We’re in Disney World every day, and we’ve tried just about everything you can eat at the restaurants inside the parks and at the hotels. There are some truly fantastic snacks and meals, but there are also a few things you might want to skip. So which eats are which? We’re here to help you figure that out!
In January, we tried a ton of new snacks, returning eats, and classic staples. Some of those things made our “oh my gosh we have to eat this every single day” list, and others…not so much. Check out our complete list of the BEST and WORST things we ate in Disney World in January 2023.
Before we get to the best and worst eats, we’ve got to let you in on a secret: There’s a simple tool that can make your Disney World meal planning super easy — the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2023. We wrote the guide based on decades of experience dining at the parks and hotels, and it’s full of reviews, pictures, and details about every single restaurant. We also included our best tips and strategies to help you create the perfect plan for your group.
You can use the code WDW2023 at checkout to get 25% off the guide too! Now, on to the best and worst things we ate in Disney World in January.
The BEST Things We Ate in January
Festival of the Arts Eats
The Festival of the Arts kicked off in EPCOT on January 13th, and it’ll run through February 20th. We were there on the opening day to try out all kinds of new and returning eats, and we made a complete list of all the BEST treats, snacks, and drinks. Some of our favorites were the Rainbow Cake at Figment’s Inspiration Station at The Odyssey for $4.75…
…EVERYTHING at El Artista Hambriento (The Hungry Artist)…
…all the eats at the new Moderne booth…
…and the Tomato Soup With Pimento Cheese, Bacon, and Fried Green Tomato Grilled Cheese at Pop Eats!
There are a LOT more fantastic things to try at this year’s festival, so make sure to check out our full list of the best eats!
See all of our FAVORITE eats at the Festival of the Arts here.
Cookie Butter Treats at Gideon’s Bakehouse
Are you even surprised to find treats from Gideon’s Bakehouse on this list? It’s no secret that we’re BIG fans of this Disney Springs bakery!
The Cookie Butter Butterscotch Cookie for $6 combined the rich flavor of butterscotch with sugary cookie butter, all packed in one massive cookie. Each one is nearly half a pound, with plenty of butterscotch chips and a cookie butter crumble inside. The cookie has a soft texture with lots of the cookie butter flavor and blasts of butterscotch from the chips, plus we also found it had a hint of cinnamon flavor as cookie butter typically does.
The Cookie Butter Buttercream Cake is $9 per slice and is a vanilla cake with cookie butter buttercream and a sprinkle of cookie crumble. The cake was beautifully tender, and the crumble added a great texture! These treats were January specials at Gideon’s, so the flavors will likely change in February. Based on previous experience, though, we’re guessing that the next eats will be just as tasty.
Read our full review of these treats here.
Spicy BBQ Brisket Sandwich at Earl of Sandwich
When Disney says “spicy,” we usually expect just a slight hint of spice, but a new sandwich at Earl of Sandwich actually delivered on the heat! The Spicy BBQ Brisket Sandwich is made with Thin Brisket, Cole Slaw, Jalapeños, and Pickled Jalapeños — double the jalapeños, double the heat.
The brisket was super tender, and the cole slaw added a great crunch and cooled down the sandwich just a bit to balance the spice. It costs $8.99, but it’s only available for a limited time, so you’ll need to be quick if you want to try it.
Read our full review of the BBQ Brisket Sandwich here.
DOLE Whip Nachos at Swirls on the Water
Anytime we hear “DOLE Whip Nachos,” you know we’re already excited. DOLE Whip? Fantastic. Nachos? Amazing. Combine the two? Absolute perfection. So when Swirls on the Water in Disney Springs switched up their normal recipe for this impressive snack, we had to head in and try them out!
The new DOLE Whip Nachos are made with DOLE whip, cherry pistachio ice cream, cherry popcorn, roasted pistachios, whipped cream, morello cherries, and waffle chips for $8.99. It’s a pretty tart treat, but we thought the cherry and pistachio flavors were well-balanced and delicious!
Read our full review of the DOLE Whip Nachos here.
Strawberry Dipped Mocha at Joffrey’s
Are you a Starbucks or Joffrey’s kind of person in Disney World? We just found a new coffee drink that might pull you over to the Joffrey’s side. The Strawberry Dipped Mocha for $6.09 is made with espresso, milk, dark chocolate sauce, and strawberry syrup, and it’s topped with whipped cream & dark chocolate sauce.
This drink certainly smells like strawberries, and we enjoyed that the flavor was subtlely wrapped in rich dark chocolate and espresso. The classic combination really worked in this drink, and we would 100% get it again.
Read our full review of the Strawberry Dipped Mocha here.
Drinks at Uzima Springs Pool Bar
We stopped by the Uzima Springs Pool Bar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge to try out a few of the drinks there, and we loved everything we had! The Safari Mudslide for $16.50 is made with Amarula Cream Liquor, Kahlúa Liquor, and Snow Leopard Vodka, blended with Vanilla Ice Cream. Holy moly, y’all. If you love creamy drinks, this one is a DELIGHT. The African Amarula Cream Liquor really stands out and blends so well with the vodka that it doesn’t even taste like alcohol.
The boozy Blueberry Lemonade for $15.50 is made with Three Olives Blueberry Vodka, Bols Blue Curaçao, and Minute Maid Premium Lemonade with Juices of Lemon and Pomegranate topped with Sprite. Is it as refreshing as it seems? YES! It’s very well-blended and the vodka doesn’t overpower the flavors of blueberry and pomegranate (which are a GREAT combo). BUT we barely even tasted the lemonade, so is this really lemonade?
Finally, we tried one of the non-alcoholic options, the Lava Smoothie for $5.99. It’s made with Raspberry Purée blended with flavors of Coconut and Pineapple. This is the PERFECT drink that everyone can sip on while at the pool or watching the animals on the savannah. It’s light and creamy and very coconutty (so be sure you like coconut flavors before you order).
Whether you’re looking to drink your dessert, sip on something boozy, or grab a refreshing smoothie, you really can’t go wrong at this pool bar.
Read our full review of the drinks here.
Alright, we checked out the BEST eats…but what about the WORST?
The WORST Things We Ate in January
Malasadas at Pinocchio’s Village Haus
We were super excited to hear about new Malasadas (Portuguese fried donuts) with mango-coconut sauce at Pinocchio’s Village Haus in Magic Kingdom, and we rushed over to try them out. They’re served with a white chocolate “Aloha” coin and cost $6.19.
We didn’t think you could go wrong with fried dough, but what we got was dense, tough, and not as warm as we thought it should be. We expected light and fluffy, these are NOT THAT. In fact, we had to do a LOT of chewing just to get that fried dough down. We’re not sure if it was because we waited a little bit to take photos before eating these, but they even seemed a little cold when we first got them. The sauce wasn’t bad, but it didn’t quite make up for the disappointing donuts.
Read our full review of the Malasadas here.
Breakfast Empanada and Coffee at Vibrante & Vivido
Over at the Vibrante & Vivido Festival of the Arts booth in EPCOT, you can get a Breakfast Empanada (filled with ham, egg, and cheese) for $6.75 and Breakfast Coffee (made with mocha, milk, and sweetener) for $3.75. The empanada was actually flaky, light, and delicious, and the coffee was pretty tasty as well. So what did these breakfast options do to earn their way on our “worst eats” list?
The problem wasn’t the taste, it was the availability and convenience. The Vibrante & Vivido booth is located all the way at the back of EPCOT (between the France and Morocco World Showcase pavilions), so if you’re not already planning to ride Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure first thing in the morning or enter through International Gateway, it’ll likely be inconvenient to get there.
The eats are only available until 10:30AM, so do you really want to spend your time marching back there when you could be rope-dropping other rides instead? The choice is up to you, but we thought this breakfast wasn’t quite worth sacrificing valuable morning ride time.
Read our full review of the eats here.
Eats at L’Arte de Mangiare
The Italian booth at the Festival of the Arts looked promising at first (that fried cheese dish with all the sauces was especially exciting!), but it was ultimately pretty disappointing. The Mozzarella Fritta was pretty pricey for a single puck of fried cheese ($8.25), and the Ravioli ai Funghi was also too expensive for the portion size at $9.25 and was VERY mushroom-forward.
The Budino al Cioccolato for $8 was good, but it was basically just chocolate pudding. So we found ourselves again wondering whether it was worth the price. Overall, everything was fine, but it was just a little too expensive to be considered great.
Read our full review of this Festival of the Arts booth here.
Joffrey’s Drinks at the Festival of the Arts
Joffrey’s came out with FIVE new drinks for the Festival of the Arts in EPCOT, and they’re all super pretty to look at. They’re all available with booze or as non-alcoholic concoctions, and they’re each a different bright color. There was one more thing they all had in common: they were TOO SWEET.
OK, so not all of them were terribly sweet. They ranged from nicely balanced (that Jade Frost was a little tart, which combated the sweetness) to tooth-achingly sweet (the Magenta Frost is a 3-year-old’s DREAM). You might love these if you like to drink your dessert, but having 5 of them in one day…we would not recommend.
Read our full reviews of the Joffrey’s drinks here.
Ichigo Daifuku at Goshiki
The Goshiki booth at the Japan pavilion of World Showcase is a winner in so many ways. The Rainbow Katsu Sandois was fantastic, the sushi donut is just iconic, and the Purple Yuzu Sake Lemonade was beautifully refreshing. However, we weren’t big fans of the new dessert here.
The Ichigo Daifuku is made with mixed berry mochi, sweet azuki bean paste, and mascarpone for $6.75. We initially really enjoyed the flavors on this, with the fresh berries and the light filling. But after we got further into it, there was too much mochi dough which made it very chewy. Unless you really really love a lot of mochi dough, we would recommend you avoid this!
Read our full review of the Goshiki booth here.
If you’re visiting Disney World soon and trying to decide where to eat, check out these posts for more tips and recommendations:
- 5 Disney World Snack HACKS $5 Or Less
- The WORST Disney World Restaurants According To Yelp
- 15 Cheap But Filling Disney World Snacks For When You’re Ballin’ On a Budget
- 10 Disney World Restaurants Every First-Timer Should Have on Their List
- 6 Surprising Rules About Drinking in Disney World
Keep following DFB for more food reviews, planning tips, and news from Disney World!
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Which of these eats would you try? Let us know in the comments.
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