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Robert Niles
Editor

Where to eat? Lunch at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments

Published: March 20, 2012 at 8:38 AM

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida - A chicken and waffle sandwich? In Florida? I've got to try that.

Keep in mind that I come from Southern California - home of Roscoe's, the king of the fried-chicken-and-waffle combo. There's a Roscoe's not too far from my home in Pasadena, and I consider that the best fried chicken in town - never greasy, always crispy, and with just enough pepper in the batter to give it some zing. The waffles have a hint of cinnamon, too.

So the chicken and waffle sandwich at the Magic Kingdom's Sleepy Hollow Refreshments would face a high standard to meet.

Sleepy Hollow Refreshments

The waffle sandwiches are the featured item on Sleepy Hollow's new menu, which debuted earlier this year. In addition to the chicken sandwich, there's a ham and cheese sandwich and a Nutella sandwich on the menu, in addition to plain or topped waffles and funnel cakes, as well as cookies and ice cream cookie sandwiches.

Sleepy Hollow menu in March 2012

But I didn't consider any of those. My eyes were locked on the chicken sandwich.

The fried chicken waffle sandwich, with sweet and sour syrup and arugula

No, ain't Roscoe's. And that's fine. Disney's chicken waffle sandwich ($6.99) comes with a fried chicken breast patty, bathed in sweet-and-sour syrup, perched on a folded, made-to-order Belgian waffle like it were a taco. Argula and a bit of a creamy carrot slaw top the sandwich.

I've long thought that Walt Disney World under-spices its food, which simply doesn't have the flavor I find in dishes at either Disneyland or Universal Orlando. A waitress at Boatwright's at Port Orleans Riverside recently warned me, for my most recent example, that the etouffee I was ordering would have a kick - but I never tasted it. Perhaps Disney's trying too hard not to offend anyone's taste buds by playing it overly safe.

So I was very pleasantly surprised to find a warm kick of flavor in the sweet-and-sour syrup on the Sleepy Hollow chicken sandwich. Yeah, this one'll wake you up. The peppery arugula added to the spiciness of the sandwich, too.

The only problem - how to eat this thing? With a Belgian waffle wrapping the chicken, this sandwich is too big eat from the side, like a taco. So I started from the top, eating the chicken, until the syrup softened up the waffle a bit, allowing me to smush it all together for a comprehensive bite.

Watch what you're doing, though, or the syrup will come squirting out the back of the sandwich, all over your lap. Napkins are advised.

Now it's time for dessert. As I said, I skipped the ice cream sandwich at Sleepy Hollow in favor of a more elusive treat.

The Citrus Swirl.

Walt Disney World's one-time signature dessert is back at the Sunshine Tree Terrace, although Disney's sure making it hard to find.

Sunshine Tree Terrace

The Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland is under construction tarps while Disney renovates the building's exterior. And the Citrus Swirl appears nowhere on the Terrace's menu boards. There's a small card on the counter advertising the treat, which costs $3.19 and comes either on a cone or in a cup.

Citrus Swirl

The Citrus Swirl is frozen orange juice swirled with vanilla soft-serve ice cream, and was the signature item at the Sunshine Tree Terrace when the park opened in 1971. The dessert was part of the Florida Orange Growers' sponsorship of the Tropical Serenade tiki room show, and Disney created the Orange Bird character as the "host" of the terrace, where you could buy the Citrus Swirl.

Orange Bird

After the orange growers dropped their sponsorship deal, the terrace dropped into seasonal operation, not opening for long stretches, and the Citrus Swirl often disappeared from the menu, too.

But Disney's reviving the Orange Bird (I just bought an Orange Bird shirt at a recent D23 event), and the Citrus Swirl is back, too. It's a tasty blend of sharp citrus and smooth ice cream, much like an old Creamsicle pop, but with better orange flavor and less icy consistency. I'd love to see it come back permanently to the Walt Disney World Resort, but the best way to make that happen is for fans to buy them while they're here. Disney might or might not listen to guest requests.

But all theme parks always listen to sales figures.

Replies (12)

Melanie Howe

Published: March 20, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Welcome back little Orange Bird :-) I've missed you!! Glad to hear that the citrus swirls can be found again. They were my favorite Disney treat as a kid -- way better than the Mickey ears on a stick! Wish I could go to WDW now, I'd buy two :-)
Mike Gallagher

Published: March 20, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Not being as much of a Disney aficionado as many here, I had no familiarity with the Citrus Swirl. That sounds verrrry appealing and interesting to me. Would you happen to know if they use fresh-squeezed OJ? I wouldn't take that as a given..keeping their costs down is often paramount, and even in California/Florida, fresh-squeezed is more expensive. I'll pay extra for it here when I hit a Wegmans..hard to find fresh squeezed OJ in NJ no matter the time of year!
Stephen Hicks

Published: March 20, 2012 at 9:25 AM

I love the Citrus swirl. It's much better than the Dole Whip. Hope it's still there when we go in DEC.
James Rao
Writer

Published: March 20, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Interestingly enough, even my local park, Worlds of Fun, is opening a waffle sandwich place this season. I am sure their offerings will be lousy and overpriced, but hey, at least they try. Sort of.
TROY DAVIDSON

Published: March 20, 2012 at 1:02 PM

I never knew this existed. Being a Dole Whip fan, I never ventured over there. I'm trying this new treat this weekend!
James Koehl
Writer

Published: March 20, 2012 at 3:39 PM

A chicken and waffle sandwich? Never heard of it. Must not have migrated north to Ohio yet.
Jay R.

Published: March 20, 2012 at 4:22 PM

There should be a Roscoe's at DCA! That's a staple of SoCal.

I think I've seen that orange bird before...Either way, it sounds like a cool alternative to the popular dole whip.

Mark Kausch

Published: March 20, 2012 at 5:18 PM

^^^Really? Never heard of Roscoe's. And I've lived in SoCal for 52 years.
Jay R.

Published: March 20, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Hey Mark,

Roscoe's has a few locations in the LA area, but it's very popular. They are known for their chicken & waffles.

It's listed in various tourist guides (like Pinks). It's popular with celebs & the President even ate there on one of his most recent visits.

I didn't know about the Pasedena location that Robert was talking about, but I think it would be cool to have at DCA!

66.193.169.130

Published: March 21, 2012 at 7:29 AM

I was exiting HOP recently and thought I saw waffles in the window. The group I was with were hot footin' it to Main Street for the MSEP, so I didn't have time to investigate but I will soon.

I've been hoping Chic-Fil-A would jump on the Chicken and Waffles idea and offer a breakfast sandwich with mini waffles aound their amazing chicken. McDonald's has that freakey McGriddles thing (actualy rather tasty, it just looks strange) so this seems like low hanging fruit.

Mike Gallagher

Published: March 21, 2012 at 8:56 AM

I've gotten on a waffle kick the last year or so...gotta pick some up on my way home tonight..Aunt Jemima 88 cents at Shop-Rite, baby! But I don't believe I've ever seen..much less had..a chicken/waffle sandwich. As I mentioned above regarding the Citrus Twist, this also holds some appeal for me.
Tony Duda

Published: March 22, 2012 at 11:32 AM

I ate the ham, prosciutto and swiss waffle for lunch in October. I eat chicken this or that everywhere else so I wanted a change. It was quite good and a nice change. The size was large enough for 2 to share and both be satisfied. The only problem I had was the disorganized ordering and pick-up system. The window area is small and they get quite a back-up in orders and you really need to stay close to hear your number being called out.

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