Compiling a list of the worst “anything” is never easy because so much of what makes something “the worst” is up to our own tastes and opinions. Rather than simply listing a bunch of restaurants we personally dislike and calling them the worst, we’ve created a list of quick service restaurants that you simply may want to skip on your next trip as they may not have the same “wow factor” that some of their counterparts do. There are of course redeeming qualities, and some of our picks for the worst restaurants may even work out well for picky eaters. Let us know in the comments if you agree with our picks!
8. Lotus Blossom Café
Located in Epcot’s China pavilion, the Lotus Blossom Café makes this list simply because while the food is delicious, it’s also a menu that you can likely find closer to home and at a lower cost. The menu features entrees like fried rice and orange chicken, and while the food here is consistently great quality it’s simply one of the less interesting options in World Showcase. If you have picky eaters though or are looking for more convenience than anything it’s a great standby. If you are specifically interested in dining in China however, we’d recommend opting for table service at Nine Dragons instead. The menu offers a lot more variety and especially if you dine for lunch it isn’t too much of an upgrade on your wallet from a quick service meal.
Pizzafari, a staple of Discovery Island in Disney’s Animal Kingdom earns a spot on our list because there are better quick service pizza options at Walt Disney World (looking at you, Blaze Pizza and Via Napoli). Disney’s Animal Kingdom may not have as many quick service restaurants as the other parks do, but with restaurants offering such memorable eats as Flame Tree Barbecue and Satu’li Canteen it’s difficult to recommend a more basic menu like Pizzafari. Still, Pizzafari is a great option if you have picky eaters in your group and the family style dinner option while not an excellent culinary experience can be an excellent value.
6. ABC Commissary
We now find ourselves at the ABC Commissary at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The theming here is a straightforward studio commissary, which while fitting with the theme of the park is not going to provide the most memorable atmosphere for a meal. The menu is equally straightforward with burgers, salads, and steak. It’s an okay option to have on standby because it’s quick and easy, and you know what you’re going to get, but it is not somewhere we’d recommend going out of your way to experience. Instead, we’d try Sci-Fi Dine In Theater. Some of the menu items like burgers and salads cost just a little bit more than they would at a quick service restaurant and you’ll get to take in the fun drive-in movie theming.
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5. Pinocchio Village Haus
This Magic Kingdom mainstay is the first addition to our list more because of the atmosphere than the food. Pinocchio Village Haus serves more traditional versions of the flatbread pizza you’ll find at many quick service restaurants around Disney property. And while it’s fine, we’ve already established that if you’re looking for a quick pizza Blaze is the way to go. This restaurant makes our list because it always feels crowded and loud, making it a hectic dining experience and sometimes a struggle to find a seat. 2020 is sure to give Pinocchio’s a break from the crowds however, so if you’ve been wondering what it’s like this may be the year to try it!
Restaurantosaurus makes our list for similar reasons as Pizzafari- It’s a convenient spot for picky eaters or if your group has a variety of tastes with burgers, salads, and hot dogs often comprising the menu, however it does not compare with the smoked ribs at Flame Tree Barbecue or the noodle bowls at Satu’li Canteen. Whether or not you choose to dine at Restaurantosaurus though, we do recommend walking through the restaurant just to check out all of the details in its design. A quick walk through will show you lots of fun nods to the rest of DinoLand left behind by the interns of the Dino Institute.
3. Backlot Express
Backlot Express at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has some solid options, especially when they’re offering Star Wars themed menu items which seem to come and go (like the illusive Darth Vader chicken and waffles). The décor is interesting too as the space is filled with old movie props making it really one of the last relics of the original version of the park back in its MGM Studios days. It makes our list though because the food is pretty average. For Star Wars eats we recommend visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, or for a more family-friendly quick service location you cannot beat the grilled cheese at Woody’s Lunchbox in Toy Story Land.
2. Be Our Guest
*NOTE – Now that the parks have reopened, Be Our Guest is currently only serving lunch and dinner as table service experiences. We’ll be sure to let you know when they offer breakfast and lunch as quick-service options once again.
Be Our Guest may be a controversial pick for this list- This New Fantasyland dining experience houses within the Beast’s castle has become a must-do for many Disney guests and (quick service) lunch and breakfast are typically easier to get reservations for than table service dinner. This one makes our list because the quick service options are quite expensive for what they are (think $28+/adult for breakfast). It is still a nice treat, and breakfast does also come with a plate of pastry, but at that point we feel dinner (with the albeit pricier pre-fixe menu) offers the greater value in terms of food and with the meet and greet with the Beast.
1. Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café
It was a difficult decision to include this fan-favorite restaurant on our list, but if we’re going to known Pinocchio Village Haus for the atmosphere it seems only fair that we knock Cosmic Ray’s for the food. The food is quite good for what the options are to be fair, they’re just fairly standard and not much different than what you’d find at other quick service restaurants (especially at resort quick service locations). The toppings bar for your burger is a plus, but in the current state of things we’re not sure if or when we’ll see self-serve toppings bars making a comeback. That being said, you simply must visit Cosmic Ray’s to pay a visit to the restaurant’s star, the Audio Animatronic singing alien, Sonny Eclipse. If you’re down for another burger or you’re just stopping in for some air conditioning and a drink Sonny Eclipse is not to be missed.