A Guide to Eating at Disney World

Across all the parks and hotels of Walt Disney World in Florida, there are 449 places to eat. How in the world will you find what you want and make the most of your time and money? You rely on the advice of people who’ve been there. Eater sent three bloggers to Disney World to investigate all those restaurants and report back.

Eating at the Harambe Market in the Africa section of Disney's Animal Kingdom park, with its pastel walls, quirky hand-painted signs, and sluggish ceiling fans, is about as close to Kenya as many Disney visitors are going to get. Walking out of the blazing heat into the windowless, almost freezing Biergarten buffet in Epcot — complete with a fake evening sky, iron lampposts, and a four-piece polka band — is the Germanic oasis you didn't know you so very much needed. And Danny Meyer wishes he had staffers as committed and empathetic and well-meaning as the (often unionized) waiters, bartenders, ice cream scoopers, and maitre d's that staff Disney's 400-plus joints. By sheer force of will, they will make sure you have a good experience, regardless of whether or not the food's good.

Which is a good segue into the bad news. The food quality at Disney World can often be as mediocre as you might expect for a resort serving 50,000 people a day. Flavors tend toward sweet — in cocktails, in desserts, in allegedly savory items — and accessible. That's great at the ice cream parlor, not so much at the bar or the Chinese restaurant. With some exceptions, the children's menu options trend toward the fried and carb-heavy. Many of the international cuisines represented in the World Showcase are dumbed down, or executed poorly. Prices are often high. The restaurant in the America pavilion is an embarrassment to our nation.  

That’s from The State of Disney Dining, which is an introduction to a massive library of 24 articles in The Eater Guide to Surviving Disney World. They cover subjects like authenticity in international foods, the best cocktails, the best coffee, and several ways to plan your Disney World meals ahead of time. -via Digg  

(Image credit: Helen Rosner/Eater.com)

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