DD Counter Service

Wondering how Cooke’s of Dublin stacks up against the other Downtown Disney Counter Service Locations? Check out The Best Downtown Disney Quick Counter Service Locations for a comparison of the three Downtown Disney counter services in a variety of categories including Most Unique Menu, Best Value on the Disney Dining Plan, Best Value Out of Pocket, Best Seating, Best Food, and Best Overall Counter Service.

Food Type: Scallops, Dublin Style Pot Pies, Fried Fish, Chicken, and Sausage.

Dining Plan: One Quick Service or One Snack

Cost:  Entrées: $9-$12

Unique Items: Everything

Advantages: An interesting and tasty variety of fresh Dublin meat pies and fried foods.  The scallops are particularly delicious.  Food is freshly prepared.  Similar entrée choices to the more expensive sit-down restaurant Raglan Road.  If the weather is pleasant you can sit outside and enjoy the scenery.  Homemade tartar sauce.  Deep fried candy bars.  Diverse choices on the kids menu.

Disadvantages: There are only a handful of indoor tables and a small outdoor seating area.  Dublin pies are made in limited numbers and often sell out.  Most everything else is deep fried, including the desserts.

Value: Above average out of pocket or excellent on the Dining Plan.  The entrées are in the $11 range which puts them on the expensive side for quick service meals.  However, the food is fresh, interesting, and tastes good which makes the pies, scallops, and fried fish worth the extra few dollars.  It’s possible to put together a $20 meal at Cooke’s on the Dining Plan, making it an excellent value.

Reputation:  Cooke’s isn’t a particularly popular counter service, but it deserves to be.  The food is better than what’s found at most of the quick service restaurants in the Parks or resorts, but lags behind the Wolfgang Puck Express and is substantially more expensive than the Earl of Sandwich.  Overall, I would add Cooke’s to your short list of quick services to try at Downtown Disney, especially if you enjoyed Raglan Road or have already eaten at the Earl and Wolfgang’s.

Overall Rank on The Best Downtown Disney Quick Counter Service Locations: 3rd out of 3

{ 2 comments }

Wondering how Earl of Sandwich stacks up against the other Downtown Disney Counter Service Locations? Check out The Best Downtown Disney Quick Counter Service Locations for a comparison of the three Downtown Disney counter services in a variety of categories including Most Unique Menu, Best Value on the Disney Dining Plan, Best Value Out of Pocket, Best Seating, Best Food, and Best Overall Counter Service.

Food Type: Sandwiches, Soup, Salads

Dining Plan: One Quick Service or One Snack

Cost: All sandwiches, salads, and wraps are $5.95.  Soups are $2.95.  Sides are $1.55.

Unique Items: Everything

Advantages: The line moves fast.  Sandwiches are made to order, large, and delicious.  Most reasonably priced meal at Disney World.  Plenty of variety and flexibility in ordering.  Earl’s freshly baked cookies are even better than the sandwiches.  Several decent options on the kids menu.  Free drink refills.

Disadvantages: The Earl’s seating area needs to be at least twice as big, if not three or four times bigger.  There is never enough seating and the line is almost always 30+ people deep.  The menu is shrinking and your favorite sandwich may no longer be officially available.

Value: Excellent.  This is the best value for your money at Disney World.  The sandwiches are better than most sandwich chains and are large enough to share.  In a World full of $9 fast food hamburgers and $25 plates of pasta, a $6 sandwich here is a no brainer.

Reputation:  The Earl of Sandwich is well known as a great place to get a high quality sandwich on the cheap.  The line will look ridiculously long, but there are a lot of people taking orders and it moves a lot faster than it looks.  Unfortunately, there is nowhere near enough indoor seating and the tables that are available are close together and uncomfortable.    If you’re paying out of pocket and only eat one meal at Downtown Disney, this should be it.  This is a cheap meal on the Dining Plan, but don’t let the reasonable cost deter you from eating here.  A $6 sandwich Earl’s is better than most of the more expensive entrées at other counter service locations.

Overall Rank on The Best Downtown Disney Quick Counter Service Locations: 1st out of 3

{ 1 comment }

Food Type: Ice Cream, Shakes, Chocolate Everything

Dining Plan: NO

Cost: Sundaes are in the $9 range.  Ice cream cones run $4-$6.  Shakes are $6-$7.

Unique Items: Everything.  You can get ice cream elsewhere, but your chances of finding another Ghirardelli “Mint Bliss” sundae are slim.

Advantages: Ice cream, hot fudge, and cookies are among the best at Disney.  Lines move quickly.  The hot fudge sundae is a classic.

Disadvantages: Limited seating, to the point there is often nowhere to sit.  Expensive, especially if you aren’t sharing.

Value: Hard to say.  The sundaes are all about $9 and aren’t “huge.”  They’re large enough to share if you’re not planning to eat much, but at the same time most people could polish one of these off without feeling like they were in an eating competition.  So, if you’ve got $9 a head for sundaes and find yourself in Downtown Disney then this is a fantastic stop.

Reputation:  Ghirardelli is a popular place, which should be obvious from the numerous lines emanating from the doorway.  Don’t be too concerned though, as the line usually moves fast.  As you might expect, everything at Ghirardelli is chocolate, delicious, and expensive.  It’s one of the tastiest places to stop for dessert in all of Disney World.  If dessert or an ice cream snack is on your mind then don’t hesitate to try Ghirardelli’s.

{ 4 comments }

Wondering how Wolfgang Puck Express stacks up against the other Downtown Disney Counter Service Locations? Check out The Best Downtown Disney Quick Counter Service Locations for a comparison of the three Downtown Disney counter services in a variety of categories including Most Unique Menu, Best Value on the Disney Dining Plan, Best Value Out of Pocket, Best Seating, Best Food, and Best Overall Counter Service.

There are actually two Wolfgang Puck Express restaurants at Downtown Disney – one in the “West Side” and one in the “Marketplace.”  The Marketplace location has more seating and is generally more popular.  Don’t get those two confused with the Wolfgang Puck Café, which is a table service restaurant on the Dining Plan or the restaurant above it called the “The Dining Room” which is even fancier and not on the Dining Plan.

Food Type: A wide variety of pizza, pasta, sandwiches, salad, pasta, and chicken dishes.  Breakfast is also served from 9am-11am.

Dining Plan: One Quick Service or One Snack

Cost: Entrées in the $10-$17 range.

Unique Items: Everything.  You order the food at the counter and a waiter will bring it out to you at your table and take care of drink refills and whatever else you might need.  Wolfgang’s is the only counter service to offer that.  It’s still considered a quick service meal on the Dining Plan.

Advantages: The only counter service with a waiter.  Food is among the best of any quick service meal at Disney.  Outstanding value on the Dining Plan.  Large portions, wide variety of options, and fresh thoughtful preparation.  Frozen yogurt for dessert is delicious and a lighter way to end a large meal.  There are two locations at Downtown Disney.

Disadvantages: Often crowded.  The BBQ chicken quesadilla and foccacia bread sandwiches have been removed from the menu.  It can get expensive if paying out of pocket.

Value: Above average to better than excellent.  Most of the food at Wolfgang Puck Express exceeds the quality and freshness of many of the sit-down restaurants at the Disney Parks.  Although the prices reflect the quality, the portions are large and the food is served by a waiter.  This is the most expensive meal you can put together for one quick service credit on the Dining Plan, at around $25.

Reputation:  Wolfgang Puck Express is regarded as one of the best quick service meal at Disney World.  The food is consistently high quality, well prepared, and portions are large.  If you’re on the Dining Plan in Downtown Disney then this should be a no-brainer, especially considering few of the Downtown Disney sit-down restaurants accept the Dining Plan.  Off the Dining Plan, I would suggest the Earl of Sandwich if money is tight; otherwise, Wolfgang is an excellent choice.  Unfortunately, Wolfgang Puck no longer owns the restaurant that bears his name and the company that bought it has recently changed the menu a bit.  At this time that change hasn’t affected the quality, but I will keep an eye on it.

Overall Rank on The Best Downtown Disney Quick Counter Service Locations: 2nd out of 3

{ 1 comment }