I want to thank Disney for hosting my family and me at the Walt Disney World® Resort where we spent a magical time filled with pixie dust.
For my family food is always very important, especially when we are on vacation. Meals are a time to enjoy flavorful adventures, try new things or find comfort in flavors and dishes that we love. Sitting down for a meal is also a time when we share all about our daily adventures as a family.
Some of my fondest memories at Walt Disney World® Resort are linked to food. Not only because during meals we all slow down and enjoy each other’s company but also because you can enjoy some fantastic experiences at some of the Walt Disney World® Resort restaurants and eateries. From the mandatory stop to enjoy a Dole Whip at the Aloha Isle stand in Adventureland® Area at Magic Kingdom® Park, to making birthday memories surrounded by characters, some of our favorite moments and traditions at the Walt Disney World® Resort revolve around food!
There are over 475 places to dine across Walt Disney World® Resort including full-service restaurants, quick-service restaurants and portable food carts. In all there are more than 6,000 different food items are available, so how do you choose where to eat?
Plan ahead and make reservations
As with everything when preparing for a Walt Disney World® vacation, planning ahead is important. With offerings for every taste, foods from almost every corner of the world and themed restaurants with unforgettable dining experiences, start by thinking what’s most important to you and your family. When we are planning a family vacation to Walt Disney World® Resort we start by choosing restaurants at the parks we will be visiting and are always sure to include at least one character dining experience. We then choose favorites outside the parks either at the Disney Resort hotels or at Disney Springs®, usually for dinner or during a day that we are not visiting the parks.
For character dining, restaurants that offer signature dining experiences like Victoria and Albert's, Le Cellier Steakhouse and California Grill and for dinner shows, try to make your reservations 180 days in advance. Reservations open at 6am online and phone lines open at 7am. For really hard to get restaurants like Be Our Guest Restaurant for dinner and Cinderella’s Royal Table you will want to get up early and be on the Walt Disney World® website or on the phone when reservations open!
Meal times can be a magical experience
Whether it’s a uniquely themed restaurant or a dinner show, Walt Disney World® Resort offers some of the most memorable dining experiences. Below are some of our favorites:
- Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® has a drive-in theater theme, so your family can enjoy a fun meal sitting at a table shaped as a 1950’s car. All the cars face a giant movie screen playing black and white classic film clips from the 1950’s.
- Be Our Guest Restaurant is many guests’ favorite restaurant for a reason; located in the Beast’s castle at the Magic Kingdom® Park the theming is fantastic and you truly feel like you are in the Beast’s castle with huge chandeliers hanging from the ballroom’s hand painted ceilings, the enchanted rose, sound of thunder and even snow falling if you look out the windows! If you are visiting for dinner you will also get a chance to meet The Beast.
- The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort is one of the most fun shows at the Walt Disney World® Resort. Filled with music and dance the show is entertaining for kids and adults of any age. The food which includes delicious ribs and fried chicken is all you can eat and the sangria and beer are unlimited for guests 21 years of age and older.
- California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort has one of the best views in all of Walt Disney World® Resort. Make reservations for a sunset dinner and then come back with your receipt to watch the nighttime fireworks from a special viewing area while the firework show’s music plays all around you.
Explore flavors from around the world
Eating around the world in Epcot® can be a fantastic adventure for your taste buds. From sea scallops and duck breast with cherries at Chefs de France, a restaurant created by three of France’s best chefs, to Teppan Edo where my kids love to watch the Japanese Teppan-yaki chefs as they fling shrimp in the air and make a steaming volcano out of onion slices while they cook right at your table, you can feel as if you are visiting other countries without leaving Florida. When it comes to ambiance we enjoy dining under the stars and the glow of an erupting volcano at a Mexican village square in San Angel Inn Restaurant located inside the ancient Mayan pyramid at the Mexico pavilion. We love the authentic Mexican dishes like pollo a las rajas, the empanadas mole Poblano and the hand crafted margaritas. Sometimes there’s even a live mariachi band playing. Moroccan food is one of my favorite cuisines so we always eat at
Spice Road Table when we go to Epcot®; with a beautiful view of the water and the World Showcase and a variety of small plates like hummus and baklava; it’s the perfect place to explore the flavors of Morocco.
You don’t have to go to Epcot® to try foods from other countries. There are plenty of restaurants across Walt Disney World® Resort that will let you explore both classic and exotic cuisines from around the world. Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant at Disney Springs® is a lively Irish pub with live Irish bands, captivating Irish step dancers and a menu full of authentic Irish comfort foods from bangers and mash and soda bread to Guinness. At Sanaa in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge—Kidani Village you can watch zebras and gazelles grazing in the savanna outside while you delight your taste buds with lamb kefta and tandoori shrimp accompanied with Naan bread. If you’re at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, be sure to stop at Yak and Yeti which has a unique southeast Asian ambiance and features dishes like chicken Tikka Masala, pot stickers and lots of vegetarian options. If you are looking for a different character dining experience, Tusker House is a great option that offers exciting flavors from Africa.
Falling in love with Character Dining
We are huge fans of Walt Disney World® Resort character dining options. It all started when we celebrated my daughter’s 3rd birthday at The Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh and friends. My daughter was hooked and we have celebrated her birthday with the Disney characters at a restaurant ever since!
During Character Dining at the Walt Disney World® Resort, you and your kids get an opportunity to meet favorite Disney characters, ask for autographs and take pictures with them. There are many options when it comes to Character Dining either in the parks or at some of the Walt Disney World® Resort hotels.
For a royal and unforgettable dining experience, the fairytale dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table in Cinderella Castle is one of the most popular dining experiences. It gets booked months in advance so be sure and get those reservations as soon as possible. For princess fans, the Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway pavilion at Epcot® gives you the opportunity to get up close and personal with princesses such as Belle, Snow White, Aurora and Ariel. You can meet Cinderella and friends at Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner at 1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
If you want to dine with everyone’s favorite mouse, Mickey Mouse, you can find him along with some of his friends Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Harvest Feast at The Garden Grill Restaurant at Epcot®, Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, `Ohana’s Best Friends Breakfast along with Lilo and Stitch at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and at Mickey’s Backyard Barbecue at The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.
The Playhouse Junior Play ‘n Dine at Hollywood & Vine featuring Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, Jake and the Never Land Pirates and Handy Manny and sharing a meal with Winnie the Pooh and Hundred Acre Wood friends at the The Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom® Park are popular options with the younger crowd.
When it comes to snacks, dessert and treats, Walt Disney World® has some fantastic, whimsical and crazy delicious options that you will not find anywhere else. From the infamous The Grey Stuff cupcake at Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom® Park and the outrageous Kitchen Sink sundae from Beaches and Cream Soda Shop at Disney’s Beach Club Resort to my kid’s favorites which include the Darth Vader chocolate and peanut butter cupcake, (found at various locations in Disney’s Hollywood Studios®) and the classic Mickey Mouse shaped ice cream bar, some of these treats are truly magic!
Seasonal treats at Walt Disney World® Resort are always favorites. We love all the fresh offerings during Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival and the pumpkin flavored, and spooky treats available during the Halloween season.
Dining at the Walt Disney World® Resort can be an adventure in itself, so take advantage of it and explore different cuisines and experiences!