There is so much to love about the parks of Walt Disney World.
The rides and attractions. The sense of history — both in the parks and in the memories that we’ve all made in them. The incredible themeing that greets you at every turn.
But of course, what do we love the most? The FOOD!
I’m serious about eating when I’m in Disney parks. And I know you are, too! But which Disney World park is the best when it comes time for eating?
This is a question I get asked a LOT; and it’s always tough to make a choice. Sure — Epcot has the largest number of fantastic restaurants, but there are some snacks that can’t be beat in Magic Kingdom; and the other parks offer some not-to-be-missed items, too.
There are some seriously awesome, edible reasons to visit each park — and I’m going to share some of my favorites with you today!
Get ready, because I want to hear your point of view, too! What’s your favorite Walt Disney World Park for Dining… and why?
Eating your way through Magic Kingdom seems to me to be one part fantasy food, and one part pure nostalgia. It would be hard to imagine not carving out a few days on my menu for some of my favorite stops here!
Seriously delicious — and enormous. I like to get two and split them among friends for a little variety.
We can’t go very far in this conversation though without discussing Dole Whips! Sure, you can get them at several Disney places on Property — including Pineapple Lanai at the Polynesian. But if you’ve come that close to Cinderella Castle, why not just come all the way? Smooth, sweet, and refreshing, this is one of the only food items I buy on EVERY visit.
Of course, you can’t forget the table-service options here! Delve into Disney history with a visit to Cinderella’s Royal Table in the castle itself; or party with Pooh and his friends at Crystal Palace! And you all know I can’t pass by Liberty Tree Tavern without heading in for some Ooey Gooey Toffee cake!
So many choices; so little time… .
But the prize for Disney food paradise could easily go to Epcot, yes? The sheer variety of offerings, throughout World Showcase especially, makes this a tough contender to beat.
Just think about having breakfast in the heart of Paris at Boulangerie Patisserie Les Halles.
And don’t even get me started on the awesomeness that is Sunshine Seasons at the Land pavilion.
As if this weren’t enough, you have the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival each Fall. This mammoth event draws Disney and food fans from all over for eight weeks of culinary and beverage demos, special events, and amazing Marketplace Booths.
VERY tough to beat Epcot when it comes to food… .
It may be tempting to overlook Hollywood Studios as a serious player in this race. But then, you remember the fantastic themed restaurants… and, of course, the cupcakes.
More than any other park, the Studios is the playground to run to when you’re in need of a big ole’ dose of sugar, cake-style. Trolley Car Cafe has inherited former go-to bakery Starring Roll’s cupcake legends, like the Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Cupcake (aka the Butterfinger Cupcake (be still my beating heart) and the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake.
Head to Sci-Fi Dine-In for classic and so-bad-they’re-funny B movies playing on a loop on the drive-in screen. Dine under the “stars” in a convertible or at picnic tables in the back.
Looking to try a classic with a twist? Order the BBQ Burger, which features a fried jalapenos and loads of crispy bacon!
But if you’d like to feel like an extra in a mid-century sitcom, then 50s Prime Time Cafe is the place you want to be! You’ll swear you’ve stumbled into your Aunt Mabel’s kitchen here.
Go ahead — I dare you to look around and NOT find something that you remember from your grandmother’s house on the shelves! And with well-prepared comfort foods like Aunt Liz’s Golden Fried Chicken, the smells and tastes of childhood are there, too.
But we can’t forget about Animal Kingdom! This exotic park has managed to carve out a special niche all its own.
It seems to be a study in extremes. The two things that I think of when I think food at Animal Kingdom are vegetarian… and barbecue.
In recent years, stands like Caravan Road (formerly the Bradley Falls Kiosk) have begun offering delicious, beautiful, and filling vegetarian options. The Asian Noodle Salad and Edamame easily make for a complete meal!
Harambe Fruit Market also features great, healthy options, including fruit, freshly prepared and ready to eat. It’s a great alternative to heavier options.
For terrific healthy options that allow for custom eats, drop into Pandora’s Satu’li Canteen, where you can select all of your favorites to be combined into one delicious bowl of energizing grub.
But if walking the Animal Kingdom trails has you craving heavier food, where do you go when you want terrific barbecue at Walt Disney World? Why, Flame Tree Barbecue, of course!
With smoked specialties that are prepared on the premises, beautiful seating areas, and a slightly-disturbing-yet-cheerful circle of life thing goin’ on, you can’t go wrong at this popular counter service spot. And seeing all those lions on the savanna does make one feel like a bit of a carnivore…
Now, we know Disney Springs isn’t technically a Walt Disney World park, but when you’re playing the “where can I find the best food in the World” game, you gotta let Disney Springs play!
Because Homecomin’s line-up of Southern favorites is a surefire hit (and one that we keep visiting over and over…). Chef Art Smith’s world famous Fried Chicken can’t be beat for crispy fried comfort food!
For some fast-casual dining, Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza lets you customize your pie, then fires it super fast. It’s an awesome place to grab a quick lunch before storming the racks at World of Disney. And because you customize your pizza, picky eaters can’t complain! :p
If you’re more in the mood for something sweet, you have to head over the Ghirardelli’s Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop! You’ll find classic flavor combinations — like strawberries and chocolate — in sundaes with San Fran-friendly names like Presidio Passion.
There’s no shortage of drinking holes in Disney Springs, but for sheer fun and immersion, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar wins hands-down! Fans of the Indian Jones franchise will dig fun grown up beverages like Reggie’s Revenge and the Cool-Headed Monkey!
Now It’s Your Turn!
What is your favorite park for dining in Walt Disney World? Which of the four parks — or even Downtown Disney! — gets your special attention when it comes time to plan meals and advance dining reservations? Where would you rather eat than ride?
Join in on the conversation by leaving a comment below telling us all about your favorite!