When most people picture a Walt Disney World vacation, they think of attractions, characters, parades, fireworks, and even long lines, but most don’t even consider the dining. Walt Disney World is home to hundreds of dining locations offering up many different types of cuisine in different settings. Each restaurant in the four theme parks, two water parks, Disney Springs, and Disney Resorts has its own unique theme and menu designed to wow guests. Depending on the location, guests can enjoy meals from a quick service counter style location, food cart, or full service restaurant. The full service restaurants in Walt Disney World are immensely popular, and guests who wish to dine at them should definitely make their Advanced Dining Reservations, or ADRs, as close to one hundred and eighty days in advance as possible. While some restaurants might be relatively easy to secure a reservation to, there are some that are so popular that they are notoriously always booked. Here are the ten hardest dining reservations for guests to get when visiting Walt Disney World.
10. Rose & Crown Dining Room
Epcot is home to some of the most popular dining locations in Walt Disney World, especially World Showcase. The area features eleven different countries which each feature their own restaurants and cuisine. One of the most popular dining locations in Epcot is the Rose & Crown Dining Room in the UK Pavilion. This restaurant features a lively and energetic bar in the front portion with family friendly dining areas in the back. The rooms are designed to feel like an authentic British pub with quaint features like fireplaces, china, and trinkets. Guests who dine at the Rose & Crown Dining Room can enjoy classic British faire with options like United Kingdom Cheese Platter, Fish and Chips, Shepard’s Pie, Bangers and Mash, Corn Beef and Cabbage, and Pan-Roasted Scottish Salmon. While the food helps to make the Rose & Crown Dining Room so popular, it is the view of World Showcase Lagoon that makes it a difficult location to score a reservation to. Since there is a wonderful view of the water, guests clamor to get reservations for the perfect view of the nightly show Illuminations: Reflections of Earth which takes place on the lagoon.
9. The Plaza Restaurant
Main Street in the Magic Kingdom is themed to feel like a turn of the century hometown where guests can wander into the different stores and find everything they need. This includes a wonderful restaurant which aims to bring the turn of the century to life with beautiful details and delicious food. The Plaza Restaurant is located on the far right end of Main Street and faces Cinderella Castle. Guests who dine in the location for lunch and dinner can enjoy era appropriate details like large mirrors, wire backed chairs, and gold accents. The windows of The Plaza Restaurant offer some of the most beautiful views of Cinderella Castle and the hub, and guests who dine there at the right times can enjoy views of the parades and fireworks throughout each day. That, combined with the restaurant’s small size are what make it such a difficult location to secure a reservation to. Those guests who are lucky enough to score a reservation can enjoy delicious menu options including Baked Honey-Barbecued Brisket Mac & Cheese, Plaza Club, Grilled Reuben, Chicken-Strawberry Salad, and the Plaza Ice Cream Sundae. (Photo credit Disney)
8. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
The Norway Pavilion in Epcot is home to one of the most popular character dining experiences in all of Walt Disney World. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall invites guests to dine on delicious cuisine fit for royalty while mingling with the Disney Princesses. The restaurant is decorated with opulent details including vaulted ceilings, stone archways, and royal hanging flags. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and offers up a wonderful buffer with Norwegian inspired options including Dilled Salmon Gravlax, Peppered Mackerel, Smoked Pork Loin, Laks, Tradisjonell Kjottkake, and Svinestek. With such delicious options, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is a huge hit with guests, but it is the interactions with the Disney Princesses that keep the reservations in high demand. While enjoying their food, guests can meet Snow White, Ariel, Cinderella, Belle, and Princess Aurora.
7. Chef Mickey’s
Many guests are familiar with Disney’s Contemporary Resort for its unique design featuring the monorail tracks gliding right through the lobby. In addition to the interesting theme, the Disney Resort is home to a very popular full service restaurant. Chef Mickey’s is an open air location with a wonderful atmosphere thanks to the nearby massive windows and monorails gliding by just above. The popular location is open for breakfast and dinner and offers up family friendly buffet style classics including Pancakes, Mickey Waffles, Ham and Cheese Scramble, Baked Chicken, Barbeque Pork Ribs, and Baked Salmon. While the location and food are enough to keep guests coming back, what helps to make Chef Mickey’s such a popular restaurant is the chance to meet Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy while dining! It is also the only location in Walt Disney World where guests can meet Mickey in his chef’s outfit.
6. California Grill
Another extremely popular restaurant that is very hard to get a reservation to is also located in Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The California Grill is located on the top floor of the Disney Resort, offering sweeping views of Seven Seas Lagoon, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and the Magic Kingdom thanks to massive floor to ceiling windows. The California Grill brings the flavors of the west coast to life through exquisite dining combinations created to amaze guests. Open for both brunch and dinner, it is the later meal that is extremely difficult to secure a reservation to because the restaurant offers up a phenomenal view of the nightly fireworks in the Magic Kingdom. Guests can step outside onto a breezeway or enjoy the show from inside, but from either vantage the view cannot be beat. In addition to the view, the extensive wine list complements menu offerings including Shrimp and Grits, Eggs Benedict, Dragon Roll, Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli, Oak-Fired Filet of Beef, Grilled Pork Tenderloin, and Seared Hokkaido Scallops. (Photo credit Disney Wiki)