Disney World Ice Cream Parlor Throw Down

I’ve loved pretty much every ice cream sundae I’ve ever had in the World, so you guys are going to be the deciding votes today on the:


Any one of these ice cream parlors can provide bigger-than-life sundaes and ice cream concoctions full of chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, butter pecan, candy bars, strawberries, mint chocolate chip, sorbet, hot fudge, whipped cream, cherries, and more. And while each one has a different specialty, they’re all going to fit the bill when what you’re craving is some really great ice cream! Therefore, I thought it’d be fun to see which one of these ice cream palaces would win in a showdown with Disney Foodies as judges! Here are the Contenders:

Main Street Plaza Ice Cream Parlor

This most classic of all ice cream parlors is found right at the end of Main Street, USA, tucked between the Main Street Bakery and the Plaza Restaurant. The Main Street Plaza Ice Cream Parlor is well known for its Plaza Sundae, a pile of vanilla bean ice cream covered in hot fudge, whipped cream, and cherries — all in a big ol’ waffle bowl! And there’s nothing like getting a classic cone right before the parade or fireworks begin… . While the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor doesn’t win for variety, it sure does win for “makin’ memories.”

Plaza Ice Cream Parlor Sundae

Beaches and Cream Soda Shop

With the Kitchen Sink, the No Way Jose, the Milky Way Sundae, root beer floats, and more, Beaches and Cream has everything you remembered from your childhood along with everything that makes you want to eat dessert first these days! ;-) I’ve never been able to finish a sundae here — and I’m pretty sure my first attempt to conquer the kitchen sink will end in failure as well — but, oh, what sweet failure it will be! This place is no-nonsense and down-to-earth — they make those sundaes with plates underneath, ’cause they know you want so much hot fudge and caramel on your ice cream that it overflows. Nobody’s going to argue with that — they give you what you want!

Milky Way Sundae

Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop

Ghirardelli is located in Disney World’s Downtown Disney Marketplace. It provides passers-by with an incredible chocolate-y scent emanating from the store, and also offers free chocolate in its merchandise shop! There’s no question that the specialties here are the massive, over-the-top sundaes, packed full of intense Ghirardelli chocolate — some of the best in the world. This place offers true quality coupled with extravagance to the max!

Sundae at Ghirardelli

Vote For Your Favorite!

What's Your Vote For The Best Ice Cream Parlor in Disney World?

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If you have a favorite menu item at any of these sugary spots, let us know in the comments section below (always good to make recommendations to fellow foodies!) And if you chose “Other” in our poll, let us know your favorite spot — no reason to let a good ice cream place go un-heralded! :-)


  1. says

    Which one of these is Man vs. Food more likely to visit? That’s right! Beaches & Cream and its mammoth Kitchen Sink. That’s why it gets my vote! :)

  2. Josh says

    The last time I was at Disney World was quite a while ago and the only one I remember is the Main Street Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, so it gets my vote.

    I work at an the local Ice Cream Parlor but Disney ice cream is really top-notch compared to your local ice cream eatery. I really like there unique designs and their over-use of whipped cream on everything.

    By the way Nate, Adam from Man V Food already took on the “Kitchen Sink” at the San Francisco Creamery, so it is doubtful that he would take on another.

  3. says

    I picked Ghirardelli. I haven’t been to Beaches and Cream (I KNOW, ok?) and there’s something so indulgent about Ghirardelli that it has to get my vote :)

  4. says

    Wow, this makes me want to go back to Disney World and try these out. For some reason I have never tried any of these even though I love sundaes. Last time we went to disney we really enjoyed the Dole pineapple whip from the food stand right across from the Swiss Family Tree House, not a Sundae buy a real treat regardless!

  5. Pudge the Fish says

    I’m refreshing to see that in spite of Disney’s some times misguided “healthy initiative” campaign that we can still debate the merits of things like the best ice cream shop or bakery at WDW.

    While I love all of these locations, Beaches and Cream wins because I can still recall the “wow” factor the first time I visited many years ago.

  6. says

    Not a surprise to anyone, but I have to mention a favorite place to get ice cream of mine is Hollywood Scoops, on Sunset Boulevard. Also, the ice cream at Dinosaur Gertie’s Ice Cream of Extinction gets an honorable mention.

  7. Shannon says

    Mrs. Potts in Magic Kingdom…it’s a snack on the dining plan. Strawberry Shortcake, Brownie Sundae, Ice Cream and Milkshakes. Love it!

  8. Angie says

    I had to pick Ghirardelli because I love their peanut butter sundae so much.. but it’s really a hard choice between them and Beaches and Cream!

  9. Griffin says

    I voted for Ghirardelli. I do love Beaches and Cream, but that isn’t as much of an ice cream parlor to me. It’s more of a little diner that has awesome ice cream desserts. Ghirardelli is all about the ice cream. Hey, you can’t go wrong with any of these places though!

  10. says

    What fun! I recently had this very discussion with myself, and published my “best of” WDW ice cream over Memorial Day Weekend. I guess I was missing the World that weekend. I love that you give each of the big three an even shake (pun intended)!

    For me, though, I give it to Beaches and Cream. I recently had the opportunity to tackle the Kitchen Sink, post-Goofy marathon & 1/2, with my husband and two friends. Oh my goodness. We all felt a little queasy after, but it was an experience I don’t regret.

    But I’m more than happy to eat ice cream at Main Street or Ghirardelli’s. And I love Gertie’s, if for no other reason than I’m a Winsor McCay fan. Heck, I’ll even eat a Dole Whip or three on vacation. Apparently when it comes to ice cream and frozen desserts, I’m not that choosy. :)

  11. Meg says

    I’ve only been to Ghirardelli (the strawberry shortcake thing is SO good) – guess I have a bit of touring to do on our next trip so I can vote!

    As an aside, does anyone remember the massive Matterhorn ice cream at Disneyland? Myself and 2 friends attempted to eat it in either ’97 or ’98 – and I just remember it being amazing. So sad it’s not there anymore. I think it was the Fantasia ice cream that made it so good.

  12. says

    I voted “other” because I have yet to eat at any of the above! Although I would definitely like to hit up Beaches & Cream ….ideally on a break from the Food & Wine Fest…if I were going…

  13. Shayne says

    Main Street Ice Cream Parlor is my sentimental favorite — I’ve had ice cream there on pretty much every trip I’ve ever made to WDW, except last January when it was just too cold for ice cream.

    But I voted for Beaches and Cream. The ice cream there definitely lived up to the hype I heard before my visit!

  14. StuDisney says

    Besides having the best ice cream, Beaches & Cream, has the best burgers @ Disney world.
    Only problem, after eating one of there burgers, you are too full to have ice cream!

  15. Galloping Gourmand says

    I voted other. The Main Street Ice Cream Parlor is far too crowded for me. Have you ever tried to get a sundae there on the way out after a hot day in the parks? It’s almost impossible. Same with any parade time, ie the heat of the afternoon between 2:30 and 4:00. If you note a trend to my comments, I love food but I love food most when you don’t have to stand in massive lines at the end of the day.

    Beaches and Cream is a great shop to get a quick burger and has a fine pickup window. It’s a little hard to get a seat though.

    If you are willing to walk just a little bit further the Fountain at the Dolphin Hotel is my “other” pick. It usually has shorter lines. Their shakes are something special. I heartily suggest the PB&J shake!

  16. Carrol says

    My favourite sundae, hands down, is the No Way Jose. Every trip I have to get this at least once. If you are a lover of peanut butter this is a must.

  17. Whitney says

    The Milky Way Sundaw at Beaches and Cream looks AMAZING!

    When my husband and I were there last year for our honeymoon, we attempted the Kitchen Sink with a few friends of ours. 4 spoons……..still didn’t finish it. But, great memories (and we have great pictures to remember the HUGE sink!)

  18. Vance says

    Yeah, I have to vote other for The Fountain at the Dolphin. While I love the other places too, The Fountain wins just for their milkshakes.

  19. says

    What about the Dole Whip place…? You can have your sundaes…I’ll take a Dole Whip, please! :)

  20. says

    I have never been to Beaches and Cream but it’s so legendary, i’m definitely hitting it up this year. And conveniently we’re going to be staying at Yacht Club so it’s very close. I seem to recall being disappointed in the Main Street in recent years, possibly because as a kid i had fond memories of ice cream on Main Street USA and it was probably more legendary in nostalgia to me than reality. My best memories of Ghirardelli is the cute girl who served me a milkshake and giggled. I should’ve asked for her number.

  21. says

    Love Beaches and Cream. We had the kitchen sink at my last visit but it was almost too much–I know, I know, how can that be!! I plan to try the Mickey Mouse Sundae in July, but the Frozen Sunshine and Milky Way Sundae sounds good too….decisions, decisions!

  22. Lynnette says

    Can’t vote since I’ve never been to any of these, but let me tell ya, I’d swim in that Milky Way sundae if I could get away with it. Looks deeeelish! Drool….

  23. Chris says

    Gotta give it to Beaches & Cream. We conquered the Kitchen Sink a couple of years ago, but it took 7 of us to do it. Honestly, though, it was the best ice cream creation we had ever eaten…and we’re pretty serious ice cream aficionados. I’ve also had the No Way Jose sundae and thought that was amazing, too. Plus the place is just fun and has such a great feel to it. Will be going back in 156 days! (Not that I’m counting, of course!) :)

  24. says

    My heart belongs to Ghirardelli. I cried when we were there in 2008 and it was closed for refurbishment the entire time. They teased and mocked me every day by telling me “It should open back up tomorrow!”. It re-opened a week after we left.

    But wow, that Milky Way sundae can suck me right over to B&C side if I am not careful….

    I dunno, I think I will just have to perform another very serious taste test when we go in December…..a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

  25. says

    Beaches and Cream all the way!!! I love them so much, I attempt to make No Way Jose’s at home. They never are the same though…Beaches and Cream adds a pinch of magic, I presume. :)

  26. charlois says

    i vote for the DOLE ice cream. i know it is not a sundae but i fell in love there, with the ice cream.

  27. Alex (@ajcenac) says

    Plaza Ice Cream Parlor – nothing better than grabbing an ice cream with my 2 girls and finding a place to sit and watch Spectro and/or Wishes! While the ice cream may be better at the other 2 places, the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor takes the cake based upon location and environment!

  28. christine says

    help…what is the name of the ice cream/gift shop in tomorrow land
    I need to replace a “yoda” koosh figure that was purchased there a few weeks ago…

  29. says

    Christine — Possibly Mickey’s Star Traders or Merchant of Venus? Those are close to Auntie Gravity’s ice cream location.

  30. T. Davies says

    There’s just something special about eating our waffle cones while sitting on Main Street, USA. A day at the Magic Kingdom isn’t complete unless we’ve visited the Main Street Ice Cream Parlor!

  31. Ann says

    I love Beaches and Cream!! It is definitely one place we eat every time we visit WDW! :)

  32. Michelle B. says

    I’m a Beaches and Cream girl. While I do like the sundaes at Ghiradelli, I find the atmosphere is just always too, too hectic. Plus it’s not unique, you can go to one in several cities. At Beaches and Cream once you finally get a table or stool, it just seems so much more relaxed and laid back.

  33. Kathy says

    My son-in-law made choose other because he LOVES all the fudge topping they put on the sundaes at the Fountainview Ice Cream parlor. Personally, I love Ghirardelli’s,

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