Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Disney Branded Chocolate Candies

Mickey BarsOne of the things that I was attracted to at the counter of the candy store were these pretty and classic chocolate bars. They came in four varieties: Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate with Almonds and Sugar Free Milk Chocolate (on a different display).

They’re all 1.8 ounces and the ingredients are promisingly short: sugar, milk, cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, soy lecithin and vanillin. They were all priced $1.25 each.

Mickey Milk ChocolateThe Mickey Milk Chocolate Bar is sweet but satisfyingly smooth. It has a very strong milky taste to it. The bar is thick, which provides for a nice hunky bite.

The other bar (not pictured) was the Milk Chocolate with Almonds bar (it looked just like the Milk Chocolate bar). It’s similarly sweet and has a wonderful scent of almonds. The almonds are whole, if a little small. Crunchy and a good counterpoint to the very sugary chocolate. The pieces are nice though, easy to break off a third and chomp it whole or maybe three bites.

Mickey Dark ChocolateThe Mickey Dark Chocolate Bar was stunning when I took it out of the package. The glossy squares and nicely detailed relief of Mickey’s head definitely has appeal. It smells nice, a little more on the cedar side of woodsy than coffee. The ingredients on this one lists butterfat. It’s pretty smooth but very sweet for a dark chocolate. It’s kind of “watery” on the tongue, reminding me of the Royal Dark Cadbury Mini Eggs that came out this year ... kind of like a pleasant cup of hot chocolate.

The sweetness leads me to believe that some kids may enjoy this, and if they don’t their moms or dads won’t complain about having to eat the leftovers themselves.

I give the whole set of bars a passably good 7 out of 10, good portion control at 1.8 ounces, easy to share, decent price for a branded item and Kosher for those who are looking for that. I appreciate that the candy has the Mickey brand on the inside and the outside.

Mickey CoconutsMuch of the candy is rather mainstream fare, and though I couldn’t find any chocolate mint patties or minted chocolate, I did find the Mickey Mouse Creamy Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Patties. They were a little more than the other pre-packaged candies at $1.50, but they were also 2.7 ounces. The packaging is kind of retro, kind of islandy. The Mickey on the package is the old-fashioned Mickey who is all pupil and has no whites in his eyes.

Inside is a little plastic tray with two chocolate dipped coconut patties in the shape of Mickey’s head.

Mickey CoconutsThese are hefty huge patties! Each weighs approximately 1.35 ounces, a good sized portion of candy on its own. The chocolate doesn’t coat the top, but you can’t tell from the photo that it does cover the bottom.

The star here is the soft coconut pattie itself. It’s creamy and soft and of course coconutty. It smells like summer. The coconut is chewy and only slightly fibery, a bit smoother than a Mounds bar, but also a bit sweeter.

The chocolate takes a back seat, which is fine. It’s not great chocolate like that on the Chocolate Dipped Pretzels, but it makes the candy attractive and it’s real, which is always a selling point.

The package does say that they were made in a “nut free environment” (except for those coconuts, which I guess are technically a fruit). Not Kosher. I give them a 7 out of 10.

Disney SpotsThese little M&M-like candies are called Chocolate Spots and came in a peanut variety as well. I went for the traditional “candy-coated Milk Chocolate”. As I was looking for a package that wasn’t crinkled and sticky, I noticed that all the bags felt like the contents were “grainy” instead of smooth.

I did my best to pick one from the bottom that looked crisp and had the best feeling contents, but when I got home and dumped them out, it was quite apparent that my attempt was not successful.

Disney SpotsThe bag was filled with chipped and broken Spots that were also covered in dust and candy shell crumbs.

The Spots themselves are a bit more like Nestle Smarties than M&Ms, a little flatter, a little bigger around. And they smelled like ... Arcor Chocobites.

Drat!

I know that many small children aren’t particularly choosy about their chocolate, and bless them for that. If I were a child and told I could only pick out one item from this store and this is what I got, I’d be in tears. The chocolate tastes like the wrapper smells, like plastic. The candy shell is crispy, yes, but only masks the burnt flavors of the chocolate. Think of those awful burnt unpopped kernels of popcorn and maybe the filling of a futon that’s been stored in a damp basement for the past few decades. I should have known that they were going to be bad when I read the list of ingredients ... which included PGPR (granted, I still love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, which now include PGPR, but it’s certainly in spite of it that they’re good, not because of it).

Honestly, I think I’m going to package these up and send them back to Disney. I might accept such quality from the 99 Cent Only Store at a fifth of the price, but not from a big company that prides itself on the experience of the brand. 1.8 ounces. I’m giving them a 2 out of 10. Not Kosher.

How difficult would it be to simply have a Disney branded M&M? The candies would have little characters on them instead of Ms (like the Pirate Pearls had little skulls and swords). Or ... don’t bother with M&Ms and get some GOOD candy maker to do two different sizes and kids could make their own Mickey heads with large and small candy lentils.

Lion King Caramel ClustersI’d kind of hoped, as with the Disney Spots, that this Pecan-Caramel Cluster would have a cutesy name, like Lion King Paws or Chewy Manes ... But clarity is always a good thing. In fact, besides the image on the package of Simba and Nala, it doesn’t say a single thing about The Lion King. I guess in a few years these could be branded for a more popular Princess or perhaps some tie in with Ratatouille.

The package says they’re “Crisp Pecans drenched in Creamy Caramel, smothered in delicious Milk Chocolate.”

And so they are.

Lion King Caramel ClustersThey have a wonderful scent of milk chocolate and pecans. The nuts are in fact crisp and the crunch gives way to an actual creamy and chewy caramel.

These were far better than the Nestle Pecan Turtles I had earlier this year. Fresh nuts, the right texture for the caramel. The chocolate wasn’t the best in the world, but at least it didn’t detract. A winner.

2 pecan clusters, 1.5 ounces total. Not Kosher. $1.25 9 out of 10

Overall, the packaged stuff was pleasant and by theme-park standards, a good value. Just stay away from the Chocolate Spots.

Related Candies

  1. Universal CityWalk for Candy Lovers
  2. M&Ms Memorable Moments (Disney)
  3. Disneyland Candy Novelties
  4. Disneyland Candy Palace - Candy Case Chocolates
  5. Disneyland for Candy Bloggers
Name: Disney Chocolates (various)
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Disney
Place Purchased: Disnelyland Candy Palace
Price: $1.25-$1.50
Size: 1.5 ounces to 2.7 ounces
Calories per ounce: varies
Categories: Chocolate, Coconut, Caramel, Nuts, United States, Disney, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:29 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. the coconut patties look like mickey-shaped pieces of sushi! smile

    Comment by Captain Hummingbird on 6/26/07 at 2:21 pm #
  2. Those are cute, even though in the back of my mind I know it’s all marketing :D
    I didn’t see any of these chocolates during my trip to EuroDisney earlier this year. Must be just in the US!

    Comment by Mary on 6/26/07 at 3:29 pm #
  3. Okay—as the health-conscious and feminist mother of two daughters, I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but I’m getting a little freaked out by the absence of Princess branding in your account of the world of Disney candy. 

    Please reassure me that the absence of princesses reflects your own candy-purchasing decisions and not marketing decisions on the part of Disney!  If you don’t go for Princess stuff—I’m fine with that (and believe me, I’m with you!)  On the other hand, if Disney is not choosing to market Princess-themed candy that tells me that little girls (or their mothers?) are choosing, in disproportionate numbers, not to buy candy.  And while I’m ordinarily happy to se efforts to curb children’s sugar consumption, it troubles me to think that candy is being not-consumed in gender specific ways.  That sounds like the ground being laid for girls’ future body-image issues—not progress.

    Comment by good enough cook on 6/27/07 at 6:20 am #
  4. Cybele's avatar

    good enough cook - okay, I’m not quite certain about the deal with the Princess candy. I didn’t go into the Princess store, which may have had more than the Candy Palace.

    Candy Palace had one display of Princess-themed items, which was a combination of novelties and foil wrapped treats, etc. There were also the Princess Whirly-Pops at just about every location I visited.

    I didn’t pay much attention to some of the display because it was more about fluffy purse things than candy.

    So, basically, yes, there’s Princess stuff, I just didn’t buy it and totally spaced on taking a photo of it.

    Really if I had a complaint it’s that Disneyland is about Mickey ... but Mickey hasn’t made a movie in years, I don’t know how kids are supposed to connect with Mickey, so I feel like there’s some disconnect there.

    Captain Hummingbird - I would certainly welcome them in my bento!

    Mary - I know that Disney World has their own set of candy stores and merchandise, probably more than Disneyland.

    Comment by Cybele on 6/27/07 at 6:50 am #
  5. good enough cook- I was in WDW world back in April and a lot of the candy I bought was Princess themed. It’s mainly in the form of chocolate squares/truffles and figures and all very nicely done. So no worries, it exists! smile

    Comment by Sera on 6/27/07 at 7:51 am #
  6. I notice more varieties of Disney bars at the Studio store than at Disneyland (I work at one and go to the other about once a month.)  If you’d like, I’ll check what the other bars are on the lot and maybe you’d want a couple?  I’m definitely trying the coconut bar the next time I go across the street for lunch.  Also, there’s TONS of Princess stuff.  It’s everywhere.  It’s not going away.  They’re just as interested in rotting the Princesses’ teeth as they are everyone else’s.

    Comment by Erin on 6/27/07 at 1:42 pm #
  7. Okay—I’m bizarrely relieved to know that, as Erin puts it, Disney is as interested in rotting Princess teeth as everyone else’s! 

    I’ve wondered about the ubiquity of Mickey Mouse, too—and why he lives on as an icon, but not as a character.  It does make for a wierd generational lack of connection.  Grandparental types assume that kids will identify Mickey and find him of interest, while kids have no clue who or what he is.

    Comment by good enough cook on 6/27/07 at 3:51 pm #
  8. Good Enough Cook—Mickey’s diminished role really bothers me, too, and don’t even get me started on Pooh the usurper (sorry Cybele!)  Mickey is a pretty big presence recently with the preschool set though, thanks to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on Playhouse Disney.  The show is huge, and thanks to it, the Fab Five are again, too.

    Comment by Erin on 6/27/07 at 4:02 pm #
  9. Oh, man, I love those coconut candies.  They also have them at WDW as well, and I have to buy them when I’m there. 

    I admit, half my purpose of going to Disney World sometimes is the candy and the chocolate dipped gingerbread cookies at the German pavillion in Epcot.

    Comment by Margaret on 7/02/07 at 6:25 am #
  10. I’d like to purchase the Mickey Milk Chocolate Bars & the Mickey Milk Chocolate Bars with Almonds online—I won’t be going to any Disney theme park.  Do you know who manufacturers them?  It should be on the packaging.
    I think my grandchildren will love them!
    Thank you.

    Comment by Rosalie on 4/28/08 at 11:55 am #
  11. Just got home from Disney World. WOW. The Mickey Mouse Chocolate Dipped Coconut Patties are out of this world. I ordered 4 boxes online after we got home. Very, Very good.

    Comment by Amy Liechti on 8/26/08 at 5:36 am #
  12. Disney is the worst company in the world, especially ( ESPECIALLY!!) when it comes to candy making.

    Comment by Riel on 5/02/09 at 11:28 am #
  13. Cybele's avatar

    Riel - would you mind elaborating on why you think that? Do you mean all the candy that they have contracted to made or also the candies that are made on site (like candied apples & fudge).

    Comment by Cybele on 5/02/09 at 12:03 pm #
  14. Disneyland used to sell branded chocolates/candies, like M&Ms;, Starburts, Snickers, etc, but decided they could make more of a profit by coming out with their own (no need to pay a licensing fee.) Unfortunately, the quality isn’t there like it is with branded stuff.

    The bulk of the chocolates in the candy cases are purchased from outside sources and delivered a few times a week. Same with the cookies. The only things made on site are the apples, pretzel rods, dipped marshmallows, strawberries, fudge, and some of the bagged candy you’d find at the Candy Palace in the area directly by the kitchen.

    The reason you couldn’t find people making cotton candy on the spot is because it too is trucked in by outside vendors. Disneyland no longer makes it. Too much money, not enough profit.

    Comment by Connie on 9/04/09 at 6:36 pm #

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