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McDonalds Leaving Orlando’s Downtown Disney

Like those burgers and fries for sale under the Golden Arches in Downtown Disney? Well, you’re going to have to travel to the other end of Disney property, down by the All Star resorts, to get them after April 30th (there’s a closer location at Crossroads, but I know how some people are loathe to leave property while on vacay). McDonalds is closing their location in the Downtown Disney marketplace.

While I can’t say I’m upset to see this particular restaurant location closing, some people might miss the opportunity to pick up a quick burger or some fries. To that end, I hope Disney makes some space for a location something like the Shake Shack somewhere on the Marketplace side of the property.

Instead we’re getting Pollo Campero, which specializes in Latin chicken (the second Latin food restaurant to open in Downtown Disney recently). I hope the food is good and the prices reasonable, which is all you can really ask of a fast food location these days. Free Wi-Fi would be good too.

McDonald’s vanishing act should be the final curtain on the parting of the ways that began a few years ago when Disney made the logical choice to associate their brand with food that was not so bad for you or the kiddies. So you’ll find princess logos on apples (the fruit not the mobile device maker) now instead of Happy Meals. No complaints here. I hope somewhere Bob Iger is standing under a banner that reads “Mission Accomplished”

11 thoughts on “McDonalds Leaving Orlando’s Downtown Disney”

  1. We have a Pollo Campero here in town in Maryland, and it isn’t too bad. The food is okay (think a Latinized Boston Market), although locally it can take 30-40 minutes or more to get your order placed and get the food during the dinner hour. The prices are on par with any other chicken fast food restaurant. Locally, Wi-Fi is not an option with sites that opened in the last year, so I doubt you’d see that option available. (Besides, fried chicken + Wi-Fi electronics = Eww, IMO.)

    I don’t think it’s a good fit for DTD, really, because it isn’t the kind of place where you can go and grab a quick nosh. Some of the things that I know were poplar late-evening best-sellers for McD’s (coffee, milkshakes, snacks, etc.) simply aren’t prevalent options at PC. Unless they rework the menu (which is doubtful), I don’t see this as being any more of a success than McD’s, and ultimately not as successful except during South American tourist season. (Many American palates outside of locals may find the food tasting odd to them and thus rate it lower than it should be rated, even though it’s just differences in the way food is seasoned and not that the food is bad.)

  2. The McDonald’s over by All Stars is still open, and was recently remodeled. I would be curious to know if maybe Disney has offered McDonald’s a spot over at Flamingo Crossing. If that site ever takes off, it would seem to be a good fit over there.
    Disney or somebody should get a few investors together and build a Fast Food restaurant, a sit down table service restaurant, and two low to midrange hotels over there. That would seem to be a solid foundation to get others interested in the area. They could also build a small shopping mall/strip and put in a Disney Outlet store.

  3. The Pollo Campanero that will be opening at DTD won’t be a typical restaurant, like you’d find elsewhere. It will include “a new restaurant concept” (as the press release states) that will also sell salads, sandwiches and wraps. It sounds like they do have in mind to make it a place to pick up a quick meal. So it’s probably unfair to compare it to currently-existing locations.

    1. When our local Pollo Campero opened, they also said that it was a “new restaurant concept” for this part of the DC metro area and mentioned that in addition to its time-tested recipes for fried and roasted chicken that it would sell salads, sandwiches, and wraps, plus a wide assortment of unique side dishes not available elsewhere.

      They do have sandwiches on the menu (as in fried chicken sandwich or grilled chicken sandwich). They do have salads (a regular chicken salad or a Caesar chicken salad). And they technically have wraps (a chicken burrito or a rice and beans burrito). But that would be like going to McD’s and ordering the fish. Sure, some people do it…but why?

  4. Seriously…for what it’s worth, the entire concept of Happy Meals/Kiddie Meals at Fast Food restaurants has gone downhill since Disney pulled themselves out of the picture!

  5. When walking around Downtown Disney, I always get an ice cream craving when I walk by Ghiradelli’s, and since the line is always so long, and their desserts are overpriced, i take my cravings just a little bit over to McDonalds for a cheap sundae.

    Sucks we won’t have that option anymore.

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