“Don’t get a hot dog from a food cart! They let dogs pee on their food!”
As a native New Yorker, that’s what I grew up with. Of course, it was never that bad (well, I hope not, LOL! But I also grew up sniffing my hot dog buns for traces of pee smell. What can I say…I was a naive child.), and food carts and food trucks on the streets have been routinely inspected for years. But for the past few months, they’ve also been getting grades, just like NYC restaurants do.
When Disneyland first opened in 1955, it was “dry” – no alcohol was served. When Walt Disney World opened 16 years later, it was also an alcohol-free park. However, that’s all changed over the years.
Club 33, an exclusive, members-only restaurant at Disneyland (most regular guests would never have access to it, due to membership requirements), has sold beer, wine and hard liquor since it opened in the 1960s. The story goes that Walt was against the idea of selling booze in any part of his park, but it was easier to sell memberships if alcohol was available at the restaurant. Similarly, Walt Disney World has served alcohol at select hard ticket events (special events that are held outside of regular operating hours and for which you have to buy a special ticket to attend) for decades. For example, when we had dinner inside the Haunted Mansion in 2002, a hard ticket event offered by Disney’s Dining Experience (now Tables In Wonderland), wine was available before and during the dinner.
Other U.S.-based Disney parks, such as Epcot, Disney’s California Adventure, etc., have sold alcohol since their respective opening days. However, the “Magic Kingdom” parks didn’t for a long, long time. But now they do. Here’s more about it…
We know that lots of theme park fans don’t like to go off theme park property when they vacation in Central Florida. We used to be like that, too, before we lived here. Eating at a theme park is usually faster than traveling off property to dine, it keeps you immersed in the theme park experience, etc. And we get it – there are indeed some really nice places “on property” that give you awesome food and/or theming, and you get to maximize your time in the parks. But if you limit yourself to just eating on property, you are denying yourself some incredibly good eats that usually cost a fraction of Disney’s and Universal’s prices and often taste even better than anything you can get in the parks or on property.
These are some of our most favorite “off property” restaurants. We’ve listed them in alphabetical order, since it would be almost impossible to put them in order of which is
best, second best, etc., and they run the gamut in terms of price point, food type, dress requirements and distance from the parks. Many offer meals throughout the day (i.e. breakfast, lunch, brunch, high tea), although we’re specifying our experiences with them for dinner. Most are places you can’t find anywhere else (or at least have only limited locations), they’re all “not to be missed” and some, we admit, are really just for adults (we’ve included level of “kid friendliness,” based on our observations, in each of the narratives). Continue reading “Our Favorite Restaurants In Central Florida That Are Off Disney/Universal Property”
Happy Sunday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.