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8 Fabulous Walt Disney World Resort Dining Experiences That Most People Miss

For too many Walt Disney World guests dining consists of mostly eating in the theme parks. They might grab breakfast at the resort food court, and maybe splurge on pizza in the room at the end of the evening. If that’s how you eat on your Walt Disney World vacation, you’re missing out. The resort restaurants are some of the best on Disney property. Here are eight experiences that most people miss. Some of them are the restaurants themselves, while others are a special experience within a restaurant. If your favorite isn’t on the list, feel free to mention why you love it in the comments below.

8. Olivia’s Cafe

Disney’s Old Key West Resort

Olivia’s Cafe was named after Olivia Farnsworth, an unlikely restaurateur from the Florida Keys. Home style dishes with a relaxed feel are served for all three meals. Olivia’s Cafe is heavy on the seafood, but ribs, pasta, burgers, and other choices are also available. You will want to save room for the Key Lime Tart! At Olivia’s Cafe you’ll feel like you left the hustle and bustle of the theme parks far behind. It’s the perfect place to enjoy comfort food while you unwind.

7. Dinner Shows

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

There are three dinner shows at Walt Disney World, and all three of them are unique and exciting. Two of them take place at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue takes guests into the Wild West with a vaudeville-type performance. There’s singing, dancing, and plenty of comedy. Mickey’s Backyard BBQ features Mickey and a few of his friends. You’ll enjoy country music, rope tricks, and line dancing. Over at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort you’ll find Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show. This is an old fashioned luau, complete with hula dancers and a fire juggler. All three shows are all-you-can-eat; including beer and wine for those of age.

6. Las Ventanas

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Las Ventanas is a bit of a hidden gem. It opened in 2014, and many guests do not even know that it is there. The restaurant has an intimate feel, the space used to be a private dining room. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner at Las Ventanas. There are some lighter options on the menu, so you won’t walk away feeling bloated. The house specialties include Blackened Mahi Mahi and Herb-marinated Chicken Breast. Las Ventanas is quiet and peaceful, and provides a welcome respite during a busy vacation.

5. Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast

Cape May Cafe, Disney’s Beach Club Resort

Many Walt Disney World guests try to have at least one character meal while on vacation. The meals within the parks are quite popular, as is Chef Mickey’s. There is a great alternative to these choices, and it’s within walking distance of the International Gateway entrance at Epcot. At Minnie’s Beach Breakfast Bash you’ll enjoy a traditional breakfast buffet, and you might find a few yummy surprises. You’ll also get to spend quality time with Minnie, Donald, and Goofy. They’re ready to head to the beach. (Characters may change at any time.) If you’re looking for a last minute character meal, check this one out. It’s considered a fairly easy to get reservation, and it’s a lot of fun.

4. Whispering Canyon Cafe

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Don’t let the name fool you, there is nothing quiet about this restaurant! During your meal there are songs, games, and even hobby horse races. The servers have a blast, and you will as well. One word of warning; don’t ask for ketchup unless you really want it. If you’re looking for a quiet, relaxing meal, eat somewhere else. If you want loud, hilarious, and fun, you might want to make a reservation at Whispering Canyon Cafe. All three meals are served, and there are some all-you-can-eat options.

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3. The Chef’s Domain at Citricos

Citricos, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Citricos is an amazing restaurant to begin with. There you’ll enjoy Mediterranean cuisine, an award winning wine list, and incredible views. Make your meal even more special by reserving The Chef’s Domain at Citricos. The private dining room holds up to 12 people. Guests will enjoy a six course meal that is prepared exclusively for them, along with wine pairings. The meal is served twice daily, meaning that only 24 people a day can enjoy it. There is an $800 minimum for The Chef’s Domain, and Citricos has a dress code.

2. Chef’s Table

Victoria & Albert’s, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

The most exclusive and intimate Walt Disney World dining experience can be found at Victoria & Albert’s. Like The Chef’s Domain, the guests at the Chef’s Table will meet with the chefs before the meal, and something fabulous will be created based on their likes. The Chef’s Table is only offered once a night, and the experience will last up to three hours. It is for groups between two and ten guests, and children under the age of ten are not allowed. The dress code is stricter than at most signature restaurants. Victoria & Albert’s is the only AAA Five Diamond Award winning restaurant at Walt Disney World, and the staff takes that accolade seriously. Dinner at the Chef’s Table could be the most incredible meal of your life.

1. Wanyama Safari

Jiko – The Cooking Place, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

One of the most unique dining experiences at Walt Disney World takes place each afternoon at 3:30. Wanyama Safari is for up to 12 guests. You’ll start at Jiko – The Cooking Place, where you’ll enjoy light refreshments. From there your guide will take you out into the savanna for a 90 minute tour. You’ll see dozens of animals, and your guide will share little known facts with you. Once the tour is over you’ll head back to Jiko, where you’ll enjoy an African inspired feast. Reservations are required, and can be made by calling 407-938-4755. Most people have never heard of Wanyama Safari, but those who have done it say that it’s an experience that they will never forget.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.