This week we are back on the food wagon as we try and select some of Walt Disney World’s theme park restaurants that are at the top of the list for most guests. This time we are not going to just select them based on one specific category, but we are going to try and make a comparison based on Disney’s old attraction category system. You may recall or have heard of Disney’s old attraction ticketing strategy where attractions were labeled A – E tickets. When you entered a theme park you purchased a ticket book with A – E tickets in it. When you entered a ride you used one of your tickets based on the attractions label A – E. An E-ticket was considered one of Disney’s best attractions and an A-Ticket was considered a least desirable attraction.
Let’s try and take this system and apply it to restaurants in each theme park and see what may be an A-Ticket and what might be an E-ticket restaurant. It’s safe to say Disney’s old ticketing system was based on attraction theming, thrills, and popularity. For restaurants theming still applies, the thrill factor can be translated to food quality, and popularity still applies. That will be the criteria of our experiment.
Let’s take a stroll over to the Magic Kingdom, pick-up a ticket booklet, and flip through it to see what sit down restaurants coincide with our tickets.
A Ticket – The Plaza Restaurant – Tucked away around the corner off of Main St. USA. A small parlor restaurant great for a quick sit down bite to eat and a great view of Cinderella Castel.
B Ticket – Tony’s Town Square – A great location with subpar Italian food. Themed to Lady and the Tramp. Not a winner with Disney park enthusiasts.
C Ticket – Liberty Tree Tavern – An 18th Century Colonial style restaurant serving English-style lunches and family-style dinners complete with roast turkey, carved beef, mashed potatoes, and stuffing.
D Ticket – The Crystal Palace – A great location off of Main St. USA. A large palace-style restaurant with Winnie the Pooh characters at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The buffet has a lot of food variety.
E Ticket – Cinderella’s Royal Table – A very popular choice among first-time visitors who want to dine inside Cinderella’s Castle. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner in a medieval setting with Disney princesses.
Now let’s take a few monorail rides over to Disney’s food Mecca theme park; EPCOT. Obviously there are a ton of choices here, but our ticket booklet only gives us 5 choices A – E. So, we’ll only be picking 5 restaurants based on our A – E ticket selections.
A Ticket – Coral Reef Restaurant – Dining next to a huge aquarium full of undersea life. Seafood is the star at this Future World restaurant. Not a popular choice considering the many other dining options inside EPCOT.
B Ticket – Biergarten – Celebrating Oktoberfest year round this German restaurant serves traditional German food. Full of entertainment and good times with friends and strangers. Don’t be shy here.
C ticket – Restaurant Marrakesh – Belly dancer entertainment with food that has North Mediterranean flavors. Tucked in the back of the Morocco pavilion.
D Ticket – Via Napoli – A new option for Italian cuisine. More than just pizza. Cuisine includes flavors from Southern Italy like pastas, salads, and gelato in a great open-air Italian atmosphere.
E Ticket – Les Chefs de France – Good French food in a great location. If you get a good table you’ll have a terrific view of the main pathway to World Showcase.
Phew! I’m stuffed, but we still have two more theme parks to visit. Let’s hop on a motor coach and take a ride over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and grab another A – E ticket booklet.
A Ticket – Hollywood & Vine – Breakfast and lunch buffets with characters and an expansive dinner buffet. Right at the corner of Hollywood & Vine.
B Ticket – Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater – Great theming at this location with a drive-in movie theater atmosphere. American-style cuisine with your favorite 50’s horror clips playing on the big screen.
C Ticket – Mama Melrose’s Ristorante – A classic California-style Italian restaurant tucked near the back of the park. Delicious food and good Italian options. Visually appealing with a lot of pictures inside to observe.
D Ticket - 50s Prime Time Café – Terrific 50’s theming with some very tasty American dishes like meatloaf, pot roast, and pot pie. Located near the corner of Hollywood & Vine.
E Ticket – Hollywood Brown Derby – The signature restaurant of Hollywood Studios. Located just off of Hollywood Blvd this restaurant serves great food for those with expensive taste.
Wow! I’m not sure if I can make it out to the bus depot for our trip over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I’m stuffed, but I think I can find room for one more theme park; especially one that doesn’t have a ton of table service options. Let’s go catch a motor coach over to the Animal Kingdom. Since there are only three table service restaurants at this park our ticket book won’t be full.
B Ticket – Rainforest Café – Located at the front entrance of the park this restaurant serves huge portions of food in a noisy animal animatronic environment. Full of color and lush foliage the menu is expansive, but pricy.
C Ticket – Yak & Yeti Restaurant – Full of Himalayan artifacts this restaurant serves Asian-fusion dishes for lunch and dinner. Conveniently located in the Asia section of the park it’s visually appealing and near some of the parks major attractions.
D Ticket – Tusker House – This restaurant serves up a mean breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffet with a wide-range of food options. Located in the Africa section of the park it is a large restaurant with character meal options.
Well, that’s it! I can’t take anymore food. I’m heading back to my resort for a little rest and relaxation for the evening. Four theme parks in one day is a grind whether it’s virtual or real (I’d prefer real, but virtual will have to do for now).
Do you agree with these restaurant ticket classifications? What would you change? There are so many restaurant choices in the theme parks it’s tough to rank or classify them. One thing is for sure, if you go home hungry from one of the four theme parks it’s your own fault. There’s food everywhere and if you miss it or simply avoid it you have more will power than me.
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