Some people come to Walt Disney World to experience the elegant dining experience of Cinderella Castle, or the immersive atmosphere of Be Our Guest. Those restaurants are beautiful, with great meals–but they’re also expensive. Plus, with all the walking and roller coaster riding that comes along with a Disney World trip, you might not like having all that food in one go. Don’t get me wrong: I love eating in beautiful Disney restaurants. But sometimes, you just want to snack throughout the parks. With so many choices around, you can’t help but want to try a bit of everything you see.
That’s why, when I’m on a budget, I will use the graze method. It’s a good way to try a wide variety of things on a decent Disney budget. I start by mapping out the path I will take around the parks. First, I figure out my FastPasses, and then I look at wait times for the other attractions I want to experience. Next, I check out what looks delicious around each ride. I do this for every park, every time. It’s a way for me to get the MOST amount of food for the LEAST amount of money.
Let’s start in the most popular theme park, and my top three snack stops (within a budget) in the Magic Kingdom.
1. The Friars Nook: Mac & Cheese
Just past the Prince Charming Regal Carousel sits a quaint little restaurant. You may not realize it, but here’s where you will find the best mac & cheese in the parks! Like the after-school snack you remember from your childhood, this pasta dish is creamy, soaked in cheese, and about as healthy for you as a deep-fried Twinkie–especially when you get it with the Panko bread crumbs.
I don’t know who decided that crumbles of bread (essentially pigeon food) was good on top of macaroni, but they deserve a Nobel Peace Prize. This is, by far, my favorite snack to get in the Magic Kingdom. Bonus: usually the lines aren’t too long. $8.99
2. Aloha Isle: Dole Whip
After singing along with pirates or climbing to the top of Swiss Family Robinson’s Treehouse, you may find yourself a little hungry. You may even be craving something cold and refreshing. If so, look no farther than Sunshine Tree Terrace, which lies near Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride. You’ll find the best ice cream in all the Magic Kingdom: Pineapple Dole Whip.
Sweet, tangy pineapple comes to cool perfection in the form of soft serve. This ice cream is very tart, so it is a must for lovers of sour sweets. However, even then, its flavor may be a bit too strong for some. Luckily, you have the option of pairing it with vanilla soft serve ice cream. The line for this sour-lovers treat is usually pretty long, so be prepared–it’s worth the wait. $4.49
3. Liberty Square Market: Jumbo Turkey Leg
Have you ever seen, in medieval movies or TV, a lord feasting upon the golden, grease-dripping leg of a turkey? I don’t know about you, but every time I saw that, I would crave a turkey leg so very much. If you feel the same way, look no farther than Liberty Square Market.
This humble-looking seller has fruits, vegetables, and the beloved leg of a gobbler. A highly fattening and highly satisfying snack, it tastes exactly as it looks: like it was made for a king. Greasy, meaty, and salty, this humongous treat will require an equally huge drink and a wad of napkins. Thankfully, it is well worth the wait in line, work, and clean up. $10.99
Keep your eye on this space, because next, I’ll talk about the graze method in Epcot. I hope this series gives you some good ideas on what you’d like to try in Disney World, and how you can experience more treats on a budget. I hope you and your friends or family have a great time snacking!
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