Stale popcorn and ice cream cones. Over cooked hotdogs and hamburgers, is there anything that describes theme park food better? There are the overly expensive, often overly large soft-drinks in a limited edition collector’s cup. But is there more to food at the Disney Parks? Is there quality? Does the food actually, you know, taste good?
The short answer is yes. Along with the plethora of Mickey shaped cookies and ice creams, there are some really great options in the snack department. I do, as the title suggests, love churros. And there is no shortage of them in Magic Kingdom, Epcot or any of the other Disney Parks. If you’re not a huge fan of sweets, might I suggest a Mickey pretzel? Those are good. They have salt…and cheese. Or you can get them without salt and cheese, probably.
While we were in Animal Kingdom, and learning why flamingos are pink (on a side note, be sure to check out Wilderness Explorers) we found pretzels for our kids. And much to my disappointment, those were the last two regular pretzels. The lady did suggest a cheese and jalapeno stuffed pretzel. I am not, and probably will never be, a fan of jalapenos. It’s not a heat thing, they just don’t taste good – but that argument is for another blog. But my wife and I thought we would give it a try anyway. I like cheese stuffed things. The two words that come to mind first are, “oh my!” This pretzel my friends, is memorable. It’s awesome! It is worth the trek to Animal Kingdom. And as long as we are on the topic of finding food that is worth a trek, the Mission Tortilla Factory in California Adventure is another one. There you watch a short video about how tortillas are made. Then, watch it in action. Follow the assembly line and grab a fresh warm tortilla as a snack as you exit.
So we covered the snack food category, but are there good places to eat that are more…sit at a table and use a fork? There are an assortment of places to grab a quick bite – Pizza Planet(now the Pizze Rizzo) and Gaston’s just to name a couple. Let’s explore the other end of the dining options. The sit down, here’s a menu and a waiter. There is no shortage of places to eat that involve a wait staff. There are countless numbers of restaurants that offer character dining. Sit down and enjoy breakfast with Goofy, Minnie, Mickey and the rest of the gang at Chef Mickeys – conveniently located inside of the Contemporary. You can dine with the princesses at Akershus in Epcot. These restaurants are more than just a photo opportunity with your favorite honey loving bear, they are after all, restaurants. The food, as we found out, was better at some places and ok at others. Chef Mickeys is good during breakfast, so is Disney Jr character dining at Hollywood Studios. The Pavilions around Epcot are a must. Food from Mexico to Italy. The France Pavilion offers Les Halles, a French patisserie, smack dab in the middle of humid Florida. If you’re in Magic Kingdom and steak is what you’re after, be sure to make a reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Yes the restaurant is a little pricey but it does offer a nice steak and yes, it is actually inside of Cinderella’s Castle.
Remember that just because you are in a theme park and most theme parks only offer stale popcorn and over cooked hotdogs, if you’re in a Disney Park there is some really stinking good food. From steak to fish and Mickey waffles to laulau and pulled pork. And if the sit down – fork and knife dining isn’t for you, remember, you can always get a churro.
Sean Merritt is a vacation specialist with Coasters and Castles Travel and works with his wife Maria. He grew up going to Disneyland every summer but went to Disney World for the first time in 2015 and since then can’t get enough of it. His favorite thing to do at either location is go to Fantasmic. He would love to help you with all your vacations needs…contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org