Monday, October 19, 2009

Quick eats at Walt Disney World

Emma enjoys Cracker Jack from Casey's!

There are so many wonderful and delicious places to eat at Walt Disney World, it's sometimes difficult to decide if you should eat yet another Dole Whip or if you should grab something more substantial for lunch. [Personally, I say there's always room for Dole Whip, but that's another post entirely].

I have a few favorite spots to grab a quick bite at each theme park, and of course, I'm going to share them with you.

And so, in no particular order, my quick/counter service favorites:

Casey's Corner, Magic Kingdom (Main Street USA)
I love LOVE Casey's. The food is so simple, but so good - it's hard to pass up a chance to eat here. And from the lines that are normally found at the counter, a lot of other people love Casey's too! Hot dogs. That's what you'll find to nosh on at Casey's. And french fries. That's about it. Corn dogs are on the menu too. The hot dogs used to be all beef, but I've seen some stories lately that WDW has stopped using all beef hot dogs. Either way, if you're on the Disney Dining Plan and want a good counter service, step up to bat at Casey's and order the hot dog meal - you'll get a dog, fries, a drink and dessert (Cracker Jack is my personal favorite). The bonus: sauerkraut for the dogs and CHEESE for your fries. Kids food choices include the same options - hot dogs , corn dogs, fries, etc. Minimal seating is available inside - a few tables and some bleachers (the theme here IS baseball). More seating available outside - just watch out for the ducks. They beg.

Pecos Bills Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, Magic Kingdom, Frontierland
I love their burgers and BBQ pork sandwich. They have a great 'fixins bar' for your burgers too. The last time we ate at PB in 2007 we had more food than we could eat. A fried chicken breast with mashed potatoes was recently added to the menu - sounds good in the fall/winter months, but I can't imagine eating that on a 100 degree day in July! I should also note that PB is one of the counter service restaurants that is participating in the new seating concept being tested at WDW. The idea is this: on busy park days, a greeter will meet you at the entrance to the restaurant and you will be guided to the food line (your ENTIRE party!) and then AFTER you get your food you will be able to get a table. [This means no 'saving' a table with the kids while you send your husband to get the food!]. Kids food choices include burgers and a salad with chicken.

Flame Tree BBQ, Animal Kingdom
We discovered this gem of the counter service world during our last trip (April 2009). At first glance you think "but there's nowhere to sit!"....ah, but there is. One of the best things about Flame Tree is the seating options - quiet, serene and overlooking Expedition Everest. And the food? Oh my goodness. Ribs, BBQ chicken, pork or beef sandwiches - all are delicious. And key lime pie for dessert. You really can't go wrong at the Flame Tree. Kid's options include baked chicken or hot dogs.

Pizzafari, Animal Kingdom
While we have found Pizzafari to be a bit chaotic on busy days, the pizza is good and it's air conditioned! Again, the amount of food is overwhelming (this is the rule rather than the exception at WDW when you're on the Dining Plan). Pizza is good (crust is on the thick, doughy side), the salads were crisp, and oh did I mention...chocolate cake! Kid's options include mac and cheese or a cheese pizza - both served with two sides (including grapes, carrot sticks and/or unsweetened applesauce).

Tangierine Cafe, Morocco, Epcot
This is one of my favorite counter service restaurants in all of WDW. We have never waited in a line here and the food is delicious! Normally, my husband and I will share a chicken and lamb combo platter (the meats with tabouleh, hummus, couscous and bread) and and a vegetarian platter (falafel, couscous, tabouleh, hummus, lentil salad and marinated olives). And of course, baklava for dessert. So much food! Kid's choices include chicken nuggets or a hamburger. The cafe also service Moroccan wine, coffee, sangria and other fresh baked pastries. We make it a point to eat dinner hear each time we go to Epcot and the kids love it too! On our last trip they had a blast dancing to the Moroccan music.

Cantina de San Angel, Mexico, Epcot
We LOVE the Cantina! You will get great food (and lots of it) and wonderful views of the World Showcase Lagoon (all seating is outside for the Cantina - but many tables have umbrellas or are in the shade). Favorite dishes here include the plato combinacion (basically a combo platter with a taco, burrito and quesadilla), the nachos, and the burrito. But my favorite part of my meal at the Cantina .... the churros! Think fried dough rolled in cinnamon sugar. They are heavenly. Also a good bet while dining in Mexico - the frozen margaritas. Yes, the cost close to $9 but they are so worth it! After dining at the Cantina, head over to the Gran Fiesta Tour ride in the Mexico pavilion.

Boulangerie Patisserie, France, Epcot
I will admit right now that my favorite item to order here is the chocolate mousse. But if you're looking for a light meal (and one that will fill you up for a while), I would recommend the cheese plate. And then order the chocolate mousse. Or any of the other delicious pastry items available. Then, walk outside and find a spot near the fountain and enjoy your food while gazing at the Eiffel Tower. And you can always wash it down with a Grand Marnier Slush.

Main Street Bakery, Main Street USA, Magic Kingdom
Yes, they really do draw you in by piping the smell of fresh baked cookies out into the street. I love the Main Street Bakery for a quick breakfast at the MK. It's a perfect place to stop and grab a coffee and a croissant, muffin or cinnamon roll (or maybe even a doughnut!) and then take a stroll down Main Street and watch the people rush in. And you can always grab a Toll House cookie as a quick snack.

Aloha Isle, Adventureland and Sleepy Hollow, Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom
There are two things I must have when at the Magic Kingdom: Dole Whip and funnel cake. If you have never experience Dole Whip, you are missing out! What is Dole Whip? Soft serve pineapple ice cream. My favorite is the vanilla and Dole Whip twist or the Dole Whip float. But are divine. There is nothing better than a cool Dole Whip float on a hot summer day. But, funnel cake is a close second! I like to grab a funnel cake from Sleepy Hollow and then find a good spot in Liberty Square to watch the afternoon parade. [As an added bonus, we have had Cast Members hand out free chocolate chip cookies to the kids!].

There are so many great spots to 'grab a bite' at WDW...and these are just a few of my personal favorites. To see menus from any WDW restaurant, I would suggest you visit

You might notice that I didn't list any quick service places at Disney's Hollywood Studios -- well....I will admit, nothing really sticks out in my memory as a 'favorite' location. We tend to eat at a character breakfast at the DHS and rarely eat lunch while touring that park. However, Starring Rolls Cafe has good pastries, Toy Story Pizza Planet has good pizza, the Writer's Stop has a good selection of pastries too, and the ABC Commissary has sandwiches and hot dogs.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Wishing a very happy 38th birthday to the Magic Kingdom!
The happiest place on Earth deserves the happiest birthday!

And, for some extra icing on that cake, check out this video
on the Disney Parks Blog (which you should certainly add
to your blog roll right now!)