When traveling to Walt Disney World we seem to go against what so many other people do: while I love all the different restaurants Disney has to offer, filling our days with ADR’s, Advance Dining Reservations for the novice, takes more time then we want to spend and doesn’t always fit into our budget. Fast food restaurants in World Showcase have so much more than the typical hamburger fare. While these counter service locations do not have the fancy silverware, the linen napkins, or the attentive server; we find the more relaxed atmosphere suits us just fine. We can choose where we eat and when, since most days, two meals is the norm.We do plan on one full service restaurant meal each trip. On occasion, we have done two such meals, if we plan to be there more than a week, but generally one is more than enough. We save the nicer meals for special occasions, such as birthdays or anniversaries. Sometimes a nice meal is needed for a change of pace, which was the case on our last trip. My husband is still recovering from sticker shock on that one, when we visited the Les Chefs De France.
Our trips to Walt Disney World do not always coincide with the Food and Wine Festival, so we really enjoy World Showcase to give us that around the world taste. The many counter-services have country flavor and individual servings to choose from, without breaking the bank.
Mexico is our first stop with a margarita and some nachos or tacos, more than enough for two or more people. Moving to your next stop at Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe for some awesome pastries, sandwiches or rice cream.
Strolling clock-wise you enter China and the ambiance of the Beijing Temple of Heaven. The egg rolls at Lotus Blossom Café are great to grab and go. Make sure to plan on returning another day for red bean or ginger ice cream – they will be a pleasant surprise.
Next on our tour is Germany for a yummy brat and maybe a German beer. By now you could be getting full, unless you have been sharing with others in your party. With Italy next in line, it is a good time to stop and smell the roses or rose’ I should say and enjoy sitting by the gondolas to let your food settle. Hint – the bathrooms are just to the right of Italy.
The American Adventure is next up, so if you are really graving an all American meal, check out the hamburger or barbecue sandwich at Liberty Inn. There is plenty of seating inside, but the picnic tables in front under the shade trees seem a lot more relaxing.
Taking our time with a leisurely walk, Japan is up next. Sushi is on my must-have list in Japan. Notice I said mine and not my husband’s! It just isn’t something he likes, but they do have other things available such as Shogun Combination with teriyaki chicken, sukiyaki and rice or maybe a Ginger Salad. If you are a real enthusiast for trying different drinks from around the world, try the sake’ or Ichiban draft beer.
Still walking clock-wise, Morocco is next. You will find yourself in the back of the pavilion before you know it as you browse through the connected stores. The Tangerine Café is a real hidden treasure. Here you can find specialty wraps with lamb or chicken and platters served with a side hummus, couscous salad and fresh Moroccan bread. Typical of the other countries, you will also find local beer, liqueurs and wine.
My favorite counter-service is next in France, the Patisserie. They have the most delicious pastries, along with ham & cheese croissants, baguette and cheese plates. It is so easy to let your inner Parisian come out while sitting and enjoy a French snack along with a drink of your choice.
United Kingdom is right across the bridge where you can find English Beer, fish and chips. By the time I get here, I don’t have the room for fish and chips, but chips and shortbread are available ala carte.
Canada is the only country that does not have counter service, but Canadian beer is available.
Obviously, there a lot of options at the counter-service locations around World Showcase. It is a good idea to share with everyone in your party as you “graze” your way around the world. You’ll find yourself enjoying things you normally wouldn’t order in some of the sit-down restaurants….and saving money too!
Debbie and her husband live in Collegedale, TN where her youngest son is going to college. She is a huge Disney fan who dreams of someday retiring and working as a tour guide at Walt Disney World. She has enjoyed many trips to WDW with children, grandchildren and sometimes adults only. It is her ultimate goal to make sure everyone who visits WDW has the same magical time that she enjoys every time she visits.