Hello again! On this edition of my Amazing Disney Adventures, I am going to talk about some of my favorite restaurants, both table service and quick service, at Walt Disney World. There are over 100 places to fill your tummy and wet your whistle, so choosing just a few is no easy task. I am going to describe my dining experiences, the tastiest menu items, and those I didn’t like so much. So, place that napkin gently on your lap, pull your chair a little closer to the table, and get ready to dig in…oh, and you may want to unbutton that top button, cuz you’re belly is sure to be filled to the brim!
Crystal Palace. Found and the end of Main Street, just past Casey’s Corner, you can dine the day away with Pooh and his Hundred Acre Wood family. For my family, no vacation is complete until we’ve had breakfast at Crystal Palace. We’ve had breakfast, lunch and dinner here, but there’s nothing like starting your day with an early breakfast with Pooh before the park opens. This is one of the most magical times of day at Magic Kingdom. Only a few guests will be strolling down Main Street that early in the morning, and most of them are in such a rush to get to their characters meals that they don’t take the time to stop and appreciate it while it’s empty! We have some amazing pictures of us on Main Street and closer to the castle, and no one else is in the photos! The food there is wonderful, although generally your typical breakfast buffet menu, there are a few special items, and standards with a twist. Matthew loves the puffed French toast. It’s basically fried puffy dough dusted in cinnamon and sugar, and drizzling it with maple syrup makes it even more special. The fritata are wonderful, my favorite food there. I love the one with tomatoes, peppers, onions, and ham. It’s basically a thick fluffy omelet in a cast iron skillet. Crystal Palace is one of the less expensive character meals at Disney World, and even my 19 year old son still loves to eat there. Tigger being his favorite buddy, and all.
For a quick bite to eat at lunch time, we love to go to Pecos Bill/El Pirate e Perico. Located in Adventureland just past Pirates of the Caribbean is the Mexican side of this eatery, and the yummy burger part of your meal can be found at Pecos Bill, which is accessible in Frontierland, just before the walkway to Splash Mountain. There’s plenty of seating. Pecos Bill has a fixin’s bar with anything you would ever want on a burger or taco salad. You could probably make a meal just from the fixins bar, especially if you’re vegetarian. Hubby loves the BBQ pork sandwich, I love the taco salad, and Matthew is a faithful burger junky no matter where we eat. Michael is a wild card – we never know what he will choose, he likes to keep me on my toes.
From the most adventurous of eater, to the picky, picky picky (like Matthew), Epcot has something for everyone. It’s really, really hard for me to just choose two here, but I think there are two that instantly come to mind when we are ready to chow down at Epcot. We rarely dine at a quick service location. Epcot is usually our “big” meal day. So, we always make both a lunch reservation, and then one for a late dinner.
Via Napoli in the Italy pavilion has become our newest “must do” at Epcot. In fact, Matthew’s birthday is next month, and I didn’t even get the entire sentence out of my mouth…”Matthew you where would you like to eat on your….” “VIA NAPOLI!!!!” OK Matt, gotcha. There are three brick ovens at Via Napoli that cook pretty much all of their hot dishes. The pizza there is by far THEE best you’ll find on Disney property. The staff is friendly, efficient, attentive. Not to mention, very easy on the eyes. And men with Italian accents just seem to make me feel like a giddy school girl. I’m not a big drinker, but I love to have a peach bellini at Via Napoli to start my meal, and it’s soooo yummy, light, refreshing. I love Prosecco, so this is right up my alley.
Our other new favorite is Hacienda San Angel. The food is your standard Mexican fare, with a few twists. But, that’s not really what you go there for. Hubby and I ordered the prix fix dinner for two on our last visit. I didn’t think it was really anything special. It is fajita chicken and steak on a sizzling skillet with all the fixins, along with rice and beans. It certainly didn’t seem like enough food to justify the $50 price tag. But it was decent. I don’t think I would order it again. The major draw of this restaurant is it’s location. It’s right on the water, has floor to ceiling windows, providing an amazing view of Illuminations. It’s so close you can actually feel the heat from the pyrotechnics.
Hollywood Studios seems to be at a “shortage” of really good places to eat. Although a few of the themed restaurants offer entertaining experiences, the food isn’t very special, and their quick service locations leave much to be desired. That being said, we do have a favorite here that we go to every single visit to Hollywood Studios.
The Sci-Fi Dine In Theater is one of our favorite “experiences” for restaurant choices at Disney World. The menu offers standards such as angus burgers, (some crazy big with things like a hot dog on top!) , some decent sandwiches, and thee best milkshakes you will find on Disney World property. (aside from Beaches n Cream, of course) What brings guests to Sci-Fi time and time again is the atmosphere. Sci-Fi is designed to feel like an old fashioned drive in movie theater at night under the stars. You sit in 50’s style “cars”, while watching old clips of monster movies and cheesy drive in commercials. Kids get to sit in the front seat, and get their official drivers license, while mom and dad get to ride in the back seat and enjoy the ride. We love the waiters and waitresses in their 50’s style uniforms, and some even roller skate while serving their guests.
Hollywood Blvd. has a nice little “food court” area up the street from Rock n Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror that offers a ton of different things to eat. There’s plenty of seat, some shaded, some in the sun, but none air conditioned. You can find burgers, dogs – some dogs with toppings like mac n cheese with truffle oil, and bbq pork with cole slaw! There’s also chicken, ribs, great ice cream. You can get a chicken and ribs combo meal for $15, and it will easily feed two people.
At Animal Kingdom, we have two favorites.
Tusker House. Found in Africa, just before the Safari, Tusker House is home to Goofy, Donald, Mickey, Minnie, and Daisy. Breakfast here is great! You get the standard breakfast items, as well as some more traditional Africa choices, which are very tasty. And, one of the best drinks at Disney – the Jungle Juice! I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t love it. It’s a bunch of different juices combined, tasting so tropical, and very refreshing. If you get to eat here before park opening, you can be lucky enough to be one of the first to ride the Safari first thing in the morning, because the queue line is right out the back door. And, in my opinion, it’s one of the best times to venture out in to the savannah. The animals are all awake, some enjoying their first meal of the morning (don’t worry, the lions are more than happy with their non-human breakfast!). We have been several times where the occasional ostrich, rhino, or giraffe has come over to our truck to say “helloooooo” and keep us stranded on the road for a while until they get bored and move on.
Flame Tree BBQ is a great quick service location right on the water. It has tiered seating – which can be a bit of a pain with a heavy tray of food, but it’s worth the view. I just wish there weren’t so many stairs to walk down to get to the “good” seats by the water. Most of the seating is covered here, giving you a little shade from the mid-day sun and the occasional pop-up rain shower. As the name implies, it’s barbecue. Ribs, chicken, pork. The sides are decent, but the corn on the cob always seems to be overcooked. They also have the chicken & ribs combo that I mentioned earlier, making it a great value.
I’m going to stop here for today, because if I get in to all the resort hotel dining locations that we love (and there are many) then we’d be here all day! So, I will talk about that another day. Thanks for joining me today. I don’t know about you, but now I’m hungryyyyyy!!!