Theme Park Food: Sugar, fat, sugary fat, fatty sugars, and fatty sugary sugar-fat.

This post doesn’t have a recipe for food. BUT IT HAS A RECIPE FOR FUN!

I’ll show myself out at the end.

When you go to an amusement park or a theme park, one of the biggest expenses, outside of the parking fee, security fee, ticket fee, Fastpass+ fee, and the fee for the new fireworks powered by wonder, imagination, and UDMH-nitric acid with dinitrogen tetroxide, is easily food. And most of the time it’s not very good and terrible for you. Thankfully, most parks have reduced their use of high fatrose simulated sugary-fat fatty sugarlin syrup.

By the time you get to buy your dry burger and grease-soaked fries, it magically ends up being $53 and there’s no healthy option in sight. Or is there?

Per the usual college student route, I took myself and a few of my friends down to Florida for Spring Break SPRANG BREAAAAAK, primarily to get tan because we live in West Lafayette, Indiana, where you don’t just become pale, you lose any color you had in your skin. And we went to visit some theme parks, because I have a more than slight obsession with them (while I promise I’m a functioning and productive member of our society, I guarantee no sanity). This is what I found down in the absolutely lovely, not a swamp at all, Orlando, Florida.


i told you
it’s an obsession

We started at Busch Gardens, in Tampa, home of the dueling “This ride isn’t closed it’s just blocked off and will be forever heh heh heh” wooden coaster Gwazi, and one of the best drop towers, Falcon’s Fury. Not that anyone reading this cares about that, because this is a food blog. So let’s talk All Day Dining. The All Day Dining plan is basically unlimited food, where you can get a new meal every hour. And of course, as starving college students, we had to take advantage of this! In retrospect, eating four three-course meals and riding some of the world’s most intense roller coasters in the Florida heat probably wasn’t the best idea, but it was all for you, the readers of this blog. The things I do for exposure….


Surprise! It’s typical park food. Cheeseburger, fries, dessert, and a drink. Pretty good though. I’d post more photos of what we ate, but I’m already feeling sick from thinking about the shear amount of food we had.

But what if you want something that’s a little different? Quick service burgers get old pretty quickly. In our quest for ultimate surgary-fattitude, we searched high and low, far and wide, all the way up and down International Drive, and you probably won’t be that surprised where we found some amazing stuff.

When you’ve come down to Orlando, chances are extremely high that you’re either a) retiring, or b) going to Disney World. Guess which category I fall into.


We chose to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios. On a Friday. During peak season. So I opted to plan our day out using fancy algorithms and data. Laugh all you want, but we never waited in a line longer than 30 minutes. Unfortunately, this meant that we only had around 30 minutes for lunch, so going to Mama Melrose’s Ristorante was out of the picture (I highly suggest you go there, and make sure you get reservations, you can’t get in otherwise). So we stopped at a quick-service stand, and hoped for the best. After Busch Gardens, we were ready for real food. But we were in luck, because this is what greeted us at the checkout counter.


Despite taking 10 angry minutes to find a table, this pesto chicken flatbread with caeser side salad and strawberry slush was some of the best food we had on the whole trip. But that also might have been because of the fact that we hadn’t had any food at that point and just marathoned Tower of Terror. Credit where credit is due, they came up with a pretty creative theme park dish. The park map said there was a sushi place, but they sold out before we could get to it. So we got napoleans instead.


All in all, Disney has some awesome food.

What if you don’t want to spend the money for a ticket during peak season? Well, walk under a few cranes and through fourteen different construction zones, and you’ll find yourself at Disney Springs. Think of it as a shopping district, just beautifully themed, and with amphibious cars. Tucked away in the back corner is the Ghiradelli chocolate shop. No, not that kind of chocolate shop. It’s an actual chocolate shop, where you can literally put the cherry on top of a great day. If you’re cool with packing in the calories, you have to try the Ghiradelli sundaes. If you’re on a diet, guess what! It’s cheat day, so you’re getting one.


These things are complex in their flavors, you can tell that some actual thought went into making these, not just a corporate budget. Mmmmm, dark chocolate hot fudge.

So here’s the takeaway. Food at amusement parks isn’t boring anymore. Well, I can’t say that for Six Flags parks, but otherwise, it’s growing up. Now you don’t have to be frustrated with how expensive food is when you go somewhere, because it’s pretty good.



Written by Zach “Fatty sugars are delicious” Jordan
Sophomore // Theme Park Structural Engineering, Communications
Cooking Instructor


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