The last time I visited WDW I remember chicken nuggets became a substantial food group of my holiday diet (a childhood love, rekindled) but that we also had some really lovely dinners at Portobello in Downtown Disney, The Wave at the Contemporary Resort and a lightning-filled meal at Rainforest Cafe. Dining standards in the parks have risen significantly in recent years with healthier sides and more interesting snacks. There are those days where you just want to eat something on-the-go or don’t have the time for a table service restaurant lunch, so these are the foods (and drinks!) I’d like to try.
Mochi ice cream balls @ Japan Pavilion, Epcot [link]
I’ve eaten mochi on a few occasions and despite not really enjoying it I keep trying it anyway! Mochi is made by pounding steamed rice over and over til it forms a glutinous paste and is formed into balls or cakes. It gets real cloying real quick, so the balls are only little. I love the idea of having ice cream in the middle, it must make them much less able to glue your jaw shut this way.
Kaki-gori @ Japan Pavilion, Epcot [link]
One of the surprising highlights of our honeymoon on Maui was the a-ma-zing shave ice we got from Ululani’s in Lahaina. Shave ice isn’t a thing at all in the UK – I’m hoping it will be the next big food craze over here, but until that time all we have are memories and tshirts from Ululani’s. It turns out Kaki-gori is the Japanese equivalent of a shave ice, traditionally topped with a sweetened (condensed?) milk that freezes as it hits the ice. The ice is shaved so thin that it just melts in your mouth like an ice cream, as opposed to the graininess of a sorbet. The ice is doused in a fruit syrup and the whole thing is served in a cone. It’s like a super posh Mr Frosty, which is about as close to shave ice as the British have ever got.
American Dream @ Fife & Drum Tavern, Epcot [link]
Strawberry and raspberry Slush Puppie swirled with Mr Whippy ice cream. What’s not to love? I think downing one of these shortly before running round the park on a sugar-overdose is definitely in order.
School bread @ Norway Pavilion, Epcot [link]
Two of my favourite things, coconut and custard, together at last. The School Bread can be found at the Norwegian Kringla bakery. I’d like to know what kind of school served this and where I sign up.
Mac & cheese burger @ Electric Umbrella, Epcot [link]
The double-take, the horror, the curiosity, the want. The reactions, in that order, I experienced when I first heard about this new burger at Electric Umbrella. So wrong it’s gotta be right, right? Right?
Pina colada slushie @ Sunshine Tree Terrace, Magic Kingdom
A good pina colada is one of the most holiday-y tastes there is, but a bad pina colada is like drinking hand cream. At $3.69 I’m going to go ahead and rein in my expectations on this one, but nonetheless I will give it a shot.
Dole whip @ Aloha Isle, Magic Kingdom
The Dole Whip looks just like a regular Mr Whippy with some pineapple juice swirled in. However it must taste like nectar of heaven if the Dole Whip fan pages and How To Dole Whip guides are anything to go by. We’ll see if this lives up to the hype!
Chicken waffle sandwich @ Sleepy Hollow, Magic Kingdom [link]
So I’m going to pull a Brit’s reaction on this one and say that waffles are edible platters for ice cream and hot fudge sauce, so the idea of fried chicken with waffles sounds like spreading marmite in a sponge cake. I’m not sure I get it, but as you can tell I’m unperturbed and very curious, so this is a must-try for me. It’s going to be just plain weird isn’t it?
LeFou’s Brew @ Gaston’s Tavern, Magic Kingdom
Hold on to your butts, Disney hasn’t started selling frothy beers over the counter in the Magic Kingdom just yet, but what you can get is a frozen-apple-juice-marshmallow flavoured beverage topped with a passionfruit foam, that looks like a frothy beer (Fosters?) but you drink it through a straw which would be a ridiculous way to drink a real beer. LeFou’s Brew is available from Gaston’s Tavern in New Fantasyland.
And just because I am so excited about seeing this guy in action, here is Gaston throwing his “scary pose”:
Apparently you can challenge him to an arm-wrestle, but if he wins he gets to keep your wife. Start training now, hubby!
White chocolate elephant cupcake @ Kusafiri, Animal Kingdom [link]
I’d love to kid myself by saying this is too cute to eat, but this cupcake combines many of the best things in existence, so this is going to get itself eaten without hesitation. A chocolate cupcake topped with a splodge of caramel buttercream, then covered with plain buttercream, then rolled in toasted coconut and crowned with an elephant-shaped white chocolate lollipop. What’s not to love?
Smoked turkey leg @ various carts around the parks
Now I mean this in the most affectionate way possible, but I do remember the first time I saw someone walking around Magic Kingdom with one of these huge smoked turkey legs in hand, just chomping away at it as they walked down Main Street, and I thought it was one of the most American things I had seen. This is no dainty chicken drumstick from your Saturday afternoon picnic, this is a hot and juicy dinosaur leg to bring out your cave-man instincts. I hate, with a passion, eating foods that get all round here (circular motion around face) but I don’t think a plastic fork is any match for a smoked turkey leg. I will have to fashion some sort of paper napkin mask for my face like I’m going in for plastic surgery on my lips or something. It’s a good look.
Corn dog nuggets @ Casey’s Corner, Magic Kingdom [link]
I ate my first corn dog on a school trip to Quebec in 2001 and have since raved about how delicious they are. It’s like a breaddy/savoury cake-coated hotdog that is deep fried, soft and spongey on the outside, then a very moorish juicy hotdog inside. Hotdogs are a little more firm in the US than at home, where we tend to have quite pappy things with little/no casings. Corn dog nuggets look like a piece of very naughty, very delicious, very bad food, delivered from heaven straight to Casey’s Corner on Main Street.
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