I’m used to going ultra cheap with our big bag of snacks and beef jerky when we go to Disney, but for this trip, we’ll have an actual food budget! I would love to hear your favorite quick service and sit down picks for each park when on a budget. We are planning to eat breakfast at the hotel and eat lunch and dinner in the parks. We have seven people so there will be no BOG or Space 220, but what are the best moderately priced food choices for each park? Bonus points if they have gluten free meals.
I don’t get any GF bonus points but we enjoyed Docking Bay 7 at HS, Pecos Bill’s at MK, and Flaming Tree BBQ at AK.
With our family of 5, we usually didn’t even need 5 entrees as we’d have snacks we brought during the day and some stops for sweets or treats.
Were you at HS on 1/8?
@BGK and I overheard someone legit worrying that someone would steal their beef jerky out of their parked stroller
TOTALLY fine to bring your own snacks (and I do enjoy some good beef jerky!), I share just because reading this brought that moment of hilarity forward.
We really liked Backlot Express at HS, Peco’s Bill at MK, and Flame Tree BBQ at AK. Harder to pick at EP, because there are so many food choices there, between food booths and QS options scattered around. Sunshine Seasons gets a lot of love located in The Land, though, if you want to eat something a bit on the healthier side of things.
One bit of advice is if you can order something from the kids menu, do that. At QS they don’t actually care or enforce the age, so we’ll often order one adult meal, and then get kids meals even for those over 9. It is usually plenty of food. (We have five kids, so spent many trips figuring how ways to save on food!)
MK our go QS is Pecos Bills and TS Skippers but Tony’s, if I remember correctly, is moderately priced as well. I don’t find many options at MK that we love so some times well snack every couple hours and eat an early dinner, followed by another snack.
HS- our QS top pics are Backlot and the 3 QSresturants on Sunset strip ( variety and seating). The new ABC menu looks good though too. Hollywood and Vine for TS if you have big eaters (well it was buffet last time I was there, not sure what it is now).
AK- QS faves are Y&Y local foods and Flametree if Y&Y doesn’t work for everyone. Since this park opens early we skip breakfast and do a brunch time meal. Then throughout the day get the mac and cheese and street tacos on DI then run to Nomads (TS, bites, but awesome!) and late dinner away from the park or another QS.
EP- We tend to snack around. Meals depend who is in the party. Sunshine has a lot of variety and quality food. QS in Mexico and Morocco is my fams fav. I like the sandwiches at Les Halles. If everyone can agree on a pizza or 2, the pizza place in Italy (TS) is nice. Also, right outside IG the boardwalk has ESPN and Big River for decent priced TS.
This topic is debated in a bunch of threads here, and on plenty of other sites. I’d scour AllEars and DFB for this. They do plenty of reviews along these lines, and also tons of youtube vids. You’ll probably find that some of the same places are recommended over and over, and those are usually a safe bet, BUT, IMO, I wouldn’t count too much on anything with an ethnic tinge on it to be anything special, especially if your hometown has a thriving ethnic food scene. You might find that you are overpaying for stuff and being very disappointed.
One rec: I’m in camp Flame Tree - SPECIFICALLY for the full rib platter and onion rings. Easily splittable for two, and possibly three. It will not be the world’s greatest rack of ribs, not by a longshot, but I’d rank them pretty highly for a theme park value for the quality. And those onion rings are FIRE. Don’t sleep on them if they are still available.
I don’t know about gluten free but in MDE when you are placing a MO they do have alternatives if you scroll down or at least they have dietary info. MK: Sleepy Hollow for waffles breakfast, lunch, dinner. Waffles w/ fruit in the morning or their spicy chicken waffle sandwich. They also have corn dogs and you can walk over to the liner MK scared spot to sit and eat (if it’s open). AK: FTBBQ EC: Sunshine tree terrace in The Land had been mentioned several times for selection and healthy choices. Don’t forget about all the food booths during a festival that you can easily make a feast out of. HS: our family’s favorite is PizzeRizza, next to Muppets 3D, b/c of their Cesar salad and personal pan pizzas.
ETA: If you want to hop over to the Poly from MK you can eat at Capt. Cooks and grab a Dole Whip around the corner from Cooks too. And you’ll get your dole whip a lot quicker there than inside any park.
I agree with what’s been said already. We also like the QS at EP - Yorkshire County Fish at England. It’s by the lagoon, and you sit outside.
Must do: GF fried chicken at 50’s Prime Time in HS - you have to go to the restaurant as soon as they open the day of your reservation to request it because they make it to order and it takes time to prep. TOTALLY worth it.
At AK I think pretty much everything is GF at Flame Tree, except the obvious corn bread. But their BBQ sauce that they put on all the food is safe. I love the ribs. The portion size is large, so you may be able to split a dish among 2 people.
For us MK is pretty much a wasteland. We usually end up going to nearby hotels for food. Our favorite is Gyser Point at Wilderness Lodge. They have a robust allergy menu.
At EP my only advice is to avoid Italy. The restaurants in that pavilion are not disney owned and in the past they have been less than helpful with allergies. They do the bare minimum to make sure you don’t die. But they don’t go out of their way to make sure you have a good experience.
OH! Also, Erin McKenna’s in Disney Springs for donuts and cakes and cookies. I love their thin mint cookie and samoa donut. SOOO delicious. It’s almost like I don’t even have allergies they’re so good.
Also the GF fish and chips at Raglan Road are amazing!
This is so helpful! Thank you. I have a great list going now, and I am so glad there are so many more gluten free options. GF fried chicken?! That is totally going on our TP. I don’t remember ever having good luck with food in MK and it has been at least 10 years since we’ve been in the other parks. Years ago we went to BOG right after it opened and it was amazing. We just walked in. The food was affordable and so good! I put it on my list for must go back… Obviously they changed it right after that.
@lizzieanne771 I can’t remember if you eat gluten free too. If so, you might have good suggestions here.
Half our family is not gluten free, so I appreciate those suggestions too. My husband especially likes the pastry and gluten-y places.
Skipper’s Canteen!!! The Tastes Like Chicken can be done gluten-free!!! (Skipper’s is usually a LOT easier to get into than 50’s and you don’t have to give them advance notice for theirs. I’m not a fan of having to jump through hoops when other places like Skipper’s don’t seem to have the problem of having the fryer up and running.)
La Hacienda was awesome!!
Satu’li Canteen is THE BEST!!!
Disney Springs -
Boathouse is awesome with allergies
Three Bridges is fantastic.
I am NOT one who recommends Erin McKenna - her stuff was gross when it was Babycakes NYC and it’s only gotten worse since she went “big time”. I’d rather go without dessert than eat her crap.
With festivals, they do mark some things gluten-friendly, but there are often some things that are perfectly fine but for whatever reason they are not marked as such - Mexico is really bad about this. But if you ask, they will often confirm that things are fine.
I’m lost on the GF bonus points, but…
MK - Sleepy Hollow, turkey legs (Liberty Square Market and other locations)
If you can make it work logistically, go offsite to nearby Kona or Captain Cook’s at Polynesian or Geyser Point at Wilderness Lodge
EP - Katsura Grill, Yorkshire County Fish Shop, Sommerfest (brats), food booths if available
HS - Docking Bay 7
AK - Satu’li, Mr Kamal’s, Yak & Yeti Local Foods
We are very much “go for coffee and a pastry after rope drop” people. Keep in mind we like Starbucks, so YMMV if you don’t.
So…all the Joffrey’s
MK - Main Street Bakery, Lunching Pad, Sleepy Hollow
EP - Les Halles Boulangerie-Patasserie, Kringla
Boardwalk Bakery if pre-park opening
AK - Isle of Java, Creature Comforts
HS - Pixar Place Market