Cool treats for the hot days at Disneyland. Our guide to some of the best.
By Jennifer Stuart
It seems like the last three trips we took to Disneyland occurred during a heat wave, and each one was hotter than the last. As a result, we have become big fans of cool treats at Disneyland. Of course any review is subjective (based on personal preferences and experiences) but as a fairly typical family-- I present you with some of our favourites.
The question is not do you like ice cream but rather do you prefer soft-serve or by the scoop? For soft-serve head to Paradise Pier where you can visit the Paradise Pier Ice Cream Company. Click here for menu. Soft-serve cones are available in vanilla or chocolate. Can't decide? Go for a swirl. Also in DCA you can visit Clarbelle's Hand Scooped Ice Cream for ice cream and sundaes by the scoop. Click here for menu.
In Disneyland the classic ice cream shop experience can be found at the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlour on Main Street USA. You can get ice cream by the scoop, sundaes or a classic float. Click here for menu.
Insider Tip: For kids get a "cone with less mess." Ask if they can put your cone in a bowl for your little one. Trust me!
Other locations to score ice cream include the Cozy Cone Motel in Carsland, Clarabellas in Toontown and, of course, Häagen Dazs in Downtown Disney.
Just can't get enough ice cream? Read on! The star of the show here is the Mickey Ice Cream Bar. These treats are available at numerous carts throughout both Disneyland and California Adventure. You will find these carts open most of the day, but come afternoon or right before one of the parades you can find them in larger numbers.
For people who are serious about their ice cream, the only place to go is the Girardelli shop in the Pacific Wharf area of California Adventure. The ice cream sundaes here are nothing short of amazing! There are so many fantastic options but our "go to" is the Treasure Island Warm Brownie Sundae. The picture above was taken at the Hollywood Blvd. Location but it is the same delicious combination of ice cream, brownie, whip cream and rich hot fudge sauce. It really tasted as good as it looks! The sizes are generous and can easily be split between two. Click here for menu.
Prefer to drink your ice cream you say? Disney has you covered. There are many locations that can whip you up a great milkshake or float.
Our favourite spot for icy goodness is at The Carnation Cafe on Mainstreet USA. This is a table service restaraunt so you will need reservations at peak times but you should definitely either plan ahead or consider it for an afternoon pick me up! It is a great spot for a break to get off your feet in the shade for a cool drink. ( Try the deep fried dill pickles with it --even if you aren't pregnant). Available flavours are chocolate, vanilla or cherry. Price is $6.50 USD. Click here for Carnation Cafe menu.
There are a couple of stand out locations in Disney California Adventure. Above is the vanilla milkshake at Smokejumpers Grill. This is a counter service restaurant so you can sit in the shaded patio or take it to enjoy on the go. Bonus marks here for the generous helping of whip cream on top. Available flavours are chocolate or vanilla and price is $4.69 USD. Click here for Smokejumpers menu.
If you are looking for some refreshment to survive the scorching tarmac of Carsland, then pop into Flo's V8 Cafe for a shake with road gravel. The above picture is the best I could get as my son was trying to drink it as I took the picture. He gave it a big thumbs up. The "road gravel" is a crumbled chocolate cookie topping that reminds me of the cookie part of an Oreo. Flo's is a counter service restaurant so enjoy on the go or check out the fantastic views of Radiator Springs Racers from the tables on the back patio. Available flavours are chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and neapolitan. Prices are $4.69 USD or bump it up to $9.99 USD if you want it in a souvenir glass. Click here for Flo's V8 Cafe menu
Cool drinks for adults only
Adults only cool treat! For one of these super sippers head over to Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar located in the courtyard of the Disneyland Hotel. This is open to all -- not just hotel guests. We absolutely love this great retro-tiki themed bar. You can sit outside by the tiki torches or, our preference, (when we can get a seat) inside. Drinks are big! And get two big thumbs up from the adults in this family. Note: they also have non-alcoholic options and kids are admitted up until 8pm. Pictured is the Krakatoa Punch (my personal favourite) Several drinks are available in very cool ceramic souvenir glasses. Click here for Trader Sam's menu.
Insider tip: when you sit inside and order certain drinks you trigger special effects!
Cup of Ice Water
How is water a treat? Well the last time we were at Disneyland it was 100 degrees fahrenheit (that is 37 celsius) at 10pm. So imagine what that was like in the day. Water was our best friend. We had water bottles but that was soon gone. You can go into any counter service restaurant at Disneyland or Disney California Adventure and ask for a free glass of ice water. We took advantage of this multiple times a day. It was a lifesaver! Free always tastes better--especially when it is that hot!
Saving the best for last
Last but certainly not least on our list is the iconic Dole Whip. This really should be on everyone's must eat list for Disneyland. This legendary treat is only available from the Tiki Juice Bar next to the Enchanted Tiki Room at the entrance to Adventureland. Lines can be long on warm afternoons as everyone flocks to enjoy this taste of the islands. Don't like pineapple? Well you are just wrong. Soft serve bowls are $4.19 USD
Our family is split on which is better, the Dole Whip soft serve or Dole Whip floats.
Dole Whip floats are $5.29USD
Insider Tip: Enter the Tiki Room waiting area for a shorter line and then enjoy your Dole Whip in the beautifully air conditioned Enchanted Tiki Room while you watch the show.
Photos By Jennifer Stuart and Kim Stuart
Thoughts? Do you have a favourite cool treat at Disneyland?
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