Are there any Disney experiences that are such important vacation traditions for you that, had they not taken place, you’d almost feel as though you hadn’t really been to Disney?
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Allow me to give you an example: “I haven’t really been to Magic Kingdom until I’ve been on the Haunted Mansion.” Or, of course, any of these great first day at Disney traditions!
Well, mine ways always: “I haven’t been to Epcot until I’ve had Fish & Chips from the United Kingdom Pavilion.”
Is anyone with me here?
Let’s head back to the Yorkshire County Fish Shop for its signature dish!
The Yorkshire County Fish Shop blends in fairly seamlessly with the rest of the Pavilion. The shop itself stands independent of the seating areas, and can be identified by its forest green signage, which identifies (just about) everything on the menu: Fish & Chips!
It’s not at all unusual to find a line here at any time of day, but the midday lunch rush and the half hour before Illuminations are particularly busy.
Upon receiving your order, the next part of your adventure is finding a place to sit. There isn’t a ton of seating in the area, and the tables to the right (facing the Fish Shop) are rather large, not leaving a lot of options for smaller parties or more tables.
If you can score a table, you’re rewarded with some of the best views World Showcase can offer. However, be warned — you may also be visited by some birds… they are not even remotely shy here.
Even with more ample seating, it would likely be a struggle to find a place, because it’s nearly always hoppin’. There is a bit of additional seating with smaller tables towards the back of Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room.
This group of tables is separated from the Rose & Crown seating by a small wall, and it offers a bonus of being right by the water.
While these benches aren’t only for guests of the Fish Shop, they do offer enviable seating when you’re enjoying your fish & chips while waiting for Illuminations to begin.
For my part, when I spent some (admittedly far too brief) time in London, I picked up fish & chips at a few stands that never had any sort of seating, and I just found a random place to sit wherever I could. So that’s exactly what I do at the UK Pavilion. I pass the gardens across the street and head towards the back.
We found a seat… now it’s time to tuck in!
Like I said, the signs on the Fish Shop tell you just about everything you need to know about the menu, specializing in only one entree…
Fish & Chips!
Prior to grabbing your spot, you’ll want to stop by a condiments bar. These are found on either side of the shop.
The top three condiments for this spot are kept in the larger pots on the bottom: malt vinegar, tartar sauce, and ketchup.
In the compartments above you’ll find salt, pepper, mayonnaise, and mustard, along with cream and sweeteners for hot tea, which can be ordered here as well.
The Fish & Chips come served on a piece of faux “newsprint.” I hope that never changes!
As for the fish… unlike the one large piece you may receive in other parts of the globe (or as nearby as, say, Raglan Road), here you receive two smaller filets. I enjoy the lighter (or “less fishy”) flavor of the white fish — I think even non-seafood eaters might have a shot at enjoying it. The fish is nicely tender and flaky.
But really, for me… it’s all about the batter 🙂 .The words I would choose are hot, crisp, and salty, without being too much so. In this instance, though, I think a few pictures will serve better than words.
The chips (fries) are a terrific accompaniment. These aren’t the standard fries you’ll find in Quick Service locations around Disney World. The thickness is closer to more of an authentic chip.
I’ve never had a batch here that felt like it’s been sitting around. I assume that’s because the spot is busy enough that the food moves out of the kitchen quickly. The soft texture of the chips also balances well with the crunch from the fish batter.
Of course, you’ll want something to wash down all this fried goodness. While I often just grab a Coke because I like the sweetness with the fish & chips, Bass Ale and Harp Lager Drafts are available here, and hard cider selections can be found at the drink kiosk right next door along with the brews.
Earlier on I acknowledged that this dish is a sentimental favorite for me. When I first started vacationing in Disney World, a stop for Fish & Chips in the UK Pavilion became my very first Disney dining tradition. But even without the nostalgia attached, I think this dish stands well as a solid Counter Service meal in its own right.
What are your Disney vacation MUST DO traditions? Please let us know with a comment!