Venturing into the magical parks throughout Disney World isn’t just about the rides and the parades. It’s a journey for your taste buds too! From fine dining that makes you feel like royalty to savory bites that comfort the soul, the locale offers a number of venues that cater to every taste and craving.
One of the best ways that we do dining at Disney is to reserve one sit-down meal a day. The rest of the time you’ll find us nibbling on park snacks (Disney popcorn… can’t compare) or making breakfast in our room. Not only does this save us money, but it also allows us to focus on the rides and experiences throughout the day, not the food. We tend to do one special meal per trip, with quick service options for the rest. That also keeps things budget-friendly. However, when we do have a nice meal, our top suggestions are below:
Here are The Shay’s Top 10 Recommendations:
Hollywood and Vine: Located in Disney's Hollywood Studios
This one is one of our favorites, potentially because we’ve been Pixie Dusted every time we go. But this self-serve buffet serves anything but typical buffet food. The cuisine is definitely taking it up a notch, with themed drinks and all-you-can-eat dessert, you can’t go wrong! Oh, and did we mention you will see your favorite furry friend roaming around the restaurant? Meet Mickey, Minnie, and the rest of the Fab 5 here- dressed to impress!
'Ohana: Located in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
'Ohana offers a taste of tropical paradise. Enjoy a family-style feast while being serenaded by Hawaiian music. And don’t forget to savor their famous skewered meats and our favorite dessert - pineapple bread pudding! Keep your eye out for some of your favorite island characters. Stitch, one of our daughter’s favorites, is known to swing by here and there!
Artist Point at the Wilderness Lodge:
Dine with Snow White and her Dwarves in this fun, exquisitely themed restaurant. The food is anything but typical, with three courses fabulously themed around the setting. This one is one of the more expensive options on the list, but the price is worth it for the experience. Just keep your eye out for the Evil Queen!
Cinderella's Royal Table: Magic Kingdom
An experience straight out of a fairy tale, this dining spot within Cinderella's Castle allows you to dine with royalty! As you enjoy your meal, your favorite princesses make their way around, greeting every guest and making dreams come true. Each prince or princess leaves with a little treat, and the experience is worth the price tag. Heads up you’re paying to eat in the castle, not for the culinary experience. While we’ve always enjoyed it, know that you’re paying for the atmosphere. We’ve also gotten a front-row seat to a sweet engagement here!)
Be Our Guest: Magic Kingdom
Step into Beast's enchanted castle in Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland. With rooms replicating scenes from the classic "Beauty and the Beast," indulge in French-inspired cuisine. The Croque Monsieur and the "Grey Stuff" dessert are must-tries! We’ve read many negative reviews of this one, but let me tell you- some of our best memories were made in this restaurant! Also, the dark setting and cold AC are a perfect reprieve during a hot Florida day. This one is one of our favs, and the kids specifically love the ‘paint your own Chip’ dessert.
San Angel Inn: Mexico Pavilion, Epcot
This restaurant offers a romantic, dimly-lit setting reminiscent of a nighttime scene in Mexico. Enjoy traditional Mexican dishes overlooking the World Showcase lagoon in Epcot. As for food, this one is one of our favorites. The price tag may be steep, but you absolutely get what you pay for with this quality. Don’t pass up one of their killer margaritas!
California Grill: Located atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort
The California Grill is the pinnacle of fine dining. With panoramic views of Magic Kingdom and an extensive wine list, it's perfect for those looking for a sophisticated evening with a family-friendly flair. The best part is when the lights dim, and guests are invited to enjoy the fireworks from the veranda outside. (DVC members are invited to come up to the lounge anytime as well).
Le Cellier Steakhouse: Canada Pavilion, Epcot
This cozy cellar serves some of the best steaks in Disney World. With its intimate setting and a menu that offers poutine, tender steaks, and delightful Canadian wines, it's a carnivore’s dream. Now, we’re on team Mexico when it comes to the World Showcase direction, so this is also a nice way to end a World Showcase walk. However, make sure you make reservations- this one is known to get a wait.
Tusker House: Animal KingdomAdventure awaits at this signature restaurant. Inspired by the travels of the park's creators, Tiffins boasts a
menu that's as eclectic as it is delicious, showcasing dishes from Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Keep your eye out for Donald, Goofy, and other favorite park pals! Now, this is specifically at the bottom of the list as this is one of Connor’s favorites, but not mine. The food is exceptionally spicy and adventurous, which can hurt sensitive tummies if you don’t know how to eat it.
The BOATHOUSE: Disney Springs
This waterfront dining experience features an upscale, waterfront dining featuring Florida-style surf’n’turf menu, plus vintage dream boat rides adding a splash of excitement to the dining experience! We always try to head over to Disney Springs once a trip, and the Boathouse is sure to impress. Also, try and snag one of Gideon’s famous cookies before you leave!
It’s exciting enough to try and tackle all the rides throughout each park. But can you also tackle all of these fun and eclectic menus while you’re at it? Every corner and every pavilion offers something to tickle those taste buds. So, eat, rejoice, and let every bite be as magical as every moment!
Bon Appétit and magical feasting,