Disney Dining – Off the Beaten Snack

The tried and true, wildly popular, well-known Disney snacks are great!  Essential contributors to Disney vacation happiness, those Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars, churros, Mickey-shaped pretzels, and Dole Whips are must-haves for masses of fans.  But there are so many more options!  What about those?  Let’s talk about the lesser known but just-as-delicious Disney World snacks. (My apologies, turkey leg fans, I just can’t include you’re precious poultry treat here today…or ever.)

Disney Dining – Off the Beaten Snack

I consider the iconic snacks – you know, the ones mentioned above that are made into souvenir magnets and such – to be “tier one” Disney snacks.  Those would be followed by the slightly less popular “tier two” selections.  Those include Magic Kingdom popcorn (I’ve never had it, but I hear it’s the best in the World), Mickey krispie treats, and funnel cakes.  Also in this category are cupcakes like Butterfinger, Red Velvet, and the ones decorated like Disney characters, the Studios’ Carrot Cake Cookie, and those amazingly fancy candy/caramel apples.  I suppose my beloved Citrus Swirl would also fall into the tier two category (being slightly less popular that that frozen pineapple concoction). Starring Rolls / Red Velvet Cupcake

Finally, there are the snacks that fall out of the mainstream and into “tier three”.  These include some of the tastiest and best snacks in Disney World that are not available in every park.  Thus, they’re less well-known.

Think about the offerings in World Showcase like School Bread in Norway (Kringla Bakeri og Kafe), Macarons in France (Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie), caramel popcorn in Germany (Karamell-Küche), and the Churros with Caramel Sauce in Mexico (La Cantina de San Angel).  That caramel popcorn got me through Hurricane Matthew!  The School Bread, macarons, and churros are still on my to-try list.  Disney Dining - Off the Beaten SnackAlso in Epcot there’s the Croissant Donut from the Refreshment Port (YUM!) and let’s not forget that kiosk over in Italy where that Espresso Gelato “Affogato” is sold – so incredibly delicious!  I’ve mentioned the cinnamon glazed almonds and pecans before.  I’m not sure where else they can be purchased, but I always enjoy them during a visit to Animal Kingdom.  Finally, I’ve got to add the Cheeseburger Spring Rolls from the Adventureland egg roll wagon.  Yet another thing I haven’t tried, but I keep hearing how good they are.

The point of all this?  So many snacks, too little time!  I’m training like crazy for the Dark Side Challenge with just two weeks to go.  All that running makes me hungry and has me daydreaming about what snacks I’m going to have while I’m at Disney World.  Seriously, if running 19.3 miles in two days doesn’t justify a few extra snack calories, I don’t know what does.  This is a short trip and if I had more than four days to snack, I wouldn’t have to pick and choose.  Decisions, decisions…

Do you have a favorite Disney snack that I haven’t mentioned?  Please, tell me what it is and where to find it!


Disney World Snack Check

Over the past year, some of my favorite Disney World snacks have disappeared.  Now I find I’m challenged with finding acceptable replacements.  Remember how enamored I was with the Roasted Pork Shank in Gaston’s Tavern?  Gone.  Remember the glorious Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle in Sleepy Hollow?  Also gone.  How about that amazing Jalapeno Cheese Stuffed Pretzel I enjoyed so much at Animal Kingdom?  You guessed it…gone.  While I’ve never been a fan, even the quintessential Disney Turkey Leg is becoming so scarce, fans will surely be disappointed if/when those legs are permanently off the menu.

Disney World Snack Check

Not one to dwell on what I cannot change, I propose we focus on future Disney World visits and devise a plan for snacking necessities.  I’m open to suggestions.  If you have a favorite snack that is not on this list, please don’t hold back!  Let me know where I can find it and what you love about it.  In the meantime, here are the snacks I’ve got left (at least as far as I know right now) and where I’m planning to eat them:Churro-DHS

Churro –  Snack Cart in Frontierland / Magic Kingdom (if you need to know why this is the perfect treat, check here) – otherwise, you’re probably a fan like me and you know the comfort and perfection of this snack’s crunchy-chewy delectableness.Citrus-Swirl

Citrus Swirl – Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland / Magic Kingdom – Another snack I can and have waxed poetic about.  I’m picturing myself enjoying one of these during the late afternoon after taking a ride on either Jungle Cruise or Pirates.  Adventure makes me hungry and a Citrus Swirl will get me through to supper time without spoiling my appetite.Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar

Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar – Animal Kingdom.  Sure, I know you can get these in any park (and I do love them in Epcot), but Animal Kingdom is HOT!  I need ice cream here most of all.  It has a certain brunch-time appeal to me.Starring Rolls / Red Velvet Cupcake

Something Cake-ish – No visit to the Studios would be complete without at least a bite or two of either a cupcake or a Carrot Cake Cookie.  Both of those options are too much for me to eat on my own (too much sweetness), but sharing works out great!  I prefer mine early in the day and I don’t care if my cupcake is Butterfinger or Red Velvet since both are heavenly.  I’ve been buying my cupcakes at Starring Rolls and my cookie at The Writer’s Stop.  With all the changes going on at the Studios, there’s no telling when those locations and their offerings may change.  This will be top priority on my next visit in a few weeks.RM-Epcot-Italy-Gelato-Espresso

Croissant Donut? Chocolate Croissant? Espresso Gelato “Affogato”? All three excellent snacks have been available in Epcot.  I’ll be there during Food & Wine so I’m not sure I’ll have the time or intestinal fortitude to get to any of these on my next visit, but all are solid snack choices in my opinion and all are also great for sharing.

What do I need to add to the lineup?  Egg roll? Fudge? School Bread maybe?  What are your favorite Disney snacks? Have any of your go-to snacks disappeared?




Disney Snack Favorite – Citrus Swirl

Sunshine-Tree-TerraceEver since my ill-fated attempt to enjoy my one and only Dole Whip (yes, I know I’m weird), I’ve been looking for an acceptable new Disney sweet snack to try.  Enter the Citrus Swirl!

Last month on a warm and sunny December afternoon in Magic Kingdom, I found myself in Adventureland with some free time on my hands.  It was our last day of vacation and Raymond and I had decided to take things easy and savor every single moment.  We’d had breakfast at the Grand Floridian Café before heading to Magic Kingdom with no bigger plans than our three FastPasses – which were broken up by our lunch reservation at Whispering Canyon Café at the Wilderness Lodge.  (Begin flash-back sequence now….)Main-Street-USA-Crowds

Another great Disney day!  We started with Under the Sea: Voyage of the Little Mermaid which had a short stand-by wait.  Then we stopped in Fantasyland near Gaston’s Tavern to watch Gaston himself entertain a few guests with his hilarious ego-fuelled antics.  Then it was on to Mickey’s PhilharMagic before using our first FastPass for Pirates and our second for Jingle Cruise (gotta love that holiday overlay!).  Time for lunch, so we caught the boat to Wilderness Lodge.Magic-Kingdom-Boat-Dock-Selfie

I remember thinking over and over what perfect weather we were having and trying to stay in the moment.  The wind on the water was soft as our nearly empty boat took us to lunch.  Our experience at Whispering Canyon was great, but we skipped dessert.  By the time we returned to Magic Kingdom, it was just in time for our third FastPass and we flew right on to Space Mountain.Tomorrowland-Crowds

At this point, the crowds were definitely approaching an extreme level, but we weren’t ready to leave.  We waited longer than we ever had before to cruise Tomorrowland on the PeopleMover (worth the wait!) before slowly making our way to see those amazing Country Bears (you love them too, right?).  We could barely move for all the people crowding the walkways, but we still didn’t want to go.  That’s when Raymond said, “Wasn’t there something you wanted to eat in Adventureland?”Sunshine-Tree-Terrace-Menu

See?  This is why I married this man!  Citrus Swirl!  Yes, I wanted to taste a Citrus Swirl!  The line at Sunshine Tree Terrace was amazingly short.  In a few minutes I was madly trying to scarf down my snack as it rapidly melted in the sun.  Citrus-Swirl-MeltingThat’s when I got the idea that we could find some shade by seeing the Tiki Birds.  Bear in mind that it had been decades since we’d been in the Tiki Room.  I honestly didn’t realize that snacks are prohibited until it was too late – I am not advocating rule-breaking at all.  Please do not do this (no matter how happy you think it will make you)…Tiki-Room-Tiki

We waited in a very short line, caught the pre-show, made our way into the Tiki Room, and found our seats.  All the while I was calmly and openly snacking away on that Citrus Swirl – oh, the deliciousness!  Right about the time the show started and the announcer asked guests to refrain from eating and drinking…my paper cup was empty and I set it and my spoon aside to take with me and discard after the “concert”.  Tiki-Room-BirdsI enjoyed the birds, but I liked that Citrus Swirl more!  Me, born without a sweet tooth, hater of Dole Whip, in love with the perfect combination of creamy soft serve and tangy orange slush – worth every penny of its $3.79 price.

My first Citrus Swirl made me a fan – and I’ve got the memories of an amazing day to go with it.  In 30 days, I’ll be back at Disney World and I’ll be heading for Sunshine Tree Terrace.

How about you?  Have you tried a Citrus Swirl?  Are you a fan?

Favorite Disney Snacks – Churro!

Disney churro fans, this post is for you.  I’ve only recently joined your ranks, but am proud to count myself among you as a lover of this deceptively simple yet delicious and popular snack food.

Favorite Disney Snacks – Churro!

RM-ChurroLet’s go back in time a bit to the beginning, shall we?  The churro’s origins, while not exactly shrouded in mystery, are a bit controversial.  One story has the churro born of Portuguese sailors and the discovery of a certain recipe in China for a food called Youtaio (fried flour stick).  The Chinese, being very secretive with their cooking methods during this time, left the sailors to figure out the precise cooking technique on their own – their efforts resulting in the very first churros.

The second prominent story (and my personal favorite) holds that churros were invented by pastry-craving nomadic Spanish shepherds.  Pining for baked goods, these clever shepherds – who, according to this version of history, were tending Churra sheep, invented a sort of bread stick that could easily be prepared and fried over a campfire.  These bread sticks were often rolled in cinnamon sugar and their shape was said to resemble the horn of their beloved livestock, the Churra.Churro-DHS

It wasn’t until later that the standard churro preparation changed to have the churro batter extruded into hot oil through a star shaped tip which creates the crunchy on the outside / tender on the inside texture we now adore.  These snacks caught on and became so popular, they made their way to the New World with Spanish explorers and are still a staple of Spanish street foods – especially for breakfast (dipped in chocolate).

I’ve heard that in much of the United States, churros can be found at state fairs, local carnivals and amusement parks – not true in our neck of the woods.  We get elephant ears, roasted corn, candied apples, cotton candy, funnel cakes, and a staggering variety of deep fried foods like Snickers, Twinkies, and the like.  Until a couple of years ago, I’d heard many Disney fans wax poetic about churros, but thought they looked rather plain and boring compared to the other awesome Disney snacks I love.  I realized, though, that to be a well-educated, trusted and faithful sharer-of-all-things-Disney, I’d have to broaden my snack experience…so I purchased my first churro.  It was at the Frontierland churro stand in Magic Kingdom and I remember it well.  Since that day, churros have become one of my favorite Disney vacation foods.

First of all, the churro is highly portable.  Easy to eat while walking, very compact and neat, churros do not melt, crumble, or spill.  Perfect for being not-too-sweet, but still tasty and satisfying, a warm churro is practically the definition of comfort food.  The texture is wonderful and while easy to consume is neither too chewy nor too fluffy.  Clean-up’s a breeze – just dust a little residual cinnamon sugar off your fingers and chin.

Interesting churro tidbit – When enjoying Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen earlier this year, we noticed many similarities between this amusement park and Disney parks at home.  This included many of the same snack choices…including churros!Tivoli-Churros

Churro fans!  Raise your hands!!!  Tell me your favorite churro moments – where’s your favorite churro stand?  When do you most like to enjoy this snack?  What makes the churro one of your favorite Disney vacation foods?