Today, we’re taking this blog where it’s never gone before… to SPAAAAAACE!!!
Mission: Space, that is! You’ll know the Mission: Space Cargo Bay if you’ve ever ridden this Future World attraction — it’s the gift shop you pass through when exiting the ride.
The store carries some typical Disney items (no shortage of Star Wars stuff here!), along with some fun space-themed merchandise more unique to the spot.
You can also find some regular grab-and-go fare — not a ton, but a few pre-packaged items like assorted bags of chips, candy bars, and the Snacks with Character allergy-friendly treats. But if you search around a bit, you can also find some snacks that remind me of some of my first trips to Epcot in the 80s (EPCOT back then, of course).
I don’t remember which ride featured the astronaut snacks back then (Horizons?) — and maybe I’m just making the whole thing up — but I could swear I had freeze-dried ice cream at EPCOT back in the day. Anyone remember details?
Anyway, they’re still here (or maybe they’ve returned), and it’s time to check out the Astronaut snacks! As the bag reads, these snacks are “Freeze-Dried Ready to Eat Space Food.”™
Varieties available for $5.95 each include primarily ice cream (Mint Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips, and Neapolitan), ice cream sandwiches (traditional Vanilla or Cookies and Cream), and one fruit option: strawberries.
I grabbed an Ice Cream Sandwich.
I brought mine home to give it a try. (Oh, and if you take yours outside of the park as well, be careful, because it’s hard to remember this snack is even in your bag — it’s SO lightweight!) This was a safe choice seeing as the snacks have a shelf life of “many years” to remain edible for the astronauts according to the packaging, which also informs about the freeze-drying process and why it’s necessary for space missions.
Within the foil wrapping, the sandwich is further wrapped inside with a basic paper — just like the ice cream sandwiches I had as a kid (these days, I typically only eat Mickey-shaped ones 😉 ).
Upon picking up the sandwich after unwrapping, I found that one of the chocolate cookies making up the sandwich was still connected to the ice cream, but the other had fallen apart and away from it.
This worked perfectly well for our purposes, because it was easy to get this picture showing you what the ice cream inside looks like.
I did a quick reassembly and it was time for the first bite! Aaaand, here’s what happened after I picked it up and made my first attempt at eating it… like, immediately and all at once :).
Of course, that wasn’t entirely unexpected, since the package indicates that the item is entirely dry during transport, then “as you eat the sandwich, your mouth rehydrates the ice cream.”
Now, the chocolate cookies themselves remained very crunchy and crispy; they didn’t soften at all. The vanilla ice cream did soften a teeny bit; but while it didn’t remain crunchy, it didn’t turn creamy, either (my husband thought it was like eating an “ice cream cracker”). But the classic chocolate and vanilla flavors were completely intact, and once you get past the initial bite and adjust to the textures (and they do take some adjusting), the flavors live up to the package claim; it “tastes just like the original,” only not cold — another adjustment.
Now, don’t get me wrong; for decadent ice cream treats in Epcot… well, let’s just say I’m glad that L’artisan des Glaces is still an option ;). But a little taste test like this is obviously more about the learning experience, offering a neat opportunity to try something similar to what astronauts eat during missions, allowing for a teeeeeny tiny glimpse of how their needs are met while VERY far from home. What a really fun and cool (though not cold 😉 ) find for your little budding scientist or space fan!
So, as you can see, your choices at Epcot aren’t limited to food from other corners of the globe with a trip around World Showcase… thanks to the Astronaut Snacks at Mission: Space Cargo Bay in Future World, your Epcot culinary adventures can even take you beyond 🙂 .
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Just looking for all the Snacks in Epcot?
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Have you tried any of the Astronaut Snacks? Please let us know with a comment!