Do You Know These 6 Secrets About Quick Service Dining At Walt Disney World?

Walt Disney World classifies its restaurants as either Quick Service or Table Service. The Quick Service restaurants are those where you order at a podium, wait for at the counter for your food, then find a table and gather forks, condiments, etc. This article discusses some little known tips for making your Quick Service dining experience even better!

6. Order from Both Sides

In some Quick Service restaurants (and usually during peak meal times) there will be a Cast Member directing you to you an order point. But when there isn’t a guide, remember that the Cast Members taking orders do so from both sides of their podiums. It’s the same concept as the security guards checking bags when you enter the park. Don’t get in line behind three or four other families on side A if there’s no one waiting on side B! But while you’re waiting in line, don’t forget to look at the menu and make your selection

5. Skip the Sides

Many entrees, like burgers and sandwiches, are advertised (and priced) with sides (usually fries or chips). But you’re not super hungry, ask for just the entree, sans side. By ordering just the sandwich, you’ll often save a couple bucks, and won’t feel bad when you throw away uneaten food! Or, if you don’t want fries, but do want more than just a sandwich, ask about switching for a different side. For example, Columbia Harbour House in Magic Kingdom has several side options, including healthy choices like broccoli. You won’t feel as guilty about a decadent burger if you have a healthy veggie on the side!

4. Tables in Wonderland

Typically, the Tables in Wonderland discount (a membership offered to Annual Passholders and Florida residents) only works at the Table Service restaurants. But there are a few notable Quick Service exceptions. The food courts in the Value Resorts accept Tables in Wonderland, because there is no Table Service option at the Value Resorts. Also, you can use the discount at the Quick Service restaurants in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Remember that next time to enjoy Flame Tree BBQ!

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3. Share Your Meals

Speaking of Flame Tree BBQ, sharing meals can be a great way to save money, meal credits, and calories. Many portions are huge (for example, the chicken and ribs at Flame Tree) and can easily be shared between two people. Or, share a bounty platter in your resort cafeteria for a lighter breakfast. I like to split one “light” and one “heavy” entree with someone, so I can get the taste of the unhealthy food, but not be so weighed down all afternoon.

2. Avoid the Crowds

The Quick Service restaurants will be extremely busy at typical meal times. That means your resort cafeteria will be packed around 8:00am, and lines for in-park Quick Service meals could be out the door around noon and 6:00pm. Obviously, there are reasons to eat at these times: eating around Fastpass+ return times, keeping the kiddos on a regular schedule, or needing to eat before/after taking medication. But if you can, avoid eating at those crowded times. You’ll stand in line longer, have a harder time finding a table, and will have to shout over all the other voices in the room. Trust me, food does not taste better if you stand in a long line for it! Try grabbing breakfast around 7:00am and bringing it back to your room. And get your Quick Service lunch either before 11:30am or after 1:30pm, and your dinner either before 5:00pm or after 7:00pm. Use the My Disney Experience app to check the hours for a restaurant you’re interested in.

1. Lots of Options

It’s a common assumption about Walt Disney World that the food choices are limited to burger and chicken fingers. And it’s true that you will find those items in the park. But you’ll also find lobster rolls (Magic Kingdom), samosas (Disney’s Animal Kingdom), falafel and sushi (Epcot) and lots more interesting and adventurous options! If you have allergies, or dietary restrictions, don’t hesitate to let a Cast Member know and ask what is safe for you on their menu. Cast Members are very helpful in figuring out what you can and can’t eat. So don’t assume that the theme parks are nothing but fried food. You can find fresh, healthy options around every corner!

What’s your favorite Quick Service restaurant? Any other tips to share? Let us know!

About Robin Swanson

Robin’s Disney journey began with Beauty and the Beast bedsheets, a Jasmine dress up set, and a purring Nala plush. As a child in the 1990s, the renaissance and classic animations alike captivated her imagination. In 2008, Robin visited Walt Disney World for the first time, and the obsession really took hold. Since then, Robin has enjoyed visiting the Happiest Place on Earth many more times. She lives in the Chicago suburbs where she is wrapping up a Masters in writing. When not at Disney World, Robin enjoys researching fairytales, eating ice cream, Netflix binging, reading and, of course, planning the next Walt Disney World vacation!