We always love adding to our Disney food galleries!
From Margaritas to Ice Cream to Creme Brulee and more, we’re always collecting options and photos to share with you. And we quickly realized that there was one salty snack missing from our gallery list! What’s a trip to Disney without at least one bucket of Popcorn?
I think Disney popcorn is some of the best popcorn anywhere, and while newfangled snacks and treats will come and go, the classics will never go away.
You’ll find carts selling popcorn all over Walt Disney World and Disneyland, as well as in some of the resorts that also draw visitors, like Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. But there’s even more variety to it than that, so we’ve put together this handy gallery to showcase all the great popcorny options available!
We’re going to share with you some of our favorite popcorn and popcorn-related goodness, but be sure to let us know your favorites or anything we don’t mention in comments below! Also, please keep in mind, especially in regard to menu items that include popcorn, that menus are constantly changing, so you may not always see these items when you visit a restaurant.
Disney Popcorn: A Classic
In need of some popcorn at Disney? You never have far to look. In fact, if your first stop is Magic Kingdom, you encounter a popcorn stand as soon as you set foot onto Main Street USA! Some of our readers say that Disney popcorn is the best-tasting in the world — and who am I to disagree?
And another great bit of news — Disney popcorn is vegan and gluten-free! Popcorn is naturally devoid of gluten. But the kernels are popped in a combination of coconut, corn, and canola oil, and are seasoned with kosher salt, so there are no animal products used. (Disney cautions that because the popcorn is prepared in outdoor locations, there is potential for cross-contamination. When in doubt of a food’s ingredients, be sure to ask for an ingredient list.)
If you think the fun stops with the snack, well…then let me show you something completely awesome. In addition to the crunchy goodness, you can also amass a completely fabulous collection of souvenir buckets should you be so inclined.
Collect different ones from each Disney park! Here’s one from Animal Kingdom, featuring Mickey and Minnie in cute safari gear, and Asia in the background!
Specially-themed souvenir buckets are one of the coolest (and probably most profitable) things that Disney comes up with, snack-speaking. Normally, there’s a tie-in to a season or a special event, but sometimes, you’ll find them for no particular reason other than a fun souvenir opportunity. Plus, these hook onto the stroller, so it’s a perfect snack to keep dipping into throughout the day.
One of our recent favorites is the R2D2 Popcorn Bucket. This little guy arrived in time for Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios a few years ago. But these days you can pretty much always find him at the Studios, and in Tomorrowland in both Disney World and Disneyland.
Unlike many of the souvenir buckets, which actually serve to hold the popcorn, this one is more like a carrying case for the standard paper cartons. But how great is it that you can repurpose it as a carryall after the popcorn is gone? (Note that Dumbo’s ears are prone to breaking in your luggage on the way home!)
Mickey, of course, makes pretty regular appearances, too. For Halloween, you’ll find Mickey dressed up as a ghost!
There are also less stylized seasonal souvenir buckets in the Fall and at Christmas as well. Here, Mickey and Minnie are all dressed up for Trick or Treat! I see Hidden Mickeys…
The Christmas season isn’t to be outdone. We’ve seen Mickey dressed up as Santa.
But my favorite has to be this adorable Snowman Mickey. This one may have been retired last year, but we’re hoping for a comeback!
To begin a conversation about Disney’s take on Caramel Popcorn, we must head West! To Disney California Adventure, where it’s the stuff of culinary legend.
What sets California Adventure’s caramel popcorn apart is that it starts as regular, buttery Disney popcorn, and then the caramel is lightly applied. So what you end up with is a perfect salty-sweet balance.
You can see from this photo that the corn actually looks very buttery, with just a touch of caramel color. It’s SOOOOOOO good!
You’ll only find this option at California Adventure (there are two stands — one on Paradise Pier and one over by Soarin’). And sadly, this method isn’t employed anywhere that we’ve seen at Disney World. But there’s still some great caramel popcorn available back East — it’s just different.
But beyond the kiosks and carts, a couple of counter service snack spots also have a claim to caramel popcorn fame.
But we’ve saved the best Disney World caramel corn for last.
This is a swoon-worthy snack, I’ll tell ya! And it really is my favorite caramel popcorn in the World. It’s a must-try!
Cozy Cone Popcorn
We were so excited to see all of the new and extremely fun menu items at the Cozy Cone Motel when Cars Land opened in Disney California Adventure last year. And an entire cone devoted just to flavored popcorn?? Sign me up!
Two specialty flavors, like Dill Pickle, and Cheese, are available each day.
With an extra kick of salt and a sour dill and vinegar flavor, this one was a winner when we sampled it!
And you can get your snack in standard Cars Land cartons or Lightening McQueen souvenir containers.
Disneyland Popcorn Cart Roastie Toasties
So of course, we all love the fun snacks and treats that you find in Disney World and Disneyland. But at the end of the day, it’s the little details that really set the parks apart. And one of my favorite pieces of “added magic” are the Roastie Toasties throughout Disneyland.
These little guys give busy cast members a hand by cranking the old-fashioned popcorn makers, and they are always themed to represent the part of the park where they’re located. Here’s the Main Street U.S.A. cart…
…And the little dude that’s helping out there!
At Toon Town, there’s a similar cart, offering freshly popped corn.
The Roastie Toastie here is an engineer.
Tomorrowland has its own popcorn cart as well, with a decidedly futuristic vibe.
But the Rocketeer helping to tend the popcorn is definitely vintage!
Can you guess who might be lending a hand outside of the Matterhorn?
None other than Harold, of course!
And over in New Orleans Square, it looks like one of the ghosts just may have escaped from the Haunted Mansion.
Or maybe he’s just looking for a few recruits to join him!
There’s so much variety in the characters that Imagineers have dreamed up. It’s a lot of fun to walk around the park just to take note of details like this.
Gourmet Movie Popcorn
Recently, the AMC Theater at Downtown Disney underwent a major overhaul to its concessions. Now, in addition to getting standard movie fare and drinks, you can get a huge array of snacks, hot food, and specialty drinks.
The theater also offers Gourmet Popcorn.
Choose your flavor — caramel, cheese, or kettle corn — and then spruce up your corn by adding in other ingredients. You can choose from nuts, candies, cookie bits, and other items you’d find on an ice cream topping bar. In fact, the popcorn counter shares space with the ice cream counter, so the toppings do double duty.
You end up with a mix that’s entirely your own and freshly made. That sounds pretty great, I’m thinking.
Sometimes the sheer amount of popcorn variety in the parks amazes me. As if all of this weren’t enough, you can also find pre-packaged, flavored options!
So far, we’ve found a savory Cheddar Cheese Popcorn for those of you prefer a straight savory experience.
And then there’s Chocolate Caramel Popcorn. This one comes in a handy family size. They must have known that sharing would be required!
It’s always fun to see inventive flavors, like Cinnamon Toast Popcorn!
Confetti Popcorn, with its crazy colors, is beautiful and would be perfect for noshing on while you’re watching the parade go by.
There’s also packaged Caramel Corn available, too.
The packaged Kettle Corn comes in handy since it isn’t sold anywhere fresh in the parks anymore. This stuff is at every farmer’s market I go to! Wonder why it hasn’t hit the kiosks yet?
We tried the Chocolate Cheddar Popcorn and it wasn’t our favorite.
But if you like savory-sweet combos, you might really appreciate this one!
Not only are pre-packaged popcorns great for grabbing a snack that can be partially consumed and tucked away for later (a little easier than a paper carton anyway), but they also make terrific take-home souvenirs.
Popcorn in Menu Items
For a while, popcorn on foods seemed to be an extremely hot trend in culinary circles. We saw it pop up (ha!) on menus all over the resort.
Some of the items are still available as we publish this, and a few have rotated off the menu — most likely due to a change in seasons. Still, we thought it would be fun for you to see the inventive ways Disney chefs have used this fun ingredient!
One real winner is the Trio of Concession Sweets at Flying Fish. In addition to a Cherry Limeade Popsicle and a Peanut Butter Whoopie Pie, there’s a delicious Popcorn Mousse, topped with Caramel Popcorn. Rich and buttery mousse is totally the way to go!
The Wave…of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary is currently offering a trio of sorbets for the hot summer months. But one fun dessert option they featured in the past was a Gelato Trio. Popcorn Gelato? Yes!
Popcorn lovers — and I totally number in that group! — I hope you enjoy the many faces, flavors, and containers of popcorn that Disney brings to you. A seemingly inexhaustible list of popcorn options should keep the enthusiast in your group busy for the entire visit!
What is your favorite Disney popcorn option? Leave a comment below and tell us all about it!