Our Walt Disney World List – Restaurants

Food is a huge deal to Walt Disney World fans. It’s the only vacation spot, really, where you get up at the crack of dawn 6 months before your trip to book your dining reservations. Food choices range from pretzel carts to burgers and fries to buffets where Winnie the Pooh visits your table to $50 steak dinners. Or if you want to get super fancy, head to Victoria and Albert’s inside Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa for an 8-course meal (with optional wine pairings) that could set you back a few hundred per person.

We haven’t eaten at Victoria and Albert’s yet – we did try to get a chef’s table reservation for our anniversary about 5 years ago to no avail – but we have eaten at some pretty awesome restaurants over the years. Some have become our favorites, some we haven’t gone back to, and some we still want to try.

Character Meals

Character meals are mostly buffets, or all-you-can-eat family style. At these meals, the characters usually come to your table to take photos and sign autographs. Some restaurants, such as Akershus, will take your photo with a character before you are seated and then the rest of the characters will visit your table. Be Our Guest is slightly different in that you meet the Beast in a designated area after you eat.

The character meals we’ve had:

  • Magic Kingdom
    • Crystal Palace (dinner)
    • Be Our Guest (dinner)
    • Cinderella’s Royal Table (dinner, Gary only)
  • Epcot
    • Garden Grill (dinner)
    • Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (dinner)
  • Animal Kingdom
    • Tusker House (dinner)
  • Hollywood Studios
    • Hollywood & Vine (dinner)
  • Disney Resorts
    • Chef Mickey’s (dinner)
    • 1900 Park Fare (dinner)
    • ‘Ohana (breakfast)
    • Cape May Café (breakfast)
    • Disney Character Breakfast at Covington Mill Hilton Orlando (breakfast)

In July we have a reservation at the new Storybook Dining at Artist Point featuring Snow White, and we’ll be going back to Chef Mickey’s for the first time since our honeymoon almost 9 years ago. We have the dining plan so we’re taking advantage of using dining credits for these high cost meals.

My recommendation for a character meal: Garden Grill. Located in Epcot, the meal is served family style. Chip, Dale, farmer Mickey, and Pluto visit your table. We had awesome character interaction, especially with Chip and Dale. And the cool part – the restaurant rotates!  You get to “spin” around to see scenes from the Living with the Land ride. An overall great experience and I would love to dine there again.

One on our to-do list: Besides Cinderella’s Royal Table (for me), I would like to eat at the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast with characters from The Little Mermaid and Tangled. I’ve made reservations for this breakfast twice and ended up canceling both times. Maybe three times is the charm!

Table Service Meals

Table service meals are sometimes referred to as “one-credit meals” in regards to the Disney Dining Plan. Most of the character meals are one credit on the meal plan as well, I just separated it into a different category for this post.

Here’s our list of table service (1-credit) restaurants where we’ve eaten:

  • Magic Kingdom
    • The Plaza
  • Epcot
    • Coral Reef
    • Biergarten
    • Chefs de France
    • Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room
    • San Angel Inn
    • Spice Road Table
    • Tokyo Dining
    • Via Napoli
  • Animal Kingdom
    • Yak and Yeti
    • Rainforest Café
  • Hollywood Studios
    • ’50s Prime Time
    • Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge
    • SciFi Dine-In
  • Disney Springs
    • Rainforest Café (Lava Lounge)
    • T-Rex
    • Raglan Road
    • Planet Hollywood
    • Frontera Cocina
    • House of Blues
    • AMC Dine-In Theater
    • The Boathouse
  • Disney Resorts
    • Boma
    • Sanaa
    • ‘Ohana (dinner)
    • Beaches and Cream
    • ESPN Club
    • Todd English bluezoo
    • Trail’s End
    • Kona Café
    • Whispering Canyon Café

For our July trip a new restaurant for us will be Toledo – Tapas, Steak, & Seafood at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. It’s actually a new restaurant for everybody as it doesn’t officially open until early July. The menu looks unique, and since we’re doing a lot of buffets it’ll be a nice change of pace.

My recommendation: I will always say Boma since that is my favorite restaurant anywhere. But I also really loved Spice Road Table and had a fantastic meal at Frontera Cocina (which was a last minute reservation as we were wandering around Disney Springs). We’ve had the wonderful bread service at Sanaa twice now, once in the main restaurant, and again at their lounge. San Angel Inn gets bad reviews but we’ve eaten there twice and loved it both times. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to any of these restaurants.

On our to-do list: Restaurant Marrakesh at Epcot and Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen at the Magic Kingdom. Maybe we’ll add one of these in for our July trip.

Signature Dining

Signature dining reservations are “two-credit meals” on the Disney Dining Plan. In a word, they’re fancy.

We haven’t really eaten at too many signature restaurants honestly. Here is our short list.

  • Epcot:
    • Le Cellier Steakhouse
  • Disney Resorts
    • Artist Point (before Storybook Dining with Snow White took over)
    • California Grill

My recommendation: All of these meals were great, but I would go with California Grill. We were seated by the window and got to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from our table. Our server was top notch. The food (we both ordered from the vegan/vegetarian menu) was excellent. I’d love to go back and try their brunch menu.

On our to-do list: Gary has been eyeing up the Yachtsman Steakhouse for a while now. I, of course, would love to do Victoria & Albert’s (which is signature dining in a class by itself, and not on the dining plan), but it’ll probably be a while. In the meantime I’d settle for dinner at Jiko.

 

Dinner Shows

Until recently there were three dinner shows at Walt Disney World, but Mickey’s Backyard BBQ is now closed. That was the only one we hadn’t done, so we can officially say we’ve been to all of the dinner shows at Walt Disney World. 🙂

My recommendation: Both were fun, but I think I liked the Hoop De Doo Musical Revue better. I thought the show was hilarious and the food was great. (Gary absolutely swears by the fried chicken there.) That, and I’m still traumatized from being called up on stage during the Spirit of Aloha show.

Quick Service Meals

Quick service meals are usually around $15 or less and don’t require a reservation (except Be Our Guest, which is a quick service restaurant at lunch time and you can – and should – make a reservation for it).

Many times, especially at Epcot, Gary and I will each get a meal in different restaurants but find somewhere to eat together.

Here is the list of quick service restaurants where we’ve dined:

  • Magic Kingdom
    • Be our Guest (lunch)
    • Pinocchio Village Haus
    • Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Café
    • Columbia Harbour House
    • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café
    • Casey’s Corner
  • Epcot
    • Boulangerie Patisserie les Halles
    • La Cantina de San Angel
    • Tangierine Café
    • Kringla Bakeri og Kafe
    • Liberty Inn (Gary only)
    • Lotus Blossom Café (Gary only)
  • Animal Kingdom
    • Mr. Kamal’s
    • Restaurantosaurus
    • Flame Tree BBQ
    • Satu’li Canteen
  • Hollywood Studios
    • ABC Commissary
    • Backlot Express
    • Rosie’s All American Café
    • PizzeRizzo
  • Disney Springs
    • Earl of Sandwich
    • Wolfgang Puck Express
    • Blaze Fast Fired Pizza
    • D-Luxe Burger
  • Disney Resorts
    • Intermission Food Court
    • World Premiere Food Court
    • Landscape of Flavors Food Court
    • Contempo Café
    • Cafe Rix
    • Capt. Cook’s
    • Everything POP
    • Riverside Mill Food Court
    • Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory

My recommendation: There’s so many good ones. We’ve made special trips to Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort just to eat at the food court to have the create-your-own pasta. We enjoy Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Café and will usually choose that above any other counter service at the Magic Kingdom. I’ve loved everything I’ve gotten at Wolfgang Puck Express. My recommendation however, would probably be for Satu’li Canteen at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I love, love, love the tofu bowls there. I’m sure Gary would probably say Flame Tree BBQ is his favorite.

Snacks

I won’t list all of the snacks we’ve tried at Walt Disney World over the years. Of course we’ve had the staples such as Mickey bars, popcorn, frozen bananas, Dole Whips, ice cream sundaes, and cupcakes.

My recommendation: Well you can never go wrong with ice cream, but I love anything at the Karamell-Kuche at the Germany pavilion in Epcot. Everything is made with Werther’s caramel. I always get a bag of caramel popcorn to bring home. The shortbread is awesome as well.

As you can see, dining is a huge deal at the Disney parks. For our July trip we’ve made reservations for the following: ‘Ohana, Boma, Trail’s End, Toledo, Storybook Dining at Artist Point, and Chef Mickey’s. We are on the dining plan for the first time in years and mostly picked the restaurants based on that. We’ve also not been on the dining plan since alcohol was included, so we’ll see how that goes. 😉

What’s your favorite must-do Disney restaurant? Which one should we try next?

May 13, 2019

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