2010: Restaurants at the Italy & Mexico Pavilions at Epcot
Editor’s Note: This post is part 40 in a forty-part blog series in celebration of Walt Disney World Resort’s upcoming 40th Anniversary. Please welcome to The Window Seat Erin Foster, Walt Disney World Moms Panel Guest Author.
In 2010, new restaurants opened at the Italy and Mexico Pavilions at Epcot. Many guests are unaware of the hundreds of dining options available across the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks. From snack carts to fine dining, here’s a quick culinary lesson on the different dining experiences available.
When you come home from vacation, the first thing your friends ask you is, “What did you do for fun?” And the second thing they ask is, “What did you eat?” With a Walt Disney World vacation, the fun and the eating go hand in hand. Interspersed among the attractions and entertainment at Disney’s theme parks are dozens of fabulous eating opportunities: everything from novelty food items like Mickey-shaped ice cream pops and funnel cake (yum, yum, yum, and a little more yum after that) to gourmet dishes such as tuna tartare and rack of lamb.
Before you go, you should know that there are several categories of dining within Disney’s theme parks. Here’s the run down on what to expect:
• Snack carts and stands – These are quick stops that sell just a few items, plus soft drinks and water. You’ll find theme park classics like popcorn, ice cream and churros, plus more substantial fare like corn dogs, egg rolls and those colossal, and colossally delicious, turkey legs.
• Counter service restaurants – Here’s where you go to eat quickly, (more time for rides) but still have a seat. The parks offer basic burgers and pizza as well as specialty and ethnic dishes, sometimes in elaborately-themed settings. How about having Orange Beef in the shadow of “Mount Everest” or indulging in Quiche Lorraine in a “Parisian” plaza? Sounds good to me!
• Table service restaurants – These are the waiter and tablecloth venues that have more substantial menus or full buffets. Want a three-course Italian, Mexican, Moroccan, Chinese, or classic American meal? The Disney theme park table service restaurants have you covered.
• Signature dining – These restaurants offer luxurious dishes, rivaling some of the best food anywhere, with fine cocktail and wine options, paired with truly impeccable service. Disney really knows how to take care of you when you’re treating yourself on vacation. And, hey, I know you deserve it.
• Character meals – Want some quality time with Mickey, Cinderella or other favorite Disney friends? A great option is to book a character breakfast, lunch or dinner. Characters will come directly to your table for conversation and photographs while you dine in air-conditioned comfort. It’s a great way to multi-task on your Disney must-dos.
The best thing about theme park dining is that you can take part in any of these options while you’re just steps away from your next ride or attraction. Have your meal break, and then moments later you’re watching the evening parade – no time wasted at all!
If you’re interested in these dining categories, make reservations as far in advance as possible, usually up to 180 days ahead of time. You can also make dining reservations by calling 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463). Using either of these methods, you’ll have an opportunity to make special requests related to your dining needs. You can let the Disney chefs know about your food-related allergy or religious restrictions, or you can request a personalized cake to make your vacation celebration extra-special.
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