With the updates to Disney Springs in recent years, there is even more to enjoy at this shopping and dining hot spot. Enjoying meals at spots like Morimoto Asia, Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’, or Jaleo by José Andrés are just a few of the delicious choices we can’t seem to get enough of. When it’s time for a sweet snack or an after-dinner dessert, narrowing down what to choose gets even harder.
The Ganachery, Gideon’s Bakehouse and Vivoli il Gelato are hot spots we dream about. However, one of my all-time favorite dessert spots is an established shop in the Marketplace section of Disney Springs. I’m talking about a classic sundae and soda fountain spot that does decadent chocolate dishes in a big way – Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop.
Located near World of Disney, across from Dockside Margaritas and in front of Basin you will find this combo of a retail chocolate store and old-fashioned ice cream shop and soda fountain. This delicious spot has been around for quite a while- since the time when Disney Springs was known as the Disney Shopping Village. Opening in December of 1997, this quick service dessert spot was a staple for many a family visiting Walt Disney World in the 90s and early 2000’s.
Founded by Domenico Ghirardelli, the company got its start in Stockton, California, in 1849 when Ghirardelli opened a general store that sold provisions and confections to miners. Business was so good that Ghirardelli opened a second store location, Ghirardely & Girard confectionary shop, which later became the flagship Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.
The rich almost buttery texture and taste of Ghirardelli chocolate makes it one of my all-time favorites so you can bet I never miss an opportunity to stop by this Disney Springs staple. Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop is open from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., so you can satisfy your sweet tooth any time of day. Making a selection from this menu is so difficult. If you have the opportunity to visit with a group, order different menu items and share tastes of it all – you will not be sorry! Let’s dive headfirst into this indulgent menu.
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The menu is divided into Specialty Sundaes, Shakes, Hot Cocoa, Sweet Treats and a create your own selection of ice cream favors and topping choices. Sundaes range from $14.75 – $17.25 and include large portions of creations like Dark Chocolate Sundae – Midnight Reverie, Strawberry Hot Fudge Sundae – Presidio Passion and Salted Caramel Brownie Sundae – Lands End. My choices from this section of the menu is the Cookie Bits Sundae -Crissy Field and the Caramel Sundae – Gold Rush.
The Caramel Sundae – Gold Rush is built with rich vanilla ice cream, flaky sea salt, and crunchy diced almonds. The confection is covered in ribbons of caramel sauce and dolloped with fluffy whipped cream. As a signature touch, this treat (like all the others) is topped with a white chocolate Ghirardelli caramel square. Talk about a sweet and buttery combo, this is one magical sundae.
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Still, my reigning sundae (and menu) choice is the Cookie Bits Sundae -Crissy Field sundae. Perfect for Guests that love cookies and cream but want to amp up their order, this sundae delivers on flavor while maintaining a perfect vanilla/chocolate balance. The sundae is made with vanilla and cookies ‘n cream ice cream, rich handmade hot fudge, whipped cream and is topped with chocolate chip cookie crumbles. The dessert is garnished with two milk chocolate caramel mini squares.
If a shake is more your speed, why not try an option like the Frozen Hot Cocoa or Sea Salt Caramel Banana Shake? Both of these shakes ring in at $9.95. The Frozen Hot Cocoa is made from a hot cocoa mix blended with ice and milk, topped with whipped cream and mini chocolate chips. While still delicious, this lighter-feeling shake is a favorite of my family. The Sea Salt Caramel Banana Shake on the other hand is a richer choice. Made from vanilla milkshake blended with dark chocolate, sea salt, caramel squares and a ripe banana this shake packs a flavorful punch. This glorious creation is topped with whipped cream, sea salt flakes and rich caramel sauce.
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I know what you are thinking… Hot cocoa in central Florida?! Believe it or not, Walt Disney World can see some chilly temperatures in the winter, so gourmet hot cocoa are a must. Cocoa prices range from $5.25 – $6.95 depending on the size and flavor you order. My choice is easily the Sea Salt Caramel Hot Cocoa. This delightful twist on classic Ghirardelli cocoa is jazzed up with creamy melty caramel, soft whipped cream, sea salt and caramel sauce.
If you are not feeling ice cream but want to try this world-famous chocolate take a look at the sweet treat and coffee menu. Snag a rich chocolate dipped strawberry, a chocolate brownie or my favorite the chocolate chip cookie from this part of the menu. My Disney Springs cookie hot-take is that this Ghirardelli® Chocolate Chip Cookie that rings in at only $3.95 beats the beautiful chocolate chip cookie from Gideon’s Bakehouse.
The buttery cookie in relation to the rich creamy chocolate in the cookie is truly unbeatable in my opinion. Pair your cookie with a small frozen mocha for $5.50. Regardless of if you choose the mocha, white mocha or the ultimate latte you cannot go wrong!
Don’t miss a chance to visit this Disney Springs Marketplace staple on your next Walt Disney World vacation. Do you think you can satisfy your sweet tooth at Ghirardelli Soda Fountain chocolate shop?