Lite 99
Tampa's Feel Good Favorites

You’re having the best day at Disney World, but decide to take a break and grab a bite to eat so you can keep on going.

Cinderella Castle

You’re not looking for anything too fancy and don’t have any reservations, so a counter-service or food court spot it is! There’s nothing inherently wrong with that — in fact, some of our favorite eats are from food courts — but there are some serious issues you might run into at these quick service spots. Food court drama is real in Disney World, and we’re sharing some of the most egregious misdeeds we’ve seen!

We love stopping by a counter service spot to grab a quick bite to eat before continuing with our Disney World day. But, we’ve seen some serious food court drama happen from time to time, so we’re warning you about it before your next trip!

Sitting Down Without Food

Unfortunately, we see this all too often around Disney World. Some counter-service spots are incredibly popular, and since they primarily have open, food court-style seating — it can be a pain to find a seat once you’ve found your food. This is especially complicated by the fact that people will often save a table for their party without actually having any food. We’ve found ourselves waiting upwards of ten minutes for tables sometimes.

Backlot Express is a Counter Service Restaurant in Hollywood Studios

Most of the time, the people with food who are looking to sit down likely could have eaten by the time the other party even made it to the saved table. It should go without saying, but you should wait until you have your food before finding a table at a counter-service spot. In fact, Disney may make the choice for you.

At certain restaurants, like Connections Eatery at EPCOT, Cast Members will sometimes be stationed around to advise people not to sit until they’ve received their food. This is typically reserved for especially busy times.

Seating at Connections Eatery

In addition to Connections, we have found we have the most trouble finding seats at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe at Magic Kingdom, Backlot Express at Hollywood Studios, and La Cantina de San Angel at EPCOT. If you’re looking to dine at a fast food spot during peak meal times, keep in mind you might be waiting for a table — but please don’t take one until you have your food!

Pushing To Get a Table

Can you tell that getting a Disney World quick-service table can be a cutthroat game? We know you’re tired and hungry and those french fries on your tray are about to bring you back from the grave, but please do NOT push past anyone to beat them to a table. You may have to wait a bit, but we promise that another table will open up soon.

It’s all outdoor seating, right?

We’ve witnessed adults pushing past children and families balancing full trays of food just to sit at a table by themselves — with no food. Meanwhile, the kiddo and family had to turn around and find somewhere else to sit.

Cutting in Line

You might find cafeteria-style service depending on which fast food spot you’re dining at, like at Sunshine Seasons at EPCOT or the Disney World Value hotels. In these scenarios, there are often food stations, grab-and-go cases, and drink machines. At the food stations, there are lines, but the grab-and-go and drink machine areas tend to be a free-for-all.

Sunshine Seasons

While there may not be lines at the soda fountain or by the dessert case, it’s easy to see if there is anyone waiting to get to something that someone else may be using. We’ve been snaked when it came to refilling our resort Refillable Mugs more times than we can count!

Leaving a Major Mess

We get it — you’re on vacation and don’t feel like doing any work, chores, or cleaning up after yourself. But have some basic human decency, people! Cast Members work hard to keep dining locations looking fresh and clean, so the least you can do is bus your trays and clean up any major messes you might have made.

Cosmic Ray’s Seating

With DOZENS of places to eat at Disney World, we know it can be tough to plan your meals. That’s why we wrote the DFB Guide to Dining at Walt Disney World. We have reviews, pictures, and details about every restaurant all in one digital download – along with ALL of our best tips and strategies from decades of Disney World trips.

Everyone’s gotta eat when they’re at Disney World, and if we all do our part to make things a bit easier on other parkgoers, chances are we’ll all end up having a magical vacation! In the meantime, we’ll be on the hunt for the latest updates from Disney World, so stay tuned to the Disney Food Blog for more!

The BEST Counter Service Restaurants in Disney World in 2024

Have you ever dealt with these Disney World dining problems? Tell us in the comments.

The post Food Court DRAMA Is Real in Disney World, and We’ve Witnessed It Firsthand first appeared on the disney food blog.