Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Favorite Quick-Service Restaurants

By: Lindsey

Quick-service meals at Disney are great options for families, especially if you have small children. And, sometimes, a designated time for a sit down meal just doesn’t fit into your schedule for the day. There are a lot of different choices at each park.

A quick-service meal can be equated to a fast food type restaurant. You order at the counter and take your food to a table to eat (there are a few exceptions where the food is delivered to you but those are few). If you have the Disney Dining Plan (DDP) or the Quick-Service Dining Plan (QSDP) these will be credits included in your plan.

Today I’m going to break down my family’s favorite quick service restaurants by park. There are so many great options; it really was hard to choose.

Magic Kingdom

Tortuga Tavern is located in Adventureland. If you are in need of a Tex-Mex style meal, this would be it! They have lots of yummy menu items to choose from. My favorite thing about it? The toppings bar! I like having the option to “spruce up” my meal without having to ask a server for additional items. We really like the location of the restaurant. It’s in a busy but not-so-busy area so you really feel like you get a good break while you are eating. Plus, if you time it right, you can sometimes hear some of the fun pirate stuff that goes on in Adventureland.

If you aren’t on the DDP or QSDP, this is a great option for a quick-service meal as well. The prices are relatively inexpensive compared to other Disney meals. Read Jenna’s review (linked above) for more detailed info and even an image of the menu!

Hollywood Studios

Pizza Planet is located in the Streets of America section of Hollywood Studios. We absolutely love this place! The pizza is really good. It has a fun atmosphere. It’s, at least while we were there, never been packed. If you are on the DDP, QSDP or if you just love dessert, try the cappuccino cupcake. It’s amazing!


Seriously, Epcot is my favorite park to eat in. There are SO many different options. You can basically have anything you want – any type of food, any type of drink, any type of dessert. It’s a food lover’s dream. So here we go.

If you are in the mood for a standard hamburger, hot dog or other American standard food items, Liberty Inn is your place. The food is good, not excellent, but the building is pretty darn cool. Little known fact, there are several “secret” lounges throughout Epcot that have corporate sponsors. When I was in tenth grade, we made a trip down there. At that time Coca-Cola was the corporate sponsor for The American Adventure. We got to visit the secret lounge and it was pretty neat! It’s probably one of the reasons I love this little section so much. I don’t believe it is still sponsored by Coca-Cola but I’m sure someone else has it now! If you work for a large corporation, check to see if they are corporate sponsors before you go on your trip. You might get treated to a special visit!

Another favorite of ours is the Lotus Blossom CafĂ© if you are in the mood for Chinese food. It is, of course, located in the China pavilion. It is so, so good. It’s also very quick, off the beaten path and not very crowded. We had a group of 10+ when we visited and we were able to find seating all together without any issues at all. Anniston even ate everything on her plate!

The last one I’ll point out is La Cantina de San Angel, which is located in the Mexico pavilion. If you’ve ever eaten at San Angel Inn, it’s very similar to that. If I absolutely HAD to pick a favorite place at Epcot, it would be this one. Who doesn’t love fresh-made guacamole? The nachos are also very good, as is the Pollo Cascabel. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

 Animal Kingdom

Let me preface this by saying, this is the only quick-service meal we’ve eaten at Animal Kingdom. Out of three trips, we’ve always come back to this place. Why? It’s a great value for the money (or credit)! Plus it’s really good. I’m not a huge barbecue fan, who am I kidding? I’m not a huge meat fan in general. But this is barbecue that I actually eat AND enjoy it. Therefore we keep going back!

It’s usually extremely busy as it is pretty popular. Try to get there a little early or a little later in the day for shorter lines. We’ve tried several different meal options and we’ve enjoyed them all. 

Jenna has a post about eating at Yak & Yeti. If that’s more your style of food, check it out!

Downtown Disney

We love to eat at Earl of Sandwich at Downtown Disney (DTD). With all of the construction currently going on at DTD, it can get overwhelming to find and decide on a restaurant. This is a great option. They serve hot or cold gourmet sandwiches. The dessert isn’t half bad either. We’ve eaten here three different times and enjoyed it each time.

That being said, Jenna reviewed The Express at Wolfgang Puck. I do believe she has convinced me to go there on our next trip. Doesn’t that food look amazing?!

Eating is one of my favorite pastimes at Disney. I love eating just as much as I love riding. Quick-service meals, while they are a slightly different environment than a table service meal, are just as tasty and just a good as option as table service. In fact, a few of my quick-service meals have been my meals at table service restaurants.

When you are planning your trip, don’t forget to take a look at all the options out there. In the heat of the moment, no pun intended if you are traveling in the summer, it can be frustrating to try to find and pick out a meal that will please everyone. Do some research beforehand to decide where you want to eat or at least have your top couple of picks ready. It’ll make for a much smoother trip!

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