Is the food really THAT BAD?


Canadian Disney mom
Mar 17, 2012
We're regular Disney World goers doing our first trip to Universal Orlando this coming November (early-mid) for a week. We've booked the 2 bedroom Volcano Bay View suite and will have three days with park-park for all three parks. Our kids are huge Harry Potter fans, which is specifically why we're doing the trip. We will also likely do a day at Sea World. We'll be utilizing Uber and Lyft to get around.

I keep seeing people say how the food is awful - almost inedible. We aren't picky, but this really has me worried. Is it really that bad? Are there any specific restaurants we should be avoiding? It'll be us parents and our three kids, aged 13, 11, and 9.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated :)

It's not inedible, but a lot of it isn't great. Disney does their food way better imo.

I rarely eat in the parks, I go to city walk for most of my eats. Cowfish, Vivo, and Big Fire are my favorites for sit down. Breadbox is a decent lunch spot as well for quickservice (along with bend the bao)

Mythos used to be one of the best theme park restaurants (they used to have a banner showing how many times they won), but it's gone severely downhill last few years

If I had to eat in the parks, i'd recommend Today Show Cafe or quick service or the simpsons food court

For sitdown, probably Finnegans would be only place. I've heard people mention confisco, but i've never eaten there
The food at Universal is not awful.

Look on online Universals website and see what restaurants are available at the parks and CityWalk. The menus for the restaurants are available for you to see online. Look for what you think suits your families tastes then give it a try.

If you are interested in Harry Potter areas then have something to eat at the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade. Hogsmeade is located in Islands of Adventure. They have roasted meals there that are very good.

Also in IOA is Mytho’s which is pretty good. It is a sit down restaurant and another Is Confisco Grille.

In Universal Studios there is Today Cafe, The new Minion Restaurant, Lombards and the Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley.

In CityWalk there is Vivo, Cowfish and some fast food located on the second Level.

There are also food options at the Resorts.

I have eaten at a number of locations at WDW and at Universal. Universal does have good food.

In my opinion you will find some nice choices at Universal. I have been going to Universal for years and I have not been disappointed in choices or quality of food.

You will be fine.
We were at Universal (our first trip) for 3 1/2 days in April, and there was nothing wrong with the food.

We dined at Mythos - pretty good food, great vibe and theming, Lombards Landing - better food, good vibe, and Mama Dellas at Portofino Bay Hotel - very good food, good vibe.

I would go back to any of those three. Overall, the food at WDW may be a little better.

You said your kids are Potterheads. Be sure and check out these two places. Killer theming.
Last edited:
We ate at Finnegans in April, and went BACK to Finnegans, because the shrimp boxty was one of the best things I've ever had.

We at twice at Mythos as well. The hummus, souvlaki bowl, pork chop, and salmon were all great as well. After an extra wedge of lemon spanakopita dip rocked.

My hubby was getting over a hip break and was tired in the evenings, so we ate twice at the Kitchen at HRH , where we were staying, and went to Bice once. Service was exceptional both places, and the food was on a par with WDW resort hotels, with a lot less drama.

When our kids were that age, dinner at margaritaville was a must for the fun, and with your kids being the age they are the food court and the pool might be a big draw. There are great videos on Universal food. Edited to add cowfish .
Sounds like you're staying st Cabana Bay - we love Cabana Bay - it's our go to resort for our UO vacays & we've stayed there several times most recently Nov 2023.

The food court has lots of good options - way better than Pop Century when we went April 2023 - & the eateries at both pools are really good, too. Don't miss a trip to The Shake Shop! Excellent ice cream, malts & shakes. There's also a Pizza button on your room phone if you're beat & want delivery one night.

We also like Green Eggs & Ham at IOA for something yummy & different - we hit it once per trip.
My favorite place to eat is SF pastry company. Simple sandwich and salad/soup combo, it's a nice change from standard theme park food. Minions cafe and three broomsticks were also nice surprises for us.

We tried dessert at a couple places and lots of them just weren't...good. I saw a tip to get the sticky toffee pudding at three broomsticks and it was delicious. The best cookie we had turned out to be one of those random gift shops in Seuss Landing, not an actual restaurant...I just looked at the map and actually can't find it. It's right by the high in the sky trolley, Anyway, I think it was the standard cookie that is sold in all the gift shops, nothing special, but surprisingly yummy.
We went November 2022 and never complained about the food.
We ate at:
Leaky Cauldron
Green Eggs & Ham
Today Cafe
Thunder Falls Terrace

Only fault I found was I didn’t care for my pernil plate at Thunder Falls but that’s purely because I wanted to try something new and different and the flavors weren’t to my liking.
In general I prefer the food at Universal to Disney. I gave up on Disney years ago and did return recently for a trip. The food was improved, but nothing amazing.

As far as Universal there is lots of good and creative food.
That said I did find it to be more expensive than Disney for the most part, and that is saying a lot.

As far as the food in the hotels, it's not Universal. It's Lowes hotels and its pretty good for the most part, even the "cafeteria" stuff.

For a theme park its above average and as good if not better than Disney for similar locations.
Disney has some higher end places, and Universal really does not (for the most part).

Still Antojitos, Finnegan’s, Fire-eaters, Minion Cafe, Circus McGurkus, Today Cafe, Thunder Falls Terrace, Leaky Cauldron, Green Eggs & Ham and Toothsome are all solid choices.

Also Universal seems to be upping their game as far as quick service, revamping menus and retheming etc...

One thing I would avoid for the most part is specialty alcoholic drinks at Universal (the ones in the parks) - they are not good at all, how the guy who created them still has a job baffles me. Drinks created by the bartenders that are off menu are good - but anything that is officially advertised is pretty bad.
I like many of the places mentioned - also Cafe La Bamba at US. I have gotten the nachos at Confisco Grille for lunch a few times. Fish and chips kids meal at 3 Broomsticks is enough for me, but it is often very crowded so have to go at off hours. Have stayed at Cabana Bay many times. I like the food court there.
In the last 10 years, we have only had a couple of bad experiences at USO restaurants. Sometimes it's the food wasn't that good, sometimes it is the service, but overall we have no issues and the best part, you don't have to plan your meal out 90-180 days ahead (whatever Disney is at these days).

We almost always go to:
Three Broomsticks (I prefer their options over Leaky Cauldron)
Today Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe
Margarittaville (sometimes it's hit or miss on service because they always seem short staffed, but food has been good).

We have also eat at Breadbox, NBC Grill, Louies, Bubba Gump, Cap American Diner, Circus McGurkus, Simpons's Blvd (a good option for those wanting different things) Confisco, Mel's, and Richters. They have all been fine, but not a must do for us.

The worst places we have been to: CowFish was a miss for us, it was bad service and not great food- so we likely won't go back; Cafe 4 - such a bad experience that I still remember it from 2015, never again.
We mostly ate at our resort last November while at Universal. The food was excellent. We also stumbled upon Louigi's or Loui's Pizza? The slice was huge and the pizza was delicious, and it didn't cost us an arm and leg to eat there.
Other food sites were fine at both parks. However, we avoided anything in the Simpson's area. We are not foodies so a good meal is fine with us, not picky.
We've eaten at just about every TS in all the parks in Orlando at least once. To get better food at Disney you have spend more and enter the hell that is modern ADRs.
Mythos is the only Restaurant anywhere in Orlando we chose to eat at multiple times a year
We may go to Sharks in SW a lot but mostly for kids and newbs.


Our Dreams Unlimited Travel Agents will assist you in booking the perfect Disney getaway, all at no extra cost to you. Get the most out of your vacation by letting us assist you with dining and park reservations, provide expert advice, answer any questions, and continuously search for discounts to ensure you get the best deal possible.


DIS Tiktok DIS Facebook DIS Twitter DIS youtube DIS Instagram DIS Pinterest