We love Disney World! Not only do we love all of the great attractions and rides, plus the general atmosphere that always makes me get a little choked up at least once a day while we’re there, but we love the food at Disney World too. I’ve shared before why we’re big fans of the Disney Dining Plan, so today I thought I would share our top picks for the best quick service dining options at Walt Disney World.
What is Quick Service Dining at Walt Disney World?
There are two different types of restaurants around Walt Disney World Parks and the Resorts, as well as at Disney Springs (formerly known as Downtown Disney). There is Table Service, which are what we consider more of your “sit down” meals. These include all of the restaurants that have character experiences, as well as many others. These are typically more expensive than the Quick Service options. In addition to that, it is advised that you make reservations in advance for Table Service meals.
Quick Service Dining restaurants (or Counter Service) at Disney World are, for the most part, more like fast food options. This is not to say that it’s all burgers and fries at Quick Service restaurants. There are wonderful options at some of the Quick Service restaurants. However, they are more like a fast food restaurant in that (for the most part) you will order at a register, wait for your food at a counter, seat yourself, throw away your trash at the end, and so on. These restaurants are also less expensive than Table Service meals, but it is Disney World, so they aren’t particularly cheap.
Our Favorites: The Best Quick Service Dining Restaurants at Walt Disney World
Now that we’ve gotten the logistics of what Quick Service Dining is, I’ll share some of our favorite Quick Service Dining restaurants. Keep in mind, however, that these are just our family’s favorites (which includes a couple of pickier eaters). Your mileage may vary.
Be Our Guest
Be Our Guest is a unique mix of both Quick Service and Table Service. It’s Quick Service at lunch (and it can be difficult to get a table), and it’s Table Service at dinner (and it’s hard to get reservations). We have eaten at Be Our Guest for both dinner and lunch. Our whole family enjoyed it at both experiences. The food is tasty, the atmosphere is gorgeous, and the desserts are hard to beat.
The Master’s Cupcake at lunch time is amazing. It’s a chocolate sponge cake topped with Lumiere’s special “Grey Stuff.” Trust the dishes: the grey stuff really is delicious!
Columbia Harbour House
Columbia Harbour House can be found near the Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square. While the offerings of Columbia Harbour House used to be mostly just fried fish, they now have options like Seafood Macaroni and Cheese, Grilled Salmon, and Lobster Rolls. We like this option because there is something for everyone, even my pickier eaters that just wanted chicken nuggets.
The last time we ate there, I had the Lobster Roll and I kind of wanted to marry it. When just Eric and I went this past May for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, I was so set for a Lobster Roll again. As in, it was kind of ridiculous how badly I wanted one. Then, I made my fatal error, and forgot that it was only available on the lunch menu. This was when we were trying to go for dinner on our very last night there. Oh, the sadness.
What was left of my Lobster Roll by the time I had the presence of mind to take a picture of it.
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
Everyone in my family thought I was crazy when I told them I was putting Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe on the list. It had to go on the list anyway.
Is this really one of our favorites? No, it’s not. But, it actually is probably the Quick Service restaurant that we have eaten at the most times in any of the parks. It’s making the list just so I can give it a shout out as a restaurant that will usually be somewhere that even picky eaters can find something at, which can be a blessing when it’s meal time and a whole family can’t come to a decision on a restaurant.
Katsura Grill is in the Japan Pavilion and is one of our very favorite Quick Service dining options on the whole list. The restaurant, however, is tiny, so seating can sometimes be an issue. Our family favorites are the Teriyaki Chicken and the Teriyaki Beef. Both come with white rice and steamed vegetables. The Green Tea Cheese Cake is subtle, creamy, and delicious.
Oh, and we’ve eaten there many times, and the people working there are always so kind. Bonus!
Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie
Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie is our favorite stop in the France Pavilion. It has expanded in the last couple of years from its once small spot on Le Petit Rue, though it’s still very close to that spot. They have both savory and sweet items, though our favorite thing to do is to just stop in for dessert. Still, we love it so much that it had to make the list.
Sunshine Seasons is located in The Land area of Epcot, not far from the entrance to Soarin’. This Quick Service dining option is a win for us because there are so many choices for entrees. While it might not be the best meal you ever ate, it’s a nice chance to get a mix of foods in one spot. Plus, the desserts are pretty excellent. Our favorites from Sunshine Seasons are the Chicken Caesar Salad and the Mongolian Beef (that comes with Vegetable Fried Rice).
Honestly, we haven’t been astounded by any of the Quick Service Dining options at Hollywood Studios. They tend to be more of your standard fast food fare. However, we decided to pick one anyway, because it’s the option we tend to go for after having tried out a lot of the other Quick Service dining options:
It’s pizza. It’s Pizza Planet from Toy Story. That’s about it. It’s cute and a fun place to go if you like the Toy Story movies.
Really though, we do like the pizza that they have there, and I like that the individual pizzas come with a small Caesar salad. It’s a fun option if you’re done with burger and chicken nuggets for a while.
Just so you don’t think I’ve forgotten that Animal Kingdom exists, I thought I’d give it a shout out. However, we’ve never eaten at a Quick Service dining option at Animal Kingdom. We don’t typically spend a lot of time at Animal Kingdom, and when we’ve eaten at the park, it has typically been at either the Rainforest Cafe or Tusker House, both of which are Table Service dining options.
Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney)
Wolfgang Puck Express
Wolfgang Puck Express is a delicious Quick Service Dining option! It was my Mom’s favorite when she joined us in Disney World. (I think we ate there three times that week.) This can be a little pricier of a Quick Service dining option, so it’s one that we especially love when we have the Disney Dining Plan.
Everyone in my family can find foods they love at Wolfgang Puck Express. We were thankful that Dana from A Slob Comes Clean gave us a heads up about this wonderful find before our first trip using the Disney Dining Plan.
A note on this one: You will order at a counter, but a server will bring your food out to you. They will also help you during your meal and clear your table. So, be prepared to tip at this Quick Service dining restaurant.
Earl of Sandwich
We kept hearing awesome things about Earl of Sandwich, but every time we tried to get our kids to go there, they groaned. We finally got to try it out when it was just Eric and I at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. There was a long line, it was very busy, and then we had to hunt for a table like a hyena in the grasslands. It was, indeed, extremely tasty though. We’d definitely go back, even if our kids groaned about it. I think they’d like it if they gave it a try.
Walt Disney World Resorts
During our stays at Disney World, we have stayed at Coronado Springs, Port Orleans Riverside (twice), Art of Animation (a review of our stay at Art of Animation), Pop Century (just from 1 am until around 10 am the next morning, so it probably doesn’t really count), and Yacht Club. Our favorite Quick Service dining option at a resort is no contest though.
Riverside Mill Food Court
One of our favorite parts of staying at Port Orleans Riverside is the Riverside Mill Food Court. We like the wide variety of options, which are also great for a pickier eaters. (While Art of Animation’s Landscape of Flavors food court also had lots of choices, we just didn’t like it as much and preferred the choices at the Riverside Mill Food Court.)
I wouldn’t necessarily make a special trip to Port Orleans Riverside for the food court, but it has definitely been a factor in picking resorts for us at times.
So, what about you? Did I mention some of your favorites? If not, let me know so we know what to try next time we’re back at Disney World!
More Hacks for Your Next Disney World Vacation:
Join 40,000+ Other Awesome People
Subscribe to the Real Life at Home weekly newsletter to get our latest content, exclusive free printables, learning activities, and ideas for celebrating with your kids all year
You have to try the Backlot Express at Hollywood Studios! The burgers and REAL chicken breast pieces w/ waffles are very good! But the best thing they have is the Darkside Cupcake–Chocolate cake w/ peanut butter buttercream icing and a dark chocolate Darth Vader on top! Amazing!!
Angie Kauffman says
We’ve eaten there before and thought it was okay, but it wasn’t one of our favorites. Maybe we’ll give it another try when we go later this year, on your recommendation! 🙂 Thanks!
We are Disney freaks!!!! Have visited 4 times and cruised once. We have stayed at Pop,AOA,All stars movies x2. Our favorite was POP. We just had a blast. Our favorite park is MK hands down and I totally agree with the QS places you picked. Harbor house is amazing. We went to Epcot for the fist time in 1-2015 and we had fun. Not much for kids to do,but glad we made it. AK is a park we do not go to. Our zoo here in Omaha is one of the top 5 in the world. We like to stay 5nights/6days. We will do MK 2 days and then pick another park. We spend 1 whole day at the resort and a day for Downtown Disney. I do not like to rush around and be at rope drop. We usually get to the parks around 10 or 11 and stay till 11 at night. One year we did get a deal with free dining,but with my kids being in school and one in middle school we can no longer go during the school yr. I refuse to go in the summer and that leaves us with holidays and I do not have that kind of money. I think we are done going at this point as I have to start saving for college. But Oh all those memories are priceless and will be forever etched in our hearts.
Chrissie Conover says
Next time you’re at Animal Kingdom, you must eat at Harambe Market. There are several quick service options, side by side, plenty of seating, and musicians! 4 adults and 2 picky kids loved their meals!!
Angie Kauffman says
We’ll have to give that one a try. Thanks for the suggestion!