|Cheesecake, Wolfgang Puck Express|
When planning a Walt Disney World vacation, many guests (myself included) obsess over which restaurants to visit. With so many fantastic options, Disney dining has become as much a part of the overall vacation experience as the rides and resorts. Most of the attention goes to table service locations, as reservations can be made 180 days ahead of time and available tables quickly fill up.
Today I am going to spend some time talking about their often overlooked little brother: quick service dining locations. While they do not get as much attention as table service restaurants, they all have the trademark Disney attention to detail and theming, and a wide variety of delicious food options.
|Cupcakes at Starring Rolls|
Starring Rolls Café, Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Located near the corner of Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard, this is a fantastic place to grab a pastry and people watch. This is a small restaurant with no indoor seating that is easy to overlook, but don’t let its size fool you. There is a lot of deliciousness crammed into a small space. Assorted sandwiches are available for lunch, but the true stars here are the pastries. If you can’t eat a cupcake for breakfast at Walt Disney World, then where can you? If you have the dining plan, here’s a great tip: you can use your snack credits for nearly all pastry items here- many are large enough to share, or filling enough to use as a meal.
|La Cantina de San Angel nachos|
La Cantina de San Angel, Mexico Pavilion, Epcot
The menu here isn’t very large, but it is still tasty! You can enjoy your choice of tacos, empanadas, or (in my opinion) the world’s best nachos. If you aren’t in the mood for a full meal, then grab a margarita and some churros. There is plenty of outdoor seating to sit, relax, and take in the sights and sounds of the World Showcase Lagoon.
Contempo Café, Disney’s Contemporary Resort
This restaurant is a favorite of ours for atmosphere, as well as menu choices. Here you will find some of the greatest variety of any menu at Walt Disney World. Breakfast options include waffles, eggs, burritos, and French toast, as well as cold cereal and pastries. For lunch and dinner, you can choose from a wide range of hot and cold sandwiches, burgers, pasta, flatbreads, and salads. You cannot beat the location. Located on the 4th floor Grand Canyon Concourse of the Contemporary Resort, this is a great place to sit back and soak in the energetic atmosphere around you. The monorail passes above, while the sounds and music of Chef Mickey’s fill the air.
|Pizza, Wolfgang Puck Express|
Wolfgang Puck Express, Downtown Disney
Although not a Disney-owned restaurant, this is my favorite quick service meal at Downtown Disney. I do not live near a Wolfgang Puck restaurant, so eating here is a special treat on my Disney vacations. This is one of several non-Disney restaurants on property that accepts the Disney Dining Plan, which is a fantastic value. There are two locations- one at Marketplace, the other at West Side. Menus are similar, but not identical. The Marketplace location has expanded in recent years, providing more indoor seating. Lunch and dinner menus include a variety of hot and cold sandwiches, salads, pasta, hot entrees, and wood fired pizzas (my favorite is the barbecued chicken). Desserts are a must too: I recommend the vanilla bean cheesecake, but they also have crème brulee and frozen yogurt.
|Casey's Corner, photo courtesy Disney|
Casey’s Corner, Magic Kingdom
Main Street USA, hot dogs, and baseball: it is a meal even Sam Eagle would approve of. You can choose from a variety of hot dogs: Chicago style, chili cheese, or barbecue slaw (topped with pulled pork and cole slaw). Other options include nachos and corn dog nuggets. They even have Cracker Jack for dessert. Seating is outdoors, with a fantastic view of Cinderella’s Castle. Throughout the day you can catch a lively ragtime pianist entertaining diners. If you are waiting for a parade, this is also an easy and portable meal to bring to your spot.
With so many quick service choices throughout Walt Disney World, it may be tough to decide where to eat! No matter what you choose, you will find yourself enjoying delicious food in a great atmosphere.