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News! The Disney Turkey Leg Controversy

We knew that Disney Jumbo Turkey Legs were kind of a big deal (maybe pun intended?). But apparently, they’re a front-page-of-the-NY Times big deal!

In a post entitled “Turkey Legs Conquer Land of Mouse Ears” the Times reveals just how huge the popularity of these mammoth drumstick snacks have become. But not everyone is thrilled about their iconic status. More on that later… .

A Disney Turkey Leg In All Its Glory

A Disney Turkey Leg In All Its Glory

Many guests feel it’s a rite of passage to stroll through the park of their choice, gnawing on the meaty treats. They’re a great option to share! In fact, they’ve gathered a cult following of sorts, similar to many of Disney’s iconic snacks.

Turkey Leg at Disney -- Up Close

Turkey Leg at Disney — Up Close

Like Dole Whips and Mickey Bars, you’ll find lots of fun merch featuring pictures of the meaty treat, like t-shirts, hats, and even air fresheners!

Turkey Leg Merch!

Turkey Leg Merch!

And did we mention the wallets?)

Turkey Leg Wallets, Anyone?

Turkey Leg Wallets, Anyone?

We’ve even spied the odd sweet turkey leg — in the form of a Turkey Leg-Shaped Krispy Treat!

Turkey Leg...Krispies?

Turkey Leg…Krispies?

But myths abound about the gargantuan size. It turns out, the drumsticks come from toms — the male turkeys, which are apparently much larger than the hens we’re used to seeing on the Thanksgiving table.

And sure enough, not all feedback to the article is positive. We opened our edition of the Times yesterday to find an op-ed post in strong objection to the selling of the famous drumsticks.

Whether you love them, or not so much, the Turkey Leg business at Disney Parks certainly seems to be booming! Maybe it’s the kitsch value of posting a caveman-esque Instagram, or perhaps more guests are looking for treat options that are higher in protein. No matter the reason, they’re making headlines…and not everyone is happy about it.

Let’s hear from you! Are Turkey Legs can’t-miss, or must-pass?

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93 Comments

  1. Patrick says:

    All I have to say about KAREN DAVIS, President, United Poultry Concerns is “every party has a pooper, that’s why we invited you!”

  2. Marshall says:

    I can’t stand the smell of the turkey legs because they were the first thing I smelled every day, even when I went in at like 6:00 am, when I worked in Frontierland- not a recipe for them being a fond memory.

  3. Harry G says:

    I’m always disappointed at how dry and tough they are. Corn Dogs from the Little Red Wagon…now there’s park food! Whoops, forgot you guys at WDW can’t experience the majesty of a good Corn Dog!

  4. Mare says:

    Was NOT a fan… tried them once years ago and was very disapointed. TOO MANY OTHER WONDERFUL “TREATS” AT DISNEY!!! My Happy Place!

  5. Joey NyC DVC says:

    Who cares what other people are eating. If that turkey leg grosses so many of you out. Does the underdressed fat women in Disney parks gross you out too? I’d rather see the turkey legs than 80% of the women and moms there. No one diets on vacation. Lets be real.

  6. Tiffany says:

    I always thought there was not enough meat, too much cartilage and tendons! I don’t worry about calories on vacation. I would say no to the Turkey leg!

  7. margaret fuchs says:

    No. No. No. They do NOT look appetizing to me. I have never had a desire to eat one and now that I know about the calories, fat, and sodium, I am even more positive that I can live a full and happy life without one.

  8. Mike says:

    Wow, since when are you or Disney or anyone else responsible for what I eat or promoting what I should or should not eat. Wow you food police people really blow my mind. If I can lose 80# and control my type II diabetes with diet and exercise and (yes I eat a Turkey leg once or twice each visit and I visit at least 3 times a year) then what gives you the right to tell me what I can eat? Rock on Disney! You are not the food police I applaud you for offering healthy alternative foods, but don’t be bullied into trying to police me, YOU WILL LOSE!

  9. Donnaloo says:

    “Dear Disney World, You must stop selling your world famous turkey leg because it contains 2 days worth of calories for sprites, it’s too big for one person, can feed lunch to a family of 4 for $11, but too much trouble to share and and someone might poke their eye out. Please consider replacing it with crunchy, clean and wholesome cucumber and carrot sticks. I’m sure they will be a number one seller!” Yeah – that’ll happen…
    Btw, I do love the turkey leg and its merchandise – will be sure to think of you all when next I eat one, preferably in line in front of a vegan.

  10. pam says:

    Dad & I were the turkey leg eaters on Thanksgiving day. So after all my many trips I finally decided to try one. Couldn’t eat it. I thought I was eating a salt shaker! Ended up tossing most of it out.

  11. Carol says:

    These things are revolting. My son has had one and it was just mainly fat and gristle. He also tried one of the massive pork hocks at Gaston’s Tavern in MK, and that was equally gross. There are far, far tastier snacks to have at Disneyworld, the parks and resort restaurants are teeming with them. In my opinion, and it is just MY opinion, these things are a waste of not only money, but also time. I don’t need to struggle so much for so little pay off with one of these things!

  12. Susan says:

    It is illegal to feed hormones to poultry in the U.S and is strictly regulated. Stop stating size of legs is due to hormone use!

    Let everyone pick their own favorites and stop judging others favorite food choices.

  13. Mig says:

    What Cricket said. Let people eat what they want to eat. I’m not a fan of the Turkey leg but I’m not going to knock it. As for nutrition, who we kidding. We’re at a theme park. I’m happy with a churro and I know that’s not healthy at all. :)

  14. Gracie says:

    Yes yes yes while at Disneyland A turkey leg is a must to share!! Calories, sodium, fat aside, i share w/family, good source of protein, we also get a bread soup bowl & use that extra bread bowl to make sandwichs. Keeps all cost down. Never had a bad one besides being messy. A turkey leg, corn dog, fried chicken dinner, chowder in a bread bowl are must haves during our visits. The only thing we have changed is not getting coffee cause now it’s Starbucks

  15. Chilang says:

    They’re the rite of passage in Disneyland or Disney World. I first tried them in Disney World and just loved it. You can’t go to either one without getting one. Tradition!!!!

  16. Wendy says:

    Last year at Disneyland, my husband and I discovered a wrapped up half eaten turkey leg placed in the mesh tote bag on our stroller! We laughed and laughed, but felt bad. Someone was going to be VERY disappointed when they wanted that turkey leg later in the day, to discover it was not in the stroller.

  17. Jupiter says:

    Just want to make sure it’s clear after reading a few of the comments here, the article has nothing to do with the calories or how healthy or unhealthy the snack is. It is about the mistreatment of the breed of Turkey and the miserable life they are born into.

  18. Chrissy says:

    Had one of these at DHS and it triggered a Gallbladder attack after just a few bites. That was enough to never touch one again! They taste amazing, but the sinews, tendons, fat, etc. is too much! No thank you ever again!

  19. Kim says:

    I’m not sure why everyone is so grossed out or complaining about the fat and sinew in the turkey legs… They are almost the same ratio of bone/fat/sinew/meat as a chicken drumstick! And yes they are quite large but again imagine the size of a whole turkey in the supermarket compared to a whole chicken. I’ve seen turkey drumsticks for sale at my supermarkets and the size I’ve had a DLC is comparable. To me it’s just like gnawing on a massive chicken drumstick that tastes more of ham than turkey (aka DELICIOUS!)… Each to their own I suppose.

  20. Tara says:

    Disgusting to watch, and then these people will go through the park grabbing handlebars and pawing merchandise with hands covered with turkey grease. You know they won’t take the time to wash afterwards.

  21. Debbie C says:

    Not a fan of the smoked turkey leg and I really like turkey. The smoke flavor/smell is too strong and they’re too salty for my taste. I could eat a bite or 2 occasionally but, IMO, they’re also way too big for even 2 people to finish off so my husband and I always skip them. I’ll save my calories and salt intake for something I really enjoy…. maybe popcorn, a shared pork shank or the carrot cake cookie at DHS.

  22. Sonya McMahon says:

    All of this is ridiculous. Personally, I do not buy them. Too expensive and not a preference but let’s just let anyone who enjoys them alone!!!!!

  23. Connie L. says:

    Love the aroma. Although I find it hard to eat in the park, I get one to-go just as I’m leaving the park.. I trim all the inedible stuff and it makes two huge turkey sandwhichs for the next day!

  24. Venessa Hinojosa-Wright says:

    Let people eat what they want to eat? That type of mentality is the reason American is at the highest rate of obesity! Ha! Obviously we can’t tell people what to do or what to eat but we can def offer advice about thier well being and we can sure voice our opinion on the fact we don’t like these buckets of a heart attack waiting to happen. :) And I agree, there’s far better snacks at the world I rather spend my 12 bucks on then on these.

  25. Drewcifer says:

    It’s meat, it’s yummy.
    And you walk the calories off…….

  26. Mouskavik says:

    Never seen the attraction, can’t be a good idea to eat something like that in heat – salmonella on a stick!

  27. kim says:

    We love them and have one every time we go. If shared its a wonderful way to feed everyone a snack for very little.

  28. Peter says:

    The turkey legs are dry but convenient to carry around. The Pork shanks are much more moist and tasty but not quite so portable. None the less I have switched to pork shanks as my favorite must have counter service meal.

  29. alicia lewis says:

    i loved them and wish i could still eat them :) i have celiac disease now and can no longer eat gluten. if they start making them gluten free i will definitely eat them again :)

  30. Tony says:

    I’m surprised at all the negative comments. I think they’re great.

  31. Penny Martin says:

    I decided to try a turkey leg at Holiwood Studios in October. I went to order and was told if I would gobble the turkey leg would be free. I goobled and got a free turkey leg. It was a fun time and I really enjoyed the turkey leg.

  32. Michelle says:

    My husband and I shared a turkey leg in Magic Kingdom years ago. I liked it….I love salty things, so this really hit the spot for me. My husband thought it was too dry. Plus the leg was very large, too much for us to finish.

    So we had one turkey leg and won’t be getting them again. It’s a lot of ‘meat’ for just a snack, and there are other Disney snacks that we enjoy! But I do enjoy the smell as I walk by.

  33. G Shea says:

    These are good, but we LOVE the chimichangas more! If ANYONE has a recipe for these PLEASE post it!

  34. sandy says:

    Love those turkey legs!!!! Any trip to Disneyland includes a turkey leg and dole whip!!!

  35. Disneyfan says:

    I loveee the smell of them. However it is sad to think a turkey dies for only 2 drumsticks. Can you imagine how many turkeys die every day just so we can eat their legs? Just something to think about I used to love the turkey legs.

  36. @Disneyfan Don’t think that they just take the two drumsticks and throw away the rest of the turkey. Of course they use the rest of the meat. They are economically efficient.

  37. tara says:

    Serious? You think they throw away 15 pounds of meat? What do you think is in all those turkey TV dinners?

  38. Brent says:

    sorry but I’m not going to disneyland or on vacation to eat broccoli. its why they call it holidays ;)

  39. Samantha says:

    Since I eat (mostly) vegan, I find those things disgusting. I don’t judge others’ food choices, but the smell pervades the park and makes me kind of nauseous. The worst on our last trip was when I was using a gun at the Frontierland Shooting Arcade and realized about halfway through that that weird greasy gross smell of turkey legs was COMING FROM THE GUN I WAS USING because someone had used it without washing their hands post-turkey leg. Yuck!! But whatever, it’s not a huge deal. They just make me think of the poor turkeys (which are among the worst-treated animals in our food industry) and make me sad.

  40. MrOrangejuice says:

    oh my gosh, what I’m about to tell you please close your eyes.some of the most disturbing things I’ve seen Walt Disney World, is the abuse of vegetables. I have seen heads of lettuce chopped into pieces!fresh onions sauteed, oh the humanity!

  41. Karen says:

    Personally, I think Disney Parks should take responsibility and provide wheelchairs, prosthetics, rehab, and remuneration (how about free lifetime parks passes?) for these poor paraplegic Toms.

  42. Marie says:

    There are two groups of people: sugar people & salt people.
    I am a salt person so all the sugar reviewed food kinda grosses me out.
    I am sure the sugar people feel the same way about salty food.

    I ADORE SMOKED TURKEY LEGS !!!
    It was the first snack I had at my first visit to Disney World!
    Yes, they are messy but to complain because someone didn’t wash their hands after eating one has nothing to do with the turkey. Yes, they are all going to be different because they are not manufactured in a factory. Yes, people will still eat turkey even if Disney gave up the legs.
    Geeze ! Can’t we just all get along ! It’s DISNEY !!

  43. Brian says:

    please! For the love of Pete please help me stop the innocent slaughter of innocent fruits and vegetables, Oh the humanity..!! ♡_♥

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