by Disney Magic Diva
Whenever my family travels to either Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort we look forward to all the delicious food we can only get at Disney! Depending on who is traveling, we focus on different dining options. If it’s just adults, we try to enjoy some of the fabulous table service restaurants. We’ve had unbelievable meals at Le Cellier in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion and Steakhouse 55 in Disneyland. If the grandkids are with us, we try to enjoy a character meal because it keeps the kiddos entertained and who can resist those adorable photo ops? But something everyone in my family always enjoys on a Disney vacation are the fabulous sweet snacks!
If you want to start a friendly debate among Disney fans, just ask which is better…Mickey Bars or Dole Whip? Personally, even after years of research, I think this one is too close to call! Let’s take a closer look at both.
Mickey Bars are essentially ice cream bars shaped in the iconic Mickey head. But make no mistake – they taste sooo much better than a typical ice cream bar. The vanilla ice cream is rich, smooth and creamy. The dark chocolate coating is thicker than most bars, making for a wonderful “chocolate-to-ice cream” ratio which satisfies this chocolate-lover’s taste buds. And I think it’s a well settled fact that everything tastes better when it’s Mickey shaped! Mickey bars are available at numerous restaurants and vendor carts in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
If you’re not a chocolate fan, try a Dole Whip float! Nothing beats the heat like this refreshing soft serve pineapple delight served with pineapple juice! Dole Whip is also available in vanilla or swirl, but my favorite is the pineapple. Ice cold frozen sweetness, surrounded by juice that’s just tart enough to take the edge off – it’s heavenly! In Disneyland you can grab one at the Tiki Juice Bar. At Disney World, Dole Whip is available at Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom Park and Pineapple Lanai in the Polynesian Resort. As an extra treat, you may want to head to Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Animal Kingdom or the Refreshment Port in the World Showcase at Epcot. Both of these locations offer the option to add coconut rum to your Dole Whip!
TIP: Lines for this popular cool treat are often quite long. Try planning your stop for a Dole Whip during the afternoon parade to avoid a long wait!
No trip is complete for my family without savoring a scrumptious cupcake. Now the possibilities here are nearly endless, but we have yet to find one that disappoints! There are dozens of varieties all year long, and even more appear for the various seasons, holidays and special events (the Darth Vader cupcake at Star Wars Weekends is enough to turn anyone to the Dark Side!) so research on this topic will be ongoing for years to come. And no one is complaining!
Perhaps my all-time favorite cupcake was one I had at the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights in Hollywood Studios. It was our first time seeing the lights, and we were so awe-struck we were having trouble picking our jaws up off the ground! We happened upon a vendor cart selling hot cocoa and sweet treats, and I had to try this cupcake. It was gingerbread, topped with the most amazing cream cheese frosting. It had red and green sprinkles around the edges of the frosting, and was topped with a Santa hat made from chocolate! It was so moist and delicious, I doubt any cupcake will ever elicit the pure joy and happiness I felt while I stood there, surrounded by millions of holiday lights, listening to Christmas music, watching the snow fall and devouring that luscious treat! All the magical sights, sounds and smells of the holidays, without the freezing cold I’m accustomed to in the Midwest!
My most recent cupcake treat was while attending the Disneyland 60th Anniversary when I was able to enjoy both of the limited edition Diamond Celebration cupcakes. The Diamond Lemon Cupcake from Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe in the Magic Kingdom was a celebration in itself! Moist, lemony cake with a strawberry filling, chocolate crunchy pearls, topped with a luscious champagne mousse and blue chocolate “D”. Perfection! And of course we also had to try the Diamond Orange Cupcake at Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café in California Adventure. Just as yummy, with orange cake, mixed berry filling, topped with cream cheese Bavarian mousse and a chocolate diamond. Drooling yet?
If gingerbread, lemon or orange aren’t your favorite, don’t panic. The pastry chefs at Disney have a cupcake that can please even the pickiest eater. How does a Butterfinger Cupcake sound? Chocolate cake, vanilla frosting, chocolate coating and real Butterfinger crumbles. A Disney classic! Or how about Red Velvet Cheesecake? Or Chocolate Peanut Butter? Or Dulce de Leche? Try the White Chocolate Elephant cupcake in Animal Kingdom. Dark chocolate cake, vanilla cream frosting, toasted coconut and a beautiful white chocolate elephant on top. It’s the tallest cupcake you’ll ever see! A popular favorite at the Pop Century Resort is the King Cupcake – a tribute to Elvis Presley. This one pays homage to all his favorites – chocolate cake, banana custard filling, peanut butter frosting, chocolate drizzle and even candied bacon! There are so many creative and scrumptious choices, there’s sure to be a cupcake you’ll want to try!
Some people may have sticker shock at the price of a cupcake (most are a little over $5) but trust me, they are absolutely big enough to share! And if you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, a cupcake counts as a snack credit.
TIP: When ordering a quick service meal on the dining plan, you can ask to substitute a cupcake for the chocolate cake or mousse or whatever the typical dessert option is. We’ve found it’s a fabulous way to try new cupcakes, and helps get the most “bang for your buck” on the dining plan!
There are dozens of other choices for sweet snacks at Disney. The unbelieveable candied apples, cinnamon churros, any of the rich fudge or candies – they are all wonderful choices for a sweet treat. All those sweets may not be the most mature decision, but Disney will always appeal to the inner-child in us all. It’s pretty obvious given my preference for sweet snacks that I certainly will follow Peter Pan’s lead and never grow up! But that’s ok. When visiting a Disney resort, I will always enjoy at least one Mickey Bar, Dole Whip and cupcake. Just don’t tell my dentist!
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