No doubt a favorite thing for Assistant Laura and I is to eat out. We’re working to bring you more and more of our experiences doing so at Walt Disney World, throughout Orlando and around Florida. We hope you’ll watch for all of that…
In the mean time, here are 5 of my favorite Walt Disney World restaurants to get you going on your next Walt Disney World vacation.
And I’m totally cheating - giving you way more than 5 to get you going! Think of it as Value Added – or that I can’t make up my mind!
Keeping in mind differing styles, budgets and ideas of a great meal out, I’m including a variety of options…
Earl of Sandwich. Laura and I “discovered” this Downtown Disney delight shortly after arriving in Central Florida. Located at Downtown Disney, you do not have to pay to park or enter the DTD area, just find a spot and walk on in. With plenty of shopping and filled with Disney charm and ambiance, Downtown Disney lets you get your Disney fix without the Disney costs.
Earl is a non-Disney entity with great hot sandwiches and salads. Served “quick” style, you move thru the line, choose your sandwich and/or salads, pick from the cups of noodle salads and fruit cups, check out the desserts and pay – grabbing your self serve beverages and finding a nice spot to eat. Often busy – do watch the lines and come back in a little while, they go up & down all day – you can grab a nice meal and at decent price right in the heart of Walt Disney World.
Columbia Harbour House. This quick serve location across from the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom quickly became a favorite. We don’t like to “fill up” while at the parks, instead preferring to eat lite, and Columbia Harbour House lets us do just that. We’ll split a bowl of the really yummy clam chowder (I’m not a fish fan and I LOVE this stuff!), sometimes adding/splitting one of the baskets (chicken or shrimp) or some fries.
Columbia Harbour House is a Disney quick-serve, so you’ll stand in line, place your order, pick it up and find a location. Check ahead to find out hours – they close it early when crowds are down. We prefer it as our midday snack.
Fairfax Fair. Hollywood Studios is home to this outdoor picnic kind of place. Several small buildings offer up the food and beverages and let you sit very open air in the shadow of Tower of Terror. Very much by accident I discovered the BBQ here – the smell is amazing – and tried it. Now wherever we’re at the Studios, if we can, this is our choice. We need to branch out, and have, but can’t get past how much we enjoy the BBQ here!
Again a quick-serve style, the pricing is very Disney, and we choose to split the sandwich for a smaller individual portion, but a little easier on the tummy (think rides) and wallet.
Epcot, World Showcase. Ok, I’m cheating a little here, but there are so many choices and if you can’t find something great to eat at Epcot, you’re working really hard not to! Among those we like, love or just can’t get enough of (some from previous WDW vacations): The Garden Grill (The Land), Le Cellier Steakhouse (Canada), San Angel Inn (Mexico), Teppan Edo (Japan), Boulangerie Patisserie (France), La Cantina De San Angel (Mexico), Lotus Blossom Cafe (China). We Love The Joy of Tea (China) for the egg rolls & plum wine. We cannot wait to try: Nine Dragons Restaurant (China), Rose & Crown Pub (England), and Les Chefs de France (France).
Epcot’s International Wine & Food Festival. Told you I was cheating! Listen, we went to our first Wine & Food in 2010 and we’re in love! I’ve never thought of myself as having a very large palate – even as we try to expand such coverage – but this event showed me that in growing up I’ve become a richer, happier person – ah, fulfillment.
If you can, plan your Disney World vacation to be there during Wine & Food, as we call it. With the normal countries adding to their offerings and bringing them to the walk-around-the-lake, and many other nations being represented throughout, you’re going to discover flavors and tastes that will make your tummy sing! We loved South Africa, South Korea, France and Belgium, and while we did partake of the wine part, expect that to add considerably to your bottom line. We only partook one time and the rest focused on the food.