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Best Unique Disneyland Snacks

There was a time when snacks found at Disneyland and Walt Disney World were somewhat distinct.

Sure, you had your overlaps with good reason (Hello, Dole Whip deliciousness and sponsorship), but things were still unique to some extent on each coast.

These days, homogeneity of Disney snacks seems to be hitting a new high, as we see foods and beverages pop up in both locales. (Cones in WDW and DL spring to mind, as do LeFou’s Brew and Red’s Apple Freeze.) Still, there is reason to rejoice and know that not all of the character of your favorite spots is lost.

Today, we’re recalling some Disneyland snacks that are unique to those parks. These are the treats that we haven’t seen surface quite the same way Back East. And though we feel for our friends who only have the pleasure of visiting Disney World, I think it’s neat that some things remain hallmarks of the original Disney park. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites.

Corn Dogs. REAL Ones.

There are times when nothing — and I mean nothing — but a Hand-Dipped Corn Dog from Corn Dog Castle or the Corn Dog Wagon will do.

These are not your garden variety, find-’em-in-the-frozen-section corn dogs. Nope. These babies are hand dipped in this amazing sweet cornbread batter before they’re fried to a crispy, dark golden brown. And if you get crispies in your little plastic basket — score!!

Disneyland Hand-Dipped Corn Dog

And they’re huge! Definitely big enough to make a meal, they come with your choice of apple slices or potato chips on the side.

Mickey Beignets

Another quintessential snack that I must have whenever I’m in Disneyland are Mickey Beignets.

The fried pillows of dough are one of my favorite treats anyway. Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen does a great job too — but c’mon. Beignets shaped like Mickey? Even. Better.

And it’s not just about the cuteness factor! They’re really delicious, too!

Another great thing about Mickey Beignets is that you can get them at both counter service and table service locations! If you’d just like to snack and stroll, check them out at the Mint Julep Bar, where you can enjoy them with a classic Disneyland Mint Julep. :-)

Mickey Beignets at Disneyland's Mint Julep Bar

If you prefer a sit-down version, you can order them at Cafe Orleans, my favorite Disneyland restaurant, where they’re served with delicious dipping sauces.

Mickey Beignets with Sauces at Cafe Orleans

There’s no better way to follow up a meal at this wonderful restaurant.

Peanut Butter Heaven and Peanut Butter Sandwich

Did someone say peanut butter?! You know if I’m in Walt Disney World and I find myself craving a peanut butter treat, chances are better than good that you’ll find me enjoying a No Way Jose at Beaches and Cream.

But in Disneyland, there are two confections that compete for my affections: my original favorite, the Peanut Butter Sandwich, and my new found obsession, Peanut Butter Heaven.

The Peanut Butter Sandwich is so simple really. A good half-inch of thick peanut butter filling is piled onto a graham cracker base, and then the whole thing is dipped in chocolate. That’s all! Brilliant and absolutely delicious in its simplicity, I didn’t think you could improve on the awesomeness of this treat, peanut butterly-speaking.

Peanut Butter Sandwich

But then, I experienced Peanut Butter Heaven. Yep, it totally lives up to the name.

Because this huge-mongous bonbon is a beautiful combination of peanut butter fudge-like filling, whole peanuts, and caramel! Enrobed in chocolate, it’s big enough to share!

Peanut Butter Heaven

I mean, if you want to. I personally wouldn’t. (You’ve been warned. You should probably plan on getting your own if we’re ever at Disneyland together.)

Chimichanga

I have my walk-and-eat favorites as you know. Popcorn, all kinds of pretzels, and corn dog nuggets to name a few. But strolling with a neatly contained Tex-Mex favorite is a distinction that you find throughout Disneyland.

Behold the Chimichanga!

A deep-fried burrito with a smooth filling of beef and beans is a fantastic alternative to less exotic fare.

Chimichanga

And it’s more than ample to stand up to the biggest hunger. And you won’t even have to stop and sit down!

Handmade Candy Canes

Disneyland Handmade Candy Canes are the stuff of food legends.

As you can tell from this post documenting the race to get candy canes, it’s an intense undertaking! But the treats, which are made by hand as you watch, are a piece of Disney lore that you have to experience to believe.

Each batch of candy only yields 40-45 candy canes, and on candy making days (which are spread throughout the holiday season), guests must stand in line in hopes of being awarded tickets to purchase the treasures.

Handmade Candy Canes -- A Disneyland Tradition

If you don’t make it, there are the back up, mass-produced canes that are almost as pretty. :-)

Matterhorn Macaroon

I love when a cookie is shaped like a snowy mountain, don’t you?? And that’s what you’ll find when you indulge in a Matterhorn Macaroon!

One enormous coconut macaroon (this is not one of those cute little French jobbies made of egg whites and almond flour, just to be clear) is dipped in a generous coating of white chocolate, before it’s sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar “snow.”

Matterhorn Macaroon

This is one of those times when the food is equally beautiful and delicious.

Disney California Adventure’s Caramel Popcorn

The first time that I had the Caramel Popcorn at Disney California Adventure, I wasn’t prepared to find something so unique. After all, I had tasted my fill of the sweet crunchy stuff. But this one is in a class by itself!

The difference? DCA’s popcorn starts with that incredible, buttery Disney popcorn (which, by the way, doesn’t have any butter in it.) As it’s popped, they add a thin coating of caramel for a faint sweetness that combines perfectly with the saltiness of the popcorn.

Disney California Adventure's Caramel Corn

It reminds me more of kettlekorn than some of the great (but quite different) caramel corn you find at Walt Disney World, like Karamell-Küche’s version in Epcot.

Churros

We’ve saved the best — or at least one of the most iconic — for last! Because you simply can’t visit Disneyland without trying Churros at least once.

Churro

The piped, fried dough delicacy is sometimes spotted on the East Coast, and you’ll find them on a few menus around Walt Disney World, like at Coronado Springs’ Pepper Market, Paradiso 37, and La Cantina de San Angel in Epcot. But they’re far more prevalent in Disneyland, where you’ll find intricately themed churro stands scattered throughout the park!

And that crunch of cinnamon sugar on the outside of the warm churro is just a wonderful experience, and perfect for a snack between meals — or breakfast!

One of our new favorite options for this Disneyland classic are the Churro Bites that are available at the Cozy Cone Motel in Disney California Adventure’s Cars Land. Served with a dipping sauce, the bite-size portions are a nice alternative to the customary format of the snack.

Churro Bites at the Cozy Cone Motel

Snacking in Disneyland is just plain fun, and I hope that you’ll make time for some of these unique treats the next time you find yourself there.

While it’s nice to have many Disney treats available in whichever park that you visit, it’s always part of the adventure for me to seek out the unusual as I visit one park or another.

What’s your favorite unique Disneyland snack, or what’s the nosh that you’re dying to try? Leave a comment and let us know!

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23 Comments

  1. Jamie in Jax says:

    Headed to DL (FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER) on Friday! We will definitely have to stop in at a few, if not ALL, of these places! ;)

  2. Alan says:

    The idea of DL and WDW having unique foods is a bit of a conundrum. Since my wife and I have only visited WDW, we are envious of some of the DL only foods and restaurants. But something inside me wants the parks to be different in both foods and everything else, even if we never get to Anaheim. Just knowing that there is something different on the other coast will always be exciting to me.

  3. Pamela says:

    I agree with a lot Alan is saying, and really hope each Disney park has its own unique feel both in terms of food but rides, lands, and even in some merchandise. Of course, once in a while I read about a WDW resort restaurant and wish one was nearby Anaheim, which is my home park.

  4. Marmorgan says:

    Couldn’t agree more about the Matterhorn macaroons — they’re terrific! They’re also pretty big and pack quite a wallop, so they make a great treat to split with someone when you need a caffeine ‘n’ sugar pick-me-up.

    You can get ‘em at the Jolly Holiday bakery. :)

  5. AJ says:

    Jamie in Jax — Send us pics of your favorites!!

    Alan — I can’t wait to hear what you think when you and your wife finally get over to Anaheim! (I have faith that you will!)

    Pamela — It’s always good to keep “mixing it up” on both coasts. I just wish I could get to Disneyland more often!

    Marmorgan — YUM! I love them! They look small when you get them, but they’re so dense that it’s like eating a much larger snack!

  6. Ashleigh says:

    Forget character breakfasts – if I’m at DL at 8 am, I head straight to the Mint Julep Bar for Mickey beignets and an iced cappuccino, and then find a quiet spot in NOS and soak up the atmosphere for half an hour or so. Best way to start a morning at DL!

  7. JL says:

    Wow, those corndogs look amazing, and with apple slices! Wish we had those at WDW, my son could live on a Corndog and Apple Slice meal!

  8. Maureen says:

    Before we left for DL earlier this month my DS said he was going to order beignets every day of our stay and he did it! They were delicious both at Jazz Kitchen and Mint Julep Bar. I so regret not getting that Matterhorn Macaroon – I was thisclose, but changed my mind at the last minute and I don’t even remember now what I got instead!

  9. Michele says:

    I have this odd thing – after riding Space Mountain, I always have to get a churro. Always. (I don’t know why, but something in Space must trigger some kind of subliminal churro need….) It’s become somewhat of a joke. LOL Beignets are good, too, but I didn’t know about the Matterhorn Macaroon, even after all these years!! But, this is why I read this great blog – to find things I didn’t know about DL & WDW.

    My two cents: I like that the two coasts have different things; while the same company, it makes each place stand out, too. I’m lucky enough to be able to go to both, so having different things at WDW makes it more of a vacation for me.

  10. Cheryl Kenney says:

    Tie Dye Cheesecake at Pop Century is a must!

  11. Corey says:

    Though not made in their unique to DL way any more, i so looked forward to the old Tigger Tail each visit. It’s just not the same with the sugar sprinkles.

  12. Stacy says:

    TIGGER TAILS!!! The most amazing sweet treat at Pooh’s Corner. I wish I could find an equivalent at WDW. (Or anywhere else in the world :-))

  13. Essie says:

    I don’t know if I’ll ever get to DLR, but I truly had fun reading this article. I agree with you 100%; the ‘PB Heaven’ certainly does look heavenly! Thanks for an enjoyable article.

  14. EJ says:

    I will be enjoying my first ever trip to DL in December. One of the reasons we’ve postponed going to the west coast for so long is our love of Disney World food. I’m getting excited and can’t wait to try new things. After reading this blog I am especially excited to try Cafe Orleans…December can’t come fast enough!

  15. Amy Johnson says:

    One of my favorite treats at DLR is the Sweet Cream Stuffed Pretzel from Bayside Brews! YUM!! I’ve had the PB sandwich, and it was good, but I really need to try PB Heaven!! Where can you get it? We’ll be there in Dec, can’t wait!

  16. Angelina says:

    I agree that I like the two parks having some similar but some different foods. It allows visitors to try new and old favorites at the same time.

    My BF loves DL churros. he will sit right next to the vendors in the morning waiting for them to open. I’m with Ashleigh that getting a to go breakfast and enjoying the morning quiet is my perfect way to start a Disney day. Ill be there in October with apple cider and a pumpkin muffin!!!

  17. Jen says:

    So yesterday we went to DL and CA…I had a corn dog with apple slices from the CA Castle….heaven! Later we hunted down the jalapeño cream cheese pretzel over at DL in Frontierland…seriously tasty! We rounded up the day by taking home a Matterhorn macaroon from Jolly Holiday and also my traditional Carmel apple from the sweet store in DD. :) thanks for the suggestions! It was a perfect food day!

  18. Choc says:

    Kinda late comment for me, but does WDW really not have the hand-dipped corn dogs or the chimichangas at their parks? I would have thought they’d be a staple at at least a food cart in the parks, especially since the chimichangas usually get sold with the turkey legs at DL.

  19. AJ says:

    Choc — Sadly, no. :-(

  20. Carrie says:

    The corn dogs have always been a favorite of mine. They are a must get every time I go. I really miss those things. :-(

  21. Lori says:

    I LOVE the chicken over at the Bengal BBQ at DL. Yum!

  22. April says:

    On my most recent trip to DL on October 28, I sought out and tried the peanut butter sandwich thanks to this blog. It was delicious, so much that I bought an extra and just ate it today :). I also bought the pumpkin spice brittle. I also must say that I’m not even a big fan of corn dogs, but the DL ones are amazing! The hot link corn dogs in California Adventure are equally amazing. I’ve never had the chimichanga but will look for that on a future trip. I’ve also had the Matterhorn macaroon – excellent with a pumpkin spice latte this time of year. Another of my must-haves is the dole whip float. Sadly, they were not available on my last visit.

  23. Jen K says:

    I’ve been to DL each of the last four years and the only thing on this list I’ve tried is the Beignets, which we eat by the bag full! I’m going again in a month, and I HAVE to try some of these things. My co-worker has told me about the Chimichanga, so I have to try that for sure!

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