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Thursday, October 19, 2017

10 Excellent Entrees Under $15 at Walt Disney World


by: guide4wdw - Collin

In my own personal opinion, Disney is more than just attractions, and more than just details (which are a huge part of what I share here), but oftentimes a culinary exploration that so many guests overlook. As you wander the parks and resorts, it's easy to miss the hidden gems of the vacation kingdom as you jump from attraction to attraction. However, once you find one prime dining location on property, it's a part of the Disney experience that you won't soon forget. 

Of course, Disney dining can be quite expensive, especially when traveling with a large family. To narrow down some of the vast options across Walt Disney World, today we've assembled a list of 10 Excellent Entrees Under $15! 

(Update: January 2018) If you came across this post back in October, we've got good news. We're back with 5 more entrees you may want to check out in addition to the first five we originally shared!  

The Boathouse Disney

1. Whispering Canyon - Slow-Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich ($14)

-For many years, Whispering Canyon has been a top pick for our family vacations and a place that we've come to expect a good meal from each and every time we visit. The cast on hand is outstanding (see our article: Legendary Cast of the Disney Parks - "Sunshine" From Whispering Canyon) and the atmosphere is fun and uniquely Disney. The Slow-Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich is one of my favorite entrees on property, especially when you consider the cost (and at a table service location). The sandwich is very large and easily enough food to leave you full and happy for many hours in the parks. 

In my own personal opinion, this is the best budget Magic Kingdom lunch option available. Of course, it is not located in the Magic Kingdom, but what many guests overlook is that this offering is typically less than 15-20 minutes away from any single point in Magic Kingdom. Hop on a designated Wilderness Lodge shuttle boat, outside of the Magic Kingdom gates, and a few minutes later you'll arrive at the resorts dock. From the dock, head to the main resort lobby and you can't miss Whispering Canyon. You'll hear the excitement of the atmosphere from across the lobby!   

2. Floatworks - Catfish Po' Boy With a Dessert of Beignets ($14.98)

-Floatworks, over at Port Orleans French Quarter, is perhaps my favorite counter service location on property. While I raved about the location in Our Top 5 Quick Service Dining Options at Walt Disney World, one particular entree on the menu peaks my interest each and every time I visit, The Catfish Po' Boy. This item is the must do option in my opinion out of the many offerings on the menu. It is supposedly a seasonal (or at least they do not claim it is always available) variation of the Shrimp Po' Boy, but I have yet to visit when it was not available when I ordered it. While the sandwich alone costs much less than our $15 limit for today's scenario, you can pair this entree with 3 Beignets (a French Quarter must do) to really complete your dining experience and still remain at only $14.98! You will be hard pressed to find that large of a meal anywhere on property, complete with dessert, for that low of a price (by Disney cost standards).     

3. Geyser Point - Classic Bacon Cheeseburger ($12.49)

-I stumbled upon this great option on a recent stay at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. We were staying club level (which just happened to work out well given our situation) and wanted to fill in the "gaps" left by the snack meals provided by the club level accommodations on our resort day. We were out by the pool and and decided to split a burger. To be quite honest I had heard good things about the food at Geyser Point, but really didn't expect much from a standard cheeseburger. I was anticipating a typical Disney counter service cheeseburger, so when it arrived in a transportable package ready for the pool topped with tillamook cheddar cheese (really great cheese!) and accompanied by freshly made waffle fries, it was certainly a shock. 

After finding a seat by the water, on a hot Florida summer day, we gave it a taste and quite honestly found a cheeseburger that may just overtake my current favorite sandwich deemeOne of the Best Burgers on Disney Property! 

4. The Boathouse - Filet Mignon Sliders ($14)

-As the second true table service entree on this list, the Filet Mignon Sliders allow you to experience the high end and immersive environment the dockside boathouse dining location provides while not breaking the bank. At just $14 dollars, the sliders provide the melt in your mouth incredibly high grade beef you would expect from a luxury steakhouse (which it is in addition to many other things) in a bite size package. I will say that the sliders are served with a side of french fries. The fries are excellent as well, but the entree as a whole remains fairly small. Still, considering the price, it's hard to beat. If you want to read more about our overall Boathouse experience, you may want to take a quick look at our A Top Disney Springs Dining Option: The Boathouse Restaurant post.


5. Flame Tree Barbecue - Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich ($11) 

-This particular item made the list for more than one reason. First and foremost, it is the iconic Animal Kingdom counter service offering and a great option if you are looking for a quick meal. However, on the other hand, I list this particular option to draw a key comparison you may want to consider. Above, I listed another pulled pork sandwich that is not only served at a table service location, but also is a much larger portion accompanying a small $3 price difference. Now, I do understand that Flame Tree is in a park so it will accompany a higher price tag, but in all honesty the Whispering Canyon entree is far better and a much better deal for the money. 

Also worth noting is that these sandwiches taste very different. Flame tree utilizes a slightly spicy sauce that is quite unique, while Whispering Canyon utilizes a very sweet sauce across their entire barbecue lineup. Both are excellent, but I have always preferred the Whispering Canyon variation. It not only tastes better (in my opinion), but it is also presented in a fun loving environment and accompanies an experience rather than simply a counter service style grab and go functional approach. As with any dining offering, your "mileage" and preferences may vary drastically from mine.  

You see, experiencing a table service location, or making the most of a counter service option doesn't have to break the bank. Disney debuts a vast array of dining offerings across an enormous platform of restaurants. These choices only scratch the surface as to what you can find as you search and prepare for your Walt Disney World vacation. Did a favorite of yours make our list? Have a favorite you'd like to share? Tell us about it in the comments!

6. Homecomin' Kitchen - Thigh High Chicken Biscuits ($15) 

-As one of our biggest surprises in 2017, Homecomin' continues to exceed our expectations. The location is perfect, the food is excellent, and the staff is incredibly pleasant. Homecomin' offers the iconic Art's Famous Fried Chicken but the particular dish is a bit too pricey for our list at $28. However, you can still get a taste of that famous fried chicken in an appetizer offered on the menu that very easily could be ordered as a full meal. I will preface this particular item with the fact that I honestly have not tried this exact menu item, but the fried chicken is just a scaled down version of the excellent offering throughout many dishes on the menu. Additionally, the biscuits themselves are cheesy and wonderful (which I have tried) and the entire creation is topped with a honey sauce (with a kick of spice mixed in) that completes the ensemble. While this may not be the largest meal, unless combined with a side item or something of the sorts, you'll get a chance to dine at a fun location at budget friendly cost.        

7. D-Luxe Burger - Barbecue Burger ($11.99)

-Just a short walk away from number six on our list is D-Luxe burger. I know what you may be thinking, "What's so special about a burger?" Well, that's just it, it's a simple item but the simplicity is what makes this location great. They don't try to do too much, but they still manage to create an excellent meal in an incredibly welcoming environment. Even though It does remain crowded most of the time, D-Luxe burger has a certain small town feel to it that takes you home while many of us are hundreds of miles away from our residence. Take a step out onto the covered outdoor seating and enjoy a beautiful view of Disney Springs, Morimoto, and even Chef Art Smith's across the water. The food is great, and while the burgers are intentionally cooked a touch rare for my typically preference, the flavor more than makes up for it! Try the Barbecue Burger and you won't be disappointed! The rather large sandwich is sweet with a salty flair and when paired with fries is one of the largest counter service meals you'll come across at Disney Springs.       

8. The Hollywood Brown Derby - Famous Cobb Salad ($11.00)

-When we first debuted our original five entrees under $15 back in October of 2017, we had a few requests for something healthy to be added to the list. To be quite honest, that isn't necessarily my strong point, but you all answered the call and provided me with an excellent option for guests seeking a healthier alternative or for those with specific allergies or dietary constraints. To my surprise, the suggestions came at one of the pricier dining locations on property, The Hollywood Brown Derby. The restaurant is a true classic of Hollywood Studios and according to rave reviews, the Famous Cobb Salad is a must try for many guests looking for a break from fried foods and heavier meals. Plus, you get the opportunity to dine in a very classy location without the pricey bill at the end of the night. 

9. Captain Cook's - Hot Beef and Cheddar ($11.49) 

Moving back to a counter service option that is rather impressive, over at the Polynesian's Captain Cook's you can catch a quick meal while taking in the views in a location that even made our 4 Excellent Places to Relax During a Disney Vacation. The location offers a vast menu but one of my personal favorites is the Hot Beef and Cheddar. You can eat it with all the typical toppings including sweet chili mayonnaise, caramelized onions, and cheddar or make it simpler and remove anything you don't want. As a result of it's price you can pair it with a pastry or other item from the small array of bakery items and complete an excellent meal at a rather fair price. 

10. La Cantina de San Angel - Empanadas con Queso ($11.50)     

-Last but certainly not least... until we decide to add on to this list once again... we have the Empanadas. For those of you who may not know, Empanadas are a fairly no frills dish at the Mexico pavilion which is a soft shell filled with cheese, fried, and paired with a unique slaw. When we first stumbled into this item we really loved it and it always gives us a chance to try something a little different that you can only get at one location on property in the World Showcase of Epcot. 

If you enjoyed this article or know someone headed to Disney on a budget, be sure to share this with them! Thanks!  

Ready to Plan?

If you're ready to return to the parks or even travel for the very first time, you've come to the right place. You can never see and do it all at Walt Disney World, but there's always new and different ways to get more accomplished or try something entirely new during your Disney World vacation. If you're looking for a good place to start planning, Our Typical Disney World 7 Day Itinerary is a great place to start. It should give you a good outline to build upon in setting up a trip that works best for you. If you're looking for a bit more, we compiled 44 Excellent Disney World Tips for 2018. Last but certainly not least, in sticking with the dining theme we put together some Disney World Dining Plan Tips and Tricks which share what we consider when planning dining at Disney.  

As always, if you need any help in the planning process, or simply don't want to deal with the details of booking a Walt Disney World vacation on your own, be sure to check out the services provided by our friends at Destinations to Travel. For your convenience, we've listed a quote request form down below. Be sure to ask about the Disney Discounts Are Here For Spring and Early Summer - Up To 20%

Booking your vacation through them not only helps support the site, but also does so at absolutely no additional cost to you over Disney's prices. 

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