This is a list of restaurants I always skip on trips to Walt Disney World. Some of them might be family favorites, and that’s awesome too! There are some quick serve, but mostly sit-downs from the Parks only – this does not include resorts or Disney Springs. I can skip these ten. Can you?
1. 50’s Prime Time
You’ve gotta be in the mood for this one. 50’s Prime Time is located in Hollywood Studios and is very popular for some. Walking inside is definitely like stepping back 70 years. It feels like a 50’s diner and that can be really fun. The hook of this restaurant is the servers. Their big thing is acting like a 50’s housewife, which means they are pretty loud and get totally into character, like making you finish your meal and eating vegetables. For me, I don’t love the experience, but a lot of people do! It’s all about personal dining preference.
Also in Hollywood Studios, the ABC Commissary is a quick serve restaurant. This restaurant is known for playing ads and specials from the TV Network ABC, which is owned by Disney. The ads are fun for the first time around and the Commissary has a lot of seating, which is great. But the food just isn’t good enough to make it a priority, in my opinion. They serve burgers and chicken fingers and that kind of thing, but you can get that elsewhere in the Park, so I’d skip Commissary for Backlot or a quick serve on Sunset Boulevard.
3. Tony’s Town Square Restaurant
Tony’s is the first restaurant you encounter when you step into Magic Kingdom. It’s right in the main square on the right. This restaurant is truly charming – it recreates the restaurant where Lady and the Tramp shared that famous spaghetti smooch. But to be honest with you, I often forget it’s there. They serve traditional Italian cuisine, which is tasty but I’d rather just enjoy something in a different part of the Park. There’s nothing wrong with this place, but nothing outstanding either.
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4. San Angel Inn Restaurante
Dining in San Angel Inn is a cool experience. That’s the draw. The restaurant sits smack dab in the middle of the Mexico Pavilion in Epcot. Guests love the fact that they can be a part of the country in such an intimate way. Unfortunately, the experience falls flat for me. While it is very cool, because it’s inside the pavilion, it’s incredibly dark (although Disney bills this as ‘perpetual twilight’) and loud. The food is tasty, but in my opinion you can have just as good a meal across the street at La Hacienda de San Angel in a more relaxing setting.
5. Coral Reef
Coral Reef is brilliant in theory. There truly is a lot to love about it. It’s unique, fun, and beautiful. Coral Reef lives in Future World in Epcot, right next to The Seas with Nemo and Friends. What makes this restaurant special is an entire wall of it is an aquarium. The wall is pure glass, looking into a massive tank of thousands of sea creatures. The issue, of course, of having a glass wall is that every sound in the room bounces off of it and back. The restaurant is incredibly loud. It’s gorgeous, but hard to have a conversation. The fresh seafood is good, but there are better seafood places on property, like The Wave.
6. Rainforest Café
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: why go to a chain when you’re at Disney? This is the biggest reason I skip Rainforest, both in Animal Kingdom and Disney Springs. The restaurant itself is fine: it’s fun, colorful, good for kids. But you can go to a Rainforest loads of places; you can’t always go to Disney. I would always pick a uniquely Disney experience over a chain if given the choice.
My favorite thing about this quick serve place in DinoLand U.S.A in Animal Kingdom is the décor. The detail in it is amazing. It’s so fun. But at the end of the day, Restaurantosaurus is a quick serve dining spot for chicken fingers and burgers. There isn’t anything wrong with that, but Animal Kingdom has such amazing food that I’d personally skip it for Asian cuisine at Yak and Yeti’s quick serve option, or Satu’li Canteen in Pandora.
8. The Plaza
The Plaza is a charming sit down restaurant on Main Street, U.S.A. The inside is lovely and absolutely fits in with the rest of the street. However, the reason I’d skip this one is because I was underwhelmed with the food. It’s good old-fashioned comfort food, without anything amazing. Sandwiches are served for lunch that were only okay. They do offer breakfast, which is nice. But I wouldn’t go out of my way for this one, and truth be told, I often forget it’s there.
9. Nine Dragons
Nine Dragons Restaurant in Epcot is the main restaurant in the China Pavilion. It has traditional Asian cuisine and drinks in a well-themed dining hall. It’s a skip for me because while I adore Chinese food, I think there are better Asian foods around the parks. I even really like the Lotus Blossom Café right next door. They do delish quick serve. For amazing Asian cuisine, check out Morimoto Asia in Disney Springs!