Pretzel-Wrapped Turkey Leg
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23 Indulgent Theme Park Foods to Try This Summer

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Pretzel-Wrapped Turkey Leg
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Amusing Meals

It’s no secret that state fairs are home to some of the craziest foods you can stomach, but theme parks are no slouch, either. While you tend to find a little more variety and a little less shock value in amusement-park food, there are still plenty of iconic and creative treats at the ready. Here are some of the best things to tempt your taste buds — and your wallet — between rides, including items that have garnered plenty of praise from parkgoers and professional food writers alike.

Related: 14 Theme Park Rides Opening This Summer — and a Few That Have Closed Forever

Dole Whip
Courtesy of disneyworld.disney.go.com

Dole Whip

Disney World and Disneyland
The most iconic theme parks in the nation have one of the most iconic theme-park foods: Dole Whip, a non-dairy, pineapple-flavored soft-serve dessert that is notably smooth and addictive. As Bon Appetit notes, even though Dole Whips are not exclusively the domain of Disney, park visitors are willing to wait in Space Mountain-like lines to get their hands on one; Disneyland and Disney World together sold 3.4 million in 2016. New this year, you can get boozy takes on the treat, including Dole Whip mimosas, in Disney Springs.

Bacon Pretzel Fury
Courtesy of buschgardens.com

Bacon Pretzel Fury

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Soft pretzels are one of the quintessential fair and theme park foods, but Busch Gardens in Florida has figured out how to push the envelope: with bacon, of course. The Bacon Pretzel Fury is a long soft pretzel that’s been braided around a couple of thick, juicy slices of bacon. Like all of the best bad-but-oh-so-good amusement foods, it comes on a stick for the ultimate in portability.

Related: 25 Amazing Bacon Dishes Across America

Thrill Shakes
Courtesy of yelp.com

Thrill Shakes

Six Flags Magic Mountain
Extreme milkshakes are here to stay, and theme parks are a perfect place to indulge in the trend. At Six Flags Magic Mountain near Los Angeles, the Thrill Shakes are over the top in every way (sadly, that includes their $15 price tag). Your options include the Cookies & Cream Thrill Shake, topped with crushed Oreos, tons of chocolate syrup, marshmallow fluff, whipped cream, an entire ice cream bar, and — why not? — a brownie. The holidays have even yielded a Pumpkin Pie Thrill Shake (yep, topped with a whole piece of pie).

Related: The Best Milkshakes in Every State

Big Pink Donut
Courtesy of universalorlando.com

Big Pink Donut

Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood
It’s a treat that would surely inspire instant drool from Homer Simpson. The Big Pink Donut from Lard Lad at Universal Studios is one of the most recognizable sweet treats in the park, and not just because it’s the kind Homer has pined for. For one, it really is giant — about as big as your head, actually — and the thick layer of pink frosting and sprinkles make it equally hard to miss. Just don’t forget to say hello to Lard Lad out front, or bad things may happen.

Meatloaf Stacker
Courtesy of dollywood.com

Meatloaf Stacker

Dollywood
Theme-park food isn’t normally fare that will inspire raves from jaded food writers, but Dollywood’s Meatloaf Stacker and plenty of other fare at the park did just that with Food & Wine. The stacker, one of the park’s most famous dishes, is an ode to the Southern comfort food we all know and love. A thick slice of tomato-glazed meatloaf is served up on butter-crust bread, then topped with a scoop of creamy mashed potatoes and brown gravy. Pinto beans are thrown in for good measure.

Related: The Best Spot for Comfort Food in Every State

Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs
Courtesy of nathansfamous.com

Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs

Coney Island
No theme-park food has a history as long and storied as Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs at New York City’s Coney Island. Nathan’s opened at the venerable park in 1916, selling hot dogs for a nickel each, and still hosts its long-running hot-dog eating contest at the Coney Island location every Fourth of July. Today, you can ask for a Coney dog — that’s a hot dog topped with chili, onions and mustard — at restaurants around the nation (but most famously in Detroit).

Related: America's 25 Best Hot Dog Stands

Cheeseburger Pods
Courtesy of disneyfoodblog.com

Cheeseburger Pods

Disney World
Sometimes a burger is just boring — but not with a sprinkle of the Disney magic. You can find this well-reviewed global take on a classic kid-friendly dish at Satu’li Canteen in Animal Kingdom. The plump bao buns are stuffed with ground beef, cheese, ketchup, mustard, and pickle. (Pro tip: You may have to order them off the kid’s menu or allergen-friendly menu, but reviewers say they’re delectable and well worth the extra effort.)

Related: Best Hole-in-the-Wall Burger Joint in Every State

Blue Ice Cream
Courtesy of visitkingsisland.com

Blue Ice Cream

King’s Island
Blue ice cream has reigned as the most iconic treat at Kings Island since it was introduced in the early ’80s. The blueberry-flavored soft serve even claims its own holiday, and last year’s tribute menu included blue funnel cakes, blue ice cream fudge, and wings with blueberry sauce. Just don’t be surprised if you’re swiftly corrected by locals when you order — many know the treat as a “Smurf Cone,” and there are even T-shirts that proclaim as much.

Related: Best Soft Serve Ice Cream Shops in America

Chicken and Waffles
Courtesy of knoebels.com

Chicken and Waffles

Knoebels
At many theme parks, food takes a back seat to flashy rides, entertainment and games. At Knoebels in Pennsylvania, it’s just as much of a draw — the park has even won the Golden Ticket Award for best theme-park food in the country 16 of the last 20 years. One of the many standouts is the Alamo restaurant’s from-scratch Chicken and Waffles. A classic normally associated with the South, at Knoebels it’s made the Amish way with pulled roast chicken and impossibly creamy gravy.

BBLz
Courtesy of hersheypa.com

BBLz

Hershey Park
Sure, you can find a giant novelty chocolate bar or Hershey’s Kiss at Pennsylvania’s Hershey Park, but the most unique treat is a relatively new one called BBLz. These mashups of soda, fruity flavoring, foam, and candy almost defy categorization. One of the menu staples is the All-Day PBJ, which mixes grape-flavored soda, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, grape jelly, peanut butter, a creamy foam, and Reese’s Pieces. It’s all served up in a whimsical bubble-like cup.

Pretzel-Wrapped Turkey Leg
seaworldorlando/facebook.com

Pretzel-Wrapped Turkey Leg

SeaWorld Orlando
Turkey legs have long been a mainstay at amusement parks. Same goes for pretzels, so it was only a matter of time before an evil genius decided to fuse the two. The result? SeaWorld’s massive $15 pretzel-wrapped turkey leg, which made its debut last year. The gut-busting snack weighs in at over a pound and can be found at Mama’s Pretzel Kitchen, which has also sold meatball-, burger-, and bacon-embellished pretzels to hungry parkgoers.

Boysenberry Everything
KnottsBerryFarm/facebook.com

Boysenberry Everything

Knott’s Berry Farm
It’s hard to settle on just one food to seek out at California’s Knott’s Berry Farm, but we can tell you this: It should definitely be boysenberry, the park’s signature flavor. Options include boysenberry-covered funnel cakes, boysenberry corn dogs, boysenberry sherbet, biscuits with boysenberry preserves, and boysenberry pie, of course. The spring Boysenberry Festival has even featured boysenberry chicken wings, boysenberry pot roast, and boysenberry beer.

Cinnamon Bread
Courtesy of blog.dollywood.com

Cinnamon Bread

Dollywood
Dolly Parton’s namesake theme park in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee is no slouch when it comes to food — it’s the only park other than Knoebels to win a Golden Ticket Award for best theme-park food since 2000. The undisputed king of the mouth-watering menus is the cinnamon bread made at the park’s real working Grist Mill. As any visitor can attest, the scent just may lure you in as you’re passing by — just avert your eyes as workers dunk the entire doughy loaves in butter before baking.

Skyline Chili 3-Way
Courtesy of skylinechili.com

3-Way

Kings Island
Just north of Cincinnati, Kings Island proudly serves up one of the region’s most well-known dishes: The Skyline Chili 3-Way. For the uninitiated, that’s a hearty helping of spaghetti covered in chili and an impossibly large pile of freshly shredded cheese. You can make it a 4-Way by topping it off with either diced onions or beans. (If you want to skip the pasta — sacrilege! — classic chili-smothered coneys are also on offer.) Whatever you choose, we recommend some of the gentler rides immediately after.

Granny’s Apple Fries
Courtesy of legoland.com

Granny’s Apple Fries

Legoland
At Legoland Florida and California, you can’t beat the signature Granny’s Apple Fries, invented in the park. They’re made with real Granny Smith apple slices that are cooked and dusted with cinnamon sugar. (Ignore the fact that they’re served with an oozing vanilla dipping sauce and focus on how your kids will finally want to eat some fruit.)

Family Feud Succotash
Courtesy of silverdollarcity.com
Funnel Cake Sundaes
SixFlagsAmerica/facebook.com

Funnel Cake Sundaes

Six Flags Great America
Funnel cakes are a midway staple at your local county fair, but Six Flags Great America near Chicago has made them worthy of a major amusement park by turning them into sundaes. The plate-size cakes are fried up and topped with powdered sugar like usual, but then they’re smothered in fudge, soft-serve ice cream, whipped cream, even more fudge, and a cherry, of course. Flavors have included Oreo, Strawberry Shortcake, and a special-edition Unicorn Funnel Cake Sundae.

Caliente Churros
Courtesy of disneyfoodblog.com

Caliente Churros

Disney California Adventure
Some like it sweet, some like it hot, some like it both. If you’re in the third category, head to the Senor Buzz Churros cart at Pixar Pier for a bright red churro that Disney simply, and mysteriously, describes as “spicy.” Disney Food Blog is a little more descriptive, comparing the flavor to cinnamon Red Hot candies. If that’s not your thing, you can still find other creative takes on this traditional treat around the park, including s’mores churros and carrot-cake churros with indulgent dipping sauces.

Twisted Tater Dog
Courtesy of silverdollarcity.com

Twisted Tater Dog

Silver Dollar City
If you have any room left over after your tasty Silver Dollar City succotash lunch, you’ll need to check out one of the park’s most unique snacks: the Twisted Tater Dog. This “culinary marvel” is thinly sliced fried potatoes on a stick, with a juicy hot dog stuck right down the center. Carbs and protein in one delightfully portable package? Yes, please.

Related: 24 Weird, Surprising, and Over-the-Top Foods on a Stick

Mac ’n’ Cheese Bowls
Courtesy of carowinds.com

Mac ’n’ Cheese Bowls

Carowinds
Is there anything that screams “comfort food” louder than a bowl of homemade macaroni and cheese? How about when it’s topped with extravagant extras like pulled pork, bacon, chili, peppers and onions, or even hot sauce and crumbled Doritos? Made-to-order macaroni and cheese bowls, originally a special dish for Carowinds’ WinterFest, have now become a year-round staple at this park in Charlotte, North Carolina, because of their runaway popularity.

Butterbeer
Courtesy of blog.universalorlando.com

Butterbeer

Universal Studios Orlando
Universal has brought perhaps the most well-known fictitious drink of all to life inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and its take on Butterbeer seems to have amassed as many fans as the Dole Whip in a fraction of the time. Despite its name, Butterbeer is a non-alcoholic, family-friendly libation. Devotees describe it as a butterscotch cream soda, and it comes in at least a half-dozen forms, including its most traditional form (cold), a cider-like hot butterbeer that’s available seasonally, and a slushie-like frozen butterbeer.

Mickey Beignets
Courtesy of disneyfoodblog.com

Mickey Beignets

Disneyland and Disney World
Every self-respecting Disney fan has had a Mickey bar, the mouse-shaped ice cream treat that’s nearly everywhere inside the parks. For our money, the better Mickey treat is one best enjoyed warm, and covered in powder sugar: Mickey beignets. Long a staple at Disneyland’s Café Orleans in New Orleans Square, the beignets are served with various delectable dipping sauces and have recently spread to Disney World, where you can also get them in sundae form.

Potato Patch Fries
KennywoodPark/facebook.com

Potato Patch Fries

Kennywood
At first blush, there’s nothing super-special about the baskets of loaded fresh-cut fries at Kennywood near Pittsburgh, but the devotion they inspire is nothing short of impressive. The theme park dared to test a new cheese sauce earlier this year and was met by a swift and intense social media blowback. (They’ve since reverted to the old sauce.) Other topping choices include bacon, vinegar, gravy and seasoning salts. Recent additions to the menu have even included “Poutine Patch” fries and a fry-covered burger.