Welcome guest author and photographer Ben Hendel with a brand new adventure…
Just a few days ago, I made a discovery akin to finding the magnetic North Pole. More patriotic than the actual discovery of America. More revolutionary to the culinary world than bacon. I discovered the Citrus Swirl Float. Or, if you’d rather, call it the Ben Palmer.
It’s named after me. Mostly. My last name isn’t Palmer, but I figure this is just as important as when Arnold mixed iced tea and lemonade in equal parts, so it’s a good name to borrow.
Unfortunately, the name hasn’t caught on yet, so when I went to order this delectable treat from the Sunshine Tree Terrace, I had to order a Sprite float with Citrus Swirl. Though the journey was different than just saying “I’d like a Ben Palmer, please” the destination was the same: perfection.
The Beauty of the Citrus Swirl
Now, some of you may know the beauty of the Citrus Swirl already. Some of you (I’m looking at you, Tabitha from work!) may say, “I know not of this, because I like the Dole Whip and that is good enough for me. I enjoy waiting in too-long lines for a taste of only-okayness that costs 30 cents more than the incredibly awesome Citrus Swirl does.”
To you I say, “Come! Come to the Cult of Citrus and save both money and your taste buds! Come to the Light Side, we have cookies and Citrus Swirls and Fastpasses for Toy Story Midway Mania!” Thirty cents more! That makes a Citrus Swirl, like, “buy 12, get 1 free” compared to a Dole Whip!
The Citrus Swirl can be purchased by itself at the Sunshine Tree Terrace, just behind Aladdin’s Flying Carpets and near the Tiki Room. If you hear Kronk or Jafar in a Sorceror’s of the Magic Kingdom portal, you’re heading in the right direction.
If you are heading from The Hub, beware of the most evil Spitting Camel. He will try to dissuade you from reaching perfection with icy cold water and deadly aim. It is worth the peril, however, I assure you. If you come from Frontierland via the Country Bear Jamboree… cheater. Everybody knows a Citrus Swirl tastes better after peril.
You then order yourself a Citrus Swirl, a divine combination of white vanilla-tasting not-quite soft serve and bright orange (both in color and flavor) frozen awesomeness. It is both sweet and tart at the same time, making for a wonderfully refreshing escape from the 95 degree heat with 300% humidity one experiences in the heart of summer here in Orlando.
Additionally, due to its fruit-like nature, all mothers agree that it makes for an acceptable breakfast or dinner, in addition to a snack (data gathered from a random sampling of my mother [along that thought process, hi Mom! Love you! Could you not be more proud of me right now?]).
Creating a New Disney Invention
For many months, I was content with a Citrus Swirl. I even ate it on an ice cream cone every once in a while for a crunchy change of pace. But just the other day, I had an epiphany, the likes of which we have not experienced on this planet since Copernicus discovered gravity when a coconut fell on his head.
What if I ordered a Float from the Terrace, but instead regular, boring soft-serve, I topped it with a Citrus Swirl? This thought in my head, I headed not to my regular, far right register, but to the unknown realm of the middle-right register. After all, if this was a terrible idea, I could not let the far right register know I had cheated on the perfection of a Citrus Swirl in a cup.
As I got to the counter to order, I realized I must be smart in my choice of soda; a choice of Coca Cola or Barq’s Root Beer would not compliment the delicate Citrus Swirl, with its myriad of favors and complexity of textures. I opted instead for the fizzy delight of Sprite.
I ordered, and soon it arrived: the twisted white-and-orange Swirl, floating in a sea of lemon-lime. Looking at my creation, I first sipped down the soda, then attacked the Citrus Swirl with vigor.
At first, the flavors remained separate, but as I walked to a rocking chain in Adventureland, the bottom of the Swirl started melting and mixing into the Sprite. And as I ate the top of the Swirl off, playful little bubbles of soda starting filling the void in the center of the swirled treat, providing a whimsical experience on my tongue when scooped up with a spoon. Little did I know that perfection was just down the path.
When I dug into the Citrus Swirl with my spoon, submerging it into the Sprite, the first bite was amazing. Refreshing to the core, all the various citrus fruits dazzled as they joined together for the first time.
The Sprite remained carbonated, providing a bubbly foil to the smooth and creamy Citrus Swirl. Then the soda and Swirl mixed until I could not tell one from the other, a melty mix of refreshment and relaxation. I knew then I could return to my far-right register with my head held high; like a great baseball team, the Citrus Swirl Float was a whole far greater than the sum of its parts.
While I imagine this would also be wonderful paired with Orange Fanta rather than Sprite, I regrettably did not have time to try this daring duo yet. But I do have Saturday off, and I hear its going to be a scorcher…
Thanks to Ben Hendel for this hilarious essay…and for his incredible find!! I can’t wait to try it!! And, Ben, you’ll have to tell us what happens with the Fanta…I’m on pins and needles!
Are you ready to trade your swirl-in-a-cup for this brand new adventure? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!