As one might expect, Disney offers a flurry of special treats at Magic Kingdom for the holiday season. In this review, we’ll consider more than a dozen of them, many of which are available all day, and a few that are exclusive to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. We’ll begin on Main Street with a couple of all-day treats available from Main Street Bakery Starbucks, and then move over to Adventureland in a clockwise fashion as we move about the Park. At the end, I’ll break things down into some clear recommendations.
Main Street Bakery is home to two limited-time, all-day treats, the first of which is this $6.49 Holiday Cinnamon Roll. A similar version is available all-year, with a variety of different icing colors and chocolate toppers. Here, the red and green icing is a festive choice and the chocolate Mickey Ears Santa Hat on top of the Mickey Ears Cinnamon Roll is all the proof that you need that you didn’t accidentally spend your holiday at Universal (again). The Cinnamon Roll enjoys a nice, fluffy pull-apart quality with tender pastry and plenty of cinnamon underneath a lightly-crispy exterior that’s made a little crunchier with the layers of sweet sugary icing. Ours tasted fairly fresh, though there’s very little chance that these aren’t defrosted and then baked throughout the day. For the money, it’s a large, shareable treat that pairs nicely with a variety of beverages available at Starbucks.
The $6.99 “Olaf Frozen Hot Chocolate Cake” is your other holiday exclusive. This “gluten-friendly chocolate cake layered with chocolate crispy pearls, chocolate panna cotta, and marshmallow fluff” tasted largely of very sweet icing, with a thick layer of very-dyed vanilla frostin,g on top of icing-esque vanilla marshmallow fluff, on top of another layer of thick chocolate icing. The cake layer, perhaps due to its lack of gluten, is granular and crumby; it does a lackluster job of providing a base for everything that’s piled on top.
On the plus side, the marshmallow Olaf is incredibly precious with his chocolate hands, marshmallow body, and chocolate face as he’s surrounded by sugary fall leaves in colors that we don’t typically see here in sunny Florida. For seven bucks, you’re largely paying for the confectioner’s showmanship rather than the flavor of the dessert itself. Those who like a lot of icing, a lot of marshmallow, a lot of sugar, and an appreciable number of Instagram likes are in business though.
Main Street Bakery Starbucks does typically see long lines ,and there is no way to mobile order the pastries and desserts, which means you may be waiting a bit for your goodies. After placing your order, you’ll then need to wait with everyone else hoping that their name is about to be read off the side of a coffee cup. Because of that, I’d recommend one of these much more highly if you’re going to be ordering Starbucks drinks to go alongside them, or you visit during the middle of the day when lines are typically shorter.
Moving on, we have what is probably the most skippable dessert in this $4.29 holiday brownie from Casey’s Corner. The rudimentary offering is your basic store-bought brownie mix with a thick layer of generic buttercream frosting and a sprinkle of snowflake….sprinkles on top. If a basic fudge brownie is what you’re after, then this will certainly do the trick, but you’ll have to wait in line for it as it’s not available via mobile order. You could very easily go home and bake a tray of Betty Crocker Brownies in the amount of time that it would take to wait for and order one of these things on a Saturday afternoon in December.
If you can’t make it for the winter holidays, then never fear, because you’ll see a similar Brownie available all year. And if there aren’t any seasonal flourishes available, the baseball brownie is always up to bat, ready to strike out.
Fortunately, we’re out of the woods on the generic-treat-front, as we head into Adventureland for Sunshine Tree Terrace across from Swiss Family Treehouse. The $5.99 “Orange Bird Christmas – Orange-scented White-Chocolate Mousse filled with Orange Curd and a Candied Orange Peel on top of a Citrus Almond Cream” is exclusive to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
I was expecting this to be reminiscent of those Terry’s Chocolate Oranges that I don’t think anybody actually wants to find at the bottom of their Christmas stocking, and the flavor largely resembled that citrus-forward chocolate bite. What Disney describes as “White-Chocolate Mousse” is surprisingly hard and it may take some work to crack the delicious chocolate shell.
Inside, you’ll find quite a bit of thick, creamy, almost custard-like orange curd, which carries a little bit of a tang that pairs nicely with the rich chocolate. Orange Bird, in his Santa Hat, is adorable on top. Underneath, you’ve got a layer of forgettable almond cream cake, but it does provide a nice base so that your orange ball doesn’t roll away.
Overall, I thought Orange Bird married style and flavor nicely, making for a dessert that’s a bargain for less than two dollars more than that Brownie from Casey’s Corner. The big downside is that it’s only available during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, where you may prefer to enjoy the complimentary treats over paying even more for another dessert. Cutesey pictures of the items are also a little more difficult in the dark.
Overall, this is in my top three holiday treats for the season on price, quality, and uniqueness.
Moving right along, the $5.99 “Cherry and Pistachio Float – Cherry and Pistachio flavored Soft-serve swirled together served on top of Cold Hot Chocolate” is available all-day from Aloha Isle, to the right of Enchanted Tiki Room.
Like most things cherry-flavored, the soft serve tastes like artificial cough syrup, and unfortunately, it’s that flavor which overpowers what little nuttiness comes through from the slightly-less-artificial bright green pistachio soft serve. “Cold Hot Chocolate” doesn’t make a tremendous amount of sense, but we probably all know what they’re getting at with it, in addition to it completing the spumoni trifecta. “Cold” ends up being a bit of an understatement as it’s basically like a Slurpie on the bottom with a rich, velvety hot chocolate flavor. While the trio of flavors is an Italian favorite, the artificial, tart cherry ends up overpowering everything on a dessert that some people will love, but most will probably hate. You might try adding one to an order and passing it around before committing to more. After the initial couple of sips, I was the only one interested in having any more of it.
During Mickey’s Christmas Party, the $6.99 “Kakamora Float – Coconut Soft-serve on top of Pineapple Juice with Blue Curacao Syrup and garnished with a Chocolate Kakamora Cake Pop” is also available.
The Kakamora are, of course, the little coconut pirates from Moana, represented here by a chocolate cake pop that wasn’t quite as decipherable in the dark as the menu picture would indicate.
Kinda, sorta, maybe. We’ll give the chocolate piece a pass as the coconut soft serve here is creamy, luscious, and delicious with a rich pina colada vibe. The cake inside the pop was also surprisingly rich and chocolaty. I’d probably recommend this on a warmer evening, or earlier in the event when temperatures are a little higher, as the tropical flavor is incredibly refreshing. That may be less true if it’s 47 degrees out.
The tropical flavors of the non-alcoholic Blue Curacao Syrup, mixed with the sugary sweetness of the pineapple juice, mixes really nicely with the firm soft serve. Hey, if hot chocolate can be cold then soft serve can be firm. The point is that the ice cream is nice and thick, which allows it to hold up nicely against the juices. This is probably my favorite of any of the various soft serve combinations that have been on the rise in recent memory. It’s also a large portion for the money.
Pecos Bill offers two items currently exclusive to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
You’ll have to excuse the quality of a few of these photos as I neglected to bring my flash to the Christmas Party.
First up, we’ve got the $6 “Sven’s Carrot Cake – Carrot Cake topped with Cream Cheese Icing, Sugar Carrots, and a Sven Chocolate Piece.”
Easily the most precious part of the dessert is that Sugar Carrot piece, which is holding up the Chocolate Sven towards the back of the cake. This may be the sweetest Carrot Cake that I’ve ever eaten – the carrot-heavy cake itself was more like crunchy sugar than cake, and it’s about half icing, which increases the sugar content further.
I like carrot cake pretty well, but this was more sugar overload and not something that I would necessarily seek out, particularly with it being served in these small trays.
Another Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party exclusive, we’ve got the $12 “Jolly Tamale Christmas – Three House-made Tamales filled with Shredded Chicken and a trip to the Fixings Bar.” The Tamales were on the soft and mushy side with filling that was incredibly bland, almost like the chicken that hadn’t been seasoned at all. By visiting the Fixings Bar and loading up on Sour Cream, Shredded Cheese, Salsa, and more, you can salvage something edible here, but at 12 bucks for three small Tamales and no side, I think I’d stick with the regular Tacos, Fajitas, etc. available here. Pecos Bill is a lot less crowded than Cosmic Ray’s, which is the other major quick service open during the Christmas Party. That fact may lead you over to Frontierland instead of waiting much longer for something at Cosmic Ray’s.
Moving on to Liberty Square, we come across Sleepy Hollow Refreshments’ $7.79 “Santa Mickey Waffle Sundae – Red Velvet Waffle served with Mint Chocolate-Chip Ice Cream, Seasonal Sprinkles, Chocolate Sauce, and Peppermint Powder.” This is available all-day.
We didn’t have much luck with this.
Our Waffle was burnt to a crisp with a flavor of char and food coloring. Your standard scoop of Edy’s/Dreyer’s Mint-Chocolate Chip Ice Cream obscures what I’m assuming is Santa Mickey imprinted underneath. The presentation and quality were unfortunate considering we visited a couple of days after these items debuted. You’d think that they would have the waffle press timing down to a science and also scoop the ice cream off to the side of the waffle. In practice, an off-kilter scoop may lead to more ice cream perilously falling off people’s plates. Overall, for almost eight dollars, the novelty factor isn’t necessarily there and you do run a big risk of coming away with a burnt waffle. Maybe all of the red food coloring doesn’t cook evenly or something.
Our soft-serve adventure continues at Storybook Treats in Fantasyland, across from Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
We add the $6.49 “Gingerbread Sundae – Gingerbread Soft-serve Sundae topped with Whipped Cream and Speculaas Biscuit pieces served in a Minnie Dot Boat with a Minnie Waffle Wafer Topper,” which is available all-day. This was my favorite of the all-day desserts, with rich, creamy soft serve that tastes remarkably like gingerbread cookies. The Dutch Speculaas Biscuit pieces, along with an unadvertised drizzle of caramel sauce, combine for a deliciously sweet, spicy mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and brown sugar. The Wafer Cookie is an afterthought, but you might use it to add a little bit of a malty flavor to a couple of bites. Everyone really enjoyed this.
Back at Gaston’s Tavern, you’ll find the $5.49 “Gaston’s Cheese Dipper – A Beer-Cheese Dip with Smoked Bacon Bits mixed in served with Breadstick Antlers” only during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
This was one of the most egregious items that we’ve been served in some time.
The two antler-themed breadsticks are cute, but they total about six bites of soft, stale bread that’s somehow chewier the farther into it you get, before you end up at a strip of bread in the center that resembles more of a tire iron. There’s no bacon bits to speak of in the viscous, paste-like “Beer-Cheese Sauce” that tasted like it had been whipped up in a lab using all non-food ingredients. If that’s true, and all they had on hand was formaldehyde and bath salts, then they did an admirable job. You still don’t want to eat it.
These Snowmen Soft Pretzels are complimentary at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Tortuga Tavern in Adventureland and at the Snack Cart in the back of Storybook Circus. They taste better than the Breadsticks at Gaston’s and they don’t cost anything additional. If for some reason you have to have Gaston’s Cheese Dipper, then you might bring a couple of the Pretzels over with you to dip in the excess cheese. There will be a lot of it.
Over at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies, you’ll find two holiday treats, both served all day.
$8 buys you this aptly-named Christmas Cookie Milkshake, which is made with a lot of blended Cookie Butter Ice Cream. In past years, this has basically tasted like your standard Vanilla Shake, but the Cookie Butter comes through this year, for a creamy, nuanced cookie flavor that’s made all the more delicious by the fluffy Whipped Marshmallow Cream.
The Mickey Marshmallow is always fun, but typically just a little chewy, and almost always completely flavorless. It probably doesn’t matter. The Milkshake ends up being sweet, without being cloying, and is thick enough to be satisfying without being impossible to drink. At eight dollars, it’s a little on the expensive side, but it’s portable, shareable, and very tasty.
The $6.49 Christmas Cookie Sundae is similar, this time with a lot of the same Cookie Butter Soft Serve creating a sweet, creamy base for a lot of fluffy Whipped Cream and some festive holiday sprinkles, in addition to the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party chocolate piece, which suffers from that thin layer of “edible” paper that will peel away from the chocolate if you do so much as look at it wrong. While this is good too, we preferred the whipped version in the Milkshake, where you also come away with a lot more of the Soft Serve. The Sundae is a better choice for the spoon crowd, particularly if you’re not into the Gingerbread Soft Serve from Storybook Treats. After all of these sweet treats, I don’t have any teeth, so I’m all about the Shakes.
Just about rounding things out, Cosmic Ray’s adds a $9 Deck the Halls drink, which consists of “Frozen Eggnog and Confetti Sprinkles topped with Whipped Cream and a Chocolate Christmas Bulb.”
This Eggnog Shake is one of the richest, heaviest beverages that I’ve ever come into contact with, as Disney has taken one of the most calorically-dense liquids known to man and frozen it, in turn making it even thicker. I love Egg Nog myself, and would drink it all the time if I couldn’t feel it physically sticking to my organs with each passing sip, in turn washing away all of the scotch that should be there. You could very easily share this among four or five people and I think you’d be perfectly satisfied. The Whipped Cream helps cut a little bit of the thickness of the Shake and the Sprinkles introduce even more sugar, along with a little bit of a textural contrast. The Chocolate Christmas Bulb is milk chocolate all the way through. You might take a nibble from time to time to help cut the richness of the Nog. Overall, fans of Egg Nog should thoroughly enjoy this, but try to find a couple of like-minded friends. It’s a serious undertaking.
We are skipping two items, both of which are exclusive to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The first is a $13 Turkey Sandwich from Cosmic Ray’s that you probably don’t want to wait in line to order. This is the scene at 7:20pm on a Party night that wasn’t close to selling out. I’d suggest eating meal before the event begins.
The second item is the $7 “To Be Jolly Float – Minnie Mouse-inspired Peppermint Iced Coffee and Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Crushed Peppermint and a Minnie Mouse Chocolate Bow,” which is available from Plaza Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street. It doesn’t look to be particularly inspired based on other reviews.
We’ll put the various options into a Tier List, keeping in mind that your personal tastes may be different, and you may have better or worse luck with the execution of any given item. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party exclusives are marked MVMCP. The rankings are based on quality, uniqueness, and overall value.
- $7 Aloha Isle Kakamora Float (MVMCP)
- $6.49 Storybook Treats Gingerbread Sundae
- $6 Sunshine Tree Terrace Orange Bird Christmas (MVMCP)
- $8 Auntie Gravity’s Christmas Cookie Milkshake
- $6.49 Auntie Gravity’s Christmas Cookie Sundae
- $6.49 Main Street Bakery Cinnamon Roll
- $9 Cosmic Ray’s Deck the Hall’s Eggnog Shake
- $7.79 Sleepy Hollow Refreshments Santa Mickey Waffle Sundae
- $6 Aloha Isle Cherry and Pistachio Float
- $7 Main Street Bakery Olaf Frozen Hot Chocolate Cake
- $6 Pecos Bill Sven’s Carrot Cake (MVMCP)
- $12 Pecos Bill Jolly Tamale Christmas (MVMCP)
- $4.29 Casey’s Corner Holiday Brownie
- $5.49 Gaston’s Tavern Gaston’s Cheese Dipper (MVMCP)
That’s a pretty decent selection of higher tier items, with the potential that you’ll enjoy some of the other treats as well.
We may take a look at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party as a whole.