Top Ten Restaurants at Walt Disney World
This was not an easy list to compile. We could make a list of the 50 Best Restaurants at Walt Disney World and people would still not agree. Some of my own personal favorites are not listed. The restaurants that are here are known for atmosphere, service and the quality of the food. They are more than just places to eat, they are experiences. These are restaurants that will enhance your trip to Disney and will make it more special than ever you dreamed possible. They go above and beyond what is expected of them.
I did quite a bit of research for this list to find which restaurants Disney guests love the most. My apologies in advance to those restaurants that didn’t make it. If a restaurant is not listed here that doesn’t mean that it has bad food and poor service. No slights were meant so please don’t be upset if your personal favorite did not make this list. All Disney restaurants have a warm place in someone’s heart. That’s part of the magic.
Since these are some of the more popular restaurants at Disney you will want to make your reservations as soon as possible. You can do that by visiting http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/reservations/dining or calling 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463). Disney accepts reservations starting 180 days before the date in question. For some of these restaurants you will want to make it that early.
10) Flame Tree Barbeque
Animal Kingdom-Discovery Island, counter service
This is the only counter service option to make the list so you know that is has to be special. Seating is all outdoors but there are covered areas and you can dine while looking out at Discovery River. The food is what makes the difference here. You can order a 1/2 Slab of St. Louis Ribs or 1/2 Chicken, both served with Baked Beans and Cole Slaw, or a Smoked Turkey Breast Sandwich. If you want something that is not quite so heavy try the Fruit Plate, made with seasonal fruit and served with honey yogurt. No matter what you decide upon you’ll leave full. Beer and wine, as well as soft drinks, are also available. The restaurant is very popular so plan to wait in line or dine at slightly off times, since reservations are not accepted.
9) Hollywood Brown Derby
Disney’s Hollywood Studios-Hollywood Boulevard, full service
A replica of the Brown Derby Restaurant in Hollywood where the rich and famous used to dine, the Walt Disney World version has all of the class and style of the original. Photos and caricatures of stars line the walls of the dining room. The restaurant features “Our Famous Cobb Salad”, which can be served as either an appetizer or an entrée. Other entrees include pork chops, duck, filet of beef and even free range chicken. There are plentiful desserts, including the Brown Derby Original Grapefruit Cake. There is an extensive wine list and “Cocktails of the Stars” are also available to those of age. There are also non-alcoholic cocktails on the menu.
8) Artist Point
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, full service
You might not think that “upscale” and “rustic” would combine all that well but somehow Artist Point pulls it off perfectly. The restaurant is designed to give diners the feel of the American Northwest. The murals on the walls are the creations of noted artists Thomas Moran and Albert Bierstadt. If you’re lucky you will be seated with a view of Silver Creek Falls. The food is fresh, innovative and seasonal. Offerings might include wild salmon, hand-cut fillet mignon or pork tenderloin. Try the Artist Point Cobbler for dessert, they use seasonal berries and it’s served with house-made black raspberry ice cream. The wine list features specialties of the Northwest. Artist Point is not as well known as some of the other Disney restaurants, making it easier to get a reservation.
7) Les Chefs de France
Epcot-World Showcase, France Pavilion, full service
Who would have thought that you’d find elegant dining in the middle of a theme park? At Les Chefs de France you’ll feel like you stepped into a French brasserie. You’ll love the casual sophistication and if you’re lucky you might receive a visit from Remy from Ratatouille. You can start off your meal with an escargot casserole or a cheese and bread board. Entrees include scallops, chicken and beef short ribs. You can also order the Prix Fixe 3, a three course meal. Crème Brulee or another dessert will be the perfecting ending to your experience. French wines are served by the bottle or the glass, other alcoholic and non-alcoholic choices are also available.
6) Boma – Flavors of Africa
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, buffet
Boma is a favorite of many. The atmosphere is incredible, you will feel like you’re in Africa. The food is delicious and, since it is a buffet, you can try a little bit of everything. The breakfast buffet features Press Pot African coffee. You’ll find the normal breakfast buffet selections of pancakes, pastries and fruit, but it also includes things like Quinoa Porridge and Bobotie. The dinner buffet changes often but its over 60 items may include African soups and breads, Wood Roasted Meats and Curried Coconut Seafood Stew. Vegetarians like the buffet because the meatless choices are plentiful and kept away from those that contain meat, making them easy to find. The dessert buffet and non-alcoholic drinks are included in the price. African beers, wines and specialty cocktails cost extra.
Disney’s Polynesian Resort, character breakfast, family style dinner
Step inside ‘Ohana and you’ll feel like you’ve made a trip to the Islands. The cooking fire in the center will automatically catch your eye, as will the attention to detail throughout the restaurant. Breakfast is a character meal featuring Lilo and Stitch, who are often joined by Mickey and Pluto. It is brought family style to your table and will usually include eggs, potatoes, pork, breakfast breads and breakfast drinks. There are no characters at dinner, the food is the star. You will start with Pork Fried Dumplings and Coriander Chicken Wings, served family style. Skewers of turkey, pork, beef and shrimp are then brought to your table, along with dipping sauces and noodles. The meal is all you can eat. Make sure you save room for dessert, the bread pudding is phenomenal. Non-alcoholic drinks are included in the price, or take advantage of the bar if you’re of age and order a tropical specialty.
4) Cinderella’s Royal Table
Magic Kingdom-Fantasyland, character dining
Breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table is rumored to be the hardest to get reservation in all of Walt Disney World, often filling within minutes 180 days in advance. Lunch and dinner aren’t much easier. No matter which meal you would like, make your reservation as soon as you can. It is not surprising that this choice is so popular, who wouldn’t want to dine inside a castle? Tapestries and stained glass add to the magic. As you enter you’ll have a picture taken with Cinderella, which is included in the price. You’ll then be escorted to the dining room upstairs. Cinderella’s princess friends will make the rounds, taking time to chat, sign autographs and take pictures. Usually appearing are Belle, Aurora and Snow White. The Fairy Godmother also sometimes makes an appearance.
Breakfast features pastries, various types of eggs, Cream Cheese-Stuffed French Toast and other similar choices. Lunch is “Specialties of the Castle”, with dishes like short ribs, grilled snapper or grilled chicken pasta. Dinner’s choices are similar to those offered at lunch, but “Appetizers of the Court” have been added. Both lunch and dinner include dessert, and beverages for all three meals are part of the package.
3) Jiko – The Cooking Place
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, full service
Part of the reason that Jiko is so special is that they go above and beyond what is expected of any restaurant. How many restaurants do you know of even outside of Walt Disney World that have separate menus for various dining needs? Jiko’s separate menus include vegetarian, vegan, lactose intolerant, gluten intolerant and PKU. The specialty menus do not have just one or two choices, they are filled with tasty offerings. The restaurant is also beautiful, with warm colors, sculpted birds overhead and two wood-burning ovens. The cuisine features African flavors with Mediterranean and Indian influences mixed in for a treat that your taste buds won’t soon forget. Entrees include such treats as Oak-Grilled Fillet Mignon and Maize-crusted Perch. If you’re 21 or older check out their award winning wine menu. It offers one of the largest selections of wines from South Africa in North America.
2) Le Cellier Steakhouse
Epcot-World Showcase, Canada Pavilion, full service
The design of Le Cellier Steakhouse alone is unique, it is made to resemble a wine cellar. It is another extremely difficult reservation to get so make sure you try as soon as you can. The menu was recently updated and it now changes seasonally. Lunch is now served Prix Fixe while dinner remains a la carte. Make sure that you start your meal with the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup. The lunch entrees are limited to selections such as potato Gnocchi, pork chops, a house burger or a Caesar salad with chicken. It is at dinner when the restaurant lives up to its reputation. Try the New York Strip or the Rib-Eye if you’re in the mood for beef. If not, there’s lamb, salmon and pork among the dinner choices. Order the Maple Crème Brulee for dessert, the maple gives this classic a new twist.
1) Victoria & Albert’s
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, full service
As the only AAA Five Diamond restaurant in all of Walt Disney World, Victora & Albert’s gets the top spot on this list. It is also the most expensive Disney restaurant, with meals starting at $135 per guest. Wine pairings are extra. Children under 10 are not allowed and there is also a dress code. Allow 2-3 hours for your meal. Online reservations are accepted but to make one by phone you’ll need to call 407-WDW-DVNA (407-939-3862). Women are given a long stem rose upon entering and there’s a harpist that plays in the background. There are three different dining experiences; Victoria & Albert’s Dining Room, Queen Victoria’s Room and Chef’s Table. The menu changes nightly but you can expect it to be divine. Queen Victoria’s Room is a smaller space than the Dining Room for a more intimate meal. At the Chef’s Table you and your party will meet with the chefs to come up with a meal based on your likes and dislikes. It will be an evening that you’ll never forget.