Japan is known for its many delicious foods, including sushi, ramen and melt-in-your-mouth wagyu beef. While all these foods are readily available for your consumption at Tokyo Disney, they’re not exactly foods worth trying while at the resort.
Instead, the most famous, must-try food at Tokyo Disney is something slightly surprising, and something… not slightly Japanese.
Tokyo Disney is famous for it’s popcorn, and people go crazy for it. Now I know what you’re probably thinking, all Disney parks sell popcorn, but the popcorn at Tokyo Disney is different– it’s flavored.
The flavors found at Disneyland are different from those at DisneySea, which just begs for a challenge to try them all, or at least as many as we can stomach. (Which turns out isn’t that many.)
When you walk into either park, you can even obtain a popcorn map that shows you all the current flavors and locations.
Each box of popcorn is surprisingly only ¥300 ($3 USD), which probably makes it the most affordable thing in the park. Of course, it’s not as simple as just buying a box of popcorn, this is Disney after all. Popcorn at Disney is an industry; they know their market and that the Japanese find cute things irresistible.
Lo and behold, souvenir popcorn buckets!
You want one shaped like Mickey? No problem. How about Minnie or Donald? Or what about seemingly lesser loved characters like Chip and Dale, Marie Cat, or Alice in Wonderland? They’ve got it.
Multiple new designs come out every few months, while older ones are retired. There are even specially created themed buckets for holidays and special occasions.
Everyone has one, if not two or three, of these popcorn buckets.
Even within a single family, the mom, dad and each child, will have their own personal souvenir bucket. And how about a matching bucket for your Duffy doll?
These souvenir buckets are fun to collect and make the popcorn craze even crazier. Most of the buckets cost ¥2000 ($20 USD) and can be refilled for ¥500 ($5 USD), which is a deal because you get a considerable amount more than the normal ¥300 boxes.
Having a souvenir bucket also only adds to the desire of partaking in the challenge of trying all the flavors.
So back to the flavors. Salted popcorn? Standard. Caramel corn? Sure, okay. But how about sea salt or soy sauce flavored? And these aren’t even the weird flavors.
Here were the available flavors when we visited the park (April 2013):
Tokyo Disneyland: salt, curry, caramel, honey, soy sauce and butter, corn potage, and salted caramel mix.
Tokyo DisneySea: sea salt, caramel, curry, black pepper, strawberry, milk tea, and apple cinnamon.
Like popcorn buckets, flavors also often change seasonally. Some other flavors they’ve been known to have include cappuccino, coconut, chocolate, banana, and cranberry.
The carts and kiosks that sell popcorn are also placed creatively throughout the park, often with a flavor being sold only at one particular location. If you see something you really want to try, be sure to grab it or else you may risk forgetting where you saw it.
Luckily, if you do forget, a lot of the flavors relate to the location they’re sold in, such as sea salt in Ariel’s Playground or honey outside of Pooh’s Hunny Hunt.
We visited DisneySea on the first day, not realizing the 30th anniversary souvenir bucket that we wanted was only sold at Tokyo Disneyland. So we decided to hold out until the next day to buy the bucket, but this meant we didn’t eat any popcorn at DisneySea.
Even at Tokyo Disneyland, with only one souvenir bucket and two people, we only got through 5 of the 7 available flavors, and that was by eating popcorn for lunch, dinner and any snacks in between! It didn’t help that if one of us didn’t like a flavor, it was up to the other to finish the whole bucket. That really slowed the process down a ton.
Overall I think my favorite was the soy sauce and butter, although Johnny will argue that one was awful and much preferred the honey flavor. To each his own I guess.
Next time I’ll make sure to bring our old buckets along, so that he can get his own popcorn, while I enjoy all the soy sauce and butter popcorn I want![divider]
Which flavor would YOU like to try?