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10 Best Restaurants For First Time Visitors To Walt Disney World

First time guests who visit Walt Disney World might assume that they will be dining on stereotypical theme parks foods like hot dogs, burgers, and chicken nuggets throughout their vacations. Thankfully, the dining options in Walt Disney World are virtually endless and guests can enjoy everything from snacks to fine dining experiences. With so many dining options to choose from, first time guests might be overwhelmed in trying to decide where to book reservations. While every full service dining location on property is wonderful, some are so amazing and offer up unique experiences that first time guests simply have to enjoy. From character meals and amazing atmospheres to delicious cuisine and beautiful views, the dining locations in Walt Disney World do not disappoint. Here are the ten best restaurants for first time visitors to enjoy in Walt Disney World.

1. Chef Mickey’s

One of the most quintessential dining experiences in all of Walt Disney World can be found in the atrium of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Chef Mickey’s is an all you can eat buffet that is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Guests can dine on American inspired flavors while meeting Mickey in his chef’s coat, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto. The breakfast buffet includes options such as smoked salmon, carved ham, chef’s hash selection, pancakes, and Mickey Waffles, and lunch and dinner feature buffet offerings including peel-n-eat shrimp, bake chicken, barbecue pork ribs, and more.

2. Be Our Guest Restaurant

Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom is home to a wonderful dining location that brings guests directly inside the Beast’s Castle from Beauty and the Beast. Be Our Guest Restaurant allows guests to step inside the film and dine on French inspired cuisine in familiar settings. Breakfast and lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant are quick service meals and guests can enjoy options such as Feast A La Gaston, Croque Madame, French Dip Sandwich, and Tuna Nicoise Salad. Dinner is a full service meal with options including Braised Beef, Roasted Lamb, Layered Ratatouille, and Sauteed Shrimp and Scallops.

3. California Grill

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is also home to an amazing dining location that offers some of the best views in Walt Disney World. The California Grill is located on the top of the Disney Resort and offers amazing views of the Magic Kingdom and surrounding area. Guests who secure a reservation at the California Grill for dinner can enjoy beautiful views of the Magic Kingdom fireworks in addition to Pacific inspired cuisine including options such as Jumbo Sea Scallops, Braised Pork Shank, Oak-Fired Filet of Beef, Lobster and Pork Ramen, and Colorado Bison Loin.

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4. San Angel Inn Restaurante

The Mexico Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase features a beautiful ancient pyramid whose inside is home to a bustling marketplace and restaurant that are perpetually set at nighttime. The San Angel Inn Restaurante offers up traditional Mexican cuisine in a charming atmosphere where guests can watch a volcano in the distance and gentle boats gliding by. The full service location is open daily for lunch and dinner and features delicious options such as Mole Poblano, Carnitas de Puerco, Pescado a La Talla, and Chile Relleno.

5. Rose & Crown Dining Room

Also located in Epcot’s World Showcase is the lively UK Pavilion where guests can enjoy liver entertainment, beautiful architecture, and a delicious full service dining option. The Rose & Crown Dining Room serves up traditional British pub favorites in a cozy atmosphere that also boasts impressive views of World Showcase Lagoon. Guests who dine at the location for lunch and dinner each day can enjoy delicious menu options such as Fish and Chips, Welsh Pub Burger, Shepard’s Pie, Bangers and Mash, and Pan-Roasted Scottish Salmon.

6. 50’s Prime Time Café

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is home to a unique dining location that offers guests the opportunity to time travel back to the wholesome decade of the 1950’s. The 50’s Prime Time Café is themed to feel like a vintage kitchen from the era and the servers are all cousins or family members. Guests can order up classic American comfort dishes for lunch and dinner including Grandma’s Chicken Pot Pie, Dad’s Stuffed Pork Chop, Mom’s Old Fashioned Pot Roast, and Cousin Harold’s Vegetable Lasagna.

7. Yak & Yeti Restaurant

The Asia section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is home to a wonderful full service dining location that is open daily for lunch and dinner. The Yak & Yeti Restaurant invites guests to dine on Pan-Asian meals inspired by a family who traveled throughout South Asia collecting artifacts and recipes. Guests who enjoy a meal at the restaurant can dine on delicious options such as Seared Miso Salmon, Crispy Honey Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, Teriyaki Chicken, Korean BBQ Ribs, and more.

8. Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’

Disney Springs is also a very popular location for guests to enjoy a meal at as it is home to many different dining locations. Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ is a relatively new location to Disney Springs and it offers up flavors inspired by Florida in a cozy and charming setting. Guests who dine at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ for lunch or dinner can enjoy delicious menu offerings such as Art’s Famous Fried Chicken, Florida Grouper, Fried Catfish, Shrimp & Grits, and Braised Short Ribs.

9. The Boathouse

Another very popular and delicious location in Disney Springs is located at The Landing and serves up upscale menu items with a beautiful waterfront view. The Boathouse is open daily for lunch and dinner and guests can enjoy the warm atmosphere and views of the vintage Amphicars gliding through the water. Menu offerings include options such as Cedar Planked Puget Sound Salmon, Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Baked Crab Stuffed Lobster, Filet Mignon, New York Strip, and more.

10. Crystal Palace

First time guests who are looking to enjoy a different character meal should head to a wonderful location on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. The Crystal Palace is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and offers up an all you can eat buffet that guests can enjoy while meeting Pooh and friends. Guests can dine on delicious buffet options such as Mickey Waffles, seasonal fish, roasted carved meats, peel-n-eat shrimp, assorted desserts, and more.

About Caitlin Corsello

Caitlin Corsello first visited Walt Disney World when she was two years old, and despite spending most of the trip quarantined with the chicken pox she managed to fall in love with the place. Visiting WDW every year since, she especially loves learning about the history and small details of the parks, enjoying a Lapu Lapu, and eating/drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. When she's not in Disney, Caitlin lives in New York teaching preschool and spending her time counting down the days to her next trip.