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10 Tips And Secrets For Walt Disney World’s Restaurants

A Walt Disney World vacation is full of amazing experiences that are sure to form lasting memories for guests. Guests can enjoy everything from attractions and live entertainment to shopping and relaxing at a Disney Resort while enjoying a Disney vacation. The highlight of a vacation for many guests is the food, and Walt Disney World definitely doesn’t disappoint with options including full service and quick service meals, snack carts, and fine dining experiences. No matter what type of cuisine or diet a guest prefers, they are sure to find the perfect Disney restaurant for them since there are countless options to choose from. Here are ten tips and secrets for Walt Disney World’s restaurants!

10. Book Advanced Dining Reservations

Since Disney Restaurants are so popular, many tend to become completely booked months in advance. That is why it is so important for guests to book Advanced Dining Reservations to ensure that they can dine in all of their favorite restaurants. Advanced Dining Reservations can be made up to one hundred and eighty days in advance and are necessary for those who do not want to waste time being turned away from a fully booked restaurant or waiting to be seated as a walk up party.

9. Garden Grill Restaurant Spins

Epcot is home to a unique restaurant which features a character buffet with a view. The Garden Grill Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and allows guests to enjoy a family style buffet while meeting Mickey, Pluto, Chip, and Dale and looking into scenes from Living with the Land below. The most interesting fact about the restaurant is that it actually spins! The Garden Grill Restaurant slowly rotates at a pace that allows guests to generally make one full rotation throughout a meal!

8. Leave Enough Time

One of the biggest tips that guests can follow in regards to dining at a Disney Restaurant is to leave enough time to get there! Getting from one place to another in Walt Disney World is easy thanks to Disney transportation, but sometimes the journey can take a little longer than expected making it important to leave plenty of time for travel so as to not miss a reservation.

7. Try New Places

With so many Disney restaurants to choose from, guests might find themselves returning to their old favorites and never venturing out to try somewhere new. This is a huge mistake as each location features a unique theme, menu, and décor that is sure to thrill even the pickiest of eaters. Guests should definitely aim to try at least one new Disney Restaurant on each Disney vacation.

6. The Perfect View

No trip to Walt Disney World is complete without a showing of Happily Ever After in the Magic Kingdom. The show lights up the skies high over Cinderella Castle with fireworks and the projection show on the castle is accompanied by a score of music that is sure to stir up all sorts of emotions! The best viewing location is on Main Street in the park, but there are two Disney restaurants which feature amazing views of the show. ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort serves up an all you can eat buffet of island style foods and features wall to ceiling glass windows which offer the perfect view to watch Happily Ever After across Seven Seas Lagoon. Guests can also dine at the California Grill which is located at the very top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort for an unforgettable view of Happily Ever After. The restaurant features panoramic views of the Magic Kingdom and pipes in the music from the show making it a wonderful place to watch from.

5. Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant’s License Plates

Guests in Disney’s Hollywood Studios looking for a delicious meal should head to the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant which recreates a classic drive in complete with perpetual nighttime and a massive movie screen. Guests can dine in classic cars which features booths and check out sci-fi clips and cartoons on the big screen. Many guests dining at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater might not realize that the license plates on each car represent the initials and birthdays of many Imagineers who worked on the restaurant!

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4. Flame Tree Barbecue’s Patio

A great place to enjoy mouthwatering barbecue options is Flame Tree Barbecue in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The quick service location serves up options like Pulled Pork Sandwich and St. Louis Ribs and features a dining area which comes with an amazing view. Behind the ordering counter is a patio which overlooks the river and offers sweeping views of Expedition Everest across the way for guests to enjoy while dining.

3. Le Cellier’s Hidden Mickey

One of the most popular dining locations in Walt Disney World can be found in the Canada Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase. Le Cellier Steakhouse invites guests to dine in a cozy wine cellar on classic steakhouse fare with a Canadian twist. Before being seated, guests should check out a wall near the check in desk which features a massive wine rack. There guests can spot a classic Hidden Mickey formed by three wine bottles.

2. Prince Min

Also found in World Showcase is the Nine Dragons Restaurant in the China Pavilion. The restaurant features many intricate and beautiful details including a golden dragon and Chinese characters but there is one feature which many guests miss. On one corner of the restaurant’s exterior roof, guests can spot a figure of a man being guarded by several animals. The man is Prince Min, an ancient ruler who was hanged for his cruelty. Chinese traditional calls for a representation of Prince Min to warn other cruel rulers and a band of animals to prevent him from ever escaping.

1. Cinderella’s Friends

Guests who want to meet the Disney Princesses simply must dine at Cinderella’s Royal Table inside Cinderella Castle. The restaurant features plenty of opulent details fit for royalty and allows guests to meet their favorite princesses while enjoying delicious food. Guests can also look up to the rafters to spot Jacque and Gus, Cinderella’s two mice friends from the film.

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.