Halloween Party Throw Down: Disney World vs. Disneyland

Welcome back guest author Katie Drake with a review of the Halloween parties at Disney World and Disneyland. Note that your experience with crowds, candy, and weather may differ based on the dates you attend the parties.

Disneyland and WDW’s Magic Kingdom are both arguably at their best at Halloween time, with decorations and special sweet treats coming out in force for the holiday.

Both parks feature some of their most-anticipated hard ticket special events — Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom (MNSSHP), and Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland.

MNSSHP Sign

Mickey's Halloween Party in Disneyland

Of course most guests will only get to visit one, but which party to choose? The events are as alike as their confusingly similar names, but there are a few differences that make each one unique.

My family had the opportunity to attend MNSSHP in Walt Disney World in 2010, and followed it up with Mickey’s Halloween Party in Disneyland in 2011. Here’s a head to head comparison so you can start planning on where to head for Halloween 2012!

Parade

Both parades feature a wide variety of favorite Disney characters dressed in their Halloween costumes, but the Florida parade wins this round based on one thing — the Headless Horseman.

Headless Horseman Rides in Magic Kingdom (c) Disney

Mickey's Halloween Party Parade in Disneyland

It’s not quite the same now that he has to walk down the parade route, instead of canter, but the sight is still something amazing to see. Other than that, the parades are pretty similar.

Parade Winner: [Read more…]

Disney Food Tips: Everything You Need to Know About Disney Snacks

We all know how important snacks have become in Disney World and Disneyland.

With some serious innovation on Disney’s part, snacks are no longer just a between meal throwaway, but something that inspires full-blown planning sessions! The day of snacks has dawned in Disney parks!

A lot of this is due to folks wanting to get the best value for their snack credits on the Disney Dining Plan in Walt Disney World. But the newly available variety of snacks also means that it’s much easier to piece together a less expensive mini-meal than it ever has been before.

Note that in mid-2015, Disney updated the definition for a “snack” on the Disney Dining Plan. It now includes many more items, like cups of soup, plain caramel apples, two scoops or less of hand-scooped ice cream (yep, sundaes too!), any menu item listed as a side, and any single-serving, non-alcoholic beverages.

We’ve put together a lot of info about Disney snacks over the past few years, and with so many trips coming up for our readers it’s time to share them all in one place.

Hope this is helpful, and don’t forget to share your best Disney snack tips with us in the comments. I’d appreciate hearing and sharing what you’ve learned!

A classic Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar!

Best Disney Dining Plan Snack Values

When using the Disney Dining Plan, it’s important to make the most of your snack credits.

Don’t waste a credit on an inexpensive and/or less-than-stellar treat; indulge in a snack that will be memorable!

Here are our favorite ways to use a snack credit. One of our favorite tips: if you’re lucky enough to be visiting Epcot during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, use those snack credits for trying international, tapas-sized dishes.

Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Best Chocolate-Covered Disney Snacks

If you enjoy a snack even more once it’s dunked in chocolatey goodness, we suggest trying any of our Top 5 Chocolate Covered Snacks.

From a caramel delight at Karamell-Küche, to the iconic Mickey Ice Cream Bar, chocaholics can make the most of their snack credits (or vacation dollars) with these decadent treats.

Chocolate-Covered Sea Salt Caramel at Karamell Kuche in Epcot

Top 5 Disney Take-Home Snacks

Let’s face it. Disney departure day is a complete bummer. And I find it [Read more…]

Top 6 Disney Dining Plan Snack Credit Values for 2012

As always, we want to make sure all of us are getting the best value with our Disney Dining Plan snack credits!

For those who are unfamiliar with the Disney Dining Plan, it’s a way for guests to pre-pay for their dining when visiting Disney World. “Snack credits” are used by guest to purchase items like popcorn, candy, ice cream, and other low-cost treats.

I’ll list my top six choices, then you tell me your experiences. Let’s work together on finding the best snack credit deals!

Note that snack credits are usually accepted for items that are a single serving, and cost $4.50 or less (though some cost as much as $4.99 out of pocket).

1. Bakeries

A Disney Food Blog staff and reader favorite — bakeries! Not only can you use your snack credit for some incredible treats, but you can also get a pastry for your morning meal. Hey, it’s vacation!

Don’t forget to check out our Disney World Bakery Throw Down to see some of the very best spots to spend those credits.

Disney World Cinnamon Roll at Main Street Bakery

Consider some of these options at bakeries around Disney World: cinnamon rolls, butterfinger cupcakes, caramel cupcakes, white chocolate elephant cupcake, crepes, school bread…and so much more!

These are all great deals for one single snack credit.

2. Ice Cream Sundaes and Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Recently, I’ve been overwhelmed with what kinds of sundaes you can get for a snack credit in Disney World! Easily costing $4.50 or more out of pocket, these sundaes are awesome deals!

Stop by Storybook Treats in the Magic Kingdom to snag a Cookie Fudge Sundae that you can easily split between two! Other options at Storybook Treats include a Brownie Sundae and a yummy Strawberry Shortcake Sundae!

Hot Fudge and Caramel Cookie Sundae at Storybook Treats

Another ice creamy treat that’s not-to-be-missed is the homemade ice cream cookie sandwich. You can get these at all four parks, and while the snack credit payment option [Read more…]

Top Five Must-Eat Chocolate Covered Disney Snacks

If you’re of the opinion that dunking something in chocolate makes everything better, I’ve got a few snacks that you really need to sample!

Here are my top five chocolate-covered snacks in Disney World and Disneyland (not necessarily in order of beloved-ness ;-)). And I can’t wait to hear yours (mostly because then I get to go find them and chomp them)!

Chocolate-Covered Sea Salt Caramel

I found this treat on one of my many Karamell-Küche visits in Epcot’s Germany! One of several chocolate-y and caramel-y treats, it’s got the benefit of three distinct tastes and textures.

Chocolate-Covered Sea Salt Caramel

The chewy, super-sweet caramel is the central feature and taste, and it’s complemented by that creamy milk or dark chocolate (the dark chocolate will give a slight bitterness to the taste, which gives even more depth to the flavor!). The sea salt on the top gives a slight crunch and a solid kapow to your taste buds, making the sweet even sweeter! If you’ve been avoiding the salty-sweet trend that’s become so popular, this might be the best way to take your first step into that taste juxtaposition! You can always brush some of the salt off if you don’t like it. :-)

Peanut Butter Sandwich

This gorgeous confection, which I simply refer to as the peanut butter sandwich, used to be sold at Disney Parks on both coasts, but lately we’ve only found it in Disneyland. (It IS in Disneyland, though…I promise!)

Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Sandwich

With peanut butter piled high on a graham cracker then enrobed in [Read more…]

Five Fun Disney Food Experiences That Won’t Break the Bank

Find Out How They Make Mickey Bread!

While touring attractions and riding rides is the main reason why many folks visit Walt Disney World and Disneyland, there are quite a few little-known adventures that might not be promoted on the front of the guide maps, but are still just as fun to experience.

Today we’ve got a few of our favorite food experiences that might be a little “dark horse” when it comes to the popular vote, but we’ve never heard any complaints from folks who tried them! See if they might fit a time slot in your next vacation!

Miyuki the Candy Artist

Miyuki is an incredible performer and artist who makes teeny-tiny sculptures out of rice candy, right in front of your eyes! She is one of only 15 people in the world who are professionally trained in the art of Japanese candy-making — a trade she learned from her grandfather.

Miyuki and her Candy Art

Watch as Miyuki turns a ball of hot rice candy into an incredibly beautiful tiger, peacock, unicorn, or other gorgeous creature. It’s truly an amazing sight to see. Read more about Miyuki and see photos and videos of her creations here.

Miyuki's Pink Leopard

In past years, Miyuki has been able to [Read more…]

Giant Rice Krispie Treat Heads

Every once in a while I find it imperative that I share very important news with you lot, and today is just one of those days.

I need to let you know that right now — for the low, low price of just $49.95 — you, too, can have your very own Giant Rice Krispie Treat Head.

And it’s not just any Giant Rice Krispie Treat Head, no sir! It’s Mickey and Minnie shaped and decorated Giant Rice Krispie Treat Heads!

Mickey Head

Minnie Head

Now, I know you think I’m being [Read more…]

Snack Series: Walt Disney World Jumps on the Cake Pop Bandwagon

Disney Food for Families columnist Erin Foster takes an in-depth look at the trendy Cake Pop infiltration of Walt Disney World.

The new addition to the world of Mickey-shaped sweet treats is the cake pop. In case you’ve missed out on this relatively new foodie trend, cake pops are small treats composed of cake and frosting mashed up to form a sort of cake paste, then formed into a ball or circle, and served on a stick.

The cake is almost always dipped into a chocolate or candy coating and often amusingly decorated. You can find do-it-yourself cake pop recipes here.

The sugar-coated cake pop.

Intro to Cake Pops in Disney World

On a recent trip to Walt Disney World, I found cake pops sold at the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Confectionery, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ Sweet Spells, and at Downtown Disney’s Goofy’s Candy Company and Candy Cauldron.

The pops come in four possible cake flavors: chocolate, vanilla, marble, and red velvet. The candy coating is milk chocolate with either [Read more…]

Disney World Introduces…Cake Pops!

The Candy Cauldron at Downtown Disney’s West Side is a popular stop for satisfying sweet cravings.  Step inside the Wicked Queen’s/Old Hag’s Dungeon for tantalizing treats.

No worries – there are no poisoned apples! The only fruit here is covered in tempting chocolate and caramels! While perusing the candy selections, watch candy being made in the show kitchen!

But the real news is…Cake Pops are now being sold at the Candy Cauldron! Thanks to Becky Browne Allen for the great tips and photos!

Cake Pop

Inside the pop, you’ll discover a real cake center — flavors are vanilla, chocolate, marble, or [Read more…]

Tips For Taking Snacks Home From Walt Disney World

Departing the Happiest Place on Earth is never easy. It’s a bummer having to return to reality. To lessen the pain, many guests like to stock up on favorite snacks before the journey home. I’m partial to the chocolate covered pretzels. ;-) These sweet treats make the wait at the airport, flight or car ride less agonizing.

Chocolate Caramel Fudge from Karamell-Küche

Tips and Tricks For Bringing Snacks Home

Some guests pack food for the plane or car trip home. These munchies are handy for long flights and/or layovers. Others bring them home as gifts for the pet-sitter, teacher, class and/or as a treat to savor just a few more minutes of Disney magic.

Suggestions for Portable Snacks
If you are on the Disney Dining Plan with leftover [Read more…]

Goofy’s Candy Company Create-Your-Own Snacks

One of my favorite parts of the Disney World snack hierarchy is Goofy’s Candy Company’s create-your-own options. In Downtown Disney, Goofy’s offers a fun little “assembly line” where guests can build a snack from the ground up!

Goofy's Sign

Goofy Statue Inside Store

Prices for create your own

That’s right — true, 100% guest interaction here. (Talk about getting it your way!) YOU decide what snack you want. YOU decide what it’s dipped in. YOU decide the topping. And YOU decide what it’s drizzled with. There are countless different combinations of flavors and snacks. Kinda makes you want to come back again and [Read more…]