Village Haus & Cosmic Rays
by Kevin Klose - 1/21/08
We had recently been asked if it was possible to go to the Magic Kingdom without an advanced dining reservation for one of the restaurants and still enjoy a meal that didn’t consist of burgers, fries or chicken fingers. Is it possible to enjoy your day unencumbered by several hours of preplanning and unrestricted by a pre-set dining time.
We decided we were up to the challenge and headed for the park. We had no idea of where or when we were going to eat. All we knew was that we were on the outlook for something other than the typical fast food and it still had to be tasty and a decent value. We can’t say “inexpensive” because we are dealing with theme park food after all.
There were two of us and I should explain that we did something a bit different than we would normally do. In an effort to cover more than one location, we only ordered one meal at each location and we split them.
Our first stop was Pinocchio Village Haus. This location is located next to “it’s a small world.”
The Village Haus does not look like a very inviting place. Upon first approaching, it doesn’t even look like its open. Even after you enter, it is still a bit dark. I wasn’t sure it was open until we were well inside and saw other people.
The interior space continues the theming from outside. It has a beautiful fairytale feel. There are some wonderful murals and wood cut outs showing Pinocchio and his friends. This is old school Disney World and deserves to be treated with some respect. It is also huge inside. It’s an awesome place to escape the heat.
This place was empty during our visit and I am of the belief that if Disney put a bit of time and some of that famous Imagineering pixie dust was sprinkled around, this place would do a thriving business. It sits in a superb location overlooking the Disney Carousel and there are inside windows overlooking the “small world” loading area.
Our first menu selection was Grilled Turkey and Bacon Panini for $7.29. It’s a large sandwich consisting of turkey, bacon, provolone cheese, roasted red pepper, tomato and basil on multi grain bread. This came with apple slices or chips. We chose the baked chips. We also ordered Figaro Fries (I know, we said no fries) and a 32 oz. soft drink. The fries were $3.19 and the drink was $2.39. Our total in The Village Haus was $13.71 with tax.
We chose our seats over looking “small world”. (I would have bet anyone money that all of the boats in that ride were blue. I would have lost. There are yellow and red boats as well.)
Our sandwich was a very pleasant surprise and what we considered to be a decent value (again....keeping in mind that we are using that term in relationship to Disney food). They used large slices of bread cut on the diagonal. The multigrain bread was toasted crisp and the stuff inside seemed fresh and tasted very good. The sandwich needed no additional condiments.
Now….let’s talk about the Figaro Fries. They start with fries (ask for hot, fresh fries or this wont work), add some shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, shredded cheese, bacon and to top it off….a drizzle of ranch dressing. These were mighty fine. I have no idea why these have not reached the status and fame of those awful, sickeningly sweet Dole Whips. You really have to try these.
If you are a light eaters or just looking for a snack, these items could be split, making for a rather inexpensive meal. Even if you double the total, you are at $26.00 for two and we think that’s a value when you add in the fact that this would take no planning at all.
Our next stop was Cosmic Rays. This place sits between Tomorrowland and Fantasy Land and overlooks the central hub of the Magic Kingdom.
Cosmic Rays is the place to go if you have several people in your party wanting different things. There are three sides (or bays) to the main counter. They are listed as Bay 1 Chicken, Bay 2 Burgers and Bay 3 Sandwiches, Soups and Salads. This offers a wide variety but the drawback, as far as we could tell, was that if you want something from a different Bay, you must wait in both lines. This works fine if there are multiple adults in your party, but if you are a single adult traveling with children with different tastes, you might have difficulty.
Ray’s is a huge place with a “glass and steel” modern look. It’s reminiscent of the old Saturday morning cartoon, The Jetsons. There is also a separate room with an animatronic figure to entertain the kids.
At Cosmic Ray’s our choice was the BBQ pork Sandwich served with homemade chips or pasta salad for $7.59. You have the option of adding soup to any entrée for $1.79, bringing the total for this entrée to $9.38. We also ordered a 32 oz soft drink for $2.39 bringing the total to $12.54 with tax.
Cosmic Ray’s also has a large “fixins bar” to doctor up your food as you like. They offer the typical burger toppings but also offer sautéed mushrooms and sautéed onions. There is no cost to add these things to your entrée.
Our BBQ pork was shredded and piled high on a Kaiser roll. The sauce had a sweet and tangy taste. I like pickles with my BBQ and the tart dill slices on the “fixins bar” added a nice touch. While this was a pretty good sized sandwich, it didn’t lend itself to splitting nearly as well as our last stop. The chips were also good. Had they been hot…they would have been awesome.
The soup was supposedly chicken noodle and we were hard pressed to find anything but celery. It was the main, if not only ingredient showing in our bowl. The broth had a decidedly celery taste. Now, if you like celery soup…this might be your thing. If you like chicken soup and believe in truth in advertising…we suggest you shy away from this one. After a taste or two…it sat untouched. Knowing this, we could have skipped it and brought the total down by approximately two bucks to about $10.50.
Using our last comparison that if you double this, you are looking at roughly $21.00 for two.
While we considered Ray’s a decent value, we both agreed that Pinocchio’s Village Haus had the better sandwich, side dish and an all around better experience.
We found that we could have a tasty and filling meal in the Magic Kingdom for approximately $25.00 (or under) for two adults and it didn’t necessarily mean burger and fries or chicken strips. We also found that we could do it without any pre-planning at all. This works really well for those that don’t want to be time bound by a lunch or dinner reservation.
- Inaugural Disney Fit Challenge to be held in September - Competitions will include tests of power, speed, balance, strength and endurance.
- Blog - A Shopping Oasis: Merchandise at Disney's Flower & Garden Festival
- Pollo Campero at Downtown Disney will be closing 3/19/14 - Pollo Campero, Bodie's All-American Grill and Babycakes NYC will be closing 3/19/14. Babycakes NYC will still be providing gluten-free items to select Walt Disney World food courts and restaurants.
- Blog - 2014 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival opens in Epcot
- Registration for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon opens today - This race is held in conjunction with the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
- Blog - Haunted Mansion Merchandise Materializes in Disney Parks
- New dates for D23's Destination D - The event will be held November 22-23, 2014.
- 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon dates - Registration for the 2015 marathon begins 4/22/14.
- Blog - A Brit's Perspective - Changing of the Seasons at the Orlando theme parks
- Rebel Rendezvous merchandise event planned for Star Wars Weekends - Attendees will receive exclusive access to Darth's Mall a day before it opens to the public.
- Blog - A February Stroll through the Magic Kingdom
- Walt Disney World restaurants add Braille menus - Beginning March 1, select restaurants will be adding Braille menus, though a list of participating restaurants is not yet available. The Braille menus will have examples of the menu items but may not list all the short term or temporary items.
- Family Ticket offer - get one free day! - Get one FREE additional day on each ticket when you buy 6 or more 4-day or longer Magic Your Way tickets!
- Blog - Disney's Polynesian Resort is Changing in a Big Way
- Just announced! Festival of Fantasy parade will debut March 9! - This parade will run daily in the afternoons at the Magic Kingdom.
- Celebrate Earth Day at Disney's Animal Kingdom - The park is also celebrating the release of Disneynature's newest film Bears, which hits theaters April 18.
- Car Masters Weekend to be held at Downtown Disney - This event takes place June 14-15.
- Walt Disney World ticket prices increase - Ticket prices have gone up effective today, Sunday, February 23.
- Mighty St. Patrick's Day Festival planned for Downtown Disney - Downtown Disney celebrates St. Patrick's Day with live music, a step-by-step Irish jig workshop, classic Irish food and drink, Irish storytellers, Irish history and merchandise at Raglan Road's Shop.
- Star Wars Weekends - extra weekend added, plus Hyperspace Hoopla cancelled - A nightly fireworks show has been added instead of the Hyperspace Hoopla party.
- Major staff cuts at Disney Interactive
- Blackfish director denies receiving confidential information
- Hank Wiliams Jr. and Alabama to perform at SeaWorld
- Universal Orlando parking garage closed for suspicious vehicle
- SeaWorld calls for investigation of OSHA inspector
- Preview of food items for Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion
- Disney announces theme parks will stay open for 24-hour party
- Magic Kingdom Hub Expansion Announced
- Disney Cruise Line takes top honors from Cruise Critic members
- Scotty McCreery and Steve Miller Band to perform at SeaWorld Orlando