It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Walt Disney World. I am a cynical, scowling stoic in most other regards, but the act of setting foot in a Disney theme park fills me with joy. I can’t help it. It is a purely visceral reaction. My wife laughs at me every time it happens.
Separate from my theme park adoration is my love for Downtown Disney. This cluster of stores and restaurants holds a special place in my blackened, three-sizes-too-small heart. In high school, I was not part of the cool crowd. I was not picked on or bullied or anything sad like that, I just attended a private school for rich kids. Its curriculum mainly centered on producing uninteresting adults who would birth children that would, in turn, grow up to be uninteresting adults (cue the opening sequence of The Lion King).
I was not a rich kid. I happily cleaned classrooms after school to make up the tuition difference my mother did her best to pay. The education I received there was decent, but more importantly I graduated without ever having been shivved by a gangbanger. I just wished someone had done me the courtesy of leaving a few complex equations on a chalkboard for me to solve.
So instead of spending my weekends drinking, blowing my parents’ money, and desperately pretending I was a gangbanger like most of my classmates, my friends (the poor kids) and I hung around, played board games, nerded, and focused on trying to become creative, thinking adults. We also spent a good deal of our time at Downtown Disney.
Downtown Disney is about 80 miles from where I live, but it might as well have been a world away. It’s the place where we first struck out on our own. Driving down I-4 was a test of the tensile strength of our umbilical cords. If something went down, we’d have to deal with it, more or less on our own. And there was always the possibility of stuff going down! During the late 90s, Downtown Disney was considered the seedy underbelly of the Walt Disney World Resort that no higher ups wanted to talk about.
Ok, that’s clearly not true. It was great. We’d eat at House of Blues, watch a movie, wander about, and smoke cigars. The trips are still some of my favorite memories.
Any opportunity I get to stop at Downtown Disney, I take enthusiastically. When I went to MegaCon, I made a special trip beforehand for a quick walkabout and snackspotting expedition. It was there, in one of the awe-inspiring mega-stores that I found these Milk Chocolate Mints.
Now say what you will about Disney, but you’ve got to hand it to them, they’ve got cajones. Selling candy in wrappers designed to look like money? That’s just gangster. I’d say Mickey was giving you the middle finger, but he only has four digits on each hand.
They taste like Andes Candies, which means pretty good (I love Andes Candies). The milk chocolate is a solid effort. It is smooth, though not too melty (important in Florida), and the mint flavor is pleasant and refreshing. They come four to a package, and their size makes for a tasty treat. You could do worse.
I have lost my receipt, but I would estimate that they cost me somewhere in the range of $200-$300. I had to apply for Mickey’s Magical Financial Aid before completing my purchase, and found myself having to stay after hours, sweep up, and disinfect all the bricks at the LEGO store.
It’s the ciiiiiiiiiiiircle of liiiiiiiiiiiiife!