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Disney Food for Families: Condiments Make the World Go Round

Disney Food for Families columnist Erin Foster knows what’s important for her family when it comes to Disney counter-service…

It’s a rare child that doesn’t feel passionate about condiments. Here are a few of the examples you might have heard from your kids… “I won’t let any type of sauce touch my food.” Or,“I’ll eat anything, as long as it’s covered in ketchup.” “Hot sauce is heavenly.” “Relish looks like alien slime.” “Plastic cheese makes everything better.” “Salsa, not ketchup.” “Mustard, not salsa.” “French fries are fine, but only if dipped in maple syrup.”

Yep, condiments are the weird and wonderful place where kiddie crazy food idiosyncrasies come out to play. Luckily, Disney has the condiment basics covered at most places.

You guys know AJ can't live without her plastic cheese

At any of the counter service restaurants where burger/dog/nugget staples are served, you’ll find traditional accompaniments like ketchup and mustard. And while they may not be out on the table, you can ask for these items at nearly all of the table service restaurants on property. But if you keep your eyes open, you’ll find many more options available.

So, if your child, or you, will ONLY eat food covered in soy sauce (hey, it happens), I’ll tell you where you’ll be able to get your fix.

Topping Bars

A few Disney counter service restaurants, such as Cosmic Ray’s and Tortuga Tavern in the Magic Kingdom, offer what Disney calls a “toppings bar.” This is code for a salad-bar-like spread of fresh fixin’ add-ons.

Tortuga Tavern toppings

Once you get your burger (at Cosmic Ray’s) or taco salad (at Tortuga Tavern), you can head over to the toppings bar to get unlimited embellishments to enhance your entree. The toppings typically include items like shredded cheese, lettuce, and fresh tomatoes.

At Cosmic Ray’s you may also find sauteed onions, pickles, sauerkraut, and even mushrooms. If you’re particularly ambitious, it’s possible to build yourself a little side salad from the items at the toppings bar.

Cosmic Ray's toppings 1

Cosmic Ray's tomatoes

Cosmic Ray

A few other locations have less elaborate, but still free-flowing condiment options. The Sunset Ranch Market at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has a large condiment bar. Be sure to pay attention to the scenes unraveling behind it as well!

Sunset Ranch Market Condiments

Over at Cantina de San Angel in Epcot, you have your choice of salsas — choose from salsa verde or chipotle!

Salsa options at La Cantina de San Angel, Epcot

And at Casey’s Corner in the Magic Kingdom, it’s all about the hot dog fixin’s. Help yourself to sauerkraut, relish, and plastic cheese!

Casey's Corner, Magic Kingdom. All you can eat sauerkraut and liquid cheese.

Packaged Condiments

An even wider variety of food flavorings and condiments can be found in packaged form at Disney World’s counter-service restaurants. Here’s a tour of some highlights:

Egg roll cart, Magic Kingdom. Soy sauce, duck sauce, mustard.

Yak & Yeti Counter Service, Animal Kingdom. Low sodium soy sauce, hot sauce, spicy mustard.

Near the egg roll and corn dog carts, Animal Kingdom. Honey mustard, buttermilk ranch dressing.

Sunshine Seasons, Epcot. Lemon juice, maple syrup.

Yorkshire Fish Shop, Epcot. Malt vinegar, tartar sauce.

Hurricane Hanna's at the Beach Club - note the packaged mayo

Roaring Fork, Wilderness Lodge. Sweet and sour sauce, BBQ sauce, jelly, honey, peanut butter.

More Roaring Fork. Down at the end are cool bins of cream cheese, butter, and coffee creamer.

Beach Club Marketplace, Smart Start butter substitute

A Bit of Inequity in the Land of Condiments

Remember those photos above of the free condiment display at Roaring Fork in the Wilderness Lodge? At that deluxe resort, the counter service restaurant provides guests with a take-what-you-want supply of peanut butter and cream cheese.

Now check out the photo below of the single-serve peanut butter and cream cheese packages available at Pop Century, a value level resort:

Pop Century food court.

See the difference? At Wilderness Lodge these food-like condiments are free. At the Pop, they’ll cost you — either $.50 or a Disney Dining Plan snack credit. (Jelly is still free at the Pop.)

This is just another one of the subtle differences you’ll find among the various hotels on Disney property. Sometimes you get what you pay for, or rather you don’t get what you don’t pay for.

Similarly, salad dressing packets that might be free in the parks can cost you at the value resorts.

Pop Century refrigerator case. Salad dressing for $.40, or possibly the worst use of a Disney Dining Plan snack credit ever.

And at the AMC movie theater at Downtown Disney, you will also pay for some condiments — like $1.00 for salsa. However, this venue is not owned by Disney and pricing like this is fairly typical of first-run theaters.

AMC theater, Downtown Disney.

As you can see, the variety of condiments (and their availability) at Disney counter service restaurants is broad. While you’ll usually find what you want, you may need to ask for it. And if you find something quirky that you love, like that low-sodium soy sauce, please let us know where you found it so we can spread the word!

What has your experience been? Do you have a favorite spot for unique condiments at Disney World? Do your kids have any wacky condiment habits that you’ve had to work around while traveling? Let us know in the comments below.

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10 Comments

  1. SharonC says:

    And let’s not forget my favorite place for a good juicy burger – Pecos Bill’s! I usually put so many mushrooms and onions on my burger that you can’t even tell there is a burger on the plate. I too have done the “side salad” from the fixins bar. Great, it is not even 7A and I am craving a burger. Thanks Erin! : )

  2. Wendy Snelgrove says:

    I just have to say, as a Canadian, that it is really unlikely that Sunshine Seasons is actually giving away free maple syrup. They are probably giving away “maple flavoured” table syrup, made from corn syrup! I have known Americans who have told me “I don’t like maple syrup” and then discover they’ve never actually tasted it in their lives. The real stuff is wonderful – liquid gold! But it’s too expensive to give away even here in the midst of the maple bushes. Cheers, Wendy

  3. Bryan Irrera says:

    Another great place for a good mix of condiments: the Columbia Harbor House. It’s been a while since our last trip (January 09), but you’ll find tartar sauce, ketchup, malt vinegar (for fish and chips), ranch dressing, bbq, honey mustard (for chicken strips/nuggets) and I remember more (possibly regular yellow mustard, relish and mayo?).

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Restaurantosaurus in AK also has a toppings bar. Although they did not have BBQ sauce for the chicken nuggets which was a bummer. They do have sweet and sour sauce for the nuggets though!

    This location also has fill your own fountain drinks…and air conditioning! LOL

  5. AJ says:

    SharonC — We love Pecos Bill’s burgers, too. The condiments there are similar to those at Cosmic Ray’s — a huge variety!

    Wendy — Great clarification! Sometimes I forget that not everyone had the same upstate Upstate New York upbringing that I had — we grew up knowing the price of a pint of maple syrup ;-). Thanks for your comment!

    Bryan Irrera — Ooh! Good one!

  6. Emma Godbold says:

    My go to place for awesome condiments is Pecos Bills as well. Also blown away when we discovered the ‘extras’ available at Roaring Forks :)

  7. Nony says:

    LOVED the condiments bar at Tortuga Tavern! I went back and got more lettuce, cheese, and salsa and basically had a second serving of my taco salad.

  8. Aydin says:

    It seems that you can no longer find packets of Louisiana Hot Sauce. I remember my first time ever tasting the stuff was 1999ish when I ate with my dad at Flame Tree BBQ. I was a amazed at the amount of flavor. Up until that time, I thought all hot sauces were like Tabasco – pure heat.

    These days I always have a big bottle of Louisiana Hot Sauce in my fridge and add it to my food whenever I want to remember my late father and that incredible trip we shared.

  9. Erin Foster says:

    I just checked a different photo that had a close-up of the syrup. (I grew up in Maine and understand the difference between real and fake maple.) The syrup offered is Hartley’s brand. The label says “Made with Real Maple Syrup,” but yes, the first ingredient is corn syrup. However, the second ingredient is actually maple syrup. At least they’re trying :-)

  10. Ryan says:

    A condiment not offered by Disney, but we have been bringing it ourselves is Tony Chachere’s. It’s great for the french fries or burger.

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