Dec. 14, 2012 -- If you've ever been to Walt Disney World, chances are you've bitten into the famous – or should that be infamous? – giant turkey leg. And even if you've managed to restrain yourself, there's no way you missed those ubiquitous meat mongers around the parks.
But there's a new meat in town. Or in this case, in New Fantasyland, which officially opened last week. The pork shank has made its debut at Gaston's Tavern, a new quick service restaurant that's part of the biggest expansion in Magic Kingdom history.
"This is about a 22 ounce shank, we get it fresh, slow roast it for three hours, and salt and pepper. There's very little seasoning, very natural," said Robert Adams, executive chef of Walt Disney Parks.
And though there's no way the pork shank can yet compete with the turkey leg on a "most consumed" level – the shank is served at Gaston's Tavern only and the turkey leg is served parkwide – it's proving to be very popular.
"[Park guests] line up, they can smell the aroma out on the promenade here, they hear through word of mouth that it's here, so they come expecting it," said Adams. "Even early in the morning, we open up at 9 o'clock, they're here looking for the pork shank."
There's no doubt the pork shank is the star of New Fantasyland, at least when it comes to food offerings. But when it comes to drinks, the competition is a little stiffer.
First, there's LeFou's Brew. Also served at Gaston's Tavern, a frozen apple juice concoction with a hint of toasted marshmallow, topped with all-natural passion fruit-mango foam. The Disney folks are quick to assure me there's no sugar added. One sip and you'll know there's no sugar needed.
But over in Beast's Castle – home of the new, French-inspired, Beauty and the Beast themed Be Our Guest Restaurant – beer and wine is now being served. It's the first time alcohol has been served in the Magic Kingdom, and the decision to offer it wasn't taken lightly, said Maribeth Bisienere, vice president of Food & Beverage, Disney Parks and Resorts World Wide.
"This is a French restaurant," she said. "The guests are meant to feel they're in France. It would be very difficult to go to a restaurant in Paris and not find wine and beer on the menu."
"Eventually we'll have a wine that's just made for this location," she added.
So aside from giant meat sticks, sweet frosty brews and alcohol, what else does New Fantasyland have to offer? Believe it or not, new healthier options, especially for the kids.
"You'd be amazed but we did a lot of guest research and we found out broccoli is a pretty popular children's vegetable," said Lenny De George, Executive Chef of Concept Development for Walt Disney World.
Aside from broccoli, parents can tell which menu items are healthiest in all parks by looking for the Mickey Check on the menu. In New Fantasyland, items that are likely to get Mickey-checked might be the hummus and chips served at Gaston's Tavern, or the fruit cup. At Be Our Guest, look out for menu items like grilled chicken and whole grain elbow pasta, rainbow carrots served alongside a small grilled steak, and a turkey meatloaf with a carrot-based ketchup. It's actually listed as "turkey meatloaf with orange stuff."
Fans of Beauty and the Beast will want to try the orange stuff. It's delicious.
Editor's Note: The Walt Disney Co. is the parent compnay of ABC News.