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Dad does Quick Service Meals – The Good, the Bad and the…

As you might know, Dad and Mrs. Mom just got back from a great week’s vacation at Walt Disney World. Yes, I said Vacation. No work, just fun. Well, almost no work.

The only “work” assignment we had during our trip was, to see what it was like to do a total Quick Service Meal trip. I’ve got to tell you it was a really big sacrifice. We have always done at least one Table Service Meal on every trip since our honeymoon (we were only there for 36 hours on our honeymoon.)


Do you know what a HUGE sacrifice it was to skip ‘Ohana? Oh the things I do for you…

So, Dad, how did it go? What was the “good, the bad and the ugly” of your Quick Service Meal Trip?

Now that’s a really good question. I’m glad you asked. Let’s take a look at how the restaurants fared. (There might be a surprise or two here.)

This was the view from our table at Be Our Guest - photo by Mike Billick

This was the view from our table at Be Our Guest – photo by Mike Billick

The Good – winner, winner chicken dinner

We had some really good Quick Service Meals. In fact, a couple were just outstanding and have been added to our list of Don’t Miss meals. These are the places we will go back to every trip (at least until they fall off the list.)

  • Wolfgang Puck Express – the best meal we had all week was the first meal we had when we arrived. We got to WDW in time to head over to Disney Springs for dinner and we decided to go to Wolfgang Puck Express. Great choice. Mrs. Mom’s Ravioli was outstanding and Dad’s roasted chicken was really good. It was so good we decided to go back on Friday for our last meal at WDW. First and last. Can’t beat it.
  • Be Our Guest (lunch) – We’ve been trying to get into Be Our Guest for over a year. We finally got reservations for lunch (we had ADR’s for both breakfast and lunch but settled on lunch.) I’ve got to say, WOW. What a great experience. Be Our Guest is absolutely the most beautiful restaurant at Walt Disney World. Hands down. What impressed me most is the 3 dining rooms all have different tables and chairs. They are all totally different. The food was pretty good, it could have been warmer, but overall it was a 8 on a scale of 10. (The French Onion Soup was OUTSTANDING.) The Gray Stuff was kinda bland, yes you dishes I said bland, not delicious. I know, I’m a heretic. It was by far the best meal we had in any of the parks.
  • Honorable mention – there were some good meals we had that deserve at least a mention. Yorkshire County Fish Shop (it never disappoints), Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe (Sonny Eclipse is awesome), Roaring Forks breakfast (on Tuesday and Thursday) and Aloha Isle (the new location – expect a major rant on this shortly.)
Falling off the list? - photo by Mike Billick

Falling off the list? – photo by Mike Billick

The Bad – or at least the mediocre

There were a few meals that kinda disappointed us. They weren’t bad (I know the title is The Bad, but stick with me), but they were less than stellar, let’s say. Mostly, these are places we go to on a regular basis and they just didn’t measure up.

  • Casey’s Corner – no Dad, say it ain’t so. Casey’s Corner on the bad list? Did they go back to wheat buns again? Let me explain. Yes, Casey’s has always been one of Dad’s favorite restaurants (except when they had the stupid wheat buns, but we got that fixed.) The last couple of times we’ve been there, the line for Casey’s has been over 30 minutes. Yes, it was a moderately busy day, but how long does it take to fix a hot dog and french fries? Come on Casey’s. Get it in gear. At least if it takes that long can I get a HOT dog? Not a COOL dog. Yes, I like COOL things, but not when it comes to food.
  • Toy Story Pizza Planet – here’s another one that might surprise. It’s another of Dad’s oldies that is falling out of favor. First, I’m not a fan of Caesar salad. There I said it. I would be OK with a Garden Salad, but not a Caesar Salad, but that’s not the real problem. When we were there it was like the kitchen knew they were going to close soon and didn’t care about quality. We got two pizzas and neither was cut. It looked like someone cut the crust, but didn’t want to touch the pizza. Maybe it was because the kids weren’t there to enjoy the games, but it just wasn’t the same.
  • Honorable mention – Columbia Harbour House (filling was too “wet” in the lobster roll), Roaring Forks (Wednesday and Friday they lost our order.)

The Ugly – these were just awful

  • Liberty Inn (in the America Pavilion in EPCOT) – this was by far the worst meal we’ve ever had at Walt Disney World. It’s not even close (except maybe the wheat bun incident at Casey’s.) It took over 35 minutes just to get the food when there we no crowds in the restaurant. When we finally got it, some of the food was cold. The steak was totally awful. AWFUL. Let me say that again, the steak was the worst steak I’ve ever eaten. The shrimp and fries were OK, but the rest was incredibly bad. When Mrs. Mom was waiting in line to get the food, every order that came out of the kitchen had something wrong. This has been a problematic restaurant for years and it still is.
  • Katsura Grill – I have been waiting for years to try Katsura Grill even when it was called Yakitori House, I wanted to try it but we’ve never gotten here. Unfortunately it didn’t live up to expectations. It was just not very good. I had the Teriyaki Steak and Chicken Combo and Mrs. Mom had Sushi. Let’s just say, the chicken was bland, the steak was totally disappointing and the Teriyaki sauce was not what Dad’s used to being Teriyaki sauce. The best thing on the plate was the white rice. Ouch. Won’t be going back here.

Dad’s Bottom Line

I don’t think we’ll ever do a whole vacation with just Quick Service Meals again. A big part of going to WDW is experiencing the Magic at some of the Table Service restaurants . It’s just not the same at the Quick Service restaurants. Yes, we’ll continue to eat at Quick Service restaurants, but no more skipping ‘Ohana. Got that Mrs. Mom?

Comments 0

  1. On our November ’15 trip, we learned in a big way that not all Quick Service experiences are created equally.

    One day at lunch in MK we let a friendly cast member convince us to give Pecos Bill’s another chance. NEVER AGAIN. It’s so over-crowded, tight, dark, and unpleasant in there. Hectic. Slow service. Items on the toppings bar are not marked at all, giving our son w/allergies trouble. Food was too salty, not hot, just not good. Worst meal of our trip.

    That evening, we took the boat to cross back to Poly and, on a whim, had a QS dinner at Gasparilla Island Grill at the Grand Floridian on our way. What a difference! Our seats were out on a patio, comfortable & spaced well, with a view of the castle over the water. Food choices were varied and healthier. Good food. While there was a steady flow of people, it wasn’t a mad house. And, it gave us a chance to take a peek at the beautiful resort (saw the gingerbread house!) after we ate. We liked it even better than lunch at Be Our Guest (though that was a close 2nd and I LOVED seeing inside Beast’s castle… and I enjoyed the Grey stuff).

    We had a Dining plan w/both Table & QS meals/person/day.

  2. Sorry you had a bad experience at the Katsura Grill. I’ve enjoyed the Steak & Chicken combo a couple of times and loved it. To me it’s a good value as well because it includes drink and dessert. As far as the Liberty Inn, I couldn’t agree more.

  3. Two quick questions… You mentioned these were all quick service meals, but you made reservations for Be Our Guest, how come you need reservations for that? And what are ADRs?

    1. Post

      Even though Be Our Guest, at breakfast and lunch is, considered Quick Service, you still need a reservation to get in. ADR’s are the term Disney uses for reservations. It’s means Advanced Dining Reservations.

  4. I have never had a good experience at Pizza Planet. I went for the fort time in late April 2011 with a 10 year old boy, and we were probobly expecting too much, but the pizza was like elementary school cafeteria pizza from the 90’s, and horrible.

    We expected it to be like the Pizza Planet in the movie, so we also found the small town pizza place with a few arcade consoles vibe we got from it sorely lacking.

    Been back a couple of times with others who wanted I try, and never had a better experience.

  5. I visited in December 2015. I agree on Wolfgang Puck Express and Be Our Guest lunch being the best quick serve meals. At WPE the salmon and the bacon wrapped meatloaf were delicious (and I am not a fan of bacon or meatloaf). At BOG the braised pork and the onion soup were amazing. I agree Pizza Planet was pretty bad. I disagree on Liberty Inn. My steak was perfect and juicy and very good. I disagree on Yorkshire. The fish was so greasy and heavily breaded that I only managed to eat one pice with the breading removed. I like Pecos Bill. I agree that CHH lobster roll was not good and too much mayo or whatever. Some of these issues for any of us may have just been bad days or personal preferences.

    1. Post

      Liberty Inn is in the American Pavilion in EPCOT. Liberty Tree Tavern is in the Magic Kingdom. They are very, very different.

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