The Mara in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is seriously one of my favorites, y’all!
Sunshine Seasons is a beloved quick service lunch spot, and with cheerful decor and tons of menu options — including some healthier for you choices — it’s easy to see why.
Plus, it’s located in the Land Pavilion in Epcot’s Future World at Walt Disney World — and every WDW fan knows that’s the spot to ride Soarin’ and Living with the Land. So, you know, you’ll be there anyway. Why not score some good eats?
And good eats they’ve got! We’ve long celebrated the dessert case here, where you can snag such sweet beauties as the Strawberry Shortcake and the Mickey Oreo Cheesecake (which is as adorable as it is yummy). And now the Rose Gold Minnie Ears Cupcake, of course!
The savory options here are awesome, too, with some of the food growing right in the Land’s greenhouses showing up on the menus. One of the things we appreciate most about Sunshine Seasons is that the menu offers a lot of non-standard quick service items. Spicy Fish Tacos and Mongolian Beef are crowd pleasers, and guests with various food preferences and needs will find plenty of options here, too.
It’s time to let the sun shine in!
Sunshine Seasons can’t be missed — literally. It’s the center of the Land Pavilion and features soarin’ ceilings, bright swaths of fabric, and massive floating globes (in the spirit of hot air balloons). You’ll look down onto the seating area as you make your way down to the lower level (where you find entrances to those rides we mentioned).
But everything else you’re looking for is on the lower level. When you arrive on the lower level, you’ll enter Sunshine Seasons’ ordering area and be greeted by a large menu board. This will give you an overview of the various food stations — including Sandwiches, Asian Noodles, Soup & Salad, and The Grill (and let’s not forget The Bakery!).
Each ordering area also features an illuminated menu board above the station. And you can see the prepared food and on-going food prep here as well. Trays are located beneath each station so you don’t have to juggle your cupcakes and your rotisserie chicken.
There are also grab-and-go stations and designated Kid Zones where the littles can grab their sides and drinks.
Across from the food stations is a long beverage area. You’ll select your beverage before heading to the check out.
But, y’all, don’t miss the dessert cases. We insist. Some are grab-and-go and some are behind the glass. There are winners in both locations, so peruse and choose.
If you’re looking for the Rose Gold Minnie Ears Cupcake, this is where you’ll find it. (We all want to look at her again, so…)
When you’ve made your selections, head to the check-out, where you’ll find a few more grab-and-go options as well.
You’ll pass utensils, napkins, and condiments on the way to the seating areas, each of which has sort of an amoebic shape and a low wall encircling it. These seating areas are best seen in their entirety from above. They’re packed with tables and chairs (with some booths along the wall). This is fairly extensive, and it’s typically not too difficult to find a table.
(Here’s a bit of trivia: the different sections are themed to different seasons, so check the table design to see which section you’re sitting in!)
During busy meal times, Sunshine Seasons will be hoppin’. It’s a fun and cheerful place to eat — so let’s dig in!
On this visit I ordered a Reuben. This classic sandwich featured layers of Corned Beef, Swiss Cheese, Sauerkraut, and Russian Dressing. The fillings are grilled between great Crusty Bread.
This was so good. Satisfying and exactly what a Reuben should be. The cheese was melted, the corned beef deliciously salty, and the bread perfectly crisp. This is definitely a solid option for a diner who’s after classic eats. But note that this is pre-made, so unless you’re willing to wait a LONG time, you won’t be able to get one customized to your tastes.
Next up, I tried a guest favorite. The Slow-Roasted Pork was substantial. Covered in house-made BBQ sauce, it definitely made an impact on the plate.
The pork itself was delicious; tons of flavor. But that sauce? Holy vinegar, Batman! It was so strong, this was hard to get down. I don’t know if this was a bad batch or of this is the standard level of vinegar in the BBQ sauce, but it was way too much for my taste. It was all I could smell for about an hour after being there!
The sides for the Slow-Roasted Pork are sort of cafeteria-style: a big scoop of Mashed Potatoes (meh) and a piece of Corn on the Cob. But for a picky eater, these would be fine. But if you ARE a picky eater, or choosing a meal for such a person, get that BBQ sauce on the side.
So maybe we can’t say everything on the menu here is spectacular, but Sunshine Seasons is doing quick service just about as well as anywhere else in terms of selection and diversity of options. And we really appreciate that. Plus the desserts are not to be missed. I mean…
Nosh or Not?
Sunshine Seasons is for you if:
- You are looking for a quick service spot with tons of options.
- You’re planning to spend some time in the Land Pavilion and want a convenient meal.
- Desserts are an important part of your breakfast, lunch, and dinner plans.
- You’re seeking vegetarian or healthier-for-you choices.
Get your sunshine somewhere else if:
- You want to enjoy some of Epcot’s fantastic table service options in World Showcase instead.
- You don’t plan on spending much time in the Land Pavilion.
- You prefer to eat somewhere with more standard theme park food.
Sunshine Seasons is a terrific place to grab a quick meal or a sweet treat during your Epcot visit. It’s super convenient if you’re already in the area, and the options are diverse and tasty (for the most part!). Plus, it’s really fun, bright, and relaxed — just as your vacation should be!
If you want to see why Sunshine Seasons is one of our favorite spots to grab Vegetarian or Vegan grub, check out our YouTube video!
Is Sunshine Seasons a must do for you? Let us know what you love in the comments below!
Flame Tree Barbecue in the Discovery Island area of Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom has long been a favorite quick service spot for DFB and our readers, viewers, and followers.
Flame Tree Barbecue
The fairly central location — just between Dinoland and the big tree — makes it convenient to most lands in this sprawling park. There’s typically lots of available seating (albeit some of it uncovered). And the food is consistently satisfying and delicious. (Plus the massive portions give us some options with regard to sharing and maximizing Disney Dining Plan credits!)
And there are so many fun details in the decor here, with brightly colored, playful animal carvings providing interest (as well as identifying different seating areas). And there’s always plenty of real wildlife around to entertain the kiddos during the meal — there are some very hungry birds around.
But birds and squirrels aside, let’s see what Flame Tree Barbecue is cooking up!
Last June when Walt Disney World announced updates to the 2018 Disney Dining Plan, many guests were thrilled to discover that beginning this year, all three plans include Specialty and Alcoholic Drinks! This means that diners can order delicious milkshakes, fruity smoothies, and tasty adult beverages without having to pay out of pocket.
It’s not every day that I am surprised by a Quick Service meal at Walt Disney World.
Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory
But Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory at Port Orleans Resort — French Quarter has done just that!
French Quarter is the sister Resort to Port Orleans, Riverside, and while both are located along the picturesque Sassagoula River and share boats that carry guests to and from Disney Springs, the Resorts’ personalities are markedly different.
Riverside has a down-home, relaxed, on-the-bayou feel, with the Riverside Mill Food Court capturing the industrial spirit of New Orleans. The French Quarter, on the other hand, features the ornate wrought iron and colorful architecture of the French Quarter in New Orleans, while dancing jesters and musical alligators dotting the landscape provide more than a hint of whimsy.
The French Quarter’s primary dining option — alongside Scat Cat’s Club, where you can often catch live tunes along with your drink, and Mardi Grogs, the pool bar — is Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory. This quick service food court used to wow (and kinda creep out) guests with its massive Mardi Gras float decor suspended from the ceiling. It was colorful and busy with something new to discover on every visit.
A 2016 renovation gave Sassagoula Floatworks a total overhaul, so let’s check out what the space looks like now once again before we grab a bite to eat.
The colorful, oversized Mardi Gras props that used to hang from the ceiling from wall to wall still take some part in the Floatworks decor, only on a much more subdued level. Last year’s renovation delivered a more simplified and industrial design to the food court. Guests were torn about the change, with some lamenting the loss of such over-the-top theming, while others appreciated the streamlined and less markedly terrifying look. Either way, there is still color in concentrated amounts, and Mardi Gras details remain present (if much less conspicuous). [Read more…]
If you’re on the hunt for a delicious breakfast before you begin your day at Disneyland Resort, we’ve got some new hits for you to try at White Water Snacks!
White Water Snacks is located at the Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, which means even if you’re not heading into the parks, you can still check it out.
White Water Snacks features all the architectural and design details you’d expect from the Grand Californian Hotel. Wood panels cover the walls and ceiling, and wooden shingles provide added interest. Light fixtures are industrial, and you’ll even find a few evergreen trees strategically placed. [Read more…]
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort, Riverside, is beloved by guests for its charming setting, classic accommodations, and location along the Sassagoula River.
Riverside Mill Food Court
Dining at Riverside is also quite good when it comes to resort eats, with four options for food and drinks. Boatwright’s Dining Hall is a hidden gem (though not everyone agrees with me on this ;-D) of a table service option serving up southern favorites like killer Jambalaya. River Roost is a comfortable lounge that offers a small apps menu. And Muddy Rivers on Ol’ Man Island, where you can grab a beverage while lounging by the pool (including the new Frosé).
But for a huge variety of quick service options, you want to head to Riverside Mill Food Court. Riverside Mill is known, of course, for classic Disney eats like Chicken Nuggets and Create-Your-Own-Pasta as well as southern-stylized grub like Fried Shrimp and Cajun Chicken Sandwiches.
So, welcome to The Riverside Mill… established in 1875!
Riverside Mill Food Court is fairly distinctive against the lush backdrop of the resort, with its blue exterior paint and chunky white wood railings. I love the terrific front porch feel of the building. [Read more…]
Karamell-Küche has become a destination all its own within Epcot’s Germany Pavilion.
And with good reason! Even among the Pavilion’s diverse offerings within Biergarten (a Table Service buffet complete with festive entertainment), Sommerfest (the Counter Service spot with NUDEL GRATINNNNN), and Bier Carts and Hovels, Karamell-Küche focuses on one thing, and one thing only:
From seriously addictive Caramel Corn to Caramel Bacon Squares to the ah-mazing Caramel Pecan Bar (you gotta try it!), it’s hard to take in all the different iterations of caramel treats tucked within the Caramel Kitchen’s bakery case.
And speaking of different iterations… I noticed a change to one of my favorite golden treats on my last visit when I spotted a sign for the Caramel Butter Bar. It was front and center ahead of what looked suspiciously like the old Caramel Covered Shortbread — also previously known as the Chewy Caramel Bar.
I wasn’t super concerned at first because this particular snack has been known by a few different names over the years, but basically remained a dependable combo of thick caramel poured atop and in between layers of buttery shortbread.
I figured I was good to go because the “new” Caramel Butter Bar looks… virtually identical to its predecessor. See? [Read more…]