The Foodie’s Guide to WDW Snacks
The foodie’s guide to Walt Disney World is about to go meta. The topic is Walt Disney World snacks, and let’s be honest. This subject could be a 100,000-word opus if I touched on everything possible. Disney is a gravity well of sweets, with so many delectable concoctions that picking the best WDW snacks is like choosing your favorite song, movie, or television show.
With so many great ones, narrowing the list is impossible. Friends, when you visit Orlando, your sweet tooth will be your only tooth that matters. Here’s a (nowhere near comprehensive) guide to the best snacks at Walt Disney World.
Because this topic is so vast, I’m going to start with a shortlist of 15 of the most recognizable snacks at Walt Disney World. This list is by no means comprehensive. Far from it, I could have taken this list up to 50 with minimal effort. You just would have gotten bored reading it. After the top 15, I’ll talk about other snack options on the Disney campus, some of which vary by the season.
The top five on this list claim a rare level of recognition for a localized product. You’ve likely heard at least something about each one. While I’ve generally ordered this list based on name recognition, the top five selections are all about the same in this regard.
Dole Whip is a kind of pineapple ice cream that’s sold at a select few Disney restaurants. You’ll find it at Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. It’s a crisp and refreshing ice cream stack sold in a cup. When you see it, you’ll think that the serving is too big…and then you’ll eat it all anyway.
While pineapple ice cream is by no means exclusive to Disney, this item is universally linked with a park visit on a warm summer day. I don’t even like pineapple, but I buy a few Dole Whips during every Disney vacation.
Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Bars
On some of these, the name will tell you everything that you need to know. Called Mickey Bars by many, these items are what I knew as Brown Mules when I was a kid. A coating of chocolate covers delicious vanilla ice cream.
It’s a creamy treat that you’ll invariably associate with visits by the ice cream man. Disney fans adore it because the chocolate shell is a not-so-Hidden Mickey. You’ll smile happily as you…devour Mickey’s face.
The joke I always make is that Disney turkey legs must be the product of some mad science experiment gone awry. I’ve never seen a turkey leg of this size anywhere other than Disney. I presume that they’ve done some genetic engineering to evolve a regular drumstick into one that’s longer than my forearm.
Turkey legs are ostensibly a snack at Disney, but they are large enough to eat as a meal. For this reason, they’re one of the most economical items at Disney. They pack a protein wallop, too.
At Disneyland, churros are the number one snack. At least that’s my perception. They’re not quite as dominant at Walt Disney World, but you’ll still have no problem finding several ambitious churro recipes in Orlando. The main version of the churro you’ll encounter tastes like cinnamon sticks, only with a more visually exciting design.
During Epcot festivals, however, you’ll find some brilliant variations. Taste Track recently sold Paintbrush Churros. They were churros with flavored icing or chocolate on top. *Homer Simpson drooling sound*
The Grey Stuff
You know the song. So, you know the deal. Be Our Guest Restaurant sells The Grey Stuff as its iconic dessert. Interestingly, the exact nature of the snack changes on occasion. It’s been a cupcake, a kind of brownie, and a type of standalone pudding/icing.
That last one is the pure form of The Grey Stuff, as the topping covered the cupcake and brownie, too. At dinner, it’s one-third of the final course of a prix fixe menu. Since the meal is a Signature Dining experience, you’ll pay a great deal to try The Grey Stuff. A pro tip is to visit at lunch. The Master’s Cupcake is topped with The Grey Stuff but costs only $4.99. That’s a steal, my friends.
From this point forward, some of the snacks will have name recognition because they’re standard theme park fare. Others are ones that Disney fans know well, but that are under the radar for everyone else. The next two fall into this category. Zebra Domes are a treat available Boma as part of the restaurant’s buffet.
Insiders know that you can grab a set of four in the refrigerator at The Mara, too. This delicious dessert is a cream liquor mousse with sponge cake and white chocolate that almost seems like a pannacotta. The chef finishes it with a chocolate drip on top and then chocolate shavings everywhere. It’s RIDICULOUS. I’ve previously linked to the recipe, and I highly recommend that ambitious chefs try it.
The Kitchen Sink
Remember when you were a kid, and the only correct way to make a bowl of ice cream was to keep adding more scoops? Someone at Beaches & Cream at Disney’s Beach Club Resort never grew up. How else could we explain that this comically oversized dessert exists? Here’s the Parks Blog listing of the ingredients.
Yes, that IS more scoops of ice cream than Baskin-Robbins sells in an hour. When you order the Kitchen Sink, alarms will go off, causing all of the other guests to look at your party. Unless you’re dining with at least four other guests, you’ll have no chance of finishing this testament to the greatness of ice cream. You’ll love every second that you try, though.
Corn Dog Nuggets
Casey’s Corner is the first restaurant that you’ll see as you stroll through Magic Kingdom. This baseball-themed Quick Service is all about hot dogs. Corn dogs, too. They don’t sell their corn dogs the conventional way, though. Instead, they take mini-wieners and coat them with breading.
The smaller size makes these nuggets perfect for dipping, and the sauces available only add to the flavor. Casey’s Corner sometimes gets experimental with their menu, too. You should keep an eye out for special corn dog concoctions while you’re there.
You know what popcorn is. What may surprise you is that it’s one of the most popular snacks at Walt Disney World. Popcorn is cheaper than a lot of the other potential snacks, and so guests appreciate the value. As a foodie, you’ll be pleased to learn that some of the popcorn is high-end, especially at the Canada Pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase.
This area has a restaurant kiosk that sells popcorn almost exclusively. You’ll want to try the Maple Popcorn, which is rich in flavor but costs only $6. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will have a popcorn variant available when it opens in late August, too.
Cupcakes are one of humanity’s greatest inventions, right there with the wheel, the microwave, and Netflix. At Disney, you’ll have many, many choices for cupcakes. The most exotic ones are available at Sprinkles Cupcakes, a place with 21 locations and 16 ATMs outside of Disney. You may already have familiarity with them.
If not, imagine the Kitchen Sink as a cupcake, and you get the idea. These are the most decadent cupcakes in the world. You want one. You may want many more than one. It’s that simple.
Pretzels are a classic part of any theme park visit. Disney chefs aren’t about to be outdone by lesser parks, though. So, they go way, way, waaaaaaay over the top with their version of the pretzel. It is basically the size of a Frisbee, and while I have seen an individual eat the entire thing, it’s insane to contemplate.
Like, that person should enter the Nathan’s Hot Dog contest on July 4th. I view the Jumbo Pretzels as shareable snacks that should never be attempted alone. Your mileage may vary.
Rice Krispies Treats
All Disney resorts have some sort of general store onsite. You’ll find a wide variety of snacks at these places, which run the gamut from healthy to “It’s okay, I’m exercising a lot at the parks!” Many of the Disney-branded snacks are Rice Krispies-style.
Whether you love Frozen, Mickey Mouse, or The Avengers, you’ll sometimes find a matching Rice Krispies package. To a larger point, these walls of snacks are great places to use Disney Dining Plan snack entitlements. Many of the items like the cotton candy and Goofy-branded candies are excellent for bringing home with you. My family loves the Disney-branded mint tins. We buy them in bulk.
Decadent Milkshakes and Sundaes
The hand-dipped milkshake craze is out of control. At places like Planet Hollywood at Disney Springs, you can buy milkshakes so excessive that one of the toppings is a slice of cake. Beaches & Cream sells similarly extravagant sundaes and milkshakes.
One of them is – I kid you not – a pair of Minnie Mouse ears made of Oreos. As long as you’re not wearing a belt, you can release your inner glutton and shamelessly order one of those sugary monstrosities. Hey, you’re on vacation! We promise we won’t tell!
Disney isn’t above the macaron craze that’s swept malls across the country in recent years. Locally, you may find a kiosk that sells a handful of flavors. At Walt Disney World, entire restaurant menus consist of these cookie-like beauties.
The place you’ll want to visit for the finest in macaron technology is Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie at the France Pavilion at Epcot. Disney describes their menu as edible art, and while I’m no art critic, I can say with total sincerity that the edible part is an understatement. The treats here are exquisite.
You’re a foodie. I don’t have to sell you on this premise. ‘Ohana serves an All You Care to Enjoy multi-course meal. The dessert portion is a bread pudding paired with bananas foster sauce. If your mouth’s not watering at the thought of it, you’re stronger than me. Having had this dish many times, I can say with confidence that it’s one of the finest of all Disney desserts.
Okay, that’s fifteen of the most outrageously delicious snacks you can order at Walt Disney World. Here’s the thing, though. I’ve covered MAYBE 10 percent of the goodies you should try at some point. What you’ll discover when you wander the Disney campus is that tasty treats are everywhere. That goes double during the festivals.
On more than half the days on the annual calendar, Epcot’s World Showcase hosts some sort of festival. The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is the most famous one, but they have others in December, January, and the spring. More often than not, your visit to Epcot will include a few stops at the various pop-up kitchen kiosks at the park.
The snacks available at these places absolutely dwarf the ones I’ve mentioned here. They’re some of the most novel, daring dishes you can eat. As a foodie, you should turn Epcot festivals into an annual vacation tradition. It’s snacking heaven.
Finally, remember the advantage of the Disney Dining Plan. You’ll get daily snack credits as part of the program. You may use them toward most Disney snacks including several listed here.