Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wanted: Counter Service Suggestions

A while back, I wrote a post about how counter service restaurants in Walt Disney World can help you expand your horizons, and I do think that I did expand my horizons on our trip.  I tried Tangierine Cafe, Yakitori House, Earl of Sandwich, and more!  Reviews of all these counter service restaurants are coming in the future, but for now, I'm gearing up for my January trip.  Which means I'm back to thinking about counter service and trying new things.  I'd like to try some more new counter service restaurants on this trip, but I really don't know what's the best.

In Magic Kingdom, Pecos Bill's is always our fallback, but I have eaten at Cosmic Ray's as well.  I know that Magic Kingdom isn't known for it's food variety, and I'm not even sure that I want to give up our semi-traditional visit to Pecos Bill's (I really do love it there).  Then again, who couldn't use a change now and again?  As for Epcot, I've tried Electric Umbrella, but I'm looking for something a little... more than that.  I thought Tangierine Cafe and Yakitori House were both okay, and I'm not a fan of the Lotus Blossom Cafe.  But even if I skip all those, there are so many other choices in Epcot!  It's so hard to choose!

I have even less counter service experience in Hollywood Studios.  I've honestly, as far as I can remember, only eaten at Backlot Express because there's really nowhere to eat when it's a million degrees in August!  I'm definitely up for food suggestions here, since January will hopefully make outdoor seating more desirable.  As for Animal Kingdom, I don't recall ever eating counter service here, and I'm not sure that we'll even be in Animal Kingdom for a meal on our upcoming trip.  But I'm open to suggestions to eat here as well!

So it's up to you, readers, to help me out here.  What are your favorite counter service restaurants in the parks?  In the resorts?  In Downtown Disney?  Anywhere!  I'm open to any and all suggestions, so I can make a mental list of places to try.  Let me know your favorites in a comment, on Twitter (@discollegeblog), or on Facebook! 


  1. We should definitely meet up during our trips! I haven't really eaten at too many places because we packed our lunches every day on the past 2 trips I've taken. I really want to try Pecos Bill's this time, I've heard so many good things about it! I've only eaten at Cosmic Ray's at MK. Sunshine Seasons at EPCOT in the land pavilion was one that I tried after listening to the BOGP, and there were so many options it was hard to decide! At DHS I've only eaten at ABC Commissary, and it was eh. I am wanting to try Flame Tree BBQ at Animal Kingdom, but it is so hard to eat there because it is only open for a short amount of time. I know I'm not really much help, but again, I would love to meet up sometime. Thursday the 6th is our planned DHS day, but we plan to do Animal Kingdom on its own day. Saturday is an “open” day for us too! We are changing resorts that morning and have a late breakfast ADR, but the rest will be decided when we get there. Hope you have a great trip!

  2. Wolfgang Puck Express at Downtown Disney is very good. The portions are big & the prices are good. There's also a large variety of items to choose so your bound to please everyone in your party. You order at the counter but then the food is delivered to you at your table. Sort of a faux sit down meal.

  3. Ok lets see.... :) Magic Kingdom I definitely recommend Columbia Harbor House! It has slightly different offerings compared to everywhere else in MK. Epcot? I really liked the new Cantina de San Angel, and Sommerfest in Germany (if you like bratwurst). Animal Kingdom I enjoy Yak & Yeti (LOVE their chicken mandarin salad!) and Flame Tree. As for DHS? Tough one...I'm not a HUGE fan of anything there yet. I heard Backlot Express now has a new menu, including an avocado topped burger so I want to go try that! :)

  4. I had the quick-service dining plan on my last trip so I was determined to try some new places as well. My favorites are:

    MK- Casey's - simple, but those corn dog nuggets are SO GOOD!
    Epcot- Sunshine Seasons. So much to choose from!
    AK- Hands down, Flame Tree. Might be my favorite CS in all of WDW.
    DHS- Starring Rolls has really great sandwiches, plus you get a massive cupcake as a part of the dessert...and they're really good!

    Non-park places I suggest would be Wolfgang Puck Express (huge portions and a great value) and the Boardwalk Bakery.

  5. In the Magic Kingdom, we love Casey's. They have the best corn dogs and great nacho cheese sauce! It's also relatively inexpensive. It's a never-miss for us.

  6. Rosie's All American in DHS has great (veggie) burgers!

  7. Holly, you'll love Pecos Bill's! Also, we totally should meet up! That'd be awesome!

    DisneyGirlInNJ, I really want to try the new Cantina. It was closed when we were there in August, and I considered ordering from the little cart, but there was no seating over there.

    A.Leo, I've heard so many good things about Flame Tree, so if we eat at Animal Kingdom, I think we'll probably eat there.

    Jessica, maybe we will try Casey's. Though we do love Pecos Bill's.

    Daniel, Rosie's is something you don't here about often. Definitely keeping that in mind!

  8. I work at Sunshine Seasons in Epcot and love the food. Alot of my paychecks go back to the restaurant (I'm not joking).
    We sell alot of food other than burgers and hotdogs; theres salads (beet and goat cheese, chicken caesar), theres a grill with pork chops and grilled salmon, theres a wok with mongolian beef, spicy cashew chicken, and sweet and sour chicken, we have reuben sandwiches and grilled veggie flatbreads, and lets not even start on the bakery... It's definitely something 'a little more than Electric Umbrella'.
    Also, in Animal Kingdom there's Pizzafari. It''s nothing spectacular but it's quick service.

  9. At Animal Kingdom, my favorite is the pulled pork sandwich at Flame Tree Barbecue.
    There are definitely a lot of choices at Epcot...I like the falafel wrap at Tangierine Café in Morocco, or the beef sukiyaki and chicken teriyaki combo at the Yakitori House in Japan, or fish and chips from the Rose & Crown in England (they have a quick service window).
    At Hollywood Studios, I usually get either fish and chips or chicken curry from the ABC Commissary.
    At Magic Kingdom, it's usually a cheeseburger at Pecos Bill's.
    All this talk of food is making me hungry! Enjoy your visit! :)

  10. Vivianne, that's awesome! I'm definitely going to try to check out Sunshine Seasons!

    FunLifeOrlando, thanks for all those suggestions! It's making me hungry too!

  11. Here are my suggestions:

    MK: Casey's Corner -- corn dog nuggets, baby! Time it right and enjoy a performance by the Dapper Dans or the Main Street Piano Player while you eat! I will also say that Columbia Harbor House is a good choice. (If you go, sit upstairs!)

    Epcot: Sunshine Seasons is the best there is in all of WDW for counter service, imo. If you're on the far side of the World Showcase, don't be afraid to try the Liberty Inn.

    DHS: I'd recommend is Starring Rolls, although Backlot Express is okay if you need to eat there.

    AK: The only place I can recommend is the Flame Tree BBQ. The food there is actually good, as opposed to every other counter service in the park.

    DTD: Earl of Sandwich or Wolfgang Puck Express

  12. James, awesome suggestions! Thanks a lot!

  13. Amanda,

    Just an FYI if you're wanting to try Columbia Harbour House that's where lunch will be served when you do your Keys to the Kingdom tour. They don't offer the full menu but there's a nice little selection to choose from when you sign in before the Tour.

  14. Allison, very true! Thanks for that reminder!