Posted by: wildflowerz | September 26, 2015

Disney World Food!

A friend asked about food at WDW and since that would take up too much room for a FB post, I thought I’d just do a blog entry.  So, here’s our family’s opinion on the restaurants we’ve tried at Disney World, organized by location.  If you’re new, Snacks just means that’s all you get there on the dining plan.  Counter Service means it’s like a regular fast food restaurant, usually where you order at a counter, get your food, and seat yourself.  Table Service is like a regular sit-down restaurant.  For easy reference, all the restaurants in GREEN are my recommendation.  The ones in RED are the ones to skip/avoid.  The rest are fine.  Here they are:

Magic Kingdom:

  • Aloha Isle (Snacks) – Home of the much lauded Dole Whip.  I can see how if you like Pineapple, you’d like these a lot.  I, however, do not like pineapple at all.  So, no thanks.  But they’re one of THE THINGS to get at MK, so if you like the pineapple, go for it.
  • Be Our Guest (Lunch/Counter Service):  We were unable to get a dinner ADR for BoG this time, so we did a lunch.  If you’re unfamiliar, BoG is Counter Service for Lunch at Table Service for Dinner.  It’s one of the only (the only?) place where you can make an ADR for a Counter Service Meal.  You can also go to the website up to a month ahead of time and place your food order.  I recommend you do make your food order ahead of time because the process to get in is much quicker.  When you arrive, you check in and you get a little plastic rose.  You pick your table and when you’re food is ready, they find you, using the rose.  It’s pretty cool.  Here, Em and I had super yum Turkey Sandwiches.  Chris had the Roast Beef Sandwich.  We all liked them a lot.  I liked that I had the option of getting green beans with lunch (and they were yum too!).  Chris and I both had the Master’s Cupcake (it has “grey stuff” on top!).  Em had another flavor…strawberry maybe?  They are regular sized cupcakes with a generous amount of icing on top.  They were all very yum, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for the grey stuff unless you just want to say you’ve had it.  It just tastes like regular icing.
  • Be Our Guest (Dinner/Table Service):  We scored an ADR here on our last trip in 2014.  We were seated in the West Wing, which I highly recommend, even though it’s forbidden.  😉  It’s a smaller room, but the rose under glass is there and it’s constantly “storming” outside, which makes for some neat effects.  I think I had the steak here last time.  Honestly, unless it was the trip we just got back from, I usually can’t remember what I had.  I do remember that we all really liked our meals a lot and would highly recommend it.  To get an ADR, you’ll need to get online the DAY your window opens up and even then it might not happen.  Good luck!
  • Cheshire Cafe (Snacks) – This is the place with the famed Cake Cups.  Or, it was.  I read all about the cake cups online for months and months before we went to Disney.  Everyone raved about them.  I LOVE cake, so it was high on my list of things to eat.  Know what?  They don’t have them any more.  The stuff left is your standard snacks, so nothing special.
  • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe (Counter Service) – We’ve done lunch here three times, I think.  We usually end up there because they’ve got a big selection at lots of different windows to order from.  In the end, it’s your standard theme park food, so it’s nothing special.  Adequate and lots of indoor seating.
  • Gaston’s Tavern (Snacks) – We tried the popular LaFou’s Brew here on our last trip.  We weren’t impressed.  It tasted like an apple juice slushie.  Meh.
  • Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe (Counter Service) – I believe we had lunch here on our last trip.  It was surprisingly yum.  I believe I had a pulled pork sandwich.
  • Pinnochio Village Haus (Counter Service) – Em loves the pizza here.  I think we went here either our last trip or the one before.  I had some sort of super messy sandwich that was very yummy.
  • Sunshine Tree Terrace (Snacks) – The other part of the Dole Whip vs. Citrus Swirl war can be found here.  A Citrus Swirl is a mix of vanilla soft serve and orange slushie.  It tastes like a creamsicle.  It was okay, but the price to food ratio is VERY large and you’re not coming out on the better end of that deal.  I’d totally skip it.
  • Tony’s Town Square Restaurant (Table Service) – Okay, the table service restaurants at MK just don’t excite us.  Excepting Be Our Guest.  So, we decided to go out on a limb and try Tony’s this time.  It wasn’t bad.  Chris and I both had the chicken parm.  We liked that the chicken came out still crispy and not soggy like usually chicken parm.  The sauce was just mediocre.  Overall, it was tasty, but nothing to write home about.  For dessert, I had the amaretto cheesecake.  It was very yum, but VERY tiny.  Chris had the chocolate cake and liked his.  Em had the kid’s chocolate cake and it was tiny and not nearly as good as Chris’s.

Epcot:

  • Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Table Service): – We’ve only done this for breakfast.  Breakfast is breakfast in most places at WDW so there’s nothing really special about the food.  This is Norway’s restaurant, so there’s a lot of raw fish in addition to the regular breakfast stuff.  We’ve done this one twice when Em was younger because it’s a fabulous character breakfast with a bunch of princesses.  If you’re not into the character thing, skip it for breakfast.
  • Biergarten (Table Service) – This is is Germany.  We went there on our last trip.  Biergarten is a buffet restaurant and you’re seated family style, which we didn’t care for.  If you’re not sure what that is, it means you’ll probably be sitting at a table with a bunch of people you don’t know.  They do some cook dancing and music during the meal.  The food was okay.  Maybe we’re not huge fans of German food, but we didn’t love it.  It wasn’t bad, but not a favorite and we probably won’t go again.
  • Chefs de France (Table Service) – When Chris and I went on our very first trip to WDW when we were first married, this was our favorite place.  When we took Em for the first time, we went back and were disappointed.  It wasn’t bad, there was just nothing special about it.
  • La Cantina de San Angel (Counter Service) – We had this last time.  Ug.  Okay, we LOVE Mexican food.  I mean, we eat it usually once a week.  So we figured we’d try it for counter service.  It was AWFUL.  Em had nachos and it was all cold.  Chris and I had tacos and they were bland and ug.
  • La Cava del Tequila (Drinks) – I wanted a margarita last trip.  We heard this place was fab.  Eh.  We’re not big drinkers.  Not for moral reasons, we just don’t really drink much.  I would have MUCH perferred a cheaper, frozen marg from the cart out front.  So that’s what we did this time and it was much tastier and more refreshing.
  • La Hacienda de San Angel (Table Service) – My opinion on this was is very dated.  Chris and I went here in 2001 or so.  It wasn’t good.  BUT, that was 14 years ago.  But we’re generally of the opinion that for table service, we want something we can’t get at home and Mexican is not that.
  • L’Artisan des Glaces (Snacks) – OMG yum.  They have an ice cream filled macaroon.  It’s SO GOOD.
  • Restaurant Marrakesh (Table Service) – Chris and I did this one on our first visit and then we went on our last visit before this one.  We love it.  We don’t have any Moroccoan/Turkish/Persian food near us, so we like visiting here when we go.  Also, there’s belly dancing.  🙂
  • Rose & Crown Dining Room (Table Service) – Okay, I love British stuff.  So, I like going here.  We went this most recent trip as well as the time before last.  This time, I had bangers and mash.  Chris had steak and fish.  It was all super yum.  I had sticky toffee pudding for dessert and it was awesome.  Chris had the chocolate bread pudding.  It was okay, but nothing super fab.
  • Sunshine Seasons (Counter Service) – This place is in the pavilion with Soarin’ and Living with the Land.  It’s got a lot of different offerings and it’s not just your standard theme park fare.  Definitely recommend.
  • Tangierine Cafe (Counter Service) – Ew.  No, no, no.  The food Chris and I had was super cold and kind of revolting.  Em had a burger and (granted, she was 6 when we went, but) she cried when we made her eat it.  So, yeah.
  • Teppan Edo (Table Service) – The one time we used a travel agent, she couldn’t get us dinner at Ohana, so she subbed this instead, saying it was a lot alike.  It is not.  Don’t get me wrong, Teppan Edo is fine, but this is just a Japanese Steak House.  We have TONS of them at home, so why eat at one when you go on vacation?
  • Via Napoli (Table Service) – This place is new as of a few years ago.  We went there on our last trip and the one before that.  Em loves pizza.  This is supposed to be the “best pizza in the World.”  We’ve liked both meals we got there.  This past time, the service wasn’t great.  Chris got lasagne and it came out so early that he was finished eating before mine and Em’s food even got to our table.  And he’s not a SUPER fast eater.  We’d definitely try it again and hope for better service next time.

Hollywood Studios:

  • ABC Commissary (Counter Service) – We’ve eaten lunch here every visit except this past one.  The line moves quickly, the selection is fine, and there’s tons of seating inside in the air conditioning.
  • Catalina Eddie’s/Fairfax Fare/Rosie’s All American (Counter Service) – These three are all stands right next to each other.  The food was fine, but nothing outstanding.  There’s plenty of seating and though it’s outside, it’s mostly covered.
  • Mama Melrose (Table Service) – We ate here our first two visits with Em.  The first time it was SO GOOD.  The last time, the food was okay and the service was horrible.  But there’s not a lot that draws us for food here at Hollywood Studios.  We might try this one again next time we go.  If I can drag Em away from Sci-Fi!
  • Pizza Planet (Counter Service) – Fair warning:  Chris and I ate here back in 2001.  It was the worst pizza I’ve ever had.  BUT it’s been 14 years, so…who knows how it’s changed.
  • Sci-Fi Dine-In (Table Service) – Em loves this place.  We went this past week as well as last time.  It’s fine. It’s burgers and fries.  There’s nothing all that special about the food.  The one thing this one has going for it is that for drinks, you can get a milkshake and it’s part of the dining plan.  Yes, that means you can get your food with a milkshake to drink.  Then, you can also get a dessert.  The desserts here aren’t great, so I’d stick with a ice cream sundae.  The doughnut is fried too hard and the candy bar is just okay.
  • Starring Rolls (Counter Service) – OMG guys.  How have I not known about this place until now?  First off, the food selections are slim.  They’ve got a ham sandwich, a turkey sandwich, and a few sushi platters.  I had the turkey.  It was SO GOOD.  Em had the ham and I tried a bite of her’s too and it was also very yum.  But here’s where this place really wins:  dessert.  This is the home of the Butterfinger cupcake.  It’s a chocolate cupcake with a gooey fudge center.  It’s topped with white icing with a thick, hard layer of crushed Butterfinger on top.  SO good.  Em got the pb & choc cupcake and it was also yum.

Animal Kingdom:

  • Flame Tree Barbecue (Counter Service) – This is a decent counter service place.  There are tons of places to seat, but it’s small areas on a path.
  • Restaurantosaurus (Counter Service) – We went here our first trip with Em, so it’s been a while.  But I know how I said above that Em cried when we made her eat that burger from the counter service place in Morocco?  That happened here too.
  • Tamu Tamu Refreshments (Snacks) – This place has hand-made double chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches.  They’re huge and super yum.
  • Yak & Yeti Restaurant (Table Service) – This might be my favorite restaurant for non-dessert in all of WDW.  We ate here a couple of trips ago and liked it a lot, but we ate here again this time and it was SO GOOD!  I got the ribs.  They’re in hoison sauce and come with chicken fried rice and asian slaw.  Loved it all.  YUM!  For dessert, I was skeptical, but had heard the Mango Pie was very good.  I’m not a huge mango fan, but guys.  It was so good.

Downtown Disney:

  • Bongos Cuban Cafe (Table Service) – Chris and I went here in 2001 and it was awful.  Obviously, that was forever ago, but ug.
  • Earl of Sandwich (Counter Service) – I’d heard this place was fabulous.  I thought it was okay.  I had the buffalo chicken wrap.  I was tired of turkey and there wasn’t a lot else I was interested in.  You can get a side or a dessert here, so you actually get less food here than other places.  The cupcakes here were REALLY good, though.
  • Planet Hollywood (Table Service) – Chris and I ate here back when we first came in 2001.  The best I can remember is that it was fine.  But they were all over the place, so we usually just skip this one.
  • Raglan Road (Table Service) – We ate here last time and if it were up to me, we’d have eaten here again this time.  First, the entertainment is great.  There are dancers and awesome musicians.  For the food, I had bangers and mash.  It was good!  Em said her burger was burned though.  But where this restaurant really excels is the bread and butter pudding.  Guys.  It’s SOOO GOOD.  It’s hands down my favorite dessert at WDW.  SO Good!
  • Rainforest Cafe (Table Service) – We’ve been here several times.  I’ve not a huge salad person, but they have the best asian chicken salad.  For a bit we decided not to do it because it’s a chain, but there’s not one anywhere near us at home.
  • T-REX (Table Service) – We went here on our last trip and it was yummy.  The theming here is very good with the rooms all looking completely different.
  • Wolfgang Puck Express (Counter Service) – We ate here this trip for lunch.  It was tasty!  We all had pizzas and they were good.  Em got the giant brownie for dessert and it was awful.  It was dry and not nearly sweet enough.  Chris and I both got cheesecake.  It was tasty, but nothing special.

WDW Resorts:

  • Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge (Table Service) – We tried this place this visit.  It’s a buffet and they have LOTS of stuff.  The chicken was kind of dry, but everything else I had was yummy.  Chris said this was absolutely his favorite place of the entire trip.  Em liked it okay.
  • Ohana at Polynesian (Table Service) – We first did this one for breakfast.  They have a yummy juice that no one else has.  Other than that, it’s breakfast.  But at Ohana, that’s a character meal.  It was Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, and Goofy.  Lilo never made it to our table.  Another trip, we tried Ohana for dinner.  It’s more like a brazilian barbecue.  They come around to your table constantly with 4-5 different types of meat.  It was super yummy. And there’s a yum bread pudding for dessert.  Em didn’t like it but Chris and I LOVED it.
  • Pop Century (Counter Service & Snacks) – We usually stay at Pop for a variety of reasons, but when we have extra counter service credits, we have breakfast here.  It’s fine. Nothing spectacular, but fine.  You should try to always use your credits NOT on breakfast because you get more for your money that way.  But sometimes it’s not possible.  I will say that on our last morning, we had a bunch of snack credits to use and Em got their tie-dye cheesecake (Yes, at breakfast.  Shut up, we’re on vacation!) and it was SUPER yum.  It’s got a red velvet crust.
  • Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Villas (Table Service) – We went for this one last time.  It’s more Indian-type food, which I usually don’t like.  And I won’t say this was my favorite, but it was pretty good.  This is also the restaurant where you want to go for lunch or a really early dinner so you can see the animals.  They’re RIGHT OUTSIDE your window!
  • Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at Polynesian (Table Service x 2) – We did this for the first time last year.  We liked it so much we did it again this year.  There are two shows.  There’s a 5:30ish and an 8:15pm.  The later one’s better to see the fire part, but there are logistics problems.  You finish at around 10pm.  But unless MK or EP is open late, you’re going to be stuck getting a bus to Downtown Disney, then finding your bus to your hotel.  And it’s a MADHOUSE.  The actual show is cute.  It’s got plenty of songs your recognize, along with a bunch of dances from different countries.  The dancers are HOT, both the men and the women.  The food is pretty yum.  It’s all you can eat and this is the only place I know of where there’s select alcohol that’s all you can drink.  That includes 2 types of beer, a wine, and a sangria.
  • The Wave…of American Flavors at Contemporary (Table Service) – We picked this the time before last because it’s advertised as having more healthy choices.  Perhaps I read it wrong, because it’s not so much healthy, but more organic and locally sourced.  Don’t get me wrong, that’s good, but at that point it wasn’t what I was looking for.  I don’t really remember what we had, but Chris LOVED it.  Em liked it too.  I think I liked it, but I can’t remember a whole lot about it.
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