Unique (and Low-Cost!) Noshes in Disney World Resorts

by: AJ Wolfe Updated:

Tie-Dye Cheesecake from the Everything Pop Food Court at Disney's Pop Century Resort.

Walt Disney World offers some unique restaurants. I’m sure you've heard mention of the award-winning Victoria & Albert’s, or the audio-animatronic animals at the Rainforest Café and T-Rex Cafe. But you don't have to spend a bundle to enjoy fun and different treats in Disney World! There are a few one-of-a-kind menu items that have become cult favorites for Disney visitors that taste great and won't tax your wallet. Whether you stop in for a snack or meal, you’ll discover menu items that go beyond typical food court fare. Let's check out some menus that have more than your standard burger and fries!

Disney's Polynesian Resort, Captain Cook's Snack Company

Water features, tropical plants, and tiki torches will greet you at this popular hotel. Located on the first floor, Captain Cook’s serves up a "grown-up grilled cheese sandwich," which you can order from the touch-screen kiosk. It’s not your everyday toasted American cheese sandwich, featuring cheddar, swiss, and Boursin cheeses served on multi-grain sunflower bread. For dessert, I strongly encourage you to get a pineapple Dole Whip from the self-serve machine. These are classic Disney park favorites! Here's a Tip! Captain Cook's is open 24 hours!

Disney's Pop Century Resort, Everything Pop Food Court

Spend some time looking at the nostalgic displays (Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook, Snow White Lunch Box, and more) in the resort’s lobby before heading to the Everything Pop food court for a slice of Tie-Dye Cheesecake. This groovy dessert has been a resort favorite since the opening day in 2003! A multi-colored cheesecake sits atop a red velvet cake “crust.” The colors are psychedelic, and the flavor is "outta this world, man!" (Don't worry, once you start hanging around Pop Century you'll start quoting the 60's, too!) Definitely try the Pop Century version, but you can also make this at home with this Pop Century Tie-Dye Cheesecake Recipe! By the way, Everything Pop also has a fun "Mom's Night Out" TV dinner available every night!

Animal Kingdom Lodge, The Mara

If the exotic atmosphere and animal viewing areas aren’t enough to lure you to this resort, the African Stew served in a thick bread bowl at The Mara might do the trick. For dessert, tackle a few Zebra Domes, a cult favorite molded mousse-like dessert with the flavors of chocolate, espresso, and Kahlua, will add a sweet ending to your meal. I highly recommend purchasing a bottle of South African wine to enjoy at a table by the outdoor watering hole (okay, pool).

Disney's Port Orleans Resort -- French Quarter, Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory

For a fun adventure, park at Downtown Disney and take a boat to this charming resort where the Mardi-Gras decorated food court offers some interesting options. The one-of-a-kind homemade beignets here are heaped with powdered sugar after being freshly hand-formed and fried! For a mid-day meal, I’m steering you to the Jambalaya or Po’ Boy Sandwich. Resort counter-service locations are usually busy during standard mealtimes, but if you have the advantage of visiting Disney World during times of low-crowds (yes, I’m jealous), go in the middle of the afternoon while others are in the parks. Venture beyond your neighborhood noshes and you’ll discover a world of unique eats!

AJ Wolfe is the owner and executive editor of The Disney Food Blog, a website covering all things food and drink in Walt Disney theme parks and resorts. AJ also authors The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book, a 250-page resource with tips, expert insights, and information about eating in Walt Disney World. The Disney Food Blog is not affiliated with the Walt Disney Company.