Amusement Parks- A Foody’s Guide Of The Best And Worst Parks For Foodies


In my short 23 years of life, I have been lucky enough to have the chance to travel to a large selection of theme parks around the world. Amusement parks draw thousands of visitors and sell millions of dollars worth of food and drinks year after year. But amusement parks and foodies many times don’t mix well.

While there certainly are plenty of theme parks with wonderful fine dining tastes, the pretty widely understood (and fairly realistic) expectation is that the majority of the food served up at amusement park establishments is both a culinary and caloric outrage. In my travels throughout many states, there is no doubt in my mind that some of the worst food I’ve ever consumed has been served at amusement parks.

So here is one “foodie’s” listing of the best and the worst amusement park eating establishments:

Worst:
Hershey Park, Hershey Pennsylvania

Hershey Park is actually one of my preferred amusement parks to visit. It’s undoubtedly one of the parks I’ve visited the most- both as a youngster and an adult. And while all the chocolate there is delicious (not to mention indulgent) the “prepared” meals throughout the entire park totally suck. Establishments there serve lots of pizza, burgers, fried chicken and other common sickening fast food chow. Your best bet for a high quality food item at Hershey is Subway. My sister (in addition to several of her friends) also claims to have gotten sick to her stomach from a hot dog at Hershey Park. Hershey is definitely a fun place to visit- but it’s neither healthy nor pleasant for your tummy.

Pretty much every single Six Flags

Eating just about anything made at a Six Flags Amusement park is an experience that is very possibly more nauseating than a lot of the rides. This food is very disgusting and not the slightest bit tasty. By far one of the worst culinary debacles I’ve ever consumed came from Ellitch Gardens in Denver CO, (which technically isn’t a Six Flags, but used to be) in the form of something that was called “Tacos”. I spent the evening vomiting…

The only acceptable food item I’ve ever obtained at any Six Flags was a suitable Philly Cheese Steak Sandwhich from a shack Six Flags Great Adventure in NJ. And with food prices that are higher than even Disney World’s? If I’m visiting a Six Flags I could very well opt to skip eating at the park all together…

Best:
Disney World Resorts (Florida, California, Tokyo, Paris, Others)

The House of Mouse may be pretty pricy- but there is at least some food there that is actually worth paying for. The Boardwalk Resort in Florida has a restaurant whose menu was formulated by Food Network personality and “Iron Chef” Cat Cora. There’s also the Downtown Disney part of the Florida and California resorts which has a variety of fine dining establishments and bars. But in my belief the best restaurants in all of Disney World- particularly in Florida- are the “County” pavilions in the “World Showcase” in EPCOT. Each country’s pavilion has a restaurant preparing internationally-themed dishes. A delicious and diverse cornucopia of cooking!

Universal Studios (Florida, California)

The Citywalk segment of both Universal Studios resorts in Florida and California boasts a wide array of chain and unique, fine dining experiences and shows. I’ve always wanted to eat at the Bob Marley-themed show and restaurant at Universal Citywalk in Florida. Overall though, Universal has lots of cool dining choices for foodies!

Busch Gardens (Williamsburg VA, Tampa FL)

Both Busch Gardens are cool parks. The one in Williamsburg is home to one of my favorite roller coasters (The Alpengeist). These parks are very satisfying, and have some very good food items. In Williamsburg, there is actually a Beer-brewing and tasting tent and an exhibition called “Beer School” which educates tourists about the brewing operation. In addition, several high quality establishments providing cultural and ethnic dishes serve as alternatives to the standard amusement park crap. Busch Gardens is definitely a fun destination for foodies and amusement park fans alike.

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