Sleepy Hollow Inn is a counter service restaurant at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom that is self described as a “refreshments” stand. The implication with that description is that its offerings are more limited than a full restaurant, and that’s accurate with Sleepy Hollow. However, the menu items it does have, and its overall quality make it worthy of being dubbed a counter service restaurant, even if not officially by Disney. It’s sort of like Gaston’s Tavern in terms of category–more than a snack cart, but less than a counter service restaurant. As far as the Disney Dining Plan goes, most of the items at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments menu qualify as snacks on the Disney Dining Plan. Unfortunately, the delicious waffle sandwiches we cover in this post do not qualify.
Since it is a refreshment stand and not a bona fide counter service restaurant with indoor seating (although in fairness, Flame Tree BBQ doesn’t have indoor seating and it’s near the top of our list of Best Walt Disney World Counter Service Restaurants), there isn’t much to comment on with regard to its theme. The building housing Sleepy Hollow is designed to look like author Washington Irving’s home (much of Liberty Square draws influence from Irving), and some artifacts from the era and references to Irving’s stories can be found in and around the refreshment stand, but that’s about it with regard to theme. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing–much like Flame Tree BBQ, Sleepy Hollow scores points here with a seating area that offers up great views of Cinderella Castle.
As far as the menu goes, the stars are the waffle sandwiches, which have been added to the menu within the last couple of years. The three main sandwiches are the Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich; Ham, Prosciutto, and Swiss Waffle Sandwich; and Nutella and Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich. A breakfast waffle has been on the “special” menu for over a year now, but has not yet made it to the permanent menu yet. The breakfast waffle is available for breakfast, the Nutella waffle is available all day, and the others are available from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
We really enjoy each of these waffles. They have a certain fresh, homemade taste to them that is lacking from even the best counter service options elsewhere in the Magic Kingdom. While those other places are all mass-producing food to cycle through hundreds of guests per hour, Sleepy Hollow serves far fewer guests these sandwiches that are all prepared after they’re ordered by guests. The waffles are freshly cooked in a waffle iron, and these waffles are definitely what gives these sandwiches such a unique and fresh taste (the other ingredients are good, too, but the waffles themselves are the stars).
Sarah regularly craves the Nutella and Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich, and I have to admit that I enjoy this one, too. It’s really rich and decadent, but balanced nicely with loads of fresh fruit. We’ve had so much fruit on ours, in fact, that it’s difficult to eat the sandwich without first removing some of the fruit or making a mess on yourself. Personally, I’m not quite as big of a fan of this waffle. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with it, but there’s a lot of Nutella on it, and while I like Nutella, it’s too rich for me. If I ate an entire one of these sandwiches, I’d definitely be sick. I consider this one a great snack to split, but some people I know think this is a great lunch.
I prefer the Ham, Prosciutto, and Swiss Waffle Sandwich. Topped with greens, tomato, and a mild herb dressing, I think this waffle is one of the best lunch or dinner counter service options in the Magic Kingdom. It’s large enough to be a meal (not just a “refreshment”) and it is fresh and flavorful. The flavor of the ham, prosciutto, and cheese are exactly what you’d expect, but the herb dressing and sweet waffle provide more intriguing flavors that contrast with the sandwich, but still work well. If you’re looking for something that balances healthy eating with delicious eating, this is a great option. Normally, Disney’s “healthy” options are pretty bland and generic, and while this is probably not the most healthy thing available at Walt Disney World, it’s great in that it actually tastes good while still (probably) being somewhat on the healthier side. If you don’t want it to be quite so healthy, request extra dressing. It’s delicious!
The Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle is our least favorite waffle of the three, but it is by no means bad. Although billed as spicy, I wasn’t expecting it to be quite this spicy (in Disney parlance, “spicy” normally means mild, but I’d say this sandwich is on the upper edge of medium). The chicken itself is great and the slaw on the sandwich is good, too, so I think there’s a lot of potential here. I’m a huge fan of chicken and waffles, but I found the spicy flavor overpowering on this sandwich. Sarah likes spicy food, but isn’t a big fan of fried chicken, so it also wasn’t a winner for her, either. If you like spicier foods and are a fan of chicken and waffles, this one will probably be perfect for you. We’ve ordered every other sandwich at Sleepy Hollow Inn numerous times, but we’ve only ordered the Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle once, so that should indicate where we stand on it.
The Breakfast Waffle is probably the best breakfast option in the Magic Kingdom, but that really isn’t saying much. The eggs seem to taste better than Disney’s standard “Plastic Eggs,” but they still don’t taste like eggs you’d find in the real world. Otherwise, the sandwich is pretty good; it’s good mostly as a result of the delicious waffle, but the meat and tomatoes also play their parts. If this waffle were a lunch or dinner item, it’d be nothing to write home about, but since counter service breakfast options in the parks are so limited and bad, it is a highlight.
The only real downside about Sleepy Hollow, besides the limited menu, is the wait. There are two components to this, the wait in line to order and the wait for food once ordered. The wait to order can vary greatly, and due to there being only one ordering window, if even a few people are in front of you, it can take a long time. (Since Sleepy Hollow is so centrally located, we recommend ‘monitoring’ its line as you walk around the park and going only when you see it has a short line.) As far as pick-up goes, even if no one was before you in line when you ordered, you could be waiting 5-10 minutes for your food because the waffles are freshly prepared. This isn’t a huge complaint–we love freshly prepared food–it’s just worth noting that the hourly capacity here is not even close to a place like Cosmic Ray’s.
Beyond the waffle sandwiches, Sleepy Hollow has great ice cream treats. Their specialty for a while has been the ice cream cookie sandwich, and now that it’s no longer available at the Main Street Bakery, this is the go-to spot in the Magic Kingdom to get it. While we enjoy this ice cream cookie sandwich (assuming the cookies are soft, not stale or burnt), we come here time and time again for their specials. These specials include things like the Pumpkin Waffle Ice Cream, Presidential Sweet, and Birthday Cake Ice Cream Cookie. It seems like every time we stop here, there is a new special item available (these are listed on a little sign by the register). They’re almost always great, so it’s a little disappointing when they stop being offered.
Overall, if you like waffle sandwiches or ice cream desserts, Sleepy Hollow Inn is a great place for you. We happen to really like both, so it ranks as one of the best counter service restaurants in the Magic Kingdom, and one of our current go-to locations in the park. It’s probably best visited as a snack spot (you’ll want to split the waffle sandwiches if ordering them as snacks), but we regularly eat lunch here. The only downsides are the limited menu, the short hours the great waffle sandwiches are available, and the often long wait you’ll encounter when stopping here. Still, it comes highly recommended, and it’s tough to penalize a location that describes itself as a “refreshment stand” because we’ve decided to treat it as a counter service restaurant.