Review: Astronaut Ice Cream Sandwich from Mission Space Cargo Bay in Epcot

Today, we’re taking this blog where it’s never gone before… to SPAAAAAACE!!!

Mission Space

Mission: Space

Mission: Space, that is! You’ll know the Mission: Space Cargo Bay if you’ve ever ridden this Future World attraction — it’s the gift shop you pass through when exiting the ride.

Mission: Space Cargo Bay

Mission: Space Cargo Bay

Mission: Space Cargo Bay

Mission: Space Cargo Bay

The store carries some typical Disney items (no shortage of Star Wars stuff here!), along with some fun space-themed merchandise more unique to the spot.

"Just Need Some Space" T-shirt

“Just Need Some Space” T-shirt

Astronaut Mickey

Astronaut Mickey

You can also find some regular grab-and-go fare — not a ton, but a few pre-packaged items like assorted bags of chips, candy bars, and the Snacks with Character allergy-friendly treats. But if you search around a bit, you can also find some snacks that remind me of some of my first trips to Epcot in the 80s (EPCOT back then, of course).

I don’t remember which ride featured the astronaut snacks back then (Horizons?) — and maybe I’m just making the whole thing up —  but I could swear I had freeze-dried ice cream at EPCOT back in the day. Anyone remember details?

Anyway, they’re still here (or maybe they’ve returned), and it’s time to check out the Astronaut snacks! As the bag reads, these snacks are “Freeze-Dried Ready to Eat Space Food.”™

Astronaut Snacks display

Astronaut Snacks display

Varieties available for $5.95 each include primarily ice cream (Mint Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips, and Neapolitan), ice cream sandwiches (traditional Vanilla or Cookies and Cream), and one fruit option: strawberries.

Neapolitan Ice Cream package

Neapolitan Ice Cream package

Package of Strawberries

Package of Strawberries

I grabbed an Ice Cream Sandwich.

Ice Cream Sandwich

Ice Cream Sandwich

I brought mine home to give it a try. (Oh, and if you take yours outside of the park as well, be careful, because it’s hard to remember this snack is even in your bag — it’s SO lightweight!) This was a safe choice seeing as the snacks have a shelf life of “many years” to remain edible for the astronauts according to the packaging, which also informs about the freeze-drying process and why it’s necessary for space missions.

Back of Ice Cream Sandwich Packaging

Back of Ice Cream Sandwich Packaging

More info on the Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Sandwich Packaging

More info on the Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Sandwich Packaging

Within the foil wrapping, the sandwich is further wrapped inside with a basic paper — just like the ice cream sandwiches I had as a kid (these days, I typically only eat Mickey-shaped ones ;) ).

Ice Cream Sandwich inside packaging

Ice Cream Sandwich inside packaging

Ice Cream Sandwich

Ice Cream Sandwich

Upon picking up the sandwich after unwrapping, I found that one of the chocolate cookies making up the sandwich was still connected to the ice cream, but the other had fallen apart and away from it.

Ice Cream Sandwich

Ice Cream Sandwich

Chocolate Cookie Sandwich piece

Chocolate Cookie Sandwich piece

This worked perfectly well for our purposes, because it was easy to get this picture showing you what the ice cream inside looks like.

Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream

I did a quick reassembly and it was time for the first bite! Aaaand, here’s what happened after I picked it up and made my first attempt at eating it… like, immediately and all at once :).

After the first bite

After the first bite

Of course, that wasn’t entirely unexpected, since the package indicates that the item is entirely dry during transport, then “as you eat the sandwich, your mouth rehydrates the ice cream.”

Ice Cream waiting to be "rehydrated"

Ice Cream waiting to be “rehydrated”

Now, the chocolate cookies themselves remained very crunchy and crispy; they didn’t soften at all. The vanilla ice cream did soften a teeny bit; but while it didn’t remain crunchy, it didn’t turn creamy, either (my husband thought it was like eating an “ice cream cracker”). But the classic chocolate and vanilla flavors were completely intact, and once you get past the initial bite and adjust to the textures (and they do take some adjusting), the flavors live up to the package claim; it “tastes just like the original,” only not cold — another adjustment.

Now, don’t get me wrong; for decadent ice cream treats in Epcot… well, let’s just say I’m glad that L’artisan des Glaces is still an option ;). But  a little taste test like this is obviously more about the learning experience, offering a neat opportunity to try something similar to what astronauts eat during missions, allowing for a teeeeeny tiny glimpse of how their needs are met while VERY far from home. What a really fun and cool (though not cold ;) ) find for your little budding scientist or space fan!

So, as you can see, your choices at Epcot aren’t limited to food from other corners of the globe with a trip around World Showcase… thanks to the Astronaut Snacks at Mission: Space Cargo Bay in Future World, your Epcot culinary adventures can even take you beyond :) .

Don’t Miss Out on the ALL the Best Snacks Walt Disney World Has to Offer!

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DFB-Guide-+-Snacks-Bundle-2016-Collage

This money-saving bundle includes all of the following:

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Epcot snacks 2015 cover flat macaron

Just looking for all the Snacks in Epcot?

Then check out our DFB Guide to Epcot Snacks, newly updated for your 2016-17 trip!

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To secure the discount, use code Epcot16 at check-out.

Have you tried any of the Astronaut Snacks? Please let us know with a comment!

Comments

  1. Luvf&w says

    I remember getting this from a store in Tomorrowland when I was young – I loved it back then! I wonder what I’d think about it now? :)

  2. Lee says

    While it’s fun to think that the astronauts actually ate freeze-dried ice cream, it turns out that none of them actually did (from Wikipedia):

    “Space use
    Despite the modern images of space walking astronauts in shuttle era space suits, freeze dried ice cream was not included on any Apollo, Skylab, shuttle, or International Space Station missions.[3] According to one NASA food scientist, although freeze-dried ice cream was developed on request, “it wasn’t that popular.”[4]”

    The idea that astronauts ate it is just a media and marketing invention…

  3. Brandon Carter says

    They also sell these “Astronaut” freeze-dried snacks at the Fry’s Electronics Store here in Las Vegas. Because it is a chain I’m assuming they have them in the other Fry’s locations throughout California and Arizona.

  4. Essie says

    Yes, I agree with the first poster. I can remember astronaut ice cream and food in the shop across from Space Mountain. It took my eye as a cool gift for my nephews, but I never did get any for them.

  5. Mark says

    Must have walked by them 50 times and never noticed. Thanks for the heads-up, but when we want ice cream if has to be at L’artisans. It’s the best we’ve ever had anywhere. Love that stuff.

  6. Kirsty says

    Thanks for being the team guinea pig AJ.

    Think I will give this one a miss, it looks a bit odd. Will save myself for the lemon ice cream from L’Artisan des Glaces. :P

  7. Amy says

    Thanks for the review ~ I had always wondered about these Astronaut snacks. Looks like a “try it once” and leave it sort of snack. I wonder if the plain ice cream is the same texture as the ice cream on the sandwich? Or perhaps that is more melt-y?

  8. nell says

    I think these blog posts are a little to happy and rosy sometimes, but this one isn’t all that informed on top of that. Astronauts have never actually eaten freeze dried ice cream on missions.

  9. Sarah says

    We had astronaut ice cream years ago when we visit the Air and Space Museum in DC. Never tried a cookie sandwich- not sure they had those- but did try the regular ice cream (Amy, I don’t think there’s any difference between the stand-alone ice cream and the sandwich). Totally agree about the texture, and it is pretty strange. Definitely fun to try once, and I’m sure kids would get a kick out of it, but I doubt I’ll get it again.

  10. Kelly T says

    My son loves these things. He thinks they are so cool. We can get them at the Museum of Science here in Boston and my brother bought some at another museum. i can’t get over the texture but I guess that’s fun for kids!

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