Monday, September 28, 2009

Walt Disney World Quick Service Dining Options

As the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan starts to gain some popularity, I wanted to give our top quick service or counter service (as they are also known as) options along with a snack option or two that you might not have thought of.

First...our #1 quick service (counter service) option is in Epcot. Sunshine Seasons is downstairs in the “Land Pavilion.” Unlike some quick service options where you have your standard chicken strip, hamburger, hotdog, pizza option...Sunshine Seasons offers everything from Mongolian Stir Fry to Rotisserie Chicken to Wood-grilled Salmon. All of their choices qualify for a counter service credit on the Disney Dining Plan. Another reason this is a favorite is because you are indoors in a nice cool spot which can’t be beat on those hot Florida days. And here is a tip that Disney probably would rather not be advertised; when you eat at most counter service restaurants within the parks, the drinks are filled and handed to you over the counter which means NO refills. Sunshine Seasons has a drink station similar to those found within the Disney resorts which means you can make your way back over there for a refill. All of these reasons make Sunshine Seasons our best overall pick for a counter service option.

Next pick would be the Columbia Harbour House in The Magic Kingdom. If I were to grade the food itself, it would get a B-. They do have different options (not as abundant as Sunshine Seasons) such as fried fish baskets and a sandwich called “The Lighthouse Sandwich” which includes hummus, tomato and broccoli. The thing that makes this a top choice for us when visiting the Magic Kingdom is the fact that they also have an abundance of inside, air-conditioned seating which is not always the case in the parks. You can go upstairs and grab a table by the window and watch happy visitors as they stroll between Fantasyland and Liberty Square. Give it a try if you haven’t already.

Moving on...our next choice would be the Flame Tree Barbecue in Animal Kingdom. Again...the food gets a B to B-. If you really are not a barbecue fan, this may not make your list, but we like it because of the plentiful shaded seating that it offers. Since it is located in Disney’s largest park, having a shaded place to sit and rest is a must and you will most likely be able to find a seat at the Flame Tree Barbecue (and I also love BBQ).

I am going to switch gears as we move on to Hollywood Studios. We really do not have a “favorite” counter service option in this park. You have the standard choices such as hamburgers, pizza, cold sandwiches etc. A lot of the counter service options do not have a tremendous amount of indoor seating which means you may be forced to sit outside in the heat. So I am going to mention our favorite snack and resting spot that is somewhat off the beaten path. If you walk past Mickey’s hat and head to the left, you will come to Commissary Lane. As you make your way to the end of Commissary Lane, you will then find the Sci Fi Dine-in Theater Restaurant. Once you get there...walk on past that and you will see a little shop called “The Writer’s Shop.” I am always shocked to see how many people pass by this little shop without even peaking inside because here again you will find air-conditioning, comfortable seats, books to browse through and a variety of coffees to choose from as well as sodas and water. In addition you can find great muffins and pastries and other snacks to choose from as you take a break. It is such a quiet spot...I am almost hesitant to give the tip as to keep it a secret.

Last recommendation I will give is again related to snacks. Our must-do on every trip now is to make our way to Adventureland in The Magic Kingdom and buy a Dole Whip. To us...there is no better way to spend a snack credit. They are a great alternative to the standard popcorn, ice cream bar, or bottle of water option.

Well there you have it. There are our choices for quick service meals and snacks. Hopefully these will help some of you who may be planning your first visit to “The Happiest Place on Earth” or maybe give some of you “veterans” some other options that you may have passed up on previous visits. If you have been before...what are some of your favorite options for quick (counter) service meals? What are some must-do snack items that you buy on every visit? Please leave a comment or question.

1 comment:

James and Terra Smith said...

We ALWAYS eat at La Cantina De San Angel (EPCOT, Mexico). No AC here, but plenty of shade and the breeze off the lake makes this a great place for a quick meal. We also love to grab a hot dog at Casey's Corner on Main Street in MK while we watch Wishes. And to satisy our sweet tooth, we can't miss Boulangerie Patisserie (EPCOT, France)!