Theme Park Insider

The best things to eat in a theme park?

November 22, 2016, 3:03 PM · It's Thanksgiving week in the United States, which means food, food, food, and more food... to go with the resurgent theme park crowds. But as many of us sit down to a big turkey dinner on Thursday, let's take a moment to think about our favorite things to eat when visiting a theme park.

Natalie and I reveal some of our favorite in this week's episode of Theme Park Insider. Appropriately for this week, one of our mutual favorites is the "Thanksgiving dinner" from Plymouth Rock Cafe at Indiana's Holiday World.

Other mutual favorites include multiple Theme Park Insider Award winner Mythos, at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure, and several locations at Epcot. But we disagreed on Butterbeer (heresy!, I say), and into a bit of a debate on the merits of the chocolate-covered frozen banana.

What are your favorite things to eat and drink in a theme park? And what makes them so special to you? Let's give thanks for our favorite theme park foodstuffs, in the comments.

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Replies (9)

November 22, 2016 at 8:40 PM · My good friend James Rao is probably both expecting and dreading me saying this, but one of my favorite things at Cedar Point is their perch sandwich, only available at the Lakeside Express food stand. It can be a hit-or-miss thing, especially if they put too much tartar sauce on it, but usually it's terrific. Perch is an iconic food in northern Ohio, mild in flavor and immensely popular. It's the kind of food that volunteer fire departments raise money with by having perch dinners- you can find one nearly every weekend someplace in northern Ohio, on America's North Coast.

A close runner-up, one that James will agree with, are the Elephant Ears, pizza-sized and shaped flaky pastries deep-fried then drenched in butter and cinnamon-sugar...served with a side of insulin.

November 23, 2016 at 6:01 AM · The "Thanksgiving dinner" pictured is a little light on the veges. lol
November 23, 2016 at 8:38 AM · I sware by Macho Nacho at Six Flags Great Adventure. On par/better Mexican than Chipotle.
November 23, 2016 at 10:54 AM · Gotta love the apple fries at Legoland, California.
November 23, 2016 at 10:59 AM · Six Flags over Georgia (late 1980s during Halloween)- fresh cut apples slices covered in hot caramel sauce and freshly fried mini doughnuts tossed in cinnamon sugar. Memories of my younger days.
Dollywood - Mrs. Lillian's Chicken House AND hot cinnamon bread. The love of good fried chicken and an appreciation for how wonderful Dollywood is at blending great food and great entertainment.
Epcot - The rice pudding at Epcot's Norway pavilion
Disney Hollywood Studio - Mom's Meatloaf at the 50's Prime Time diner. Again - great food and amazing entertainment.
SeaWorld Orlando - the hand carved freshly roasted turkey sandwiches at the now closed hospitality house. So unusual to get fresh, hot, JUICY turkey. I miss this place so much.
Universal Studios Florida - Shepard's Pie at Finnegan's Bar and Grill.
Islands of Adventure - Rotisserie Chicken salad at Thunder Falls.
Knobles - Elephant Ears
Hershey Park - free kisses!
Disneyland - Plaza Inn Fried Chicken platter
Disney California Adventure - just about anything at Carthay Circle
Tokyo Disneyland - seafood crape sandwich at Cafe Orleans
Tokyo DisneySea - Just about anything at Magellan's
Universal Studios Japan - Minion pork bun
Knott's Berry Farm - Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner especially the chicken soup
LegoLand - Granny's Apple Fries
November 23, 2016 at 12:18 PM · Another yes on the Apple Fries. As Natalie would say, "hey, it's fruit!" ;^)
November 23, 2016 at 5:10 PM · I'll take the original citrus swirl over the Dole whip any day of the week.

And I completely agree with Natalie about Butterbeer (Sorry, Robert!) It's too sweet and definitely overpriced. Ditto for pumpkin juice. My go-to drink in WWOHP is Otter's Orange -- still a bit sweet, but much more tolerable.

Speaking of WWOHP, the Ploughman's Platter at the Leaky Cauldron is a great meal for two people to share -- plenty of food, lots of interesting, savory flavors and light enough that it doesn't leave you feeling too full.

Mythos definitely gets my vote for the best overall theme park dining experience, but I'd also like to give a shout-out to the often overlooked Confisco Grille at IOA....I love the atmosphere and decor of this restaurant, the service is great and the food is always delicious.

November 24, 2016 at 8:30 AM · The frozen grand marnier drink from France in Epcot is my #1 theme park item!
I also enjoy the BBQ and the lomein at Animal kingdom.
All the food at the leaky caldron in Diagon Alley is great.
Not quite a theme park, the Mongolian beef made with a filet at chef morimoto's Asia restaurant at Disney Springs is one of the best things I have ever had.
November 29, 2016 at 7:06 AM · Magic Kingdom - Dole Whip Float
Tokyo Disney/Disneyland - Trying all the flavors of popcorn!! Honey is my favorite!

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