Ahhh I remember the days when I’d hit 180 days from my reservation and be on my computer ready to book my Advanced Dining Reservations at our favorite Table Service restaurants on Disney property.
But, times have changed. And to be completely honest, unless we have another adult on the trip to babysit the kids so we can go out alone, we’re more likely to just choose Quick Service options during our trips. It’s cheaper (obviously), there are so many great options and there’s an even more relaxed atmosphere. I’m so proud to report we now know of every place on property that serves up Mac and Cheese and I will attest that in all of its plastic cheese goodness, I love it as much as I do Panera Mac and Cheese. SO, with that being said, let’s dive in, park by park!
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe
Let me start by saying, out of all 4 parks, Magic Kingdom is by far the most basic. It’s the closest to standard “theme park” food. That being said, there are plenty of hidden gems if you do some planning. We love Pecos Bill’s. Simple Mexican food, they have Mac and Cheese and Uncrustables and they also have an awesome adult entree menu. I’m partial to the Southwest Salad, but they also have some awesome tacos. The best thing about Pecos Bill’s is the toppings bar. I mean who doesn’t love a toppings bar?
I’ll also make a point to say here that opting for a kid’s meal here is also a great option. If you’re a snacker and want to try all of the awesome snack options throughout the park like we do, a kid’s meal is a great way to tide you over so you can enjoy some Cheeseburger Eggrolls or a Dole Whip!
*This is the most important part of this paragraph so if you skip everything else, please read this: Do yourself a favor and USE MOBILE ORDERING through the MY DISNEY EXPERIENCE app. You will save yourself so much time over the course of your trip if you do this. You can pick out all of your food and pay for it (with your attached credit card or with meal plan credits depending on what you’ve chosen) and when you arrive at the restaurant, you simply press Prepare My Order when you’re ready to pick it up.
I swear, there is hardly ever a line at the Mobile Order counter, yet there are lines out the door to order at the register. It is the same food, same menu, same everything. In fact, there are some “secret menu” items only available through the app at select Quick Service locations, so I really don’t see the downside here! MOBILE ORDER. MOBILE ORDER. MOBILE ORDER.
You ain’t done Magic Kingdom right if you haven’t stopped at Casey’s. Hot Dogs and fries. Does it get any better?
What I love about Casey’s is the always have a hot dog of the month, which is some outlandish hot dog with crazy toppings that usually sound odd but taste delicious and also CORN DOG NUGGETS. Yup. I said it- corn dog nuggets and they are amazing.
Grab yourself a table outside and listen to the piano player play some ragtime while you have the perfect view of Cinderella Castle. If you’re lucky, you may even see a parade passing by. Since Casey’s is in a prime spot on Main Street, try to plan your meal outside of normal lunch/dinner time. You’ll have a better shot of snagging a good table!
I’ll repeat this again….Use Mobile Ordering here!
Deep in the heart of Pandora, and I do mean deep. It’s all the way in the back of Pandora, across from the exit for Flight of Passage so you’ll have to walk under the floating mountains to get there. Sounds awful, right?
Yes, Mobile Ordering is available here so get on that! There is a boatload of seating available both inside and outside so this is a great way to escape the heat and reset in the air conditioning. Bathrooms and changing tables are right outside, just an FYI.
Huge fan of their menu mostly because it makes me feel like I’m actually eating something not fried for once. They have Bowls that you choose your meat, base (sweet potato hash, noodles, rice and beans, hearty salad) and sauce (charred green onion vinaigrette, black bean vinaigrette, creamy herb sauce). They are so good and served on these funky ceramic dishes that make you feel like you’re eating at home.
Kid’s options are great, there a hot dog (simple), and cheeseburger pods (delicious) and a cheese quesadilla (crowd pleaser). Don’t forget to check out the dessert because they have one of the coolest. The Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse is out of this world (but actually, because you’re in Pandora), so definitely give it a go.
Flame Tree Barbecue
The name says it all, right? If you like that smokehouse flavor, this is THE place. Just an aside, they have a Mandarin Orange Lemonade here that is so good, and about the only place I don’t just opt for a fountain ice water.
I haven’t had a bad meal here and haven’t tried something that I didn’t like so if this is your kind of cuisine, make this a priority! We usually split the Ribs, Chicken and Pulled Pork sampler because it is a massive amount of food and obviously, it’s a great value. If you’re looking for something smaller, the fries with pulled pork are, as you guessed it, amazing. Can’t go wrong there.
There are decent kid’s options here too- Uncrustables, Turkey Sandwich and hot dog, or a baked chicken drumstick. Reminder to use Mobile Order here as well!
My favorite part about Flame Tree is the seating. It’s all outside, but it’s covered and there are multiple levels. While you’re sitting, don’t be surprised to see some bird visitors walking around. Pro Tip: My favorite place to sit is way in the back. If you just keep walking past all of the seating areas, there is a small ramp which leads down to a smaller seating area next to the water. It’s usually pretty quiet and shaded and you have the most perfect view of Expedition Everest.
Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes
You may be slightly confused- Yes, there is a Table Service restaurant named Yak & Yeti Restaurant which is located just to the left of this Quick Service option. I will say, I love the restaurant. The food is amazing and the restaurant decor is so cool, so if you’re looking for a sit down option, I would definitely recommend it!
From a Quick Service perspective, I’ve never seen this place not busy. Again, use Mobile Order, but also, this is a great place to try to plan a meal during an off-peak eating time. There’s plenty of seating located around the back of the counter, but you may have to linger a bit for an open table. There are bathrooms located in the seating area too, in case you need a quick diaper change, etc.
Game Changer- they also serve breakfast. Breakfast sandwich, breakfast burrito, french toast sticks?! OH yes.
But for lunch and dinner, we’re looking at an Asian flare. I’m a big fan of the Honey Sesame Chicken and the Teriyaki Beef Bowl. This is also a Chicken Strips Kid’s Meal place. Hurray! But the real reason why we frequent Yak & Yeti? The Mango Pie. It’s unreal. It’s worth a trip just for the pie. It’s one of those pies that has a graham cracker crust. You know the buttery kind that you would just eat by itself and be satisfied? Yeah, it’s that plus an insane mango filling and the perfect ratio of graham cracker to filling. You’re welcome.
Probably the most boring choice on this list? But I don’t mean that in a bad way. I actually have grown to really enjoy ABC Commissary over the years. Firstly, it’s huge. There is a ton of seating and it’s indoor seating. That is so clutch in the Florida heat and something that you don’t find at many of the other Quick Services. It’s also “boring” in the sense that there’s probably something for everyone on their menu. If you’re traveling with a picky eater or someone who isn’t into crazy food options, this is a great choice. The food is always good, you can mobile order and it’s the perfect place to rest for awhile. There are bathrooms inside- I know, I sound crazy with these bathroom name drops but knowing where bathrooms are is so important! Diaper blowouts happen, toddlers who need to pee at the drop of a hat happen, so knowing you have one in the seating area is a big plus.
A newer, more trendy option. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all possibilities here! Located in the back left of Toy Story Land, Woody’s Lunchbox has quickly become one of my favorite options. Homemade pop tarts, Smores French Toast, Breakfast Bowl, or a Brisket Sandwich, fancy Grilled Cheese or Totchos? All of it is good. While the menu might not be enormous, it’s a crowd pleaser and where else can you sit at a chair that’s shaped like a Babybel Cheese wheel?
There is very little shade in Toy Story Land to begin with, but these tables all have umbrellas so it’s a nice place to get out of the sun, if not the heat before you head over to Slinky Dog Dash!
P.S.- Mobile Order is available here!
Alright, so you’re going to sense a trend- we like the Mexican/Latin food places. If that’s not for you, you can skip this one. We actually had never eaten here, but were sitting in the Beauty and the Beast show across the way on Sunset Boulevard and it was really hot and I didn’t want hot food and I stumbled upon Veggie Salad. Now, normally, I’d just keep scrolling, but stay with me here.
“Wedge Salad with Fire-roasted Corn Medley, Crispy Tortilla Strips and Cheddar Cheese served with a Jalapeño Ranch Dressing”
Sounds pretty dang good, right? And cold. And it was just what I needed. It’s available with pulled pork on it too, in case you’re in need of some protein. Also it’s an enormous amount of lettuce so be prepared!
Looking at the menu now, we will certainly be trying the Empanadas and I saw someone get the Fajita Combo platter last trip and it looked amazing. So, if you’re in need of something cool and refreshing, this might just hit the spot. (*cough cough* Mobile Order)
(purely best kid option)
One of two places you can Mobile Order at Epcot. Basically, if you’re in World Showcase and in a pinch go to Liberty Inn. If you’re in Future World, hit up Electric Umbrella. Unless I’m starving and someone is dragging my limp body around Epcot, I’m not going to eat here as an adult. There are just too many other amazing options between World Showcase and whatever Festival is inevitably going on (Flower & Garden, Food & Wine, Festival of the Holidays or Festival of the Arts). Sorry summer visitors- no festivals, but still plenty of good food.
However, there’s lots of indoor seating here, air conditioning, mac and cheese, you know the drill. I don’t have adventurous eaters (though the baby might surprise us here) so knowing I can just fill up the threenager here and move on is wonderful.
Starbucks is across the way so generally one of us will sit with the kiddos and the other will get our much needed caffeine.
Now prepare for more Mexican- I’m sorry!
La Cantina de San Angel
Right in the heart of Mexico, directly across from the Mexico Pavillion is this gem.
I have a problem, I know. But it is just so good! Also, Mexico is one of the first stops in World Showcase and I’m usually pretty hungry and the smell just lures me in. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great options for fish and chips in England and Les Halles Boulangerie in France is becoming a fast favorite as well, but this place is just a guaranteed good meal.
Tacos, Salads, Empanadas, and Churros for dessert, you can’t beat it. You can also find Chicken Tenders and Mac and Cheese for you know who. Plus you can snag a seat on the water and catch a breeze off Crescent Lake.
No Mobile Ordering is available here so you’re going to have to wait in line, but it’s worth it!
That’s it for my list of in-park Quick Service favorites. But I have to add a few more that we try to frequent whenever we can. They’re just that good!
*Choza de Margarita
Technically still in a park, this stand is located in World Showcase in Epcot, directly to the left of the Mexico Pavillion. I know, I know, but this is the last Mexican joint I mention. Meal Plans and Mobile Ordering are not available here, but they make some of my favorite food on property.
You want a legit Margarita? Stop here. They’re amazing.
But my favorite? The guacamole. Just stop and read the description: “topped with Mango and Pumpkin Seeds. Served with Fried Flour Chicharrón, Salsa Valentina and Lime.” Oh. Man. Fried Flour Chicharrón = Pork Rinds. Ridiculous. We usually opt out of the salsa because it is spicy and sometimes I just want to house this without having to stop for 87 sips of water.
They also have a ridiculous Empanada de Barbacoa here, which is served with a side of Corn Esquites (Mexican Street Corn). Just yes. Okay, that’s all for in-park food. Now onto some on-property, out of park options.
Options Outside of the Parks
*All of these options are easily accessible from Magic Kingdom by boat or monorail.
Ahh, Capt Cook’s- so near and dear to my heart. This is located at the Polynesian Resort, which you can reach by boat or by monorail from Magic Kingdom. The Poly is our Home Resort as Disney Vacation Club Members so we try to stay here at least once a year. That’s how much we love this resort. Even if you don’t choose to eat here, I always recommend checking out the other Deluxe Resorts on property because the theming is so beautiful.
Worth noting, even if you don’t have a park ticket on a certain day, if you are staying on Disney World property, you can take a bus to Magic Kingdom and then get on the monorail or a boat to these places without entering the park!
Capt. Cook’s is the Quick Service restaurant located around the corner from the main gift shop, you can also access it from the pool area. They have awesome meals for whatever time of day you are visiting. For breakfast, I highly recommend the Tonga Toast. Banana-stuffed sourdough bread that’s fried and rolled in cinnamon sugar. Do I need to repeat that? I didn’t think so. It’s other-worldly and you can totally share it with someone. It’s that huge.
For lunch or dinner, there are so many great options. The Thai Coconut Meatballs are one of my favorites, as is the Pan Asian Noodles or the Pulled Pork Nachos.
They have indoor and outdoor seating and if you pick the right table, you can look across Seven Seas Lagoon and see Cinderella Castle!
Located at the Wilderness Lodge Resort, you can visit here only by boat from Magic Kingdom. It’s an awesome ride and a great way to check out the Lagoon and nearby properties.
Roaring Fork will always hold a special place in my heart. My first trip to Disney World- which was in 2014 (not that long ago at all), we stayed here and this is where the slippery slope of my Disney obsession began.
Breakfast is amazing here. The Mickey Waffle options are to die for. Loaded Mickey Waffles with a Banana Foster sauce amongst other toppings and a Chicken and Waffles which you can have any time of day are just two of the ridiculous choices. Don’t worry, health nuts- there are always healthy options available too. But what’s the fun in talking about that?
Though for lunch and dinner, I will talk about one of their salads that I always have difficulty deviating from. The Wilderness Salad is one of my favorites. It’s simple but the apple vinaigrette and candied walnuts just pull me in every time.
There’s lots of indoor seating and outdoor seating as well. I like to sit outside in the shade because the theming of this resort is just too cool. You can sit right near the waterfall and if you stay long enough, you’ll probably hear Fire Rock Geyser go off as well!
Roaring Fork usually has some great desserts too. Just check out this Campfire Cupcake we got last time we were there!
Last, but certainly not least, Contempo Café is located on the 4th floor of the Contemporary Resort. You can get here by walking from Magic Kingdom (maybe 10 minutes at best) or taking the monorail- right into the resort!
We love the Contemporary because there is always so much to look at. I could just sit and watch the monorail come in and out all day, so I’m easily pleased. Contempo Café serves food all day long and they have some tasty, simple options and always have an absurd dessert selection.
You’ll find pizza, salad, sandwiches and a kid’s menu that everyone can find something on.
My last tidbit of advice here is that if you are staying on property and you purchase a resort mug. Though they’re expensive, if you’re staying for more than 3 days, they are totally worth it because you can bring them to any resort on property and fill them as well. Plus they make a great souvenir! So for these last 3 Quick Service options I’ve mentioned, make sure to bring your resort mugs so you can fill up!
Well, I’m out of breath (ha- I’m not, but my fingers are tired) and I’m sure you’re sick of reading! I hope you found some new places to try out for your next trip!
Let me know in the comments what other types of Disney posts you’d like to see or where you’re most !