Review: Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream in Disney California Adventure

Let’s head back to one of our favorite ice cream spots in Disney California Adventure: Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream!

Clarabelle's

Clarabelle’s

Named after Clarabelle Cow (you can learn a little more on the backstory of her name — and subsequently the shop’s name — here), this cute little spot is located on Buena Vista Street in DCA.

Entrance to Clarabelle's

Entrance to Clarabelle’s

Atmosphere

The basic set-up of ordering counters, registers, a massive wrought iron queue line, and not much else set the stage to get your ice cream and MOOOOO-VE on out at Clarabelle’s!

Clarabelle's Ice Cream Service Area

Clarabelle’s Ice Cream Service Area

Counters

Counters

That said, there are definitely some “cool” touches around the place, some of which serve to remind you of the the star of the show: ICE CREAM! Check out the cone-shaped lighting fixtures made of beautiful pastel-colored glass.

Cone Lighting

Cone Lighting

Ice Cream Cone Inspired Chandelier

Ice Cream Cone Inspired Chandelier

Even the colorful tiles along the wall lead back to everyone’s favorite cold snack — with the colors representing the various flavors of ice cream available, from vanilla, to chocolate, to butter pecan and strawberry! (Classic Disney, no?)

Ice Cream Flavor Tiles!

Ice Cream Flavor Tiles!

Of course, this stunner of a stained-glass window needs no explanation:

Clarabelle's Stained Glass Windows

Clarabelle’s Stained Glass Windows

You certainly can’t be reminded of ice cream this many times without developing a craving!

Seating doesn’t exist at Clarabelle’s, but you can head on over through the archway to Fiddler/Starbucks for a seat.

Wide Open Seating

Wide Open Seating

Eats

At a quick glance, Clarabelle’s serves your typical ice cream shop favorites including scoops, cups, and floats.

Ice Cream Menu

Ice Cream Menu

So, yes, you can certainly feed your inner child with your choice of flavor in a traditional waffle ice cream cone or cup. But when you’re looking at additional Triple-Scoop Sundae options like Mocha Almond Fudge or a Chocolate Chip Cookie & Hot Fudge Sundae, it’s hard to resist the temptation to go all out — especially when they’re served in Mickey Pants.

Triple Scoop Sundaes Menu

Triple Scoop Sundaes Menu

We’ll be checking out one of those sundaes in a few, but where Clarabelle’s really gets me is with the totally customizable Hand-Dipped Ice Cream Bars.

Hand-Dipped Ice Cream Bar

Hand-Dipped Ice Cream Bar

Just follow the sign for instructions!

Step One: Choose Your Bar. Your ice cream base options include vanilla bean, milk chocolate, dark chocolate or mixed berry sorbet.

Step Two: Choose Your Chocolate. Would you care for milk or dark?

Step Three: Choose Your Topping. Arguably the most fun step ;) ! Get your freshly dipped chocolate-covered ice cream bar dipped yet again in chocolate chip morsels, pearls, sprinkles, Mickey’s confetti, or blue raspberry bursts (aka Pop Rocks).

Or just ask for the “Whole Herd” for a little bit (or a LOTTA bit) of every topping… like a couple of my cronies did!

Ice Cream Bar with the "Whole Herd"

Ice Cream Bar with the “Whole Herd”

There is always a pretty serious “wow” factor with this one. And thank goodness they place these guys in little boats so your toppings don’t go all over the place and you can gather up every last little chip, sprinkle, and pearl, because they do not go lightly on the toppings!

All the Toppings_Clarabelles 15-03

Ice Cream Bar with the “Whole Herd”

As per usual, the ice cream and chocolate was served very cold and solid, so it’s not an immediate melt-fest and you can take a little sweet time to savor it.

I mentioned Sundaes, too, didn’t I? Clarabelle’s certainly has decent variety of specialty sundaes, and it was one of the locations where you could get the Olaf’s Perfect Sundae Day celebrating the “Frozen Fever” film short earlier this year. (Oh, 2015… where have you gone so quickly?)

Frozen Sundae

Frozen Sundae

However, even if you notice occasional, seasonal nods to the characters du jour like that above, you’ll also find a tribute to someone who has been around a lot longer. Clarabelle Cow isn’t the only VERY classic character to get a nod here. Oswald the Rabbit has his very own creation: The Oswald Sundae! You’ll find it among the options on the Sundae menu, and I simply could NOT resist.

Triple Scoop Sundaes Menu

Triple Scoop Sundaes Menu

Each sundae comes with with large scoops of ice cream, fresh toppings, whipped cream and cherries… all served up in the Mickey Kitchen Sink aka “Mickey Pants Sundae” souvenir dish (you can get them at a lower price point in a non-souvenir dish, too).

The Oswald Sundae

The Oswald Sundae

The Oswald features a waffle cup on the bottom with chocolate and vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, chocolate chips, and cherries on top. But what makes this one “The Oswald” is, of course, those tall ears. And in this case, they’re made of a chocolate covered banana split in two. It’s two desserts in one, and another great example of a bit of the creativity behind some of the more crave-worthy creations at Clarabelle’s.

Overall

Thanks to that awesome Hand-dipped Ice Cream Bar and a few other relatively original dishes in the world of Disney ice cream, Clarabelle’s has made quite a name for itself. Now three years old, Clarabelle’s is no longer brand new — but that’s still a short time frame for becoming one of the favorite ice cream spots in Disneyland Resort, and the designation is well earned. Whether you’re taking the “whole herd” or keeping things simple with a cone or cup, Clarabelle’s should have exactly what you need to fix that ice cream craving!

Is Clarabelle’s a must-stop ice cream shop for you? Let us know in the comments below!

Comments

  1. Kelly M says

    Aaaah Clarabelle’s… The beginning of my ‘I’m having at least 3 ice creams today and I don’t care’ day.
    It was a vanilla bean/milk/Mickeys bar for me thanks to this very blog.
    (I also had Ghirardelli and switched out one of my 3 ice creams for beignets in the end)
    I loved how cute, quaint and perfect for purpose it was in there. I pretty much felt that way about everything on my first trip West. I miss it… And I now want ice cream… :-)

  2. Richard says

    Mocha Almond Fudge……

    It’s the very, very best!

    When we visit it’s either Mocha Almond Fudge from Clarabella’s in DCA or at Gibson Girl in DL.

  3. Essie says

    Oh my, I think an Oswald look good, but I also would like to try a Mickey bar and the Mocha Almond Fudge, too, please! And, definitely in a Mickey pants sink!

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