There are so many restaurants to choose from in Walt Disney World that it can be daunting for guests. We have many favorites that we return to year after year. There are others that we’ve only done once and wouldn’t return to (that being said, we’ve never come across a “bad” restaurant in WDW; just some where there was a negative aspect to our experience). Here are some of the (subjectively!) best and worst table service restaurants in WDW – how does your list compare?
1. Yak and Yeti @ Animal Kingdom
We always return to this delightfully and authentically themed restaurant in Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom! Dining here reminds us of our travels in Asia, and the food has never disappointed. There’s plenty here for adventurous eaters, and also for those who want something a little more familiar. The fried wonton dessert is unlike anything else on property, and little touches – like the ornate cast iron teapot that will be brought to your table if you order tea, and the beautiful architectural details on every surface – make this restaurant a hit every time.
2. Yachtsman Steakhouse @ Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
This restaurant is simply fabulous. It’s not cheap, but the spectacular food is worth every penny – and you won’t feel uncomfortable, even though the atmosphere, service and food are high-end. Carnivores in our party always rave about the steaks here, and staff have always catered to the vegetarians and guests with allergies, cheerfully offering to combine numerous appetizers to create a meal, or creating meals that don’t even exist on the menu. No one in your party will be disappointed!
3. BOATHOUSE @ Disney Springs
The atmosphere at this restaurant in Disney Springs is upscale nautical, yet easy-going, and the service has always been exceptional. We’ve often been seated well in advance of our reservation time, so it’s worth checking if you’re hungry before your appointed dining time. And the food is fantastic! We’d return for the mac ‘n cheese alone (although be careful, it has a kick to it!). Plus it’s always fun checking out the vintage boats on display outside the restaurant, not to mention watching guests tour the lagoon in amphicars.
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4. Le Cellier Steakhouse @ Epcot
You may choose to “snack around the world” at Walt Disney World’s Epcot (we certainly do!), but when you’re ready for a sit-down meal, Le Cellier in the Canada pavilion is highly recommended. The ambience is cosy and comfortably rustic, and the dishes are to die for! Guests can’t stop talking about the cheddar cheese soup, made with Moosehead beer and smoked bacon; the steaks here are also (predictably) excellent. But there’s plenty here to please vegetarians, carnivores, and kids alike!
5. Be Our Guest Restaurant @ Magic Kingdom
Probably the most predictable restaurant on this list, Be Our Guest has been one of the most popular restaurants on property since it opened. And with good reason! Guests will be in awe of the elegant Grand Ballroom, the moody and dramatic West Wing, and the romantic Castle Gallery. And once you choose a room to eat in, you’ll enjoy a variety of French-inspired meals and even have the chance to try the “Grey Stuff”! Be Our Guest is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and this is the only place on Disney property where you can meet the Beast (after dinner reservations only).
1. Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater @ Hollywood Studios
The theming at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at Hollywood Studios is fantastic – where else can you eat in vintage cars under the stars? But repeatedly, we’ve arrived at this restaurant significantly early for our reservation, and not only have we not been seated before our reservation (something that is possible with most other Disney restaurants) – we’ve actually had to wait until long after our reservation time to be seated. There’s also very little room to wait inside the restaurant, so usually we end up standing outside or perched on the cement wall beside the entrance. It might be worth the trouble if the food was excellent, but we’ve only ever found it adequate.
2. Chefs de France @ Epcot
We love Epcot, and were excited to try Chefs de France, but were disappointed. The tables are so close together that it was uncomfortable and claustrophobic, and we felt like we were eating on top of other families. On top of that, we found the service wasn’t up to what we’re used to at WDW – a member of our party had several food allergies, and wait staff made her feel almost like she was bothering them by inquiring about ingredients and requesting an altered meal.
3. Citricos @ Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
We’ve had great luck with other restaurants in the Grand Floridian, but wouldn’t return to Citricos, as beautiful as it and the views from it are. We recently dined here with a vegetarian, and discovered that none of the entrees – and very few appetizers – were vegetarian, and even options that appeared vegetarian according to the menu description were actually made with meat products. We asked to see a vegetarian menu, as we’ve done in other WDW restaurants, but were told they didn’t have one. Staff weren’t able to alter the meal our guest wanted, or any other entrees; so be warned if you’re dining here with someone who has dietary restrictions!
4. Planet Hollywood @ Disney Springs
We’re not fans of this restaurant in Disney Springs. While the location is great, there are so many other options for dining here, and we found the food at Planet Hollywood simply didn’t measure up. It also seemed overpriced for what was offered. The ambience was very loud, making it hard to have a conversation with family members, and there was a quite a long wait time for our food, once ordered. We’d recommend trying another location in Disney Springs.
5. Il Mulino New York Trattori @ Swan Hotel
This is a beautiful, high-end restaurant at Swan and Dolphin Resort, and it may appeal to certain guests. But we found the atmosphere a little too high-end (staff watch you almost too attentively, and if you leave to use the restroom, your napkin will be re-folded and your chair pushed in when you return), making us slightly uncomfortable. The food is authentically Italian, but make sure you know exactly what you’re ordering! One member of our party ordered what he thought was a version of spaghetti, and the noodles arrived cold and tough and undercooked (the way this particular dish is supposed to be served), quite a surprise to the uninitiated!