Disneyland is celebrating Pixar Fest this summer by expanding its line-up of flavored churros, so of course we had to assemble a team to hit the park and try them all! Four of us tasted seven churros available in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, and here is our ranking, from best to worst.
Our top two specialty churros were $5.75 and the others were $5.25, though some had optional sauces for $1 more. For comparison, a regular churro at Disneyland costs $4.75.
1. (Tie) Carrot Cake Churro
New Orleans Square, Disneyland
We ordered this one with slight skepticism, but it won us all over with its unexpectedly accurate flavor. All of these specialty churros are a base of Disney's regular churro Tio Pepe's-brand churro, rolled in a variety of new and colorful coatings in place of the traditional cinnamon sugar. Just like a pumpkin spice latte consists of — only the spices associated with pumpkin pie — the Carrot Cake Churro isn't vegetal, delivering hints of allspice and maybe nutmeg in place of real carrot. These spices deepen the flavor of a traditional churro. But the real star here is the included dipping sauce — a cream cheese frosting mixed with whisper-thin shreds of carrot and raisin, which round out the churro's flavor and make for a tasteful delight.
1. (Tie) Coco Churro
Rolled in salted cocoa and served with a chile pepper-infused Mexican chocolate dipping sauce (included in the $5.75 price), the Coco Churro tastes warmer on the tongue than the traditional churro. Over the course of tasting seven different flavors of churro, it became apparent that we reacted best to ones that fell on the "less sweet" end of the flavor spectrum. One of the reasons why people love churros is that warm cinnamon flavor that balances the sweetness of the sugar. When Disney's speciality churros failed, they lost that balance by becoming overly sweet. But the Coco Churro avoided that failure and won us over with its tasty zing.
3. Kevin's Churro
Town Square, Disneyland
Named for the kooky bird in Pixar's Up, this churro is as "frooty" as the bird’s plume is colorful. It tasted a bit like licking the bottom of a bag of Froot Loops to me, but others in our group didn't see that as a problem and appreciated the fruitful notes this colorful coating added. A dunk in the $1 chocolate sauce also helps.
4. Ants on a Log Churro
Flik's Fun Fair, Disney California Adventure
Drizzled with icing and topped with puffed rice cocoa cereal, this one looked and tasted like a slightly fancier version of a traditional churro. At this point on our list, none of us feel that the specialty churros are worth the 50-cent upcharge over the regular cinnamon churros anymore.
5. Golden Churro
Critter Country, Disneyland
Glittering with gold-colored sugar, this churro allegedly has a lemon taste, but none of us could find it. Like a mediocre Disney Channel production, this one is bland, but pretty.
6. Strawberry Churro
Glowing laser red, the cloying sweetness of this churro felt like a lightsaber to the tongue. One of us declared that this and the pineapple churro were "pretty much interchangeable trash" for their sickly sweetness. But another taster countered that at least you could pretend that this one was a lightsaber and play with it, instead of eating it. So that keeps the Strawberry Churro out of last place.
7. Pineapple Churro
Sleeping Beauty Castle/Hub, Disneyland
Dubbed by many as the "Dole Whip Churro," Adventureland ought to sue for defamation by false association. "It's like eating tropical Febreze," one of our team said, spitting it out. The $1 marshmallow sauce didn't help. We ate less than half the churro before giving up. On my way over to the trash can I asked, "Does anyone want the rest?", and a man sitting next to us hollered "I'll take it." So I handed it over... and he knocked off all the neon-yellow sugar before eating the now-plain remains. Smart move.
While none of us plan on eating another churro for quite awhile, the Carrot Cake, Coco, and Kevin churros are all definitely worth checking out. Otherwise, save yourself the 50 cents and stick to the traditional churro.
Thank you to Natalie Niles, Brian Niles, and Sara Watson for joining me on the Theme Park Insider Churro Tasting Team!Tweet
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