Since Disneyland and Disney World originally opened, snacks have seen some MAJOR changes.
While treats have come and gone, some of the most iconic snacks have stuck around for a while (thank goodness!). But, while you might recognize these treats as some of the best-known items in the Disney Parks, they have a bit of history you probably weren’t aware of!
And we’re here to tell you some of the wacky and wonderful details about Disney’s most famous snacks!
Originally sold in 1986
Although that sweet, swirled pineappley goodness may seem like a staple nowadays, Disney didn’t always have Dole Whip in the parks.
When Disneyland’s Tiki Juice Bar opened next to the Enchanted Tiki Room in 1968, it didn’t originally sell Dole products. In 1976, Dole become a sponsor, but the Tiki Juice Bar only sold pineapple juice and pineapple spears (wut!!). But, the famous Dole Whip and Dole Whip Float started being sold in 1986 and quickly became a hit.
After seeing the popularity, Kent Precision Foods Group licensed Dole Whip in 1997. The mix started being distributed as “Dole Soft Serve” to other theme parks and food locations.
Although it previously had dairy, the treats were made vegan starting in 2013 with non-dairy creamer. Anybody else super craving a Dole Whip now??
Originally made in the 1980s
Did you know that Mickey Waffles didn’t start as waffles? The origin of the waffles started with round Mickey pancakes in the parks. However, Disney started experimenting with their batter supplier and some irons in the 1980s to discover if they could make Mickey-shaped waffles (of course, they did).
Imagineering even helped out to mold the perfect design so the waffle stayed intact with Mickey’s face after being cooked! Disney breakfasts have been more magical ever since!
Originally made in 1985
Although it’s become arguably one of the most iconic treats in the parks, the Mickey Premium Bar wasn’t one of the original opening day treats in Disney (GASP!).
Nestlé helped bring the bar into the parks in 1985 and has continued to make changes to it over the years. The original Mickey Bars weren’t even Mickey-shaped, but just regular ol’ ovals at first. However, they changed in the 1990s to the iconic Mickey shape we know and love today.
The ice cream has also been switched in the Mickey Bars. The original had a chocolate and vanilla ice cream combo, but now the treat is just vanilla ice cream with a chocolate coating.
While the Mickey Bars are an iconic staple of the parks, Disney brought a similar version of the treats to grocery stores in 2019 for Mickey’s 90th birthday!
So, while you’re missing the parks at home, you can snack on this iconic treat from the comfort of your couch!!
Originally sold in 1985
Okay, who here went to Videopolis in Disneyland during the 80s before it was changed to the Fantasyland Theatre?? When Videopolis was scheduled to open, Jim Lowman was asked to come up with some treats to add to the food and beverage offerings in the park that would bring guests in. And, boy, did he come up with a FANTASTIC idea!!
After attending the Long Beach Grand Prix in 1985, he spotted a churro booth with a small warming oven (and the origin story begins). When he saw that the box stated the churros were from J&J Snack Foods, he contacted them to work with Disneyland. However, Lowman got J&J to change their original 6-inch churros to the 12-inch versions we see in the parks now.
Before fully bringing them into all of Disneyland, he tested them at the Mark Twain Riverboat exit to see how sales would be. People literally followed the cart down the street!
Sales were so great that TWO churro carts were put inside Videopolis and later moved to the rest of the park.
Originally sold in 1989
We’re here to put the rumor to rest! The Turkey Legs in Disney Parks are NOT made of Emu, you guys! 😉 While we usually see most “normal” turkey legs, like the ones you eat at Thanksgiving, from female turkeys, the reason the Disney snacks are so big is that the legs come from male turkeys.
Back when Food and Beverage Executive Dave Jarrett was looking for new items to bring into the parks, he spotted the giant turkey legs at a fair when he was traveling for Disney.
Although management originally didn’t think that the snacks would fit into the park, they became a success after the team tried them and agreed to sell them in the parks. The Turkey Legs were finally put into Disney World in 1989, and they’ve remained a fan-favorite ever since!
Okay, yeah, we’re totally hungry right now. We might need to crank out some of those Disney recipes in the meantime before the parks reopen!! Any snacks we missed that you’re dying to know the exciting backstory on?!
Want to know how to get some of your favorite snacks while the Disney Parks are closed? Find out all the details here!
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What’s your favorite classic Disney treat? Let us know in the comments below!