Unexpected Lunches In Walt Disney World
If you're like most of the world, when you think of theme park food you probably think of hot dogs, funnel cakes, cotton candy, and nachos. While you can certainly find all of these items at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, you can also find quite a bit more. Now you might have heard about the five star restaurant on property, Victoria and Albert's, but in case you were hoping to come back from your vacation with a little money still left in your pocket, here's a list of restaurants in the parks that will allow you a unique, unexpected lunch experience without breaking the bank.
Be Our Guest - Magic Kingdom
If the title of this restaurant sounds familiar to you, it might be because its named after one of the signature songs from the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast. The lead character in the film lives in a quiet provincial village in France, but this restaurant is anything but homely or quaint. Be Our Guest is nestleted inside the titular Beast's elaborate castle and serves up French inspired cuisine in a quick service setting for lunch. A couple of the more interesting options on the menu include the slow cooked braised pork and the tuna nicoise salad. But if you're not feeling adventurous, don't worry; you can also find the standard Croque Monsieur, a crowd pleasing grilled cheese and ham sandwich.
Gardens Kiosk - Animal Kingdom
While the Disney World parks are full of options for the meat eaters and bread lovers, don't for a second think that there aren't a plethora of snacks available for guests with all sorts of dietary restrictions. Gardens Kiosk in Animal Kingdom provides guests with allergen free treats to suit most any allergy or preference. Avoiding gluten? Dairy? Nuts? No problem. Although you'll find options scattered through out the park restaurants, Gardens Kiosk provides a convenient one stop shop to pick up a midday sweet, or even a gluten free beer.
Sunshine Seasons - Epcot
The word "food court" might bring back images of your mall rat days eating stale french fries and drinking slurpies, but don't get turned off by Sunshine Seasons just because of it's layout. This counter service location has some of the most varied food choices on property, so that adventurous and picky eaters alike will almost certainly find something they'll like. Sunshine Seasons has some traditional American fair, but the unexpected options here include a roasted beet and goat cheese salad and a vegan tamarind "beef" dish with jasmine rice. And you won't want to skip out on dessert with strawberry shortcake and tiramisu on the menu.
Fairfax Fare - Hollywood Studios
Disney World has several creative takes on classics, and few places emphasize this more than Fairfax Fare. Hotdogs may be typical theme park food, but if you head to Fairfax Fare to grab one don't expect business as usual! This snack cart has multiple unique takes on the standard frank. One of the most unusual creations? A macaroni and cheese hot dog topped with truffle oil. Or if you really want to embrace your inner carnivore, opt for the hotdog topped with pulled pork. Not a meat eater? Not to worry. There's a salad full of black beans, corn, and peppers on the menu just for you.
Columbia Harbour House - Magic Kingdom
Have a craving for fried shrimp? Maybe dreaming about a lobster roll? You might not be in the northeast but a trip to Columbia Harbour House will make you feel like you are, even while you're in the midst of sunny Florida. Set in the Liberty Square section of Magic Kingdom, Columbia Harbour House has a great location across from The Haunted Mansion, and serves up seafood as its speciality. Another one of their most unique offerings? The Lighthouse Sandwich, a cool combination of hummus, tomato, and broccolli slaw.
Tamu Tamu Refreshments - Animal Kingdom
Few things can cool you off in the middle of the blistering Florida heat like ice cream, but the offering at Tamu Tamu isn't your typical vanilla-in-a-cone. This cart offers pineapple soft serve, and you can even get it spiked with coconut rum for a decadent adult libation. But if you're looking for something more than just booze, one of the most unique options on the menu is the Quinoa Salad. Quinoa, chickpeas, and fried tofu are the stars of this hearty vegetarian meal, a perfect choice for the adventurous park goer.
Tune In Lounge - Hollywood Studios
Peanut butter and jelly might not sound very adventurous...but have you ever had a peanut butter and jelly milkshake? You can grab one a the Tune In Lounge, a bar attached to the retro 50's Prime Time Diner. You can step back in time and drink an old fashioned Coke float, or for the adults, try Grandma's Picnic Punch, a super sweet and refreshing cocktail. And if you're in the mood for something more substantial than ice cream, not to fret. The full menu from 50's Prime Time Diner, including grilled porkchops and fried chicken, are available from your comfy seat at the bar.
Tangierine Cafe - Epcot
The World Showcase in Epcot is home to some of the most unique and unusual food offerings in Walt Disney World. One of the best ethnic options available is Tangierine Cafe, a Morrocan restaurant full of tasty options. This quick service restaurant is a great way to introduce the picky eaters in your group to something a little out of their comfort zone without them turning up their noses. Morrocan classics like tabbouleh, lentis, couscous, shawarma are served up here. And don't forget baklavah for dessert!
Sleepy Hollow Inn - Magic Kingdom
At Disney World, waffles aren't just for breakfast. Sleepy Hollow Inn creates both savory and sweet waffle sandwiches that make for a delicious lunch. If you're looking for something sweet, try the Nutella and fruit filled waffle, or even a waffle dusted with cinnamon sugar. But if you're looking to truly get a meal from this snack cart, you'll want to try the ham, prosciutto, and swiss sandwich. Or try the Magic Kingdom's take on a southern favourite, sweet and spicy fried chicken surrounded with a fluffy waffle.
Sommerfest - Epcot
If you haven't ever tried German food, Sommerfest just might be the place to start. Your traditional German frankfurter and brat are accounted for, but you can also try something a little less ordinary withe the Currywurst. This sausage is pan seared and topped with spicy seasonings to give it a special kick. Potato salad and strudel round out the meal, and of course you can purchase flavourful German beers in many varieties to wash it all down.
You don't have to feast on hamburgers and chicken tenders during your Walt Disney World vacation if you don't want to. In fact, you can have quite the culinary adventure! There are even more unexpected options out there for delicious lunches in the parks and in the Disney World hotels than you might imagine. When you're wandering around the theme parks craving a snack, consider giving one of these options a try, and be on the look out for your own unexpected discoveries in Walt Disney World.