Friday, October 7, 2011

(Sweet Eats: Quick-Service Desserts in Walt Disney World)

Goofy's Candy Co. in Downtown Disney is a treasure trove of sweets!

One of my favorite things about a trip to Disney World is the anticipation of some great eats. Once the vacation is booked, I immediately move to planning restaurants, and researching counter service dining and food stands that I haven't been to yet. When dining out at home, I rarely ever order dessert. I'm not really all that big on sweets, and for some reason it seems like an unnecessary expense for us (it's not like I'm trying to watch my figure; I count nachos as a major food group). When vacationing though, desserts are fair game. It would be silly to pass up any of the great options that Disney has to offer for satisfying that sweet tooth. Take a look at some of my favorites.

Goofy's candy apple offerings, 2010.

Yum yum yum candy apples. This time of year, I always find myself craving one. I personally don't need it to be quite so fancy, I'm easy to please with just the hard red candy coating on the outside. Disney offers a pretty large variety of flavors though, from apple pie candy apples to ones covered in coconut (yum!) The specialty apples do seem a bit pricey at $8.95 a pop, but if you share it with someone, the cost pretty much equals out. Plus, think of the great photo opportunities you'll get eating one of those beauties!

J chows down on a cinnamon bun (don't forget the frozen latte!), 2009.

Magic Kingdom's Main Street Bakery is the perfect place to go for a quick breakfast, but they sell their giant cinnamon buns all day long. Breakfast or dessert, these things are yummy. They're also HUGE, and I recommend sharing one. Nothing like riding Space Mountain with a belly full of cinnamon bun and a major sugar high from all that icing!

Disney's Hollywood Studios 20 Anniversary Cupcake, 2009.

I regret to inform you that I am not well-read in the language of the Disney World Cupcake. I am aware that guests absolutely love them, and have read a lot about the creative offerings throughout the resort. Mama Melrose's in Disney's Hollywood Studios recently unveiled a spaghetti and meatballs cupcake - read about it here. In the meantime, I will work on my love for cupcakes, as I would love to do a detailed entry about them for you.

Taking a brief intermission from the desserts that I love, let me tell you about a very popular place in Downtown Disney's Marketplace. Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop is hugely popular among guests, and rarely looks empty. Finally, J and I gave in to the hype and gave it a try. I must say, I don't see what all the fuss is about. We waited in line for probably 15 minutes for a sundae that I could have easily made at home. It wasn't gross or anything, but it was just sort of a letdown. We ordered the World Famous - two scoops of vanilla ice cream covered in homemade hot fudge, whipped cream, chopped almonds and a cherry, all in a homemade waffle bowl (my favorite part). To be fair to Ghirardelli, their menu offers a lot of fun options, and if I had my way, we would have been eating a banana split. If that had happened, maybe I'd be raving about this place. I lost that battle for some reason, I must have been off my game that day.

Our yearly serving of Kaki Gori, this photo from 2006.

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming. One of my favorite absolute things about Epcot is Kaki Gori. This treat walks a fine line - it's a dessert because it's like a snowcone, but it's also a refreshment because it's like a slushie. These are the best on hot summer days, and one is just never enough for me. I always get a combination of all three flavors; strawberry, melon and tangerine. The Kaki Gori stand was recently updated and is now called Kabuki Cafe, serving snacks like edamame, plum sake and more. If you haven't taken the opportunity to try some Kaki Gori, I insist that you do. It's so much more refreshing than buying a bottle of soda, and the taste is absolutely rewarding. 

The only photo I could find where our Napoleons weren't half eaten already, 2007.

It's the moment we all (or maybe just me) have been waiting for...the big daddy of all Disney World desserts. Distinction of my favorite dessert goes to....NAPOLEONS!
These little slices of heaven can be found at the Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot's France pavilion. Talk about a place that lives up to its hype - unlike Ghirardelli's, the Patisserie is 100% worthy of the agonizingly long lines that we can't seem to avoid. Don't worry, lines more very quickly as there are two sides to the small bakery, and the results are worth your time. The offerings are endless, from tarts to turnovers, croissants and even quiches, but the crown jewel for me is the Napoleon. Layers and layers of delicate, crispy phyllo dough paired with a sweet cream and a generous dusting of powdered sugar on top and oh. my. Mickey Mouse. It's really the ultimate dessert experience, and always a priority when visiting the World.

Don't forget the Dole Whip, delish!
Well, that's all for now in my quest for desserts. I have a lot more exploring to do - as do you!
Do you have a favorite dessert in Walt Disney World? Ferociously disagree with my assessment of Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop? Have a distaste for my beloved Napoleon? Please tell me all about it - I want to hear from you!

Happy Sweet Eating!

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