Disney’s very own shopping and entertainment district is open year round, and there’s plenty to explore beyond Mickey’s realm at the major parks. While eating breakfast with your favorite character is a must during your Disney vacation, you’ll also find many themed restaurants and exclusive Disney menu items. From Mickey Mouse waffles to Goofy snacks and cookies, you’ll be armed with plenty of character snacks to get you through the day. Still, when you’re heading out to the Downtwon Disney restaurants, you can look forward to some key menu items that are rare finds at the parks. Here are just eight top picks from Downtown Disney:
Show your Irish spirit at Raglan Road Irish Pub, one of the area’s best picks for authentic Irish fare with all the trimmings. You’ll want to order the Dublin Style Pie & Chips here, a generous dish with its flaky pie crust and heaping fillings. It’s baked fresh daily, and you can smell it as soon as you walk in; save some room for dessert and indulge in another Irish classic. ‘Doh-Bars’ are deep fried candy bars and are perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.
When that craving for ice cream hits, you’ll want to venture over to the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop. This is the spot to order The Earthquake: 8 scoops of ice cream with eight toppings, sliced bananas, whipped cream, almonds and cherries (Share it if you must) One tip; decide what you want before you step into this tiny shop; it fills up fast, and you need some time to choose from the enormous menu!
At the Earl of Sandwich every order is baked on fresh artesian bread. Pick up a hot sandwich at this popular spot: the Full Montagu is your best bet with roast beef, turkey, cheddar and swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mustard.
If you’re in the mood for something light but satisfying, Wolfgang Puck Express serves up an assortment of tasty salads. Try the cold Thai Noodle Salad with chicken on a hot and humid afternoon; it’s a fresh combination of cucumbers, peanut dressing, and onions.
Fulton’s Crab House is a busy place day and night, so make reservations if you plan to enjoy a sit-down dinner here. The best choice here is a Lump Crab Club sandwich; this gourmet sandwich is made with crab boursin, field reens, tomatoes, bacon, and citrus mayonnaise. With the side of French fries, it’s enough to last the entire day.
The Rainforest Café is a fun spot for the entire family, and you’ll find plenty of shopping and activities right within the restaurant. When it’s time to eat, treat yourself to a plate of Lava Nachos. These tri-color tortilla chips are piled high with cheddar cheese, queso sauce, ground beef, peppers, onions, sour cream, and pico de gallo.
Heading to the lake? At the Portobello Yacht Club, you’ll enjoy nightly entertainment and plenty of good vibes. This is a great spot for a fancy dinner, so go ahead and splurge on the Grouper Carciofi; this pan-roasted grouper filet is covered in a lemon white wine sauce, and served with baby artichokes and roasted potatoes.
For a night of fun and lively entertainment, Planet Hollywood will quickly become a favorite spot. The best menu pick here are the Chicken Sizzling Fajitas. Enjoy marinated grilled chicken, green peppers, cheddar and jack cheese, and flour tortillas. Dessert is a necessity, so save some room; you won’t want to pass up the White Chocolate Bread Pudding.
Downtown Disney can be found just outside of the Epcot Center and Animal Kingdom, a welcome retreat for shopping enthusiasts and a break away from the standard lineup of restaurants in the area. If you’re looking for a place to socialize and enjoy a few new hotspots during your stay, head over to the Downtown Disney district for free parking, events, and even a boardwalk. Enjoy from this list of eight ‘greats’ on your next trip!