You won't be hard-pressed to find great chocolate on your Walt Disney World vacation. While Disney may not have Wonka's chocolate river, the Mouse does have some of the greatest chocolate shops on the planet. Here are a few of our favorites.
Ghirardelli Soda Fountain – Downtown Disney
For a cocoa lover, visiting Disney World and not stopping by Ghiradelli's Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop is akin to visiting Rome and skipping the Vatican. Because, let's face it: Ghiradelli isn't just one of the best chocolate shops at Walt Disney World. Ghiradelli is one of the best chocolatiers in the real world, too. The good stuff comes in many forms at this magical shop: soft brownies, rich fudge, chocolate ice cream, and chunky chocolate chip cookies. Don't forget to pick up a few gifts for people back home. We recommend the assortment box, which allows you to compile the perfect selection of chocolates by selecting only your favorites.
World Showcase – Epcot
While Ghiradelli may be Disney World's premier chocolate joint, World Showcase at Epcot also has some of the greatest chocolate originals from around the globe. Deciding which World Showcase pavilion offers the best is nearly impossible. Each pavilion, from Italy and Mexico to France and Germany, has amazing chocolates unique to their countries. Mexico sells a lovely bottle-shaped dark chocolate with a shot of Jose Cuervo inside, while Germany sells ones filled with brandy. Italy, on the other hand, sells individual chocolates that you can mix and match. And if you want your fix in dessert form rather than bitty bites, World Showcase has what you're looking for. Chocolate is a key ingredient in most of the pastries at France's outstanding Boulangerie Patisserie: the mocha mousse, chocolate éclairs, and croissants will have your taste buds singing. And while Germany's Karamell-Kuche specializes in caramel, they've got some of the most amazing chocolate desserts in all of Disney. We recommend the chocolate-covered sea salt caramel.
Goofy's Candy Company – Magic Kingdom
Now, not to worry. We wouldn't send you to a "candy shop" unless there were outstanding chocolate available. The brilliance of Goofy's Candy Company is that you create your own chocolate goodies. You can select anything from a fudge cookie or a rice krispy treat or a pretzel rod. Next, you choose from white, milk or dark chocolate dipping. Then you have to decide from over 15 types of toppings, the best being mini M&MS, crushed Oreo cookie crumbs, dark and white chocolate chips, and Butterfinger crumbs. (Don't float off to Heaven just yet – we're not done). Finally, you choose between a white, dark, or milk chocolate drizzle. Your creation comes wrapped up in a nice red box, ready for you to rip open and enjoy.
Sweet Spells – Hollywood Studios
For those who love chocolate fudge, the place to be is Sweet Spells in Hollywood Studios. Although this shop sells amazing chocolate chip cookies, chocolate dipped marshmallows, and chocolate covered strawberries, the fudge here is bar none. This melt-in-your mouth fudge comes in heaping hunks that are nearly impossible to finish by yourself, so only order if you plan on sharing. With over ten types of fudge to choose from, it can feel overwhelming, especially if you're a chocolate hound. Our favorites are the chocolate nut and the rocky road, but if you're more of a purist, the plain chocolate fudge will suit you just fine.
Main Street Confectionery – Magic Kingdom
Although Main Street Confectionery is known for its candies and pastries, there's enough chocolate creativity happening here to make Willy Wonka green with envy. There are Mickey-shaped chocolate covered rice-krispies, chocolate covered apples, and even chocolate covered Mickey ear-hat brownies. Our favorite, however, happens to be the chocolate covered pineapple spear: the piece of fresh pineapple counts as a serving of fruit, so you can feel a tad less guilty about indulging in chocolate for the tenth time of the day. Perfect.
The chocolate selection at Walt Disney World is so expansive that it is literally spread throughout the park. That means that you don't have to limit yourself to the great places listed here. You'll find chocolate at the carts, in the kiosks, and on dessert menus in every restaurant. That's even better than Wonka's chocolate river.