I’m always looking out for my fellow “tadpole travelers” and finding good places to eat that are also fun for kids is just one my specialties. To even be considered for this list, the restaurants had to have two things…good food and something special for us kiddos. So without further ado, here are the eight Walt Disney World Counter Service Restaurants that made the cut.
1. Sunshine Seasons (Epcot)
Located in The Land Pavilion in Future World, Sunshine Seasons has lots of options (many of them healthy) for a picky-eater like me. There are four stations that serve different types of food; a wood-fired grill shop with rotisserie chicken and wood-grilled salmon, a sandwich shop with made-to-order sandwiches, an Asian shop with noodle bowls and stir-fry, and a soup and salad shop. I’ve been happy with everything I’ve ever tried here; it doesn’t taste anything like your average “fast food.” The quality and variety of food and plentiful seating put Sunshine Seasons at the top of my list. (Watch a video of Sunshine Seasons.)
2. Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café (Magic Kingdom)
Anyone who knows the Frog Family knows we are big fans of Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom. Along with tasty hamburgers, chicken fingers and fries, there are several healthier options like rotisserie chicken, turkey-bacon and vegetarian wraps and veggie burgers. The seating area is huge, the toppings bar is second to none, and Sonny Eclipse…well, it wouldn’t be Cosmic Ray’s without him. (Watch a video of Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe.)
3. Restaurantosaurus (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)
Located in DinoLand U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Restaurantosaurus has a pretty basic menu consisting of cheeseburgers, hotdogs, chicken nuggets and fries. So how did it make it on my list? Two reasons: 1) It's in an
air-conditioned oasis in a very hot area of the park. 2) My kids’ meal comes with a bucket and shovel that I get to keep and use next door to dig up dinosaur fossils in The Boneyard play area. (Watch a video of Restaurantosaurus.)
4. Pizza Planet (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
If I’m in the mood for pizza at Hollywood Studios, this is the place for me. The ingredients and toppings are fresh and there are healthy side options which make my parents happy. The best part of Pizza Planet for me and my brother, Tad, though is the Toy Story theme and the ARCADE GAMES! (Pizza Planet is located in the Backlot area of the park next to Muppet Vision 3D.) (Watch a video of Pizza Planet.)
5. Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café (Magic Kingdom)
It’s a Frog Family tradition to watch Country Bear Jamboree then exit right into Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café for lunch or dinner. We like the barbecued-pork sandwich, chicken wrap and taco salad the best, but there are other options like hamburgers, grilled chicken salads and veggie burgers, too. What ensures Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café a spot on my list is its location in Frontierland and the cool dining room area. (Watch a video of Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe.)
6. Studio Catering Co. (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
Studio Catering Co. is a favorite of mine AND my parents. The non-fried food choices are a nice change from burgers and fries; the Greek Salad, Pressed Turkey Club and Chicken Caesar Wrap are all very good. The seating area is completely shaded and stays pretty cool even on hot days. What makes the seating area even better? It’s a great place for one of my parents to relax while the other takes me and Tad to play at Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure located under the same covered area. (Watch a video of Studio Catering Co.)
7. Tangierine Cafe (Epcot)
Located in the Morocco Pavilion in World Showcase, Tangierine Café is not what you think of when you think “fast food.” The menu is Mediterranean-inspired and includes lamb and tabouleh wraps, chicken and lamb shawarma, and side dishes like tabouleh, lentil salad and marinated olives. After we’re finished eating, Tad and I love exploring the rest of the Morocco Pavilion or decorating a free Duffy the Disney Bear souvenir at the KidCot Fun Stop. (Watch a video of Tangierine Cafe.)
8. Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)
The food at Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes kind of reminds me of the Asian fast food place at a mall food court, but that’s OK. It’s something different than burgers and fries and the courtyard seating offers a quiet break from the crowds. We usually get two main courses (like the Orange Beef and Sweet and Sour Chicken) and a few sides (egg rolls and fried rice) to share. (Watch a video of Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes.)
Have I missed one? Tell me your favorite Counter Service restaurants at Walt Disney World.
Tags: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney, Disney World, Undercover Tourist App, Disney Family Vacation, Disney Dining, Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe, Country Bear Jamboree, Sunshine Seasons, Restaurantosaurus, Pizza Planet, Muppet Vision 3D, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe, Studio Catering Co., Tangierine Cafe, Morroco Pavilion, Yak and Yeti Local Foods Cafe
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