With numerous parks and hundreds of attractions, there is plenty to satisfy both children and adults at the happiest place on earth. And scrumptious food is one of the charms of Disney World. Continuing with our list of Disney World food facts, check out these 10 things that will surely surprise you!
10. Disney World takes its wine very seriously!
Disney World (officially known as Walt Disney World) may have started off primarily as a children’s holiday destination, but over the years, thanks to clever marketing strategies and word-of-mouth publicity, it has now become an all-round family destination. Adults can enjoy the various attractions of Walt Disney World just as much as kids. And for most adults, fun involves a bit of booze! At Disney World, there’s no need to worry for there are plenty of drinking options available. And if you are a wine enthusiast, you’re in luck for the folks at Disney World take their wine very seriously! Wine is offered at many restaurants in Disney World. And most of it is very high quality. As per one edition of Walt Disney World News, about 700 sommeliers received the Court of Master Sommelier Introductory Certificate at Walt Disney World Resort. Now that is impressive! They even have more than 300 sommeliers working at various restaurants across Disney World. And one such restaurant where these outstanding sommeliers work is Victoria and Albert’s, a fine-dining establishment in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. The restaurant has about 700 wines on their wine list and an additional 4200 wines are said to be in the wine cellar of this posh restaurant. Is it any wonder that it is one of Walt Disney World’s most expensive restaurants? For those patrons looking for something a bit more stronger than wine might have to hop on over to the Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom or the legendary private membership club, Club 33. Beer, spirits, cocktails, etc. are available at these establishments.
9. Thousands of food items to choose from
Disney World is a giant city in itself consisting of four theme parks and two water parks and countless rides and attractions within each of these parks. Every year Disney World receives millions of visitors; most of who choose to stay at one of Disney World’s many resorts and dine at one of the many, many dining options scattered across the parks. From carts to kiosks to shops to cafés to fine-dining restaurants, Disney World has an amazing array of dining options to choose from. Reportedly, there are more than 475 different dining choices available to visitors. This includes outlets included under the popular Dining Pass program to impromptu food stalls to kiddie snack carts. Quick-service and full-service restaurants are also part of this mind-boggling number. And if you are wondering why would Walt Disney World provide so many dining options? Simply because they have that much variety of food to offer! Rumor has it that there are about 6,000 different kinds of food items sold at Walt Disney World. This includes their famous Mickey Bars, Mickey Pretzels, delicious popcorn, churros, jumbo turkey legs, Citrus Swirl, Mickey Waffles, ice cream nachos, and other such unique Disney creations. Disney’s fine dining offerings also generously contribute to this number. With literally thousands of food items to choose from, is it any wonder then that Disney World is the happiest place on earth?
8. The British connection at the Rose and Crown Restaurant and Pub
As we have seen earlier, Disney World is home to several hundred restaurants and dining options. And several of these dining options are located at EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow). Walt Disney’s brainchild, Epcot as it is more commonly known, is famous for its geodesic sphere, varied architecture, landscaping and above all, pavilions from across the world. At the pavilions, famous landmarks, representative architecture, food, culture and such other things typical of each country are represented. And at the UK pavilion at Epcot, the Rose and Crown Restaurant and Pub is a very popular attraction. It is essentially a table-service restaurant and bar done up in a typical British pub style. Situated in the World Showcase area at Epcot, the UK pavilion sees a lot of foot traffic mainly due to the fame of the Rose and Crown Restaurant and Pub. The décor of the establishment looks like a well-established pub, complete with rich wooden furnishings, molded ceilings and other decorative elements that are reminiscent of a true British pub. There is an indoor dining area, pub seating and an outdoor patio seating that provides fabulous IllumiNations (fireworks, lasers, etc.) views. The menu also consists of typical pub grub along with a steady flow of beer and other drinks. Taking authenticity to another level, the Rose and Crown Restaurant and Pub also has a specially designed ale warmer that can heat up beer to a perfect 55 degrees, similar to the temperature preferred by pub-goers in the UK. But this gem of a place hides a secret and the clue is in the name. Two of the most common words used in naming pubs in the UK are ‘rose’ and ‘crown’. And using a combination of these two words, the brilliant people at Disney World came up with the name for their pub in the UK pavilion. Thus, the Rose and Crown Restaurant and Pub was born. And it truly does mimic everything from the name to the décor to the food and drinks of real pubs in the UK.
7. Popcorn and churros are very popular!
As we saw in Part 1 of this Disney World food facts article that jumbo turkey legs and Mickey Bars are extremely popular with visitors. But there are so many other snacks that are equally (if not more!) popular. The various food carts, stalls, kiosks, and quick-service outlets sell a dizzying array of snacks to satisfy every taste bud, every preference and even the pickiest eaters. And right at the top of these array of tasty snacks are the ever-popular snacks of popcorn and churros. Popcorn is undoubtedly everyone’s favorite snack at Disney World. It is quick, convenient and cheap to eat on the go, easily making it one of the top-selling snacks at Disney World. In fact, they sell so much popcorn at Disney World that someone actually came up with fun facts about it. 324,000 pounds of popcorn are popped every year at Disney World, which is about 5 million bags of buttery popcorn. Wow! With the amount of popcorn sold at Disney World, if somebody stacked each corn kernel on top of the other, it would be 200 feet high every two days! And if churros are what you like, then you’re in luck! Disney World sells an unbelievable number of those too! Reportedly, about 3,800,000 churros are consumed every year at Disney World. And they would extend to 954 miles if somebody laid them out end-to-end!
6. Disney World loves its cheese too!
As we’ve seen earlier, about 6,000 different kinds of food items are sold at an approximate 475 eating establishments at Walt Disney World each year. We also know that the folks at Disney World grow most of their own produce at Epcot. They grow a reported 30 tons of fresh produce every year, which is supplied to all the restaurants in the park. Disney World is also known for its delicious food that both children and adults can enjoy. From unique creations to classic cuisine, the restaurants at Disney World go all out in pleasing their customers. And cheese features prominently on every food establishment’s menu. From quick-service to table-service to fine dining restaurants, cheese is everywhere at Disney World. They love their cheese so much that an astounding variety and styles of cheese appear on restaurant menus. There are reportedly about 350 chefs at Disney World and they seem to be very passionate about cheese. It is believed that the chefs use almost 90 different varieties of cheese in the various preparations across Disney World resorts and parks restaurants! Now that’s some serious cheese love!
5. Mickey Ears are everywhere!
In the collection of Disney characters, the one that is the leader of the pack is Mickey Mouse. This little mouse is so famous that there is hardly a living person on this earth who doesn’t know him. Created by the legendary Walt Disney himself in 1928, Mickey Mouse is now a Disney mascot and icon. From a cartoon character to a universal brand, Mickey Mouse has come a long way since 1928. And at Disney World, you just can’t escape this famous Disney icon. From costumed characters to food shaped like Mickey Mouse, this cute-as-a-button mouse is everywhere! And those ubiquitous Mickey ears are the stuff of legends. They make an appearance at almost every place in Disney World. From Mickey hats to headbands to everything else in between, Mickey’s ears are omnipresent! And how can we forget about Mickey Bars, Mickey pancakes, Mickey waffles, Mickey pretzels, and even Mickey Mouse shaped cucumbers! As if that was not enough, it is also widely believed that the staff at Disney World will go to great lengths to honor Mickey Mouse. Reportedly, they secretly arrange plates and cups in the form of Mickey Mouse’s face! So, if you order a sandwich and two drinks at an eating establishment at Disney World, don’t be surprised if your order is positioned to look like Mickey Mouse’s face!
4. Lunch service starts as early as 10:30 a.m.
If you’ve ever been to Disney World, you know how crazy the wait times at restaurants can get, especially during lunchtime. Families with tired and hungry kids, exhausted parents and a packed restaurant do not make for a happy picture. But that is what you will experience if you walk into your favorite Disney World restaurant at peak times. What most visitors don’t know is that lunch service at many Disney World restaurants starts as early as 10:30 am. Most places end their breakfast service at 10, start their lunch service at 10:30 and the crowd starts to roll in by 11:45 am. So, to ensure that you get a place at the restaurant of your choice try to make it there between the sweet spot of 10:30 – 11 am. Who knows, you might even get a table of your choice! A pro tip would be to either eat a huge late breakfast and have a late lunch after 1:30 pm. That way you beat the crowds at both mealtimes. The idea is to plan your meals in advance so that you don’t end up at Columbia Harbour House at the Magic Kingdom or Pizza Planet at Hollywood Studios at noon with lines extending all the way out the door!
3. No plastic at the Animal Kingdom
Plastic waste is a serious issue in today’s world. And the harm it causes to innocent animals in the ocean as well as on land is horrific. The good people at the Animal Kingdom in Disney World seem to agree. Disney World staff don’t like to take their chances with animals accidentally ingesting themselves with stray plastic waste like straws or lids. And they don’t seem to trust humans to be responsible enough to dispose of plastic waste properly. Thus, when you buy a drink at a food establishment in the Animal Kingdom, no plastic straw or lid for your drink cup will be provided. You won’t find any straws, lids or even balloons here for Disney World really does care for its animals – they don’t want any plastic to accidentally end up in the animal habitats. So, at the Animal Kingdom, be fully prepared to get your drink in a cup sans lid and plastic straw. You could ask for a cardboard straw or carry a steel one from home. This serves the dual purpose of keeping the animals safe from ingesting plastic and also helps Disney World reduce its plastic waste.
2. Bring your own food into any Disney World park
Disney World may be the happiest place on earth for kids, but parents may not feel the same way when they see the food prices at the parks. You may think that a Mickey pretzel here, a soda there, a sandwich or a Mickey bar surely couldn’t cost that much. Sure, the individual prices of these products may not be that much but together, it can all add up to quite a bit. But what are you to do? Surely, you can’t stay hungry or stop your kids from having their favorite snacks? Absolutely not! What most visitors don’t know is that there is a secret hack to beating the hunger pangs and saving your pennies while vacationing at Disney World. Did you know that you are allowed to bring your own food (BYOF anyone?) into any Disney World park? There are some exceptions to this rule, of course. No glass bottles, alcohol or large coolers are allowed inside. But baby food jars are ok. Disney World allows visitors to bring in snacks or foods that do not require heating. All you have to do is inform the security personnel at the entrance of the park of any food items that you are bringing in. So go ahead and pack a few sandwiches, carrot sticks, fruit slices or candy bars and have a picnic lunch on the park grounds. This way you can save money on the food and spend more on the rides and attractions or the occasional Mickey Mouse shaped treat!
1. Toddlers eat for free!
Another fun food fact about Disney World is that kids under 3 eat for free at buffet and family-style restaurants. If your toddler can eat off your plate or share a kiddie meal with your other children, there is no separate charge for them. You can ask for a separate plate for your toddler and share your food with them. And if you have a Disney dining plan, there’s no need to purchase a separate dining plan for your kid under the age of three. Even at quick-service restaurants, you can share your food with your toddler. But a separate meal would invite an additional charge. Another tip is to buy Power Packs that are sold across food courts and some quick-service locations at Disney World parks. Power Packs generally have crackers, veggies or fruits, a small dessert and yogurt. These are not free, but relatively cheap. And the best part is that if your toddler doesn’t finish the entire pack, you can save the leftovers for snacks the next day! All these handy tips go a long way in saving a few pennies on your family vacation.