Salt & Straw ice cream is coming to Walt Disney World! The scoop shop that’s been a huge hit at Disneyland will soon join the Disney Springs lineup, with a new location in 2022. This post covers details, Salt & Straw’s opening date, plus commentary about our ice cream “research.” (Updated April 17, 2022.)
Let’s start with the latest development. Salt & Straw has announced its new location in Disney Springs will open April 20, 2022. The company hasn’t revealed which flavors will be available at the Walt Disney World scoop shop, but it’s likely a mix of classics, exclusives, and monthly menu items.
Construction walls around the new Salt & Straw ice cream shop were removed last week, revealing the exterior. The inside will feature custom details in its design as well as a 3D mural. To celebrate its newest location, Salt & Straw will give away a free scoop of ice cream to the the first 100 customers at Disney Springs on opening day.
In announcing the ice cream company’s second Disney outpost, Salt & Straw co-founder Kim Malek said that “it’s a dream come true for our little Portland, Oregon ice cream company to have the opportunity to expand our relationship with Disney and open at Disney Springs next year. We love to use ice cream to remix flavors you already know and love while exploring food trends, social issues and small, local makers. It’s so exciting to bring our unique combination of comfort and adventure to the big stage at Disney World.”
The Disney Springs Salt & Straw location will be created by Osmose Design, which has created the unique style for all previous Salt & Straw scoop shops. Its owner and designer, Andee Hess, said that “as huge Walt Disney World fans we were inspired to go really big with an exterior facade that screams ice cream and makes sure we show the world how excited Salt & Straw is to be here. The results will be an epically inviting and tantalizing exciting shop that evokes crafted deliciousness.”
In anticipation of this news, we’ve been thoroughly taste-testing Salt & Straw’s at Disneyland Resort’s Downtown Disney District. Okay, in actuality we had no clue this announcement was coming. Eating all of that ice cream over the last week was simply a happy accident, which is probably the most apt term to describe our copious ice cream consumption.
Since it opened a few years ago, we’ve tried literally every Classic Flavor on the menu at Salt & Straw, and many of the monthly options. This is a big reason why we’ve been openly pleaing with Walt Disney World to replace the now-defunct Ample Hills Creamery with Salt & Straw for the last year-plus. Today, our prayers have been (sorta) answered!
Naturally, this is going to invite comparison between Ample Hills Creamery and Salt & Straw. The two are totally alike, yet completely different.
To draw upon a potentially meaningless analogy if you’ve never tried them, it’s like Ample Hills is In-N-Out Burger, Salt & Straw is Shake Shack, and Gibson Girl/Beaches & Cream is Wendy’s. Very helpful, right?!
Ample Hills and Salt & Straw scoop shops are similar in that both are premium, handmade products. As much as I think the term is overused, they’re artisanal ice cream, with high quality ingredients, inventive recipes, and created in small batches with attention to detail.
Both unquestionably serve a nicer and more ambitious ice cream than the off-the-shelf Edy’s served at fan-favorite Beaches & Cream. No offense to Beaches & Cream, but you’re going there because it’s a nostalgic experience, not because the ice cream is anything special. (In fairness, they’re also much more expensive than regular grocery store ice cream.)
By contrast, Salt & Straw is something special, but less of a themed experience.
Just as Ample Hills Creamery ranked #1 on my List of the Best Ice Cream Spots at Walt Disney World up until it closed, Salt & Straw will instantly be the top pick once it opens. That much is a foregone conclusion.
So that’s how the two are like–both are high quality. The difference between Salt & Straw and Ample Hills Creamery is what each prioritizes. In my view, Ample Hills Creamery was the ultimate in ice cream as an indulgent comfort food.
My favorite order there, the Ooey Gooey Butter Cake Sundae, was rich and decadent, creamery and sweet, with chunks of soft butter cake to add even more sweetness. After eating that, I was in complete bliss, but also wanting to take a long nap.
On the other hand, Salt & Straw is a bit pretentious. Not in a bad way–that’s just how it is. Prior to opening at Disneyland, Salt & Straw’s LA location was on Venice’s Abbot Kinney Boulevard, which is known as “the coolest block in America.” Salt & Straw fit right in.
Virtually every flavor at Salt & Straw is surprising and sometimes downright provocative. I have never–not once–known whether I’ll love a flavor there prior to trying it. They’ve had some misfires that are definitely not to my tastes, but the concoctions are usually unexpectedly delicious, with ingredient combinations you will find nowhere else. I’ve eaten a lot of ice cream in my day, but nothing like Salt & Straw.
Without question, this is going to be a turnoff for a lot of Walt Disney World fans who want something unfussy and straightforward. Many guests will stare at the menu outside blankly for a few minutes and move on to something else because it’s overwhelming and ostensibly unappealing.
I’ll be honest with you–even as a diehard Salt & Straw fan, that “Rad Readers Menu” frustrated me. The names are essentially gibberish and the ingredients are buried in a paragraph of superfluous text. (Although as the writer of a blog that could best be described as “superfluous text,” the irony of that complaint is not lost on me.)
Our strong advice when it opens would be to give Salt & Straw a shot. Commit to sampling a few flavors (assuming that returns–it has not yet at Disneyland Resort) and ordering something.
Remember: real rewards await those who choose wisely. Put in a little effort and you’ll likely be rewarded with one of the most mind-blowing ice cream flavors you’ve ever experienced, or at the very least, an incredibly memorable one. Or you can choose to write off Salt & Straw, deciding it’s too adventurous. That’s okay, too. Some people like Topolino’s Terrace, others prefer Tomorrowland Terrace.
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Are you excited for Salt & Straw coming to Walt Disney World? Have you had it at Disneyland Resort? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment and comparison to Ample Hills Creamery? What’s your favorite ice cream at Salt & Straw? Looking forward to stopping here? Do you agree or disagree with our advice? 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!