We visited the largest McDonald's in the US and ate pizza, pasta, and a Belgian waffle -- here's what it's like

ORLANDO — Florida is home to some of the most magical places on Earth: Disney World, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter… and a McDonald’s that serves everything from omelets to custom-made pizza.

Welcome to the “World’s Largest Entertainment McDonald’s and PlayPlace.”

Mcdonald'sRebecca Harrington/Business InsiderThe largest McDonald’s in the US.

I had heard rumours about a McDonald’s down in Florida that’s like none other. So on my latest trip to the state, I knew I had to visit.

I convinced my mum Kathy, an avid chef and Food Network junkie, and my cousin Rachel, lover of all food, to take a detour from our family vacation to Harry Potter Land so we could visit the grandest of all McDonald’s.

Here’s what it was like:

'Welcome to Epic McD,' the front door beckons.

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An indoor pergola towers over the tables by the entrance, which were all full around 4:30 p.m. on a Tuesday.

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A huge counter features stools where you can sit and watch workers prepare food.

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The location's biggest draw is its menu of customisable pastas, sandwiches, and pizzas. Here were some on display.

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We watched a cook sautée a pasta order in the kitchen.

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There are a ton of ingredients you can choose to add to your pasta, including veggies, chicken, and bacon. Sauces options include marinara, Alfredo, and pesto.

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There's even a real pizza oven!

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Giant kiosks implore you to 'order here,' on electronic touch screens.

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The pizza ordering reminded me a bit of Pizza Hut's build-your-own pizza system online. You have your choice of sauces, cheeses (mozzarella or a cheddar blend), meat (chicken, bacon, sausage, or Canadian bacon), and other toppings.

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Our order was complete: a cheeseburger meal, pasta, pizza, a Belgian waffle, and three drinks for just under $A47.

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The card machine wasn't working at the robo-register, so we had to go to the human cashier to pay.

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There was only one person in front of me in line at the cashier, so it didn't take too much longer, and I was able to use Samsung Pay.

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It can't be said enough -- the place is huge. Even the cashier area had a ton of open space.

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There's even room for a fish tank.

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Some of the custom dessert orders weren't available at the electronic checkout machine, so you have to talk to a human to satisfy your sweet tooth. The dessert bar looked impressive, though there was no one working at it at the time.

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There are McDonald's mainstay dessert options, like shakes and sundaes.

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But you can also create your own deluxe sundae. The cakes looked magnificent.

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Floridians acted like it was just a regular McDonald's. I suppose to them, it is.

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Mum couldn't figure out how to work the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, so Rach showed her how.

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There were so, so many seats, and we noticed how clean the entire building was.

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The decor seemed influenced by both futuristic space-age and retro persuasions.

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The process of getting our food was pretty confusing. One worker told me I was supposed to wait for my food at the counter while another worker told me they would bring it to us at our table.

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The control (regular McDonald's items you can get anywhere) arrived first, 11 minutes after we placed our order.

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My cousin, unswayed by the plethora of custom items available, insisted on getting a double cheeseburger and fries. They tasted just like they do at the tens of thousands of McDonald's around the world.

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Me grabbing for a bite of her burger. Mmm, dependability.

Source: Business Insider

And 16 minutes after we placed our order, employees delivered our custom items to our table. Note the real porcelain plates -- we're dining in high style now!

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First up: the famous pizza. We opted for a small cheese with light sauce, mushrooms, and green peppers. The mushrooms tasted canned, which, as my mother noted, 'shouldn't be allowed to exist.'

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The crust was satisfyingly crunchy, and they did indeed go light on the sauce. I appreciated the high cheese-to-crust ratio, and while it wasn't 'good' by snobby New York pizza standards, I did eat four slices. Take that as a complicit endorsement.

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The pasta was plated nicely, and I enjoyed it at first (I was very hungry). But a few bites in, I began to dissect what was really going on. The tortellini tasted like the frozen kind you buy at the grocery store, and mum observed the pesto tasted and looked like it was made with dried basil. The bread on the side (which appeared to be plain pizza crust) was a nice touch.

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For our dessert/breakfast item: a glorious Belgian waffle with strawberries and 'regular' whipped cream. The exterior petals were satisfyingly crunchy, while the inside was soft and gooey. It was mum's favourite by far.

Rebecca Harrington/Business Insider
They also offered create-your-own omelets, which would have been a nice choice if it was breakfast time.

Something we found odd was how quickly the food got cold. They prepared it mere feet away (it was custom after all), and delivered it to our table with plastic covers to keep it warm, but there were cold pockets in every dish after the very first bite.

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The trash cans opened automatically, like garbage robots gobbling up our refuse.

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Very full, we went to explore the 'entertainment' portion upstairs. There was a massive playhouse, complete with what my mum called a 'human gerbil wheel.'

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There were a few little kids playing, and I longed to be a child small enough to fit in those tiny tunnels again.

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There were also dozens of arcade games.

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A few families were making use of these, too.

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I could see why they called this an 'entertainment' McDonald's.

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Note the prize wall in the back.

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You buy arcade tokens from an electronic ordering system.

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I really liked this sign. It was so new and hip looking.

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Yelp reviewers raved about the bathroom, and I couldn't figure out why. They looked like normal (though spacious) restrooms.

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Source: Yelp

'Ew, they feel like toilet paper,' mum mused about the paper towels in the bathroom.

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Yelp reviewers were particularly enamoured with the automatic seat covers. 'Why?' mum asked. 'They have those in the Bentonville, Arkansas airport.'

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Source: Yelp

The Hamburgler, my favourite chain character, is featured with Ronald McDonald in a fun pop art mural.

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Mac Tonight Moon Man, a character who first appeared in McDonald's commercials in the '80s, watches over even more seating upstairs.

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Source: YouTube

Though this McDonald's was 19,000 square feet, it's technically not the biggest one in the world. That title goes to the location at the Olympic Village in London.

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Source: Orlando Sentinel

I didn't see any cars use the drive thru when I was there, but it also looked pretty big, with two lanes.

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Overall, I had much higher expectations for this customisable McDonald's. The food wasn't nearly as good as I'd hoped it'd be. So long, Epic McD, crusher of my fast food dreams.

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