Did you really take a trip to Disney if you didn't have a mouse-shaped waffle for breakfast?
Forget Dole whips and churros, the Mickey waffle is arguably the most famous Disney food ever created. A staple of any great Disney parks vacation, the beloved breakfast item has become a sought-after family tradition for many. In fact, a 2014 Disney Parks Blog post claims 3.6 million Mickey waffles are eaten each year at Disneyland and Disney World alone.
And it's no surprise: If you've ever stepped foot in a Disney resort restaurant in the morning, you can bet on the distinct smell of malty goodness wafting through the air, tempting you to take a bite. Delicious and adorable, our obsession knows no bounds with Mickey-shaped imagery forever immortalized in endless collections of merchandise — like t-shirts, phone cases, backpacks and even waffle-scented lotion.
Who doesn’t like to start a day in the parks with some fresh, hot Mickey Waffles!
We’ll now you can enjoy a Mickey Waffle takeaway with the latest @Loungefly Mini Backpack
It’s available now in select @waltdisneyworld and @disneyland stores, plus @shopDisney too pic.twitter.com/S3Xfl0gqvZ
— GGO Crew Orlando ☀️ (@GGOCrewOrlando) December 17, 2021
From mini versions to full-size Mickeys topped with whipped cream and berries, these now-iconic waffles aren't just a hit in the U.S. at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, but at Disney parks across the globe.
At Tokyo Disneyland, you can bask in the glory of an entire restaurant dedicated to them. One of the resort's most popular eateries, The Great American Waffle Co., has been known to offer wildly inventive versions, including golden brown waffles topped with custard and strawberry sauce or azuki bean and matcha ice cream. At Disneyland Paris, you can have a tres bien time strolling Main Street with a sugar-coated waffle or one laced in decadent chocolate. Brightly-hued red velvet Mickey waffles are the favorite at the sun-soaked Aulani, a Disney Resort located in Hawaii.
So, what's the secret to giving Mickey waffles that distinct taste we crave after every vacation to the most magical place on earth?
The internet seems to believe it's in the mix: Carbon's Golden Malted waffle and pancake mix, to be exact.
While Disney Parks declined to comment on whether Golden Malted is the mix they use across their properties, Twitter, Reddit and other online forums are full of theories that point a white-gloved finger directly to the brand. One #distwitter (an unofficial hashtag used by Disney enthusiasts to discuss all things Mickey) user even photographed a delivery truck carrying boxes of the mix headed to Disney World.
It’s hard to see, but parked next to me at the Wawa was a delivery van full of Golden Malted Waffle Mix aka the MICKEY WAFFLE MIX! A truck full of it! pic.twitter.com/3zSMaBiRnW
— TheMouseAndMore-Adam (@TheMouseAndMore) August 25, 2021
An online authority in Disney food, the Disney Food Blog also claims it is indeed Golden Malted. According to their sources, Disney began experimenting with the mouse-shaped waffles in the ’80s as a collaboration between Disney's secret batter supplier and Walt Disney Imagineering. Together, they figured out how to create a waffle iron that wouldn't distort the face of Mickey Mouse once cooked. Because of the lack of social media at the time, none of this was documented by park goers, leaving it unclear when or where these Mickey-shaped waffles first popped up in the Disney resorts or how they rapidly spread to hundreds of Disney dining locations. But, it all goes back to the mix.
What is Golden Malted?
The Carbon family, led by patriarch Fred Carbon, patented their family recipe (along with several types of waffle irons) for Golden Malted waffle and pancake mix in 1937. The distinct taste of the Carbon family recipe can be attributed to the use of real malt, vanilla and the highest-quality wheat flour. This secret vanilla-malted formula produces a waffle that's golden-brown while also being light and fluffy. And, the aroma a Carbon waffle creates is also a signature part of the experience.
Golden Malted, now owned by New Carbon Company, still leaves Carbon's name on the brand and is the largest supplier of waffle mix in the United States, selling over 350 million waffles per year at over 50,000 locations in more than 60 countries. Now ubiquitous with hotel chain breakfast buffets, Hilton, Choice Brand Hotels and Wyndham are just a few they provide their mix to exclusively.
So, are Disney waffles Golden Malted waffles?
Yahoo Life reached out to Golden Malted for further sleuthing, but they declined to answer as well.
As a regular visitor to Disney parks since the ’80s, I've had quite a few Mickey waffles in my day. So, in the name of research, I decided to put the internet theories to the test. Armed with Golden Malted waffle and pancake mix and a Mickey waffle iron, both easily purchased from Amazon, I set out to test the theory.
I followed the exact instructions provided on the packaging, combining the mix with egg, water and melted butter. Then, I went to work, pressing out several Mickey-shaped waffles in my own kitchen.
Was I able to make Mickey waffles at home?
Oh boy! I'm happy to say that yes, it seems you can make Mickey waffles from the comfort of your own home, no resort reservation required. The first at-home Disney moment for me was that familiar malty smell as the waffles were cooking. The finished product was identical to what's served at Disney Parks with a crunchy, golden brown exterior making way for a light and airy inside.
While eating these waffles at home won't be followed by a spin on Dumbo the Flying Elephant or a delicious Dole whip, they are still nothing short of magic.
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