DiningUniversal Orlando Resort

Getting to Know Universal – Circus McGurkus Cafe-Stoopendous

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Step right up, step right up! The all new Circus McGurkus Cafe-Stoopendous has reopened with a refreshed menu, larger seating areas, and mobile order table delivery. Our world famous TouringPlans Foodie Squad (TPFS for short) went to the circus last week and came back with photos and reviews of the refurbished restaurant. This article covers a wide selection of Circus McGurkus food and drinks, our picks, and touring tips.

Quick Glance

  • Location: Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure
  • Cuisine: Kid-friendly American menu with burgers and chicken
  • Service: Table delivery Mobile Order
  • Price: $11-$17 per entree
  • Touring Plans Rating: N/A (new menu), ★★★1/2, 75% reader approval (old menu)
  • Seating: Table seating indoors and outdoors; booth seating indoors

The Atmosphere

Circus McGurkus is a quick service restaurant located in Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure themed to the Dr. Seuss book If I Ran the Zoo. Located in a giant big top circus tend, the restaurant features an eclectic selection of American food options like burgers, chicken, salads, and pasta.

Inside the big top is ample seating for your little circus. The perimeter of the restaurant is full of booths and tables are located among the three ring circus. Animated circus performer figures swing and spin from the roof of the tent and even the High in the Sky Seuss Trolly Ride travels around the perimeter inside the building. If you are lucky you will see a performance on the giant circus organ on the second story of the restaurant.

The Foodie Squad notes:

The restaurant is big and open with lots of seating with families and kids in mind. It’s a little bit noisy, but the ceiling is filled with moving characters to watch. No one came out to play the organ, but the [Seuss High in the Sky Troll Ride] came through quite often.

Circus McGurkus is designed for young children and families. Removing the cashiers and pick up windows drastically opens up the seating area. The seating space is ample, there is lots of space to run around, photo ops with statues of characters, and the atmosphere is energetic. Our reviewer found the service to be friendly and prompt:

We were greeted at the entrance and told to sit wherever we felt comfortable. From there we placed the order on the app and it didn’t take long for the drink glasses to be served first followed by our meal. The team members were constantly walking by and checking on us.

Upon finishing your meal feel free to leave your items at the table, Team Members will come by and clean your spot for the next guests. This goes against every bit of training my Italian grandmother gave me when I was a child.

The Food & Drink

Circus McGurkus’ old food options were… bland. Burgers, frozen chicken tenders, and stock french fries you’d find at a cafeteria. Seasonal items like the roast beast sandwich were hits but the menu never matched the imagination found in the land or other Universal restaurants.

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The new menu corrects this with fun, themed food options that include burgers, sandwiches, salads, bowls, and chicken. Oh, and the old pale french fries are now scrumptious curly fries.


Our food reviewers thought the food was a vast improvement and really enjoyed the Tamed Dragon Salad and Contortion Corndog entrees. We also apreciate the value conciousness of the menu, with lots of meals priced around $12. The new menu is fun, creative, family friendly, and a huge win in our eyes. We cannot wait to return for more meals (or visit for the first time!)

The Opinion

Chicken & Biscuit – crispy chicken tenders and peanut shaped biscuit, drizzled with hot honey, and curly fries.

Circus McGurkus’s extreme quick service makeover is hit – the food is delicious, the menu creative, atmosphere fun, and the additional seating space makes this a great venue during a busy day. We think this venue is perfect for those with young children who have lots of energy (and picky tastes). Guests who want a more sophisticated or quieter meal would be better visiting another quick service restaurant.

TouringPlans Tips

  • Circus McGurkus is crowded during lunch time, 11:30am till roughly 1:30pm. Skip lunch and visit during dinner for a quieter meal.
  • Water is free from the Coke Freestyle Machines, request a cup from a Team Member.
  • Circus McGurkus closes throughout the day during Holidays at Universal Orlando for seasonal Grinch offerings.
  • TouringPlans Best Bites:
    • Contortion Corndog – $10.99
    • Tamed Dragon Salad – $11.99

Have you eaten at the new Circus McGurkus and have a new favorite? Have your eye on a dish to try? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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Joseph Matt

Joe covers theme parks through the lens of his quality engineering day job. He has over five years of writing experience at Touring Plans and has gone on dozens of trips to Orlando over his life. When not at amusement parks you can find Joe at breweries, enjoying live theater, playing video games, and cooking.

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