Top 5: Hidden Disney Dining Gems *Quick Service Edition*

When planning any vacation, food is of the upmost priorities in the planning process. Where most Disney goers (especially first-time visitors) would focus on hitting their favorite dining and character experiences, it’s unfortunate that Quick Service meals are pushed to the side with little consideration. That’s not to say you shouldn’t get your dining reservations locked down ASAP but don’t overlook Disney’s Quick Service options as part of your planning process with our without a Disney Dining Plan.

Below are our “Top 5” Quick Service dining experiences that tend to get lost in the shuffle in planning your magical Disney vacation experience.

  1. Flame Tree Barbecue (Animal Kingdom): This dining experience is really what inspires these lists as most have a hard time believing a Quick Service experience can be this good. The Flame Tree Barbecue ranks among my favorite dining experiences among all of Disney dining. You will be hard pressed to find an experience with this level of quality and authenticity in any Disney park. With a number of selections such as 1/2 slab of ribs, BBQ chicken, giant turkey legs, and even fresh fruit, there is no doubt this dining experience is a must visit. [Menu]
  2. Sunshine Seasons (Epcot): I think the greatest misconception of Quick Service locations are that they’re primarily all the same. Sunshine Seasons, located in the Soarin’ building of Epcot, dispels this thought fairly quickly. With menu items such as Rotisserie Chicken and Black Beans or a slow-roasted Pork Chop with Mashed Potatoes, the Sunshine Seasons proves to be a unique and delicious option on your tour around the World Showcase. [Menu]
  3. Be Our Guest Restaurant (Magic Kingdom): Quick Service experiences come in all shapes and sizes but none of them can hardly match the aesthetic experience of the Be Our Guest Restaurant. The menu has several unique options of soup and sandwiches to match this unique dining experience. Be sure you plan this Quick Service opportunity timely as this experience is only available during lunch hours before transitioning to the Table Service experience. It is also important to note this is one of Disney’s newest and popular experiences so wait times can be expected. This is a great opportunity for those without the Disney Dining plan to pay a modest price and visit one of Disney’s most magical experiences… Oh, and the food’s great too! [Menu]
  4. Columbia Harbour House (Magic Kingdom): This is another Quick Service experience that dispels the thought of Quick Services being all burgers and fries. The Columbia Harbour House offers a light and delicious seafood themed menu that is comparable to any dining experience in the Magic Kingdom. If the lobster rolls, grilled salmon, or New England Clam Chowder isn’t enough, the Columbia Harbour House serves seasonal cobbler that you could swear came from your grandmother’s kitchen. [Menu]
  5. Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe’ (Magic Kingdom): In all honesty, I have snubbed Cosmic Ray’s numerous times attempting to avoid what I thought would be a typical theme park “burger and fry” experience. Last year (June 2015), as we made our way to Tomorrowland, we passed through Cosmic Ray’s to avoid a heavy rain and noticed some impressive entrees’. As a family we decided to give Cosmic Ray’s a chance and were we pleasantly surprised! Cosmic Ray’s offers three serving bays with a variety of menu items. I believe as a family (six of us) we tried nearly everything on the menu and none of us were disappointed. I know personally the 1/3 Angus Bacon cheeseburger was very well prepared, the fries were fresh, and the triple-chocolate dessert really hit the spot. (Don’t forget to get a Mickey straw for the kids… or yourself.) It’s a pleasant surprise that will not disappoint and offers safe, familiar options for everyone in the family. [Menu]

Hope you take the time to plan your FastPasses and other experiences with your Quick Service locations in mind. This is only a glimpse of the quality of Quick Service experiences available throughout Walt Disney World so please share your top 5 or locations that did not make the list, we’d love to hear of them!

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Happy planning!