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Review: Ghirardelli Soda Fountain

There are lots of great spots to grab dessert in Orlando’s Downtown Disney, but a favorite of many of our readers is Ghirardelli Chocolate Shoppe and Soda Fountain.

This chocolate-lovers’ heaven has both a chocolate store and an ice cream and soda fountain, so it’s the perfect spot to grab a sweet treat.

We’ve written about Ghirardelli before, but when we stopped in to have a couple of our own custom creations, I knew I wanted to tell you about those as well!

Ghirardelli Soda Fountain Downtown Disney, Orlando

Atmosphere

The first thing to know is that the store and ice cream shop are separate. If you’re in the wrong one, go outside and head next door. :-) Once you get into the ice cream shop, you’re greeted with a soda fountain and an ordering area.

Soda Fountain

Soda Fountain

Soda Fountain

Once you check out the amazing menus (see below), you’ll put in your order, take a number, and go find a seat! Speaking of, the seating area is adorned with this cool San Fran mural!

Ghirardelli Mural

Eats

Ice Cream is the name of the game here, though they do have other treats to sample (coffee drinks, brownies, etc.). Just take a gander at these amazing menus!!

Menu -- Click and Enlarge to see larger version

Menu -- Click and Enlarge to see larger version

Menu -- Click and Enlarge for larger version

Menu -- Click and Enlarge for larger version

My favorite part, as you may know, are is the varied options for cones, hot fudge, and more!

Cone and Chocolate Choices

Cone and Chocolate Choices

But, as I mentioned previously, we decided to create our own custom sundaes on this visit!! We started with a simple butterscotch sundae — isn’t it gorgeous? In this monster, vanilla ice cream was topped with rich, thick butterscotch, whipped cream, and a cherry. Awesome!

Butterscotch Sundae at Ghirardelli

And of course, my love for peanut butter meant we had to also get a sundae drowned in the stuff! We chose a chocolate dipped cone bowl, and included hot fudge as well. This is pretty much the Gold Rush Sundae in a waffle bowl, so feel free to order that if you think this looks great!

That chocolate square? It’s a Ghirardelli peanut butter chocolate piece! :-)

Peanut Butter Hot Fudge Sundae in a Chocolate Waffle Bowl

And don’t forget, if you’re on the West Coast, visitors to Disney California Adventure can soon enjoy their favorite ice cream creations at the new Ghirardelli factory opening soon!

Overall

If you can take the super-sweetness, Ghirardelli is one of the best places to stop for dessert in Downtown Disney!

This spot does get crowded though, especially during the late afternoon and evening. If you want to guarantee yourself a seat, head over when the shop first opens earlier in the day!

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18 Comments

  1. Eric says:

    We love Ghiradelli! Especially the latte and brownies! The coffee is some of if not the best on property! The brownies are rich and chewy and a perfect compliment to a great latte whether hot or iced. I do however prefer the sundaes at either Beaches and Cream or The Main Street Ice Cream Parlor but Ghiradelli is a winner for sure! Great review AJ

  2. Heidi says:

    I love the old fashioned chocolate soda(ice cream, chocolate syrup, club soda). It’s not on the menu but they do make them.

  3. Kelly M says:

    Warm caramel sundae…simple but oh so very good!!! (no nuts and an extra cherry please!) I am totally drooling right now.

  4. Mark D. says:

    I HIGHLY recommend the Sea Salt Caramel Hot Cocoa. Fantastic.

  5. Mandy says:

    I have to ask… how did you get a crowd-free shot? Anytime I’m there, it’s wall-to-wall people!

  6. AJ says:

    Eric — Thanks! I’ve gotta try the brownies! Better than Earl of Sandwich?

    Heidi — Great tip!!!

    Kelly M — Yum! Sounds wonderful!

    Mark D — That sounds GREAT!! I love that stuff; had no idea it was offered.

    Mandy — Ha ha! I went VERY early. :-D

  7. Megan says:

    @Mandy, that’s exactly what I was going to say! I’ve NEVER seen Ghiradelli even close to empty before!

  8. Essie says:

    I’d just like to say how nice it is of you to provide us with the ability of super enlarging the sundae menu so we can read every word and see every detail, therefore adding to the amount of drool in our keyboards.

  9. EEFoster says:

    I visited the “real” Ghiradelli shop in San Francisco a few weeks ago. I have to say that I like the Downtown Disney version much better. The ice cream is the exact same delish, but there’s more room and the staff is nicer at WDW.

  10. Julie says:

    This is a must do whenever we visit. The dark chocolare fudge on cookie dough ice cream is to die for! And my mom always enjoys their vanilla ice cream sodas If you visit the shop side they usually give out free samples of the chocolate.

  11. canadianslovewdw says:

    a must go to place… have been there every time we are at disney.. i want one now…

  12. Jenny says:

    When I went for the first time, we went in the soda shope. I had no idea that there was a candy shope too. I do love their ice cream, it was so good, but I did have truble finnishing mine. I had to leave it there.
    :)

  13. AJ says:

    Megan — Ha ha! Like I said — early-bird gets the photo (and the first sundae!!)

    Essie — I know, right?! I LOVE looking at that menu!!

    EEFoster — Sigh. All is right with the world! I wonder if Disneyland’s version will be open on your visit!!!!

    Julie — Um…yeah…dark chocolate fudge on cookie dough ice cream sounds AMAZING! Good reminder on the free choc-o-late next door!

    Canadians — Yay! I haven’t been in a while, so agreed that I want one now.

    Jenny — Boo on not finishing!! ;-)

  14. Aydin says:

    Am I the only one who is a bit disappointment by the lack of soda based drinks at this Soda Fountain? I know it’s a cute historical name, and it’s technically an ice cream parlor, but I would have appreciated if I could go in and get a freshly mixed Lime Rickey, Cherry Coke, Vanilla Coke or an Egg Cream.
    The floats, malts and shakes look pretty good, but I’m one of those people who sweats a LOT and in the Florida humidity, I’m not naturally drawn to drinking dairy.

    To quote Ron Burgundy, “SO hot… milk was a BAD choice!”

  15. DaGuru says:

    My favorite is not on the menu often, but it is always available… warm cookie sundae! My fav, followed very closely by the gold rush…

  16. Iris says:

    ummmm, I have never been inside. I am always so stuffed by the time we get Ghirardelli – I just cant’ do it. I just have to get myself together in December and make that effort

  17. Corey says:

    Has anyone mentioned the tip of the free samples on the store side? There’s always a worker handing our squares of the featured item. We’ve been known to make a trip in the store at the beginning of our DTD shopping, and again at the end – just for the free treat.

  18. Aurora says:

    My fave is the cookie bottom sundae. I once went and after a little research I found out that it is the same price as their famous sundae-with all the same exact things-Plus a cookie!!!

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