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Old 01-01-2013, 10:42 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
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Favorite Counter Service Restaurants in WDW

Hi all! My DH and I will be visiting WDW for the first time in just one week, and will be staying onsite for 6 days. We have only made two ADRs (one for breakfast at Crystal Palace: 8:35 am!! Woot! and one for dinner at Be Our Guest). For the rest of the trip we just plan on utilizing counter service around the property instead of feeling like we HAVE to be somewhere at a specific time for a lot of our meals.
SO....what are you favorite counter service restaurants and food items around WDW?

1987-2005 Many, many, many day trips to DL as a kid
Jan 2013 - FIRST trip to WDW with DH
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:49 AM   #2
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YAY on your first trip! As far as counter service goes.... I always go in with such a great plan, but then always end up being hungry far away from where that planned meal was supposed to be. With that being said, I actually really liked the food at the Yak & Yeti counter service in Animal Kingdom. I also really liked the Shrimp Po Boy at Restaurantosaurus also in Animal Kingdom.

For Hollywood Studios, Starring Rolls Cafe! Their sandwiches are so good and HUGE plus the cupcakes are YUMMY! I absolutely enjoyed the red velvet cupcake. I haven't had any other CS meals in DHS.

Oh, my absolute favorite CS meal is at Wolfgang Puck Express Downtown. ALL of it was seriously amazing and I tried 4 different dishes while there.

It doesn't seem like you can go wrong in World Showcase at Epcot. Also, Sunshine Seasons in The Land is fantastic and uses a lot of the fresh ingredients grown right there.

Every time we're in Magic Kingdom we typically go for whatever is closest. We never want to waste time while we're there. We typically just get a burger, none of them have been bad... mostly very delicious actually. I hear so many rave reviews for Pecos Bills, but have yet to try it. I am making it a point on our next trip because of the awesome toppings bar. Dipping french fries into plastic cheese is awesome!

I hope you have a magical vacation!
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:55 AM   #3
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Epcot: Tangierine Cafe
Animal Kingdom: Flametree BBQ
MK: I've only had Pecos Bill and it was ok
HS: Pizza Planet or Starring Rolls

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Old 01-02-2013, 08:22 AM   #4
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Downtown Disney we too love Wolfgang Puck Express
MK Cosic Rays-choice of chicken (maybe ribs too can't remember),burgers, chicken burgers
Animal Kingdom- Flame Tree BBQ
Hollywood Studios-Don't have a fav as we like to do Sci Fi or Prime Time when there and both are TS but so worth it.
Epcot-again usually one of the countries around the World Show case.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:33 AM   #5
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MK: Columbia Harbor House (salmon, tuna sandwich); also, they serve waffle sandwiches at Sleepy Hollow that are good, but are not full meals.

Epcot: Sunshine Seasons for the variety (I like the roasted beet and goat cheese salad), Tangierine Café (vegetable platter or sliders combo).

Animal Kingdom: FlameTree BBQ (1/2 chicken platter or BBQ Chicken Salad), my DW and DDs like Pizzafari.

DHS: Fairfax Fare (1/2 chicken platter or Fairfax Salad)

DTD: Earl of Sandwich (Mediterranean Tuna Salad; Holiday Sandwich in season); Wolfgang Puck Express (Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf)
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:34 AM   #6
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My new favorite is Tamu Tamu at DAK http://www.jamboeveryone.com/Blog/En...reshments.html

I also like Flame Tree and Restarauntosaurus

at Epcot: I like Sunshine Seasons, Tangerine Cafe and the Cantina a lot

MK: waffle sandwiches at Sleepy Hollow

DHS: go elsewhere
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:46 AM   #7
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Summer hot and humid weather when we go - all of these are inside with AC:

Animal Kingdom - Pizzafari for hot italian sandwiches
MK - Columbia Harbor House for tuna sandwiches
Studios - Backlot Express for basic burgers. It never seem crowded here.
Epcot - Electric Umbrella in Future World.

Since you are going when it may be cooler, you could also try these outdoor places:

AK - Flametree BBQ, great food and there are tables down by the water
Epcot - Fish and Chips in England (and a beer!), nice gardens across the street from it.
MK - grab a hot dog at Casey's, then a Dole Whip over in Adventure Land

Enjoy your first trip! Go to the bank right now and open your Disney account . . . coz you'll be going back!
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:58 AM   #8
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Congrats on the trip. How fun!

We like:

MK - Cosmic Ray's. Roasted chicken and garlic mashed potatoes were surprisingly good. Chocolate cake dessert is yummy.
- Also have had Pecos Bills....I think that's the one with the pretty large fixins bar for your burger.

AK - Another vote for Flame Tree Barbecue. Really nice setting, good size portions, and good barbecue

DHS - nothing memorable, I'm afraid

EP - Sunshine seasons. And quiche and desserts in France!!

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Old 01-02-2013, 11:15 AM   #9
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We have two faves. Thats it, just two. Nothing else really caught my eye except these two:

Bakery in France - The sandwiches and pastries are incredible! The baguette sandwiches are huge too. Great value!

Wolfgang Puck Express (marketplace location) - Oh my word, what phenominal food they have. SOOOOO GOOD! Bacon wrapped meatloaf with mashed potatoes was the best I ever had in my life. Its always the best meal of our trip. I make it a point to go there for dinner AT LEAST once per trip. The spagetti & meatballs were also the best I ever had. Meatballs are so flavourful and the spagetti is cooked perfectly. So yummy. My fave dessert is the cheesecake...it has that creme brulee like topping! If paying out of pocket, it can be a tad pricey for a counter service. But its worth it. Its like BOG, you order then sit down. They bring you the food.

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Old 01-02-2013, 11:18 AM   #10
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Hmmm, best QS eateries?
In our opinion . . .
. . . Epcot: Sunshine Seasons (maybe the best QS in WDW)
. . . MK: Be Our Guest (Columbia House a close second)
. . . AK: Flame Tree (good ribs)
. . . DHS: Backlot Epress
. . . DTD: Earl of Sandwich
. . . BB: Lottawatta Lodge
. . . TL: Typhoon Tilly's
. . . Deluxe Resorts: Capt Cook's at Poly
. . . Moderate Resorts: Sassagoula Flatworks at POFQ
. . . Value Resorts: Landscapes of Flavor at AoA
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:19 AM   #11
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MK: Columbia Harbor House. The fried shrimp are a (relative) bargain for Disney food. And the upstairs seating is actually quite sane.
While I find the food at Cosmic Ray's to be just fine, the seating there can be a bit of a pain. And I am not a fan of their "station" system, especially if you have kids who are too young to send on their own for their food if they want something different from what you want. Pecos Bill's is typical, and passable. If I am in that part of the park and it is meal time, I will go.But I would never plan my day around it.

AK: I'm a creature of habit here, I'm afraid. We only eat lunches at that park, since it closes early. We always use our AK day to plan a nice Signature dinner. And as far as lunch goes, we have probably eaten 80% of them at Flame Tree. Big portions that can be shared, and the food is pretty good.

DHS: You'll probably notice two trends in this thead. First, people will tell you that they really enjoy Flame Tree at AK. Second, people will tell you that there isn't any good CS food at DHS. Funny thing is, Fairfax Fare at DHS serves pretty much the same food as Flame Tree. Now, perhaps I can see the argument that one might not want to eat BBQ for lunch every day. (I pity that trend of thought.). But the argument that FT is great and DHS has no good CS food is simply illogical. They have far more in common than they have differences. Beyond that, the cheeseburger at ABC Commissary won't kill you.

Epcot: Lots of options here. We have eaten at, and would return to La Cantina outside the Mexico pavillion; Sommerfest in Germany; Tangierine Cafe in Morocco; Yorkshire Fish Shop in the UK; and Sunshine Seasons in The Land.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:30 AM   #12
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One favorite. WOLFGANG PUCK EXPRESS. Its VERY VERY VERY good. Always consistent, always delicious. Never had an issue with the food there. Its so tasty and one of my favorite places to go.

Earl of Sandwich is decent, but its just a sandwich. A very overhyped sandwich. At the end of the day I have to decide whether I want a sandwich for dinner (EoS), or a bacon wrapped meatloaf with mashed potatoes (WGPE).....guess what? WGPE always wins every single time!
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:33 AM   #13
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Sunshine Seasons in the Land pavilion at EPCOT. Great variety, and lots of stuff you don't see in other restaurants.

Also love Columbia Harbour House in the Magic Kingdom.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:53 PM   #14
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MK: Pecos Bill's (love the fix your own taco salads) or Cosmic Ray's(1/2 chicken is a great deal)

Epcot: Sunshine Seasons

DHS: Studio Catering Co.

AK: Flame Tree(great deal of 1/2 chicken or ribs meals) or Pizzafari(nice to be in the A/C)

DTD: WPE(this might be our favorite CS food on property!)
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:02 PM   #15
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My favorite is Flame Tree at AK -- actually has very good Q for anywhere, not just good considering that it's at a theme park.

At MK, it's Pecos Bills if I'm hungry, Sleepy Hollow for a quick bite.

At EPCOT, Sunshine Seasons if I'm hungry, Norway for a quick bite.

Have yet to find any CS at HS that I would consider palatable or even edible, but I'll be trying out Starring Rolls this time based upon the recommendations I've heard since the last trip.

Good luck!

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