A Story About Walt Disney World Snacks, But Mostly Savory Onesby Donna Fesel, contributing writer
It is no secret that I love to eat. I also love visiting Walt Disney World regularly. I love WDW for its warm Florida weather, unique attractions, and seemingly endless array of activities that are all family friendly. But, for me, visiting WDW is as much about what I plan to eat when I visit—new food finds, and old favorite tasty treats—as it is about the theme parks' other attractions.
I love fancy sit down meals at WDW's Signature Restaurants, a quick service lunch at one of my favorite spots, and even a favorite lunch enjoyed poolside at my resort, but this is a story of snacks. For me, snacks are savory usually. My family's favorite WDW snacks are the ones that hit the spot every time, for satisfying hunger, and for the nostalgia they inspire in us. I've compiled a list of my family's favorite WDW snacks. Some, we enjoy every time we're at WDW. Some I've had one and they blew my socks off, so I've made a vow to eat again and recommend them to everyone I can.
Usually, the first WDW theme park my family visits is Magic Kingdom. We're there at rope drop to savor the electricity of the countdown to open the park. Somewhere around mid-morning, we start hankering for some of our WDW favorite nibblers. One of my favorites? The veggie egg roll at the Egg Roll Wagon at Magic Kingdom's Adventureland. It's more petite than the egg rolls I get back home, and the size makes it the perfect little bite to keep my tummy happy until lunch.
If I'm a bit hungrier, I might go for a corn dog (available currently at Casey's Corner on Main Street U.S.A., also the home of a delectable chili cheese dog), or the Jumbo Turkey Leg (available currently at the turkey leg cart in Frontierland). I once terrified a friend of mine by ordering the pork shank at Gaston's Tavern in Fantasyland at about 10:30 a.m. and it was huge. While his fears were founded—it was too much food for a mid-morning snack—it was still delicious. Let's take a moment of silence for the Gaston's Tavern pork shanks; they went away in 2015.
While I am desperately waiting for the savory food locations to open, my son and husband are desperately waiting for their first Mickey ice cream pop of the trip. Yes, it's just vanilla ice cream covered with chocolate and shaped like Mickey, but there is something so specifically addictive about the chocolate covering. We eat or share one of these every single day we are at WDW.
Another must do at Magic Kingdom is the Main Street Confectionary. This is usually a last stop as we exit Magic Kingdom for the transportation back to our hotel. When you enter the Main Street Confectionary it smells like a sweet dream, redolent of vanilla and caramel. The cast members at the Confectionary are turning out treats like super-sized crisped rice treats and caramel apples right in front of guests. Usually my son chooses a bag of something chewy from the Goofy Candy Company, and I go for a piece of specialty chocolate out of the refrigerated case. A visit to this WDW staple is our perfect way to end the day at Magic Kingdom.
At Epcot, there are so many terrific places to nosh. If Food & Wine Festival or the Flower & Garden Festival are happening, there are infinitely more little tidbits to chow down on. I'm going to concentrate on the standard snacks available at Epcot, rather than those available during the Festivals. In World Showcase, I am a sucker for French savories. I head right for Boulangerie Patisserie Les Halles for my fix as soon as I arrive. I have a few standards, and I like to throw something new in to mix it up a bit. I sidle up to the counter, break out my rusty college French and order Pissaladiere, a Provencal standard that features olives and tomatoes and Gruyere (it's served sans the traditional anchovies - so if you are fish averse, no worries), and Croque Monsieur (translated it means Mr. Crunchy) which features Gruyere, ham and béchamel. It is the most delicious grilled cheese ever; I like to have some Dijon on the side for dipping.
My husband is a big fan of the sushi at Kabuki Café at the Japan Pavilion. He usually goes for the combo sushi—two pieces of California Roll with Salmon and Shrimp Hako-Sushi. I love it as well; it's packed with protein, very fresh, and reasonably priced. My son loves the Kakigori (shaved ice) from Kabuki Café as well.
There is a sweet treat at Epcot that I do love. It is the Rice Cream from the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe at the Norway Pavilion. I love a good rice pudding, and this one is amazing. It's extra creamy, and has this wonderful berry sauce. It was one of the first things I ever ate at WDW, and always transports me to that trip. It is a must do on every trip.
Another snack-time staple for my family at Epcot is Sunshine Seasons in the Land Pavilion. Sunshine Seasons is a perfect example of WDW doing fast food right. The food is fresh, and the choices abound: a delicious fruit plate, beet salad with goat cheese, or five bean veggie soup; they're all there, and can be on your tray in a flash. They've got great full meal options also, serve all day, and offer some of the best kids' meals on WDW property.
Animal Kingdom is another favorite theme park for food, and we've had many wonderful meals there (Flame Tree Barbecue and Yak and Yeti stand out). We make a regular pilgrimage to Mr. Kamal's (a food truck in Asia) for falafel and samosas. Falafel, for those who haven't tried it, is a fried chickpea nugget, served in a wrap with a delicious sauce. Samosas are a traditional Indian dumpling sort of snack. The ones at Animal Kingdom feature potatoes and some veggies, and come with a tasty mango salsa. This is another must do for us every time we find ourselves at Animal Kingdom.
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Typically, we only spend half a day at Disney's Hollywood Studios (but that may change with all the exciting changes announced for that park), and I don't usually need a mid-morning food fix. I've also had some great meals at Hollywood Studios (we're partial to the food and service at The Brown Derby), but I haven't found my special savory snack as yet. If my stomach starts grumbling, I go for a pretzel with cheese (currently available at Studios Popcorn on Hollywood Boulevard).
WDW Resort Hotels
I've had some great snacks at some of the Disney World Resorts that I would absolutely go back for. The house-cut truffle fries with shallot mayo at the Crew's Cup Lounge at Disney's Yacht Club Resort are one. They are fried to perfection with a tasty hint of truffle, and are always a winner.
Also delicious for a treat? The Queso Fundido, and the House Guacamole at the Maya Grill at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort. Throw in a few ice cold margaritas and call it an evening. I also adored the Colonel Peace's Pieces at Boatwright's at Disney's Port Orleans Resort—a wonderful assortment of fried crawfish, okra, oysters, and shrimp served with house made remoulade. This dish has the perfect amount of crunch and salt.
We also love the Indian Style Bread Service at Sanaa at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Kidani Village. It's a buffet of breads (naan, paratha, and kulcha) with tasty dips and accompaniments: raita, a yogurt sauce; chutney, like a salsa; sambal, a spicy sauce; pickles; and hummus to name a few. If you haven't tried some of these treats, it's a perfect opportunity to do so. We like to go with a group, order, and share.
Last, but certainly not least, I'd like to give a snack shout out to the cornbread, served with honey butter at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Pioneer Hall at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort. Perhaps it is because I love Hoop-Dee-Doo so much, perhaps it's because the cornbread is warm and so is the service, but I love this little snack. It's been a perfect starter to some of our very best evenings as a family at WDW.
There you have it, a story of WDW snacks (but mostly savory ones) that we love and return to again and again. On my next trip to WDW (this fall), I'm excited to try the ice cream at Ample Hills Creamery (a Brooklyn-based small business), and the grilled vegetable stack with pesto at Harambe Market at Animal Kingdom.
Care to weigh in? What are your favorite snacks? What are you excited to try? Do you have some ideas about what my favorite savory snack at Hollywood Studios should be? Does your favorite WDW resort have a treat so tasty it's a crime I've omitted it? Share that info so we can all have something new and delicious to try on our next trip to WDW.