Churros and ice cream and turkey legs and corn dogs! When it comes to recreating the dishes from Disney, the point isn’t really the food — the point is the feeling of nostalgia and magic and childhood that’s stirred up by the food. The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook will transport you there, with 100 Disney-inspired items like the iconic Dole Whip (for me, the most indelible of Disney food memories,) Mickey Pretzels and Peter Pan Floats, to new favorites like Blue Milk from Star Wars land and Jack Jack’s Cookie Num Nums from Pixar Pier.
You may not have been able to make it to a theme park this year, but you can get a sense of traveling through the various Disney parks by the way the cookbook is organized. Each chapter represents a different park, with recipes based on the food you’d find there. From the Magic Kingdom, there is Adventureland’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake; a Tarte aux Fraises from Epcot’s France pavilion and Baklava from its Morocco section; or Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse from Pandora — the world of Avatar, in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
If it sounds heavy on the sweets, it is. Because those are super fun. But there are also savory snacks and kid-friendly eats like Mr. Kamal’s Seasoned Fries (Animal Kingdom) or Bengal Beef Skewers (Adventureland.)
The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook is the brainchild of Disney aficionado Ashley Craft, who had been creating Disney-inspired recipes for her blog Ashley Crafted before compiling them for this cookbook. Ashley grew up in Anaheim CA, home of Disneyland, interned twice at the theme park, and says that as a child she “fell asleep to the sound of Disneyland fireworks each night in her bedroom.”
Dole Whip is arguably the number one cult-classic favorite treat of all time at Disney Parks.