Review: Disney World Resort Quick Service Pasta Options

Thanks to DFB Author Wendy for a look at some great counter-service carb-loading options for your runDisney races this year!

Are YOU running the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler (or any of the other runDisney races this year)? If so, you might be interested in participating in a good old-fashioned carbo-load before your race!

Even if you’re not tackling those ten on October 5th… odds are good you’ll be putting in plenty of miles at the Parks at some point, no matter what.

It’s time to fuel up, people ;)!

Spaghetti time!

For those running one or more of the east coast races this season, there are plenty of places all over Disney World property where you can take part in the time-honored runners tradition of a pasta “carbo-load.”

Today we’re going to focus on some of your pasta options in the resort Quick Service restaurants.

Counter Service Pasta Options at Walt Disney World Resorts

Let’s start with this terrific trend: Create-Your-Own-Pasta stations are cropping up in a few of your favorite Quick Service restaurants!

Create Your Own Pasta

Art of Animation’s Landscape of Flavors already has a reputation for innovative and delicious dining, and you can read a full review of the Create-Your-Own-Pasta experience here.

Add-ins for Create Your Own Pasta at Landscape of Flavors

Spaghetti Carbonara with Broccoli

The Riverside Mill at Port Orleans Riverside also offers this fun option!

Riverside Mill

Create Your Own Pasta Options at Riverside Mill

Unique to the Grand Floridian’s recently refreshed Gasparilla Island Grill is avegan option for protein in their Create-Your-Own Pasta Bar.

Gasparilla Island Grill Entrance

Create Your Own Pasta at Gasparilla Island Grill

Beyond “Create-Your-Own,” you can get your fill of some traditional pasta dishes at Pasta Stations featured in the following Resort food courts: World Premiere Food Court at All-Star Movies and All-Star Music’s Intermission Food Court are still serving up some hearty plates of pasta, while End Zone Food Court at All-Star Sports continues its refurbishment.

Pasta Options at All-Star resorts

Pop Century’s Everything Pop has a Pasta Station, or guests can take the short stroll over Hour Glass Lake for Create-Your-Own Pasta at the Landscape of Flavors.

Food court at Pop Century

Old Port Royale Food Court at Caribbean Beach Resort offers a Vegetarian Lasagna alongside their meat options.

Pizza and Pasta Shop

Pasta at Caribbean Beach Resort

And there’s one more… Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory at Port Orleans French Quarter.

Food Court at Port Orleans French Quarter

I went with the perennial favorite: Spaghetti and Meatballs.

Pasta Menu at Port Orleans French Quarter

Simple? Sure. But this definitely does the trick for those who rely on the tried-and-true prior to Race Day.

The meatballs and sauce were wonderfully fresh and tasty, if not particularly unique. And the portion size is terrific for those hoping for a hearty meal prior to scaling back on heavier eating in the hours closer to the race. I arrived quite hungry, and still couldn’t finish my whole dish.

Fuel Up

My only disappointment in the meal came from the breadstick. It tasted just fine, but in my head, it’s not a proper breadstick unless it is practically reflecting light thanks to a good drench in melted butter. Okay, so maybe that’s not exactly what the experts would call “proper fueling,” but someone’s gotta be with me here ;)!

No matter where or what you eat before your race, may you run well and enjoy :). We’re rooting for you!

Where do you enjoy having quick service pasta at Walt Disney World? Any plans for your next pre-race meal?


  1. Katie Roth says

    A tip for all of you runDisney racers out there…. do NOT eat a big plate of pasta even 4 hours before your race. Heavy carb-loading meals like this should be eaten the day before or even an early lunch (for a night-time race)… but never any closer than that. I cannot tell you how many people I saw (at Carib. Beach) eating huge plates of pasta 3 hours before the Wine & Dine ..and then watching those same people running to the porti-potties 2 miles into the run…
    my suggestion is to nosh on granola bars or fruit (bananas with a little pb, orange for Vit C to aid in recovery..) a few hours before the race! And most importantly “drink your water, people!”

  2. Katie Roth says

    Also…if you’re going to do pasta loading, DO NOT choose a cream-based sauce! Tempting digestive fate with that one,…(trust me..)

  3. Katie Roth says

    For my carb load in November, we will be ordering Pan-Asian Noodles with Shrimp for dinner two nights before the race, Boma for dinner (hummus and naan!) one night before the race, and a steady diet of lean protein (healthy options at F&W festival!), granola bars, WATER, and fruit the day of the race!

  4. Wendy says

    (Please forgive if this is a duplicate comment–my computer seems to have made an error when I tried to respond previously :) ).

    Hi, Tammy! While I’m uncertain of gluten-free pasta options, I’d say it’s definitely worth checking with Cast Members about availability, since alternative options are expanding so much these days.

    Katie, thanks so much for your insights, especially in regards to scheduling meals for a nighttime race, which lends itself to a very different fueling strategy than the traditional evening-before-the-race meal. It’s much appreciated! Good luck with Wine & Dine this year! I love that you have your eating planned out (and may I steal your advice about the pre-race hummus :)? )

  5. Steph says

    I’m so excited to see the vegan option! I hope that continues and expands to some of the other resorts :-)

  6. says

    Does anyone have any opinions on the pasta at the Contempo Cafe? I was thinking of hitting that up before the Half Marathon in January. Also…what about Il Mulino at the Swan? Please help!

  7. Brandon G. Smith says

    Had the create-your-own pasta at Riverside twice when I was there in May. Was my second favorite meal the entire trip. Delicious.

  8. Amanda says

    Tink- Il Mulino’s delicious but because they use traditional Italian cooking techniques they’re probably going a lot heavier on the oil than you might go at home, which could turn ugly come race morning. But if you’ve got a strong belly, go for it. I’m thinking about going the night after running the marathon because they have a really great wine list too so I’m going to want to enjoy that without worrying about my hydration levels. (I’m having a great time planning an entire Disney day where calories actually don’t count- I’m eating ALL the Mickey Bars.)

    Most seasoned marathoners will tell you that the days leading up to the race are not the time to try anything out of the ordinary food-wise because you won’t be sure how it will affect you. (Of course, a runDisney race is not the worst place to make this mistake given the ample porta-potties, but those are probably the unhappiest places in the happiest place on earth.) That’s why these Make Your Own stations are probably a good bet because you’ll know what’s going into it. Ahh I can’t wait for marathon weekend!!

  9. Keith says

    Tink, I definitely recommend Il Mulino. It is really the only place to get anything close to authentic pasta on property. Tuto or Via Napoli are close, but not quite up to Il Mulino. Also, don’t forget about La Luce at the Hilton.

  10. Wendy says

    Hi, Tink! I visited each Resort over the past 3-4 weeks to check out the pasta options, and Contempo didn’t have pasta on the menu when I was there (things seem to change there, though, so I wouldn’t rule out checking it when you arrive!). The good thing is you can hop on the Monorail to the Grand Floridian–while Gasparilla’s service area is small, their pasta bar looks terrific. (I’m running the Half in January, too — Good luck with your training!).

    Keith–thanks for chiming in regarding Il Mulino–I’ve never been!

  11. Jed says

    Thanks for featuring the spaghetti and meatballs at the French Quarter! Now I have another dish there to try in just a couple of weeks! Yum.

  12. Sandra says

    We’ve tried the spaghetti and meatballs and the chicken with penne and Alfredo sauce at our resort food court (Music). Fine for a quick meal; I agree the bread sticks could use a bit more butter or oil. Once had a very nice lasagna there too. Last trip, we ate lunch at Tony’s and I loved the veg whole wheat pasta selection, very rich. Later that week, we did Art of Animation, and I had the make your own pasta with all the veggies and some cheese. It was just as good! Huge serving and very filling, it was worth the short wait to have it made.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *