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The Best Smells In Disney As Chosen By Disney Fans!

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Sense of smell is a key component in how Disney tells a story. Disney knows “sense memory” is so powerful that sometimes just a scent is as iconic to a resort, food or attraction as the thing itself. There are so many iconic smells that we associate with various Disney experiences. We asked you to vote for your favorite smell in all of Walt Disney World. Now, it’s time to reveal the big winners!

Iconic Disney Scents

Uploaded by Christina

There are certain Disney smells that are so ingrained in my sense memory that no matter where I am, if a scent even subtly reminds me of something in Disney, it brings a flood of emotions back to the surface.

For me (Christina), one of my favorite smells in Disney is the smell of the Beach Club lobby. When I walk through those doors and the air conditioning blows the airy scent of Clover and Aloe my way, I feel instantly at peace. So many times after smelling that beautiful aroma, I instantly say, “I’m home”.

There are so many amazing scents in Disney and we wanted to know which smells YOU thought were the best of the best! What scents bring back all the Disney nostalgia for you and your family? Without further ado, let’s take a look at which scents made the Top 10!

#10. Gingerbread (Grand Floridian lobby at Christmastime)

Credit: Kate

Is there anything more magical than the smell of gingerbread at Christmastime? For me, gingerbread is one of my favorite Christmas flavors and no one knows how to do gingerbread better than Disney.

Each year, (except for 2020) Disney goes all-out on their gingerbread displays. You will find some gorgeous creations such as the carrousel at Disney’s Beach Club Resort and the Mary Blair-themed display at the Contemporary Resort, but nothing compares to the life-sized gingerbread house that stands in the lobby of the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

From the moment you walk into the lobby, you are greeted by the sweet and spicy aroma of cinnamon, honey, nutmeg and cloves. It is a smell that immediately puts you in the holiday spirit!

If you find yourself craving a bite of that delicious gingerbread smell, be sure to stop over to the backside of the gingerbread house, because it functions as a bake shop selling lots of amazing holiday treats!

#9. The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor (Magic Kingdom)

Credit: KtP

The smell that wafts out from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor is one of the most iconic smells in Disney. You’ll find it hard to walk by without getting drawn in by the amazing aroma of freshly baked waffle cones.

The true magic of this smell is that it is not quite “real”. If you’ve ever walked into the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, you’ll notice it smells a little different than the warm vanilla smell that drew you into the shop. That is because Disney uses its favorite technique of smellitizers to blow specific scents out at guests passing by that will entice them to come in and buy treats.

Even if you find yourself giving in to the fake waffle cone smell, you will never be disappointed in the real thing. The ice cream at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor is amazing and hits the spot on a long hot day or while waiting for fireworks crowds to disburse.

#8. Popcorn

Credit: KtP

The smell of popcorn may be one of the most irresistible smells in all of Disney. There is just nothing like that smell of hot buttery popcorn to make your mouth water. One of the places that I fall victim to the popcorn smell the most is right at the entrance of Main Street U.S.A.

That is because Disney uses the power of storytelling in a very compelling way that many guests may not even realize.

The main entrance to the Magic Kingdom is set up like a theatre. The ticket area is designed as the lobby where guests scan their tickets to the show. The train station itself is the red curtain that shields your eye from the main attraction: Cinderella Castle.

Then, as guests enter the theatre, the tunnels are filled with movie-style posters to preview upcoming attractions you will experience. After you enter, what does your brain want before the big show? Popcorn!

Disney uses the smellitizer technology to blow that amazing freshly popped popcorn scent directly at guests as they enter under the train station tunnels, thus enticing them to buy popcorn for the show.

#7. The Confectionery (Magic Kingdom)

Credit: Maggie

Another iconic smell on Main Street U.S.A. is the sweet smell of The Confectionery. As you walk in your nose is greeted by the strong smell of freshly spun cotton candy. It’s not that artificial cotton candy smell either. When I walk in my brain immediately wants blue cotton candy. It’s almost as if I can smell the blue sugar.

For me, I associate the delicious smell of The Confectionery with fond memories of traveling to Disney with my family. It was often a tradition to stop in at the end of the night and grab a sweet treat to take back to the hotel with us.

I always made a beeline to the cotton candy station in the hopes that I could grab a fresh bag of blue raspberry cotton candy. After all, cotton candy survives a lot better in a hotel room than in the Florida sun.

There is no other place in Disney that smells quite like The Confectionery. It invokes such a strong sense memory that instantly transports us to our happy place.

#6. Hibiscus Passion (Polynesian)

Credit: KtP

The smell of the Polynesian is a unique scent. When you walk in you are immediately transported to the tropics with the amazing scent of hibiscus. That beautiful floral scent mixed with the slight chlorine water smell makes you feel like you are in Hawaii.

There is no other hotel quite like the Polynesian, and that is why so many people find this to be such an iconic scent!

#5. Green Clover and Aloe (Yacht and Beach Club/Grand Floridian/Contemporary Resorts)

Credit: Monica

The Beach Club and Grand Floridian Resort & Spa are my two favorite resorts in all of Disney. There is so much to experience around both hotels. One thing that makes these resorts so iconic is the smell of their lobbies.

Both resorts use a scent called Green Clover and Aloe. For me, whenever I walk into the lobby of the Beach Club and that blast of scent hits my nose I am instantly home. There is something so light and inviting about it. Yes, it is strong, but it isn’t heavy and actually invokes a positive emotional response.

While the Grand Floridian shares the same scent as the Beach Club, it smells slightly different. The large floral arrangements and the scents of the Basin White shop tend to intermingling with the Green Clover and Aloe creating a different aroma. This smell is one of my all-time favorites in Disney World and I am glad to see other guests feel the same!

#4. Orange Groves (Soarin’ Over California)

Disney World Is Treating Fans To an Amazing Soarin' Throwback
Credit: Disney

While Soarin’ Over California is long gone from Epcot, many fans still remember its iconic orange groves scent. Anytime I smell real citrus scents I am instantly hang gliding over the orange groves in California. I bet there are many people out there who could simply close their eyes and smell this scent right now in their minds.

Disney’s use of smellitizers totally transformed this whole attraction. It’s one thing to feel like you are flying, but add in the smells and you feel like you are really there.

#3. Flying over Fiji & Flight of Passage (Soarin’ Around the World and Flight of Passage)

Credit: www.fiji.trave

Taking the bronze medal of most iconic smells is the scent of Fiji on Soarin’ Around the World and Flight of Passage. This scent has become a true fan favorite and many guests have searched far and wide for similar candles and diffusers.

It is a light smell that invokes the vision of sandy beaches and peaceful serenity. How can you not love it?

#2. The Burning of the Library of Alexandria (Spaceship Earth)

Credit: Disney

I have literally uttered the words “this smells like Rome burning” more times than is probably normal for the average person. This scent is so ingrained in my sense memory that anytime I smell something that is wood-smoked I am mentally riding Spaceship Earth.

There is something so warming and familiar about that scent. You wouldn’t think that a burning scent could smell so good, but that’s the magic of Disney! I was once gifted Rachael Ray’s apple wood-smoked sea salt once, and it smelled and tasted just like Rome burning. It was amazing and nostalgic.

The smell of the burning of the Library of Alexandria is almost as iconic as Spaceship Earth itself. This is one of those scents that all Disney fans know immediately what you mean when you say “Rome burning”. It’s such a strong scent you can instantly recall the smell even when you’re not in the parks.

#1. Pirates of the Caribbean

Credit: Maggie

The winner of the most iconic smells in Disney World is Pirates of the Caribbean! This is by far one of the most beloved smells by Disney fans. Whenever I get into a conversation with someone about Disney scents, Pirates is usually the first thing they say.

I never really knew what it was that people associated with the smells of Pirates of the Caribbean before. I always just thought it was a bit musty smelling, but turns out that is the smell everyone is referring to!

Instead of chlorine, Disney uses the chemical bromine in the water of the attraction. This chemical permeates the air and creates a damp and musty odor that is so fitting to the overall theme and design of the attraction. It’s one of those scents that you won’t find anywhere else.

While the word “musty” tends to invoke a negative connotation, it’s actually a far more pleasant smell than it sounds! Pirates of the Caribbean is a beloved ride and for many, the bromine scent just enhances the whole experience.

There are so many iconic smells at Disney World. These unique scents help guests dive deeper into the story that Disney is trying to tell and create lasting scent memories for years to come. That’s all part of the magic that keeps guests coming back time and time again to the parks.

What’s your favorite scent in Disney World? Do you agree with our readers’ choices? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check out our other “As Chosen by Disney Fans” articles HERE!

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