Friday, August 29, 2008

Disney Addendum

That word always makes me think, dum da da dummm! Like a little fanfare of suspense. Ad-d-den-dummm!

yeah anyway. So the previous post is long, but I talk about food! What I wanted to say here, in a smaller post (well, maybe not smaller), is: Disney World has awesome food.

Magic Kingdom has good food, but aside from all the tasty pastries and sweets, you're mostly getting kid-friendly, boring food. We're talking burgers, chicken, chicken fingers, fried fish, fries (they have a McDonald's in Adventure Land, it's horrifying). Some places have some Mexican-type stuff, but it's a lot of boring food. (this is not to say all of it is not good, Columbia Harbor House has a lovely spinach salad, and Pecos Bill's does (or did...?) have a good taco salad). But my point is, the other parks have far better food.

Epcot, in the World Showcase, has a great variety, from all the different countries it features. Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, American Adventure (although don't bother there, it's all burgers and chicken fingers- but there are stands with turkey legs (which intrigue me, and smell good) and funnel cakes. I don't suggest funnel cakes at Disney because you can get those at any old fair, but if you don't follow the fair circuit, they are pretty good)), Morocco, France, England, Canada. I think I got them all (I left out the Outpost but they only have sodas and fresh fruit). Most of these countries have both a delicious sit-down restaurant, as well as a quick counter service place. I have eaten in most of these places (except America (boring!), Italy and Canada, but I intend to eat in Canada soon, after hearing some friends rave about it, and I've heard good things about Italy- I don't really eat pasta, so I haven't been yet, but maybe soon), and they are all top-notch. Germany has a fun show and is now a buffet, Morocco has a show as well (a belly dancer!), Norway has the princesses (fun for kids!) and Japan has a hibachi part and apparently is quite lovely, newly renovated.

Hollywood Studios (the park formerly known as MGM) also has good food, but the focus seems to be more on atmosphere than food. The Prime Time Cafe and Sci-Fi restaurants are my favorite for atmosphere, and like I said in the prev post, not so much for food (1950's fare at Prime Time- meatloaf, pot roast, chicken pot pie, mac and cheese, etc; SciFi is mostly sandwiches and milkshakes- a drive-in movie theater theme). You also have fancier restaurants like the Brown Derby, which had a very tantilizing menu. I ate there once several years ago, and didn't care to return- but I think now I would. Other places are very kid-oriented, but the Commisary, which is counter-service, has curries and other interesting things. And I'm sure there are restaurants I'm forgetting...

As for Animal Kingdom..... I'm not really sure, we only ever eat breakfast there, and it's another kid-oriented place, so I'd say chances are you won't get any gourmet dishes there, unless a chocolate-covered banana is your idea of gourmet. But I'm probably wrong in that generalization.

Finally, all of the hotels also have lovely restaurants. Any of them are definitely worth trying. Some favorites are Narcoossee's, which I mentioned, the Hawaiian Luau at the Polynesian is (was? I haven't been in years) very cool, and the Beach/Yacht Club Hotels share Beaches N' Cream, a soda fountain with amazing sundaes. Chef Mickey's at the Contempory is very fun (character dining with a buffet of good, not unusual at all, but quality food... and a soft serve bar). There are more worth mentioning that I'm leaving out, too.

And if you are traveling to Disney and staying at a Disney hotel, I highly recommend the dining plan. The dining plan is a fairly recent (just a few years ago) addition, and basically you pay $39 per person, per day for a snack, a counter-service meal (entree, soft drink, dessert) and a sit-down meal (currently same as counter-service, but used to also contain appetizer). You're left paying for tip (at sit-down) and alcohol (usually just at sit-down). It's really not a bad deal. I hear they also have meal plans that are 3 sit-downs per person, per day, for $69 (I believe), but I have yet to meet the person who could eat all that, and one that I think is 2 counter services and a snack, or something like that.

So yes, you could bring your own food to Disney World, but unless you have severe dietary restrictions, I don't suggest you do that. You don't want to miss this food.

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