Monday, May 19, 2014

One Day of food in the Magic Kingdom

Planning my upcoming trip to the Disneyland Resort makes me really want to break down vacations to a different level.  As a complete newbie to Disneyland, I've thought of a question that a first timer may be asking

What do I eat?

There are several places to get food at each park and resort at Walt Disney World.  There are also many must trys and a few other do not eat here restaurants.  Here are my suggestions!

Counter Service Meal Options 

  1. Be Our Guest - counter service for lunch only
  2. Casey's Corner - hot dogs
  3. Columbia Harbor House - unique options such as hummus and fish sandwiches
  4. Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe - lots of options, but different foods have to be ordered at different plces - soups/salads and burgers can't be ordered at the same place
  5. Diamond Horseshoe - open seasonally
  6. Pecos Bill's Tall Tale Inn and Cafe - 
  7. Pinocchio Village Haus - flatbreads, soups, and sandwiches
  8. Tomorrowland Terrace - open seasonally
  9. Tortuga Tavern - open seasonally
My advice:
I generally eat nearby to where I am in the parks - 
  • Tomorrowland - Cosmic Rays
  • Main Street/The Hub - Casey's Corner
  • Frontierland - Pecos Bill's
  • Fantasyland/Liberty Square - Columbia Harbor House
Other tips:
  • If it says - open seasonally, skip it
  • Pinocchio Village Haus is highly recommended.... to avoid.
  • Be Our Guest probably has the best food, but the lines can be crazy! Try to get FastPass+ 

Table Service Dining

  1. Be Our Guest (dinner only) - New Fantasyland
  2. Cinderella's Royal Table - Inside Cinderella Castle
  3. Crystal Palace - Located in the Hub
  4. Liberty Tree Tavern - Liberty Square
  5. The Plaza Restaurant - Located in the Hub
  6. Tony's Town Square - Town Square, near the entrance of the park
My advice:
  • Getting an ADR for Be Our Guest is seemingly impossible - even at the 180 day mark, it's often booked up.  But, if you can get it, go for it!  It's delicious!
  • Cinderella's Royal Table also generally books up about 180 days out but is easier to get than Be Our Guest!  This is a Princess character meal is a great experience for little princesses, but is VERY pricey
  • Tony's Town Square is a fairly overlooked (and mediocre) Italian restaurant.  It's an easy reservation to get - often the Cast Members are out front trying to guilt people in to eating there.  Not great, but if you're craving for some spaghetti..
  • The Plaza is my go to - it's not terribly expensive, fairly easy to get reservations, and has pretty good food!
  • Crystal Palace is a Winnie the Pooh themed buffet - people love eating here for breakfast before the park opens to walk down Main Street, U.S.A. with zero crowds!

Disney Favorite Snacks:

  • Dole Whip - find at Aloha Isle in Adventureland - a pineapple custard type substance is a fan favorite - the float version is also popular
  • Citrus Swirl - find at Sunshine Tree Terrace -  an orange version of Dole Whip!
  • Mickey-shaped pretzel - need I say more?
  • Turkey Legs/Pork Shanks - Turkey Legs are available in kiosks in Frontierland and I swear I've seen them in Tomorrowland, too.  The Pork Shank is only available at Gaston's Tavern in New Fantasyland - for anyone that likes big hunks of greasy meat...
  • Nutella Stuffed Waffles - Sleepy Hollow Refreshments in the gateway to Liberty Square - Nutella and strawberries in a waffle - win
  • Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars - these are in all four parks and resort hotels, but they're so delicious, they're worth a mention!

Can't Miss -

The restaurants that is all the rage now is Be Our Guest.  If you can get in, go.  Or, just go in the morning and get the tour!  It's beautiful!


  1. If you are staying at a Disney resort, you have a chance of getting a pin # from them to make and ADR at Be Our Guest for lunch. Just happened to me on my recent trip. Would I stand in a 3 or more hour line-up for a restaurant, in the freakishly hot sun - NO. Would I make a reservation online and wait 5 minutes in the hall, yes.
    Had a revolting meal at Peco's Bills. The only thing that was allergy safe for me was the ribs and they were dry and about 1/2 pounds worth, I would have rather had a smaller serving of better ribs and the fries were coated in salt.
    Cosmic Ray's is a go to for me, the 1/2 chicken meal is grain-free, whew.

  2. I'm very hopeful for my clients to get that pin! I can't ever imagine waiting for a counter service meal! I honestly prefer to leave to go to a resort for a lunch - otherwise everything is meh - mediocre! That's why I choose Plaza - it's like counter service prices but better!

  3. Casey's Corner is a consistent quick service favorite with my family. It's one of the best values as well. The kids enjoy being able to top their hot dogs with the items on the toppings bar and the location is great, too. I was glad to see they're adding more outdoor seating in that area.

    We ate at Cosmic Ray's for the first time on our last visit on the recommendation of a friend and it didn't disappoint. I had a really good fresh Greek salad and everyone enjoyed their meals as well. It's a little chaotic with the multiple ordering areas, but the food really was good.

    We were lucky enough to be a part of the Fast Pass + testing at Be Our Guest for lunch during our visit in April, too, and we had a really delicious meal. During lunch it's a hybrid of quick and table service. You order at kiosks and even pay ahead of time and then they serve you at your table. You get your own drinks, though. It sounds confusing but it worked very well. The boys had the Croque Monsieur (fancy grilled cheese/ham sandwiches) and i had a salad nicoise and it was all very good. More expensive than quick service, less expensive than full table service. No alcohol at lunch, but otherwise the experience is really great if you can't get a dinner reservation.

    Dole Whips are my absolute favorite treat that I've had at WDW.

  4. Yeah Cosmic Ray's is one of our standards - but having to order for 2 little ones and liking different things, it tends to be a bit of a show ordering... but I do love to sit and listen to Sonny Eclipse!

    Thank you for sharing your experience about Be Our Guest! I'm hopeful to get to try that experience in November since we won't be doing dinner (which we've done twice)

    And yeah - Dole Whips are huge fan favorites, but I don't really enjoy them! I'm a minority on that, though!