How Creamy, Dreamy DOLE Whip Became a Disney Staple

Here’s the story behind where the sweet treat was invented and how it came to be so beloved.

<p>Allrecipes/Suzanne Clements</p>

Allrecipes/Suzanne Clements

If you love tropical, cool treats, you might be familiar with Disney’s wildly popular DOLE Whip. Since its debut in 1984, this creamy, pineapple-flavored, soft-serve wonder has evolved into an iconic, must-have culinary indulgence when guests visit Walt Disney World Resort in Florida or Disneyland Resort in California. In fact, to the delight of DOLE Whip fans around the world, Disney released a DOLE Whip-inspired recipe in 2020 during the pandemic.

But how–and where–did DOLE Whip originate in the first place? We got the inside scoop (as it were) on this quintessential Disney snack.

The Sweet Beginnings of Disney’s DOLE Whip

The relationship between DOLE Packaged Foods and Disney spans more than 45 years, according to Karen McClintock, global public relations manager – food & beverage at Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. It began in 1976, when DOLE sponsored Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room as part of a marketing partnership.

“It only seemed natural that a DOLE sponsorship would lead to snacks!” says McClintock.

Initially, the Enchanted Tiki Room served DOLE pineapple juice and fresh pineapple spears. But later, in 1983, DOLE Packaged Foods became the sponsor for the newly renamed Aloha Isle (formerly Verandah Juice Bar) at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, serving the same, refreshing combination of DOLE pineapple juice and pineapple spears.

Soon after, the fan favorite—originally called DOLE Pineapple Whip, but later shortened to DOLE Whip—debuted in 1984 at Aloha Isle followed by its Disneyland premiere at the Tiki Juice Bar in 1986. Since then, Disney vacationers have been dishing up this delightful frozen dessert throughout the parks and resorts. According to the Disney Parks Blog, DOLE Whip is fat-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free with no cholesterol—making it an ideal snack for most people.

Over the years, its popularity continued to grow, as the iconic frosty confection popped up on Disney menus beyond its theme parks. Disney unveiled the DOLE Whip at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii (2011) and on Disney Cruise Line (2017).

An Immersive Culinary Experience

Far from just a chilled pleasure on a hot day, DOLE Whip showcases Disney’s culinary creativity, weaving its food and beverages into the theming of its parks’ various “lands.”

“Disney is always looking to make a more immersive and diverse dining experience for its guests,” McClintock says. “This encourages the culinary team to take inspiration from iconic park theming, looking to connect with guests through familiar and nostalgic flavors presented in a fun and inventive manner.”

If you’ve never visited Adventureland, this park section evokes a feeling of exploration in tropical places often with thematic elements of jungles, deserts, and global cultures. Dotted with celebrated attractions like Jungle Cruise, Enchanted Tiki Room, and Pirates of the Caribbean, Adventureland marks the ideal spot for guests to indulge in a cool DOLE Whip—the epitome of tropical temptation.

<p>Allrecipes/Suzanne Clements</p>

Allrecipes/Suzanne Clements

DOLE Whip’s Evolution

Over the years, the DOLE Whip frenzy sparked official new flavors and variations as well as copycat recipes and DIY mashups.

The DOLE Whip's original flavor—and still the most popular, says McClintock—is pineapple. But Disney also offers lime, mango, orange, raspberry, strawberry, and seasonal flavors throughout the year at various locations. Guests can eat DOLE Whip by the spoonful in a cup, lick it old-school on a cone, enjoy it as a refreshing float, or even sip alcoholic versions like King’s Cooler (DOLE Whip topped with coconut rum and flavored syrups) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.

Feeding into the treat’s staying power, media outlets, food bloggers, and Disney fanatics put their own spin on the icy indulgence, trying to recreate (or improve upon) it. (Check out Dole Whip, copycat Dole Whip, and Pineapple Whip here on Allrecipes).

A Sweet Secret Revealed During a Tough Time

But copycats didn’t satisfy fans, who continued to clamor for the recipe. The moment came during the pandemic. With so many parks and attractions around the world temporarily closed, Disney released a DOLE Whip-inspired recipe to the public, sparking a wave of gratitude and joy. At a time when people couldn’t visit the parks in person—and were confined at home during lockdowns—the recipe resonated, offering a sense of nostalgia and comfort during an extremely challenging time.

<p>Allrecipes/Suzanne Clements</p>

Allrecipes/Suzanne Clements

The Future of the Iconic Treat

Fast forward to 2023, when DOLE Whip officially earned its own holiday. Chase’s Calendar of Events—an official compendium of holidays worldwide—earmarked the third Thursday of July as National DOLE Whip Day.

“Disney takes the love of the fan-favorite snack very seriously,” McClintock says. “This day not only celebrates Disney's tradition of serving DOLE Whip but also gives fans a chance to remember the iconic snack as part of their Disney experience.” 

Read the original article on All Recipes.