide

    No, way! Dole whip is 10x’s better than anything else! 🙂

    • Chris Wood

      Many people agree with you, but give the Citrus Swirl a try.

  • Jim Burmeister

    You missed the most important thing about Dole Whips: You must get the Dole Whip Float! I agree that the Dole Whip soft serve itself is only OK, and the pineapple juice is, well, just pineapple juice, but somehow when you put them together, it’s amazing.

    • Chris Wood

      I will try this. I’ve been wondering if that would improve the taste. I love pineapple juice.

  • craig

    I’ve tried the Dole Whip and didn’t care for it. I like pineapple but the flavor was overpowering. I thought I would love the Citris Swirl but the bitterness of the orange juice left me very thirsty and only eating the ice cream portion of the snack. I know that using real orange juice is the point of the snack but I would like it more if they were to find a substitute for the orange juice. I would expect it to taste more like a creamcicle than the flavor of orange juice after brushing one’s teeth.

    School Bread is very good. The cold cream inside is great on a warm/hot day.

    If you’re looking for chocolate, try the chocolate creme brownie at Earl of Sandwich. It’s only $2.50 and its the best bargin for a snack at WDW. They also have a vanilla cream and peanut butter version!

    Cupcakes can be hit-or-miss. We take dental floss and split it in quarters for each of our family members to eat. You’re not as full and it gives you a chance to try other cupcakes.

  • tofubeast

    I concur about the Dole Whip Float!! YUM!!! This post is killing me as I look at my boring lunch.

    Others on my list:

    – Candy Apples (esp the Mickey/Minnie ones)

    – Since you counted a drink as a snack, so will I : Lapu Lapu at Poly

    – Ice Cream Brownie Sandwiches (only available at the Earl of Sandwiche’s DTD location)

    -Kaki Gori at Japan in WS

    – Zebra Domes at Boma..yum yum yum

    – Everything at Karamell Küche (esp the caramel corn)

    – Candy Pretzel Sticks at Goofy’s in DTD. I love that you can make your own too!

    • Chris Wood

      Your list is making me hungry too! I love Karamell Kuche. Really one of the best locations on property for quick snack. One more thing I missed on this trip because I was eating too many Citrus Swirls.

  • RatherBeAtDLand

    They wouldn’t happen to offer the Grand Mariner Slushie as a virgin drinks for us younger types, would they?

    • Chris Wood

      Hi, no they don’t offer those but there are other slushies in Epcot that are. Sorry.

  • biggsworth

    I always enjoy the stuffed pretzels at AK and MK

    • Chris Wood

      Thanks for reading!

  • Great list Chris! Here are a couple extras that would be on my list:

    Caramel Corn from the Karamell Kuche in Germany at Epcot
    Kaki Gori shaved ice in Japan at Epcot.

    Both are fantastic.

    Sleepy Hollow at Magic Kingdom also has some wonderful waffle sandwiches but I’m reluctant to call them “Snacks”.

    • Chris Wood

      Thanks! I thought about adding the Nutella Waffle but didn’t know if it qualified either. Although since you’re at WDW, I guess you can call it a snack if you want since calories don’t really count there.

  • parnami

    -Hot Orange Tea on a cool day in Adventureland.
    -A tall cup of Welch’s White Grape Juice in Fantasyland
    -Monte Cristo’s
    -Tonga Toast
    -Monorail Reds from Top of the World

    • Chris Wood

      Love your list. The tea sounds nice in Adventureland.

  • bearofmcc

    …er, Chris, I think you meant Grand Marnier, rather than Grand Mariner, right? (A friend speculated that a Grand Mariner Slushy would be a salty old drink.) >;o) Personally, I’m a big fan of the Grey Goose Citron lemonade slush from the same kiosk. Sipping either at a sidewalk table in France on a sunny afternoon watching people stroll by–delightful.

    San Francisco

    • Chris Wood

      What? No, this is the famous seafood slushie. It’s made of sardines.

      Just kidding. Will change it. 🙂 Thanks.

  • victoriaskitten

    I had my first Dole Whip in April at Disnayland. Did NOT like it at all. I thought that since I waited in line for so long it must be really special. Oh well not the end of my world.
    Thanks for the list though. I want one of the school breads and carrott cake cookies. They look yummy.

    • Chris Wood

      Thanks, Victoria. You’ll LOVE the carrot cake cookie, for the frosting alone. Sorry I missed it this last trip but I was eating too many Citrus Swirls.

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  • KiMcHeEfOrLiFe

    I know the ‘Park Wise’ articles are mostly for the Orlando parks, but I would LOVE to see a ‘Top Ten’ snack list for the Anaheim parks too! I’m really curious to see if there are some snacks that I might be missing out but MUST try. I know some of the items on this list can transfer over to the Anaheim parks (i.e. turkey legs, Dole Whip, etc.), but I’m really curious about snacks that are outside the usual. I’ve seen the numerous topics on the MiceChat forums regarding favorite park snacks at the DLR, but it’s the same ole churro or stuffed pretzels over and over again. Will this be possible? Pretty pleaseeeeee?