Look, food is important. Snacks are a lifeblood at Disney World. Or, I guess, in life in general. But if you’re doing snacks at Disney, thou shalt do it right. No need to settle for popcorn or the smashed granola bar in the bottom of your backpack. (I know some people swear by Disney popcorn. I personally find nothing spectacular about it. But you do you. )
So if you want to upgrade your snack life, follow me and I’ll show you the ways of the Snack Force.
Yes, I’m mixing my metaphors.
10. Chips and Salsa at La Cava del Tequila
I only recently discovered the joys of La Cava del Tequila mostly because I’m not a big fan of tequila so never made time for it. But a recent visit with my tequila-fan parents took me there, and I was starving so shared aforementioned chips and salsa deal with a friend who was also there. The magic of this isn’t so much in the food itself – though it is REALLY good – but in how transportable it ended up being. Haven’t you ever wanted to eat chips and salsa while watching IllumiNations? Well maybe you haven’t before, but you will now. Add a shot of tequila and Illuminations is *extra* pretty.
9. Lobster Bisque
I first discovered lobster bisque while I was a wee youngin back at The Hollywood Brown Derby in what was then Disney-MGM Studios, back when it was truly awesome (the park, I mean). While this is no longer available at The Brown Derby, it CAN be found in a few other places, including Chefs de France. But that location doesn’t really help you with snacks, eh? Never fear! It can be found for HALF THE PRICE ($4.90) at Les Halles Bouangerie nearby. Les Halles is generally full of lots of great little snacks and sandwiches, but nostalgia always brings me back to my bisque.
8. Anything Caramel in Germany
Follow your nose (because you can smell the joy seemingly miles away) to Karamell-Küche in Germany (yes, we’re at Epcot again!) and take your pick from a truly wonderful array of caramel options. Almost everything on the menu is considered a snack item on the Disney Dining Plan and you have lots to choose from (with some rotating seasonal items as well): toffifay, caramel cookies, caramel apples, caramel S’mores, salted caramel fudge brownie, caramel bacon square, caramel pecan bar…the list goes on. Pick your poison – but don’t pick the bag of Werther’s Originals or I’ll have to come after you for high treason. Get the real stuff.
7. Churros with Mexican Caramel Sauce at La Cantina de San Angel
Churros, like some other options on this list, are one of the more famous “staple” snacks at Walt Disney World. But, look, I can take them or leave them if they are just bare naked normal churros. What really makes them delightful? Mexican caramel sauce! Find these and take a nice outdoor break at La Cantina de San Angel, the quick-service location in Epcot’s Mexico, right on the water. And yes, I know this is the fourth snack in a row that can be found at Epcot’s World Showcase. This should tell you something.
6. Starbucks/Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company
HEAR ME OUT. Some of us have to get up at the wee hours of the morning to catch rope drops and welcome shows and deal with toddlers and babies after spending the evening before out way too late for, say, Extra Magic Hours, and sometimes you just need a little CAFFINATION to get yourself through your magical day so don’t you dare judge me.
Say what you want about Starbucks, but they’re there when you need them and MUCH better than the previous coffee options Disney used to have. Joffrey’s has arguably better coffee, but can be a little harder to find around the parks unless you are looking for them. BOTH Starbucks (which now has a large location at all four parks) and Joffreys (which can be found in kiosks around Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs, the Contemporary Resort and the Transportation and Ticket Center, as well as in your in-room coffee) offer lots of options for a snack credit from the Disney Dining Plan, which is great when you aren’t super hungry but definitely need a pick-me-up.
5. Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars
What else do you really need?
These can be found all over Disney World, and they bring me joy. One of my favorite Disney memories includes leaving my then-5-month-old son with my parents while he slept and my husband and I bought some of these and watched Robin Hood on the beach at the Wilderness Lodge. Perfect!
(Note: Some people prefer the Mickey Cookies N Cream Ice Cream sandwiches, which are more like Klondike bars. I am not one of those people, but do not begrudge those who are. Try them both and report back!
I never promised you these would all be snack credits on the Disney Dining Plan and this here is exactly why. Yeah, you have to pay for it like you do for everything in real normal life but this is crazy worth it. It’s a fresh waffle topped with Nutella, strawberries, banana, whipped cream, and it’s just BONKERS-level good. This can be found at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments in Liberty Square, so show up early for the nighttime entertainment and send someone to get you a few of these to enjoy during the shows. Someone, preferably, you know and trust enough to bring it back to you before eating it all themselves.
3. School Bread
If you are anything like me, you have occasionally found yourself hiding in the bathroom in your house so your kids won’t know you are eating something delicious and ask to have some. What’s that? It’s just me? Well then forget everything I’m about to tell you
Everyone knows that if you just say something is SCHOOL-RELATED your kids will whine and want to stay far, far away from in. So before you head to Kringla Bakeri og Cafe (again, back to Epcot – this time in Norway) be sure and make a big deal about how you’re going to get SCHOOL BREAD so it’s probably terrible and they would hate it. Visions of hard-as-rock rye bread will surely be dancing in their heads. Given that, be sure and don’t let them actually SEE this delightful little bread roll filled with custard and topped with sweet icing and toasted coconut because then they will catch on. So maybe you should eat it in the bathroom after all? In related news, apparently the name comes from a snack that Norwegian kids took to school in packed lunches or parents sold at bake sales, which beats the pants off the Teddy Grahams and bologna sandwiches that I got in my lunches as a kid.
2. Turkey Legs
Someone, somewhere will swear to you that these are not turkey legs, but they are actually emu legs. They are wrong, but you’ll be tempted to believe them because these things are enormous. I think if measured, they can technically be tall enough to ride Space Mountain. They are smoked and massive and really only barely make it into the “snack” category. If it’s a snack, I have to share, which I don’t generally want to do. If I eat the whole thing it can easily be a meal for sure. If, like me, you don’t want to share, maybe tell your kid it really is emu, and they’ll leave it alone?
These legendary hunks of meat can be found at all four main parks EXCEPT Animal Kingdom, but I think they taste best at the Magic Kingdom, from the Frontierland snack cart. They are so popular that you can find t-shirts and other merchandise (wallets! magnets! boxer shorts! air fresheners!) celebrating the turkey leg at WDW! If you want to get really super meta, try the turkey-leg-shaped rice krispy treat because wuuuut.
Want to do some more research before you buy? Check out this New York Times article on – yes – Disney’s turkey legs!
1. Dole Whip/ Dole Whip Float
Here we are….Number One. I love it so much I’m not even sure where to start. Like the Mickey bars and
emu turkey legs and churros, the Dole Whip has attained legendary status among Disney snacks. It is, in short, pineapple soft serve. But it is truly so much more. It is a tropical vacation in a cup. It is, as we say on the podcast, magical. It offers all your daily needed vitamins and minerals, along with all your 6 basic food groups and is suitable for breakfast, brunch, lunch, linner, dinner, snack, or midnight snack.
Only some of that is true, but I’ll let you choose which you prefer.
I’m personally a fan of the float – which adds pineapple juice – and I think the best time for it is during the Festival of Fantasy Parade. Grab one from Aloha Isle Refreshments in Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom and hop through to Frontierland on the shady side of the street for a truly delightful 3pm “linner”. (These can also be found at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, but that’s a long walk for me to the parade. Catch yours there for the Electrical Water Pageant, another favorite of mine.)
Did I miss anything? What are some of YOUR favorite Disney World treats? Yell at me in the comments!