Top Five Quick-Service Restaurants in Walt Disney World | Outside of the Parks
By Jennifer Henry
Hey guys! I’m here to bring you what, in my opinion, are the top 5 Quick-Service Restaurants found outside of the parks. When I was younger, my family would go to Orlando every summer for at least a week, sometimes two. When you have the extra time (or when your parents were tired of taking 3 kids into the parks every day and wanted something a little slower pace), exploring the resorts and Disney Springs is a lot of fun and can be nice break!
As I mentioned in my last post, Disney has really focused on adding variety to their menus. This includes adding specialty items, healthier options and having more available for those with dietary restrictions. And one of the best things about the food across the whole Disney property, is consistency. Of course, there are some restaurants that are better than others, but chances are, it’s similar quality no matter where you get your meal. So, with that being said, I will cut to the chase.
5. Landscape of Flavors, Art of Animation
I know what you’re thinking. Don’t all of the value resorts have similar food outlets? Kind of. It is true that All Star, Pop Century and Art of Animation have a similar layout and feel, but the menus differ. When I worked at Disney, I loved coming to the food courts for a meal to people watch and feed off their excitement. It reminded that I got to work at the most magical place on earth. Breakfast is pretty standard at all of the food halls, but still amazing. Breakfast platters, pancakes and waffles, and omelets are always a great way to get the day started. For lunch and dinner they provide a wide variety of options, from Mongolian Grilled Fish to your regular Bacon Cheeseburger, as well as a make your own pasta station and pizzas. I love the Jumbo Stuffed Meatball with the Herb Polenta and the Surf and Surf Burger (minus the shrimp, because I’m allergic...boo!). Also, I never say to no to a side of Naan Bread! This location has a fun and busy atmosphere, and great food options to compliment! Definitely a huge bonus to staying at the Art of Animation!
4. Riverside Mill, Port Orleans Riverside
Like other resort breakfasts, Riverside Mill does not disappoint with the basics. However, they have a few specialty items, like the Breakfast Burger and a Crispy Fried Chicken Biscuit. Being from the South, chicken biscuits are my favorite, go figure. For lunch and dinner, they offer a Chef’s Carving Table, a Roast Beef Melt, and a Cajun Chicken Sandwich, on top of the create-your-own pasta and salad stations. Many of your food basics, but with a Cajun flare, which is extremely fitting. I love the ambiance of this location, with its slower pace and relaxed atmosphere. The restaurant itself is very themed in its décor, including a working watermill outside. While you are at Port Orleans, you might as well pop into the piano bar, River Roost Lounge. Bob Jackson is a lot of fun!
3. Gasparilla Island Grill, Grand Floridian
Gasparilla Island Grill is great for many reasons, but one being its location. The outside seating area is my favorite because you have a great view of Seven Seas Lagoon overlooking the castle. During the spring time when the heat hasn’t become unbearable yet, you can get a nice snack, maybe purchase a bottle of wine, and have a lovely afternoon. I’m possibly speaking from experience on this one. Many times. Back to the food. I am a big Brie fan, so the Chicken and Brie sandwich is a win for me! They have a plethora of sandwiches, pizza, mac and cheese, and a Blackened Fish Reuben, which is surprisingly good! This location is open 24 hours, so if you close out Magic Kingdom one night during peak season and just need a pizza at 3am, hop on the monorail because this place has got you covered!
2. Capt. Cook’s, Polynesian Resort
Capt. Cook’s is hands down by favorite resort quick service restaurant, for two reasons. The first being the Pulled Pork Nachos, which I have an immediate craving for now. The nachos consist of homemade chips, a heap of pulled pork, cheese, tomatoes, onions, spicy mayo and pineapple salsa. Does that not sound like Polynesian heaven? It is. And the
second reason I love this restaurant, is the Tonga Toast during breakfast. In case you are not familiar, it is banana stuffed French toast that is deep fried. I mean, come on. Even though Disney has tried to incorporate more health-conscious items, they still realize they must give the people what they want. Captain Cook’s great because there are many items similar to what you could get at Kona Café, but it’s much quicker and little more cost effective. A few years ago, when they were under going the big renovation, they revealed the self-serve dole whip was going away, and I thought I would have to boycott the whole restaurant. But honestly, the food is so good I was able to overlook that tragedy and continue to frequent this Polynesian paradise. I guess it’s safe to say, I’m a little obsessed with this place.
1. D-Luxe Burger, Disney Springs
While it is still fairly new, D-Luxe Burger has hit it out of the park. This is my new go-to QSR restaurant at Disney Springs, which says a lot because I have been loyal to Earl of Sandwich for years. Their menu offers breakfast sandwiches, which is nice because there are not that many places open for breakfast at Disney Springs. I personally haven’t had any of their breakfast items yet, however they have a Crispy Chicken Biscuit (a cheddar biscuit at that), so I’m not mad at the menu. Their burgers are legit, the Southern Burger being my favorite, because of the pimento cheese. They are gourmet and cooked to perfection! But, the best part about this restaurant is the dipping sauces for the fries. I am a sauce fien! They have three-mustard and honey, garlic ranch, chipotle mayo, curry ketchup, horseradish, and buffalo blue cheese. Amazing, right? I’ve tried all of them, and there is not a bad sauce. The only downside is that the burgers do not come with fries, so it can get a little pricey. However, their duos (which serves two, given the name) include two burgers, one side of fries and two fountain beverages, and those work out to be a better priced deal. So if you are in the Disney Springs area and want to go a little sauce crazy, this place is a must do for you!
Let me know what your favorite resort or Disney Springs quick service restaurants are or if there are any items you’re obsessed with, like I am with those Pork Nachos!
Hey fellow Disney fans! My name is Jennifer Henry and I can’t remember a time when I was not obsessed with Disney. I grew up 3 hours from Orlando, so we visited Walt Disney World multiple times a year and it became a happy place to forget about the outside world for my whole family. I did the Disney College Program in the Spring of 2011 and it was absolutely the best time of my life! I got to work in the Magic Kingdom in Tomorrowland and on Main Street, so it was truly a dream come true. After college I moved to Orlando and went full time with the company. I spent 5 wonderful years working for the mouse and is a time of my life I look back on fondly. Now residing in Atlanta, Georgia, I try to visit Disney World as often as possible. When not at Disney, you will more than likely find me listening to Disney Park background music and dreaming my next trip home!