One of the most difficult parts about planning a trip to Walt Disney World is deciding where to eat. Every year, Disney opens unique new restaurants with creative and delicious food. With so many great options, my trips have started to revolve around meals and figuring out ways to fit in all my favorite restaurants and the new ones I want to try.
With so many delicious options, it’s nearly impossible to create a list of only 10 Disney restaurants to try. When putting together this list, I narrowed it down to the special experiences that you could only have at Walt Disney World. These restaurants offer the magical combination of delicious food, fantastic theming, engaging service, and a little bit of pixie dust that makes dining at Disney so magical.
From international fare and fine dining to family favorites and Disney classics, here are 10 Walt Disney World restaurants you MUST try:
To try the flavors of Africa
If you’re interested in trying the cuisine of Africa, there’s no better place than Boma. Designed to resemble an African marketplace, this buffet is one of the largest on Disney property and represents all 53 countries that comprise Africa. Don’t let the size of the buffet scare you, the food is as good as what is offered at a signature restaurant and Boma is known for being one of the best values at Walt Disney World. Just make sure to stick with tiny portions of everything or you will be full before you make it through the entire buffet.
9. Chef Mickey’s
To meet the gang
Located inside of the Contemporary Resort, Chef Mickey’s is one of the best all around character meals at Walt Disney World. The atmosphere is fun and festive, the buffet offers favorites the entire family will love and a special celebration happens every 45 minutes. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto will come to your table and give you a chance to get autographs and take photos. It’s a great opportunity to meet the whole gang without waiting in multiple lines. With the monorail whizzing by overhead and just a quick jaunt to the Magic Kingdom, it doesn’t get much more Disney than this.
For entertainment with your meal
One of Disney’s most beloved eateries, ‘Ohana is a meticulously themed Hawaiian barbecue. The food is prepared in the eye-catching open fire cooking pit and served family style. The set menu features pineapple coconut bread, grilled meats and shrimp, teriyaki noodles, grilled veggies, and the famous caramel bread pudding. The festive meal is complete with Polynesian singers and hula hoop, limbo, and coconut rolling contests for kids. ‘Ohana offers a great view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks so if your reservation time corresponds, be sure to request a window table.
7. Be Our Guest Restaurant
For a uniquely Disney dining experience
Perhaps one of the most magical restaurants at Disney, Be Our Guest is nestled under Beast’s Castle in Fantasyland. Step inside and you’ll be transported into the world of Beauty and the Beast. There are three themed dining rooms – the Ballroom, West Wing, or Rose Gallery – where you can enjoy quick-service breakfast and lunch or table service dinner. The menu leans French and offers favorites such as quiche, coq au vin-style pork, croque monsieur, ratatouille, and steak-frites. No matter which dining room you choose, be sure to take a moment to walk around and check out the meticulous theming of the entire restaurant.
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6. 50’s Prime Time Cafe
For the best in Disney theming and the most entertaining experience
One of the most fun and best themed restaurants at Walt Disney World, 50’s Prime Time Cafe is sure to please the entire family. This blast-from-the-past will amuse you with its comfort food, 1950s-style kitsch, and attentive servers. Once seated at mom’s kitchen table, be sure to keep your elbows off the table and eat your vegetables — you may be scolded or have to stand in the corner if you misbehave! Indulge in comfort foods like onion rings, fried chicken, meatloaf, and pot roast. If ‘Mom’ (your server) lets you have dessert, you may enjoy warm apple crisp or pineapple upside down cake. Pay attention to all of the fun knickknacks and memorabilia displayed in the authentic 1950s kitchen decor.
5. Monsieur Paul
To try the food of one of the world’s best chefs
Monsieur Paul honors the cuisine of one of the world’s most celebrated chefs – Paul Bocuse. Located in Epcot’s World Showcase, the elegant bistro is filled with memorabilia from Chef Bocuse’s culinary career and offers a relaxed yet elegant approach to fine dining. You’ll enjoy the classic dishes and techniques of French cuisine that won Chef Bocuse his extraordinary culinary honors. The menu features seasonal and local ingredients used to make famous Bocuse dishes and we can confidently say that you will not leave here with regrets or an empty stomach!
4. Hollywood Brown Derby
For the best in theme park dining
When you need a break from the crowds and chaos of the park, grab at table at Hollywood Brown Derby. A replica of the famous celebrity watering hole from the 1930s, you’ll step back into the golden age of Hollywood. Enjoy the impeccable theming, the contemporary American menu, and the excellent drink list. The room is elegant, yet spacious and comfortable with the air conditioning is always on full blast. Make sure to order the classics from the original Brown Derby – the Cobb salad (it was invented here!) and the famous grapefruit cake.
3. Cinderella’s Royal Table
For the magic of eating in the castle
There’s no experience more magical than eating inside the castle. Cinderella will greet you in the castle lobby for a photo before you’re led up a spiral staircase to the banquet hall to meet all of her princess friends during your meal. The dining room is regal with high ceilings and towering windows that look into Fantasyland. You’ll be served a royal feast with items such as steak and eggs, quiche, or shrimp and grits at breakfast or favorites such as pork tenderloin, short ribs, or roasted chicken at lunch and dinner.
2. California Grill
For the best view of the fireworks with your meal
One of Disney’s most famous restaurants, California Grill serves California cuisine with a focus on the freshest local and seasonal produce. The food is wonderful but another compelling reason to eat here is to see the fireworks. California Grill offers an exclusive outdoor viewing deck for guests to view the Magic Kingdom’s nightly fireworks presentation, complete with the corresponding music. If your reservation overlaps the fireworks, make sure to request a table by the window so you can see the show from your seats. If you are eating earlier in the evening, you are welcome to return to the restaurant to view the fireworks during their scheduled time.
1. Victoria & Albert’s
For the most exclusive reservations at Disney
The grandest establishment of Disney dining, Victoria & Albert’s is the only AAA 5-Diamond restaurant in Central Florida. The experience is luxurious from start to finish — a pre-dining phone call to discuss dietary preferences, the attention of two dedicated servers during your meal, personalized menus, and a departure gift of long-stemmed rose for female guests and a small loaf of nut bread for the party to take home. The atmosphere is intimate with soft lighting, fresh flowers and live harp music playing in the background. There are two seatings available per evening and guests will enjoy a 7-course prix fixe menu. While the menu changes daily, creative preparations of fresh fish, poultry, and beef are always available as main courses. Be sure to order the famous vacuum press pot coffee.
The restaurants on this list are my personal favorites, but the best restaurants depend on what is important to you – fine dining, family-friendly, or just plain fun. What restaurants would you add to this list?