What in the (Walt Disney) World to Eat????

Discussion in 'Disney Chat' started by Addicted to Alice Pins, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins The Llama Lady (aka Alpaca Ann)

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    OK, beautiful people! Your input is greatly valued on this topic.

    We're heading to WDW again this fall. We've been doing this trip every year since 2013, and I've realized that I'm becoming complacent. Going to Disneyland in April really reinvigorated my sense of Wonder and Magic, and I want to infuse this WDW trip with similar vibes.

    So: Gimme all your recommendations for places to eat, favorite snacks to grab, etc. The World is vast. There are huge swathes that I haven't explored. I may not explore all of them this time--but help me identify new wonders to discover. Don't overlook the "obvious" stuff because maybe I've been a food snob and need a kick in the butt. :D

    I decided that I needed this thread when BFF and I were having lunch with JJ (@Jabberwocky) in LA and she was talking about Beaches and Cream. And I realized: Wow, we keep doing the same things over and over (cuz they're great and we like them) so how many other things am I missing???? So thanks, friend, for the spark!

    Now ... GO!!!!!
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  2. hopemax

    hopemax DPF Charter Member DPF Charter Member

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    WDW is a wasteland of overpriced, boring food choices. The meal plan has incentivized WDW to make meals for as cheap as they can get away with. And they have to make the meal plan seem like "good value" so they keep rising the menu prices to the point where people paying out of pocket, look and wonder what is WDW smoking.

    Can you tell I have issues. When my parents moved down in 2005, our visits were full of "where are we going to eat this time," and now we try to avoid eating on property at all costs. I can recommend 4Rivers barbecue in Winter Garden, Burger Fi in Windermere, Stonington's Fried Shrimp off Kirkman road a couple miles north of Universal. But that's probably not what you are looking for, lol.

    Where we do continue to eat. Nutella & Fruit waffle from Sleepy Hollow in MK, the new restaurant in Pandora, food & wine booths in Epcot. The patisserie in France (although seating is such a pain). Even though it's been years since we have personally eaten there, I think the buffets at Boma still hold up. And I really liked our lunch at Sanaa at Kidani Village at AKL. But my Dad didn't, so we don't go back. Snacks, I am a Dole Whip girl, but I also enjoy the Citrus Swirl and Kaki Gori in Epcot and Mango Slushy from the China quick service restaurant (although their machine breaks too often). WDW has systematically removed everything we deem "edible" from DHS (so I hope the counter service in Toy Story Land has something worth while, but all I've really heard is what they have already eliminated).

    What do you normally do?
  3. TheMickeyMouseRules

    TheMickeyMouseRules Cat Expert Mouse Authority and Paperfolder

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    I like the patisserie in France, so glad that is still on your list. :)
  4. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins The Llama Lady (aka Alpaca Ann)

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    Hope, you are the jolliest grump I've ever met. :D But you'll help me sort the wheat from the junk, ha ha.

    Normally, if it's Food & Wine (which it will be this time), I obsessively create a spreadsheet and work my way through it. :D But I want to broaden my options. I feel like last year I enjoyed myself but the drive to knock stuff off the list almost created a situation in which I was barely aware of what I was eating. (I was also still in the throes of grief and half-assing life, despite the outward effort of ... full-cheeking it. Ha.)

    Boma is a staple of ours (I hate buffets as a rule, but that one is just darned good, and not the "same old" flavor profiles). Other than that, I honestly don't know what we do. Eat as the mood strikes, I guess. I think my problem with that is that when the mood strikes, we flounder depending on where we are. And since, as you pointed out, there is plenty of meh food to lay hands on quickly, someone in our party may decide "let's just eat here," and "here" may actually offend my food snob sensibilities. (Everything doesn't need to be Fancy. But everything should be TASTY.)

    So I guess I'm looking for two things:

    Recommended restaurants that I may want to look into/book ahead, based on our planned park days

    Snacks and quick service options that are WORTH IT so that if we "audible" instead of booking meals, I will have a go-to list to hand.

    You can tell me Disneyland has superior park food and I won't necessarily argue (mostly cuz I'll lose if I argue with you, ha ha). But I think it helped a TON that y'all had loaded me with food suggestions so when I started getting that "Feed me, Seymour!!!" feeling, I had preconceived notions of how to answer that urge. I didn't wander aimlessly for hours, getting hangrier, until I just broke down and bought/consumed something that I didn't even like/want. Desperation is not always a tender trap, Hope.
  5. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins The Llama Lady (aka Alpaca Ann)

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    I should add: I'm willing to navigate out to the resorts if I get a really "do not miss" recommendation for something. We'll be there long enough, and I've been there often enough, that I'm not averse to leaving the actual parks for a while. Or going someplace later in the evening, when the grown-ups are in bed. :p
  6. Tokaji

    Tokaji Pins and Needles

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    Interesting that you feel this way. I've only been once, but we had some great experiences with food (and some really mediocre ones as well). Keep in mind that the wife and I avoided almost all of the traditional "American" fare while we were there, unless there was no other option. None of that food stood out as anything special (there was one BBQ place I think in AK that was pretty good). Here's what did:

    Tangierine Cafe: I can't say enough about how much we loved this place. It's food is delicious, plentiful, and best of all cheap because it's counter service. We split a meal and while it wasn't quite enough, a little snack or baklava topped us off just fine.

    Be Our Guest: Is it expensive? Yep. Is it a pain to get into? Yep. Is it worth it? You bet your ass. Hands down my favorite of the 6 or 7 sit-down places we ate at while there. Their food was inspired, well-cooked, and for being borderline safe it was incredibly flavorful. Sit in the West Wing for atmosphere (and to meet Beast after, sometimes!)

    Tokyo Dining: Second favorite sit down spot. Portions are huge and well-priced (I got the steak "bento box" for $20 and it came not only with an enormous steak, but half a roll of sushi, some veggies, and gyoza dumplings). Everything is delicious, and if you get there right at opening you can watch their little opening ceremony, which is really neat (we did this on accident).

    Sana'a and Boma: Both of these restaurants are very good and have very interesting options that appeal to different palates. Some of WDW's "ethnic" foods aren't very good (more on that later), but these two both did a very good job of creating dishes that were somewhat authentic in flavor but still approachable to an American audience.


    Restaurant Marrakesh: This one did not do justice to the ethnic food and most of it was bland or overcooked when we went. For being cuisine that prides itself on using spices and a large variety of flavors, the food was a disappointment (and our waiter, who was from Morocco, agreed wholeheartedly).

    Coral Reef: Another sit-down with very bland and uninteresting options, and this is coming from someone who loves seafood. However, they have great desserts and there's a giant aquarium in the place, so it's fun, I guess.

    Cosmic Cafe: One of the standard American burger places, but man is it bland, overpriced, and just not great food.

    Obviously, these are just the opinions of two travelers who've only been to each of these places once, so take it all with a grain of salt. I generally find that WDW food is best when it's trying to be a bit more adventurous, so that's what we looked for. We didn't really do much with the snacks (except Frushi, which was kinda nasty), so I can't speak much to that.

    Hope this helps
  7. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins The Llama Lady (aka Alpaca Ann)

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    It does! Especially "Where to Eat in Morocco," because I've been intrigued by both of those restaurants so your assessment of which you preferred is helpful.

    For the larger discussion, perhaps I should specify that I like

    Yak & Yeti
    Frontera (in Disney Springs)

    I just don't necessarily need to eat at the same places every time. Thus, this thread. And honestly, I think the most memorable bite I've had on the past two trips was the poutine from the stand in Disney Springs. Which I only had because BFF and I went to Disney Springs one night without his mother, and we decided we were hungry but not THAT hungry, so we split a poutine. Like, I went to Tiffins and loved the hell out of it (my foodie heart was singing! like Julie Andrews in the Alps!), and yet I'm sitting here now going, poutinnnnnneeeeeeeee.

    So, ya know. :D
  8. LittleBird

    LittleBird Well-Known Member

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    I second Tangierine Cafe. We haven't been there in years, but it was one of our favorite meals of that trip.
  9. hopemax

    hopemax DPF Charter Member DPF Charter Member

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    This is what happens when we go to WDW, so it's not just you. I just try to be better at eating before we even make it to WDW property. Which again doesn't help you. Every trip, I go down and I look at the Disney Food Blog to see if I've missed something and that there is a diamond in the rough somewhere waiting to be found. Part of the problem is my dairy issues. So things like the Mac n Cheese at the Friar's Nook window in MK, I have to avoid. With the exception of Epcot, WDW food choices basically breakdown into: burgers (inedible), pizza (mostly inedible), fried fish/shrimp/chicken nuggets (good for 1 meal), barbecue (actually pretty good, but you can't eat that for 7 days in a row).

    I did see a new entree that looked interesting at Harambe Market, the roasted vegetables option. Take a Break From Your African Safari to Try the New Harambe Market Pork Sausage The trick will be finding something else in Harambe Market for my Dad to eat, because he would not go for sweet potatoes. I'm actually not really a cauliflower person but like you say about desperation. But that reminded me, we also like the chicken fried rice at the counter service part of Yak & Yeti. I try not to speak about that too loudly, because you get a decent portion for like $5.

    The other big problem we have is we know how it "used to be." Jason and I like the Tangierine Cafe, but my Dad doesn't. And the last time we ate there it was really dry and tasteless. Our meal at Be Our Guest when the restaurant opened in 2010 was spectacular. For the next several trips, I would jump through all sorts of hoops to get a reservation (which is a real pain when you don't book your trips more than 2 months out) but with each time, the food just kept getting worse and worse until the last time where the potato & leek soup was just a watery broth with cold chucks of potato in it (I have read they have eliminated it altogether now, but during CM previews it was one of the best things I had ever had at WDW).
  10. DisneyJ

    DisneyJ RIP Jack

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    We loved going to Narcoossee's (Grand Floridian)
  11. Purplemandms

    Purplemandms Like the candy!

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    You should come to eat with me!!!! (My move in date is 8/13 )

    I admit that my family an I kind of stick to the same places to eat, which are:

    * 50’s Prime Time Cafe (Hollywood studios - great milkshakes, best pot roast ever)
    * Chefs du France (Epcot - best French onion soup on earth!)
    * Coral Reef (Epcot - awesome atmosphere)
    * Tony’s Town Square (Magic Kingdom)
    * Any place with Dole Whip (Adventureland, Harambe Market)
    * The Wave (Contemporary - always easy to get a reservation, really good seasonal dishes)
    * Satu’li Canteen (Animal Kingdom - Best quick service!)
    * Yak n Yeti (Animal Kingdom)
    * Jiko (Animal Kingdom Lodge, have only been there once but enjoyed it)
    * Whispering Canyon Cafe (Fort Wilderness - cute atmosphere! Great burgers.)

    And if you’re feeling reaaaaally fancy:

    * 1900 Park Fare (Grand Floridian - go for breakfast)
    * Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Epcot - go for lunch)
    * Cinderella’s table (good luck getting a reservation)
    * Le Cellier (very very very expensive. I’d say go to France, but it depends on your party.)

    With my new disney employee perks, there are a bunch of places that have been recommended to me that I want to try, like

    * Hoop de Doo Revue
    * Diamond Horseshoe
    * O’Hana
    * Artist’s Pointe
    * Citricos
    * California Grill
    * Sanaa
    * Tiffins
    * Boma
    * Trail’s End

    Here’s what I would not reccomend:

    * Flying Fish (Boardwalk)
    * The plaza (Magic Kingdom)

    Both are pretty overpriced in my opinion.

    Overall, I would say that it’s worth the trip out to the resorts to go to their restaurants (and to see the decor!). Also, if you want to split up Magic Kingdom into two halves of the day, taking a break and going to the Wave is a great plan. (And it’s not too far from the parks.)

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. LittleBird

    LittleBird Well-Known Member

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    She already has one. :D
  13. Purplemandms

    Purplemandms Like the candy!

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    Oh man if I had my computer I would put in SUCH a sassy gif
  14. watzshakinbacon

    watzshakinbacon B for Belle or B for bacon?

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    All I'll say is that Ann totally is a food snob. If you follow her IG, all the food she eats look ssooooooo yummy! :p
  15. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins The Llama Lady (aka Alpaca Ann)

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    DUH. I was planning to message you when we're closer to arrival. :D We'll be there in mid September.

    Ohhhh the cat is out of the bag! (Extra joke in there for Emily. ;) ) Yuppers, that was a PITA to get but through dumb luck and perseverance, I managed it. AND I'M SO EXCITED!!!! Before anybody rains on my parade, I have reasonable expectations for the food. I just really, really, REALLY want to say I've eaten in the castle. (What do those buttons always say? I'm just here for the Instagram pix!)

    Ha ha ha. That's because BF finds all these places he wants to try! It's like a hobby. Other people do sports and crafts. We eat. :D
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  16. Tokaji

    Tokaji Pins and Needles

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    Speaking of Disney Springs, how could I forget Raglan Road! I'd go there and just eat an entire basket of bread with the Guiness/oil/dip. Holy cow is that something spectacular. I got the deconstructed seafood chowder which was definitely the best piece of seafood I ate at Disney.
  17. Purplemandms

    Purplemandms Like the candy!

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    1000% jealous. I don’t know my work schedule but I’ve been hunting for reservations at Cinderella’s around my birthday for birthday reasons. (Reservation for 1, please.)
  18. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins The Llama Lady (aka Alpaca Ann)

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    We did Sunday brunch at Raglan Road a couple trips ago. We sat right in front of the stage and got to enjoy the music and dancing while we ate. I enjoyed it, and the food was really good--I just realized in hindsight that loading up on heavy Irish fare was not the wisest choice before heading into a long day at the parks. Ha ha. A nap would have been better. :D
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  19. Tokaji

    Tokaji Pins and Needles

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    It's definitely a dinner place. We went to Springs after checking into our hotel and spent the evening there. Raglan Road definitely gave us a good first taste of what Disney food could be and gave us some energy for the adventures of the next day.
  20. Addicted to Alice Pins

    Addicted to Alice Pins The Llama Lady (aka Alpaca Ann)

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    I hope you get one! Persistence pays off, though! Search at random times during the day, every day, until you get a hit. Ha ha.

    Our trip was not booked when the 180-day dining window opened up (and I thought we'd be going later in the fall anyway). When my BFF finally dropped the dates on me, I went flying over to the reservations page and got nada for any time of day, any day of our trip. But I am obsessive and compulsive, so I just started checking two or three times per day, figuring if there was ANY cancellation, anywhere, I would try to nab it. (I was also ruthless enough to consider ditching my party in whole or in part if it made a difference in finding a table. Ha!)

    When did I finally get a hit? When I was cooking dinner and *literally* had the microwave, the broiler, and all four burners on the stovetop going. IDK what possessed me to check at that moment, but I had checked the broiler, stirred each pot, grabbed my phone to appease my obsessive mind, got a hit, and was like OMG OMG OMG. My hands were shaking. I booked it, then called my BFF with the phone wedged between ear and shoulder (because I had to stir all my pots again), and when he answered I just yelled, "I CAN'T EVEN TALK TO YOU RIGHT NOW BUT WE'RE GOING TO CINDERELLA'S ROYAL TABLE." Followed by, "I hope y'll want to go, cuz I had to pay for it upfront!" Ha ha ha. (For the record, everyone wants to go. Phew!)
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  21. bookhugger

    bookhugger I love books!

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    So jealous. I haven't been yet.
  22. hopemax

    hopemax DPF Charter Member DPF Charter Member

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    You guys know about the "WDW Dining Reservation Finder" at TouringPlans.com, right?

    You don't need a paid subscription. Go to subscribe, click on WDW, don't fill out anything. But on the right column there is something about sign up for "basic subscription." Then go to

    Disney World Dining Reservation Finder
  23. chubs191

    chubs191 Beautiful Tomorrow Admirer

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    Ann! I shall help guide you on a culinary experience you will never forget! I have eaten at almost every establishment possible.

    All over the resorts, their packaged cookies and packaged flavored popcorn are very good.


    • Knowing your flavor profile, if you're in Magic Kingdom, I would try the Skipper Canteen. They just revamped their menu, and it's got a balanced palate to it. Also, the atmosphere is amazing in it.
    • Also in the Magic Kingdom there's a new Peter Pan drink. I haven't tried it, but I have mixed reviews. I hear if you like the Orange Swirl, you'll like it.
    • You can also get the Purple Wall in Tomorrowland Terrace before 4. Still trying to get that one, since Taro is my favorite milk tea, but haven't managed to get to MK before 4.
    • My other favorite snack is the Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle at Sleepy Hollow.
    • Casey's Corner also has a monthly hot dog they serve, but I'm not a fan of hot dogs. Also, their corn dogs are now hand dipped, so they're much tastier now.
    • There's also a churro ice cream sandwich that just started I believe in the ice cream shop.
    • I ate at Cinderella Castle with their revamped menu a little over a year ago, and it was amazing. They also have some of the best service I've ever had in Disney Resorts.
    • I think Be Our Guest is a little overrated, but I'm not a fan of French cuisine. The grey stuff is delicious as well as the French Onion soup.
    • Le Fou's brew in Gaston's Tavern is really refreshing on a hot day. Kinda similar in flavor to Butterbeer.
    • I like going to Pecos Bill's for a quick service if I'm super hungry, because you can load lots of ingredients and make taco salad as a side.


    Epcot is fantastic for Food and Wine, but there are some really great snacks all around the world.

    • In Futureworld there is a popcorn cart right outside Journey into Imagination, if you have a refillable popcorn bucket, they will refill it with their delicious flavored popcorn for $1.50.
    • If you're in Canada, they also have fresh made maple popcorn that my friend simply cannot live without every time we go.
    • There may also be the creamsicle cupcake at the Starbucks that's not to be missed by citrus swirl fans.
    • I'm a fan of the school bread in Norway, but I understand it's an acquired taste.
    • Also, stop at the tea cart in China, it has some really good teas and adult beverages.
    • Don't check out the new gelato cart, but it's just normal gelato, so you can get it everywhere.
    • What I really recommend for a cold treat is Les Halles Des Glaces in France, they always have great flavors.
    • They always have interesting flavors at the funnel cake stand their trying out.
    • I also sometimes grab a snack or two from Japan in Mitsukoshi, AP discount applies.
    • For a sit down meal, I actually don't have any favorites in Epcot. I just ate at Garden Grill recently, the salad was the only standout fare in that meal.
    • I also think Le Cellier is overpriced, but they have a new pre-fixe lunch menu that might be worth checking out if you like their F&W food.
    • If you really want to spend some money, the supposed second best restaurant in all of WDW is hidden in France, Monsieur Paul. It's got the price tag to prove it as well.
    I just realized I only like to snack in Epcot, but that's not a bad thing.

    Hollywood Studios:

    • Carrot Cake cookie, I've been boycotting this since they moved it to Starbucks. It's a dollar more, there's less volume and I don't get my discount. But it's really good. So... Try it if you haven't before.
    • I haven't tried Baseline quite yet, but I'm sure I will in August.
    • If any of the quick service carts around Echo Lake are open when you're there, check them out.
    • Andy's box lunch: everything tastes how you think it would. Try the punch and the tarts, they're the standouts.
    • Everything else is overpriced.
    • The Sci-Fi dine-in provides an interesting atmosphere, but I would only go there for milkshakes to see what it's like.
    • I also admit that the 50's prime time cafe is not something I've eaten at, because I'm not a fan of American food all that much.

    • Flame Tree Barbecue has a really good drink: the mandarin orange Lemonade.
    • I'd also try the Pongu Pongu in Pandora. The Night Blossom was good.
    • And Satu'li Canteen (I call it Saluteen for short) has really good bowls. They are not overrated. I love them.
    I think everything else has been covered for AK by everyone.


    Excuse me if this is the longest of the lists I'm just going to separate it by category:

    • Olivia's cafe: BEST BREAKFAST (Boma may be tied)
    • The WAVE: BEST BRUNCH BUFFET (I haven't been able to try Top of the World, yet, so that distinction may be changing)
    • Kona Cafe: 2ND BEST BREAKFAST.
    • Sanaa (You've already eaten there)
    • Tea Time at the Grand Floridian (Soooo much fun putting on dresses and being fancy for a short while)
    • Ohana
    • Boma
    • Flying Fish (only if you have a CM with you)
    • Victoria and Alberts (gunning to do this within a year)
    Snacks and Drinks:

    The monorail crawl is fun. I haven't done the official one yet, but I do the non-official one. Which includes Trader Sams at the Poly (please go here if you haven't before), Mizner's at Grand Floridian, and the Outer Rim at the Contemporary. If you feel like adding a boat trip to your fun, go to the Wilderness Lodge for the Territory Lounge.
    • Scat Cat at Port Orleans has boozy beignets.
    • Boardwalk has a newish ice cream place called Ample Hills. I prefer France, but my sis prefers here.
    • Beaches and Cream is fun. I went there way too many time when I was young, so I don't really go there anymore.
    • Jock Lindsay's is such a good place to drink. There's so many Indiana Jones nods and cool places to sit.
    • Morimoto is good, but I would go there for the lunch special
    • Amorette's is expensive, but has good pastries.
    • Blaze is your standard made to order pizza
    • Art Smith is sooo good if you like southern comfort food. They also have a bottle that you can buy for unlimited booze
    • D-Luxe burger. I'm not sure how other people view this place, but I love it for how cheap it is for me.
    • I heard from people that Enzo's hideaway is fun to experience.
    • Haven't been to the Edison yet, but heard good things. It's too pricey for me to go to yet.
    • Skip the new menu at Planet Hollywood

    If I remember anything else, I'll post it.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
  24. LittleBird

    LittleBird Well-Known Member

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    There are also some really good packaged trail mixes around. My favorite has peanuts so I can only eat it when I'm with my sister and not my allergic boys. (Mmmm... forbidden peanuts.)

    We like Pecos Bill for quick service too. You can definitely load up and customize and end up with a lot of Tex Mex-style food (which I like) for a decent price.
  25. timeerkat

    timeerkat Your Friend Who Likes To Play

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    There are three items that to this day I get cravings for every once in awhile, and they are all in EPCOT:

    ~ Cronut from Canada. While I was out for LIAA last year, it was the end of the second day of the event, it was pouring outside, we had been stuck in the trading hall for an hour because of lightning, I was exhausted and had a headache but DAMNIT I was getting my cronut. I stood under the awning of the food stall watching the pouring rain and eating my cronut and it was SO. GOOD.
    ~ Watermelon paleta from Mexico
    ~ Vegetable cottage pie from Rose and Crown. Looking at their menu it seems to have changed a bit (adding cauliflower cream sauce and goat cheese and piccalilli), but if those flavors appeal to you it would be worth the try.

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