Regular Disney Food Blog readers may remember that a few weeks back I wrote about my family’s epic quest to consume candy in each of Epoct World Showcase’s eleven countries.
Several of the countries sold a bonanza of fabulous treats, making it difficult to choose just one. (I’m talking to you Japan, Italy, and France.) But I bemoaned the fact that there was very little candy in the America pavilion, and what was there was a tired replay of the Disney branded candy available in every other merchandise location on property. I suggested that Disney rev up its offerings by including “American nostalgic or regional specialty candies” or sweets from an American candy company like Hershey or Mars.
So imagine my surprise and delight when I took a spin through Epcot recently, walked into the America pavilion and saw this — an entire wall, plus two double-sided, free-standing display racks, of American nostalgic and regional specialty candies and sweets from Hershey and Mars, which according to super-helpful cast member Chris from Orlando, had been installed just the day before my arrival. It’s like they knew I was coming. SCORE!
I’m not naive enough to really think that my post had anything to do with this magical transformation. I’m sure the pace of change at Disney merchandising runs much more slowly than that. But just for a minute now, I’m going to pretend that this was all because of me. [Insert mental image of me enjoying the moment.] Moving on now …
So what exactly are they selling? As of late May, here’s the list of what was available:
- 3 Musketeers
- 5th Avenue
- 100 Grand bar
- Abba Zabba
- Air Heads
- Almond Joy
- Big Cherry
- Big Hunk
- Boston Baked Beans
- BreathSavers (peppermint)
- Broadway Rolls (strawberry and licorice)
- Candy buttons, Necco brand!
- Candy corn, Jelly Belly brand
- Candy necklaces and watches
- Caramel Creams, Goeteze’s brand
- Charleston Chew (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry)
- C. Howard’s Violet
- Clark Bar
- Corner Store Old Fashioned Taffy
- Fort Knox candy coins
- Fun Dip
- Good & Plenty
- Heath Bar
- Hershey Bar
- Hershey Kisses
- Hot Tamales
- Idaho Spud
- Jell Rings, Joyva brand
- Jelly Belly, 20 flavor box
- Junior Mints
- Kit Kat
- Krystal Roks (cherry, grape, raspberry, watermelon)
- Licorice Pipes
- Lifesavers (five flavor)
- Lifesavers Gummies
- Look! bar
- Mallow Cup, Boyer brand
- Marshmallow hamburgers and hotdogs
- Mike & Ikes
- Milk Duds
- Milky Way, Midnight Dark
- Mr. Goodbar
- Necco Wafers (chocolate, variety)
- Nestle Crunch
- Nik-L-Nips wax bottles
- Oh Henry!
- Peanut Brittle, Atkinson’s old fashioned
- Peanut Chews, Goldenberg’s Original
- Pixie Stix
- Planter’s Peanut Bar
- Pop Rocks (blue fizz, tropical, watermelon, strawberry)
- Reese’s Pieces
- Ring Pops
- Salted Nut Roll
- Slap Stix
- Sour Patch Kids
- Sugar Babies
- Sugar Daddies
- Super Ropes, red licorice
- Tootsie Roll (with old-style packaging)
- Turkish Taffy, Bonomo brand (banana, vanilla, chocolate, strawberry)
- Wax Lips
- Wax Moustache
- York Peppermint Pattie
- Zots (several flavors)
- plus several more …
I’m at Walt Disney World, surrounded by classic candy, AND Charlie’s Angels is coming back on the air. It’s like the 1970s all over again, but in a good way.
All kidding aside, I am truly thrilled with the merchandise overhaul at the America pavilion. I’ll have a chance to share some favorite treats from my youth (Zots!!) with own kids, and I’ll get to sample some old-time sweets that are new to me (Big Cherry). I am especially pleased that international guests, for whom Walt Disney World may be the sum total of their U.S. experience, will now have the opportunity to partake of a broad spectrum of American sweets.
Taking One for the Team
I knew you’d be sad if I didn’t buy at least a few of these candies to try, so I decided to purchase four of the brands I had never had before. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.
The lucky winners were: Idaho Spud, Big Hunk, Krystal Roks, and Sen-Sen.
First up was Sen-Sen, which I knew was popular in the 1930s and had heard mentioned in the show The Music Man and in the Billy Joel song “Keeping the Faith.” Joel sings, “I took a fresh pack of Luckies and a mint called Sen-Sen.”
Billy, after sampling Sen-Sen, I can honestly say that I would rather crush up a Lucky and snack on that. Seriously, no to the Sen-Sen. No, no, no. And a little more no after that. This stuff is NASTY. Teeny black pellets the flavor of soap, perfume, mint, licorice, unrefined petroleum, and sewage mixed together. I brushed my teeth twice, had some sushi, brushed my teeth again, and I could still taste the Sen-Sen’s gasoline notes. I am, however, grateful to have expanded my knowledge of this culturally significant “sweet.”
The next candy I sampled was the Idaho Spud, a marshmallow confection shaped like, you guessed it, a potato. The marshmallow is enrobed in a chocolatey coating and sprinkled with coconut flakes.
I don’t think I’ll be going back to this one either. I found the marshmallow texture to be a bit more rubber sponge than I care for, but it was definitely recognizable as food.
The third candy I sampled was Krystal Roks, which the box says is manufactured by Dryden & Palmer of Branford, Connecticut, whose website is www.rockcandy.com. Not surprisingly, the Roks looked and tasted exactly like bits of chopped up rock candy. Tastes yum, and I can think of lots of fun cake/cupcake decorating uses. Now that I know this exists, I’ll certainly be buying it again.
Low Fat Big Hunk
My final previously untried treat was Annabelle’s Low Fat Big Hunk. This was my favorite of my finds. The texture is somewhere between taffy and nougat, and the taste is somewhere between taffy and Bit-O-Honey. Overall quite pleasant. And again, I am over the moon that Disney is stocking items from regional manufacturers. It’s a classy move. Thanks, Mickey.
UPDATE 1-12: Much of this candy is no longer available at the store, but you can definitely find some good options there! Abba Zabba, nikl nips, and other classic options remain!
So folks, which of your old favorites are you happy to see here? Which ones have you never tried? Would you give Sen-Sen a go after my description? Let us know what you think in the comments.