Sleepy Hollow Refreshments
I have a particular fondness for the counter service, quick stop eatery known as Sleepy Hollow Refreshments. It may be because that’s the town my grandparents lived in (yes, the original Sleepy Hollow is a real town in New York) or because I associate the restaurant with fresh, hot chocolate chip cookies (one of the sponsors for this location used to be Nestle Toll House). But the real reason for my fondness, I think, is because I consider Sleep Hollow Refreshments the best place in the Magic Kingdom to grab a dessert and enjoy it away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds.
Sleepy Hollow Refreshments is in Liberty Square. If you are looking at the Hall of Presidents, it sits to the right. If you are coming from Main Street and The Hub in front of the castle, Sleepy Hollow Refreshments is the first place you will encounter after crossing the bridge into Liberty Square. The place resembles a quaint colonial “shoppe” with the cast members dressed in complimenting outfits, but a peek inside its front window shows a small but bustling kitchen that makes waffle creations and funnel cakes to order among other treats.
I took my daughter to meet her grandparents after work on a Friday night. There are tables under a portico behind the eatery that make for a great spot to meet up with family members and for getting out of the Florida sun. On this night we gathered for dessert to celebrate the end of the week. I was intrigued by the waffles having glimpsed quite a row of waffle irons at the ready. You can choose to have a dinner-size plate waffle topped with fresh fruit and Nutella, powdered sugar or cinnamon, or strawberries and whipped cream. It was hard for me to make a choice, but I picked the last option as my treat.
The waffle was light and fluffy on the inside, slightly crunch on the outside with a light vanilla flavor (it’s the same waffle batter used in those delicious Mickey Mouse shaped waffles). I watched it come fresh from the waffle iron before the friendly cast member serving me topped it to my liking with powdered sugar, strawberries in syrup, and whipped cream from a can. I enjoyed the dessert, however, it became soggy fairly quickly because of the syrupy strawberries (you do not get fresh cut berries on this item). I found myself enjoying the outer edge of the waffle, eating around its center.
My nine year old daughter and her grandpa both wanted the great smelling funnel cakes, also made to order. My daughter chose hers dusted with cinnamon; her grandfather wanted the traditional powdered sugar. Both of them came up with huge smiles on their faces after their first bites. Grandpa, who joked that night about being “an Iowa boy who knows his way around a funnel cake,” loved how crispy and light it was, and that it wasn’t an oily, soggy mess. My daughter, who has one heck of a sweet tooth, absolutely loved hers, her first funnel cake ever. We sampled the two versions around the table and we all agreed the one topped with cinnamon was the tastier of the two.
Sleepy Hollow Refreshments also serves other sweet items. You can enjoy the popular ice cream cookie sandwich, a coke or root beer float, soft serve ice cream, a swirled slush, or a chocolate chunk cookie. In addition to the soda and juice beverages you’d expect to find, the restaurant serves iced coffee, cappuccino, and espresso. You shouldn’t expect to find a true coffee house here. I ordered the cappuccino which was decent but somewhat watery.
One of the more intriguing items on the Sleepy Hollow menu are the savory waffle sandwiches which are only available between 11am and 5pm. One is called “Sweet and Spicy Chicken;” the other is “Ham, Prosciutto and Swiss.” These are a full-sized, fresh made waffle folded in half and stuffed with these ingredients. Think super-sized sandwiches! It was too late in the evening for me to order one, but I plan on coming back to enjoy one for lunch someday soon.
Food – Yummy, generous portions that can easily be shared between two adults or a few small children. If you plan to eat your funnel cake or waffle with your fingers be sure to grab plenty of napkins!
Atmosphere – This outdoor quick-service restaurant sits to the side of Cinderella’s castle with a back eating area shaded by trees. It is a great place to take pictures of the family with the castle in the background.
Service – They try to keep the line moving with a smile. Since the waffles and funnel cakes are made to order you get to “say when” as they are dusted with powdered sugar or topped with whipped cream so they are just as you like.
Tips – This is one of the best places to enjoy the nightly fireworks given some caveats. While it is perfect for watching Tinkerbelle’s flight from the castle, you’ll miss some of the big firework explosions due to the shade trees.
The DisDining Mama Says – This is a great place to gather the family away from the crowds. (It has been a meeting place for my extended family for years!) Also, the portions are big and can easily be split between Mom and Dad or among the kids to help stretch a dollar and watch waistlines.