Review of 5 different counter service meals at 4 parks from our May vacation in Walt Disney World.

Studio Catering – Hollywood Studios in the Streets of America –  Full Menu

Score : 3 out of 5
We ate:
Ryan – Deli sandwich served with house made chips
Kim – Turkey Panini, this come with tomato basil soup
Evan (8) – Chicken nugget kids meal
Joel (7) – Chicken nugget kids meal

Added 1 large soda and a Darth Vader cupcake (Star Wars Weekends was taking place and this is a specialty cupcake) for a total of $43.07

What was really nice about this lunch was that that the seating is outdoors and covered.  I guess depending on your personal likes this could be good or bad.  We had just beat the rain into the area and when we sat down with our food the rain started.  It had cooled the air off and made it an enjoyable temperature.

We were eating on the early side so that the crowd in the area was very manageable and we found a place to sit quite easily.  The food was what I consider typical theme park selections.  Nothing great, nothing bad.  The Darth Vader cupcake is a chocolate and peanut butter cupcake and was very good.  Plan on sharing thought because the peanut butter flavor is very present and makes it pretty heavy and filling.  It took our family of 4 to finish it with each person being satisfied with a couple of bites just to taste it.  I would say this is a good plan for most Disney desserts.

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café  – Magic Kingdom in Frontierland –  Full Menu
Score : 3.5 out of 5
We ate:
Ryan – 1/3 lb Angus Bacon Cheeseburger
Kim – Southwest Chicken Salad
Evan (8) – 1/3 lb Angus Bacon Cheeseburger
Joel (7) – Children’s hamburger meal

Added 2 large sodas for a total of $47.87

This is such a hard one for me to be fair with because we made a fatal flaw.  We went to eat here at prime lunch time, noon.  It was a zoo and the crowd overwhelmed the entire experience.

Let’s start with the good.  The food was very tasty.  There is a topping bar for the burgers that is nice and everything we ate was really good.

Now the bad.  The restaurant was crazy packed.  They were not seating people and they should have been.  Once we had our food, we went to find a place to seat and ended up standing around, hovering, just waiting for a table to open up.  Once we got a seat, there was still a tenseness in the air from people moving around and trying to get back to their seats or find one.  When we entered there was a cast member preventing people from bringing in strollers.  However, we had several people with strollers asking us to move our chairs so they could get past our table.  Just not a pleasant environment.

Yak & Yeti Café  – Animal Kingdom in Asia section –  Full Menu
Score : 4.5 out of 5
We ate:
Ryan – Teriyaki Beef Bowl
Kim – Asian Chicken Sandwich
Evan (8) – Chicken Fried Rice
Joel (7) – Children’s cheeseburger meal

Added 2 large sodas for a total of $39.77

We loved this meal and can’t wait to go back.  Ryan thought the Teriyaki Beef Bowl was excellent.  I was a little disappointed in the Asian Chicken Sandwich.  It really was just a boring chicken sandwich with a bag of Sun chips.  I don’t even know what made it Asian.  Maybe the mayo used had a little zip added to it, but it was mild and obviously completely forgettable.

The seating is outdoors and portions are covered and others are tables with umbrellas.  We ate early and that makes all the difference.  We were there at 11:00 am (they open at 10:30am).  It was not crowded yet.  Ordering and getting our food was super quick.

Sunshine Seasons  – EPCOT – The Land Pavilion –  Full Menu
Score : 5 out of 5
We ate:
Ryan – Pork loin with mashed potatoes and green beans
Kim & Evan (8) – Monterey Chicken Sandwich
Joel (7) – Chicken leg kids meal.
Added 2 large sodas, chocolate chip cookie, bear claw, whoopee pie, and strawberry shortcake for a total of $52.31

For counter service in any park, I don’t believe you get any better than Sunshine Seasons.  We always have great meals here and this is my favorite place to eat counter service or sit-down in Walt Disney World.   The location in The Land Pavilion is perfect.  It is next to Soarin and Living with the Land attractions, so it is easy to stop here for a bite to eat either before or after you enjoy these popular attractions.

The set-up at Sunshine Seasons is atypical.  There is a variety of food choices, kids, grilled, sandwiches, desserts, etc at different stations.  You go to a station and grab your food and your drinks.  Once you have everything you then proceed to check out.  The process is always quick and efficient when we are here.  There is a ton of seating and it is all indoors.  No rain and no heat.  The food is always great and this is one of the few locations in the World that you get free refills on your soda.

Be Our Guest  – Magic Kingdom – New Fantasyland –  Full Menu
Score : 4.5 out of 5
We ate:
Ryan – Eggs Florentine (Puff Pastry Shell filled with scrambled eggs, cheese and spinach)
Kim – Croque Madame (Open faced ham sandwich with a fried egg and a béchamel sauce)
Evan & Joel – Both had an order of the kids scrambled eggs with bacon.
A total of $68.12.  This is a price fixed menu.  Adults all pay $19.99 and children pay $11.99.  This includes drinks and a plate of pastries for the table to share.

Be Our Guest for breakfast is still considered in a trial phase that is at this point only until July 19, 2015.  We wanted to take advantage while we could because the dining location is so popular, they are going to have to make this a permanent offering to accommodate all the guest wanting to eat in the Beast’s castle.

The location is amazing.  I love eating here for the location.  The dining areas are stunning. When eating here for breakfast and lunch there is the opportunity to order in advance.  DO THIS!  When you order ahead you get placed in a line for others who have done this and all they have to do is confirm the order and pay.  Goes really quickly.  We did not.  We had this enormously long line to wait in to place our order.

One of the perks of eating here is that once you place your order, you can go select your own seat while you wait for your food.  The food is brought later to your table.  They know where you are sitting via the magic of RFID technology in your magic band to your table.  I like this and it is so nice to select a table without lugging a tray of food around.

The food itself is good – not great.  I would rate it above average.  Ryan and ended up switching our entrees midway through because I did not like the cheese used on my sandwich.  He loved it, though.

Since this is a price fix menu, I think it is overpriced even by Disney pricing standards.  If you are on the dining plan, this would be a great choice for one of your counter service meal credits.

In this week’s DIStracted Moment I mention the WDW Pensieve podcast.  Check that out at WDWPensieve.com

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