So, you're at Disney World, and all that walking has made you hungry - and it's not yet time for a meal. Or perhaps your sweet tooth is simply calling for satisfaction.
Of course, there are many carts that will sell you a classic Mickey ice cream bar, a box of popcorn, a chocolate chip cookie, or a funnel cake. While these are all perfectly acceptable snack options (particularly the Mickey bar - what is a trip to WDW without one?), don't overlook some absolute gems that Disney World has to offer in the snack department. If you are on a Disney dining plan, you will be delighted to discover that most of the items on our list can be exchanged for a single snack credit.
Warning: Walt Disney World Insiders is not responsible for any cravings that you may create while following this guide!
Dole Whips. Dole Whips are very similar to soft serve ice cream, but are essentially non-dairy, so lactose intolerant folks need not fear! They come in vanilla, as well as citrus flavors, but the granddaddy of them all is the Dole Whip Float (pineapple soft serve in pineapple juice). This slice of heaven can be found at Aloha Isle (Magic Kingdom, Adventureland), which is directly across form the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. You can also get Dole Whips in more limited choices via a self serve dispenser at the Captain Cook's quick service restaurant at the Polynesian resort.
A note: Dole Whips are widely reported to be dairy free. This is not technically true. They do contain casein, which is a milk protein - those with milk allergies should still be careful. However, they are lactose free, gluten free, and fat free.
Fresh cookie ice cream sandwiches. Take a pair of freshly baked oversized cookies, add in 3-4 scoops of ice cream between them, and you have yourself a truly delicious treat! These are available in the following locations: Main Street Bakery (Magic Kingdom), Sleepy Hollow (Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom), the Fountainview Cafe (Epcot), and at Dino Bite Snacks (Animal Kingdom). All locations alow you to pick your cookie flavor, and the Fountainview Cafe allows more customization - you can even select your own ice cream flavor.
Mickey gingerbread men. Ahh, gingerbread - the smell and taste that will transport you to the holidays. Drop by the Main Street Bakery at Magic Kingdom, and enjoy this treat at any time of the year.
Cream cheese pretzels. Sure, you can get an oversized pretzel at a lot of places. But a trip to the Lunching Pad in Tomorrowland (Magic Kingdom) can yield such a pretzel stuffed with sweet cream cheese. Yes, please.
Or spicy pretzels? Perhaps you have had enough of sweetness, and would prefer a snack with a kick. If this is you, consider the jalapeno cheese pretzels. In Animal Kingdom, check out the Harambe Fruit Market (a cart near the exit of Kilimanjaro Safaris and the entrance to Rafiki's Planet Watch), or the cart near the exit to Kali River Rapids .
Napoleon. No, we are not referring to the diminuative de facto dictator of French history, but to the wonderful pastry in Epcot that bears his name. Drop by Boulangerie Pātisserie in the France pavilion for this delightful pastry - or try one of their many other highly recommended choices.
School bread. Don't think that superb pastry begins and ends at the France pavillion. For a diverse - and stellar - selection, make it a point to visit Kringla Bakeri og Cafe at the Norway pavillion in Epcot. The school bread is widely hailed (and is very affordable). However, other absolute "don't miss" choices include the cloudberry horn (incredibly light and fluffy - easy to eat even after a heavy meal) - and the sweet pretzel with almonds.
Churros. While these are certainly not unique to WDW, churros made a great, filling snack. Sometimes referred to as Spanish doughnuts, churros are long and slender in shape, and are made of fried dough. They are available at the odd cart or two (there is one in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom; dino Bite Snacks at Animal Kingdom also sells them), but are done particularly well at San Angel in the Mexico pavillion at Epcot. The caramel sauce is a particularly nice touch!
A word to the wise - seagulls also enjoy churros, and have been known to swoop down and steal them literally from guests' hands. You have been warned!
What about a cupcake? Don't be too quick to classify cupcakes as fare fit only for children's birthday parties or office breakrooms. Consider a trip to Starring Rolls at Hollywood Studios. Inside, you will discover mouthwatering temptations piled high with delectible frosting. Flavors include: white chocolate, peanut butter & chocolate, tiramasu, chocolate butterfinger, red velvet, marble, and more. Try one of these - you will not be disappointed.
Zebra domes. The rest of our items above are available elsewhere, if only on a very limited basis. These, however, are absolutely unique to Walt Disney World. Upon inspection, you'll see a puff covered in white chocolate, with milk chocolate drizzled on it. The center is something like chocolate mousse, with an incredible secret ingredient. They are light, fluffy, and incredibly flavorful.
Their only drawback? Zebra domes are only available at Boma and the Mara - the table service and counter services restaurants, respectively, at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Even so, they are absolutely worth the bus ride... and they give you a wonderful excuse to visit one of the most beautiful resorts in Walt Disney World.
Have a party. If a little bit of a good thing is good for you, but a lot is great, consider the Wishes Dessert Party at the Magic Kingdom. This reservation-only event gives you seating on the Tomorrowland Terrace, where you'll not only have a great view of the fireworks - but you'll also have access to the buffet of desserts and beverages. The event is a little pricey (better than $20 for adults and better than $10 for kids) and is not covered by the dining plan, but the reviews for it are great.
So, there you go. If you have an appetite at Walt Disney World, you now know what to do about it.