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Eating at Walt Disney World

Living 2 hours north of Walt Disney World, Yeni and I purchase annual passes yearly. Not only do we love going to Disney, it remains pretty much our only entertainment. As much as we love Disney World, and with as often as we go, we do notice some changes (over the years) that leave us somewhat disappointed.

Clearly, and based on the title here, one major change involves food — I’ll talk about that in detail. First, let’s identify the two main disappointments: Customer Service and Food.

Again, overall, I still love going to Disney. Honestly, if we didn’t love it we wouldn’t get those annual passes. Also, because we do go (very) often, we probably end up noticing a lot more than others.

Customer Service

We just went to the Magic Kingdom today and here are two examples of how Disney’s legendary customer service degraded to become standard, crappy service. First, when purchasing some snacks at the bakery on Main Street, the attendant never said “hi,” “hello,” or offered any greeting. She held out her hand, swiped my card, and handed me back the card; not even telling me the total. Again, nothing “rude,” just not what we would get from Disney even just 2 years ago.

Later on, we were walking next to the Pirates of the Caribbean and a cast member ran into Yeni with one of those huge Disney strollers. He didn’t knock her down, but he scraped some skin of her ankle; if you’ve ever done something like this, you know it’s not a huge issue– but it hurts like hell. The cast member saw Yeni’s reaction and yelled “sorry” as he walked away; never breaking stride or checking to see if she was ok. Again, major? No. But even just two years ago, the cast member would have at least stopped.

The “nonchalant,” “could-care-less” attitude at Disney is alive and very noticeable.

Eating at Walt Disney World

I am now convinced that there is simply one or two good places to eat inside each park within Walt Disney World. In the past, eating at Disney was a treat. Food tasted good and there seemed to be some pride in what was presented. Those days are long gone– even at the high end places, such as Crystal Palace, the food is just “eh.”

Magic Kingdom

The two best places to eat are the Castle and Pecos Bill’s. At Cinderella’s Castle, the experience really makes the meal, but the food itself was good. At Pecos, it’s clearly fast food… but it’s good. The chili is very good – different than the chili at Casey’s. It’s just very good, and the topping bars are exactly what you would like to see at Disney. Sauteed onions, mushrooms, sides– just a very good meal. Very good.

Everything else? Crap. Crystal Palace is great for seeing Pooh and Friends. The food? Nothing special. The only other place I love? The Ice Cream Parlor on Main St. I’m scared though– it’s been closed the last two times I visited the park. Last time this happened was at MGM (sorry), Hollywood Studios, when the McDonald’s Fries stand started closing… which brings me to…

MGM/Hollywood Studios

There is only two good places to eat. There’s counter service in a ship that serves very good “meals in bread.” They’re great, and for Disney, not overly priced. The other? A little ice cream stand near the Tower of Terror.

There used to be a great McDonald’s Fries stand– it’s no more.

Epcot

The bakery in France is excellent, but go early before the croissants become stale. Also, there’s random eateries right as you enter the World Showcase. I’ve had some great emañadas there– but the menu comes and goes.

Animal Kingdom

Haven’t found the good place yet– open to suggestions.

I’ll call this a mini-rant and use it to hopefully help you enjoy a good meal at the park.

By Fred Posner

Fred Posner provides VoIP consulting services through The Palner Group and LOD.com. In 2010, Fred and his wife, Yeni Monroy, opened Bearkery, in Gainesville, Florida. Contact Fred at qxork.com. Even better, make Yeni happy and buy a cookie!

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