REVIEW: Delicious Disney Cookbook Offers the Best Disney World Recipes

by | Mar 7, 2022 | WDW Blog, WDW Food, WDW News

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We tried the new Delicious Disney cookbook, which offers up some of the best Disney World recipes you’ll find on Disney Property. Here’s what we thought of the book and the dishes.

Although I would like to try every restaurant at Walt Disney World, it seems a little unrealistic. I know that many Disney fans can relate to wanting to eat all of the food offered at Disney World, but lots of factors oppose this toothsome ambition. Whether it’s limited time, limited funds, or picky eaters in your party, there are a lot of foods at Disney World that you might not get to try

Never fear: You can try (almost) all of the signature dishes and drinks offered at Walt Disney World Resort. You’ll just have to eat some of it in your own kitchen.

For Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, Disney Editions released a cookbook featuring fan-favorite recipes from Walt Disney World, past and present. Delicious Disney: Walt Disney World: Recipes & Stories from The Most Magical Place on Earth features more than 60 recipes, behind-the-scene anecdotes, and stunning photos that will prove that Chef Gusteau was right: Anyone really can cook!

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Remy plates up his ratatouille. Screenshot: Disney

Meet The Authors of The Delicious Disney Cookbook

The credited authors of this cookbook are Pam Brandon, Marcy Carriker Smothers, and the Disney Chefs

Pam Brandon has built an impressive career with The Walt Disney Company. She started in 1987 as a senior publicist with Walt Disney World Press and Publicity. She has worked on PR food and beverage projects for Disney Parks around the globe and was the first food writer for Disney Parks Blog. She has authored 21 Disney cookbooks, including this one.

Marcy Carriker Smothers is a passionate Disney fan. She is the author of Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food, which was a New York Times New and Noteworthy selection in 2018. She is a reputable foodie and radio personality. She’s hosted The Food Guy and Marcy Show with the Food Network’s Guy Fieri. 

Old Disney World Recipes 

As I mentioned, Delicious Disney: Walt Disney World: Recipes & Stories from The Most Magical Place on Earth features Disney World recipes that are currently being served at The Most Magical Place on Earth, but there is also a section that is dedicated to reliving (or should I say restasting?) the favorite Disney World recipes of yesteryear.

The “Gone But Not Forgotten” section features the first collection of recipes from dining locations that no longer exist. This section features a recipe from 1971 for French Fried Ice Cream that was served at The Golf Resort, a Beef Barley Soup from King Stefan’s Royal Banquet Hall, and many more.

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French Fried Ice Cream at the Golf Resort of Walt Disney World. Photo by Alessandra Sferlazza

What I love about the “Gone But Not Forgotten” section is that there are vintage photos and menus included that really add to the feel of the early days of Walt Disney World.

All of the other recipes outside of this section are from dining locations around Walt Disney World that are fully operating. Each recipe includes 2-4 sentences that introduce the dish, why it is unique, and what dining location it is served at. The recipes are also paired with high-quality, “final product” and restaurant photos. As a visual learner, and a less than talented chef, I found this to be incredibly helpful inclusion. 

Trying Out Some Delicious Disney Recipes

I tried three recipes from this cookbook: Lobster Bisque from Coral Reef Restaurant, Gambas Al Ajillo from Jaleo by José Andrés, and the Frozen Pineapple Treat Inspired by Dole Whip. Here is how it went:

Lobster Bisque 

The first recipe I tried was the Lobster Bisque from Coral Reef Restaurant. Each recipe shares a fun fact or story about the restaurant from which the recipe is from. From this recipe, I learned that Coral Reef Restaurant has one of the world’s largest saltwater aquariums.

The blurb also assured me that none of the tank’s creatures are served on the menu. What a relief. 

Lobster Bisque sounded like a fairly intimidating dish for me. I followed the recipe exactly as it was written, and I started to worry because the color of my soup differed from what was photographed in the book.

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The color was a little off. But as soon as I added the lobster meat, the color matched the cookbook photo. Photo by Alessandra Sferlazza

As soon as I added the lobster meat, the color matched the cookbook photo, and my faith in myself was restored.

Once it was finished, I was shocked. It was easily the best thing I have ever cooked on my own, and I think the book is worth getting purely for this recipe. 

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The finished Lobster Bisque. Photo by Alessandra Sferlazza

Gambas Al Ajillo

The second recipe I tried was Gambas Al Ajillo from Jaleo by José Andrés. This is another restaurant that I have never dined at.

The Delicious Disney cookbook includes a photo of the restaurant, and the blurb notes that the architecture of this dining location is adorned with red and yellow accents. These additions were made to celebrate the Spanish flag, which is the home country of Chef José Andrés.

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Pro Tip: Keep your brand-new cookbook away from the splattering oil. Photo by Alessandra Sferlazza

This was another recipe that I thought would be tricky to follow, but I was able to cook this dish with ease. It was incredibly delicious, and it made me add Jaleo by José Andrés to my “to-try” list for the next time I visit Walt Disney World. 

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OK, I burned it just a little while taking photos … Photo by Alessandra Sferlazza

The recipe even suggested that we have crusty bread handy, as we would want to soak up all the sauce with it. The recipe was right, and and we did do that! 

Frozen Pineapple Treat Inspired by Dole Whip

The final recipe I tried was the Frozen Pineapple Treat Inspired by Dole Whip. I think that this imitation recipe was as close as I could get to a Dole Whip without having to purchase my very own soft-serve machine.

It was also the easiest of the three recipes that I tried as it only required three ingredients and a blender. 

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Learn to make Dole Whip at home with the Delicious Disney cookbook. Photo by Alessandra Sferlazza

Review: Delicious Disney Cookbook

I have now tried three recipes from this cookbook. Two of the recipes were from dining locations that I have never experienced before. When I made the Lobster Bisque recipe from EPCOT’s Coral Reef Restaurant, my mom said, “We need to go to order this the next time we go to Disney!” 

This book is not only providing us with fun at home, but it is also giving us something new to look forward to when we visit the parks next. It will be fun to try a dish in the actual Disney restaurants that we made to see just how well we followed the recipe at home. 

I really enjoy cooking, but it does not come naturally to me like it does for some of my friends. The recipes that I chose in this cookbook were incredibly straight forward and easy to follow.

Conversely, I purchased another cookbook written by a reputable chef and I found the instructions difficult to follow, as they were too wordy and used industry terms. The layout, recipes, and cooking instructions in Delicious Disney: Walt Disney World: Recipes & Stories from The Most Magical Place on Earth make it easy for even the most inexperienced cooks to follow along. 

This book is now available for pre-order and costs $35 USD and $44 CAD. 

You can expect to receive your copy in April 2022. Although it is currently unavailable on shopDisney, I have a hunch that it will be there once it is no longer being sold as a pre-order purchase. 

Canadian readers can pre-order their copy from Indigo, and can expect to get their copy in early April 2022. 

Written by Alessandra Sferlazza

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Aly is the Social Media Coordinator for WDW Magazine as well as a contributing writer. For the past five years, she has worked with The Walt Disney Company and completed her BA, B.Ed, and a certificate in Journalism. Aly loves spending every second she can at Disney World with her best friends and family. Follow Aly on Instagram
Alessandra Sferlazza

Written by Alessandra Sferlazza

Aly is the Social Media Coordinator for WDW Magazine as well as a contributing writer. For the past five years, she has worked with The Walt Disney Company and completed her BA, B.Ed, and a certificate in Journalism. Aly loves spending every second she can at Disney World with her best friends and family. Follow Aly on Instagram