If you’ve never visited Walt Disney World during the holiday season, let’s just say it’s…a feast for all the senses. Jolly Christmas tunes follow you everywhere you go. Elaborate gingerbread houses—yes, made with real gingerbread—are erected throughout the parks and resorts (the one at Disney’s Grand Floridian truly can’t be missed), perfuming the air with warm spices. Signature rides and landmarks, like Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom and the Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios, get full makeovers with holiday decorations and overlays.
And of course, no feast is complete without food. Disney has continued its never-ending race to outdo itself in the culinary realm, creating new themed treats for special occasions, holidays and movie releases year round—but the Christmas season really shines above the rest.
This year, there are a sleigh-load of new foods that are exclusive to the holidays, and some that are even more exclusive, only being offered during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which is a special ticketed event that takes place during certain evenings at the Magic Kingdom for an additional fee.
After eating my way through all the treats at the Magic Kingdom, sacrificing my tooth enamel for the sake of journalism, I’ve come up with the top five treats that are worth your time and money should you find yourself in the park during the next few weeks and in need of a sugar rush.
55 Magical Mickey-Shaped Foods You Can Eat at Disney Parks
1. Santa Mickey Waffle Sundae
Sleepy Hollow Refreshments, $7.79
This was my first stop on this oh-so-sweet journey (waffles are technically a breakfast food, right?), and was absolutely one of the top eats of the day. The waffle is everything a waffle should be: crisp enough to make a light crackling sound when you cut into it, but soft in the center, like a slightly-fudgy red velvet cake. For red velvet, it was heavy on the chocolate and light on the food coloring—just a mild tint—which was also appreciated. With a dusting of peppermint powder and mint chip ice cream, it could have been easy to go overboard and taste like Colgate, but the minty flavor was restrained and provided just the perfect holiday accent.
2. Kakamora Float
Aloha Isle, $6.99 (exclusive to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party)
It’s named after the pirate warriors in Moana, but let’s call this what it really is: Coconut Dole Whip! If you take away nothing else from this article, just know that if you’re at the Very Merry Christmas Party, you simply must eat this. Even as someone who is only mildly interested in coconut, the impossibly creamy soft serve sparked so much joy. It comes with pineapple juice and non-alcoholic blue curaçao below the ice cream, but honestly I’d rather just eat it straight up. Unfortunately, this is exclusive to the party, but perhaps we can create a demand to make this a year-round thing? Consider this my campaign announcement.
3. Orange Bird Christmas
Sunshine Tree Terrace, $5.99 (exclusive to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party)
Die-hard Disney fans recognize this bird as the official mascot of Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland, and now he takes edible form in the most delightful way. Once you crack through the orange shell, the spherical dessert is filled with orange-scented white chocolate mousse and orange curd. The whole thing rests atop a citrus-almond cake. It has a heavenly citrus scent and the center is very tangy—but when you eat everything together, the creaminess balances it out, creating a flavor reminiscent of an Orange Julius.
4. Christmas Cookie Sundae and Gingerbread Sundae
Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies and Storybook Treats, respectively, $6.49 each
Okay, these two piled-up boats of soft serve were both so good, I couldn’t choose between them. I’m sorry! The Christmas Cookie Sundae is made with cookie butter ice cream, which is absolutely rich and delicious, while the gingerbread version delivers on its promise and packs a huge punch of warm flavors that are bolstered by real bits of gingerbread and ginger candy bits on top. I can’t pick a favorite—but if you like things a little spicy, try the gingerbread. Or both! You can always try both.
5. Jolly Tamales
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café, $11.99 (exclusive to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party)
Because we can not live on sugar and sprinkles alone, something savory was necessary to include—and this snack certainly fits the bill. That was a pun because they come from a restaurant called Pecos Bill. Not as fun when I explain it. Anyway, they’re good, particularly when completely smothered with all the fixings offered at the toppings bar. The dough-to-filling ratio was perfect, so they didn’t dry out like tamales so easily can when they have too much masa. Definitely a welcome break from all the sweets, even if the price is a little steep.
Other New and Noteworthy Treats
I’ve already listed my top five, but there are plenty more to choose from at the Magic Kingdom. If you have a serious sweet tooth, the Snowflake Brownie at Casey’s Corner comes with a rich layer of frosting that’s about an equal ratio to the brownie itself. Not being a frosting lover, it wasn’t totally my vibe—but hey, maybe it’s yours! The Holiday Mickey Cinnamon Roll from Main Street Bakery (a.k.a. Starbucks), on the other hand, was restrained in its sweetness. The flavor wasn’t quite powerful enough to stand up to some of the other, more exciting desserts in the park, but for an Instagram opportunity on Main Street, look no further.
Disney has a full list of all the exclusive treats at the Magic Kingdom this year on their blog, so don’t forget to peruse that before making your final decisions.
And if you’re in need of a nightcap after all the eating, head over to the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa—you can check out that massive gingerbread house, and also pop in to the new Beauty and the Beast-themed Enchanted Rose for a seasonal cranberry old fashioned.
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