While everyone plans their table-service dining to the hilt in Walt Disney World, we wanted to give some props to the unsung heroes that save our butts when we crawl in from the parks exhausted and starving: the Disney resort counter-service spots!
Here are our favorite five:
Pop Century Resort: Everything Pop
Craving a massive POP waffle with strawberry sauce, a hunk of fried chicken, or a piece of tie-dyed cheesecake? The Pop Century Food Court is the place for you! We love it for its bright, fun atmosphere, and a menu unlike any other counter service joint on property.
Polynesian Resort: Captain Cook's
The name of the game here? Dole Whip Machine! Yep, the pineapple soft-serve Dole whip dessert is on tap here in a serve-yourself location, so it's the perfect spot to stop on the way back to your room.
Not staying at the Poly? Stop at Captain Cook's on your way to or from the Magic Kingdom for a treat!
Animal Kingdom Lodge: The Mara
Another spot that features some truly unique eats, The Mara features some of your favorite items from Boma, Animal Kingdom Lodge's casual table-service buffet restaurant, upstairs! Looking for roasted red pepper hummus or Zebra Domes? They're right here?
Also, pick up a bottle of great South African wine from the stocked wine shelves here to drink up in your room!
Contemporary Resort: Contempo Cafe
This newly renovated spot in the Grand Canyon Concourse of Disney's Contemporary Resort offers just about anything you could imagine -- and you order it via a space-age computer ordering system! Love it! We recommend the pizza flatbreads and the desserts.
Too loud in the Concourse? Grab your food to go from Contempo Cafe and head out to the lake for a delightful picnic.
Wilderness Lodge: Roaring Fork
One of the smaller, lesser-known dining locations in Disney World, Roaring Fork is one of our family favorites. Located right next to the Silver Springs Pool and within easy walking distance to the playground, beach, and walking trails at Wilderness Lodge, it's not the food that calls to us here as much as it is the atmosphere and surroundings.
Head over to Wilderness Lodge for the afternoon, grab lunch at Roaring Fork, and take a stroll on the hiking paths over to Fort Wilderness. You'll feel like you're a million miles away from the crowds of Walt Disney World.
What are your favorite Resort counter service locations? Let us know in the comments section below!