Celebration Shake: A Sugary Salute to Disney World’s 50th Anniversary

Thus far, Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebration has been a mixed bag. The Fab 50 statues celebrate movie characters, every new ride aside from Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure has been delayed, and Harmonious and Enchantment aren’t the best nighttime spectaculars to ever grace the skies above Magic Kingdom and Epcot.

In one realm, the World’s Most Magical Celebration has not disappointed: fun food. For Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, chefs and mixologists in the parks & resorts created over 150 new dishes, drinks, and desserts.

As covered in our Food Guide to Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, some of these are really creative and clever. It also helps that they come at a time when menus at Walt Disney World have been scaled back, and have only recently started returning to normal. We’ve already eaten several of these tasty (and not-so-tasty) new items, and have had a ton of fun in the process.

It should come as no surprise that Beaches & Cream delivered one of the more extravagant and standout desserts.

This iconic soda shop at Disney’s Beach Club Resort is well known for delicious sundaes and its iconic (or infamous, depending upon your perspective) Kitchen Sink Challenge. We’ve done that several times–for very important research–while also testing the various sundaes for quality control.

For the World’s Most Magical Celebration, Beaches & Cream has created what’s arguably its most sensational shake yet.

This is the Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Shake: Birthday cake-flavored shake drizzled in gold glitter glaze and topped with a slice of commemorative 50th celebration cake. It’s served in a souvenir plastic mason jar with the Beaches & Cream logo that you can take home and use for decorating or something. (Do NOT put it in the dishwasher. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way…after a few goof ups.)

As an ice cream enthusiast, I’m always somewhat skeptical of the milkshake monstrosities. They’re on a ton of real-world and Walt Disney World menus now, cost around $15, and have a surplus of stale, off-the-shelf, or non-edible ingredients.

At some restaurants, there’s not much emphasis on the “ice cream” portion of the milkshake, so the flavor there is lacking.

I’ve had a few of these Beaches & Cream souvenir shakes, and that’s usually not the case here. The topping is typically a freshly-made item from the bakery, and they’re more like 2-in-1 desserts rather than a single dessert with a bunch of nonsense added. About my only complaint is that the mason jar used is too small.

I love ice cream (have I mentioned that?) and these shakes are never quite enough. Then again, I can eat a Kitchen Sink by myself, so I’m probably not the typical patron.

As for the flavor, the 50th Anniversary Celebration Shake is sweet–the first sip is an instant sugar rush. It’s also delightfully delicious, with a rich cake batter flavor with hints of vanilla and marshmallow.

Normally, “birthday cake” flavor at Walt Disney World means a mess of artificial flavors. Not so here. This tastes like a homemade birthday cake–in shake form.

The milkshake has a creamy consistency and thickness indicative of more ice cream than milk, which is always nice. There’s also a conservative amount of whipped cream that adds smoothness. The caramel doesn’t change much, which is fine–I’m not sure the taste would benefit from caramel.

Both texture and flavor-wise, this milkshake is top-notch. The quality “compels” me to keep taking sips, resulting in a milkshake that’s gone too soon.

The jar’s rim is covered with a thick coating of frosting and topped with EARidescent sprinkles. This is mostly for presentation–the sprinkles match the cake and add a shimmer to the dessert. However, I’ve discovered from past milkshakes that whatever frosting Beaches & Cream uses on these is delicious.

Unlike other restaurants that affix their nonsensical toppings with the culinary equivalent of superglue, the frosting here is not hard and inedible. It’s fresh, sweet, and delicious. Use a spoon to knock off the sprinkles (or eat them, I guess) and then dig out a bit of frosting and add it to the cake or shake.

As intimated above, the presentation of these milkshakes is always contentious. Ice cream “purists” like me question why they have to be so dang pretty, wondering if it’s to compensate for inadequate flavor. Here at least, it’s not.

Although some posts here might suggest otherwise, I’m not a total curmudgeon. I very much see the appeal of having photogenic food–it’s fun to take pictures of or with food, and capture memories. I just want it to taste good, too. As someone who both loves to take photos and eat, this milkshake checks both boxes for me.

The cake is pretty good, too. It has thin layers of moist vanilla cake broken up by frosting. It’s sweet and creamy, but not excessively so. It’s a quality but straightforward cake–great as a “bonus dessert,” but not something I’d buy/recommend if it were a standalone dessert in one of the bakeries.

It basically tastes like the shake, but in its native form. It’s a lot less impressive when a cake tastes like a cake than when a shake tastes like a cake!

The 50th Anniversary Celebration Shake is available at Beaches & Cream Soda Shop (read our full review of the reimagined Beaches & Cream). It’s priced at $16, which is only $1 more than the specialty shakes on the restaurant’s menu.

If you’re unavailable to score an Advance Dining Reservation or spot on the Walk-Up Waitlist, the 50th Anniversary Celebration Shake is also available at Beaches and Cream To-Go, the window adjacent to the main entrance. This location is open daily from 11 am until 11 pm (just like the restaurant) and serves up ice cream cones, souvenir shakes, floats, and sundaes.

One final “hack” for those who order from the Beaches & Cream To-Go window and aren’t staying in the Crescent Lake area. If you head back to the Solarium (the interior hallway directly across from Beach Club Marketplace, between the main hotel and villas), there’s a sink in the far corner of the room. This is great for cleaning out excess syrup, frosting, or whatever else so you can throw the clean mug in your backpack. This room is also a quiet and pleasant area to enjoy the shake–or desserts from the Marketplace.

As you can probably gather from the review, we highly recommend the Celebration Shake to anyone who enjoys cake batter flavor and quality milkshakes. It’s pricey, but for a bit of a splurge, you’re treated to a zany and memorable anniversary dessert that does well both in terms of taste and presentation. It’s worth the money for the high-quality, unique, and delicious dessert–and the accompanying photos you’ll take to document your memories of the experience.

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!


What do you think of the Celebration Shake at Beaches & Cream for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary? Is this something you’d order, or is it too expensive, too elaborate, or otherwise unappealing? Are you excited to try this or other World’s Most Magical Celebration dishes, drinks, and desserts? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

4 Responses to “Celebration Shake: A Sugary Salute to Disney World’s 50th Anniversary”
  1. Rich November 18, 2021
  2. E. November 17, 2021
  3. Maggie November 17, 2021
  4. Chris November 17, 2021

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