Disney Resort Meals to Brighten Any Rainy Day
The days are longer, the nights are shorter, and the days are feeling a bit warmer. It’s still late winter up north, but step outside and you can almost taste the warmer weather on the air, and it’s making me want to hang my long heavy coat up for good! Spring days that seamlessly transition into early summer are some of the best to spend at Walt Disney World. With Fresh Epcot and springtime celebrations happening across the resort, most of the time spent in the parks will be outside!
In central Florida, clear blue skies can turn gray and murky in a matter of moments, and while spring and early summer deliver some of the most mild climates of the year, there is no denying one fact: it’s rainy season. Occasional passing thunderstorms are run of the mill at Walt Disney World, but lengthy, drawn out rains should certainly be planned for if your visit is planned for April-June. When you’re looking out the window of your resort hotel longingly wishing for the rain to go away, you can turn that frown upside down by heading to one of my favorite indoor resort hotel quick serve spots!
Be a Part of the Art
I love to dine al fresco whenever humanly possible. I love it so much that I’ve been known to take my lunch outside and sit on a nearby curb if there aren’t outdoor tables. Whenever it rains though, I know I’ll be stuck inside for my meals. When I visited Walt Disney World Resort in the heart of rainy season a few years ago, it rained…every….single…day. I kid you not. I went in search of the best quick serve lunch spots at the resorts, and one of my favorites I tried was Landscape of Flavors at Art of Animation Resort.
I’m all about choosing restaurants with fun things to look at, especially when I’m traveling with kids, and Landscape of Flavors delivers! The huge cafeteria-style seating area is split into 5 smaller rooms, each featuring eye-catching artistic spins on the Disney classics featured at the resort. As far as food goes, you can have some fun there too! My little cousin and I made our own pastas at the pasta station where we got to choose which toppings we wanted on our pasta before the chef created it right before our eyes! Both he and I soon forgot about the rain as we chowed down on our handcrafted pasta dishes and hopped from table to table to take in each of the differently themed sections of the restaurant!
TIP: When you’re finished eating, ask the cast members at the front desk for a sketch guide sheet and some pencils, and you too can draw like a Disney animator!
Come for the Wheel, Stay for the Dessert!
Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside is one of my favorite resorts to spend an afternoon. You can rent bikes and ride them along the Sassagoula River, lounge around the pool, sip on a specialty cocktail, and play a leisurely game of catch on the many sprawling lawns. When I arrived at the resort with my family, we started a walk along the river only to be thwarted by looming dark clouds that were approaching too quickly for comfort. We decided to head inside for lunch.
The menu here is enormous. Anything from salads, pizza, sandwiches, kabobs, hot dogs, burgers, mac and cheese…you can find it all here! As far as food goes, it’s run-of-the-mill, but I persuaded my family to go inside nonetheless for slightly selfish reasons: the desserts. Perhaps one of the most extensive and delicious of the quick serve resort offerings can be found here. Take my advice and order the warm apple blossom. Wait, try the seasonal cobbler! No…the apple blossom….okay just get them both! They are both served warm, and paired with a scoop or two of hand dipped ice cream? That’s a rainy day match made in heaven! Your kids will love to watch the boats dock outside and the big water wheel turn as you enjoy your food.
TIP: Looking to kill some more time while you’re waiting out the rain? To reach the arcade, you needn’t step foot outside! It’s accessible through the lobby right from the dining area.
Vamos a Mexico!
If you just can’t accept eating inside, head to Coronado Springs Resort. The Pepper Market is the resort hotel’s quick serve dining spot, and the huge, brightly colored dining room boasts an outdoor marketplace feel. Umbrella tables, high ceilings, and plenty of bustling activity complete the atmosphere. Of all the listings here, the Pepper Market wins my vote for best food. The south-of-the-border inspired menu features dishes like empanadas and tacos. I like to know what’s in the foods I’m eating, and depending on my mood sometimes even opt for the build your own salad station! That way, my meal is guaranteed to be prepared fresh and have exactly what I’m craving!
Under the Rail
Like I said, it rained every single day of that vacation…but I refused to let the precipitation spoil our trip! On (another) rainy day at Walt Disney World, my family and I just had to get out of Magic Kingdom for lunch. Every shop and restaurant was packed with guests trying to escape the weather, and I knew we would have to wait in an eternal queue at a quick serve restaurant to get served.
I rallied the troops and suggested we all head to the Contemporary for lunch and promised the youngsters in the party that they’d be in for a treat. The Contempo Café is located on the monorail level of Disney’s Contemporary Resort- just a short walk or monorail ride from the Magic Kingdom. Inside, the open-center architecture of the Contemporary houses a small quick serve dining spot right next to Chef Mickey’s that’s easy to miss. The food here is very good for quick serve- the griddled turkey sandwich is my go-to and it’s always hot and melty! My cousins were more keen on getting back into the park than eating lunch…but once they saw that monorail sail over their heads while they chewed, I knew we’d have a hard time getting them to leave! Rain or shine, these restaurants are worth checking out. So, which will you try on your visit? Let us know in the comments below!
Special thanks to Maria Salerno for writing this article: Hiya pal! I am a NYC-based writer/musician thrilled to be bringing you all things Disney! I’m a WDW Annual Passholder, so you can find me in the parks regularly throughout the year. In addition to being a Disney Parks loving girl, I’m also a Disney toy and merchandise collector, a runDisney enthusiast, and Disney music and movie aficionado. You can follow me on Instagram: NYCtoAP and find me on YouTube: NYCtoAP. Thanks for reading, hope to see ya real soon!