With so many options on offer, sometimes it is hard to know which snack to choose when feeling peckish in the parks. You've got the classic staples that you enjoy year after year, as well as seasonal surprises. Hot, cold, sweet, savory, the choices are endless. But when you stop and consider practical criteria, what does constitute the perfect snack on a busy Disney day?
Having already confessed my love of the churro more than a few times, some of you might be concerned that my mind is already made up on this controversial issue. Rest assured, the universe will guide the way as we weigh the pros and cons of what's on offer.
Your snack needs will change throughout the day, so there will never be a simple answer as to the one correct option. But we can apply some simple, logical rules to deduce which is the ultimate winner that can satisfy and meet the needs of a modern-day snack.
To start with, we are canceling out specific park specialties, special edition items, and festival menus. As much as I love these variations on the classics, we can't crown a snack king if it isn't readily available in most parks and locations.
Moving on to the more well-known contenders, the first one may shock you. You might want to take a seat. All ice creams are out. I know. It's like a knife. But, even though they are delicious, they can't qualify for ultimate status when you think about it.
You only want them when it is hot, but when it is hot, they melt, and you get all messy; the ice cream politics are real, and they are sticky. The other problem is that they aren't filling, so you always get something else soon after.
Sorry, Mickey Premium Bars and Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Sandwiches; we love you, but you're out of the running.
Since you are already in a state of shock, let's take this opportunity to rule out a few other fan-favorites. All fifteen of you Turkey Leg lovers out there, I'm sorry, but your go-to snack is out of the race as well. I've already used up my 'sticky' pun, but Turkey Legs are just too messy to hold a chance in the running. That, and eating them isn't the magical photo memory you want to remember the sight of.
I know what you are thinking of next: Dole Whip. It comes in a cup, so not all drippy, and the pineapple freshness is always delightful. But sadly, though it is my preferred cool treat of choice, even the Whip can't keep up. It can't be wrapped up and tucked away in the backpack for later, which crosses it off the ultimate list.
No, this isn't a long-winded affirmation that churros are the superior park treat, although they are incredibly delicious. Sadly, when reflecting on their portability and the mess factor when the sugary goodness that falls from that delicate, crispy shell makes it hard to eat them with dignity, and they can't be stored easily without dusting your entire bag with sugar granules. But that's not all. The churro also can be too hot for some occasions and, once cooled down, loses its crunchy appeal.
So far, we have narrowed down the needs of our snack experience to a concise list of preferences:
- Readily available
- Suitable for all occasions
- Suitable for all weather conditions
- Storable for later in the day
I really do have some of my most prevalent soul-searching moments with you all, as I realize what park snack ticks all of these boxes, and it isn't something I would have expected when I began typing. I am going to have to say this with one eye closed while I take cover.
Can it be? I can't...
I don't buy it; I sort of enjoy its novelty, take a few pictures because I like the carts, and then walk on by. But now, in the harsh light of reality, I can't help but feel like perhaps popcorn is the ultimate Disney snack. Not the best, not the one you dream about for weeks before arriving, but potentially the one that serves the best purpose once inside those gates.
Cheap, easy, refillable buckets (that I know I occasionally make fun of), sharable, storable. Oh no, popcorn IS the ultimate snack.
Tell me it isn't so, my friends. Hit me with your favorite park snack that considers all of the applicable criteria above, and let's see which snack cuisine reigns supreme. Morimoto, that one was for you.