Sunday, October 16, 2016

Disney World Roundup (With Bonus Review)

I'm not sure how many people know this, but Disney World is really a foodie destination.  I think some people think that this theme park's best food offerings are corn dogs and chicken nuggets, but that's just not true. Granted these options are available, but this series of 4 theme parks, many resorts, and so much more offers some pretty amazing food as well as attractions.  There's everything from "fine dinning" to some pretty interesting niche snacks.

Since this is a blog about sweets, and candy, we'll start there.  Disney excels at some sweets, and fails almost completely with others.  When it comes to bakeries and hand made sweets, Disney has a huge assortment of things to try and almost none of them will let you down.  Some are classic Disney treats, like the famous Dole Whip, and others are far more unique and fancy, like pumpkin fudge (a special treat for the fall season).

Disney has also jumped onto the cupcake bandwagon with guns blazing.  Every single restaurant, bakery and many snack stands offer cupcakes.  Some are unique to their area of the parks, others are available all over the resort, almost every single one we tried was tasty, some were down right fantastic.  These weren't the only trends that  Disney seems to be trying out (we saw "cronuts"), but cupcakes are certainly the sweet treat that seems to be working for them.  They're all over the place, and there are some pretty amazing choices available. If you check some of the Disney World food blogs (yes these exist) you'll find that people collect these cupcakes like others collect Disney trading pins.

The good thing about their fine hand made and baked sweets is that they spread them throughout the resorts, including to the restaurants.  They've even taken the idea of dessert to a new level and started dessert parties.  These are parties that you pay extra for, and are associated with another event.  We went to the Star Wars dessert party, and it was pretty good.  The party consisted of a huge dessert spread in an indoor area with all kinds of Star Wars characters wandering around.  After the dessert party, we were ushered to a reserved spot for fireworks, and also given a special Chewbacca mug.  It was  a great night, and the food was constant.

Speaking of constant food, if we're to talk about the meals at Disney there are two descriptions that work, huge portion and fancier than you might think.  We had some days where we just felt sick at the end of the day.  One piece of advice that comes up on many Disney travel blogs is that sometimes you might want to share a meal.  I would say that most of the time you'll want to share a meal.  These massive portions were actually a down side for me.  The food was interesting, so I wanted to try as much as possible, but the portions are so big that you can't.  Since I'm a person that likes variety, I found myself really limited, and often overstuffed.

While the portions were a bit of a bummer, as the Candy Critic, I have one huge complaint about the sweets, and it breaks my hears since I'm a huge Goofy fan.  Disney has a few series of packaged snacks and candies including Goofy's Candy Company, Chip and Dales Snacks, and a few others.  These are prepackaged candies and snacks available everywhere in the resorts.  For the most part, I found these snacks to be very disappointing.  Most of them were just regular snacks packaged in Disney packages.  A few had Disney shapes when they could, but even that was limited.  I would think since they're putting so much money into creating some epic foods and hand made sweets throughout the parks that maybe they'd have some clever candies as well.  Alas that was not to be found, and you can read my review here to find out how disappointed I was.

All in all I would say that Disney World is expensive, but worth it. I don't see us going back in the near future, but not because we didn't have fun.  The portions were huge, and some of the flavours a little dulled down for North American palettes, but all in all I really enjoyed the food.  Some was OK, but most was surprisingly amazing.  If you're really into food, and you want to visit, I recommend visiting the Epcot Food and Wine Show (it was going on while we were there), it takes the surprising food variety of these parks and amps it up a bit.


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