Our Magic Kingdom culinary tour of delight continues after enjoying(?) a number of items in Part One. That included the Jalapeno Popper Hot Dog and Vegan Loaded-slaw Dog from Casey’s Corner, in addition to a secret menu item that you might actually want to order at Cosmic Ray’s.
This time around, we’ll be focusing on Fantasyland, with stops at Prince Eric’s Village Market and Pinocchio Village Haus, before moving on to see if there’s anything interesting in Adventureland. Since trying 14 items over the span of three hours isn’t enough.
There was a lot of hype over this “Mermaid Donut – Yeast Donut with Purple Icing and Sprinkles topped with White Chocolate Treasures from Ariel’s Grotto” before it finally arrived at Prince Eric’s a couple of weeks ago.
Frankly, I find the whole thing a little morbid. If the donut was based on Prince Eric, I would hate to see half of his bloodied torso stuffed in the donut hole, whether or not it was made out of white chocolate. I get that the donut debuted in August, which is Peak Halloween at Walt Disney World, but still: kids are going to see this and wonder what happened to the other half of the mermaid. Granted, “mermaid biology” is not a path that either of us probably want to go down, but I’m not sure how anyone is going to explain this grotesque scene to their children. On a more positive note, the donut itself is light and airy with a fluffy, pillow-y quality and glazed with a relatively thick layer of vanilla icing and then topped with a generous sprinkling of purple sugar crystals with a couple more white chocolate shells placed on top for good measure. As you might expect, this is one sweet affair, but if you can get past the complete horror show that is the decapitated fin, you’ll be left with a tasty confectionery that’s a relatively good value compared to a lot of other quick service desserts.
Speaking of scary things, how about another round of Walt Disney World outdoor shrimp? That, along with the Witch’s Frozen Brew, were added earlier this week.
Surprisingly, the $7 “Sweet Thai Chili Shrimp – Vegetable Slaw with Ginger Vinaigrette and Poached Shrimp with Salt and Lemon tossed in Chili Mayo and garnished with Black Sesame Seeds” was actually really satisfying.
Five large, plump shrimp grace the bowl around the crunchy, cabbage-heavy slaw that’s covered in a sweet, tangy Ginger Vinaigrette. The Shrimp are covered in a much creamier sauce with just a hint of chili pepper along with a heavy sprinkle of the rich Black Sesame Seeds which are then finished with a squeeze of lemon for a little bit of a citrus zest and and a little pinch of salt to help bring out the flavor of the Shrimp. Most importantly, the Shrimp were perfectly poached, creating a firm, but delicate and juicy couple of bites each. I was prepared for old, tough, rubbery shrimp, but at least so far, that hasn’t been the reality.
On the value front, the quality of the dish approaches most standard Disney table service restaurants. At one of those, a basic Shrimp Cocktail, where you might be served the equivalent of two or three more shrimp than this, would set you back $12-$15.
I recently paid $16 for the above at Flying Fish. Four shrimp. Heck, at Food and Wine, the Spicy Garlic Noodles in China come with exactly two shrimp and cost $6.75. So I think you’re doing pretty well for yourself if you can get over to Prince Eric’s before these inevitably glow away. It’s a really fresh-tasting snack or light meal that’s unlike most of the fried food and bread-heavy items you’ll be served at the various kiosks around Magic Kingdom. One other note: the dish is supposed to arrive with two crispy Shrimp Chips on top that are best dunked into the sauces for a little more flavor and heft.
“But wait, there’s more.”
Here we have the $6.49 “Witch’s Frozen Brew – Minute Maid Frozen Lemonade and Frozen Coca-Cola swirled with Monin Cherry, Granny Smith Apple, Watermelon, and Red Passion Fruit Syrup.” There is a lot going on here and it all involves sugar on top of sugar into a frozen concoction that ends up tasting like sugar. It sort of reminded me of watching that kid you sometimes see at the soda machine that’s filling his cup with a little bit of Sprite, then Fanta, then Coke, then Root Beer, then Mr. Pibb and at the end, finally takes a sip and grimaces because there’s a reason most people aren’t mixing nine different sodas into one cup you silly, silly child. This ends up working a little better than that and perhaps better than it has any right to with the tart quality of the Lemonade and the subtly sweet flavor of the Frozen Coca-Cola evening out all of the sugar from the syrups. But the drink melts in a hurry and you’re left with a colorful, sugary swamp that you may find yourself having problems draining. But it’s an interesting set of flavors for sure. I have no idea if that’s a good thing.
Overall, if you can get past Prince Eric’s sick sense of humor – who poaches the friends of Lobster Mobster and Da Shrimp and serves them in a chili sauce right across from a ship with Ariel attached to the front of it? Actually, the whole scene around here is pretty messed up. But the Shrimp come recommended, the donut is tasty, and the Witch’s Brew is a unique take on the frozen beverage.
Moving right along, we find ourselves out in front of The Pinocchio Village Haus.
Much like Casey’s Corner offers a monthly “Hot Diggity Dog,” Pinocchio offers a monthly flatbread special that is also typically switched out on the fifth day of the month. If Pinocchio is known to tell the occasional fib, it would be funny if every description on the menu was a lie and the flatbreads were actually hamburgers and those ordering pasta ended up with tacos. But only some of the time. Then there would be a Pinocchio animatronic behind the ordering area and whenever someone was served the completely wrong thing, his nose would grow.
This is the current $12 Flatbread of the Month with “Sausage Gravy, Four-Cheese Blend, Bacon Bits and Scrambled Eggs.”
It’s basically a breakfast flatbread, which makes some amount of sense, even if Village Haus doesn’t open its doors until 11am. The toppings are hearty and flavorful – most people like scrambled eggs, cheese, and bacon, but the advertised “Sausage Gravy” is nowhere to be found, leaving just a very dry, very bland, very dough-y layer of flatbread underneath. If the gravy was present, I think it would be a winner and even served as is, it tastes pretty good.
Just keep in mind that there may not be any gravy and you’ll probably come away with far fewer pieces of scrambled egg than the menu implies. Maybe somewhere Pinocchio’s nose really is growing.
Back in March, as part of this wide-ranging quick service menu update, the website reviewed the $4.79 “Italian Cream Cake – Decadent layers of Pecan Cake Crumbles and Butter Cream Icing” poorly. I said, “There was nothing decadent about it – the cake ‘felt’ like it was somehow made of thousands of tiny grains – like someone had smashed a slice of cake with their fists and then swept it into the cup. The icing was hard and it was served cold. Another easy skip, I think.”
After hearing some positive words about it, and wanting to see the dessert with the Jiminy Cricket chocolate topper with my own eyes, we returned to it this past Wednesday. And it was a lot better than my first encounter, though the ratio of icing to cake seemed to be off with at least an inch of thick, sweet icing followed by a thin layer of crumbles, then another inch of icing, a few more crumbles, and even more icing. But the cake had a really nice spice to it mixed in with some candied fruit and the toasted, lightly-browned coconut on top added a little bit of a nutty, roasted quality. At almost five dollars, it seems like there are some better desserts available elsewhere, but this is so sweet and so rich that I could see four people each enjoying a couple of bites of it. But it’s 75% icing.
Village Haus was also advertising a Mine Train Souvenir Mug.
Keep in mind that it’s in no way refillable at the theme parks or resorts.
One other tip: you can ask to have your beverage of choice served in a separate cup, which is typically smart.
First, your cup obviously won’t be sticky for the duration of your visit.
Second, these cups don’t hold a lot of liquid. You’ll typically come away with a lot more fountain drink/slush in a regular cup.
Moving over to Adventureland, Tortuga Tavern is the name of the quick service across from Pirates of the Caribbean.
They’ve served all sorts of things over the years, but you’ll currently find the above, which includes the Turkey Leg and Pepper Jack Pretzel, in addition to the two pictured entrees that you probably don’t want.
This time around, we’re after the $4 Rum Cake.
Sometimes you need a big lens to take a picture of a little dessert.
The cake is small, but dense, with a healthy amount of spice and cinnamon. The glaze is mostly sweet caramel with some butter-rum flavor and vanilla. I’m not sure I would go out of my way to order one, since you probably won’t want to stop here for a serious meal, but it’s one of the more-interesting quick service desserts available and probably the best of the bunch that we tried as part of this review series.
That’s what’s going on at Magic Kingdom on the fast food front. We’ll get back to some touring strategy with the second part of our Frontierland rope drop coverage. The first part of that is located here in case you’d like a refresher.