For those of you who don't know me personally, it's TMI time. In real life I can be a calorie commando. After being heavy my entire life, I went on a serious diet four years ago, and dropped a significant amount of weight. I've worked hard ever since to keep it off. Except when I'm at Walt Disney World.
Some people claim that calories don't count at WDW. Others claim that you walk enough to burn off any extra calories you may consume. Both are wishful thinking. The average person burns about 100 calories per mile walked. That means in an typical day at WDW, you probably won't walk enough to even burn off one of those gargantuan turkey legs that are so prevalent in the Disney parks.
That said, when I'm on vacation, I like to splurge. If I have to pay for it later, so be it. And some treats at WDW are so worth it. Here, in no particular order, are some of those for which I will throw away all caloric concerns:
Ger’s Bread & Butter Pudding (Raglan Road, Downtown Disney) – I’ve probably never met a bread pudding I didn’t like. But the butterscotch sauce that comes with this one really puts it over the top!
Carrot Cake Cookies (Writers Stop, DHS) – Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting made in a convenient cookie form. Sheer genius.
Tonga Toast (Kona Cafe, Polynesian Resort) – French toast stuffed with banana and rolled in cinnamon sugar. Is it any wonder that this is a Disney classic?
Grapefruit Cake (Brown Derby, DHS) -- Don’t be put off by the name; there’s nothing healthy about this cake. And the slight citrus tang marries beautifully with the richness of the cream cheese frosting. But then, put cream cheese frosting on nearly anything and I’ll love it!
No way Jose (Beaches and Cream, Beach Club Resort) -- Beaches and Cream is best know for its monstrously huge Kitchen Sink, but that one is not worth the calories to me. Eight flavors of ice cream buried beneath every topping imaginable (how can mint chip ice cream and pineapple topping taste good together?), brownies, angel food cake, and an entire can of whipped cream is just not something that appeals to me. The No Way Jose is another story, however. A peanut butter and hot fudge delight featuring chocolate and vanilla ice cream, peanut butter and chocolate morsels, whipped cream and a cherry; yes, please!
Dole Whip (Aloha Isle, Magic Kingdom) – This may be your best calorie option on this list. Luscious and creamy, this pineapple soft-served ice cream is fat free and extremely yummy!
Zebra Domes (Boma, Animal Kingdom Lodge) Small bites of yellow sponge cake, topped with a Kahlua chocolate mousse and covered in white and dark chocolate; what’s not to love?
White Chocolate Cheesecake (Narcoossee’s, Grand Floridian) – This one is sadly no longer on their menu, but I still make it at home because it was so fabulous! It’s a crustless white chocolate cheesecake in a Grand Marnier glaze and is rich enough to satisfy even my sweet tooth.
Key Lime Tart with Mango and Raspberry Sauce (Olivia’s, Old Key West) In much the same way that I can’t resist cream cheese frosting, if you slap the words “key lime” onto just about any recipe, I’ll probably eat it. And where better than at Old Key West?
The Earl’s Brownie Crème (Earl of Sandwich, Downtown Disney) – As if I didn’t love this restaurant enough already, now they have this scrumptious concoction. It’s a circular brownie loaded with rich chocolate chunks, sliced in half and filled with a heavenly vanilla cream frosting. Who could ask for anything more?
Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches (Main Street Bakery, Magic Kingdom) – This is an honorable mention on behalf of my husband. He just loves ‘em.
Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup (Le Cellier, Epcot) -- Who says all treats have to be sweet? Rich and creamy, loaded with cheese, beer and bacon, this rich calorie bomb ranks very highly on my “worth it” meter.
Grand Marnier Slush and Fiesta Margarita (Epcot) – Any diet plan in the world will tell you that alcoholic beverages are “empty calories”. I say they’d change their tune if they gave these a try.
Now that you know my guilty pleasures, please share yours over at www.facebook.com/disneygene. I may want to give them a try!