Many times when we are in the parks we want to grab just a quick bite to eat so that we can get right back to riding attractions, meeting characters and watching shows. Luckily Walt Disney World has some excellent options for quick service dining that don’t force you to eat burgers, pizza and fries at every meal. Disney has even created a Quick Service Dining Plan to cater to those of us who like to maximize our park time that includes two Quick Service meals each day along with a snack and your resort refillable mug. You have many excellent choices for quick service dining at Walt Disney World, these are just our top 10 of the restaurants that are inside the theme parks.
10. Studio Catering Company, Disney’s Hollywood Studios
If there is one park lacking in quick service options that appeal to my family it is Hollywood Studios. Perhaps it is also the fact that we enjoy the table service restaurants there so much that we don’t give the counter service its due. One of the things missing at most of the quick service restaurants here is atmosphere, and with restaurants like 50s Prime Time and Sci Fi Dine In Theater it is hard to compete. There are some good food options to be found at Studio Catering Company.
9. La Cantina de San Angel, Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion
A large part of the appeal at La Cantina is the beautiful waterfront dining location. Under a covered pavilion, the tables overlook the World Showcase Lagoon providing a peaceful experience (other than the occasional bird looking for a handout). Serving both lunch and dinner, La Cantina has some tasty Mexican dishes like nachos, tacos (on handmade corn tortillas) and empanadas. You can even wash it down with an authentic Mexican soda , or a frozen margarita. And don’t forget the churritos for dessert!
8. Yak & Yeti Local Foods Café, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Asia
This location in Asia offers a unique window for quick service with Chinese favorites like sweet and sour chicken, beef lo mein and egg rolls. Keeping families in mind there are also picky eater friendly options on the kids menu like chicken tenders and cheeseburgers. The outdoor seating area has some water features and plenty of themed details to make you feel as though you’ve just ordered from a street cart in Asia. And, the food is served in Chinese takeout containers.
7. Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Café, Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland
This establishment focuses on Southwestern food and has a crazy awesome toppings bar. Bridging the area between Adventureland and Frontierland, this large quick service restaurant is themed to the Old West and makes the transition well between the two lands. In addition to the nachos and fajitas you can dine on a burger or even a salad. And everything can be topped off at the extensive bar that includes both cold and warm toppings.
6. Regional Favorites: Sommerfest and Yorkshire County Fish Shop, Epcot’s World Showcase
Epcot’s World Showcase is a foodie’s dream and the quick service dining doesn’t disappoint. There are two countries that offer a quick stop to pick up some of their country’s signature fare: the United Kingdom and Germany. At Germany’s Sommerfest you can dine on a Bratwurst or a Frankfurter, German Potato Salad, Apple Strudel and, of course, German Beer. In the United Kingdom a quick stop at the Yorkshire County Fish Shop will satisfy your craving for Fish and Chips, and can also be accompanied by an Ale or Lager. Seating is fairly limited around these dining establishments, but these foods are easily transportable.
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5. Bakeries: Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie and Kringla Bakeri og Café, Epcot’s World Showcase
Continuing on the theme of delicious eats around the World Showcase, the bakeries of France and Norway offer some great values for tasty dishes. Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in France offers what I think is one of the best quick service values around. You can get quiche, a croissant or a cheese plate among other savory specialties. Or, you could just come for dessert with many temptations like crème brulee, eclairs, macaroons and tarts. In Norway the Kringla Bakeri og Café sells several sandwiches that are very good (my favorite is the ham and apple with jarlsberg and muenster cheeses), or you can go with dessert here too with sweet pretzels, rice cream and traditional Norwegian Lefse and School Bread. Mmmm, my mouth is watering!
4. Columbia Harbor House, Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square
This quick service eatery is in prime location just outside of Fantasyland in Liberty Square. The theme is colonial America, and the restaurant is well decorated with early American props. A great place for people watching is found by the windows upstairs in the area that stretches over the Fantasyland/Liberty Square border. The variety on the menu here is pleasing to many families with chicken breast nuggets, fried shrimp and fish, tuna sandwiches, of course a traditional New England Clam Chowder to fit with its surroundings. Vegetarian options are also available.
3. Flame Tree Barbecue, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Discover Island
This colorful outdoor eatery is one of my favorites in all of the parks. Once you order your food you wind your way around through multi-colored pavilions and water features to find your table—if you go all the way to the bottom you will find yourself looking out over the water toward the forbidden mountain, Expedition Everest. The fun (or funny) theme of predators and prey ties right in with the meaty meal you are about to consume. The food here is the real star—smoked meats including a pork sandwich, ribs, and chicken (or a combination plate). The flavors are great and the offerings are pretty unique for a theme park.
2. Sunshine Seasons, Epcot’s The Land Pavilion
The key here is variety! Sunshine Seasons is set up like a food court with several counters offering different options. You do have to wait at each counter to order your food, but everything is paid for all in one place. Everyone can find a favorite here with Asian specialties like Mongolian Beef and Spicy Cashew Chicken, Oak Grilled choices like fish and chicken, and lighter sandwiches like turkey with Monterrey Jack or a grilled veggie flatbread. Sunshine Seasons is also open for breakfast with several offerings—very convenient for that rope drop dash to Soarin’. The bakery offers some delicious sweet treats; my favorite is the legendary strawberry shortcake. And there are a lot of great options for children here as well. The seating area is open and airy with a four seasons theme, and it is great for people watching as they get in line for Soarin’, or head over to Living with the Land.
1. Be Our Guest (lunch), Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland
Quick Service is available here at breakfast and lunch. And the quick part can be debatable when you see the lines at this popular restaurant. You order from a kiosk and your food is delivered to the table you choose. The theme here is outstanding—as though you’ve just entered the Beast’s castle. At lunch time there are three rooms you can choose to eat in, the West Wing with the enchanted rose and the Beast’s portrait, the Ballroom with the snowy windows and enormous chandelier, and the “Rose Gallery” that features a music box dancing Belle and Beast. In addition to the fantastic setting is the food—lots of variety and all very well prepared. You can choose from braised pork, Tuna Nicoise Salad, quinoa salad or my personal favorite, the Croque Monsieur. And for dessert, you must try the Master’s Cupcake—it is topped with the Grey Stuff (it’s delicious!). For its perfect combination of atmosphere and food, Be Our Guest tops my list of Quick Service eateries.
Which quick service restaurants top your list?