Grab your appetite; it’s time to eat! Dining at Walt Disney World is all part of the amazing experience. There are dozens and dozens of options to choose from inside the four parks, the two waterparks, and Disney Springs, as well as at the resorts. It can easily get overwhelming once you factor in the need to make reservations at the popular restaurants well in advance of your trip. Consider having a meal at one of the quick-service restaurants at the Disney resorts as an alternate option. Many of these restaurants are hidden gems, offering fantastic food in quieter settings and without the need to make a reservation. These eateries are perfect for your schedule and your wallet. Here are a few favorites that are worth checking out the next time you’re looking for a casual but delicious place to dine.
1. Contempo Café
Take the monorail over to Disney’s Contemporary Resort for a treat at the Contempo Café in the Grand Canyon Concourse. Featuring a delicious assortment of menu options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this is fun and comfortable place to grab a bite and watch the monorail glide by. Don’t forget to get a decadent cupcake for dessert. The selection changes all the time, but my favorite is the Rose Gold cupcake. After your meal, it’s very convenient to hop on the monorail for your next park adventure!
2. The Mara
Journey over to the Mara at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House for a terrific meal. Located right next to the Uzima Springs pool, this quick-service restaurant features African-inspired dishes along with traditional American favorites. Named after a wildlife reserve in Tanzania, both indoor and outdoor seating is available at this eatery. Order a zebra dome for dessert, one of the very well-liked treats featured at Boma, the popular buffet restaurant located in the same resort.
3. Captain Cook’s
Stop by Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort for a South Seas-inspired meal at Captain Cook’s. The Polynesian is a beautiful place to visit, and having a meal at Captain Cook’s is a great way to enjoy the ambiance without worrying about a reservation at its full-service restaurants. Located on the bottom floor of the Great Ceremonial House, indoor and outdoor seating lets guests indulge in the lush landscaping. If you’re there for breakfast, order the famous Tonga Toast that’s also featured on the menu of the Kona Café restaurant upstairs.
4. Roaring Fork
An adventure always awaits at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and the Roaring Fork quick-service restaurant is a great place to enjoy the pioneer theming. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner with a menu filled with classic American dishes, including delicious flatbreads. I love checking out all of the fishing and camping décor that is reminiscent of earlier eras.
5. Everything POP
Take a tour of decades past at Disney’s Pop Century’s quick-service food court, Everything POP. Choose favorite American dishes from the grill, pizza, or pasta, included delicious healthy choices from several serving stations, and then pay at a central counter. This restaurant truly offers something for everyone, as well as a convenient grab-and-go section. And did we mention Dole Whips are now available here?!
6. Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory
Disney’s Port Orleans-French Quarter Resort is the place to be for a step back into New Orleans. Enjoy creole and Cajun dishes, as well as American classics, at the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory, a quick-service eatery that is colorfully decorated with Mardi Gras flair. Top your meal off with a delicious beignet for dessert, and then stroll around the picturesque resort grounds, complete with cobblestone walkways and fragrant magnolia in the air.
7. Landscape of Flavors
Fans of the Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, and Cars will enjoy the décor of Landscape of Flavors, a great place to grab a quick bite at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Several serving stations are available, and the ability to make your own salad and burger make this a popular restaurant.
8. Goods Food to Go
Enjoy the island vibes at this tropical eatery located at Disney’s Old Key West resort. You can’t go wrong with any of the classic American staples on the menu, like sandwiches, salads, and hot dogs. Best of all, creamy key lime pie is offered for dessert. This is a great place to relax and take in the beautiful ambiance at this resort.
9. The Pepper Market
An international atmosphere greets diners at the Pepper Market, a quick-service restaurant at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Step inside and you’ll feel like you’re in an open-air Mexican market. The options are endless at the various food stations and include Italian, Southwestern, Asian, and American specialties. The colorful décor complements the delicious menu offerings, making the Pepper Market a hidden gem.
10. Artist’s Palette
Step inside the Carriage House at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa and be prepared for a wonderful dining experience. Artist’s Palette is the quick-service restaurant at this peaceful resort, offering flavorful sandwiches, salads, flatbreads, and daily specialties. Grab a seat under the colorful glass bulbs that grace the ceiling to enjoy your meal. Afterwards, take a stroll around the picturesque landscaping and fountains.