Restaurants from Disney and Universal We Want at Home

Everything at Vacation is just…better!

Once you’ve been on a vacation to Disney World or Universal Orlando, you’re going to start to realize that your hometown may be cutting corners or maybe has stopped innovating to a certain level. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s definitely evident when brands stop thinking about their competition in a global style.

  • Can your local Mini-Golf course compete with Fantasia Gardens and the Winter Summerland courses?
  • Does your July 4th fireworks presentation stand in the same breath as a Magic Kingdom fireworks spectacular?
  • What about a trip to the local wildlife park? Would it be better if you had a photopass photographer or a Kilimanjaro Safari experience?

These are all questions that I ask when I’m thinking about dining at home vs vacationing. Why is it that we’ll get up at 6am 180 days out from our first day to head online and make reservations for a restaurant that we’ve never been at?

What if it was different? What are some of the things that are at Disney World or Universal that we would love to have in our hometowns? Let’s talk about it!


Desserts are just better when they’re in the shape of Mickey Mouse. I don’t know why, but they just are! Having the artistic ability to bring an excitement to eclairs and other fun treats without charging an arm and a leg would be very welcome in our hometowns!

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Victoria & Albert’s at Walt Disney World (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

I’d love a restaurant that offered a 7 or 10-course meal with a harp player who knew all the classic Disney tunes!


Satuli Canteen at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

For the number of times that we’ve eaten at Satuli Canteen in Pandora: The World of Avatar, there’s gotta be a spot to find those incredible bowls!

It’s a simple concept, but this restaurant is the best example of things being better when you’re at Disney!


I know! The joke of Krusty Burger is that the food is absolutely horrid and wouldn’t be healthy on any level…BUT don’t you miss the feel of heading to a spot where you can get a burger AND a Flaming Moe in the same spot?

Okay, I’ll admit that this is just for me:)

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Individual Food and Drink Items


Frozen Butterbeer at Hogesmeade in Islands of Adventure
Frozen Butterbeer at Hogesmeade in Islands of Adventure – Photo by Dustin Fuhs

We’ve found Butterbeer at a number of places outside of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but all of them are missing something. It could be because Universal has actually created the two parts of separately and add them at the last possible second, but it’s also a level of excitement that comes from the ambience of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley!


Dole Whip in the Magic Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

Disney shared their version of the Dole Whip, but is it really the same? Nope!

Remember how Disney Quest was going to be franchised in Chicago, New York and other cities around North America in the 90’s? Well I’d love to have Aloha Isle across from Starbucks all over the land! #DreamsCanComeTrue

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Franchises That We Need More Of


Joffrey’s at Disney Springs (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

Every morning that I’m in the parks, there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll be hitting up Joffrey’s for an Iced Coffee. This may be a blessing in disguise that we don’t have one nearby! 😉

PS – Please expand, Joffrey’s!


Sprinkles Cupcakes at Disney Springs (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

Outside of Disney Springs & Downtown Disney (and a few other spots around the USA), we’re in need of this awesome cupcake-ry!


There are 37 locations of my favorite sandwich shop…

Let that sink in. Did you know that there are more than 44,000+ Subway sandwich franchise locations? Let’s even the playing field a little bit!


We love having a Blaze Pizza (or two) in our hometown. So much so that we’re actually more impressed with the level of dedication of the employees and the structure when we’re at the Disney Springs location.

This is what it should be – passion in the brand!

Final Thoughts

There’s a reason why folks move to Kissimmee Florida…and it’s not just because the weather is nice. Folks become a fan of the theme parks and everything that comes within them.

This is just another example why I should 100% be living a little closer to the Magic;)

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