Food Memories at Walt Disney World

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Do you ever associate certain memories or activities with food? It’s probably not a healthy thing, but it’s something I always do. For example, the first time my father took me to a Tennessee football game, I got a hot dog named a “Touchdown Frank” by those clever Tennesseans. I still remember the taste of that dog, and the excitement as my Dad and I cheered the Vols on to victory.

At Walt Disney World, with the variety of foods and experiences around the resort, I’ve made lots of food associations. It’s these sorts of things that make walking around the World so fun for me. Whether it’s Animal Kingdom on a hot day or Epcot in the bitter cold, there’s always a treat or a drink that I associate with certain experiences.

Tangeriene Cafe brings memories of IllumiNations

One of my absolute favorites is at Christmas time. The very first time I went to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party was with my family. I distinctly remember grabbing the free hot chocolate and cookies then camping out right in the hub for a glimpse of Holiday Wishes. To this day, that’s the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had. It was so smooth and creamy, and even though I knew it had to be from a mix, it was divine. I can’t go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and watch the fireworks without a cup of steaming hot chocolate in my hand.

At Epcot, one of my absolute favorite experiences is strolling through World Showcase in the afternoon, getting ready for IllumiNations. A few years ago, when my family was out of town but I had to stay home and work, I made an impulse decision to head down to Disney on my own. On Saturday night, I went through Epcot just enjoying the experience. At IllumiNations time, I grabbed a plate of sliders from Tangeriene Café and sat on the bridge between the UK and France to watch the show. Now, whenever I hear the Reflections of Earth music, I get a taste for roasted lamb.

Animal Kingdom is hot. Always, without fail. In 30 degree weather, if you want to warm up, just go to the Animal Kingdom, and you’ll be warm in no time. Seriously, it’s like the surface of the sun in there. When my son and I decided to do all four Disney parks in one day, we spent the second part of our day at Animal Kingdom. It was hot, like it always is. Our solution was Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bar, of course. That cool ice cream and a bottle of water really hit the spot. Now, anytime I’m walking out of Animal Kingdom, I’m ready for some chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream in the shape of Mickey’s head. Because we all know that Mickey-shaped food tastes better.

Just the thing after a morning of thrill rides

In Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I’m usually running like crazy in the morning to find the right place to go. Is it Toy Story ManiaRock ‘n’ Roller CoasterTower of Terror? After the morning hustle and bustle, I usually need a little more coffee or something to pick me up. Without fail now, part of the morning routine at the Studios for our family is to stop by Starring Rolls and grab a cupcake around 11 a.m. This allows us to power through the normal lunch hour and have a late lunch. It got so bad on our last trip that I started tasting red velvet cupcake during our last drop on Tower of Terror.

For the longest time, I didn’t have a good food memory at the Magic Kingdom outside of the holiday season. After all, the standard fare of chicken fingers and hamburgers wasn’t much to write home about. One trip, though, as we prepared to leave, I grabbed some popcorn from the stand on the right side of Main Street on the way out. Since, as always, some of the party had to take a restroom break, I had time to sit and eat the popcorn. Sitting on the bench by myself, watching the Magic Kingdom go by, was pure bliss. I always want to get some popcorn from that stand, no matter when we go.

I’m sure many of you have food memories like this, where the experience is so vivid and fun that you can’t imagine what it was like without the taste of the food. What are yours?

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Posted on March 19, 2012

20 Responses to “Food Memories at Walt Disney World”

  • For me the best is ironically at the Animal Kingdom. I love to get ribs and cornbread and sit in the pavilion overlooking the water. It is gorgeous and the cornbread is soooo good.

    • I do love Flame Tree. Good stuff. But at Animal Kingdom, my other food memory is the short lived party they had that was like Food and Wine a couple years ago. That was great stuff.

  • One of my food memories is in the Magic Kingdom. I always have to get my choc peanut butter fudge from the Confectionary. One trip, my cousin and I had spent the day in the park and before we had to leave we wanted to squeeze in one last ride on splash mountain. But I hadn’t gotten my fudge yet! My dad was on his way to pick us up all te way over in the MK lot. So after we got off splash we literally sprinted through the park to get my fudge. I got my fudge but then we missed the monorail. So I guess all that running was for nothing… But it’s one of my favorite memories at Disney.

  • I remember going to Pecos bills with my mother when I was young… Now, it is an absolute must do every time I go! Great post, I really enjoyed it. It is kind of hard to put these types of memories into words, but I fully understood everything you said.

  • On our first visit to Epcot, about 6 years ago, my (now) husband and I were touring World Showcase. We stopped in the Patisserie in France for a late afternoon snack. We bought two desserts to share (accompanied w/ a glass of wine of course). One was dessert was the raspberry Schusse (sp?) … kinda pronounced “shoosh” — to die for! It was like an eclair but with raspberry and custard instead of chocolate. That’s the best way I can describe it. Every time we’ve gone back since then (probably 3 times), they no longer sell it … but it is still on the menu, as recently as December 2011. I even thought about starting my own Disney blog and calling it “In Search of Raspberry Schusse”!! Does anyone know where the raspberry schusse went?? Every time we’ve been back, we’ve ‘settled’ for the Napolean and chocolate mousse. :)

  • by Debbie from Chicago on March 19, 2012, at 2:27 pm EST

    When we took my daughter for her 1st visit 3 yrs ago, when she was 3, we had dinner at 50′s Prime Time. Well, my mother didn’t finish her green beans and the waiter stuffed my mother’s mouth with the beans and asked everyone around our table what sound a train makes…and of course everyone said, “chew chew”. I’ve never seen my daughter laugh so hard. We now eat there every year.

  • On our last trip to Disney World, my mom offered to take our children back to the hotel to swim so my husband and I could enjoy an evening at Magic Kingdom alone. My husband and I ended up in the Confectionary and filled a giant bag full of salt water taffy. We stood on main street, enjoying our candy, and waited for the fireworks. It was one of my favorite moments of our trip :).

  • In the Magic Kingdom: At the end of our trip, when the park closes, we always get a Casey’s hotdog and sit and watch the castle change colors
    In Epcot: It has become a tradition to sit in “our” corner of Cava de Tequila and enjoy a drink. Some of my favorite memories are from that small bar
    In Hollywood Studios: We always get a Carrot Cake Cookie and sit in the window of the Writer’s Stop, just people-watching
    In Animal Kingdom: Although we don’t have a “tradition” or memory per se, somehow we always see the need to get ice cream in some form. (Probably has to do with the extra 20+ degrees)

  • by Terry Berringer on March 20, 2012, at 2:09 am EST

    For us it has to be the Norway sandwich, I think it is actually some sort of club sandwich, but for our family it is just known as “The Norway Sandwich” Best sandwich in the world. (So great is this masterpiece that my wife made it my screen saver! That is showin a sandwich some Love!) Follow that with Crapes from France and Illuminations, and the day is set for the memories!

  • Ryan are you a local too?

  • I’m in Tampa. about an hour and a half away so I’m a Saturday day tripper and the occasional weekend stayer.

    Florida resident passes rule the world :)

  • My best WDW food memory is the leftover Giordano’s deep dish pizza we brought into MK and enjoyed at a picnic table on Tom Sawyer Island.