Yelp / Goofy’s Candy Company
There are a lot of reasons to go to a Disney theme park. Maybe you’re celebrating a birthday or honeymoon, maybe you want to finally check some of Disney’s rides off your bucket list, or maybe you just want to feel like a kid again and meet Mickey Mouse. But the best reason to go to a Disney theme park isn’t just to ride Space Mountain but to eat. Yes, Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and Walt Disney World in Orlando are full of snacks and treats that are as iconic as Sleeping Beauty Castle.
You may want to buy that cake pop or beautifully-decorated candy apple, but is it really worth your time and money? To determine which Disney food is the best, we looked at the 15 snacks and food items that are easily available on both coasts and ranked them by originality, photograph-ability, theming, and taste. So limited-edition items, treats that are available only at one park, and seasonal specialties were not eligible for our list.
Of course, there’s no real wrong way to snack around Disneyland or Walt Disney World. If a Mickey-shaped Rice Krispie treat or a lollipop from Goofy’s Candy Company is a must-have for your vacation or invokes a certain sense of nostalgia or happiness, go ahead and buy it!
But if you’re debating between a Mickey pretzel and a Mickey ice cream bar, well, you may want to check out our ranking of the most iconic Disney snacks before you buy.
Yelp / Omar R.
Scene: You’re walking down Main Street U.S.A., and you see Disneyland’s Marceline's Confectionery or Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Confectionery. The tantalizing scents draw you in, and you see them behind the case or in cellophane wrapping: Gorgeous candy and caramel apples, decorated like your favorite Disney characters or covered in sugar and topped with Mickey ears. You have to buy one! Well, now what? In order to eat these massive, sugary treats, you need to get them cut up, thus instantly destroying their visual appeal. Then, as you eat this treat, you learn maybe that candy isn’t so fresh and you can literally feel your teeth rotting as you chew from all the sweetness. Womp, womp.
Yelp / Roz M.
Like the candy apples, a Mickey-shaped Rice Krispie treat is picture-perfect. Depending on the time of year you visit Disney, you can get a these photographable marshmallow treats in Santa hats, decorated as jack-o’-lanterns, or covered in red, white, and blue sprinkles. And while these Rice Krispie treats are fun and kid-friendly, you can very easily make them at home, making them a bit of a wasted snack in a theme park known for amazing eats.
Yelp / Ter L.
Who doesn’t love gummy worms? We know we sure do. And Disney has no shortage of gunny candy products, under their candy line Goofy's Candy Company, which is available pretty much anywhere at Disneyland or Walt Disney World. While it’s fun to eat Mickey-shaped gummies and sour worms that come in a bag with Goofy on them, there’s nothing you can find here you can’t find at your local grocery store.
Yelp / Tina L.
The Mickey Premium Bar is an icon of the theme parks. Covered in a thin layer of milk chocolate and shaped just like the mouse himself, you’ll find this treat in basically any Instagram shot. But once you take a bite, you’re doomed. Not only will you be disappointed by the taste of the cheap chocolate and vanilla, but get ready to have ice cream dripping down your arm and shirt as your treat melts in the summer sun. You’ll get that one perfect Instagram shot, but be prepared to be a mess when you meet your favorite characters. There’s a reason this highly popular treat is the most overrated Disney snack of all time.
Yelp / Melissa V.
The turkey leg is yet another true signature item of the Disney theme parks. They sell merchandise about this hunk of meat, for goodness’ sake! But have you ever tried to actually eat one? The smoked turkey leg has 720 calories and 36 grams of fat and plenty of grease to spare. It’s the heavy sort of food that will have you literally dragging yourself from ride to ride after consumption.
Yelp / Goofy’s Candy Company
Cake pops are a relatively new snack addition to the Disney theme parks, and they immediately took off. Why? Because the round shape not only lends itself to the classic Mickey ears shape, but they’re also endlessly customizable. You can find cake pops at Disney in any color and shape and in the style of your favorite characters and Disney symbols. But once you bite into these cake pops, you’ll find not only are they outrageously sweet, but they taste just like the cake pops you can make at home.
Yelp / Kathryn Y.
On a hot day at a theme park, there’s no treat more singularly satisfying than ice cream. Luckily, Disneyland and Walt Disney World have no shortage of scoops. The best Disney ice cream snack is the Kitchen Sink Sundae at Plaza Ice Cream Parlor (Walt Disney World) and Clarabelle's Hand Scooped Ice Cream (Disney California Adventure). It’s served in a bowl shaped like Mickey Mouse’s pants, which is just as fun as it sounds.
Half the fun of going to a Disney theme park is picking up souvenirs, and the best souvenirs (in our opinion, at least) have to do with food. So, a popcorn bucket is the perfect two-for-one. Disney is constantly rolling out new, uniquely themed souvenir popcorn buckets, whether they’re shaped like Mike and Sulley from Monsters, Inc., in the shape of an iconic Mickey balloon, or decorated for the holidays. You can get classic buttery Pop Secret popcorn at any Disney popcorn stand, but if you want the best flavors in the lands, head to Cozy Cone Motel at Disney California Adventure. They have some seriously crazy flavors, such as dill pickle, Buffalo ranch, Sriracha, and pizza.
No matter the occasion, promotion, or time of year, Disney theme parks are going to have a specialty cupcake. And whether it’s a rose gold Minnie Mouse cupcake or a sparkling unicorn iridescent cupcake, this snack is always the first Disney food to hop on the latest and greatest Instagram trend. Now, be warned: These cupcakes can be seriously sugary, so be sure to bring your sweet tooth.
Most Mickey-shaped snacks are for fans of sweets, but lovers of savory, salty snacks and cheese have one of the best Disney foods on their side: the Mickey pretzel. Not only is this pretzel outrageously adorable and Instagrammable, but it’s pretty tasty, too. It’s the perfect fuel as you dash from one attraction to another.
Yelp / Tian Q.
A corn dog may just sound like another plain theme park snack, but there’s something special about the corn dogs at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The Little Red Wagon at Disneyland is so renowned for its corn dogs, people skip pricier dinners at the park just for this signature snack. Why are they so scrumptious? This spot sells corn dogs and only corn dogs, so their batter is perfection and the frying oil has never seen another food. In Orlando, you’re going to be a little more pressed to find the perfect corn dog, but Casey’s Corner on Main Street USA does a fine job, especially with their bite-sized corn dog nuggets.
Yelp / Annie N.
If the Mickey Premium Bar is the most overrated treat at Disney parks, then its cousin the Mickey ice cream sandwich may just be the most underrated. This ain’t your mama’s ice cream sandwich. First of all, it’s huge. Second, the chocolate cookies surrounding the ice cream somehow stay crisp, despite being store in a freezer. And that ice cream inside? It’s not just plain vanilla, it’s cookies and crème flavored, which is a delightful surprise. With a Mickey face etched into its cookies, this treat is the true photo-worthy and delicious ice cream snack at Disney.
The churro is a quintessential Disney park snack. At Walt Disney World, you’ll find these crispy yet chewy cinnamon sticks at various churro carts and at the Mexico pavilion at Epcot. But Disneyland is where the churro truly comes to life. Not only are the churros in Anaheim fried right in front of you as you wait, ensuring your snack is always fresh, hot, and delicious, but Disneyland is constantly reinventing the churro. There have been lightsaber churros, rose gold churros, chocolate churros, pumpkin churros, and honestly more variations than we can count. A churro at Disneyland is as necessary as a ride on bucket list level attractions.
Yelp / Lola G.
Sure, you could head to one of the best restaurants at Epcot for breakfast, but then you’d be missing out on a sweet signature snack: the Mickey waffle. Perfectly fluffy on the inside and just ever-so crisp on the outside, these waffles have the perfect sweet but not overwhelming flavor. It must just be Disney magic. The best part of the Mickey waffle is not just the flavor, but the Mickey shape. It’s just so darn cute!
Yelp / Richard L.
The most Disney treat you could possibly fathom doesn’t have a Mickey Mouse shape. It just has a little swirl on top. Yes, the Dole Whip is the most iconic and most delicious treat at the Disney theme parks. It’s a simple pineapple non-dairy soft serve. You can get it with pineapple juice, on top of a pineapple upside down cake, or with a splash of rum outside of the parks. The best way to enjoy a Dole Whip? Grab it on your way to Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room and indulge while animatronic birds sing to you. Not only are you eating a great snack, but you’re seeing one of the best Disney attractions of all time.
More From The Daily Meal:
Park Secrets Disney Doesn’t Want You to Know
The Healthiest Foods at Disney Parks
21 Things You Can Do at Disney Without a Park Ticket
35 Ways to Save Money at Walt Disney World
20 Things Not to Do on a Disney Vacation