Face it, if you are visiting Walt Disney World, it is usually warm enough that you’ll want to cool off with a delicious ice cream treat. Thankfully, at Disney, there are no shortages of fantastic ice cream treats. And you don’t even need a reservation! Here are the top eight quick service ice cream spots and treats at Walt Disney World.
7 – I.C. Expeditions, Blizzard Beach
Best Treat: Sand Pail (Chocolate and Vanilla Soft-serve Ice Cream, Waffle Pieces, Sprinkles, Cookie Pieces, Hot Fudge, Caramel Sauce, Whipped Cream and a Cherry)
True story. On a hot summer day, my kids and I waited patiently in a twenty-minute line to get ice cream from I.C. Expeditions. After finally receiving our ice cream cones, we walked back to our chairs. Unfortunately, as we walked a bug decided to drop into my daughter’s ice cream. She, of course, was disappointed because she didn’t want to eat ice cream that had been tainted by a bug. At that very moment, a Disney Cast Member observed the bug ridden ice cream. He said to wait there, and he would take care of it. I was very surprised because it never occurred to me that Disney should replace the ice cream cone. He surprised me, even more, when he returned with the Sand Pail full of delicious ice cream, which was double the cost of the cone. We all thanked him for his generosity, and the 4 of us devoured the Sand Pail. Another reason we love Disney!
6 – Hollywood Scoops, Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood Studios
Best Treat: Apple Crisp a la Mode (Cinnamon Apple topped with Old-fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream, Caramel Sauce, and Streusel)
Located on the Sunset Boulevard food area closest to Tower of Terror, Hollywood scoops is the best spot for ice cream in Hollywood studios. Sure, you can get a cone but why would you when you could have Apple Crisp a la Mode. Warm apples with two scoops vanilla and a crumb topping. It’s a delicious treat and a pretty good value. Be aware, so you aren’t disappointed, it’s not really a slice of apple crisp. It’s a scoop of apple pie filling. But it’s still a sweey treat that isn’t like every other ice cream option around the parks.
5 – Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, Main Street, U.S.A., Magic Kingdom
Best Treat: Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich (two freshly made chocolate chip cookies served with your choice with your choice of hand-scooped ice cream).
Ideally located on Main Street, U.S.A, the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor is a great spot to pick up a treat while you are waiting for a parade or the fireworks to begin. Thankfully, they’ve also added a fan favorite to their menu, the ice cream cookie sandwich. Previously, you had to stop at the Parlor’s neighbor, Main Street Bakery, to get the famous cookie sensation. However, with the transformation of Main Street into a Starbucks location, the cookie sandwich was dropped from the Bakery menu. Other treats include classics such as hot fudge sundaes and root beer floats.
4 – L’Artisan des Glaces Sorbet and Ice Cream Shop, World Showcase-France, Epcot
Best Treat: Croque Glace (Your choice of ice cream in a warm brioche with chocolate or raspberry sauce)
This ice cream parlor is tucked away toward the back of the France pavilion in Epcot. It is a relatively recent addition (replacing the bakery which moved to larger quarters) to the park. High marks here for being unique. They offer a variety of flavors beyond the big 3 along with some ice cream specialties such as the Croque Glace. This is the best looking ice cream sandwich I’ve ever seen. With your choice of 16 flavors of ice cream and chocolate or raspberry sauce, it’s likely to be the best tasting as well.
3 – Aloha Isle, Adventureland, Magic Kingdom
Best Treat: Dole Whip (Dole® Pineapple Juice with Pineapple Dole® Whip)
Dole Whip is so famous it has its own merchandise. This iconic treat is delicious! My favorite is when it has vanilla ice cream swirled it. The combination of tangy and sweet is perfect for a hot day! This restaurant can get really busy with an extra long line during the hot summer months. Use the Mobile Ordering feature on the My Disney Experience App and save yourself a lot of time!
Tip: you can purchase Dole Whip at many other locations. Click here to find out where.
2 – Beaches & Cream Soda Shop, Beach Club Resort
Best Treat: The Kitchen Sink-Serves 4 (Scoops of Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Coffee, and Mint Chocolate Chip smothered in every topping)
Beaches & Cream Soda Shop is definitely worth a short detour from Epcot. Just off the pool at the Beach Club Resort, it’s an easy walk from the International Gateway entrance off of World Showcase. While table service is available (think 50’s diner) there is also a quick service ice cream counter. Beaches and Cream restaurant is famous for “The Kitchen Sink” featuring multiple scoops of Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Coffee, and Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream smothered in every topping they have and serves at least four. While this is only available inside in the table service area, they have a smaller version of it on the counter service side.
1 – Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop, Disney Springs
Best Treat: The Treasure Island Warm Brownie Sundae …and everything else!
A must for any serious ice cream lover is a stop at Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop at Disney Springs. There are a lot of choices and the atmosphere is reminiscent of an old time soda fountain. The staff behind the counter makes it a fun experience as well. On our last trip, one of the cast members scooped and tossed it to his partner who caught the scoops in the cups. It was impressive (until one scoop got away from them and landed somewhere back in the kitchen). Most importantly, the ice cream is flat out great.
Tip: If you’re a serious chocolate lover, and I mean seriously, you need to trying the hot drinking chocolate. This isn’t hot chocolate. It’s literally a shot of thick, rich chocolate. A little goes a long way, so it’s best to share.
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