Hungry? Head to Disney’s Water Parks!

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When you think of all of the great food choices all over Walt Disney World, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon may not come to mind as a dining hot spot.  However, there are some unique menu items featured in the water parks that guests can’t find anywhere else! Sure, there are the standard counter service eateries in the water parks, but there are also some sweet treats that shouldn’t be missed by any Disney foodie.

Let’s get started by taking a tour of the various counter service options in both parks!  At Blizzard Beach one of the first buildings you’ll notice is Lottawatta Lodge.  This large structure houses one of the main counter service facilities in the park.  Typical sandwich and burger fare are available, along with salad and hot dog options.  There is a large seating area behind this eatery for guests to enjoy their food.  Avalunch specializes in hot dogs and serves up several varieties of them along along with the famous turkey legs.  The Warming Hut is the place to go for ribs and other barbeque favorites like pulled pork and chicken sandwiches.  Both Avalunch and The Warming Hut are open seasonally.

On the day I visited Blizzard Beach, my friends and I grabbed some lunch at Lottawatta Lodge, mainly because it was convenient to our cabana.  I opted to try the chicken wrap which basically consisted of grilled chicken with some lettuce, a bit of shredded cheese, and a few tomato pieces in a wrap.  It came with a choice of french fries or apple slices.  The wrap was ok, but nothing to write home about.  A friend got the “stacked deli sandwich” which looked all right, but not great either.   They also offered a special sandwich that day with turkey and pesto as well which got so-so reviews. Otherwise, the fare was standard burgers and chicken nuggets.  Some of my friends went for the kid’s meal partially because it came in a sand pail.  Yes, we really are grown ups (or something).

In addition to all of the typical counter service locations, there are several food and beverage stands throughout Blizzard Beach.  For example, the Cooling Hut (open seasonally) primarily serves nachos, popcorn, and pretzels, but it also has a few sandwich options and ice cream novelties.  Open seasonally, there are two bars at the park: Frostbite Freddy’s and Polar Pub.  They’re where you can go to buy a fruity drink to enjoy in your poolside lounge chair.  I.C. Expeditions is the ice cream hot spot at the park.  And hot it was–the queue seemed to take forever! Just across the way, Sno-balls serves up snow cones for those hot summer Disney days.  And quite possibly the most important stand in the park has no name and isn’t on the map, but serves mini donuts!  I’ll gush about them more shortly.

Typhoon Lagoon has similar food offerings with counter service restaurants as well as stands throughout the park.  The largest quick service eatery is probably Leaning Palms. Here you can expect to find burgers, sandwiches, and salads.  Lowtide Lou’s has a a few sandwich options along with several frozen novelties.  Typhoon Tilly’s offers sandwiches, salads, and other typical counter service meals.  Surf Doggies is located near Crush ‘n’ Gusher and has turkey legs (what’s a Disney park without them?), hot dogs, and other snacks.  Lowtide Lou’s and Typhoon Tilly’s are open seasonally when crowds are heavy.

My friends and I ordered lunch at Leaning Palms on the day we toured Typhoon Lagoon. I had the pulled pork sandwich, and it wasn’t half bad.  Certainly not on par with Flame Tree Barbeque, but pretty tasty.  My friends had pizza and a burger, and they reported that they were typical Disney fare.  There is plenty of shaded seating very close to the restaurant, so park yourself at a picnic table and take a break from sliding for a leisurely lunch.  I would advise trying to eat here at off-peak times; we had done rope drop so we were hungry around 11; thus we had no lines.  When passing by later the queue seemed to be insane!

Like Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon has plenty of snack options, as well.  Happy Landings is where to go for your ice cream treats.  Artic Dots basically has Dippin’ Dots you’d find in any local mall. The Snack Hut serves up the theme park favorite funnel cakes, along with fried ice cream and pretzels.  Mini Donuts are also available at Typhoon Lagoon in a stand simply called “Mini Donuts.” The Coffee Hut serves pastries, coffee, smoothies, and other drinks for folks who may have missed breakfast at their resort (or who just really want a muffin).  Let’s Go Slurpin’ is the park’s bar where you can get margaritas, rum runners, beer, and other specialty drinks when you need a break from the slides.

So I’ve taken you on a tour of the eateries in Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, and you’re saying to yourself, “what’s so special about water park food?”  Well, there are a few snacks that can’t be found anywhere else in these water playgrounds!  What could be better on a hot day at the water park than an afternoon ice cream break?  How about a giant sundae served in a sand pail?!  This dish is actually called “the sand pail” and consists of chocolate and vanilla swirl soft serve ice cream with waffle cone pieces, cookie pieces, sprinkles, hot fudge, caramel sauce, strawberry sauce, nuts, a ton of whipped cream, and a cherry.  This thing is massive and awesome!  About six of us shared it (we’re practically family we didn’t care about the germs) and polished it off with no problem.  These buckets of ice cream goodness can be found at I.C. Expeditions at Blizzard Beach and Happy Landings at Typhoon Lagoon.

Then there are the doughnuts.  Oh, the doughnuts!  Not enough praise can be thrown upon these delightful little bits of fried heaven.  They are freshly made almost constantly, and if you’re lucky you can get them straight out of the fryer!  You can buy them by the half-dozen or dozen, but trust me you’ll want the dozen if you’re sharing.  Guests have the option to eat them plain, with cinnamon and sugar, or with just regular sugar.  Folks can also buy raspberry, chocolate, or white chocolate dipping sauces for an extra fee.  My favorite was the raspberry, which made it taste like a jelly doughnut.  Each water park has a stand dedicated to the doughnuts, so be sure to stop check them out.

Another unique feature of the water parks is the option to buy a refillable mug.  Much like those found at Disney resorts, these mugs are good for use all day and double as a souvenir.  The mugs come with a barcode ensuring guests do not abuse their purchase.  One must scan the mug to make the fountains work, and they will only do so for one day. The cost is $9.99, which may not be worth it for you.  I suppose you could share one among a few people, but at lunch time you’d probably want your own.  You’d have to buy about four drinks to almost break even with the cost of the mug.  But, then again, if you would like something to take home as a keepsake it may be an option to consider.

So if you have decided to head to one of the water parks on your next trip you know you’ll be well fed!  Be sure to check out one of these eateries the next time you visit Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon.  Trust me, you won’t be sorry if you try some of their special snacks.  What do you think of the food at the water parks?  Let me hear about it in the comments!

A special thanks goes out to Neil Citro for his photo help again this week!

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Posted on September 7, 2011

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