by Beth Keating
April 1, 2020
Among the stash of non-perishable foods I brought home when we first went on coronavirus lockdown were jars of peanut butter. Ironically, since my school is a peanut-free facility, peanut butter has become somewhat of a treat at home. Scrolling around the internet the other day, I discovered that April 2nd is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day! In honor of that event, let’s take a look at some of the great places you’ll be able to get your peanut butter fix when the parks re-open.
Let’s be honest. Disney World is a foodie’s paradise, but sometimes you find yourself travelling with one of those pint-sized picky eaters who just can’t seem to find acceptable nourishment anywhere. Sometimes, only a peanut butter and jelly sandwich will do. While the ubiquitous peanut butter and jelly sandwich is available all over Disney property at food courts and quick serve locations, Disney has also raised peanut butter and jelly to an art form.
Without a doubt, the king of the PB&J at Disney can be found at the “50’s Prime Time Café” at Hollywood Studios. A delicious concoction whipped up by one of your “cousins,” the “Peanut Butter & Jelly Milk Shake” ($9.00) is especially delightful in Florida’s summer heat. If you want your peanut butter without jelly while you are at Prime Time, you can also try “Dad's Favorite Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layered Cake” for $8.00, or, if you are feeling decadent, upgrade it to àla mode ($10.00). Whether you choose to sit in the restaurant and enjoy a PB&J shake as part of a “home-cooked” meal, or pop in to the “Tune-In Lounge” next door just to seek out the PB&J shake’s chilly goodness, you won’t be sorry you tried this frosty beverage. It sounds odd, and doesn’t look any different than a typical chocolate shake, but trust me, it will be one of the best treats you’ll enjoy on your trip.
A kicked-up version of a PB&J sandwich is available over at the Magic Kingdom…sometimes. If you find yourself on Tom Sawyer Island during one of the short windows during which the island’s quick serve is seasonally open, stop in to Aunt Polly’s little clapboard house. There, you can nibble on a tasty “Peanut Butter and Raspberry Preserve Sandwich,” served on brioche bread with house made Cajun chips for $9.49. A hazelnut version is also available. (For chocolate spread aficionados, that’s codeword for Nutella.) “Aunt Polly’s Dockside Inn” is a quaint little spot to sit in a shaded area away from the craziness of the theme park crowds. Unfortunately, it is not open all that often, and the menu does change unexpectedly.
Feeling fancy, or looking for a special afternoon out with mom and the girls? “Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Tea Room” at the Grand Floridian may be the ticket. The afternoon can be a pricey one, depending on your choices (adults $35 -$105), but the setting is lovely, and it’s a peaceful and upscale break from the theme park rides. While you sip on teas from around the world and nibble scones and other sweets, kids ages 3-9 can enjoy “Mrs. Potts’ Tea” ($23.00) with assorted finger sandwiches, including peanut butter and jelly.
If nothing but a straight-up peanut butter and jelly sandwich will do for your younglings, there are a plethora of options throughout the parks. Search out the “Mickey Check Meals” which, without substitutions, will meet nutrition guidelines. For example, over at the All Star Resorts, host to legions of kids headed for the Disney Parks, the “End Zone Food Court” at All Star Sports Resort offers a Mickey Check kid’s meal of a Smucker’s Uncrustables with a choice of a small milk or water with grapes and carrot sticks for $5.49. Once you get to the parks,“Harambe Market” at Animal Kingdom offers up an Uncrustables meal with drink choice and apple slices for $6.19, while Magic Kingdom’s “Columbia Harbor House”and “Pinocchio Village Haus” both offer a slight variation on the kid’s meal with an Uncrustablesserved with a Dannon Danimals Smoothie, GoGo squeeZ applesauce, and a choice of milk or water for $6.49. Over at “Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café,” enjoy your PB&J while listening to the dulcet tones of Sonny Eclipse. There, yourUncrustables is served with a Cuties mandarin orange, GoGo squeeZ applesauce, and choice of milk or water, also for $6.49. Swap that mandarin orange for grapes, and you have the $6.49 Uncrustables meal at the “ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill.” Those are just a few of the locations providing Uncrustables for your young ‘uns. Or you, if the need arises. No judgement here.
If you want your peanut butter solo, there’s also the highly coveted “Nyala Brownie” at “The Mara” at Animal Kingdom Lodge.This thick, rich brownie is covered with peanut butter buttercream and a vanilla buttercream stripe - a remarkably yummy steal at $4.79. Or, if you are over near Magic Kingdom, pop into Contempo Café at The Contemporary for their creamy and delicious Peanut Butter Pie ($4.79) in the grab and go bakery case.
Another delightful choice that serves up peanut butter sans jelly is the $11.00 “No Way José” at the “Beaches and Cream Soda Shop,” near the Beach Club.A peanut butter and hot fudge sundae dish, it features both chocolate and vanilla ice cream, peanut butter and chocolate morsels, whipped cream, and a cherry.
A newcomer to the mix is the “Peanut Butter Snickers Pie” ($10.00) at the recently opened “City Works Eatery and Pour House” at Disney Springs. Its Oreo cookie crust goodness is missing the jelly, but has plenty of peanut butter mousse, whipped cream, Snickers, and chocolate and caramel sauce.
If you find yourself on the opposite coast, make your way to “The Sand Bar” at Paradise Pier Hotel at Disneyland. There, for $17.00, you can delight in the “PBJ Burger Sliders,” an entrée that includes plant-based meat, peanut butter, and blackberry jam on a toasted potato bun. Toting the kiddos along? “The Sand Bar” also serves up an Uncrustable sandwichwith a choice of milk, water or juice for $6.00.
A recent addition to the west coast park is the “Peanut Butter and Jelly Slush” ($7.49) at “Maurice’s Treats” in Fantasy Faire. This spectacular goody is a grape flavored icy slush with peanut butter stripes down the inside of the glass, served up with a donut topper straddling your straw. Yikes! That’ll keep you going for hours.
If you’d rather have your peanut butter and jelly early in the morning (and really, who doesn’t need that to jump start a park day?), you can head to “Goofy's Kitchen” for “Goofy’s Famous Peanut Butter and Jelly Pizza,” displayed prominently as part of the character breakfast buffet at the Disneyland Hotel. (Prices range from $35-$59.99 for adults, and $23 for kids.)
Lastly, while the jelly may be missing from this one, you don’t want to miss out on the peanut buttery heaven that resides at “Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes.” This Disneyland locale, known for its outrageous and totally Instagrammable libations, offers the “Sweet 'N Salty” for $15.00. Located in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney zone, Black Tap’s “Sweet ‘N Salty” is an over-the-top peanut butter shake with a chocolate and peanut butter frosted rim, decorated with little chocolate gems and peanut butter cups topped with a Sugar Daddy, pretzel rods, chocolate covered pretzel, whipped cream, caramel and chocolate drizzle. You probably don’t need the extra sugar from jelly after all of that, anyway.
Why settle for an ordinary PB&J when you can go Disney-style and make it memorable? Or at least Instagrammable.
Beth Keating is a regular contributor to DisneyBizJournal.