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-By Darlin’ Diva

Disney World Japapeno Cheese PretzelOn a recent visit to Walt Disney World, I ate a LOT of snacks.  For research purposes.  The sacrifices a Diva makes for you, dear readers, are innumerable, but no challenge is too great when gathering valuable Disney food information.  Normally, I’m not much of a snacker when at Walt Disney World – especially during the warmer months.  I think the heat kills my appetite or maybe I just feel so guilty about all the delicious (and fattening) breakfasts, lunches, and dinners I love to enjoy when I’m on vacation!  This time, though, I took one (or several, as the case may be) for the team.  I snacked like crazy!  For you…no other reason.  Really.

I sampled fan favorite snacks.  I snacked on both traditional Disney classics and new offerings.  Being without much of a sweet tooth, I still tried to consume a wide variety of both sweet and savory treats so I could share my thoughts with you on what to try, where to find it, and which snack I thought was the very best in all the World.  Yes, I gained two pounds in six days.

The Snacks of Disney World!

Pretzels – I tried two different kinds.  The classic Mickey-shaped pretzel and the jalapeno cheese-stuffed version.  Both were delicious!  I Dole Whiponly had a bite of the jalapeno pretzel, but would absolutely get one of my own next time I visit.  We purchased our Mickey pretzels in Magic Kingdoms’ Tomorrowland and the jalapeno pretzel came from Animal Kingdom (Harambe Fruit Market).

Dole Whip – This is the snack I’ve heard about the most over the years and had never tried before.  I waited in a long line at Aloha Isle in Adventureland – sweating in the blazing sun!  I went for the classic pineapple Dole Whip in a cup.  It was extremely sweet!  I liked the creamy consistency and the intense pineapple flavor, but as a snack, it was actually too sweet for me.  I’ve had several recommendations for the Citrus Swirl at Sunshine Tree Terrace – I understand the addition of vanilla soft-serve ice cream cuts down on the sweetness level.  If you’ve tried them both, which do you prefer?

Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar – What’s not to love about vanilla ice cream, covered in chocolate, shaped like Mickey, on a stick!  Downside of this snack?  You’ve got to eat it pretty fast or it melts all over you!  No trip to Walt Disney World would be complete for me without this treat.

Disney World ChurroChurro – I went for this classic fan-favorite at the churro cart in Frontierland.  I liked its size, portability and ease of consumption (ate it while walking to Main Street USA), it was simple, but tasty and the cinnamon-sugar coating was not messy at all.  Comfort food in a snack.  No wonder they’re so popular!

Cinnamon Glazed AlmondsCinnamon Glazed Almonds – In Animal Kingdom, these were new to me and I absolutely loved them!  Served in a cone-shaped paper wrapper, they’re just little bits of yummy goodness!  I was eating these on my way to see Flights of Wonder.  As I took my seat, I started thinking – hey, wait a second, these are so tasty, one of those birds my get the idea to swoop down and steal one!  I saved the rest for after the show.  My family thought they were for sharing….no.

Sunshine Seasons' Chocolate CroissantsChocolate Croissant – A standby favorite of mine.  Good for breakfast or a snack – I like to buy mine at Sunshine Seasons in The Land Pavilion (Epcot) right after I get out from riding Soarin’.  It’s kind of tradition now and I start thinking “Mmmmm…chocolate croissant” as the fireworks are fading away at the end of the ride.  Not too sweet, not at all dry, flaky, chocolaty perfection.

Red Velvet Cupcake - Starring RollsRed Velvet Cupcake – I know, the Butterfinger cupcake is the one people are always talking about and red velvet cupcakes have become sort of run of the mill, but hang in here with me for a minute.  Both the Butterfinger and the red velvet are available at the Starring Rolls Café in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  The Butterfinger is good.  The red velvet is better.  It’s the super moist red velvet cake, topped generously with cream cheese icing then covered with sprinkles that enhance the entire cupcake-eating experience.  These treats are big enough to share (but you don’t have to).

Gaston's Tavern FoodRoasted Pork Shank – You may ever eat another turkey leg again as long as Gaston’s Tavern in the new Fantasyland (Magic Kingdom) is serving up these babies.  I know I won’t.  I’m in love with this perfectly prepared piece of pork!  Fall off the bone tenderness combined with just the right seasoning and smokiness.  Whoa.  (Try it with a Lefou’s Brew…see next item.)

Lefou’s Brew – It’s impressive to look at and tastes even better than it looks!  I’m not joking.  I liked it WAY better than the Dole Whip.  Frozen apple juice is the base for this tasty kid-friendly beverage.  But this is no ordinary apple juice!  There’s a hint of marshmallow in there and then the foam on top adds another layer of mango-passion-fruit-deliciousness.  I know that may sound less than appealing, but it works.  Oh, it’s good! 

Croissant DonutCroissant Donut (a.k.a Cronut) – THE WINNER!  This was my favorite snack of all.  A solid week of noshing and, hands down, this was the food item I loved the best.  It was a fierce competition to be sure, but this amazingly delightful, warm and fluffy yet flaky, utterly unbelievable pastry rose above everything else.  Dusted in cinnamon-sugar, the Croissant Donut was a heavenly treat.  Go buy one and see for yourself.  On the way to Canada in Epcot’s World Showcase, the Refreshment Port will be on your right – do not pass it by!  Get a Cronut.  Thank me later.

If your favorite Disney snack is not on this list, I’m sorry – I truly did my best – I could not have eaten another bite!  I’m still gunning for the Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle at Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square, but that’ll have to wait until October.  Good thing, too, as I find myself needing to drop a couple of pounds just now.  Please let me know in the comments which of these (or any I didn’t try) are your absolute must-have treats at Walt Disney World!

Until next time…Darlin’ Diva