Do Not Eat This At Disney World – Plus, What to Eat Instead

If you’ve ever had difficulty deciding where to eat during your Disney World vacation, you’re not alone. There are over 200 places to get food across Disney World property, and it can feel overwhelming to comb through all the menus trying to find items that everyone in your group will enjoy, from the pickiest of eaters to those who prefer a more mature flavor profile.

Better Food Options Exist At Disney World

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While Disney World does serve a lot of your typical “theme park food,” there are so many other great options available if you know where to find them. In this article, we’re going to go through some of the most common, missable menu items and provide you with some alternatives that are better quality, more interesting, and more satisfying—especially when you’re paying theme park food prices!

If you’d like to learn what not to eat—and what we think you should eat instead—keep reading!


Photo Credit: Walt Disney World.

We know that some of the most devoted food fans are those who enjoy good-quality barbecue. A lot of the Disney World restaurants serve some variation of a barbecue dish, like a pulled pork sandwich, BBQ chicken, or beef brisket. As with the other foods on this list, most of these one-off items are pretty basic and bland. If you’re looking for a large menu of true barbecue-style dishes, there’s only a couple of restaurants that are really able to deliver.

At the American Adventure Pavilion in World Showcase at EPCOT, Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drinks & Barbecue offers up some of the best quick-service barbecue in all of Disney World. Our top picks on the menu include the slow-smoked Memphis Dry-rub Pork Ribs and the North Carolina Chopped Smoked Pork Butt Platter. Both meats are served with thick-cut garlic toast and a choice of baked beans with burnt ends, beer-battered onion rings, or creamy coleslaw.

The Polite Pig in the Town Center at Disney Springs has a great selection of barbecue dishes too. Here you can find meats straight from the smoker, like the Coffee Rub USDA Prime Brisket and the BBQ Cheddar Brats with porter mustard glaze, both served with jalapeno cornbread, Signature Polite slaw, and sides like grilled street corn, crispy Brussel sprouts, and southern potato salad.

Personal Pizzas

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One of the biggest food items we recommend avoiding are the round personal pizzas you can find at several restaurants around Disney World. They’re small, puffy, and taste as though they were pulled out of the freezer and popped in the oven right before they’re served up. There are plenty of places to find high-quality pizza throughout Disney World property, and those options will be much more worth your while.

Our favorite quick-service pizza joint is Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, which can be found in Town Center at Disney Springs. They have a selection of signature pizza recipes, including BBQ Chkn, Meat Eater, and Veg Out, but we prefer the Build Your Own Pizza option. As you move down the line, you get to choose from over 40 different cheese, meat, and veggie varieties, along with different sauces and drizzles like pesto, ranch, and hot sauce. Then, your pizza is tossed in their massive ovens and is ready to eat in just a couple minutes!

If you have the time and the budget, the most high-quality pizza you’ll find at Disney World is at Via Napoli. This table-service restaurant is located in the Italy Pavilion in World Showcase at EPCOT, and it offers pizza that’s as close to authentic Italian as you can get in a theme park. The dough itself is what makes these pies truly special—the flour is imported from Southern Italy, and the water is sourced from a spring that is comparable to the water found in Naples. The combination of the delicious, crusty base and the fresh toppings makes the price well worth it!

Chicken Tenders

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A favorite of picky eaters, chicken tenders are a staple on the menu at several Disney World restaurants. Considering how pricey they are at most of the dining locations, the quality of the meat is usually not top-tier, and most of the time you can only find basic sauces like ketchup or ranch dressing to dip them in. Thankfully, there are a few restaurants on Disney World property that have taken basic chicken strips and were able to make them into a more exciting, tasty dish.

Both of the restaurants with next-level chicken tenders on their menus are located in Disney Springs. House of Blues Restaurant & Bar is found at the far end of Disney Springs West Side, and their menu features Crispy Fried Tenders two different ways. You can choose between Buffalo-style strips that come with house-made slaw and blue cheese dressing, or Charred Lemon & Garlic strips with a side of crispy onions and ranch dressing.

Chicken Guy! in the Town Center area features a menu by the famous Food Network chef Guy Fieri, and they serve hot, crispy fried tenders as well. Their tenders have a basic flavor and minimal seasoning so that you can enjoy them with some of the over 20 dipping sauces available. The options range from the tamer sauces like Garlic Parmesan and Avocado Crema to the somewhat tangy Cumin Lime Mojo sauce and Curry Mayo or the eye-watering Wasabi Honey and Habanero Hot Sauce. There’s something for everyone here, even the pickiest of eaters!

Angus Burgers

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Another of the most common menu items you can find around Disney World is the 1/3 lb Angus Cheeseburger. Because burgers are a relatively universally loved item for meat eaters, it’s not surprising that they can be found in almost every quick service restaurant and most table service eateries as well. However, Disney World’s generic Angus Cheeseburgers are pretty boring, so we recommend instead heading to a restaurant that gives their burgers a little more personality.

If you’re a fan of standard burger toppings—tomatoes, lettuce, onions, and pickles—and don’t want too crazy of a concoction, Big River Grille & Brewing Works at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn & Villas is a perfect option. Their burgers are special not because of what’s on them but rather what they’re made of. Their Wagyu Burger has all your regular toppings but is much juicier and more tender than the Angus Burgers across property because it’s made with Wagyu beef. They also have the Big Brew Cheeseburger, where the burger patty is grilled using Southern Flyer Light Lager, one of Big River’s own brewery-crafted beers.

For those who like to be a bit more adventurous when choosing their burger toppings, we recommend D-Luxe Burger in Town Center at Disney Springs. Here, you can find burgers cooked to perfection with some variety in the creations available, including the Bacon and Blue Burger with onion jam and blue cheese, and the Barbecued Burger with Muenster cheese and a fried onion ring on top. You can also get a basic cheeseburger here, and the quality is going to be much better than what you can find at most other Disney World restaurants.


Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog.

If you enjoy flatbreads more than pizza, Disney World has plenty of restaurants where you can find them. Most of the dining locations that offer a flatbread selection that doesn’t have a lot of variety, with cheese, pepperoni, and Margherita being among the main options. If you’re willing to travel outside the theme parks a bit for a good-quality flatbread with a more interesting flavor palate, we recommend these spots.

While the menu changes every so often, Contempo Café at Disney’s Contemporary Resort generally has a few different flatbread options listed. For example, right now, they’re serving a Barbecued Chicken Flatbread that is topped with shallots, Granny Smith apples, and arugula. They also currently have a Vegetable Flatbread that comes with fresh veggies like zucchini, red onion, roasted red pepper, and asparagus, and is finished off with pistou and balsamic glaze. This restaurant is located within a 10 minute walk of Magic Kingdom, so it’s easy to get to quickly if you’re spending the day at the park.

For an even more unique twist on the traditional flatbread, head to Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, located at The Landing at Disney Springs. Among other flavors, they are offering a Berbere Flank Steak flatbread with Manchego cheese, arugula, peppadews, and Romesco sauce. For a more sweet-and-tangy option, there’s the Medjoul Date and Manchego flatbread topped with frisée, prosciutto, red onion, and balsamic glaze.

Hot Dogs

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There are plenty of places around Disney World where you can find a plain old hot dog with ketchup and mustard on a bun, but did you know that there are several restaurants around Disney World property that offer far more interesting toppings than just a couple of condiments? Vacation is a great time to try new flavor combinations, so we think you should skip the basic hot dogs available for something different and exciting.

Within the theme parks, one of the best places to find some unique hot dog creations is at Dockside Diner, located in Echo Lake at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. They currently have the Pretzel Hot Dog, smothered in apple-braised sauerkraut and onions, topped with mustard aioli, and wrapped in a pretzel bun. Another classic option is the California BLTA Dog, with bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and black mustard mayonnaise.

If you’re willing to make the trip over to Disney Springs to satisfy your hot dog craving, the restaurant to dine at is B.B. Wolf’s Sausage Co. They have an array of dishes that offer flavors from a variety of cuisines, including the Hawaiian Island Dog with grilled pineapple salsa, Spam, and teriyaki, and the Mardi Gras Smoked Crawdog, which features a smoked andouille sausage and is topped with crawfish, lemon-caper aioli, and Creole pepper sauce.

Meat and Cheese Sandwiches

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Most of the Disney World restaurants have some kind of hot or cold meat and cheese sandwich listed on their menu, like a turkey club, a ham and cheese, or a roast beef. However, when there’s so many more exciting sandwich options out there in the parks and resorts, we think you should up your sandwich game and try something more exciting!

In the France Pavilion in World Showcase at EPCOT, Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie has an excellent selection of both hot and cold sandwiches to choose from. A couple of our favorites include the Tartine Aux Fromage, made with a few different types of cheese, pesto, and tomato sauce on fresh, crusty country bread, and the Croissant Jambon Fromage, an upgraded ham and cheese with béchamel white sauce on a flaky croissant.

Over at Disney Springs West Side, Pepe by José Andrés has a variety of enhanced meat and cheese sandwiches as well. You can find twists on classic items like the Super Flauta de Queso Manchego with Serrano ham, Manchego cheese, and tomate fresco on Flauta bread along with more unique options like the Bikini Menoquin, a pressed sandwich filled with spreadable chorizo, Manchego cheese, and honey.


Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog.

If you prefer eating a bit lighter while on vacation, Disney World has plenty of salad choices at both the quick service and table service restaurants in the theme parks. Unfortunately, most of them are pretty boring—Caesar salad, house salads, and Cobb salads take over the majority of the restaurant menus. If you want to find a salad that’s truly fresh, filling, and delicious, we think you should hit up these dining locations instead.

Located within a 10-minute walking distance of EPCOT’s International Gateway, Ale & Compass at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort has some salads on the menu with a bit more “oomph” than most other Disney World restaurants. Here, you can find their signature Ale & Compass Salad that features fresh vegetables like watercress, sorghum, rainbow carrots, beets, and radishes, and is drizzled with lemon-balsamic vinaigrette. For a more savory option, the Wedged Romaine Salad is topped with bacon lardons, tomatoes, blue cheese, and garlic peppercorn cream.

City Works Eatery & Pour House at Disney Springs West Side boasts a great selection of salads as well. Their BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad includes black beans, roasted corn, jicama, crispy buttermilk onion rings, and tangy ranch dressing. If you are a seafood fan, you’ll love the Ahi Tuna Chopped Salad, with rare Togarashi-spiced seared tuna, Napa cabbage, daikon radish, and sesame ginger vinaigrette. This restaurant also has some creative burger and flatbread items on the menu if you’re looking for even more of those options!

If you’re looking for better-quality versions of basic theme park foods, they’re usually going to cost a bit more than what can be found at the quick-service restaurants. Learn how much you should budget for food at Disney World in our guide.

Chicken Sandwiches

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As with many of the items on this list, some form of a chicken sandwich can be found on several quick service menus around Disney World. Usually, they’re a big slab of either breaded or grilled chicken that is fairly bland and topped with lettuce and tomato and not much else. Fortunately, there are a few places around Disney World that offer a better version of the chicken sandwich that we think are worth checking out.

Even though we mentioned Chicken Guy! under the best locations for to find chicken tenders, they also serve fantastic chicken sandwiches that are worth mentioning, and you can choose whether you want your chicken “crispy-fried” or “grilled all-natural.” The Bourbon Brown Sugar BBQ sandwich features pepper jack cheese, Special Sauce, slaw, and pickles, and the Southwestern comes with the Avocado Crema and Cumin Lime Mojo sauces, charred corn and black beans, roasted peppers, and crispy tortilla strips.

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ is located at The Landing in Disney Springs, and this is by far the best place to find a delicious chicken sandwich during your trip. The restaurant and Art Smith himself are known for fried chicken, and the Fried Chicken Sandwich features chicken that’s been buttermilk-brined for 24 hours and is topped off with lettuce and tomato, bread and butter pickles, hot sauce, and aioli. For a variation on the chicken sandwich, you can order the Thigh High Chicken Biscuits, which are stacked with bread and butter pickles and drizzled with hot honey.

Homecomin’ is one of our favorite table-service restaurants at Disney Springs! To learn more about our other top picks, read our guide to the best Disney World sit-down restaurants.


Photo Credit: Walt Disney World.

In the past several years, a lot more Disney World quick service restaurants have started serving tacos as a way to offer more variety in their menus. Unfortunately, most of them are fairly bland and consist of the same basic ingredients—meat, tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese. However, there are a few dining locations that have gotten it right, and these are the places we suggest you check out if you’re in the mood for some really tasty tacos.

Disney Springs has clearly become the place to find the highest-quality food, since both of these restaurants and so many others on this list are located there. Frontera Cocina is located in Disney Springs’ Town Center, and the menu features several different types of tacos. A few highlights include the Chicken Tinga Tacos stuffed with black bean refritos, queso fresco, guacamole, and a tangy Morita chile and onion sauce, and the Cochinita Pibil Tacos, made with achiote-marinated, slow-roasted pork, poblano rajas, pickled red onions, and hot habanero salsa.

Over on the West Side of Disney Springs, you’ll find the 4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck, where you can grab your tacos to enjoy while walking around or sitting on a bench people-watching. You can choose a specialty dish like the Birria Tacos that feature beef birria with melty Oaxaca cheese, beef jus, and onion-cilantro salsa, or you can opt for a Taco Cone. You can choose between fillings like Adobo Pork, Brisket Barbacoa, and Roasted Sweet Potato, and then the cone is stuffed with lettuce, guacamole, Pico de Gallo, queso, cilantro, and jalapeno.

Evicted From the Magic! Disney Kicks Guests Out Of Theme Park For These 15 Interesting Reasons

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There are certain things guests can do at the most magical place on earth that will earn them a ticket straight out of the park. Make sure to avoid these 15 behaviors that can get you kicked out of a Disney park!

10 Failed Disney Rides That Were so Unsuccessful They Were Removed Swiftly

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While several beloved Disney rides have stood the test of time, others have faced issues or declined in popularity to the extent that they were removed. See our list of 10 failed Disney rides and learn why they were removed from the parks.

Worst Dates at Disney: Avoid Visiting Disney Parks At All Costs During These Times of the Year

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Certain times of the year draw in huge crowds that can easily make your park experience frustrating. Make sure you’re in-the-know about which Disney dates to avoid at all costs if you hate crowds!

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