Disney Food for Families: Learning Opportunities for the Budding Chef

Disney Food for Families columnist Erin Foster captures some great ways to encourage your kids’ love of cooking!

Obviously one of the many reasons that families find Disney destinations to be such compelling vacation spots is that the parks and resorts are fully prepared to accommodate the interests of children. At various points, all of my girls have been captivated with the idea of becoming a chef (well, at least until they began to realize that kitchens have to be cleaned after they are used).

Disney does a wonderful job of indulging the interests of the budding chef by allowing children, and their parents, plentiful opportunities to observe and interact with the real-life culinary craftspeople that make the food magic happen.

Where to Learn from the Masters: Sweets

Our favorite Walt Disney World venue for chef interaction is at Goofy’s Candy Company at Downtown Disney. On one recent trip, my girls and I spent over an hour standing at the candy prep counter there watching a cast member make pan after pan of swoon-inducing fudge.

Fudge in the pan

Fudge prep at Goofy's Candy Company

We have found that the cast members there are particularly gracious in taking the time to explain to curious bystanders exactly what they are doing, and why. We’ve even been offered small tasting spoonfuls of warm fudge batter to better assess the product as it transforms from [Read more…]

Goofy’s Candy Company

Whether you call them candy or sweets, when you’re on Disney property they’re going to have Goofy’s stamp of approval! Gummies, sour balls, gumdrops, and more — Goofy’s got them all.

Candy Company Product Example

Candy Company Product Example

Goofy’s Candy Company was developed as Disney’s own candy brand (why pay someone else when the profit could be your own?), which is sold throughout the parks, resorts, and Disney properties worldwide. The story behind this brand is that Goofy, the beloved best pal to Mickey himself, owns and operates a colorful candy company; he even has the credentials to prove it!

Goofy's Candy Expert Credentials (Note the cool hidden Mickey in the woodgrain above!)

Goofy's Candy Expert Credentials (Note the cool hidden Mickey in the woodgrain above!)

Sour Apple Eating Contest: First Place!

Sour Apple Eating Contest: First Place!

And in Disney World’s Downtown Disney, Goofy’s newly renovated candy wonderland opened its doors in 2005.

Downtown Disney Candy Company Entrance

Downtown Disney Candy Company Entrance

Formerly Goofy’s Candy Kitchen, the need to popularize and promote the Goofy’s Candy Company product fostered the renovation — and movement into a much larger space — of the store. And while the kids who went to Wonka’s had to take what they could get, the folks who go to Goofy’s have the opportunity to dream up and create anything they want!

Make-Your-Own "Glacier"

Make-Your-Own Glacier

That’s right! Goofy’s created an interactive paradise for sugar-fiends! There are two ways to “have it your way” at Goofy’s: Glaciers and choose-your-own-toppings treats.

Glacier Goofy

Glacier Goofy

Glaciers (which are, basically, slurpees) come in eight flavors, including gawrshly berry blue and pucker purple, but the fun part is that you get to customize your cup! Purchasing the souvenir container allows you to choose a “hat” and “feet” (think “Mr. Potato Head”) for your Glacier cup in addition to your flavor (or flavors!). You can have a Mickey cup, a Minnie cup, a Goofy cup, a Stitch cup, a Princess cup…. .

And on the other side of the store, you can order your choose-your-own-toppings treats! Here, you choose a “base” item, e.g. an apple, a rice krispie treat, pretzel rods, marshmallows, and Mickey-shaped gingerbread cookies, which you then get to cover with two layers of toppings. The first, a “sticky” topping, includes choices like milk chocolate, white chocolate, and caramel. The second, a “stick-on” topping, includes options like butterfinger or oreo cookie crumbles, chocolate chips, mini M&Ms, nuts, and sprinkles.

Vat-o-Goo Candy Apple Maker

Vat-o-Goo Candy Apple Maker

Now, don’t forget, this is Disney, so every other sweet food item you’ve seen on property is available for sale here, too. Cookies, biscuits, bulk candy (sold by the pound), tinned candy, Goofy’s Sour Powder — even a few items that aren’t exclusively made by Goofy (that’s right — Goofy even sells competing companies’ candies once in a while). So this is a great place to come to pick up a gift to bring home for the office mates.

Goofy's Sour Candy Powder

Goofy's Sour Candy Powder

Jelly Bellies

Jelly Bellies

And once you have your creations ready to eat, wave goodbye to Goofy on your way out!

One Version of a Final Product -- Rice Krispie Treat 'n' Stuff

One Version of a Final Product -- Rice Krispie Treat 'n' Stuff

Exit

Editor’s Note: I’ve never been able to visit Goofy’s Candy Company without incurring a massive stomach ache within 3 hours of leaving. This is just a warning. Carry on and good luck. ;)

Photo Credits: JoshMcConnell via flickr
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Photo Credit: J&E’s Photos via flickr
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Photo Credit: _aurora1982 via twitpic
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