Thursday, 4 October 2018

Now when you think quick service, I wouldn't blame you for thinking; burgers, chicken nuggets, chips, grease... O.K you get my drift.
But don't be fooled by the name, Disney offers some unique and really tasty quick service options in every single one of their parks.
Eating at a quick service means you get more time to spend doing all the things you want to do, you don't have to make reservations (apart from Be Our Guest, but I'll explain that later) and you can feed the family, or just yourself without breaking the bank. Overall it is without a doubt the most flexible option.
And with the current Free Dining Plan offer running in the UK until early November 2018 you can get a FREE quick service dining plan for your entire family when you stay at a Disney moderate resort in 2019.
So without further ado here is my updated Top 10 quick service restaurants for 2018 (if you're not hungry already, you will be soon)

10. Yak & Yeti Local Foods Cafe, Animal Kingdom
Cuisine: Asian (with some standard options too)
DDP Accepted : Yes
Meal Time - Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

This restaurant comes in at number 10 because it offers some slightly different options to anything else in AK and some great value at that, however be warned, it only has outdoor seating and in the peak of the day when the sun is overhead you will struggle to find a shady spot around here.

That being said it makes a fantastic option now AK is open into the night for an evening meal if you dont have reservations. Wait until the sun goes down and tuck into some teriyaki beef, or my sisters favorite, the honey chicken and rice.
Yak and Yeti also serves egg rolls (spring rolls) for just $5.99 for 2 or chicken egg fried rice for just $4.99. Both are a decent size and make a great snack or light lunch.

9. Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe, Magic Kingdom
Cuisine: Tex Mex
DDP Accepted: Yes
Meal Times: Lunch & Dinner

Pecos Bill's in my eyes offers some of the best value in Magic Kingdom. The food has improved massively in recent years and currently offers fajitas, nachos, burritos etc.

 But what really makes this place for me is the 'toppings bar'. This isn't your basic toppings bar. You can literally turn one main course into a meal for 2 with ease.

Toppings include, fresh salsa, salsa verde, guacamole, pico de gallo, sweetcorn, grated cheese, peppers, soured cream, diced onions and a selection of other dressings too.
This place also has LOADS of indoor seating - hello air con!

On my last trip I found you could purchase just a portion of tortilla chips for just $4.99. Take a trip to the toppings bar and you have now got an amazing lunch for 5 bucks!!!

I also love this place when on the dining plan because they do the most delicious strawberry lemonade slush which you can have as your drink option. Its like a drink and a dessert in one.

8. Wolfgang Puck Express, Disney Springs
Cuisine: A bit of everything
DDP accepted: Yes
Meal Time: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

If you are on the dining plan, and you intend on spending an afternoon or evening at Disney Springs then I would 100% recommend this one. If you are paying out of pocket then it is a little pricier than your usual quick service restaurant but for what you get it is still great value.

You still order at the counter here but your food is cooked fresh and brought to your table. The waiter will also more often than not refill your drink for you, and even if they don't you are welcome to do so yourself!

You can choose from pizza and pasta or meatloaf, chicken, salads and sandwiches. There is even a salmon main course for $20 which makes it serious value on the DDP. If you fancy something really fresh and maybe even a little healthy this is a great option.

Portions are big and there are plenty of tables inside or outside. I like the conservatory area where you can people watch through the window.

7. Polite Pig, Disney Springs
Cuisine: American/BBQ
DDP accepted: Yes
Meal Time: Lunch & dinner

We've got a new contender in the top 10 this year.
As soon as this place was announced to open in Disney Springs, I just knew I had to try it and if you're a fan of barbecue and brews then you should too!

This place is part of a small independent chain of restaurants in Florida serving up all the usual meats such as brisket, pulled pork and chicken. But things get a little more exciting when you start to add in the freshly made sides and accompaniments.

Theres some seriously good Mac and cheese, as well as BBQ cauliflower, caramelised Brussel sprouts, their home made beans with burnt ends and sweet potato tots with parmesan!

Some of the mains are a little pricey here but if you are on the Disney dining plan its a great use of a QS credit and portions are pretty big so you could probably split a meal unless you are a really Ravenous Pig (see what I did there)!

We really enjoyed our meal here, and would 100% go again next time.

6. Satuli Canteen
Cuisine: Grilled Meats/South American Inspired/Healthy 
DDP accepted: Yes
Meal Time: Lunch & dinner

After my last trip in April 2018 I have added this newest QS restaurant in Animal Kingdom to my top 10. After seeing numerous pictures and reviews I was intrigued to try it though I have to say I wasn't holding out for anything great.

I was pleasantly surprised. This place is serving up uber fresh, healthy and different bowls of food. You can smell the meat from all over pandora. Its obviously being cooked on some sort of coals or griddle and it pays off. The meats are tended and charred and there are numerous options in terms of accompaniments and sauces.

Portions aren't the biggest here (compared to some places) but Drinks are refillable/self serve which I always love and its about the only place on property I know where you can get Pibb!

Theres also proper cutlery!! In an air conditioned dining hall!

This one is going to be on my itinerary every trip. Check out my full review here

5.Flame Tree BBQ, Animal Kingdom
Cuisine: American BBQ
DDP accepted: Yes
Meal Time: Lunch & dinner

Flame Tree BBQ is possibly the most popular quick service location in AK. You can expect long lines for this one, but you can also expect some seriously tender BBQ.

Seating is outdoors but predominantly covered, and there are some fantastic views of Everest down towards the water.

Portions are big here and you can easily share one of the platters but they are a little pricier than some of the other quick service in AK. This does make it a fantastic value on the Dining Plan.

If your'e on tight budget the pulled pork and cheese topped fries are a great option at just $6.49. The onion rings here are also amazing for just $4.29. Wash one of these down with the mandarin lemonade and you've got yourself a pretty delicious lunch.

4. Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie, France Pavillion, EPCOT 
Cuisine: French/Bakery 
DDP accepted: Yes
Meal Time: Breakfast, Lunch & dinner

Wandering back into the depths of the France pavillion, you could literally be wandering a backstreet of Paris.

If you are one of those people who decide after 5 minutes that EPCOT isn't for you because it is boring or that you are going to skip a Pavillion because it doesn't have any rides in it, then you will likely not get to taste the delicacies from this one as its slightly off the beaten track, but it is definitely worth seeking out.

Croissant, tartlets, fresh baguettes and intrinsically decorated cakes line the counters.
The pastries or Croque Monsieur make a fantastic breakfast with a cup of coffee, or maybe a mimosa or 2!

For lunch there are a variety of sandwiches and salads as well as quiches and cheese selections. These are also great to share if you just need a snack between meals.
Seating always seems quite hard to snag in here, though if you can find a table outside it is a great place to just watch the world go by and is often fairly quiet by theme park standards.

3.Columbia Harbour House, Magic Kingdom
Cuisine: American/New England 
DDP accepted: Yes
Meal Time: Lunch & dinner

Columbia Harbour House can be found just inside liberty square as you come in from Rapunzels area and Its a Small World.

This turn of the century New England style eatery really offers the option of a proper meal. One your mum would be happy to feed you.

There's the renowned lobster rolls, chicken pot pie, shrimp and battered fish. They also offer a couple of fantastic cold options including a salad and sandwiches.

My favourite, the 'anchors aweigh' is basically a tuna and salad sandwich with freshly made chips (that's crisps if you're from my way)

Now I know this doesn't sound all that exciting but after a week of fried food/30 degree heat this is a real winner. Pair it with a lemonade slushy for the ultimate refreshment.
I also love that this site has a ton of seating. I recommend heading to the upstairs area once you have got your food and sitting by a window for some beautiful and unique views of the haunted mansion and the riverboat launch area.

2. Tangierine Cafe, Moroccan Pavillion, EPCOT
Cuisine: Moroccan/Mediterranean 
DDP accepted: Yes
Meal Time: Lunch & dinner

We're back in EPCOT for number 2. The Tangierine Cafe sits right near the front of the Moroccan Pavillion, however often features little or no queue in my experience. I feel like this one is a real hidden gem (even though it isn't hidden in the slightest).

If you are looking for tasty, light and nutritious food I would recommend you head over here.
The menu features a selection on gyros style platters of either meat or falafel, fresh flatbreads, tabbouleh, hummus and other traditional accompaniments.

There is seating inside but this is one where I tend to prefer to sit out. The building itself is very tall and so shades most of the outdoor seating nicely. You can hear the gentle sound of flowing water from the fountain nearby or watch people trying on Moroccan hats and outfits at the little shop across the path.

Fussy eaters may feel a little overwhelmed here, but nothing is spicy or even that strong in flavour. Just lovely and fresh and really tasty. And the best bit is they plate it all up from their deli counter in front of you, so if you don't like something tell them, and in my experience they will normally give you more of what you do like.

This one is also a fantastic option for vegetarians as everything apart from the meat is vege and most of it can be bought separately as side orders too if you need a light snack.

1. Casey's Corner, Main Street, Magic Kingdom
Cuisine: American/Hot Dogs 
DDP accepted: Yes
Meal Time: Lunch & dinner

As soon as I decided to compose this list, I knew exactly what would be at my No.1 spot.
Casey's is always my first meal when visiting WDW as I always hit Magic Kingdom on the first day.
I'd be lying if I said that it was anything other than a hot dog joint but there is just something so special about Casey's.

I think the fact that you are on the corner of main street and the whole place is decked out in turn of the century ball park and Coca Cola memorabilia is what first drew my eye all those years ago.
I also love that you can catch a guy called Jim, at certain times of the day, playing rag time tunes on a piano outside.

Casey's is also in Disneyland Paris, and one of my first Disney memories is with my Grandad, about 20 years ago in the Casey's there.
For a young child who had never been to America, main street was overwhelmingly beautiful, and walking into casey's was like walking into another world. (One filled with hot dogs at that).

I think part of my love for Casey's undeniably comes from this nostalgia, but I also think that's what a lot of a Disney trip is about. Making memories and remembering old ones with the people we love so I am unapologetic for this.

The hot dogs themselves are just normal juicy hot dogs, (foot long is available for the greedier of us), but you can choose to get a whole host of different toppings on your dog which makes it all the more indulgent. I love the mac and cheese dog, foot long of course (see above), but be warned, they do shake the options up from time to time so go with an open mind or you may be disappointed.

Everything else is as you would expect from a fast food place... fries, coke, sprite, and corn dog nuggets!!!! Oh I almost forgot the corn dog nuggets. Crispy little sweet nuggets of warm hot doggy goodness. These are a must try if you haven't already. We don't see them really in the U.K but they are such a good snack to wander round magic kingdom with.

Now there's quite a lot of seating here. Mostly outside but the tables have parasols and its spot on the corner of Main Street mean your view is pretty special...

oh and anywhere you can get candy floss as a dessert option is more than fine by me!
It may not be a gastronomical delight but I think Casey's will always be my number one!

My honorable mention...

O.K, so if you know the parks at all you are probably wondering where one certain restaurant is on my list and that one certain restaurant is, Be Our Guest.
Now Be Our Guest is a quick service for breakfast (see my full review here) and lunch only, though a bit like Wolfgangs, mentioned earlier, they bring your food to you. It then turns into a table service for dinner.
So let me explain myself here.

The restaurant itself is stunning. It is something you really should see, but in terms of food at the quick service meal times, I don't really rate it for the price.
The prices at Be Our Guest seem to have crept up and up since its opening, more so than any other restaurant, and I don't like this. It like they are just seeing  how much they can get out of people for the experience.

Breakfast entrees are now $28 as standard, and includes your chosen dish such as an open faced bacon and egg sandwich or vegetable quiche (for breakfast?!) with an assortment of pastries and fresh fruit. You have to also pay for any drink you want.

When I ate here I found that my eggs were stone cold when I got them, probably because they are slowly wheeled around the restaurant to you on a themed trolley. Captivating, yes... efficient, NO.
I also found the food as a whole pretty lack luster and in need of a serious injection of flavour.

Lunch is slightly different because you pay for what you order and it isn't a set price making it slightly easier on the pocket but the menu itself does nothing for me.
Sandwiches, quiche, and soup. Not really what I fancy on a hot Florida afternoon in a theme park.

Now I don't want anybody to completely skip this one. In terms of the decor and theme, it is one of the best, but just don't go to breakfast or lunch expecting a culinary delight.

I know I have made reference to the decor and nostalgia in some other of my top 10 and I do believe it can and should play a part in your dining choices, but I am not the sort to ever choose a restaurant who's design and themeing seems to be in place of the food quality. All the other restaurants I mention offer good quality and tasty food options, some with and some without great themeing.

If you really want to see this one, and I recommend you do, either try a dinner reservation which gets some good reviews or maybe just pop in for some 'grey stuff' and a cup of coffee to recharge the batteries one afternoon.

Whichever option you decide to try, you will need to make a reservation on the my Disney experience app or on the website as it gets pretty booked up!



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