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Saturday, January 18, 2020

January 19th is National Popcorn Day… Bring on the Refills!

by Beth Keating
January 18, 2020

Prepare yourself. January 19this National Popcorn Day!

Without a doubt, popcorn is a quintessential theme park treat, and no one does it better than Disney. There is something magical about the scent of the fresh popped grains floating by as you stroll down Main Street and approach Cinderella Castle, and the salty goodness of the first bit of crunch is an experience all its own. 

Popcorn buckets are available at every park at Disney World in a myriad of different designs and sizes, and the selection changes often.  There are specialty buckets at the holiday parties, and designs for new movies, as well as the gourmet and traditional options at AMC Movies at Disney Springs 24, and even shaped buckets in the form of Mickey ears or hitch-hiking ghosts.  

Make a stop at the Popcorn in Canada kiosk at Epcot to sample the uniquely delicious Maple popcorn ($6.25). 

If you go off world to Galaxy’s Edge, Kat Saka’s Kettle offers its multi-colored, sweet and spicy popcorn ($6.49).  

There are also the pre-bagged types at places like Goofy’s Candy Company and Main Street Confectionary. 

Single serve boxes are usually a Disney dining plan snack credit, but family size serving bags are also available.  Pre-bagged varieties can have a wide variety of flavors from the typical cheddar or caramel, to more unusual varieties like sriracha, toffee or churro.  

Currently, many popcorn buckets hover anywhere from the $12.00 mark to upwards of $20.00 for the limited edition options.  It’s a little pricey for popcorn, but you are essentially getting the popcorn as a bonus.  The container is the real souvenir.  We’ve collected several fun buckets in recent trips.  While the $12.00 price tag initially sounds high (it’s Disney pricing, so we’ve sort of come to expect it), the real plus is that, for most buckets, refills for the length of your stay are just $2.00 more (as low as $1.89 in Animal Kingdom at Mahindi).  If you don’t mind hauling your bucket along each morning, and haven’t gotten sick of eating popcorn by day four, have at it!  This is a great way for a larger family to snack their way through the day. A $2.00 refill sure beats adding up five or six Dole Whips or Mickey Bars. If you just want to purchase popcorn without the souvenir bucket, the prices are in the $5.25 - $6.25 range – no cheap refills, though! Specialty buckets like the party specific buckets are not always included in the refill prices, however.

The most recent addition to the popcorn bucket fun is also one of the most sought after.  Sadly, you’ll have to head to California to get it. The Millennium Falcon Bucket is HUGE, lights up, and comes with your choice of fries or popcorn. The French fry option is only available at the Galactic Grill, while other locations serve popcorn. As they have often done for us with their beverage sippers, providing the beverage in a separate paper cup, cast members will kindly package your fries or popcorn in a bag on the side as well so you don’t have to squeeze your container under a restroom sink to wash it out when you are done eating. The Millennium Falcon bucket at the Galactic Grill has a price tag of $24.99 in galactic credits. (They also take American currency should you find yourself running short on galactic coinage.) Incidentally, the Galactic Grill also has Star Wars stainless steel tumblers for the same price, as well as Kylo Ren Premium Mugs filled with either French fries or a beverage at $19.49 and $18.49 respectively.   

Hopefully, the Millennium Falcon popcorn bucket will be available at Disney World before long as well, maybe in time for National Popcorn Day? One can hope. Until then, there’s always the popcorn carts.

Beth Keating is a regular contributor to DisneyBizJournal.

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