DolewhipsForget the amusements and the characters. When my family travels to Disney, it’s all about the snacks. Okay, maybe not all. But admit it – part of the fun in traveling is getting to try foods you can’t get at home – and the snack foods at Walt Disney World are no exception. While here in the Philly/South Jersey area we snack on soft pretzels and TastyKakes, Disney offers a, well, “whole new world” of snack foods.

Our family created a personal “Top Five” list of our favorite snacks in the “World.” TMom Tip: pack plenty of wet wipes. In the hot Florida sun, these treats have a tendency to get a bit messy. Here’s our countdown:

5. Paw Print Brownie – you can find this yummy, big-enough-to-share brownie at the Kusafiri Coffee hop and Bakery inside the Animal Kingdom. I can feel a sugar headache coming on just reading about this one – a brownie base covered with a layer of chocolate ganache and topped with a thick smear of vanilla butter cream frosting. Just when you think they can’t possibly make this any more decadent, they put dark chocolate shavings in a paw print pattern on top. Like I said, this is one you’ll want to share….but you’ll savor every forkful.

4. The Mickey Premium Bar – probably the most classic snack on our list, but one that our kids ask for as soon as we get past security entering the park. Fortunately, you can find these mouse-shaped ice cream snacks all over the World. Manufactured by Nestle, these closely resemble the chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream bars distributed by your neighborhood ice cream truck. Except, of course, they’re shaped like you-know-who. Not sure why, but that seems to make a “World” of difference.

3. Kaki Gori – oh, yum. I’m starting to salivate just thinking about kaki gori, the best “cool down” treat in Disney. Kaki gori is a heaping cupful of shaved ice (almost snow-like)  that you can only find at the Japan Pavilion in Epcot. Apparently this snack can be traced back over a thousand years, and has in the past been flavored with sweet bean paste. Well, I guess that’s one way to get the kiddies to eat their vegetables! The WDW version is served with your choice of tangerine, honeydew, strawberry or rainbow syrup.

2. Zebra Domes – What’s black and white, but not eaten all over? Zebra domes, of course! These sweet little cakes are served only at Boma and Mara, both in the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but you don’t have to stay there to eat there! These are little round chocolate cakes, covered with mocha mousse then enrobed with vanilla ganache. Then they draw “zebra stripes” of milk chocolate across the ganache. They come four to a serving, which lets you share with your kids. ‘Cuz sharing is good, right?

1. Dole Whip – oh, how can I do a Dole Whip justice? I could tell you they’re like pineapple frozen custards, but that doesn’t begin to capture the sunshiny sweetness in a cup of this ice creamy treat. You can only get these in two places – in Aloha Isle in the Magic Kingdom (in Adventureland) or at Captain Cook’s at the Polynesian Resort.  My personal tip – try going to Captain Cook’s. Lines there are minimal, unlike the Magic Kingdom location. They have indoor tables, which cut down on the meltdown factor. They also give you the cups and let you fill them. Of course, I try to practice restraint, but I’ve seen teenagers make mountains of Whip (and yes, I was jealous).

Your mileage may vary, of course – but you’ll have a delicious time finding your own personal choices!

Disclaimer: My last trip to Disney was the TMom retreat, which was sponsored by Disney. However, I paid for my own Dole Whip – and it was worth every penny.