REVIEW: One of the CHEAPEST Restaurants in Disney World Is Also One of the Best

Disney World is full of restaurants — some good, some great, and some you really hope to never repeat again. So we get it when we get pushback about trying out new places to eat.

Our meal at The Fountain

Finding just the right combination of good eating and not totally blowing your entire budget on one or two meals at Disney World can be a tricky task especially if you may be trying to do a few of the extras like after-hours events and fireworks dessert parties at night. If you’re willing to trust us, we’ll lead you to your next favorite meal at Disney World but you’ll have to be willing to leave the parks!

If you’ve ever found yourself in search of something “different” to try out when you’ve dined around Disney World or you’re really looking for a great restaurant that won’t put a hard strain on your budget, sometimes you need to think outside of the main Disney bubble. So we set out to try one of the best-reviewed Disney World hotel restaurants and see if it continued to impress us.

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin

Our search ultimately lead us to The Fountain — one of the many restaurants found inside Disney’s Dolphin Resort which is just a short walk, or boat ride away from EPCOT’s International Gateway making it super convenient to take a mid-day or evening break here.


This restaurant is a bit hidden —  it’s found inside the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel at Disney World. It’s on Disney property (in the EPCOT resorts area), but the hotel is not owned by Disney, so it may not immediately come to mind as a “Disney restaurant.”

Swan and Dolphin

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels are known to host guests of conferences and large convention groups and often times you’ll see them walking around the hotel or working in the hotel lobbies. These hotels are also home to some of the swankiest signature dining restaurants on Disney World property — like Todd English’s Blue Zoo and Shula’s Steakhouse.


As you walk up to the restaurant you’ll instantly get a good read on the vibe here. The theming of the restaurant is a 1950s soda shop but with a more open atmosphere.

Welcome to The Fountain

There are tables, booths, and even a few longer tables that can be scooted together in case you’re dining with a larger group.

Dining area

There are touches of chrome detailing all throughout, fluorescent lights…

Tasty treats

… and the main bar features a glass case to see the various flavors of ice cream offered in their shakes and desserts.

Seated bar

We were shown to our table by the host at the front of the restaurant, and they gave us menus and wrapped silverware for our meal.

Table setting

Once we were seated, we were given a few minutes to look over the full menu.


Neighboring the restaurant, if you’re just looking for a grab-and-go option, a few of their milkshakes and ice creams are sold at a “to go” window.

Fountain to go counter

However, we knew we were in for a BIG meal ahead of us and decided on the full experience.

Food & Drinks

The menu here is American-style food mostly comprised of burgers, fries, sandwiches, and shakes similar to what you would have found during an old-timey sock hop.

Inside look at the menu

There are a few beverage options here as well as wines and beers.


Sundaes and shakes a plenty here!

Sundaes and shakes

And you’ll even find a few kids meal options.

Kid’s meal options

After tossing around a few options, we ultimately decided to order the Loaded Strawberry Kookies shake, Coco Loco Shake, Soft Pretzel Bites, Buffalo Grilled Cheese, and Low-n-Slow Brisket Sandwich, then brought it all home with the Banana Split for dessert.

Full spread

I know that sounds like a lot — it certainly was — so we’ll break it down for you individually starting with the Loaded Strawberry Kookies.

Loaded Strawberry Kookies

This shake is alcoholic and was made with house Vodka, strawberry patch and cookies & cream ice cream, topped with whipped cream and Oreo crumbles for $14.

Oreo crumbles and whipped cream

The first thing that stood out to us was the presentation for this shake — it had a very classic feel to it. As we stuck the straw down into the shake it slid in easily, indicating that the shake was blended smoothly. We could definitely taste the vodka in this one but in a good way. It was strong enough to be present and command attention but didn’t overpower the rest of the flavors in the shake. The strawberry ice cream in the shake included bits of real strawberries and didn’t rely on heavy artificial flavors. The whipped cream at the top was light and fluffy, and the Oreo pieces were fresh and crumbly but not hard to bite through. The cookies & cream ice cream mixed in paired very well with the strawberry and kept the flavor interesting when getting a cookie bite against the strawberry chunks.

The Coco Loco Shake was up next to try! This one was made of chocolate and caramel cappuccino ice cream, whipped cream, and malted milk balls, with chocolate and caramel drizzle, and cost $11.

Coco Loco Shake

This one is a chocolate lover’s dream because that’s the main flavor here. There was a very mild hint of coffee, but it wasn’t strong. The malted milk balls were positioned in a hidden Mickey pattern but dropped down into the shake as we sipped.

Hidden Mickey

Overall it was very rich and creamy — which made it very enjoyable!

We chose the Soft Pretzel Bites for our appetizer, and those cost $8. They’re small bite-size pretzel pieces that are served with cheese sauce.

Soft Pretzel Bites

When they were fresh and warm, the pretzel bites were soft and pillowy, and came lightly salted with the coarse pretzel salt. The cheese sauce is the same as what’s served in the Disney World parks with pretzels, so it was a familiar consistency with a hint of sharper cheddar flavor.

With cheese

As the pretzel bites cooled they became tougher and the cheese also got clumpy, so we agreed that these are best to enjoy as soon as they’re brought out to you.

For our entrees, we started with the Buffalo Grilled Cheese, which cost $17.

Buffalo Grilled Cheese

This sandwich is made of Brussels buffalo chicken, Colby cheese, and blue cheese crumbles served on toasted French country bread. Our sandwich was served with fries.


Don’t go into this one and underestimate it because it was pretty spicy! The toasted bread was crisp with a nice crunch when you bite into it but soft on the inside. It’s a little greasy from the butter but in a delicious way. The chicken was tender and tasty and overall it was easy to eat.

Blue cheese crumbles in there

Watch out though, the blue cheese crumbles mixed into the sandwich became divisive for us. If you enjoy blue cheese and you’re looking for a unique spin on a classic grilled cheese this is it! The fries here were fairly standard tasting fries where nothing really stood out about them other than they were a solid choice.

Then we moved on to the Low-n-Slow Brisket Sandwich, which is made of house-smoked Angus beef brisket, Vermont white cheddar cheese sauce, charred tomato barbecue, Wickles pickles, sauteed onions, and mushrooms, all on a garlic toasted Amoroso roll for $19.

Low-n-Slow Brisket Sandwich

When it was brought out to us, we instantly said it looked (and eventually went on to taste) like a Philly cheesesteak sandwich. It had similar bread, mushrooms, and onions and was also served with fries.

Cross-section of the sandwich

This one was the dish we wish we had started with first! It was amazing! The sauteed onions made this sandwich sweet and tangy with a nice rich flavor. The charred tomato barbecue also kicked up the sweetness, but it was well balanced with the creamy, savory Vermont cheese sauce. The brisket was smoky and tender, with crispy edges and a bit of delicious fat to enhance the flavor.

The best thing we had here!

One thing to point out though about this dish is that the mushrooms are unavoidable here with their distinct texture so if you’re not a fan of mushrooms, we recommend requesting it without them. After a while, it could get pretty messy, too, as the cheese sauce and all of the fillings weighed down the bread.

Last but not least we HAD to try out the Banana Split. This is made with your choice of Ice Cream or Yogurt flavors, Banana, Strawberry, Pineapple, Chocolate Sauce, Peanuts, Whipped Cream, and Cherries on top. To keep it classic we opted for the “normal” flavors of Vanilla, Chocolate, and Strawberry ice cream, and it cost us $13.

Banana Split

This was SO much bigger than we expected! If you’re ordering this as one person you’ll want to grab it on an emptier stomach rather than after a bigger meal. The whipped cream was the same as what we had in the shake, and the toppings were fresh and crisp against the ice cream flavors.

It’s melting!

The ice cream wasn’t anything special on its own, but it was paired with flavor-packed banana slices that had a hint of sweet and tart flavors to them —  which added another layer to the overall taste.

Should You Go?

This whole meal was delicious, and we instantly asked ourselves why we were not here more often! The entrees were great portions, packed with flavor, and with so many ice cream combinations for the desserts your options seem endless.

The food

It also helped tremendously that the cost of this meal felt very budget-conscious but didn’t compromise on the flavor or the experience. Our server was extremely knowledgeable and was able to help us tailor our options as we talked through them, so if you find yourself stuck between dishes or combinations, lean on your server and their expertise here.

Stay tuned to AllEars for the latest in Disney food news and reviews.

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One Reply to “REVIEW: One of the CHEAPEST Restaurants in Disney World Is Also One of the Best”

  1. We stayed at the Dolphin last year (June 2022) after watching Quincy’s stay there. I know the history of it and years before walked around there and the Swan. Our 1-bedroom “family suite” overlooking the the boat dock area was about $425 a night total, whereas had we stayed at the Yacht or Beach Club, or Boardwalk resorts it would have been more than double that for a standard room! We had food from the Fountain several times, as well as the ice cream parlor – usually taking it back to the room. And yes, it was very good. It reminded us of a small diner-restaurant chain here in Southern California called Ruby’s – Same concept and style of food. If you want to stay at one of the Epcot resorts in a Deluxe Resort (as this is listed on the WDW web site) – Stay here and you will save big! It has all the same deluxe resort benefits but it is operated by Marriott (Westin is Marriott) so if you are a Marriott Bonvoy member you’ll get those benefits and possibly and extra discount as well! And the big plus is you can walk to Epcot, or the Studios, or take the boat. They have their own bus services to the parks too, or what we did sometimes was to walk over to the Boardwalk Resort and use the WDW resort buses. You can also walk over to the Skyliner and take that to the Studios or just a nice evening ride!