Our first frozen treats were found in the Magic Kingdom at the Sunshine Tree Terrace, and just in time! It was the perfect way to cool down on an 80° day in December.
What I got: Citrus Swirl Orange Float - Citrus Orange and Vanilla Soft Server Ice Cream with orange soda
What Greg got: Root Beer Float - Vanilla Soft Serve Ice Cream with root beer
My treat was super refreshing and the perfect cool down for a New Yorker acclimating to winter in Florida. The Citrus Orange part was essentially frozen orange juice, and the whole thing gave the impression of a really tasty Creamsicle that you can both drink and eat with a spoon. Greg's float needed more root beer; at some point it was just a cup full of vanilla ice cream.
We also visited the adorably decored Plaza Ice Cream Parlor perfectly located on the corner of Main Street, U.S.A. within full view of Cinderella's Castle. The ice cream here (and I'm pretty sure all the hard pack ice cream in the World) is Edy's Ice Cream. Plaza is most known for their sundaes, specifically The "Plaza" Ice Cream Sundae and Mickey's Kitchen Sink Sundae along with seasonal creations. I decided to go for something even more iconic.
What Greg got: Root Beer Float with Chocolate Ice Cream
Please note: This was actually a different day in the park. Greg did not get two root beer floats in the same day.
The simpleness of these treats was ideal. You don't always need bells and whistles and sprinkles and sauces to have a perfect ice cream. These are cool, classic, magical flavors well enjoyed while watching tourists feed french fries to ducks and Elsa sing out on the steps of the nearby castle.
Also enjoyed at the Magic Kingdom, and available all over Disney World, was a famed Mickey's Ice Cream Bar.
Hollywood StudiosIn Hollywood Studios I had a mission: I was going to Hollywood Scoops to try their famous giant chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches. The first challenge? Finding it. We crossed the park back and forth, misread the guidebook, got confused by the website, steered wrong by Google maps, and redirected by confused cast members (everyone who works at Disney World is a cast member) who had no idea what I was talking about. Finally, we found it! Pro tip: just walk to Tower of Terror; it's on the left hand side directly before you get to the ride. I was ready. I knew exactly what I was going to order. Then I saw the specials. Then all my planning went right out the window!
Well, in my defense, they only have the holiday specials around the holidays, and Frozen is absolutely everywhere in the parks, and I liked the nod to the Jewish traditions with the jelly donut. Also, it was really good! I think I had intentions of sharing more of this with Greg. It was gone rather quickly. The butter pecan was a great flavor compliment to the donut, which was soft and delicious and had the perfect amount of jelly filling.
This stop also provided me with one of the best, most terrifying, confusing photographs I have ever taken. I have debated sharing this, but the public deserves the awkwardness. I didn't even notice what was happening until I was checking photos later in the day.
|Seriously, what's happening? What did that little girl do to that reindeer and why does it look so gleefully angry about it?|
EpcotEpcot provides many ice cream possibilities, as several of the pavilions in the World Showcase have frozen treats from their countries. I knew that even I could not sample them all, so we went for the most celebrated ice cream destination, L'Artisan des Glaces in France. They tout house-made ice cream in some really wonderful flavors.
|I like the touch of the "newspaper" wrapper on the Croque Glacé|
What Greg got: Coupe du Dimanche - a scoop each of Cinnamon, Caramelized Apple & Crumble Crunch and Gingerbread Ice Cream, caramel sauce, and whipped cream in a waffle bowl
What Stewart and Kiddo got: Mixed Berries Sorbet on a waffle cone
Greg won this round; the gingerbread ice cream was by far the best flavor any of us got. My treat was tasty, though very messy. At one point I had to eat some of the ice cream with a spoon to be able to pick up the brioche for a bite. The sorbet was refreshing and just sweet enough and turned Kiddo bright red with his enthusiasm in eating it.
Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure
|The weather was particularly British that day.|
What Greg got: Hot Caramel Sundae with Sticky Toffee Pudding Ice Cream, whipped cream, and a cherry
Note: I did not try the Butter Beer Ice Cream. To be honest, I had already had both hot and cold Butter Beer, and was frankly Butter Beered out. I hear it's very tasty though.
The Earl Grey & lavender ice cream was surprisingly mild. I usually don't like lavender in ice cream, as the smell can overpower all flavors, but it was subtle and pleasant here. The ice cream itself was a bit soft and even on this chilly-for-Florida day, I had to eat it very quickly to prevent a melting disaster. The sticky toffee pudding was just perfect. Greg had the absolute best combination with the caramel, as toffee pudding and caramel are just meant to be together.
|Ice Cream and Dragon Selfie!|
What I got: Chocolate x5 Shake - Chocolate Ice Cream, chocolate chunks, strawberries, chocolate sauce, fresh whipped cream, and chocolate spirals
It was delicious. I was drawn to this shake by the strawberries as much as the chocolate. I guess part of me decided it was time for some fruit. It was also very rich and too much for me to handle. The good news is the shakes are served in plastic mason jars that you are allowed to take with you, so I had some extra time to work on it.
|The paper straw, while environmentally friendly, was very difficult to drink a thick shake through.|
Typhoon LagoonOur most epic ice cream moments did not take place in a theme park at all! Instead, the biggest, baddest, most wonderful ice cream creations were to be found in other parts of Disney World. At Happy Landings Ice Cream in Typhoon Lagoon on a slightly-chilly-but-not-enough-to-keep-us-out-of-the-water day the beach treat of my dreams floated into my life.
What we got: Sand Pail - Chocolate and Vanilla Swirl Soft Serve Ice Cream with hot fudge and caramel sauce, waffle cone and Oreo cookie pieces, whipped cream, Mickey sprinkles, and a cherry on top, served in a sand pail. I mean, just look at it!
|I asked for extra shovels so we could all eat with one.|
|He even had enough will power to leave me the cherry!|
Beach Club ResortThe most epic treat, the ice cream creation that I could not leave Disney World without meeting face-to-face if I wished to keep my ice cream warrior title, can be found in Disney's Beach Club Resort at a very special place called Beaches & Cream Soda Shop. This American fare and ice cream eatery was dressed up for the holidays with wreaths bedecked in ice cream ornaments. On the menu, past the burgers and fries and mixed in inconspicuously with the other sundaes, I found that for which I was questing; the Kitchen Sink.
Readers of this blog know that I am not a stranger to a classic kitchen sink sundae. I enjoyed one with friends and loved ones for a very special Birthday Edition of Scoops, Sundaes, Sprinkles, and Shakes right here in NYC. But this, the Beaches & Cream Soda Shop Kitchen Sink, comes with some extra Disney magic mixed in. I mean, they serve it in a sink and set off a siren, for crying out loud!
|The menu says it serves four. The menu lies. Six of us worked VERY hard at this one.|
The menu describes it as "Scoops of Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Cookies and Cream, and Mint Chocolate Chips smothered in every topping we have." Ok. That doesn't begin to cover it. The best I can tell, it is eight of the largest scoops of ice cream I have ever seen, lots of sauces, a whole fruit salad, an entire can of whipped cream, all the toppings you could dream of including multiple pieces of cake and brownie and whole Oreos, sprinkles (because it's not a proper sundae without sprinkles), and enough cherries to make George Washington smile. There was hot fudge, caramel, marshmallow, and chocolate sauce. Something in there was peanut buttery, though I couldn't tell you if it was sauce or chips or just straight up peanut butter (and I watched them make it. Closely). There were banana slices and strawberries and pineapple chunks, orange jelly candies and snickers pieces and things we will never identify.
|This sundae was wider than me. It's also deeper than it looks; all the ice cream is below the lip of the bowl. Above? That's all toppings.|
|Partway through our excavation... there are still at least four bowls of ice cream left in there.|
In ConclusionI hate to admit it, but I did not actually eat all of the ice cream in Disney World. There are a few park favorites that I did not sample. I guess that means I'd better go back one day. Those include:
- As mentioned before, the giant Ice Cream Sandwich on Fresh Baked Cookie at Hollywood Scoops (Hollywood Studios)
- Mickey's Ice Cream Bar's close cousin Mickey's Cookie Sandwich, available throughout the World
- The famed, cult-status treat known as Dole Whip; a pineapple and vanilla treat which can be found at Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom, Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Animal Kingdom, and at Pineapple Lanai at the Polynesian Village Resort
- Another shot at the World Showcase in Epcot for: gelato from Gelati, Caramel Ginger or Lychee ice cream at Lotus Blossom Café, and many more delicious looking treats from L'Artisan des Glaces. I'm sure there are more international frozen delights I missed as well.
- All of the other Sundaes they serve at Beaches & Cream. All of them.
If you are in Disney World and would like to get some soft serve from the most imaginative locations ever, might I suggest the Anandapur Ice Cream Truck in the Animal Kingdom, which is covered in gorgeous murals, or Dinosaur Gertie's Ice Cream of Extinction in Hollywood Studios.
|The most beautiful ice cream "truck" I've ever seen|
|Photo from the Disney website; somehow I didn't get a picture of this one.|
Happy Holidays from Scoops, Sundaes, Sprinkles, and Shakes!