Counter Service Restaurants at Walt Disney World – Episode 172

We’re taking you all over Walt Disney World to some of our favorite counter service restaurants.

Hope you enjoy today’s video, be sure to leave a comment and share it with your friends!

Rick Howard

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28 comments on “Counter Service Restaurants at Walt Disney World – Episode 172”

  1. Dave S says:

    Hi Rick! Great episode on the counter service restaurants, and timely as we’ll be at WDW in less than 60 days. We’ve eaten at some of the places you discussed: Cosmic Rays is a favorite, as my daughter loves his show (the food is good, too!) When we were there last year, I’d have to say my favorite was the burger at The American Adventure with the pulled pork. This year, after seeing your report, I’d say we are definitely going to Flame Tree BBQ in the Animal Kingdom. Thanks so much for the great info…looking forward to next week’s pool report!


  2. Lee W says:

    Hey there Rick!

    Great podcast as usual, thanks for sharing!

    I’m going to Disney in 6 days so this is podcast has perfect timing!

    When we’re at AK we are defiantly going to Flame Tree BBQ, thanks for the advice! Even though you didn’t mention my favorite at MK, Casey’s Corner.

    Anyways, thanks for the awesome info report

    Have a good week!



  3. Nick Yeager says:

    Hey Rick,
    Great video. I like counter service. Disney themes just about everything. Even something as simple as a menu. Not sure I ever heard of grilled salmon being a counter service item. That answers the question of the week. See you next week, Rick. P.S. Answering the “What is you favorite roller coaster?” from last week, mine is Skyrush at Hersheypark.


  4. Lorrie Tharp says:

    I am new to “Travel With Rick” and enjoy it very much. I am a die hard Disney Fan, but have not made it to Walt Disney World. We live in Oregon, so Disneyland is closer. It is AWESOME and go there as much as possible. Your Disney World counter service episode puts another piece of information for when we go to WDW. To answer your question on the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen offered at a lunch counter…it would have to be emu nuggets. No, I didn’t buy them. Look forward to next week’s episode on WDW pools. Thanks for my Disney fix, Lorrie.


  5. Sara L says:

    Great video. It give me some good ideas for my next trip.


  6. Steven says:

    i bumped into you this past june in the animal kingdom. you may not remember—you were on the move & really hustling! you did stop long enough for a handshake & introduction though. thx for that…
    my favorite counter in animal kingdom is a hidden gem–(i think it’s a hidden gem)–tamu-tamu refreshments in africa. the pulled beef sandwich is awesome!
    enjoy your videos…we go to disney a lot. well, a lot for someone living in nc! not nearly as much as you—so jealous! thx!


    Rick Reply:

    Hey Steven,

    Of course I remember meeting you! Sorry we were in such a big rush, we had spent quite a bit of time waiting for and riding Kali River Rapids, and were late for our next stop.

    Wish we had taken more time and talked and grabbed a picture! It’s always great meeting friends of the blog when we’re at the parks!

    Thanks again for saying hi, great meeting you, and thanks for watching the show and leaving your comments!


  7. David H says:

    Thanks for the counter service video! The salmon would definitely be the strangest thing I’ve seen at counter service. Flame Tree BBQ is one of my favorites!


  8. Jeanne Cundiff says:

    That was fun to see so much Disney in 15 mins!! I just love my “Rick Disney fix” Ok, I can remember years ago thinking that a huge Turkey leg was a funny, strange thing to sell at a counter. Not chicken or a battered piece of something but this huge turkey leg. Now it would be horrible to not see it at Disney World! Go figure!
    I am very excited to see the video on the pools!!!
    Thanks for another great video!


  9. Kevin Nelson says:

    Thanks so much Rick for your awesome video, love the counter service restaurants, especially, Cosmic Rays, Pecos Bills and Flame Tree BBQ! My oldest son wants to try Pizza Planet on our end of September trip, I’m all for it too! I’m looking forward to your pool report because we are staying at the Beach Club in September, heard their pool was SWEET! I agree with the post above, just seeing those huge turkey legs is the strangest thing I’ve seen, I bet if I’d break down and try one I’d be hooked on them for life, I just might on my next visit! Thanks again Rick, I forgot to mention my favorite cereal last week, funny you mentioned Kashi, cause I eat it everyday before work! Keep smilin’ my friends at TWR!


  10. Sara L says:

    My favorite counter service is at The Golden Gate Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. It’s the home of the Shrimp Cocktail. For $1.99 you can get a Tulip glass full of shrimp.


  11. Scott Schultz says:

    Great video Rick! My wife and I eat mostly counter service meals when in Disney World and seem to favor the same ones as you. Flame tree Bar B Que at Animal Kingdom is our favorite, but we also love Columbia Harbour House in The Magic Kingdom where I always order the shrimp basket and my wife orders the fish and chicken nugget combo basket then we share everything. The Strangest menu item I have ever seen at a counter service was in Japan, where I lived for 3 years as a child. I ordered a hamburger and fries and the meal included a small pack of dried squid. It had the consistency of beef jerky but had a strong fish taste. I remember that it was really nasty and really gave you some bad breath. Again, thanks for the video and perhaps we will run into each other at the Food and Wine Festival this fall. Scºoºtt


  12. Joseph says:

    Sorry, Rick. I actually haven’t found any strange counter-foods before. At least not that I recall.


  13. My favorite didn’t make the cut, Columbia Harbor House.


  14. Bernie says:

    Great video on Disney counter services. Great minds think alike. You hit all of my favorites at the parks. What’s great about the CS at the parks is the variety of foods available. It’s not just fast food. When you can add ribs, rotisserie chicken, fried shrimp, and last but not least salmon, what more can you want?? Also, the amount of food is also incredible.
    The strangest thing I’ve seen at a counter service has to be the Turkey legs in WDW. It’s a very popular item for many people. I need to try one next time we are there! Keep up the great shows!!


  15. John Broadwater says:

    Great show I haven’t foundanything unusal at any couter of fast places ason the yet. but will be will be on theloook out for some. thanks again see you next week


  16. Donna says:

    Rick. Great episode. I must say I was laughing at your cat in the back ground. It was very interested in something outside the pool area. At the end it was standing up looking outside like it REALLY wished it could get out there and grab whatever it was that caught it’s eye. Too funny. Anyway, great pictures from Aulani, can’t wait to see the videos. I really wish I can go back right away. But at least i’m closer to WDW now.


  17. Linda Martin says:

    As awlways, love your video. We were just there in the word last week, you bring back the memories. Or Counter favorites: Magic Kingdom is Cosmic Rays, at EPCOT it is Sunshine Seasons Food Fare, at Hollywood Studios it is ABC Commissary, and hands down our favorite at Animal Kingdom is Flame Tree BBQ.
    Two Yums up (I mean two thumbs up lol) for this episode. Looking forward to next episode on the pools.


  18. Mary Callahan says:

    Ahh, loved the tastes of Disney World!!! My favorite place to eat over at the Kingdom,is the Noodle Station in Tomorrowland. YUMMMM
    And the weirdest thing I’ve ever had at a counter service? Out in California, I had garlic icecream! Would I order that again? Absoutely…NOT lol
    Thanks for all the fun 🙂


  19. Joanne S says:

    Hi Rick,
    This week you made me very hungry. You picked some of my favorite places to eat. Cosmic Ray’s half chicken platter is a must have. What’s so great about it is that if you are not a big eater, it’s large enough to share. A great help for the budget. There used to be another favorite meal over at Hollywood Studios at the restaurant by the playground. It was a turkey sandwich on the softest sliced bread. Unfortunately the menu has changed and the sandwich is gone. Oh well. The strangest thing I have ever seen for counter service was a roasted ostrid sandwich. I did not get it but my friend did. I tried it, not bad. It was a cross between chichen and pork.

    Thanks again for the great video.


  20. John Leddo says:

    Rick – The cat in the background is hilarious!


  21. Peggy Hickey says:

    I’m a big fan of the counter services at Disney World. Great food, quickly. I’m all about getting back to the attractions fast. It’s been going on 9 years since I was last there and from your video I see the menues have changes quite a bit. I sure hope to get back there in the near future.
    Strangest thing at a counter service? That would have to be Alligator on a Stick right there in New Orleans in that great market place right on the Mississippi River. Tastes like chicken!
    I’ve finally caught up, and I hope to stay current with the videos from now on. I love these videos, and really appreciate the time and effort that goes into bringing them to us every week. Thanks again.


  22. Bob Nordmark says:

    Great video Rick. You got my appetite stimulated seeing all the good food at Disney World. No fat, no calories–just pure delight! As for unusual counter service–I can’t think of any. But, in 2008 I took a day trip from Orlando to New Smyrna Beach. I went to a local restaurant and had scallops and chips. Wow! They were good.

    I’m looking forward to next weeks video. I love swimming pools–especially the themed pools at Disney World.

    See you next week.



  23. Ian says:

    Hey Rick

    Loving all the videos, great information as always. Looking forward to our 3rd trip to Orlando in september.

    Quick question – Are you planning to make any videos from parks around the Disney complex? I.e, Seaworld, Universal etc?


    Ian – Liverpool UK


  24. Ian -Essex uk says:

    Hi Rick, having just got back from or WDW trip four days ago it was great to reflect on some of the spots we stopped at to eat. I’d have to say one of the strangest ( but nicest) things we found was at cosmic Rays and it is a Mango Gelato dessert (sorbet). It was delicious and refreshing! The other point is our resort pool at Saratoga Springs made a fantastic Angus Bacon Cheeseburger, which I enjoyed on several occasions as they put salad in it, unlike anywhere else.
    Thanks for the podcasts, you helped me to spot several points on our trip including the side shows at Epcot in the countries! (off- Kilter!)


  25. Carol Hawkins says:

    We love all those counter service locales, especially Pecos Bill’s. Love the condiment station with the mushrooms and cooked onions YUM. We used to get sauerkraut at a condiment station in DW, but don’t remember where. We just went with 2 little grandkids and ate mostly at counter service restaurants, as it was quicker and we could share meals. It is hard to share with the meal plan which at times is too much food. At Epcot, we like variety, so we often split up and buy foo around the world. Then meet up at specific location and then share. Great way to taste it all.
    Most unusual foos was fried frog legs in Louisiana.
    We used to have a house in Florida and that looks like our old pool and lanai.
    Brings back good memories.

    Carol, in Ohio


  26. Carol Hawkins says:

    Oops, best new thing in the world. Food is now spelled “foo.” HA
    Carol, again


  27. Sue M. says:

    Hi Rick, just catching up! We will be in WDW soon, and wanted to hear what your fav CS are. Well, same as mine it turns out, lol!
    I love Flame Tree and the Y&Y cs at AK; In MK CosmicRays burgers and fix in bar is always a fav, and Peco Bills, and Columbia Harbour House. We did have the Salmom last Jan. and it was very good!

    At DHS we like the Back lot, and Starring Rolls, best cupcakes ever 🙂

    And Epcot- love the selections at Sunshine Seasons, and love, love the new Mexican CS, yum!! Those Carne Asada Tacos are so good. The frozen margaritas aren’t bad either, lol.

    Getting very excited for our next trip. We leave in 3 days for Ft. Lauderdale, then in WDW in 12 days.


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