What are the best quick service restaurants at Disney World?
The answer to that question is certainly highly influenced by personal opinion. You’ll likely hear a different answer from anyone you ask.
Even in my own household, we have four different sets of answers because we all have different tastes in food and theming, and the kids don’t care about prices!
Before we get too far into a discussion about the best quick service at Disney World, let’s pause to define what quick service is.
Quick service restaurants at Disney World are counter service dining locations that do not require reservations, may offer indoor or outdoor seating, and are among the cheapest dining establishments in the parks. At these locations, you place your order at a counter (or mobile ordering, where available, via the My Disney Experience app) and then bring your tray of food to a table of your choosing. Quick service restaurants are great choices for guests on a budget or who simply want to keep their park days more spontaneous and not be tied to specific dining reservations.
Since everyone will have their own definition of what makes a quick service restaurant the “best,” we need to lay out some criteria that we can use to compare them equally.
First, the food obviously has to be great. That’s a no-brainer.
On the topic of food, the menu should be diverse. There has to be enough options that everyone in the family can find something they like on the menu.
There are fantastic small food kiosks in the parks that offer some of my favorite meals including The Yorkshire County Fish Shop at Epcot’s United Kingdom pavilion. However, fish and chips is quite literally the only entree on the menu. Anyone who isn’t in the mood for fish and chips is out of luck, so this location isn’t in the running for these rankings.
Now, where are you going to eat this meal? The best quick service restaurants must offer ample seating. Again, this nixes lots of food kiosks serving great food because they typically have little to no seating nearby. At the best quick service restaurants, you shouldn’t have the added stress of hunting for a table. Outdoor seating in the fresh air is also a plus during these pandemic times.
Mobile order ability is a must. This was always a huge time-saver pre-Covid and an absolute necessity now.
The menu must not be too pricey. Quick service restaurants represent the lowest price point for meals at Disney World. They’re great for those on a budget, so I’m not going to recommend quick service restaurants that creep into the table service price range.
Lastly, the restaurant should ideally be open right now. I would have placed this criteria first because restaurants where you can actually eat right now should be prioritized, but my top pick in one of the parks remains closed as of this writing and I’m just hoping now that it’ll reopen soon!
So, here’s the criteria that will be reviewed when choosing the best quick service in each Disney World park:
- Great food
- Large menu
- Plenty of seating – ideally outdoors
- Mobile ordering available
- Good value
- Open now!
Now, let’s journey park by park and discuss the best quick service restaurants at Disney World!
Best Quick Service at Magic Kingdom
Columbia Harbour House
See, right away, I’m ignoring the “open now” criteria by naming Columbia Harbour House the best quick service restaurant at Magic Kingdom!
The reason is that it’s by far the top quick service restaurant in a park where quality meal options are seriously lacking.
I simply had to make this exception!
So, if you’re headed to Disney World soon, skip to the Magic Kingdom contenders list, but definitely keep Columbia Harbour House in mind if your trip is still months away. Let’s all hope it’ll be open by then.
Columbia Harbour House serves a New England-inspired seafood menu of fried and grilled fish, lobster rolls, New England clam chowder, and chicken options for landlubbers.
Here, you’ll enjoy solid quick service seafood at a decent price along with plenty of non-fish alternatives. And, while standard french fries are available as a side with most entrees, so are vegetables, house-made chips, and hush puppies which allow you to complete one of the more unique or healthier quick service meals in the Disney parks.
Columbia Harbour House also earns top marks for seating. The indoor dining space is huge with a variety of tables on two levels. Outdoor space is also available.
Mobile order? Check! The ordering line regularly wraps out the door and there’s no reason to wait with mobile ordering.
Entrees fall in the standard Disney quick service $10-$15 range, making this a good value for your Disney dollars.
The only downfall of Columbia Harbour House is that pesky detail of not being open yet!
Other Magic Kingdom Quick Service Contenders
So, what’s the best quick service at Magic Kingdom that’s currently open?
You’ll want to head on over to Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe over in Frontierland by Splash Mountain. Pecos Bill’s is Tex-Mex heaven with a large menu that includes fajitas, nachos, southwest salads, rice bowls, and burgers.
Beyond Pecos Bill, quality quick service meal choices are slim at Magic Kingdom and my next recommendation is actually to leave the park. That suggestion isn’t as ridiculous as it may sound!
Even while the parks are operating on a one-park-per-day schedule or if you have a base ticket when park hopping is offered again, you are still allowed to leave a park and return during the day as long as you return to the same park. So, you may leave Magic Kingdom and return to Magic Kingdom later in the day.
With several excellent quick service restaurants right outside the Magic Kingdom gates, taking a break from the park to enjoy a delicious meal nearby is a fantastic option.
You can’t go wrong with hopping on the resort monorail to Gasparilla Island Grill at the Grand Floridian Resort. Place your mobile order on the My Disney Experience app on your way there!
Take a boat ride to Wilderness Lodge where you’ll find two of my favorite quick service restaurants on Disney property – Geyser Point Bar & Grill and Roaring Fork. Both offer great food and ample outdoor seating.
And walking to the Contemporary Resort may be the easiest of all. Enjoy a meal at Contempo in the resort’s main concourse.
Best Quick Service at Epcot
Epcot is easily the park with the best variety of quality quick service restaurants. Tangierine Cafe in Morocco, La Cantina de San Angel in Mexico, and Les Halles Boulangerie and Patisserie in France are just a few that I *highly* recommend.
However, the best quick service restaurant in Epcot has got to be Sunshine Seasons.
Located in The Land pavilion near the front of the park in Future World, the menu is the largest you’ll find at any quick service restaurant at Disney World. You’re practically guaranteed to find something everyone will love on the menu.
Pulled pork, power salads, burgers, pizza, rotisserie chicken, seafood … Sunshine Seasons has something for everyone at economical price points.
Seating is only available indoors which isn’t ideal in this current environment. However, there is ample seating spread out over a large open space in the middle of a voluminous pavilion that is flooded with natural light from large windows above.
Of course, mobile order is available and this restaurant reopened with the parks in the summer of 2020, so Sunshine Seasons ticks off nearly all of the criteria for what the best quick service at Epcot should be!
Other Contenders for Best Quick Service at Epcot
If you find yourself over in World Showcase at meal time, Mexico’s La Cantina de San Angel is ideal. The only issue to report with La Cantina is that the seating area is on the small side and finding a table can be difficult at peak meal time. However, seating is entirely outdoors. The Mexican menu provides many unique offerings for quick service. Nachos and tacos are pretty standard, but my favorite meal here is the empanadas.
Regal Eagle Smokehouse has the largest indoor and outdoor seating areas in World Showcase and serves American barbecue. Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie serves delicious French sandwiches, though seating is limited. Morocco’s Tangerine Cafe, when open, is my top pick for unique, delicious, and healthy quick service fare in World Showcase.
Best quick service at Hollywood Studios
This is the most difficult park to find quality quick service meals, so Backlot Express is being named best quick service at Hollywood Studios by default.
On the plus side, there is lots of seating available. You won’t have trouble finding an empty table.
Prices are also very economical, starting under $10 for salad or chicken.
Located beside Star Tours, this is also the restaurant where you’ll find nods to Star Wars in the form of reusable sippers or specialty entrees.
I’m simply not excited about this choice because it’s basically a burger-and-chicken joint. The menu is simple and what you’d expect to find at a quick service restaurant. But the burgers, sandwiches, salads, chicken, and plant-based entrees will satisfy your meal needs so you can get on with your Hollywood Studios day.
Other Contenders at Hollywood Studios
Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge offers a unique quick service menu. However, its meat-based entrees begin at $13.99 and climb to $18.99, which is pricier than some table service meals at Disney World. The food presentation and atmosphere at Docking Bay 7 are certainly unique and, as the largest restaurant in Galaxy’s Edge, it’s the most convenient place to get a meal during your adventures in Batuu.
Woody’s Lunch Box in Toy Story Land is another top pick with an adorable location in Andy’s backyard, delicious sandwiches, and exclusively outdoor seating. Unfortunately, this restaurant hasn’t yet reopened.
Best Quick Service at Animal Kingdom
With so many fantastic quick service locations to choose from, picking the top quick service restaurant at Animal Kingdom is a difficult decision and Satu’li Canteen is just one of several that could make the top of a “best of” list.
The menu at Satu’li Canteen mostly consists of build-your-own rice and noodle bowls. First, pick your beef, chicken, shrimp, or tofu protein. Then, choose a base of potato hash, noodles, rice and beans, or salad. Finally, select one of the sauces.
The adult cheeseburger steamed pod portion recently made a triumphant return to the adult menu. These bao buns are filled with a delicious mix of ground beef and typical hamburger condiments.
The standard side offered at Satu’li Canteen is house-made vegetable chips – no french fries here!
Obviously, the menu isn’t standard quick service fare and prices are reasonable.
Seating at Satu’li Canteen is split fairly evenly between inside and a covered outdoor space.
Always use mobile ordering to save time waiting in line. It’s especially beneficial here due to the nature of the build-your-own bowls that are much easier when the app steps you through the process!
Contenders for Best Quick Service at Animal Kingdom
You’ll find Flame Tree Barbecue on most “best quick service at Disney World” lists for good reason. The ribs, smoked chicken, and pulled pork here are fantastic. And there’s plenty of waterfront outdoor seating to enjoy your meal. However, those ribs come at a higher price point and the menu is limited to barbecue so it’s not ideal for a family with varying taste preferences.
Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes (not to be confused with its table service neighbor, Yak & Yeti Restaurant) is another solid quick service choice at Animal Kingdom serving Asian fare in a large outdoor seating area. The honey chicken, tikka masala, sweet-and-sour shrimp, and egg rolls are welcomed departures from standard quick service choices. The main strike against Yak & Yeti is its absence of mobile ordering.
What are your picks for the best quick service at Disney World?