Vote of the week: What's your favorite type of place to eat at a theme park?
The talk this week about Epcot's two new Mexican restaurants
has me wondering: What's your preferred style of restaurant to eat at when you visit a theme park?
Theme parks offer a variety of options at meal times, not just in cuisine and price points, but in ways to order and get your food.
One theme park favorite: A bratwurst, from Disneyland
- Snack carts: Eat on the street
- Counter service restaurants: Order at the window, fast-food style
- Tray service restaurants: Anywhere you pick up a tray and load it up with selections on your way to the cashier
- Table service restaurants: For a full-service, "sit down and a waiter takes your order" meal
And if you're looking for a longer break (or a better deal), there's always the option of dining outside the park.
One of the new Mexican eateries at Epcot is table service and the other counter service. Tray service seems to be especially popular at the SeaWorld/Busch Gardens parks. And food carts are everywhere.
So, all other things being equal (as if that were possible), which is your go-to choice?
Tell us why you picked what you picked, in the comments. And, as always, thanks for reading Theme Park Insider.
I'm all about table-service. It's not even the higher quality of the food, which comes with the territory, I just like being able to savor my experience in a beautiful setting!
I prefer a table service restaurant when I am going to have a "meal". If I eat in the park it will be the main meal of the day, and I want where I eat to be about atmosphere that I would never get if I was at home. Table service is where you go to rest, relax, cool off or warm up, and recharge.
All depends on the food we're hungry for. Last time at Disney we ate at table services, counter services & had chocolate crepes from a snack cart. The counter services are nice when you have a group of people who want different food or you want to try a bunch of different foods at World Showcase. We found the perfect spot to watch Illuminations early in the evening so while my mom saved the spot I went & picked up food from La Cantina de San Angel, Lotus Blossom Cafe & Kringla Bakeri og Cafe. Made for a nice international dinner.
I prefer table service, as generally, they're better meals. Quality uber alles. That being said, I do like to hit the Confectionery for a Mickey rice crispy treat now and again.
I mush prefere tanle service. One of the reasons it cost about the same as "tray" or "grab and go". On the average about $3.00 bucks more a head. And a Tip.
I think a table service restaurant is always the best option, especially at some of the major theme parks where they often offer unique experiences.
Actually, my favorite are the buffets at theme parks. They give you a large variety of food to choose from and are usually extremely good!
Depends on the time of day for me. I like breakfast to be a sit down or buffet, although I'm not above coffee and donuts or McDonalds breakfast before I get there. A lot of parks don't really offer breakfast options. Lunch is typically a counter service of some kind if anything. I try to eat light during the afternoon hours at a park. I would much prefer dinner (or supper...depending on your region of the country) to be a sit down affair. It's nice to wind down and relax at a table after a day at the park. Too bad I find myself outside the park for dinner most of the time though.
I like great table service restaurants, too, but allow me to put in a plug for the tray service option. It's really the one you're least likely to use outside a theme park. (Okay, maybe food carts are pretty unlikely outside a park, too, if you don't live in a big city.) It's also the only option where you can see what you're getting, before you get it.
Sorry folks commenting above me, but the prices of food lately have been outrageously expensive. Unless you're chowing down on some kind of meal-deal (which will still run you sometimes over $50.00 after tax), you're gonna be paying for some food that isn't always the best quality. Additionally, having to fight over seating or waiting in lines just isn't all it's cracked up to be. You're on vacation. You're spending time with friends or family. Cut down on that hassle.
Counter service - much quicker to grab a bite to eat! Oh, and it's cheaper too!
Lots to say. First, I voted "outside the park", although that's because our most common park visit is in at 10am, out by 2pm, eat on the way home. But my kids more and more push for eating at 1pm, and we usually sit down but still for pretty ordinary food in a lunch line with trays.
Allison and I prefer table service. If it is IOA, you already know Mythos is my choice above anything else! Read my article about how Chef Mark created a special anniversary luncheon for us!
This hot dog thing with sauerkraut is not a bratwurst )-:. Gosh, hope the foreign food we eat in Bavaria isnt such a bad fake as this "bratwurst".
I voted for dining out of the park also. Reason being is that our trips to WDW are typically 7+days. After a few days we look forward to a reasonably quiet sit down meal. And I find those out of the park in the Orlando area. That said, if we were only staying 3 days per visit my vote would have been for the table service in the parks.
I can eat anywhere, anytime... at a theme park I want to experience the attractions, so the faster I can eat the better. Give me that hamburger to gulp down and I'm on my way to the next ride. Stacy
I went for tray service, but it really depends on who I am with and why I am at the park. Sit down, tray, snack cart, I do them all.
Table Service for me because it usually is the best the park has to offer.
I prefer table service, but anyplace that offers something unique catches my attention.
This is one of those things that the themepark in question will definately sway my vote. Epcot, is one of the few where I would want to stay in side the park and eat all my meals. Most other parks I would want to leave and come back, but since it's such a hassle to leave, I would probably just tough it out with whatever you can buy at the stands and quick spots until I get out and eat somewhere that's food is better or more reasonably priced for what it is.
Depends on the park. If there is a renowned restaurant in the park, e.g., Mythos, then I eat table service in the park. Otherwise, I eat table service outside of the park.
To respond to the question of tippping at table service inside the park. Yes it is, Sorry. But you tend to get a better level of service from the Wait Staff. On a recent trip to Walt Siney Studios, We ate our dinner at Momma Melrose. Then meal was 4 Chicken Parm over Paste (which by the way was excellent) And four drinks. Served with Italian Bread Rols and Butter. Total bill 75.oo and change. Our Waitress was polite, always at the ready with refiles, And well deserving of a generious Tip. And just to fellow up they are paid about the same as waiters and waitresses out side the park and the same tax formula. in other words the have to pay a percentage of the check total to taxies. Which is deducted from the base pay check.
I find tray service (I've heard them mostly referred to as "buffeteria" style) to be the best compromise between table service quality and counter service speed and price. At Disneyland, not counting drinks you'll spend $7-$9 on a burger and fries type meal from a counter service location, vs about $12 for a full meal from a tray service location. The last time we went, my wife and I each got a beef or chicken fajita burrito from Disneyland's Rancho del Zocalo restaurant, which was more food than we could finish (and we have no problem putting away full Chipotle burritos) plus rice and beans for under $10 before drinks, and that's a tray service restaurant. Win.
Hi there! I prefer the table service option for dining because you can sit and review the days adventures, up to that point, with your companions and plan you next moves through the park in a seated and much more relaxing atmosphere! Footnote...(no pun intended) If your dogs are barking and you need to get off your feet..this multitasking move of relief and review just makes more sense! :)
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