I would like to start by saying that I am fully aware that Goofy’s Candy Co. is not a restaurant. However, there are times in life when you encounter something so epic that it can’t be ignored.
In the 10 months or so that I have lived in Florida, I have visited Downtown Disney (DTD) several times, often for an entire day. It’s a great place to go with kids, there are many, many things for kids to do (and grown ups actually, but we usually do the kid things). However, in all my time there, I never noticed Goofy’s Candy Co. (GCC). It’s kind of tucked in the back corner, at the very end of the Marketplace section of DTD, and unless you were going to the Rainforest Cafe, or looking for it specifically, you probably wouldn’t ever notice it either.
Lucky for me, the Food Network show “Unwrapped” did a Disney World episode and featured GCC. As soon as I saw it on the show, I was DYING to go. It looked so magical and delicious and perfect. I had to go. So, I planned a trip for my first available day. There was a week or so in between when I saw GCC on Unwrapped and when I actually visited. Every day of that week, I imagined what it would be like. I imagined the tastes and the smells, I created this whole fantasy in my head of what it would be like. It got to the point that I was almost afraid to go. What if it didn’t live up to my (now hugely inflated) expectations? What if the candy was stale? What if Unwrapped was outdated and all of the things I thought looked awesome were gone? What if I hated the whole store? Oh well, it was too late now, I had to go check it out.
From the second I walked in the door, I knew I would not be disappointed.
I can so vividly remember that first moment when I walked in the door. I pulled the door open, and was then kind of hunched over, struggling to maneuver the stroller in the door. I finally got us in, and then stood up straight…and froze. The lights, the colors, the music, the smells, the rows of candy, the shelves of cookies, the wall of frozen concoctions…it was all too much. I felt like every one of my senses was being bombarded with delight and happiness. It was so overwhelmingly beautiful. A cast member greeted me and asked me if I was alright, and I just stared at her. I had no words. I finally managed to respond with, “I’m just so happy to be here!” I’m totally sure that cast member thought I was totally crazy. I’m also totally sure that I don’t care.
First, the sights. Everything is so colorful. But not even just colorful…it’s like being inside a vibrant, cartoonish, rainbow land. The walls, the displays, the candy, everything is so bright and fantastic. It’s honestly beautiful. It’s like a delightful, glittery, Andy Warhol color splash world. I’m pretty sure that makes no sense…but words just can’t describe how gorgeous I thought everything was.
Next, the sounds. The music was so fun. It was all so totally themed. They played “Candy Girl,” “Sugar,” “C is for Cookie,” and many other sweet themed songs. It was such a simple touch, but just hearing all the fun, upbeat music about candy and other treats really made a difference.
Then, the smells. It was like every happy, warm, delicious smell ever, combined. I could smell coffee and chocolate and baking. I guess it actually smelled quite similar to other stores that make their own treats, but when combined with all the other elements, I felt like it smelled better. Like the color and music amplified my perception of the smells and made them seem better than anything else I had ever smelled.
Finally, the taste. Well, you’re going to have to wait a bit for a description of the taste.
Let me tell you more about the shop. Everywhere you look, there are amazing details. There is a funhouse mirror, the store’s logo made out of jelly beans, a frozen goofy statue, mock candy-making machines (and real ones), and lots of other signs and displays to liven everything up. Everywhere you look there is something delicious and fun. It’s like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory come to life (on a small scale of course). I kind of kept expecting Oompa Loompas to appear, sing me a song about the dangers of gestational diabetes and cart me off to a room where I would be forced to eat several pounds of raw spinach. It was like being in a story, it was just so charming.
Then, there are the actual treats. First, there are Goofy’s Glaciers. These are GCC’s version of your typical Icee or Slurpee or whatever. But, there were many flavors (10 I think) that you are encouraged to mix and match in your cup. I didn’t shell out the 9 dollars for the keepsake cup (and totally wasn’t going to get the 4 dollar throw-away cup when there was a keepsake cup available!), but, I greatly look forward to getting one another day. See, it was raining the day I went, but, if it had been hot and sunny, I totally would have gotten one. I think it needs to be a super hot day to do a frozen drink proper justice. Anyway, next were the bins (and bins and bins and more bins) of bulk candy. I love bulk candy, and again, I know I will return to get some at GCC, however, there was really only one candy I was interested in that day (don’t worry, we’ll get there soon). There was of course also a huge selection of Disney pre-packaged candy. Pretty much the same candy you see in the parks, although, GCC has a particularly impressive selection. They have the suckers, the cotton candy, the cookies, the hot chocolate, the coffee, the chocolates…every packaged goody you have ever seen anywhere in Disney is probably available at GCC.
Finally, there in the middle of the main part of the store, was what I came for. It was the counter where you can create your own treat. You pick a base, like a crisped rice treat, marshmallows, apple, etc. then pick a chocolate dip, then pick a topping, like sprinkles, cookie bits, chocolate chips etc., and they create it for you, right there in front of you!! This was honestly why I came. I was so excited to design my own treat. I grabbed my order form and pencil, and took it and hid in a corner, so that I could focus completely on my task without being distracted. I spent several minutes going over my options. They combinations danced in my head like an alluring cavity parade. In the end, I decided to go with a pretty major chocolate overload. I decided to go with a marshmallow base (mostly because it had the highest sugar content), dipped in milk chocolate, rolled in white and dark chocolate chips, then drizzled with white chocolate. As soon as I turned in my form, and was told it would be 10-15 minutes, I became an impatient, antsy, 4 year old.
I did my best to distract myself. I spent several minutes looking at the giant crisped rice treats decorated to look like Mickey and Minnie, and several hours looking in the glass case of fudge, dipped apples, cupcakes, and cookies. I spent days watching the cast member actually make my yummy dipped marshmellow (the stick they used for it by the way, was actually a Mickey shaped swirly straw, which was a really great detail), and then spent several years just walking around checking out what the other CM’s were doing. I watched a guy with a small mallet hammer sticks into apples for dipping (seriously, I thought they had a way more sophisticated way of doing that), I watched a girl make coffee drinks at the espresso bar, and another restocking bags of candy. I think I waited for at least 15 years for my treat to be ready. I know my watch said it had actually only been 15 minutes…but I think it was lying. It took forever. Finally, they called my name.
Once I had my marshmellow in my hand though, I couldn’t eat it. It was too precious. I couldn’t just take it out of it’s pristine, crisp, white bag and eat it in front of all these strangers in the store. I needed to partake in private. It was a sacred moment for me
Now…for the taste. Oh man…it was…perfect. It was pure, decadent, chocolatey, perfection. It was everything I wanted it to be…everything I had hoped for. It was so blissful, I almost couldn’t finish it…don’t get me wrong, I TOTALLY finished it…but it was like staring into the sun for my taste buds…it was so powerful, I almost couldn’t take it.
There is no way that I can do any justice to my experience at Goofy’s Candy Co. You just need to go and check it out for yourself. Even if you aren’t a sweets person, you just have to go check out the shop. It’s a very well themed experience, that everyone should enjoy. I can’t say enough good things. Go there. Seriously.
Today I had another fun dining experience. I went to the Plaza Restaurant at Magic Kingdom with my friend Shane. Look for that post tomorrow!