The Best Places to Go for Ice Cream Outside of Walt Disney World Parks
It’s no secret that Florida has some seriously hot weather. Even if you happen to be visiting in the winter, you’ll probably experience some pretty high temperatures, and those visiting in summer will definitely want to seek ways to cool off.
Of course, one of the best ways to cool off after a warm day in the Disney Parks is with an ice cream treat. After all, nothing says vacation quite like a delicious, sweet ice cream creation. Luckily, there are plenty of places to get frozen treats of all kinds just a quick drive away from Disney property.
Not sure where to go to get your frozen dessert? Try one of these fabulous options in the Disney World area.
1. Twistee Treat
Twistee Treat is a local chain and a favorite of ice cream lovers of all ages. These iconic ice cream-shaped stands dot the area surrounding the Disney Parks, meaning you’re never far from one when visiting Disney World—and that means you’ll simply have to stop in and grab a cone or two.
This shop serves up soft-serve on cones, in cups, and with a wide variety of topping options, so you can rest easy knowing there will be something for everyone in your party.
2. Dippin’ Dots
Everyone loves Dippin’ Dots! The shape and texture of this futuristic ice cream treat is completely unusual, and totally novel. Unfortunately, Dippin’ Dots can be a bit hard to find, and when you do find the treat, it’s usually being served out of a vending machine or a small kiosk.
However, Dippin’ Dots lovers everywhere will be happy to learn that they can get this incredible treat at an actual ice cream shop while visiting the Orlando area! You see, just off of U.S. 192 in a small shopping center, there is an entire shop dedicated to serving this delicious frozen treat. Yum!
Looking for a place to grab a yummy meal in addition to a frozen dessert? Culver’s has your back. This fabulous fast food joint serves up delicious burgers, fries, cheese curds, and much much more. Best of all, you can finish off your meal with some of the best frozen custard on earth.
Choose vanilla or chocolate as your base, then add any of a huge selection of mix-ins, or go with the pre-mixed flavor of the day. No matter what you order, you’re sure to be thrilled with the rich, creamy result.
Prefer to have your frozen goodness on a stick? Popbar is the place for you. This yummy sweets-stop serves up gelato, sorbet, and frozen yogurt on a stick, and it’s fantastic.
There are all kinds of amazing flavors such as green tea, apricot, and pina colada, and every single one is as tasty as the last. Choose your flavor and have it dipped in the toppings of your choice. Just be sure to eat it quickly because it’s sure to melt fast in the Florida heat!
5. Gelato LaCarraia
While it may not technically be ice cream in the traditional, American sense, we think gelato deserves a place on this list as well. And if we had to choose one gelato stop to include, it would definitely be Gelato LaCarraia. This authentic Italian gelato shop serves up some incredibly rich frozen goodness that you won’t soon forget. Their flavors include both milk- and fruit-based options, both of which are absolutely wonderful.
6. Ginther’s Swirls Ice Cream
Serving up both hard and soft ice cream, as well as a variety of ice cream-based concoctions, Ginther’s Swirls is a cute little shop that offers the perfect ending to a perfect Disney day. Try one of their fruit-swirled soft-serve cones, or go all-out with a banana split. Either way, you’re sure to love your time relaxing on the patio and eating your treat.
A bright and fun place, there’s never a dull moment at Mr. Cool Ice Cream & Boba Tea. The decor is colorful, the staff is cheerful, and the treats are beyond delicious. The ice cream served here is of the rolled variety, and you can actually watch as the staff makes your serving by spreading it on a cold surface and rolling it up into ice cream curls. This makes the ordering experience almost as fun as the eating part, if you ask us! Of course, if you aren’t in the mood for ice cream, you could also order a yummy smoothie or bubble tea!
These are our favorite frozen dessert options in the area, but far from the only ones. Therefore, if you somehow manage to try all of these, we definitely recommend branching out and trying the many other delicious options in town.
Chris Gonzales is a writer and freelance editor who hails from Oklahoma City but full-time RVs with his wife and son. As a family of WDW Passholders, they spend much of their time in Orlando and have become quite knowledgable about the parks. Though their travels take them away from time to time, they always find their way back.