Walt Disney World is regularly stepping up its food game, and that includes quick service (a.k.a. fast food) in its parks and resorts.
In fact, some quick service dining is so good, it rivals some of the better table service restaurants in the parks and resorts!
Let’s take a look at six meals that will change the way you think about Fast Food in Walt Disney World!
Satu’li Canteen at Animal Kingdom
When Satu’li Canteen opened in Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2017, it ushered in a fabulous era of customizable, healthier quick service options.
From the start, Satu’li offered a variety of customizable bowls! We enjoyed the Slow-Roasted Sliced Grilled Beef Bowl from the drop, and with fresh options like the Charred Green Onion Vinaigrette and a hearty salad base. But, there are a variety of other options you can get for your custom bowl including chili-garlic shrimp, wood-grilled chicken, crispy fried tofu, and a variety of different sauces and bases to go along with that.
And the Cheeseburger Steamed Pods here continue to be a HUGE hit! These are made of steamed pods stuffed with ground beef, ketchup, mustard, pickle, and cheddar cheese.
Satu’li shows that fast food doesn’t have to be all about fried carbohydrates and dry, flavorless meat! There are a number of healthier and unique options here that are full of flavor.
Columbia Harbour House at Magic Kingdom
Columbia Harbour House in Magic Kingdom is a fantastic quick service spot located at the border of Liberty Square and Fantasyland. This ones DOES offer some standard fried options, but also a few lighter options that are sometimes just plain NECESSARY on a hot Disney World day. The fan-favorite Anchors Aweigh sandwich (which is basically a tuna sandwich) and the popular Lighthouse Sandwich have delighted guests for years.
The Lighthouse Sandwich (which has disappeared and then reappeared over time) is a vegetarian sandwich featuring hummus, tomato, and broccoli slaw on whole grain bread. Even carnivores appreciate the lightness of this sandwich in a sea of heavier options, making it a surprise hit across the spectrum!
The Lighthouse Sandwich was available when Columbia Harbour House first reopened, but right now, neither the Anchors Away nor the Lighthouse Sandwich are available on Columbia Harbour House’s menu. We’ll keep an eye out for more updates!
But, those aren’t the only tasty treats you can get at Columbia Harbour House. The Lobster Roll is a delight, with a soft & fresh bun, lettuce, lots of tasty lobster meat, and the perfect amount of mayonnaise!
And don’t even get us started on those hushpuppies — a.k.a. little balls of perfection!
Plus, that Minnie Mouse Chocolate Chip Lava Cookie is a FANTASTICALLY gooey treat chocolate lovers will truly enjoy. Columbia Harbour House has that wonderful combo of some more unique options (like the lobster roll) coupled with some fried favorites that can satisfy a whole bunch of eaters.
Morimoto Street Food in Disney Springs
You might think you need to spend an arm and a leg to enjoy the restaurant of an Iron Chef. But in Disney Springs, Morimoto Street Food makes Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s pan-Asian cuisine accessible — in a quick service format!
The service window and its adjacent covered patio are connected to Morimoto Asia, the Chef’s table service restaurant. And Morimoto Street Food brings the quality and flavors diners expect! The Pork Egg Roll is crisp, and filled mostly with the pork and egg — making it heartier than other egg rolls that focus on the veggies, with just a little pork. It is VERY tasty!
The Spicy Chashu Ramen we’ve had and loved in the past doesn’t appear on their online menu right now. But, a Spicy Kimchi Ramen dish is listed online, and we did seriously enjoy the kimchi that was in the BBQ Beef Tenderloin Rice Bowl we got here once before. Overall, Morimoto Street Food brings Iron Chef-worthy food in a fast, efficient format.
The Polite Pig in Disney Springs
The Polite Pig in Disney Springs makes this list for two surprising reasons. First, its proprietors are local culinary stars and James Beard Award-nominated chefs who run a few other restaurants in central Florida. And second: they’ve got 50 types of bourbon ready to pour (and they often offer new specialty flights or other drinks)! In a quick service spot!
That bourbon can accompany tasty modern barbecue like the colorful and delicious Southern Pig sandwich which features pulled pork, fennel-apple slaw, tangy mustard BBQ, and Duke’s Mayo, and is served with a pickle spear.
Between the bourbon and the high-end barbecue, it’s hard to believe The Polite Pig is a quick service spot. And yet, it is!
Click here to see our review of some of the items at the Polite Pig including Burnt Ends BBQ Meatballs, Grilled Street Corn, and more!
Pepe by Chef Jose Andres in Disney Springs
Dine in the restaurant of a Nobel Peace Prize-nominated chef? You can do it — and you don’t even need an Advance Dining Reservation! Pepe by Chef Jose Andres is the quick service spot adjacent to Chef Andres’ Jaleo, the Spanish-inspired tapas restaurant. The specialty at Pepe is the Pan de Cristal, a thin Spanish bread used to craft gourmet sandwiches. These are table service-quality sandwiches — from a counter service locale!
The Pepito Ternera is one of the Pan de Cristal selections. It features flat iron steak, caramelized onion, cheese, and mayo, and it is SERIOUSLY good!!! Those huge chunks of perfectly grilled steak, mixed with the grilled onions and cheese are an absolute delight!
Note that Pepe is temporarily unavailable at the moment in Disney World. We’ll be sure to keep an eye out for updates about this spot.
Tangierine Cafe in EPCOT’s World Showcase
Our final addition to the list is Tangierine Cafe in the Morocco Pavilion in EPCOT’s World Showcase. This quick service spot typically serves up fresh-tasting Moroccan specialties like tabouli, chicken shawarma, and hummus, as well as one of our favorite vegetarian dishes: the Vegetarian Platter! This plate typically includes a whole bunch of goodies like Lentils, Tabbouleh, Hummus, Marinated Olives, Falafel, and fresh Pita Bread.
The quality of these dishes is surprising given the restaurant’s size, location, and delivery method! It’s so good, we even recommend it over the pavilion’s table service Restaurant Marrakesh.
Note that Tangierine Cafe is not available in its traditional sense, but instead is being utilized as part of the EPCOT 2021 International Food & Wine Festival. Right now, the spot is home to Tangierine Cafe: Flavors of the Medina, one of the Food & Wine Festival booths.
Some tasty offerings you’ll recognize from the traditional Tangierine Cafe menu are available and VERY tasty, like the Falafel! There are also some other items on the Food & Wine menu for this spot that we really enjoyed.
It seems this modified use of the Tangierine Cafe space as a festival booth may continue, as it was announced that the Tangierine Cafe — Flavors of the Medina booth will be serving up items, including kebabs and cocktails, during the 2021 Festival of the Holidays. We’ll be on the lookout for more updates as to the use of this space and whether it eventually resumes its traditional quick service offerings.
Some Other Delicious Options!
A few of the spots on our main list are currently unavailable, so we had to provide you with some absolutely delicious alternatives!
ABC Commissary at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
We start our tour over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with ABC Commissary. ABC Commissary got a revamped menu last year and we’ve been truly surprised by how tasty the new dishes are!!
If you haven’t been to this spot for a while, it’s time for a visit! During one of our trips, we grabbed the Shrimp Tacos, which are topped with cabbage slaw, chipotle mayo, and mango salsa. The shrimp are absolutely delicious, and the extra kick of spice from the chipotle mayo was a fantastic addition. They’re served with Mexican Rice and black beans, which were fairly basic but tasted great.
We were also really impressed by their Pork Carnitas Tacos. This isn’t your theme park hot dog and fries folks (not that there’s anything wrong with those), there are some substance, spice, and delicious flavors here that might genuinely surprise you!
Woody’s Lunch Box at Hollywood Studios
If you’re looking for some filling treats that will make you feel like a kid again, Woody’s Lunch Box in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a great choice! If you come here, you can’t miss out on those Totchos!! These are Potato Barrels (that’s tots!) coated with Beef and Bean Chili, Shredded Cheese and signature Queso with Tomatoes and Corn Chips finished with Sour Cream and a sprinkle of Green Onions. They’re a great portion size and have a good crunch and delicious mix of flavors!
For dessert, you’ll want to grab a Lunch Box Tart. There are a few options typically available, but recently we grabbed the Lemon-Blueberry one. It’s adorable (of course) but also delicious, with a nice balance of sweet and tart!
Overall, Woody’s Lunch Box serves up some seriously tasty treats, but it can get REALLY busy so place those mobile orders early and try to schedule your eating during off-times if you can!
Ronto Roasters at Hollywood Studios
The menu at Ronto Roasters is fairly limited (although it has expanded some recently), but if you’re looking for something unique, this is just the spot! The classic Ronto Wrap is a fan-favorite and truly it is ridiculously good. This wrap is filled with roasted pork, grilled pork sausage, peppercorn sauce, and a tangy slaw. The flavors of the meat in here are great and the sauce compliments the wrap really well.
Harambe Market in Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Harambe Market is great choice for some delicious food that won’t really weigh you down too much. This spot typically serves up some FANTASTIC dishes — like fall-off-the-bone tender ribs, chicken that was juicy and had a wonderful grilled flavor, and some great sides.
If you’re looking for something that feels a bit healthier but still has tons of great flavor, this is a spot to consider!
The development of quick service restaurants and dishes in those restaurants at Walt Disney World is constantly in flux, but we’re thrilled that it’s not too difficult to find a surprisingly good quick service meal that you might even prefer to many of the table service options! (We’re so confident this is true, that we even compiled some of our favorites in this video from DFB Guide!)
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What quick service meal have you had at a Disney Parks that made you think differently about quick service food? Let us know in the comments!