Leela Cyd Ross

The cult-favorite West Coast-based ice cream company will be serving park-goers as early as the fall.

Alison Spiegel
April 24, 2018

Say what you want about giant turkey legs. When it comes to the food at Disneyland and Disney World, the options these days are extensive. Between all the churros you could ever want to Black Tap Milkshakes and an upcoming on-site brewery from Ballast Point, there are more choices than Disney fans can probably make room for amidst the rides and the lines. And now, the Disneyland Resort is getting one of the country’s most inventive and thoughtful ice cream shops. Salt & Straw will open a shop at Downtown Disney as early as this fall.

For the seven-year-old company that makes everything from scratch—from the ice cream base, which they churn from locally sourced cream in small, five- to 10-gallon batches, down to the almond brittle in their Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache—this is a big deal. (They take such care in making everything by hand, they even made the gummy worms featured in Gummy Worm Surprise Sorbet, one of their past flavors.) 

And you can expect the same level of craftsmanship and care at the Disneyland location.

"Retaining our own voice in terms of the ingredients we use and the tweaks that we make is very important," says Kim Malek, co-founder and CEO of Salt & Straw. She and her cousin Tyler Malek, co-founder and head ice cream maker, aren't going to let go of what sets their company apart: "The love that goes into every batch," as Tyler, who is currently working on a Salt & Straw cookbook with Francis Lam for the spring of 2019, puts it.

Leela Cyd Ross

Beyond hand-crafting each item that goes into the flavors, they're also going to continue developing seasonal, locally-sourced menus for the Disneyland location like they do for every scoop shop. Having always celebrated local ingredients, they see it as a bonus that they'll be able to introduce SoCal ingredients to the tourists who come to Disneyland from all over the world. Last spring, for example, they developed an incredible Wasabi Flowers and Green Apple Sorbet with Oregon-grown wasabi, not something you see every day. At the new location, expect ingredients quintessential to Southern California.

Though Tyler hasn't nailed down the new flavors debuting at the shop quite yet, he knows he'll offer some of the classics. Think chocolate chip cookie dough made with Jacobson's sea salt, ribbons of fudge and a batter made with brewer's malt. He'll also develop a range of flavors exclusive to Disneyland.

"It's such a fabric of the United States," Kim says of Disneyland. “We are leaning into what you would crave in that environment, so you can expect our take on the classic Americana menu."

Look no further than Salt & Straw's current seasonal menu project to rest assured their Disneyland flavors will stand up to the whimsical spirit of Disney itself. For the month of April, they're featuring flavors invented students from elementary schools near each shop. Who else would have dreamed up "Gummy Wwummy" sorbet, Pots of Gold and Rainbows or Lots a Nachos? Fifteen percent of the proceeds go back to the PTA at the given school. 

Next month, the theme is May flowers and June will see chef-driven menus from restaurants in each of the cities where Salt & Straw is located: expect flavors from the likes of Traci Des Jardins and Sarah Kramer. July will focus on berries and August will be inspired by local farmers markets.