That's right kids, no cooks for me this week. Instead of trying my best to turn a beef tenderloin into perfectly cooked filet mignons, I spent my tax refund on a trip to Disney World! Now before you start flipping channels on me, let's talk about food. See, from my experience vacations can go one of two ways on this. It is either amazing meals which you would normally never experience, or it is just food which never gets thought of again.
So let's talk about Walt Disney World for a bit here. It is a theme park, yes. But it is more than that, it is a city of its own. The Disney World property includes 4 theme parks, 29 resorts, and over 200 places to get food! So we got a lot to cover. First off let's get rid the misconception of Disney is going to give you overpriced garbage food and that is your only option. It is a theme park, it is seriously expensive, but you can get some incredible eats!
For me, this was a last minute trip which means I had no chance of getting reservations in any of the amazing restaurants. Ultimately, if you do not plan ahead and make dinner reservations, you are stuck. So that leaves me with what Disney calls quick service.
From the resort to the park there are tons of quick service places to eat. Quick Service is basically fast food. No servers, you wait in line and order off a menu board. But the beautiful part of Disney is that doesn't mean shitty food. Yes, you can get chicken fingers and a burger at 90% of them, but there is a lot more you can get. See Disney World, beyond a theme park, is about an immersive experience. They use everything including the food available to take you on your journey.
So while traveling through Adventureland, I can pick up a Dole Whip. Which is pineapple flavored soft-serve ice cream served in a cup of real Pineapple Juice. Likewise, when I am in the Asia section of Animal Kingdom I can grab a Kobe Beef Cheeseburger. When you jump over to the World Showcase in Epcot, you can quite literally eat your way around the world.
Now for me, I had no advance planning for restaurants and even worse than that I had 6 people other than myself to provide for. So this would be not the foodies take on Disney, but more the typical dad's take...I am looking for budget and convenience and anything else is the whipped cream on top.
Let me run through my favorites...
First, at the resort, and just about everywhere, while there are burgers and chicken fingers there are also pulled pork sandwiches. Now, this isn't my slow smoked pork shoulder by any means, but it beat the hell out of the alternative. The Magic Kingdom will give you Turkey Legs & Dole Whips.
Jump over to Epcot where you can walk country to country picking your food. From Fish and Chips in Great Brittain to a Hong Kong style Beef and Rice Bowl in China. Finishing it all off with a Bratwurst in Germany.
In the Hollywood Studios park, you can find my absolute park favorite at Fairfax Fare, themed after California's farmer's markets, here you can walk up and order a loaded baked potato topped off with beef tri-tip! Not bad for a theme park!
Finally, I give you the park with the most diverse eating options, Animal Kingdom. Here the lands are themed around Asia and Africa and your dining follows suit. The standard cheeseburger and hot dog is replaced with one of Kobe beef and there is absolutely amazing pulled pork and ribs just about everywhere you eat.
For late nights after the park closes, you may be stuck with a mediocre pizza, but hey, it is still better than getting yelled at while ordering Bojangles at the airport!
So while I didn't cook this week, I did eat. And yeah, if you are going to a place like Disney, the food is only going to suck if you let it. Disney is filled with amazing food that won't cost you an arm and a leg, you just gotta get it!
Until next post, remember kids.....CHUNKS not chips!