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Top 5 “Must Try” Ice Cream Treats at Walt Disney World

Ice cream is an important part of many Walt Disney World vacations. It is a good thing that you can find it almost anywhere! There are delicious choices in all four theme parks, in the water parks, at Disney Springs, and in many of the restaurants. Whether you want something quick to cool you off, or you’d prefer a more decadent treat, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. Here are five of the best ice cream treats available at Walt Disney World. A disclaimer; Dole Whip technically isn’t ice cream, so it didn’t make this list. Try it anyway.

5) Anything at Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop

Marketplace, Disney Springs

Want to know what is good on the menu at Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop? A better question would be what isn’t good? The answer would be nothing, it’s all delicious. The choices are incredible, and you’re sure to find something that will more than satisfy your sweet tooth. Some of the creations are The Ocean Beach Sea Salt Caramel Sundae, The Presidio Passion Strawberry Hot Fudge Sundae, Mint Bliss, and The Crissy Field Cookie Bits Sundae. If you’d prefer something a bit simpler you can buy cones, cups, or ice cream with your favorite topping. You’ll love everything about Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop. Even the smell will draw you in.

4) Sand Pail

Various locations at both Walt Disney World Water Parks

Spending all day in the water can make you hungry, and what better treat is there than ice cream? The Sand Pail is a sundae that everyone in your family will love. It’s large enough to share. It starts with chocolate and vanilla soft serve ice cream. From there, hot fudge, caramel, and cookie and waffle cone pieces are added. There is also plenty of whipped cream, sprinkles, and, of course, a cherry on top. The Sand Pail is served in an actual sand pail, and there is a shovel that you can use as the spoon. If you’d prefer, plastic spoons are still available. It’s an ice cream treat that your kids will still be talking about long after you return home.

3) Riso (Italian Arborio Rice Pudding) at Vivoli il Gelato

The Landing, Disney Springs

Florence, Italy is known for history, culture, fashion, and architecture. Since 1932 it has also been known for Vivoli il Gelato. The business was started by Raphael Vivoli and his two brothers, and it is still family run. A second store has finally opened, and it is located in The Landing Section of Disney Springs. This tiny shop is easy to walk right by, but you won’t want to make that mistake. Gelato is Italian ice cream, but it has a different consistency than what most people are used to in the United States. Riso is recommended here because it’s a Vivoli family favorite, but you won’t go wrong with any of the flavors. At Vivoli il Gelato you will pay before you order. You can then ask to sample a couple of the flavors if you’re not sure what to get. Family recipes and the freshest ingredients are used. Other flavors often include Salted Caramel, Coconut, and Italian Chocolate. There are a couple of sundaes, beverages, and paninis also sold, but you might want to keep things as simple as possible. Enjoy the fresh taste that has caused people to return to Vivoli il Gelato in Florence for generations.

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2) The Kitchen Sink

Beaches & Cream Soda Shop, Disney’s Beach Club Resort

If you want to try to tackle The Kitchen Sink, bring your appetite because you will leave stuffed. This sundae is a monster, and it was created for at least four people to share. It starts with eight scoops of ice cream. From there cakes, brownies, cookies, candy bar pieces, bananas, cherries, several sauces, and an entire can of whipped topping are added. According to the Walt Disney World website, the sundae includes, “every topping we have”. The Kitchen Sink is served in a giant bowl that is shaped like, you guessed it, a kitchen sink. Beaches & Cream also has smaller sundae options, such as Grilled Banana Bread and Peanut Butter or Strawberry Shortcake. It’s also a great full service restaurant, with burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Of course, if you order a full meal make sure you save room for dessert.

1) Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bar

Everywhere at Walt Disney World

The top “must try” ice cream treat at Walt Disney World is also the most simple. Vanilla ice cream is dipped in chocolate and served on a stick. What makes it so special of course is the fact that the bar is shaped like the Top Mouse himself. Over three million of the bars are sold at Walt Disney World each year, and it is easy to see why. They are sold at quick service restaurants, at snack stands, and even in many of the stores. On hot, crowded days you’re never too far away from a Mickey Bar, because mobile kiosks will be rolled out at high traffic locations in the parks. A Mickey Bar will cool you off on a hot day and will also calm those hunger pangs that you’ll feel when your dinner reservation is still a couple of hours away. At 330 calories it also won’t hurt your waistline, especially considering all the walking that you will do in a park. Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bars are such an icon that they are sold on T-shirts, as an air freshener, and as Mickey Ears. You need to enjoy a Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bar at least once on your vacation, but daily would be an even better idea.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.