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Bang for your (Food) Buck

Walt Disney World: Which places in Disney do you think give you the best food and is easy on a wallet?

From Anthony Murphy
Posted February 13, 2013 at 5:40 PM
Robert's main page story had me thinking about food in the Disney Parks. Based on food quality and food quantity, what places stand out as a "bang for your buck" in foods?


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Matt Babiak
Posted February 14, 2013 at 4:53 AM
I love Liberty Tree Tavern, can't remember the prices, but they were cheap enough for me to get a reservation on my next vacation.

From Kelly Muggleton
Posted February 14, 2013 at 6:38 AM
Its gotten to the stage for me I think that having a table service meal is way cheaper than snacking all day ($10 for a decorated apple?? Whaaa?)
50's Prime Time is pretty reasonable in that you get big portions.
Liberty Tree was pretty good value last time I was there too - family style dinner, so ask for more and make your money back :-)

From Jay R.
Posted February 14, 2013 at 9:09 AM
"$10 for a decorated apple??"

Hahahaha!! So true......

I always try to bring snacks & save money for the actual dining.

From Ashleigh Noad
Posted February 14, 2013 at 4:48 PM
Agreed that quick service isn't really the cheapest option - but if pushed..

Pecos Bills in Frontierland - I cannot remember the price, but they have this large taco which you can fill up with lots of food. Easily fed two of us - at a push we probably could have fed another.

From Tony Duda
Posted February 14, 2013 at 5:44 PM
The waffle sandwiches at Sleepy Hollow in MK are great tasting, under $10, and big enough that 2 can share and both be satisfied.

From Russell Meyer
Posted February 15, 2013 at 7:06 AM
I would also second Pecos Bills, primarily because of the fixens bar. You can buy a single burger and put 2 salads on top of it. Not only that, but the toppings are not just limited to lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickles---you can put sauted mushroom, grilled onions, salsa, and cheese whiz on those burgers.

Also, another under the radar item to eat at Disney World is the 1/2 chicken dinner. The dish is sold at a number of locations (Cosmic Rays and Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom, and Flame Tree BBQ in Animal Kingdom). It's more than enough food to split and comes with 2 sides.

Another kinda under the radar place is Starring Rolls at Disney Hollywood Studios. Every day at lunchtime, a limited number of massive cold-cut sandwiches are available first come first serve. They're not on the menu, but start selling around 11 AM, so don't bother if you can't get there before noon. The sandwiches are gigantic, served on focaccia bread, and more than enough for two or nibbling on throughout the day.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted February 15, 2013 at 5:38 PM
I disagree completely with you Eric. Out of a many restaurants they have at Disney World, you can't come up with one? I will admit that the Magic Kingdom has the weakest food out of the four parks.

The point of this discussion was not necessarily cheap food, but what places gives you the best food at a relativity good price tag.

Here are mine:

Magic Kingdom- Columbia Harbor House, Pecos Bill

EPCOT- Nine Dragons, Biergarden, Sunshine Food Fair, Tangerine Cafe

DHS- Backlot Dining Company

AK- Flame Tree BBQ, Yak and Yeti

From Marie-Eve Landry
Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:08 PM
MK: Liberty Tree Tavern or Main Street Bakery

Epcot: Via Napoli (way too much food)

HS: Toy Story Pizza Planet (Cheap and good)

From Marie-Eve Landry
Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:09 PM
MK: Liberty Tree Tavern or Main Street Bakery

Epcot: Via Napoli (way too much food)

HS: Toy Story Pizza Planet (Cheap and good)

From Rob Pastor
Posted March 2, 2013 at 9:29 AM
Columbia House at Magic Kingdom.Second floor great ambiance & relative quiet....Flame BBQ at Animal Kingdom.Best counter food in WDW and the seating & view on the lake shore may be the most beautiful area in WDW....Epcot: Too many good choices to mention.....HS: A food desert. If you don't have reservations, there's little in decent choices. Nothing stands out among the counter service restaurants.

From James Rao
Posted March 2, 2013 at 11:40 AM
The Plaza Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom is an excellent hidden treasure. The prices are decent, the food very good (Plaza Club stands out if you ask me, but the chicken salad with fresh strawberries was a welcomed surprise), the service top notch, and the desserts (made in the Main Street ice cream parlor) wonderful. Fed the whole family of five (including dessert) for $65. Thought it was a steal - for an Orlando theme park restaurant, anyway. Bang for the buck, the Plaza Restaurant is the best full service option in the Magic Kingdom, if you ask me.

At Epcot, I like the Norway bakery. Last time we went we had the club and ham & apple sandwiches (both excellent), as well as Lefse and School Bread. Later on that same visit, during Illuminations, we had an almond covered dessert pretzel and it was great as well. The bakery in Norway is amazing.

In DHS, the Prime Time Cafe is probably the best, most reasonable full service joint at the park, and the food is very good. Fried chicken, meatloaf, and chicken noodle soup are all recommended. Also, the desserts are great, especially the PB&J shake which is worth every calorie.

For counter service at DHS, the Starring Rolles Cafe is the best option if you follow this tip: get a turkey sandwich and a bagel. There is so much turkey on the sandwich that you can take half of it off and put it on the bagel. You now have two sandwiches and saved about $6 in the process.

At DAK, Pizzafari is a good value (the pizza is not great, but the hot Italian sandwich is well above average, and the A/C is a Godsend). Also the Yak & Yeti counter service stand has a few decent, full-service-restaurant-quality items for a slightly higher budget. But our favorite food at DAK was the jalapeno cheese stuffed pretzel from the Safari Pretzel stand on Discovery Island (as well as the Harambe fruit stand). Not too expensive and big enough to share - although I don't recommend sharing in this case! =)

Outside of the parks, a short walk from the Magic Kingdom at the Contemporary Resort, is the Contempo Cafe. Last time we visited Orlando, we arrived at the Cafe at about noon, and despite it being peak time for lunch on a very busy day at the park, there were just a few visitors present (as expected - it is almost always easier to get lunch outside of the theme parks). We ordered our food at self service kiosks, paid, then sat down waiting for our order to be filled. The food was fresh and delicious, definitely a cut above what I was expecting. And the coup de grace was a dulce de leche cupcake that was out of this world good! I definitely think the Contempo Cafe is a hidden gem.

From Kevin Hanaoka
Posted March 2, 2013 at 6:50 PM
Our go to place outside the parks was Earl of Sandwich at Downtown Disney. We ate dinner there almost every night except for our only sit down dinner at Jiko. The sandwiches were very tasty and filling. The price, at least to our pocketbook, was right.

From Carrie Hood
Posted March 3, 2013 at 6:24 AM
I agree that MK has the weakest options for food but even with that said I've found that eating from the food carts often better then bothering with counter-service. The exception to this was the Main Street Bakery which I hope won't be ruined by Starbucks.

Epcot is a wonder of food goodies. The Kringla Bakery in Norway is one of the best places to grab a snack or even lunch. Those sweet pretzels, HEAVEN! The San Angel Tavern is also a good stop for a quick bite that isn't just a burger or chicken.

DHS has some good choices, most of which have already been posted here. The only place I'd add in would be the Sci-Fi Drive In, which gives you a good amount of food for the price.

As for DAK, I never make it past the eggrolls ;)

From Anthony Murphy
Posted March 3, 2013 at 10:51 AM
I find that AK has the best good generally. I don't think they the best restaurant, but I can't think of any food that I have had there that was below average. EPCOT usually just runs the board due to its huge options.

The one big rule that my parents have is they really try to steer away from hamburgers, hotdogs, and pizza when we are at the Disney Parks. There are few exceptions, but if we are going to pay all that money and only get a hamburger, it better be awesome. Here are my thoughts on some of the others mentioned.

Big winner seems to be Columbia Harbor House! I completely agree. The food is actually pretty good and its something beyond hamburgers and hotogs.

I partially agree with Pecos Bill because the topping bar makes up for a pretty mediocre hamburger. Its paired up with Toruga Tavern (the taco place) which gives guests some options.

Flame Tree BBQ is my favorite counter service place in WDW. I also think its the best value in price/what you get.

I like the Earl of Sandwich too and defiantly a great deal.

I found the DHS breakdown a bit interesting, but I would go with 50s Prime Time cafe just because I find their menu a little bigger. Its also pretty creative.

I have never tried the Plaza Resturant, but I will have to stop by

Via Napoli, which I love, wouldn't really be a bang for your buck since it is pretty expensive. I do think it is the best Pizza in WDW.

Surprised that nobody mentioned buffets. I would have thought that the all you can eat would make it on the list!

From Tony Duda
Posted March 3, 2013 at 12:41 PM
Wow, this conversation has really changed away from the "Bang for the buck" question into where good food can be found. I therefor vote for Victoria and Albert's as the best place at WDW and we can end this thread.

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