Standing in line for Space Mountain, Rise of the Resistance, Avatar Flight of Passage and Soarin’ can work up quite the appetite. Thankfully, the menus at Walt Disney World theme parks outside Orlando have evolved far beyond the old days of burgers, hot dogs and fries. (But hey! Those amazing frozen bananas are still around!)
We’ve been around the parks too many times to mention, and we’ve discovered some fantastic treats that don’t require table reservations or the emptying of your wallets. Here are our two favorite treats from each park: the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Disney’s Magic Kingdom has so many iconic eats, it’s hard to narrow them down to two … but here goes.
Dole Whip Float
You know you can’t leave without a Dole Whip. You can find variations of the Dole Whip with a variety of flavors all around Disney World. But we’re old school and prefer the Pineapple Dole Whip Float at Aloha Isle in Adventureland. Some quick trivia now: Even though you think of Dole Whip as being at the Magic Kingdom forever, it was only invented in 1986 when Dole took over sponsorship of the Enchanted Tiki Room from United Airlines. The treat itself has been vegan and gluten free since 2013.
Corn Dog Nuggets
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I know. You’re screaming “No turkey leg?!?” That’s right – no smoked turkey leg for our list. Instead, try the corn dog nuggets at Casey’s Corner on Main Street. They also have a vegetarian friendly “sausage” dog if you’re trying to eat healthier, but the overwhelming whiff of regular hot dogs at Casey’s is enough to have you ordering second helpings.
The food options at Epcot change often, given the busy festival schedule the park now maintains nearly year-round. But here are two great picks that are available regardless of the date.
Fish and Chips
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You’ve walked by the fish-and-chip stand in the United King Pavilion at Epcot maybe a hundred times and noticed the dreamy smiles on all the patrons – but you’ve yet to order a batch for yourself? Yorkshire County Fish Shop is the name of the outdoor kiosk that serves these national treasures. There’s only one entree so there’s no need to study the menu in advance. Once you get your piping hot plate of fish and fried potatoes, the only real challenge is finding a place to eat. (We recommend going behind the shop where a scattering of outdoor tables await.)
Funnel Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream
Adjacent to the American Pavilion at EPCOT, guests might notice the sweet scent wafting from the tiny kiosk humbly titled Funnel Cakes. An assortment of classic and seasonal flavors are offered here, but we insist you try the regular funnel cake with a slice of vanilla ice cream on top. The ice cream looks like a thick slab of butter, but don’t be fooled – it’s delicious!
The addition of Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge have seemingly doubled the food options at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. So it’s fitting our two picks come from those new attractions.
Grilled Three-Cheese Sandwich
Anything from Woody’s Lunch Box at Toy Story Land is amazing, from the nachos made with tater tots to the breakfast s’mores sandwich. But this sandwich – made with provolone, cheddar and American cheese – coupled with a side of tomato basil soup will take you straight back to childhood.
The blue milk might catch all the headlines at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, but engage your inner galactic smuggler and head over to Ronto Roasters for the good stuff. Here, indulge in the Ronto Wrap – available either as a breakfast or lunch wrap. The lunch wrap is the winner, featuring roasted pork, a grilled pork sausage, peppercorn sauce and slaw all wrapped up in a pita.
Is it insensitive to talk about tasty food treats in the vicinity of such beautiful animals? Maybe. Truth be told if you’re visiting Animal Kingdom in the oppressive Florida heat, you might want to opt for one of the seemingly million options for ice cream treats sprinkled throughout the park. But that’s not all there is to eat.
Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Pulled Pork
Head to Flame Tree Barbecue on Discovery Island inside the park for this drool-worthy experience. Prepare for a nap after gobbling down baked mac-n-cheese topped with smoked pulled pork, onion rings and coleslaw. If you’re truly ready for bliss, add a mandarin orange vodka lemonade to your order.
Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse
We vowed to largely stay away from the obvious sweet snacks at Animal Kingdom, but you’re going to see scores of people eating the Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse from Satu’li Canteen and wonder why we didn’t mention it. It’s gorgeous (and tasty too). The blue comes from the blueberry cream cheese and passion fruit curd provides the yellow-ish dollop on top.