The Great Dole Whip Controversy

If you have been to the Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom, you have no doubt seen a curious queue of people as you cross the bridge to Adventureland. What could so many people be waiting in line for? Is it a Princess or Mickey waiting to take pictures and sign autographs? Are they giving away nights in Cinderella’s Royal Suite? (I wish!) No, they are all waiting for the delicious treat known to all Disney park fans as Dole Whip.

Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom
Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom

The Aloha Isle counter serves this heavenly pineapple soft-serve creation, which visitors with dairy issues enjoy because it is virtually dairy free. I am not ashamed to admit I have made a specific trip to the Magic Kingdom for a Dole Whip – and nothing else (one of the perks of living close to Disney World). Part of the draw for this mouthwatering creation is the fact that is available in only 3 locations in all of the world – Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and the state of Hawaii. [See comments below for where readers have found Dole Whip in their neighborhoods!]

Fans of Dole Whip have started countless pages on the internet devoted to recreating this unique recipe. This is not easy to do since the real Dole Whip does not contain milk so it’s never going to be ‘just right’. There are also places that sell the dry mix to make in commercial ice cream machines, but if I could make it at home any time, I think some of that specialness would wear off. Part of what makes it so magical is where you get to enjoy it.

Dole Whip Float
Dole Whip Floats with pineapple juice

Now – the controversial part! For the record, you don’t have to get pineapple Dole Whip at Aloha Isle – also available are orange (like an orange sherbet), vanilla, chocolate or swirl soft serve, or a root beer or coke float. A pineapple float with Dole pineapple juice and Dole Whip on top is another popular choice. But the real question is – How do you take your Dole Whip? PLAIN pineapple Dole Whip – or SWIRL with vanilla and pineapple Dole Whip together?? You’ll find people defend their choices quite strongly if you ask around.

Personally, I have always been and will always be a SWIRL girl. The tart and tangy pineapple mixes perfectly with the sweetness of the vanilla. Mmmmm. What’s funny is last time we had a Dole Whip with our friends from California, the husbands stood in a very long line in the intense heat to get our whole group of 6 Dole Whips. When my husband came over with mine, I took a few bites and thought “Hmm, something’s off here…” I asked if he was sure he got a swirl and he said yes, that’s what he asked for. I tried again but it just wasn’t right. I looked and noticed the other cups of Dole Whip had the signature yellow and white swirl going on. My sainted husband went back up and the gracious cast member, Bob from Chicago kindly made me a new one. Sweet perfection!! So yes, I feel a bit strongly too, I simply cannot be a plain pineapple person – I must have the swirl! That is not to say pineapple doesn’t taste good on it’s own, but that the vanilla just makes it so much better.

So what are you? A Pineapple Person or a Pineapple-Vanilla Swirl person? Share your vote – or better yet a picture of you or your family enjoying your favorite choice and I will update the entry with your photos and votes. If you have not yet had the pleasure of experience the wonders of Dole Whip, make sure you add it to your bucket list – you won’t regret it!

Delicious Dole Whip
Delicious Dole Whip is waiting for you!


UPDATE: If Pineapple or orange sherbet-like flavors aren’t your thing, the Sunshine Tree Terrace has brought back Citrus Swirls, not to be confused with the orange available at Aloha Isle, the Citrus Swirl features tart frozen orange juice – much more of a slushy consistency, and vanilla soft serve ice cream. It’s available in a cup OR a cone, too! It took me a few tries to like it over the sweeter offerings at Aloha Isle, but it is now my preferred frozen snack in Adventureland. Sometimes the machines can be a bit cranky, but if you’re lucky you can enjoy this delicious treat and visit the Orange Bird while you’re at it!

Citrus Swirl
Citrust Swirl at Sunshine Tree Terrace with the Orange Bird
  • i am either (1) a pineapple and vanilla swirl girl, or (2) a Dole Whip float girl (with the swirl, of course).

    and now…i want Dole Whip. [sigh]

  • Here's some real controversy for you – I don't like Dole Whips! I feel like I'm alone in that, but alas, they just don't float my boat.

  • Definitely not – someone else on twitter was saying the same thing. My son doesn't like it either. It's okay because I can't stand the turkey legs it seems everyone else does either! 😉

  • I have a confession – I've never had a float! But I'm totally getting one next time we go, I want to see if I have a new favorite! 😀

  • T Tierney

    I, too, am a swirl person. I guess I think of all-pineapple folks as purists, but it is just too intense for me.

  • Can I vote for the Orange Version? If not I'm going to go with…I am a Pineapple Person.

  • Orange is yummy too!! 😀

  • themeparkmom

    Pineapple all the way for me!

  • themeparkmom

    It's pineapple all the way for me!

  • Seems to be pretty evenly divided at Pineapple/Swirl!! The controversy continuees…lol

  • flamingoshake

    Wow, why have I never experienced this??!? I have been to Disney quite a few times, and love all things pineapple (there is one growing in my back yard – finally!). I feel deprived and sheltered, and inspired to get to Disney ASAP to try this.

    What about a pinapple float but with the dole/vanilla swirl? I think that's what I want.

    Thank you for enlightening me!

    • I’ve actually never had the float but always wanted to try it. I’m definitely going to next visit!

  • Jon

    If you go in California the Dole Whip stand is right outside the Enchanted Tiki Room. I love the Dole Whip (swirl, thanks), but I'm not sure if it's the whip itself or the relaxing time spent off my feet before and during the Tiki Room show that makes it one of my favorite Disney treats. The Enchanted Tiki Room is one of the original attractions from 1955, and has WD's fingerprints all over it.

  • Jon

    If you go in California the Dole Whip stand is right outside the Enchanted Tiki Room. I love the Dole Whip (swirl, thanks), but I'm not sure if it's the whip itself or the relaxing time spent off my feet before and during the Tiki Room show that makes it one of my favorite Disney treats. The Enchanted Tiki Room is one of the original attractions from 1955, and has WD's fingerprints all over it.

  • I LOVE DOLE WHIP and just like you, I HAVE to have one in The Magic Kingdom or at Disneyland; the trip will not be complete without one. And I am a purist…just the pineapple Dole Whip Float. I have photos on my blog from the last time I went and Laura Spencer treated our whole group to one:

  • That's when I first added you on twitter – after seeing those pics Laura posted of you all having such a blast at Disney. It was so great following along with your tweets and then reading the post too. So glad we'll get to meet soon!

  • Okay, now I have to try the Dole Whip Pineapple Swirl!

    • You’ll have to let me know what you think – I still prefer the swirl!! 😀

  • Alysse

    Vanilla pineapple swirl all the time for me, please!

    • Excellent choice!! 😀

  • I am partial to just plain old pineapple no need for added juice#imjustsaying

    • I agree with the no need for juice, it’s just too much. Still like the swirl tho. 😛

  • mmm, I would love to have one of those Pineapple Whips right now!

  • HVYW8

    FYI…They do sell this product commercially, I have it running in my soft serve ice cream machine right now. A company called Precision Foods sells it.

    • A blogging friend recently bought some and makes it at home too! 😀

  • Gheezer

    We live about 10 minutes from WDW. We make the trip for a Dole Whip about once a week. All 3 of us love the the Whip straight, no swirl. In fact, we are heading there in about 5 minutes…..

    • Haha! Excellent! Enjoy it!! 😀

  • Mymueller

    Im a pinapple person but i tried also au Castmember Secret Tip Pinappler Cream with Sprite. Tastyyy I also hast to wait at lease 1 Year to get back there. :(((

  • Dsalenski

    We have a small restaraunt the serves Dole Whip – in Jefferson City, MO.

  • Jmdeegan

    They aren’t just available in Disney parks. Dutch wonderland in Lancaster PA has them too

    • Thank you! Dutch Wonderland is close enough for me to get a fix! (And I’m thinking my daughter will like the park, as well, so it gives me a good excuse to go!)

  • Ksmith1507

    At the Kentucky State Fair, every year now for the past 30+ years, I have enjoyed Dole Whip cones and every delectable bite of them.  Used to be there was only one (1) vendor booth with it.  Now, conveniently, there are two.  So I have one as soon as I get there, usually one around lunch time, and one before I leave. No kidding, I’m addicted and looking into franchise rights so I can have it every day!  LOL

  • i JUST had my first dolewhip experience.  i’m very curious as to what’s in it, for real!

  • Rdesjarlais13

    There is Dole Whip at the MN state fair I just had it for the first time on labor day!! Amazing!

  • Jerms7710

    I take my dole whip float with sprite not pineapple juice. No vanilla, straight pineapple…. Oh how I long for you to touch my lips.

  • I like orange dole whip with pineapple juice. 😉

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  • Luke_busby

    Having worked in Aloha Isle for 3 months I have to say that my favourite is a Orange and Vanilla Swirl Pineapple float (tastes like a creamsicle) . I have seen so many different combinations, from people asking for a root beer float with a splash of lemonade and then pineapple dole whip on top. Pineapple juice and sprite float with orange dole whip. I was asked several times for a “all 3 swirl”. Now… ask really nicely and you may get it! It depends if managers are around or if its busy, But it is a base of pineapple and vanilla swirl with a topping of orange dole whip. Not technically a swirl but it is something to try. 
    And for people wondering what’s in it, Not much at all. DW gets it as a fine powder and just adds water and then we add it to our machines. The ingredient list can be asked for at the counter, just ask for the ingredient list. Cast members have to show you in case you are checking for an allergy. 

  • Akamommy

    I’m a fan of the swirl float … I’m going to have to try the tri-factor swirl next time I’m there – thanks for the suggestion, Luke! 

  • Sfasfadsf

    wow cool info luke! thanks a bunch!

  • Erin Frank

    They also have a Dole Whip stand at the Minnesota State Fair every year. They have the pineapple, and I think raspberry!  Yum!

  • Aloha girl

    I had Dole Whip for the first time in Waikiki at the International Market…  Had the Banana flavour twice, and didn’t try the others because it was perfection!  I have a dairy allergy, and haven’t had ice cream in over a year, so it was amazing.  Nowhere but Hawaii, and the Disneys, eh?  Just one more reason to move to Hawaii!

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  • Scott M.

    I was reading an amusement park blog ( and she mentioned there is also a Dole Whip stand at Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, PA. Having missed my chance to havr one at WDW, I can’t wait to try one in orange and pineapple the next time I’m in Lancaster.

    Thanks for the great post and letting me know there are other people who are so interested in this strange little confection.

  • Steve

    Had my first Dole Whip tonight at Captain Cooks and am hooked on straight pineapple. Wish I’d discovered it sooner!

  • Kort

    Ahh sweet perfection, a family favorite, we have been known to enjoy multiple dole whips on a single trip to the magic kingdom, as they are a great use of the disney meal plan snacks.  And FYI you can get dole whip at disney’s polynesian resort’s captain cook’s quick service, a do it yourself cup-so fill your cup as high as you can 🙂

  • Cecilia

    Although I don’t mind it either way, I have to say that the pure pineapple is my absolute favorite!

  • Bobbert

    Strange its so hard to find, I remember it back in the 80’s at a buffet restaurant in the town I lived in as a kid in New Mexico.

  • Jes_420_01

    If you hop on the monorail and head into the Polynesia Hotel go down to the first floor past the art museum into the back quick service place called Capt Cook they sell the dole whip ice cream for way cheaper. It’s only the pineapple ice cream n pineapple vanilla swirl available in cups that is if the ice cream is all your craving 🙂

  • They have them in Iowa at the Lost Island Waterpark

  • Terri

    Also at Dutch Wonderland in Pennsylvania

  • I have never tried a Dole Whip!! I’m going to FL next weekend and will be going to the Poly to watch the Wishes Fireworks. I was over the moon when I found out that there is a Dole Whip stand inside the Poly (as we aren’t going to Disney this time). I am def going to be visiting them to try it! They don’t have swirl, but the individual flavors. I plan on getting half of each flavor and then mixing it all together. 😉

  • Sarah

    there was a lady selling these at the Strawberry Festival in Florida, and she mixed pineapple and strawberry dole whips, then served it on virgin strawberry pineapple daiquiris. fantastic!

  • I have only had the pineapple with the pineapple juice…and I LOVE IT!!!

  • Shoshana C

    Almost all of our little mom and pop ice cream stands have Dole Whip here in Upstate NY. The last one I had was raspberry and it was fantastic!