Attractions are usually first on a visitor’s mind when heading to a theme park. Food, however, is usually not too far behind. I (Joe) recently ranked the Magic Kingdom by attraction lineup. Here are my rankings based on the food that each “land” offers.
A few months ago I ranked the “Lands” in Magic Kingdom based on their attraction lineup. That ranking took into account the quality of rides, theming, and amount of rides offered in a land. It was a closer call than I thought before I began writing that article, but Fantasyland edged out Tomorrowland.
For the food lineup, I again took into account the quality as well as the number of offerings. The number of sit-down options available also played a role. Before I get into the rankings, there are a few additional items to note. Main Street, USA is included as one of the lands for these rankings. While I did not include it in the attractions article, there certainly are enough dining options to make Main Street, USA a contender in these rankings.
The dining options do not take into account the popcorn carts, ice cream, etc. that are scattered throughout the park. In addition, remember that in ranking the lands it is not necessarily meant to be a negative for the land. As I mentioned when writing the attractions article, this is the best of the best in the world’s most popular theme park.
Coming in at spot #6 is Frontierland. The major reason Frontierland is on the bottom of the rankings is because of the lack of offerings. First, there are just three official dining options in the land, and one (Golden Oak Outpost) typically is only open at the busiest times of the year.
The quality of the land’s dining options are adequate, but it is not enough to carry the lack of offerings. Add in the fact that there is no table service restaurant in the land, and I decided to rank Frontierland at the bottom.
Favorite Frontierland Dining Option
Over the course of many trips to the Magic Kingdom, I have rarely dined at any of the offerings in Frontierland. Most of it is due to wanting to try other options in the park. The popcorn cart or Mickey ice cream bar cart near Thunder Mountain Railroad is where I have stopped most often. With that said, I would give Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe the nod as my favorite of the official dining options.
The Old West saloon features a Mexican/Southwest inspired menu. To be honest, I preferred the menu before the change that debuted in October of 2015. There was some fan outcry when all burgers were removed from the menu, but Disney did bring back a couple options. Overall, there are a decent number of quality Mexican/Southwest items to choose from.
For more info on Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe check out Monica’s Top 5 Reasons to eat at here. Susan’s update and review on a special sandwich for the 50th anniversary is also located in Frontierland.
Coming in at spot #5 is Tomorrowland. While Tomorrowland was ranked highly in my attraction rankings and I love the theming in the land, the dining options are not as strong. The quick serve options are certainly adequate, but also nothing special to distinguish themselves from other choices in the park.
Other treats found at Auntie Gravity’s or Cool Ship are tasty but not special. There is no table service restaurant in Tomorrowland which hurts the ranking as well. In addition, there is the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant that is typically not open or serves as the spot for dessert parties. These dessert parties can be a nice event, but I did not include them in the rankings.
Favorite Tomorrowland Dining Option
My favorite spot in Tomorrowland is Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, more for the atmosphere than the food quality. The menu is similar to what you would expect at most quick serve restaurants. The burgers, chicken, and fries are all good. What sets Cosmic Rays apart for me is the “live” music entertainment featuring audio-animatronic Sonny Eclipse.
The show is corny and brings back the nostalgia that I felt watching shows like Food Rocks in EPCOT. It fits well in the Tomorrowland theme of the “future that never was.” Check out Monica’s “hit or miss” review of Cosmic Ray’s.
#4 Main Street, USA
Coming in at #4 in the rankings is Main Street, USA. The land offers many more choices as compared to what we saw in the #5 and #6 spot. The variety puts Main Street ahead of Tomorrowland and Frontierland, but the quality of the offerings leaves a little to be desired. In my opinion the table service meals are just adequate. Not bad but not special. Tony’s Town Square Restaurant fits this description perfectly in my opinion. I’m never left disappointed, but at the same time I have not been wowed.
There are some great locations to eat for the views and atmosphere as Main Street meets the Hub. If you time it right, it is possible to get a good view of fireworks or a parade. However, as I mentioned before, the quality of The Plaza Restaurant and Crystal Palace is just ok. The quick serve options are adequate here as well, and Casey’s Corner is always a fun time (try to catch some piano playing!).
Favorite Main Street, USA Dining Option
The Main Street bakery is my pick for favorite spot on Main Street, USA. Right in the heart of the Main Street atmosphere, the bakery offers a great combination of Disney treats and is the Magic Kingdom’s Starbucks location. I’m ok with Joffery’s throughout most of my trip, but every once in a while I need some Starbucks.
#3 Liberty Square
Liberty Square is at the #3 spot in my rankings of the Magic Kingdom lands based on dining options. There are a few more options than what Tomorrowland and Frontierland bring to the table, and the land also offers multiple table service restaurants. The quality of the table service options is what keeps it from reaching #2 or #1, but the options are a step up from Main Street, USA in my opinion.
Liberty Square has a strong quick serve/snack lineup with Sleepy Hollow, Columbia Harbour House, and the Liberty Square Market. The market is a great on-the-go option, and Columbia Harbour House might be the most underrated quick serve meal in Disney.
I’ll have more on Sleepy Hollow below. The table service meals are good, and it is nice that guests have the option and flexibility to also get some Liberty Tree favorites at Diamond Horseshoe.
Favorite Liberty Square Dining Option
Sleepy Hollow is one of my favorite spots in Magic Kingdom. The quaint brick cottage has what might be my favorite food item in Disney, the Sweet-and-Spicy Chicken-Waffle sandwich. In addition, the sweet waffle sandwiches and funnel cake are outstanding. I highly recommend mobile order for Sleepy Hollow as the lines get long here throughout the day.
I’ll be honest, I switched my #2 and #3 rankings a few times in writing this article. This was the closest call in my endeavor. Adventureland gets the nod at #2, obviously buoyed by what many guests consider the best snack in Magic Kingdom and even all of Disney. While Liberty Square has Adventureland beat in terms of the number of options, the high quality of the Adventureland offerings gives it the edge to #2.
Adventureland’s table service meal, Jungle Navigation Co LTD Skipper Canteen, is noteworthy for the Jungle Cruise theme, but the food is surprisingly good. That is not where the quality stops in the land, however. The Spring Roll Cart is a popular destination and Tortuga Tavern is a quality quick serve option even with its limited menu. One other note, like I mentioned with Pecos Bill, Tortuga’s older menu was better in my opinion.
The headliner dining options in the land are the snacks at Aloha Isle and Sunshine Tree Terrace. More on Aloha Isle below. The quality of both of these spots pushes Adventureland to #2 in the rankings.
Favorite Adventureland Dining Option
This one was easy. Aloha Isle’s Dole Whip is often the winner of fan votes, and the location has my personal favorite treat in all of Disney World, the Pineapple Float. Again, I highly recommend mobile order for this popular spot.
It’s hard for me to pass up my favorite item and try other offerings on the menu, but the other floats are tremendous (check out Susan’s recent review and helpful tips here) along with the Fifi, Gigi, Mimi bundt cake. The popularity of the Dole Whip led to some spin-off locations at places such as the Polynesian Village Resort (Pineapple Lanai pictured below) and in Animal Kingdom.
We have a winner in our rankings and it is Fantasyland! Fantasyland has a wealth of offerings as well as high quality dining. Fantasyland comes out on top of the dining rankings as well as the attractions rankings. In terms of quality table service, Fantasyland offers Be Our Guest Restaurant and Cinderella’s Royal Table.
Dining inside Cinderella castle is popular for obvious reasons, and Be Our Guest has great food and atmosphere. We have been happy with both the lunch and dinner experience.
Fantasyland’s snack/quick serve lineup is great, led by Gaston’s Tavern, Pinocchio Village Haus, and Friar’s Nook. In addition, don’t miss Storybook Treats for a variety of sweet treats.
Favorite Fantasyland Dining Option
This was a tough one as there are a lot of great options in Fantasyland. The table service options are strong with great theming. For me, my favorite spot is the underrated Pinocchio Village Haus. Be Our Guest was a close second, and Pinocchio Village Haus is likely an unpopular opinion. I am a fan of the flatbread pizzas, and we have made it a tradition to watch the it’s a small world boats. In the picture above, you can see the Village Haus tables through the windows.
Do you agree with the rankings? Where would you make changes? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook! This was a fun post to create, thanks for reading!