By Michelle Railey
(1.) Dole Whip is a pineapple soft serve dessert. It’s a lot like ice cream or sherbet but is actually dairy free, gluten free, and vegan. [A] This treat is most commonly associated with Disney (Land and World) and is thought to have been invented in 1986 [B] when Dole became the primary sponsor of The Enchanted Tiki Room attractions at the Disney properties. Some state fairs and attractions will offer a variant on the official Dole Whip called “pineapple whip.” In many cases, this is the same product, as the official Dole mix for an ice cream machine is really easy to purchase. [C]
(2.) Dole Whip, while associated with pineapple, is also available in other fruit flavors: orange, strawberry, lime, raspberry, lemon, mango, and cherry. [D] Island Time Floats offers only pineapple and strawberry, but you can opt for with or without alcohol added and even a mix of strawberry and pineapple.
(3.) While Dole Whip is usually associated with Disney, you can (obviously) also get it at Island Time Floats in Las Vegas, the Dole Plantation in Hawaii, the Sheraton on Oahu’s Waikiki Beach, Holiday World in Indiana, Dodgers Stadium at King’s Hawaiian Grill (Left Field Plaza). There are many, many sites online to find your Dole Whip fix: just google it. People have made actual spreadsheets about it and stuff. (See also: more places to find it in Las Vegas)
(4.) Island Time Floats is located in the Grand Bazaar Shops on the Strip, just next to Bally’s and Paris. They’re open from 10am to 4am and serve tacos, alcoholic drinks, and (notably, obviously) Dole Whip. Outdoor seating only.
(5.) Now, on my most recent trip to Vegas, I tried to get a Dole Whip from Island Time Floats on my very first night in Sin City. But. I walked past this place and there was some kind of frat boy combination game of Beer Pong, Flippy Cup, and Taco Throwing. So I, being weak and easily frightened, just hid myself at one of the bars in Paris. I sipped a beer and cursed taco-tossing, frat boys, and cowardice. And obsessed over the Dole Whip I did not then have.
(6.) But, on one afternoon, I did venture to Island Time Floats and got myself a Dole Whip. Fun fact: on the day I was there, they had just switched the soft serve machine from strawberry to pineapple so my Dole Whip, while perfectly flavored, came out of the machine a pleasant peach color instead of its accustomed pale yellow. Reader, I enjoyed every bite of it any way. And while not in appearance the classic Dole Whip, it was still very pretty.
(7.) The bad news: the two medium Dole Whips I ordered totaled just over $31.00 in American cash. Worth it? Yes. I guess. Majorly, unfairly overpriced? OMG. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. (And, such is my devotion to Dole Whip, I’d do it again. But I’d complain about the price. Because. SERIOUSLY. My two mediums at $15.00 a pop including tip didn’t *even include ALCOHOL*) Yeah, so this place is overpriced. But then, it’s Vegas, baby. So make of this info what you will.
(8.) Look, if you’ve been there lately and you’ve seen the awesome guy in the taco hat pulling people in and pumping the place, well, you know he alone is one of the best things in Vegas. And the best salesman that has ever, ever lived. He could sell light to the sun, fire to the devil. I love the guy in the taco hat.
So, what do you think of Dole Whip, whether in Disney, Hawaii, Vegas, or elsewhere? Let us know in the comments.
[B] Wikipedia, the internet generally, and the two YouTube videos that are embedded.
[C] Dolesoftserve.com. And you can also purchase it on Amazon.
From Bon Appetit, “Why Everybody Loooves Dole Whip”