Disney Copycat Recipe: Smoked Turkey Legs
The ever-famous Smoked Turkey Legs are as much of a rite of passage to Disney parks as riding Pirates of the Caribbean. In fact, they’ve gathered a cult following with their own merchandise, online following and even rumors that have made national headlines. We’ve swept the online sources for the best of the best Disney copycat recipe for these meaty hunks of turkey to provide you with a way to bring these Disney iconic snacks to your own home.
But before we get started with the recipe, let’s explore the Smoked Turkey Legs story and some cool facts…
History of the Smoked Turkey Legs
According to a recent New York Times article, the turkey leg made its Walt Disney World debut in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom near the Big Al stand in the 1980s. By 2010, sales had spiked surging to a whopping two billion turkey legs served per year. For those love channeling their inner caveman, the continued popularity of this hickory-smoked jumbo leg of goodness has secured its spot at food carts across all Disney theme parks for a long time to come.
Quick Smoked Turkey Legs Facts
The turkey leg debuted at Big Al’s Coonskin Caps in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World in the late 1980s grew in popularity, and then went on to migrated west to Disneyland.
- 1. 6 million turkey legs are consumed at the 6 Disney parks where they are served. Yes, 1.6 MILLION.
- If they legs seem bigger to you then what you have on the turkeys you serve at your Thanksgiving meals, they are. The drumsticks come from toms — the male turkeys who have far larger legs.
- The turkey leg debuted at Big Al’s Coonskin Caps in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World in the late 1980s grew in popularity, and then went on to migrated west to Disneyland.
- Each leg weighs about 1.5-pound legs and is cured with a salt solution, some saying the hickory smoked legs have a ham-like taste.
- For those who keep track of these sorts of things, the legs each contain about 720 calories and about 36 grams of fat.
Are Disney’s Turkey Legs Really Emu Legs?
Rumors that the turkey legs sold at Disney’s theme parks are in actuality emu meat have long been in circulation in the online world, and the claim got a boost when it was referenced on a March 2017 segment of TBS’ Conan talk show where Zachary Levi (who is the voice actor for Flynn in Disney’s Tangled) stated “The turkey legs at Disneyland, I’ve come to find out, are not actually turkey. They’re emu legs. Shocker right? No, I swear. I have friends that have worked for Disneyland, and I was talking about how the turkey legs tasted more like ham than they tasted like turkey, which is already befuddling, and they said, ‘Well, they’re actually emu. Those are big, big old emu legs.’ So if you’ve had a turkey leg at Disneyland, you’ve eaten an emu, folks.”
Snopes has actually investigated this report and pronounced it false, citing multiple reasons and direct statements from Disney chefs on the issue.
So no, you are NOT eating emu when you indulge in a Smoked Turkey Leg at Disney.