Walt Disney World fans have their favorite tastes, from a chilly Dole Whip to the indulgent Cheddar Cheese Soup at the Canada pavilion at Epcot. We’ve rounded up the Top 10 tastes that have never left menus.
#1 – Crispy Fried Chicken at Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, Pioneer Hall, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. On the menu since the dinner show opened in 1974, servers dish up about 900 pounds of fried chicken every night, and cooks spend about six hours each day just breading the chicken. Add 400 pounds of pork ribs, 120 pounds of corn, 400 pounds of mashed potatoes and 30 gallons of baked beans. Three shows nightly. See photos from my first visit to the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review here.
#2 – Strawberry-Chicken Salad, Plaza Inn, Magic Kingdom. This simple salad has been tossed every day since the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971. Forget hot dogs and hamburgers, fans head to this little restaurant on Main Street, U.S.A., for a generous bowl of greens with grilled chicken breast, strawberries and Gorgonzola with white zinfandel vinaigrette. And you can end with a classic banana split or hot fudge sundae. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
#3 – Cheddar Cheese Soup, Le Cellier Steakhouse, Canada pavilion, Epcot World Showcase. One of the most-requested recipes is for this creamy bowl of soup that’s made with Canadian beer, cheddar and Applewood-smoked bacon. It’s so popular that it’s also now a mainstay on the menu at the annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Canada Marketplace. Le Cellier Steakhouse is open daily for lunch and dinner.
#4 – Creamy Lobster Soup, Coral Reef Restaurant, Epcot. With an amazing view of a coral reef with sharks, turtles, rays and fish (the largest inland saltwater environment ever built), the menu at this Future World restaurant changes often to reflect the seasons and sustainable seafood. But the Creamy Lobster Soup has never left the menu, an indulgent starter with fresh tarragon and a splash of Brandy. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
#5 – Mom’s Old-Fashioned Pot Roast, 50’s Prime Time Cafe, Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Classic American comfort food and 1950s kitsch make this a favorite stop for families, with a menu that reflects the theme: pork chops, chicken pot pie, meatloaf. But it’s Mom’s Old-Fashioned Pot Roast that’s received the most praise since the restaurant opened in 1989. The slow-cooked beef is served with garlic mashed potatoes, brown gravy, carrots, celery and onions. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
#6 – Cobb Salad, The Hollywood Brown Derby, Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This salad was iconic before it was even on the menu at the Disney re-creation of the historic California restaurant. As the story goes, Brown Derby owner Bob Cobb tossed the first version for a late-night snack for a Tinsel Town movie star. The Disney version sticks to the original with finely chopped greens, turkey breast, eggs, blue cheese, bacon and avocado. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
7 – Potato-Wrapped Red Snapper, Flying Fish Cafe, Disney’s BoardWalk. While the chefs at Flying Fish Cafe cook with seasonality and sustainability in mind, this elegant dish has never left the menu since opening day in 1996. Fresh snapper is wrapped in thinly sliced potatoes, then pan-fried until crisp and golden. The fish is served over a rich leek fondue with veal glace de viande and red wine-cassis butter reduction. Open daily for dinner.
#8 – Cedar Plank-roasted King Salmon, Artist Point, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. You can smell the roasting cedar planks when you walk enter the spacious dining room that pays homage to America’s national park lodges. The menu incorporates tastes from coast to coast, but the most-ordered entrée is the Cedar Plank-roasted King Salmon served with seasonal vegetables, on the menu since opening day in 1994. Open daily for dinner.
#9 – Tonga Toast, Kona Cafe, Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Kids of all ages keep coming back for their favorite “only on vacation” indulgent breakfast treat: deep-fried banana-stuffed sourdough French toast rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with strawberry compote. The Tonga Toast has been a favorite since the Polynesian opened in 1971. Open daily for breakfast.