The History and Growth of Disney’s Dole Whip

in Disney, Food, Theme Parks

Up close view of a Dole Whip_feature image

Credit: Disney

If you’ve ever been to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, or Disney World in Orlando, Florida, chances are you’re probably already familiar with that iconic novelty soft-serve concoction known as the Dole Whip.

But what is a Dole Whip exactly, and how did it come about? Traditionally “whipped” up as a sweet yet tangy pineapple-flavored treat, it’s a cool, creamy confection sometimes toted as the best Disney food to get you through a hot and humid day by contested fans. And because it is dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and low in calories, it makes for an excellent, healthier, and mutually appealing alternative to traditional ice cream in Disney World, Disneyland, and other Disney locations worldwide.

Here at Inside the Magic, we’re delving into the historical development of the Dole Whip and its growth in popularity, availability, and overall emergence as a cult classic Disney snack.

Close up of three Dole Whip servings
Credit: Disney

Dole Sponsorship Comes to Disney

Predating the Dole Whip’s conception was the partnership that formed between the Walt Disney Company and the Dole Food Company in 1976. This was when Dole became the new sponsor for the Enchanted Tiki Room in Disneyland. Dole products started selling in the Park at this time, including Dole-brand pineapple juice and fresh pineapple spears.

Signage showing Dole sponsorship of the Enchanted Tiki Room
Credit: Disney

Dole sponsorship extended to Walt Disney World Resort in 1983 when the formerly existing Verandah Juice Bar was renamed “Aloha Isle” at Adventureland in Magic Kingdom Park. Following Disneyland’s lead, this location began serving Dole pineapple juice and fresh pineapple slices too.

Related: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Dole Whip

The Dole Whip Is Born

Disney World started getting creative during its first year under Dole sponsorship, sometimes even serving up traditional vanilla soft-serve ice cream topped with the brand’s signature pineapple. That’s what initially inspired Dole to look into creating a non-dairy dry-mix derivative that would better withstand Florida heat than traditional ice cream. Enter Kathy Westphal, a recent grad from U.C. Davis, who had been working at Dole only a few short years before being tasked with such a lofty assignment. But alas, Westphal prevailed in inventing what quickly became one of the most iconic iced treats synonymous with Disney and Dole alike. From 1984 to 1986, the Dole [Pineapple] Whip was a Disney World exclusive. By 1986, though, it was a welcome addition to the Disneyland scene.

New Flavors

Eventually, new flavors emerged, which was great for those who may not particularly pine for pineapple. Some of the notable alternative flavor offerings to the still-expanding lineup now include orange, cherry, lemon, lime, raspberry, strawberry, watermelon, and mango. Of course, these offerings vary based on location.

Watermelon flavored Dole Whip treat
Credit: Disney

Even More Creative Developments

Dole Whip is excellent to enjoy as is, although there have been some pretty noteworthy variations over the years. One popular method for divvying Dole Whip has been to combine it with traditional vanilla soft serve. Other offerings include limited-time themed Disney Character treats, Dole Whip Floats, and other beverage concoctions. There are even alcoholic Dole Whip Disneyland and Disney World specialties to choose from now at various locations. And on that note, we will now tell you exactly where to find Dole Whip at Disney World and Disneyland.

A Dole Whip beverage
Credit: Disney

Related: The New Spiked DOLE Whip at Disney World You Have to Try

Where It’s Being Served

For a while, Dole Whip locations throughout Disney World and Disneyland were somewhat limited. But being a beloved staple for nearly four decades provided plenty of opportunities for growth and expansion. Now you can snag a Dole Whip at many Park and Resort locations and in nearby Disney Springs. While some offerings are subject to change seasonally, the places known for proudly serving up Dole Whip at both Disneyland and Disney World currently include the following:

  • Tiki Juice Bar (Disneyland)
  • Tangaroa Terrace Tropical Bar & Grill (Disneyland)
  • Tropical Hideaway (Disneyland)
  • Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats (Disneyland)
  • Aloha Isle (Disney World)
  • Storybook Treats (Disney World)
  • Sunshine Tree Terrace (Disney World)
  • Pineapple Lanai (Disney World)
  • Trader Sam’s (Disney World)
  • Barefoot Pool Bar (Disney World)
  • Tamu Tamu Refreshments (Disney World)
  • Trilo-Bites (Disney World)
  • The Silver Screen Spirits Pool Bar (Disney World)
  • Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas (Disney World)
  • Wine Bar George (Disney Springs)
  • Swirls on the Water (Disney Springs)

Dole Whips have also been traditionally offered at the Dole Plantation in Hawaii and Likit Dole Whip in St. Augustine, Florida.

Related: Swirls On The Water: The NEW Ultimate DOLE Whip Destination

Worldwide Expansions

Within the last two decades, we’ve seen the Dole Whip expand across Disney locations far and wide. In 2011, befittingly enough, it arrived on the Aulani, A Disney Resort scene in Honolulu, Hawai’i, where it’s served at Little ‘Opihi’s and Ulu Café. Then in 2017, it made a welcome addition to the Disney Cruise Line, where you can now enjoy it at Sulley’s Sips on the Disney Wonder, Wheezy’s Freezies on the Disney Wish, and at Frozone on the Disney Magic, Disney Dream, and Disney Fantasy. Other Disney locations where Dole Whip gets doled out now include Disney’s Vero Beach Resort in Vero Beach, Florida, and Café de la Brousse in Disneyland, Paris.

A Moana-themed Dole Whip sundae at Aulani
Credit: Disney

Where to Get Dole Whip Near Me

If you have ever asked yourself whether or not you can find Dole Whip served up locally, then we’ve got great news! Dole Packaged Foods announced on March 3, 2023, that their famous Dole Whip would be made available in grocery stores. Now you can gladly pick it up anytime in most grocer freezer sections. It is available in three flavors—strawberry, mango, and classic pineapple.

Boxes of new Dole Whip products you can now buy in local super markets
Credit: Dole Packaged Foods

Related: Disney’s Dole Whip Is Finally Coming To Your Home

We hope you’ve enjoyed this delightfully refreshing review of the history and enduring legacy of the Dole Whip. Let us know in the comments below whether or not you are also a fan of this famed and fabled frozen treat and which versions and variations you enjoy best.

in Disney, Food, Theme Parks

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