I just bloody looove food, it gives me so much happiness, too much happiness, and I want to graze all day every day! I was both excited and nervous about the food situation over my summer living in America and working in Disneyworld. (You can have a read about what it’s like working there here on the blog!) I’m obsessed fast food and sweet treats, which America obviously has nailed, but I’m also a vegetarian – and to be honest a lot of their meatless options are very far behind the rest of the world really. I didn’t want to literally live off french fries for a few months and this felt like a solid possibility. Disney is it’s own little bubble with some great food choices, and a lot of novelty snacks you most definitely need to add to your Disney snack bucket list!
Throughout my time in Florida I was mainly in and out of theme parks – it’s where I was working after all, and I was trying to soak up the perks. Theme park food can be particularly unhealthy, or extortionate AF, as the other options are generally higher class restaurants. The brilliant thing about Disney and Universal is in recent years they’ve incorporated food into the theming. Go back a few years and you’ll see a whole lot of fries, burgers, nuggets and pizza, but now they have the cutest food for different areas of the land. For example, in Frontierland – which is like the wild west, outback of the US, with saloon and cowboy-esque theming, you can grab a bite at Pecos Bills. It is kind of South-west, Tex Mex food, like tacos, wraps, black beans and salads. Loads of areas in Disney have food special to their theming and it’s brought in a lot more variety. (Heck, you can every try a freeze dried ice cream bar, like astronaut freeze dried food in Tomorrowland and the Future World segment of Epcot!)
Yak and Yeti – Asia area of Animal Kingdom – Animal Kingdom became my favourite Disney park after my first visit! I absoluetly adore the decorations everywhere, the themes of each country on each section, and I loooove the fact you can see all the animals (who are in spectacular, large, kind enclosures by the way!) oh, and the food is incredible! Yak and Yeti is a great place to stop for a lunch and a slightly cheaper option than some of the other restaurants. This tofu noodle bowl was so bloody good that we had to come back a few times! They can be really adaptive to different diets too, just have a chat with the staff and they’ll help!
Sanaa Animal Kingdom Lodge – Also Animal Kingdom themed, one of the best places to eat in the whole of Disney (definitely top three!) is the Sanna restaurant at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. It’s absolutely a meal with a view – as you can request to wait a little longer and get a window table. It’s absolutely worth it as the restaurant looks onto the Savannah area and you get to see Giraffes, Zebras, the cutest birds and loads of little lovely creatures. They’re in a large enclosure and you’re in a tiny fishbowl which is the best way! The food here has an African inspired twist. We had a whole platter of different naan breads, a dipping platter, rice and salad dishes and lots of veggie sides. The desserts looked lovely but I don’t think there was one vegetarian option when we went, but the mains were enough! So damn good!
There are whole bunch of great drinks that should also be on your list for Disneyworld and Universal Studios. Some of these are actual works of art and others are the best flavour combos that everyone should try them, just, everyone. Have you heard of drinking around the world in Epcot?? This was one of my favourite activities of my whole time in Disney and if you like your alochol, I think you’ll love this too! Epcot has a section called the World Showcase, where the whole land is built around a circular lagoon, and as you walk along the outside of the lagoon, you walk through different themed areas – all themed off of different places in the world! They include the UK, Canada, Japan, China, Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, Morocco, Norway and the US. Drinking around the world is essentially getting a themed cocktail in each of the countries around the lagoon!
When my boyfriend finally came to see me (we travelled for a month together over America after I’d worked for a couple of months,) we had a cocktail in each of the world showcase areas. This does add up to quite a lot of money but it really is fun – Disney themes are bang on too so a lot of the pavilions have drinks common in those cultures. (Although westernised to our palettes I’m sure ahaha.) My favourite drink was probably the mango mojito in Mexico, and my favourite themed area is definitely the Italy pavilion – so so beautiful and I love sitting by the gondolas sipping on my wine!
In Universal Studios, bloody TRY a flaming Moe! It tastes just like a Fanta and is such an incredible novelty. You can also get a Duff beer here in the Simpsons land. Also check out the Florida starbucks – if you’re not from there it’s so cool to see all the different combinations you can’t get elsewhere in the world. My dragonfruit cooler gave me emotions of all kinds to be honest friends!
Those coke bottles are from the Star Wars land in Disneyworld – I was lucky enough to go before it was open to the public for a Cast Member preview (perks of the job!) and took my mum along with me as she was visiting. We tried the cokes purely for these stunnnning bottles; I still have mine sat in my kitchen now! They make for the best photo props and I actually really enjoyed drinking out of the weirdly bulbous bottle! Is that weird? Probably. Probably.
One of my favourite guilty pleasures here – possibly the ultimate guilty pleasure to be honest – was the renowned Mickey pretzel. These badboys are just amazing, I hadn’t actually tried a soft bread pretzel like the US have – only the crappy crunchy ones we have over here in the UK. This gave. me. life! You can choose to have an optional warm cheese dipping sauce which is the tastiest thing ever! My friend used to always swap her cheese sauce for the chocolate dipping sauce that comes with the churros – which is a delicious combo too. Salt and chocolate just works on a new level, doesn’t it? They’re also the sweetest photo props.
Sweeeeet treaaaaats! I had a lot of doughnuts over summer – considering I’m also not your biggest doughnut fan haha! At Universal Studios there is a shop called Voodoo doughnuts, which had the most creative versions I’ve ever seen. They also had a range of vegan options which is great! In Universal Studios you can only get your doughnuts at the Simpsons land – it would be kinda rude to go anywhere else wouldn’t it? We got an ice cream stuffed doughnut, topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and a cherry, and the ridiculous MASSIVE Simpsons doughnut which was a fab novelty. We probably needed more than three people for this to be a wise choice – but enjoyed it so much that it didn’t really matter haha! Disney is laced with a whole load of bakeries and the cutest Mickey shaped treats, we often found the best looking ones of these weren’t vegetarian, but there are still a good amount of options around.
Orlando can get painfully hot through summer, and we were reachig for ice cream and ice lollies more often than food on some days. Dole Whip is a famous Disney treat to try out (the photo on the right above,) it is a pineapple flavoured ice cream, although you can also get it as a float in a drink. To be honest for me, it didn’t quite tick the box! I was happy to have tried it and I still think it’s worth a try for most people, the novelty is super fun, but the actual taste of the pineapple mixed with creamy dairy just didn’t sit quite right for me. I would be well up for trying their different limited edition flavours though! You also most definitely should try out the ice cream shop in the Harry Potter land – they have so many delishhh flavours!! It’s worth trying the funky, limited flavours over the butterbeer one; because although that sounds fun and funky, it just really tastes like vanilla. My family were particularly fond of the earl grey tea flavour! Next time, I’ll be sampling all of them!
In Epcot I had the hugest and most DELICIOUS pizza in Italy – actually made with proper cheese which is a rarity in the US! A lot of their pizzas are very plasticy but this melty mozzarella was an amazing change. We went for the largest size but actually, it’s best to get one down from this as it’s round, easier to share and still more than enough for four people for a lunch! All the pizzas here are fired in the COOLEST ovens – check out the picture! Such a great vibes here, and so worth booking and visiting on your trip to Disney. They usually have a few wait-in spaces throughout the day, but it’s worth booking a slot online a couple of days before to secure your pizza party!
Also in the world showcase, we had an incredible free pretzel in Germany (thank you nice cast member,) an f load of sweets from Japan, a flatbread in France, and spring rolls in China. Epcot for food is generally epic – especially during the food and wine festival which I would love to go to and try foods from all around the world. Out of all of these, I would happily miss out of the flatbread from France though, this tasted like frozen puff pastry with a tiny bit of tomato puree and cheese! During the Epcot developments there will be soon be a creperie added to the France pavilion, and that’ll be my pit-stop in France from then on!
We went to the Lilo and Stitch Ohana Breakfast over at the Polynesian resort on my birthday – one of our first days there. When we booked this online there was a question field asking why we were going for breakfast there, and as it was the day of my birthday I checked this. I didn’t expect anything extra at all (nothing in this world is free ey!) but they brought over a bunch of delicious cupcakes and a birthday card signed by the characters from that meal – Mickey, Stitch, Lilo and Pluto. The food was so lovely – the Mickey waffles and wedges being my stars of the show. This is an all you can eat breakfast, so they bring you over fresh new skillets whenever you’ve finished the last. They could have been ever so slightly quicker in doing this but it doesn’t matter too much waiting 10 or so minutes between servings in the grand scheme of it all aha. The only real downside here, is you have those tiny breakfast glasses for the juice, and that is so rarely filled up so you’ll probably get a little thirsty. This meal is extortionately expensive so once to experience it is enough, but normally I can’t justify $50 on a breakfast!!
he Harry Potter area in Universal is a must-see, so so much fun! It feels like you’ve legitimately stepped into Diagon Alley and Hogwarts and made me want to cry a teeny tiny bit inside. (Millennial problems combined with my cry baby tendencies!) We had breakfast in the Hogwarts area which is such a lovely building. The food itself was a lot too herby to be honest, (as in, that’s all you could taste,) but all the snacks were so good here! We also visited the Hard Rock in the Universal shopping area – it’s the Universal equivalent to Disney Springs. We’re slowly ticking off different Hard Rock Cafes across the world and the food in this one was really nice, slightly less veggie options than other places but great for some snacks! One time I decided to mix and match a small red pepper mac and cheese, fries and broccoli, and I was having the dinner of dreams for how I felt there and then. Is that weird? I hope so hahaha.
One of my favourite meals was shared with friends in our apartment for Disneyworld staff. We ordered from TGIFridays and basically just got ALL the picky things that caught our eyes. This included pretzels, fries, garlic bread sticks, stuffed potato skins and cheese bites. We ended up nibbling away whilst drinking a huge two litre bottle of rose, and having a great time. Even if you’re just staying in Disney for a week, if you need a bit of a chilled night throughout all the madness of everything, it’s a great idea to get a picky takeaway and chill out for an evening!