Typhoon Lagoon Dining Reviews & Info
Most people don’t get excited about dining at water parks, even if they do have to eat while there. Typhoon Lagoon at Walt Disney World has several restaurants, with numerous food options available. Unfortunately, most of these options are decidedly ordinary and aren’t the types of foods you yearn for between vacations. The good news is that it’s not all bad, and there are more than enough options at Typhoon Lagoon to have a good day of dining while there. That good day of dining just requires that you pick the right things.
Picking the “right things” is more difficult than it sounds. Virtually every new food option in the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, etc., is documented and reviewed online, making it easy to find foods you otherwise might not see in the parks. Typhoon Lagoon doesn’t receive the same attention, but it does have one advantage that the other parks don’t: posted park-wide menus! Without the assistance of a smart phone app or Google, you can view all of the menus in the park via illustrated menus throughout the park! Now, Disney obviously doesn’t review the items found on these menus (I’m sure they’d describe them all as “decadent” or “yummy”), but that’s where we come in!
There’s a decent amount of overlap on the Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach dining options, so some identical options we have tried at one water park we assume are substantially similar to the exact same item at the other water park. We aren’t the types who think Cinnamon Rolls are baked with magical dust in a special pixie oven on Main Street, but not in New Fantasyland (when the reality is that both are baked in a central kitchen elsewhere), so we aren’t the types who think the exact same foods taste better in one water park at Walt Disney World than they do at another.
Before we get started, here are a couple of general tips. First, buy the refillable mug. The two of us always share a mug (as far as I know this isn’t prohibited by any posted signage, but perhaps it is and now our souls will forever burn), making the cost for our drinks (and a cool souvenir) at the water parks minimal. Second, order entrees and not combos unless you really like Disney fries or house-made chips (if you’ve never done this, it’s as simple as saving “______ only, no side”). This will save you $2 off the posted combo price. More importantly, it will save you room in your stomach for the two standout dessert options discussed herein.
Below are our overviews of each restaurant, along with what we recommend and don’t recommend.
Leaning Palms is the largest restaurant at Typhoon Lagoon, and it’s easy to find–just look for the leaning structure. Actually, that’s not sufficiently descriptive since a lot of Typhoon Lagoon buildings lean. Look for the yellow leaning tower. It used to be part of the Placid Palms Resort community, but since the epic typhoon, it’s now being used to serve fast food. I assume the Leaning Tower of Pisa has a similar backstory.
There’s a decent amount of variety on the Leaning Palms menu–probably enough that this should be your default choice if you don’t want to split up your party and go to the smaller counter service locations. The menu starts out with the types of choices you’ll find in a lot of locations at Walt Disney World: burgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and pizza. In our experience, the hot dogs, pizza, and burgers here are exactly like what you’d find elsewhere. Think Cosmic Ray’s or Pizza Planet on this front. None of these items have any signature twists–they’re all the basic variety. We don’t recommend them, but if you have picky eaters or want predictability and like these things elsewhere, go for them.
Further down the menu, you’ll encounter some of the more unique items, like the BBQ Pork Sandwich, Turkey Pesto Sandwich, and Chicken Wrap. The standout option here is far and away the Turkey Pesto Sandwich. It’s sizable, has plenty of toppings, is moist, and is served on delicious bread. It’s very reminiscent of a sandwich you might find at Sunshine Seasons, which is fairly high praise coming from me, as I almost always order a sandwich at Sunshine Seasons. The BBQ Pork and Chicken Wrap are fine options, although Sarah found the Chicken Wrap to be dry (a common problem with Walt Disney World wraps) and the BBQ Pork Sandwich to be fine but “not memorable.”
Anything not mentioned here we haven’t tried or haven’t seen during our visits–order at your own risk.
Typhoon Tilly’s is a smaller restaurant, but it’s our pick for the top spot to dine at Typhoon Lagoon, especially for those who enjoy seafood. It has several of the items mentioned as “more unique” above, plus seafood and a unique hot dog. The only thing it lacks is a selection of the ordinary stuff found at Leaning Palms.
The seafood here will remind Walt Disney World regulars of the standard seafood options on the Columbia Harbour House menu. We’ve named Columbia Harbour House as one of our Top Walt Disney World Counter Service Restaurants, but that’s mostly because of its unique menu options. Still, the regular stuff at Columbia Harbour House isn’t bad, my point with all of this is just that you shouldn’t expect Typhoon Tilly’s to sudden jump to the #4 spot on that list after this review. It has good seafood, but not that good.
As far as what to order, my recommendation here is the Battered Shrimp. I counted 9 fairly large shrimp when I ordered this, which isn’t a bad haul. If ordering seafood, I’d make an exception to the “no sides” recommendation above and get your seafood with fries. There’s something about fish or shrimp and fries that I just love. Maybe the greases from the two mix and make the blend even better? I have no clue.
For those who don’t like seafood, the Turkey Pesto Sandwich remains our strong recommendation here. Even for those who do like seafood, this might be our overall top recommendation. The Slaw Dog is a signature option here, and while it looks very tempting, I just can’t bring myself to order Disney hot dogs. They used to be so good, but not anymore. I made the mistake of ordering one at Blizzard Beach, and I ended up regretting it. In addition to the flavor not being all that great, they’re just so expensive for what they are.
Happy Landings Ice Cream
As the name implies, this is an ice cream location. It has a variety of standard, packaged choices and soft-serve ice cream options. I should preface this review by saying that I love soft serve ice cream. I prefer it to hand scooped ice cream. If you differ on that, you might not enjoy Happy Landings as much as me.
The best item here is the Sand Pail. Think of it as the “Kitchen Sink Light.” For $9.99, you get a bucket filled with chocolate and vanilla soft-serve ice cream, and topped with waffle cone pieces, cookie pieces, sprinkles, hot fudge, caramel sauce, strawberry sauce, whipped cream, and a cherry.
This might sound like heresy, but it’s better than the Kitchen Sink at Beaches & Cream. Whereas the Kitchen Sink is a fun dessert that is mostly recommended for its novelty, the Sand Pail is just flat out good. Unlike the Kitchen Sink, it doesn’t have any weird toppings in it–the combination of ingredients in the Sand Pail is actually good, and tastes like a sundae on steroids. Plus, at less than half the price of the Kitchen Sink, it offers a much better value. In fact, that $9.99 price might seem like a lot, but the Sand Pail will easily feed 4 adults (or 2 pigs like us), making it a great value for the price. This is a must-do in our book.
If for some reason you don’t want the Sand Pail, there are other sundaes and ice cream options here, all of which looked pretty good. You really can’t go wrong with anything at Happy Landings.
This is actually an outdoor vending (food cart) location, not a counter service restaurant. But it’s such an important location to our nation and will cause you to rethink the way you look at fried dough, so it deserves its own section. As the name suggests, mini donuts are served here.
I implore you to set aside your incredulity and just order a half-dozen. Do it. Despite hearing rave reviews about these, I came so close to not ordering them because I’m not a big fan of fried stuff like this (I don’t even like the world famous Monte Cristo at Disneyland), but I bit the bullet and did it for “research.” I am so glad I did, and now I’m hooked. These are the best donuts I’ve ever had. They are soft, doughy, and rot-your-teeth delicious.
Combining them with a dipping sauce might lead to an OD on sugar, but do it anyway. Why these mini donuts aren’t sold outside the water parks is beyond me. They are one of the best snacks at Walt Disney World.
There are a few other options, including Lowtide Lou’s, the Snack Shack, and Surf Doggies. The former two locations are good places to get snacks (and a tuna sandwich that I don’t believe is available elsewhere), while Surf Doggies is where you can grab the infamous Disney Turkey Leg. I don’t know why on earth you would want to have a turkey leg at a water park, but others probably think the same thing about eating a bucket of ice cream, so whatever.
Overall, with the exception of the Sand Pail, Mini Donuts, and maybe the Turkey Pesto Sandwich, there probably is nothing at Typhoon Lagoon that you’ll be craving after your trip. However, these two snacks plus several solid entree options help make proverbial lemonade out of lemons with regard to the otherwise mundane Typhoon Lagoon dining lineup.
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What do you typically eat at Typhoon Lagoon? Ever tried the Mini Donuts or Sand Pail? Share your thoughts or questions below in the comments!
Great for writing!
We are heading to WDW and Typhoon Lagoon (1st visit to a Disney Water Park) in mid-July. Thanks so much for all your help and reviews. I try to research as much as I can to be able to have a btr idea of what to get, what to expect, etc. I take notes for each day planned at what park, kids heights, where to eat, best things to get, best money savings options, etc. It’s people like you who help people like me plan better for my family! Much appreciation!
Thanks for the review. Oh my goodness a bucket of soft ice cream is my idea of heaven!
I must admit, after wandering through the two water parks and seeing that every soft drink station (or whatever you call them) was being attacked by wasps I was somewhat reluctant to try any of the food areas. I may have a look now.
The mini donuts are undoubtedly the ABSOLUTELY BEST thing that I’ve ever eaten at Disney World!!! My entire family LOVES them!
HOW did you not mention dippin’ dots!!?
We should sue him for this…
I have my lawyer on the phone.
did anyone try the tuna sandwiches? are they the seared tuna kind or the canned tuna kind? I noticed at other places they boasted the seared tuna sandwiches so wondering if this one did too? (snack shack?)
We have had the Sand Pail & yes, it fed us 4. It was yummy & interesting so be sure to try it if no one is too picky – great price too (compared to the Kitchen Sink, which we have splurged for also) – ENJOY!
Great dining review – there are so many places to choose from & this highlights it all – Thank you!
Those shrimp look really good! My sister and her husband where there last May and had them. Said they were really good. Unfortunately we go in Sept. or Oct. and Typhoon Tilly’s is never open! I really wanted those shrimp! The Snack Shack is open but they don’t have the shrimp. 🙁 They do have the build-your-own fruit bowl which we have gotten using a DDP credit. Included a smoothie (drink) and caramel sundae. We shared it for breakfast between the 3 of us (my mom 73, my daughter 13, and myself.) Yummy!
BTW-the Warming Hut has never been open when we are at BB either. We’ve had to settle for Avalunch. They used to have a Cobb Salad that was very good. We usually get the pulled-pork sandwich.
Thanks for the reviews of both BB and TL.
“as far as I know this isn’t prohibited by any posted signage, but perhaps it is and now our souls will forever burn”….LOL! I was drinking water while reading this and almost spit the water out! I guess my soul will forever burn as well because my husband and I always buy 1 refillable mug
/drink on all our trips. I even bring my mug and reuse it on my trips until they change mugs.. I know…I’m a horrible person lol.
I would appreciate it if you cease reading this blog. I don’t want your horribleness to somehow rub off on the rest of the readers here, who are undoubtedly all saints. 😉
no need to buy a new refillable mug when they change them. We just gave them our old one and they changed it for one of the new ones with the “chip” in the bottom.
Yes, yes, yes, yes on the mini donuts. They are a must for us. My kids (now teenagers) ask for them every time. They don’t care if we eat anything else there.
I also second the refillable mug. We always share it as a family.
I’m thinking of forgoing a legitimate ‘meal’ at Typhoon in August and just go for the donuts. They sound really stinkin good.
Thanks for all of the TL coverage. It’s making me really excited to go back.
Eating a bunch of donuts in place of a meal is distinctly patriotic! 😉
I’m so glad you mentioned the sand pail! My husband (boyfriend at the time)and I have never enjoyed a dessert so much. We ended up with a quasi ice cream fight at the end and the best part is you won’t get your clothes all sticky.
YOU WASTED ICE CREAM?!!?!?
ugh, sorry for scrambled up post above, my laptop dates from the dark ages…
BTW, silly question probably, but if you’re staying on property can you use your Key to the World card (and the new bands when they come into play) to get snacks etc at the water parks? I’m assuming you can since it’s all Disney owned, don’t want to get caught out without any extra cash if it is needed.
Yes, you can use your KTTW card.
Tom, thanks so much for this review and yesterday’s one concerning Typhoon Lagoon in general, they’ve been so useful as well as fun to read. We’ve not visited the water parks before as we’ve never found comprehensive reviews /good and varied photographs of them and we weren’t sure how much valuable vacation time we wanted to risk ‘losing’ in trying one out.
You’ve sealed the deal for us here though, I mean you had us going with Lazy River and the wave pool, but woooo, that Sand Pail sundae really clinches it! Cheers!
reading the reviews I think you just sealed the deal with the Sand Pail! Looking forward to September …
Love, love, love the mini-doughnuts with chocolate dipping sauce. We look forward to eating them on each and every trip to a Disney water park