The Best (and Worst) Disney Cookbooks

the best and worst

One of our most favourite subjects, if you haven’t figured it out by now, is Disney Food. And if we can’t go to the parks to enjoy the food, then we have to bring the food home with Disney Cookbooks!

Some of us (like me!) enjoy using cookbooks or online recipes. Even if I don’t follow a recipe exactly (which is almost always), or if I mash a few together, I like to have a starting point. Danielle and I on the other hand, tend to get inspiration from the original and then recreate it from scratch. We love our beignets (as you know), and so far we have adapted all of our recipes on our own, taking a little bit of this and a little bit of that until it’s perfect. (For all of our recipes, click here, and for Danielle’s YouTube channel, click here.) I prefer to use online recipes vs. buying a physical cookbook. I don’t have anywhere to keep the books, and therefore I do not buy them. However, I do love that Erica buys them so that I can have the benefit of flipping through hers, or getting together for a Disney food night (once we are allowed to hang out again)!

But when it comes to books that take up actual physical real estate in our homes, there are a lot of Disney Cookbooks out there. How do you know which one(s) to get? That largely depends on what you are looking for in a Disney Cookbook. Tried and true recipes? Stories and history? Beautiful design?

Here are my favourite Disney Cookbooks thus far…

Disney Cookbooks

1. The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook by Ashley Craft

First of all, this is the hottest Disney Cookbook at the moment. It’s sold out at a lot of places, but we know it’s available to order online in both Canada and the States.
This is the cookbook that you want if you are missing specific Disney Parks food. It’s got all of the classics that we miss on a daily basis, and is packed with 100 recipes, lovely pictures, and some great information. The author was a cast member at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and I like that she includes recipes from both parks. I also really love that she started out as a blogger like us!

The recipes I’ve tried already have been perfect. I LOVED the Buffalo Tater Tots at The Friar’s Nook in Magic Kingdom. Her at-home recipe was bang on and super delicious! For Disneyland, I can’t wait to try the Raspberry Rose Macarons, the Churro Funnel Cake, and the Jungle Julep. For WDW, I’m excited about the Cheshire Cat Tails, the Cheeseburger Steamed Pods, and the School Bread. This book has lots of good information, the recipes are tried and true, and I haven’t heard of a single fail from it (and that’s saying something). Definitely recommend!

Buffalo Tater Tots

2. Marvel Eat the Universe: The Official Cookbook by Justin Warner

I’ve been a fan of Justin Warner since he first appeared on the Food Network scene. Justin is the perfect blend of knowledgeable and nerdy. He’s a huge Marvel fan, and has a YouTube channel called “Eat the Universe” dedicated to Marvel-themed recipes… and this book is an extension of that. He’s got a TON of recipes for any Marvel fan. It’s going to be a great book to use as a resource once we get to the Marvel movies in the Every Disney Movie Ever Made Challenge… plus it’s just fun to look at. I am really excited about cooking a bunch of the recipes for my husband, who is arguably one of the biggest Marvel fans out there. Phoenix’s Hot Chicken and Egg Oyakodon and Black Widow’s Charred Beet Borscht are at the top of my list!

3. Entertaining with Disney by Amy Croushorn

Speaking of a beautiful book, this is the one. It’s just as much a lovely coffee table book as it is a recipe book. I love that it’s broken down by “themes” for parties. Whether you’re hosting a birthday party or an elaborate movie night, this book has some stunning ideas. It’s not your “grab and make something for dinner right now” kind of book, but it has it’s place in my kitchen for sure. Everything from an Alice Garden Party to an epic Villains Party (which I’m hoping to use for my 40th in a couple years)… this book has it all when it comes to an elegant Disney Party.

4. Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food by Marcy Carriker Smothers

This was my first Disney cookbook. I saw it in Downtown Disney, asked for it and I’m really glad that I did. It has recipes from Walt’s family, and wonderful stories about his vision for food at Disneyland. It’s more of a coffee table book than a recipe book, but that being said, I’ve liked all of the recipes in it that I’ve tried (except the Dole Whip). We adapted our Disneyland Gumbo recipe from this book. Side note… if you’re looking for a Dole Whip recipe, you’ve got to know that there truly isn’t one. Disney uses the official mix from Dole, so if you want Dole Whip at home, buy a big bag (and split it with some friends if you have to)!

5. Cooking with Mickey Around Our World

When I searched online for “the best Disney cookbooks” this was the answer that kept popping up. I’ve heard over and over that this book is a go to, and I would agree, especially for the classics that you grew up on as a kid. It has a lot of recipes from the Table Service restaurants that are onsite at Walt Disney World. So if you’ve only been to WDW in recent years, or Disneyland only, I would say you can give it a pass. I haven’t been overly inspired by it (yet) but I do want to mention it because this is the book I consistently hear is a “must try.” 

chef mickey

6. Disney Eats by Joy Howard

This book is more for things like snacks and themed movie nights, but it’s REAL cute! There are more than 150 recipes and endless hours of fun. It sits in the “food art” category. Taking foods that you mostly already have and turning them into Disney themed treats! Of all the books I own, this one is the most inspiring. The Princess Smoothie Bowls would turn any Saturday morning into a magical surprise, Captain Hook’s Brownie Bites are too cute, and the Pinocchio Bagels are to die for. This is the most useful cookbook I’ve seen in regards to Disney movies and food pairings for our Disney Movie Challenge: Every Disney Movie Ever Made.

7. Danielle’s Pick: Disney Princess Baking by Weldon Owen

I got this book for Christmas and have super enjoyed flipping through it, but have yet to make anything (the horror!). But there are SO many I am excited to try out. One that stands out are the biscuits from Brave that Merida’s brothers love. There are a TON of fun recipes; from cupcakes, to bars, to cookies, to baklava. Also, there is a little write up about WHY these desserts are in the book under the princess they are, and it has decorating tips and tricks to make them picture perfect!

Buyers Beware:

As we mentioned, there’s no shortage of books to try out there. Your best bets are going to be ones that you can purchase at a Disney Park and are endorsed by Disney themselves. Pretty much anyone can slap the Disney name on a book and it will sell. For example, this book was recommended to me so I just ordered it on the spot.

Deliciously Disney

Now look, I’m not here to tear apart anyone’s hard work. I’m sure much love and thought went into each book released. However, I was surprised to see that it’s poorly put together (I’m talking spelling errors and formatting issues, like the titles being at the bottom of the pages). It also has poor quality blown up clip art. There are literally NO pictures of any of the recipes, which to me is a huge reason to make something! If you are looking for a Walt Disney World recipe it’s probably in there, but with no pictures, and a very simplistic approach to the recipes, I just can’t recommend it.

Books We Want to Try

Disney Cookbook: The Cookbook On the Dishes Based on the Famous Disney Movies by Jasmin Anderson

I ordered this when I saw that it’s Disney movies and food pairings. I’m cautiously optimistic that it will be delicious. With Pinterest and so many blogs out there, the jury is out on whether I “needed” it or not. In the end, I just have to have it, even if there’s only a couple of really unique ideas. I like that there are a lot of pictures that are taken by the author. It’s not going to be one that is going to be a classic for me, but it was a good deal and has a few ideas I couldn’t find anywhere else, and for me, that’s good enough for now.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Marc Sumerak

This looks rather interesting for anyone that is a major Star Wars fan. The aesthetic is weathered, and the recipes all look and sound delicious. I’m curious if the ingredients are strange or make sense, and if they are as flavourful as they look at first glance. I know people that have purchased this book for the Ronto Wraps alone. 


What’s your favourite Disney cookbook? Did we mention it? We’d love to hear from you.

Have a magical day!
Erica, Heidi, Elisia and Danielle

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