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Dining Discuss Best counter-service at MK-area resorts? in the Vacation Planning forums; Hello all. I'm in the midst of planning my September trip with my parents. We'll be on the dining plan as it's during the Free Dining promotion. The way I ...
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    mritty's Avatar
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    Best counter-service at MK-area resorts?

    Hello all.

    I'm in the midst of planning my September trip with my parents. We'll be on the dining plan as it's during the Free Dining promotion. The way I have things planned out right now, we'll be at the Magic Kingdom all day on Sunday, September 21st. We're going to have to do two counter service meals that day, because we're doing two table-service meals another day.

    I feel like I've been to Pecos Bills, Cosmic Rays, and Columbia Harbor House about a hundred times each. And I'm not a huge fan of the Pinnochio Villiage Haus. Plus, it might not be a bad idea to escape the park for a little bit in the afternoon. So I'd like to get your opinion on what the "best" counter-service restaurant at the Magic Kingdom area resorts is. It must be:
    * on the Disney Dining Plan as a counter-service option, and
    * at either the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Contemporary, Fort Wilderness, or Wilderness Lodge.

    I've only ever even walked into one of those resorts (I had breakfast at Chef Mickey's once), so I know nothing about their counter service offerings.

    Price isn't an issue, as we're on the DDP. So with those restrictions, which do you personally feel is the "best" option available to us?

    Thanks!

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    Serkazong's Avatar
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    I like Capitan Cook's at the Polynesian. They have very good "gourmet" pizzas that I believe were just added to the menu last year. Along with the typical sandwiches and burgers, they also offer sushi (very surprising) and some more exotic salads. Also, a selling point is the Dole Whip machine which is hard to pass up. The whole menu seems to lean toward the pan-Asian cuisine keeping with the resort's theme. For breakfast, they also serve their famous Tonga Toast a-la-carte if you choose to go over earlier.

    I've never been, but I will try out Roaring Forks @ the Wilderness Lodge next week and post back when we return. From what I read, it sounds as if it has more "American" style offerings.

    I'm afraid I don't have any personal experience with Contemporary or Grand Floridian counter service dining. I guess I will need to book two more vacations soon .

    Even though it is "in park" dining and very simple fare, Casey's Corner has become a tradition with my clan. On a whim, we ducked in to grab a quick bite on our '06 trip and it became my wife's favorite MK restaurant.

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    The only counter-service at the Grand Floridian is Gasparilla Grill and Games. I had lunch there one Mousefest trip. They offer some different choices for sandwiches and pizza. The game room wasn't very loud. Menu from All Ears: Gasparilla Grill and Games - Grand Floridian
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    mritty's Avatar
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    Thanks for the opinions! :-)

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    We used to like the Food n Fun Center in the Contemporary Resort. Now that it's closed, the temporary setup is not very good. I hope the permanent food court is better.

    I would try for Captain Cooks or Gasparilla unless the new location at the CR has opened. The one at WL would be okay, but you'd spend a lot of your time on transportation since the only way there is via boat.
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    firemanx's Avatar
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    capt cooks has self serve Dole Whip machines. Oh they also serve food there, too!

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    Serkazong's Avatar
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    As promised upon my return from WDW, I was able to try out the counter service dining @ Wilderness Lodge (Roaring Forks Snacks). It was definately more "American" than Captain Cook's and we did enjoy the a la carte choices for breakfast. It was a bit more like a limited caffeteria style arrangement than other resort counter service restaurants I have tried. Lunch was not much different with typical cold sandwiches and the like. The dining atmosphere offered nifty views of the pool, courtyard and dining areas if you chose to eat outside.

    On the second morning of our stay, we elected to change hotels (more on this in trip report section later) and booked the last 7 nights in the Contemporary Resort. Counter service @ the Contemporary was provided by Tempo Grab and Go in the tower and The Sand Bar near the marina. The selection at Tempo was adequate, offering flatbread pizzas, a nice bar-b-q sandwich and numerous other cold salads and sandwiches. The view here is from the fourth floor windows overlooking Bay Lake and in close proximity to the monorail line. The Sand Bar included hamburgers and a limited selection of grilled items and other fare intended for poolside dining

    After experiencing these other two resort's counter service restaurants, I would still reccomend Captain Cook's not only for the selection and atmosphere, but for the convienience of the monorail transportation back to the MK afterwords.

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    Here's another vote for Captain Cooks! I really enjoyed their variety and you can't beat the location for grabbing your meal and enjoying it outside among the palm trees. Plus, it is just a quick hop back to MK!!
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    Cool

    Another vote for Captain Cook's at the Polynesian, we have enjoyed the recent additions to the menu. Like other posters have mentioned, the Dole Whip machine, all good!
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    I hear that Trail's End at Fort Wilderness is supposed to be pretty good, but I have yet to try it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firemanx View Post
    capt cooks has self serve Dole Whip machines. Oh they also serve food there, too!
    Capt. Cooks would be my choice as well
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    I enjoyed Roaring Forks. It had the best flatbread pizza I have ever had. Or I was just really hungry!


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    GIOny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicks10 View Post
    I hear that Trail's End at Fort Wilderness is supposed to be pretty good, but I have yet to try it.

    Is Trails End a counter service, I thought it was a TS, but not sure But I always hear how good it is, want to try it sometime. My vote goes with Captain Cooks in the Poly, I think they have a good selection and just the fact that you can make your Dole Whip makes it all worth it
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