This post covers the restaurants we chose on our recent visit to Walt Disney World for dinner or lunch, breakfast is covered in a post of its own. When we visit Walt Disney World with the quick service dining plan we have a tendency to eat breakfast using 1 meal credit then snack through the day and use the second meal credit for an evening meal.
There are quick service restaurants all over Walt Disney World and despite a common misconception it is not all burgers and fries. You can of course get these items in many places if, that is you choice, however, we are not those people.
I will give examples of where we ate at each park and finally at Disney Springs. What you find is that once you have visited Walt Disney World more than once you get to know which restaurants you prefer
First up Magic Kingdom…
When we go to Magic Kingdom we tend to follow the advise and start to the right in Tomorrowland and work our way round anti clock wise. We have tried many of the restaurants in Magic Kingdom but seem to find ourselves most often in Cosmic Rays Starlight Diner or Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe.
Cosmic Rays sells the usual burgers and fries but you can also get chicken there. Most quick service restaurants you order your food at the counter and then you go and find a seat.
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe. is slightly different, this restaurant serves more of a grill type food with a hint of Tex Mex, as in there are ribs and tortilla bowls filled with chilli. One of the things that we particularly like about Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe is the ‘fixins bar’. Basically this is a salad bar with items that you can add to your meal suchas onion strings and bacon bits as well as salad items.
If we are in the Magic Kingdom early for the rope drop show we like to have a late breakfast at the Sleepy Hollow window. It’s tucked behind the Hall of Presidents and is often missed but I would heartily recommend trying their Nutella and fruit waffle.
We have tried Pinocchio’s Village Haus, which is pizza restaurant but it is not one of our favourites. Ironically one of the restaurants I want to try is the Columbia Harbour House but don’t seem to actually ever get in there.
When we eat at Epcot we tend to favour the World Showcase, each of the World Showcase countries has a table service restaurant and a quick service restaurant. There are 13 countries in the World Showcase and the only quick service restaurant that sells burgers and fries is the Liberty Inn situated next to the American Adventure.
We have tried all the restatunts in the World Showcase but our favourites are Katsura Grill in Japan and Les Halles Boulangerie- Patisserie in France. The Katsura Grill serves sushi and other japanese delicacies including noodles and rice dishes, they also serve a very tasty green tea ice cream. Les Halles Boulangerie serves mostly sandwiches and pastries. We often just snack in the World Showcase and particularly like the nachos in Mexico and school bread in Norway. Epcot has the unfortunate reputation of being the drinking park as all the restaurants serve many varieties of alcohol that encourage a game called ‘drinking around the world’ where the participant tries at least one (sometimes more) drink in each country. However I have never noticed anyone being very drunk whilst visiting Epcot.
This park has always been our least favourite from a food point of view, we find that there doesn’t seem to be as many food outlets as the other parks and all of them are always crowded. Many of the restaurants in Animal Kingdom are in the sun with little shade. Until this most recent visit we have chosen not to eat at Animal Kingdom, choosing instead to snack there and then either visit one of the resorts or Disney Springs after. However this time we were hungry so decided to give the Flame Tree Grill a whirl. Whilst the food was reasonable I am not sure I would eat there again. The food is pork and ribs with some chicken dishes available. I am not a fan of BBQ so it wasn’t really for me.
The newest area of Animal kingdom is pandora based on the movie avatar. The area is visually spectacular and houses one of the best rides in the park. I had seen a few reviews about the food being good and it seemed that on the day we were there everyone else had read the same reviews so we decided just to partake in a drink.
This park has under gone a great deal of change over the last few years and many of the areas are boarded off and closed. On this visit we decided to visit the Sci Fi Diner, this is a table service restaurant themed like a drive in movie theatre. The guests sit in cars facing a big screen which plays movie trailers from the 1950’s. There are also tables at the back of the restaurant. When we visited we were seated in a car, now this is a novel idea and fits in with the theming of the restaurant. However, I was not very keen, my main problem was that as a party of 3 it meant that one of us, in this case my hubby, was sat behind which meant it was difficult to make conversation with him and eat at the same time. I also felt that the food was more similar to that of a quick service restaurant. I am glad that we decided to try this restaurant but I didn’t feel that 2 burgers and Ruben sandwich was not worth the $100 price tag.
With regards to quick service, my favourite is the ABC commissary. You order and collect your food from the counter and then find a seat. Every time I have been in this restaurant I have not found it particularly busy. I do wonder if this is because despite Hollywood Studios being quite a small park they have a large number of table service restaurants including Hollywood and Vine which is a character dining location or the 50’s Prime Time Cafe where vintage tv is played and the theme is mom’s kitchen.
Disney Springs… formally Downtown Disney
Disney Springs is relatively new in its current form and has a lot of new restaurants opening. Over the years Disney Springs has also undergone a great deal of change and is still expanding. We were not big fans of this area of Disney in previous visits and on one visit didn’t go there at all. However, as we were curious about the new areas we decided to go and visit. We chose the Wolfgang Puck Express restaurant on our first night as it was an easy choice as we had been travelling all day, had been there before and knew that the food was good. Later in the holiday, we also tried one of the new restaurants called The Polite Pig. The Polite Pig is a BBQ type restaurant that serves chicken, pork and beef with salad and various types of fries. There is a variety beers available and the non alcohol drinks are a little more than the usual Coca Cola.
We did try a few of the food carts but Poutine was our favourite. Poutine is exactly as it says on the tin it serve the Canadian delicacy of Poutine which is thick cut fries with gravy and cheese curds on top. Believe me it is much tastier that the description suggests.