20 Essential Dining Experiences At Walt Disney World

Art Smith Homecomin' Mac and Cheese
Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' - Momma's Mac and Cheese

Every guest who visits Walt Disney World loves checking out the countless dining options that are available across the entire property. Everything from ice cream bars and Mickey pretzels to signature multi course meals and fine dining can be found throughout the four Disney Parks, Disney Resorts, and Disney Springs. With so many amazing options to choose from, guests can have a seriously hard time trying to decide just where to stop for an unforgettable meal each day. While guests basically can’t go wrong with any dining choice in Walt Disney World, some options are simply so amazing that they should not be missed. Here are the twenty essential dining experiences that every guest should enjoy in Walt Disney World.

NOTE: During Walt Disney World’s phased reopening, select restaurants are temporarily closed or have modified dining experiences. Please be sure to check the Walt Disney World website or your My Disney Experience App to ensure restaurant openings and modified experiences.

1. Victoria & Albert’s

One of the ultimate dining experiences that guests can enjoy in Walt Disney World can be found at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, a Deluxe Resort oozing with Victorian charm and elegance. Victoria & Albert’s is a signature dining experience with a strict dress code and an impressive accolade record of the AAA Five Diamond Award every year since 2000. Open only for dinner each day, Victoria & Albert’s invites guests to dine on upscale American cuisine infused with decadent flavors from around the globe. Guests can dine in the charming main dining room or opt for a more indulgent experience in Queen Victoria’s Room or the Chef’s Table. Featuring a multi-course menu with excellent optional wine pairings, guests can sample dishes including Imperial Caviar with Alaskan King Crab, Maple-Glazed Manchester Quail, and Texas Wild Boar.

2. Narcoossee’s

Also found at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is another signature dining experience that is open only for dinner. Narcoossee’s is situated right on the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon and offers sweeping views of the Magic Kingdom and fireworks across the way that pair perfectly with the upscale nautical theming. Narcoossee’s focuses on coastal cuisine with the freshest flavors from around the world. While enjoying the views, guests can enjoy menu option including Slow-Poached and Chilled Shrimp, Artisanal Cheeses, Seafood Tagliatelle, Steamed Maine Lobster, Grilled Grass Fed Filet Mignon, Pan-Seared Georges Bank Day Boat Scallops, and more. When timed correctly, guests will love stepping out onto the outdoor deck to enjoy beautiful views of Happily Ever After across the water.

3. California Grill

Just across Seven Seas Lagoon is another fine dining restaurant that offers up beautiful views of the water and the Magic Kingdom. Disney’s Contemporary Resort is home to California Grill which is situated on the top floor of the Disney Resort and offers beautiful views through large glass windows and observation decks that pair perfectly with upscale modern décor. California Grill’s menu focuses on the flavors and ingredients of the Pacific Northwest and is open for brunch each Sunday and dinner each night. In addition to a stunning wine list highlighting the wonderful flavors of the Pacific Coast, guests can enjoy menu options such as Sashimi, Braise Beef Short Rib Wontons, Jumbo Scallops, Oak-Fired Filet of Beef, Poulet Rouge Chicken, Black Grouper, and more. Each dinner at California Grill is perfectly topped off with beautiful views of Happily Ever After from the outdoor observation decks.


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4. Jiko – The Cooking Place

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge brings the culture and beauty of Africa to life through an impressive lobby with soaring ceilings and large glass windows overlooking the savannah. Jiko – The Cooking Place is one of the best dining options available at the Deluxe Resort for dinner and offers up a blend of African, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisine cooked in large wood-burning ovens and paired perfectly with South African wines. The dining room at the restaurant features bold colors and natural elements that create a welcoming environment for guests to enjoy as they dine on menu items including Grilled Wild Boar Tenderloin, Moroccan Lamb Shank, Oak-Grilld Filet Mignon, West African Koki Corn, Peri Peri Chicken, Cape Malay Seafood Curry, and Egyptian Kushari.

Jiko Dessert

5. Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue

In addition to fine dining experiences, Walt Disney World is also home to several dining experiences that are also entertaining shows. The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort is located in Pioneer Hall and features a two hour dinner show where the Pioneer Hall Players sing, perform skits, encourage audience participation, and create an all-around good time. While the entertainment is wonderful, guests who enjoy the show also love to dig into the all-you-can-eat family-style servings of fried chicken, smoked BBQ pork ribs, tossed green salad, baked beans, fresh-baked cornbread, and strawberry shortcake. The Hoop-Dee-oo Musical Revue also offers unlimited draft beer, wine, and sangria for guests who are old enough.

6. ‘Ohana

One of the most popular restaurants and hardest dining reservation to obtain is ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Located on the second level of the Great Ceremonial House, ‘Ohana features an airy dining room accentuated with tropical colors, wooden touches, and beautiful views of Cinderella Castle and Seven Seas Lagoon. Open daily for breakfast and dinner, ‘Ohana offers up two unique dining experiences that guests are sure to love. The Best Friends Breakfast featuring Lilo & Stitch invites guests to dine family-style on American classics including Mikey Waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, and fresh fruit. Guests can also enjoy meet and greets with Lilo, Stitch, and Mickey as well as fun entertainment like parades for children. Dinner at ‘Ohana is also served family-style but instead focuses on Hawaiian flavors in dishes such as Pork Dumplings tossed in Garlic-Ginger Sauce, Szechuan Sirloin Steak, Spicy Grilled Peel-n-Eat Shrimp, and Teriyaki Noodles. Guests who enjoy dinner at ‘Ohana can also watch Happily Ever After light up the sky across Seven Seas Lagoon.

7. Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show

Also found at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is a wonderful dinner show that brings the spirit and fun of the islands to life through a celebration and delicious food. Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show is a celebration thrown by Auntie Wini as a goodbye for a local girl who is headed to the mainland for college. Guests can enjoy festivities including hula dancing, drummers, a fire-knife performer, and traditional dance from islands including Samoa and Tonga. While enjoying the entertainment in a lush tropical setting, guests can dig into family-style platters of Aloha pulled pork, Polynesian ribs, roasted chicken, seasonal vegetables, fresh fruit, a green salad with ginger-lime dressing, Pineapple Guava Cake, and Chocolate Cake. This unique dinner show is a wonderful way to spend an evening and a must do dining experience in Walt Disney World!

8. Yachtsman Steakhouse

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort combines seaside charm and upscale nautical details to create an inviting atmosphere where guests can also enjoy a wonderful signature dining experience for dinner. Yachtsman Steakhouse features a stunning dining area that combines dark wood accents and bold colors that perfectly compliment the New England steakhouse-style menu filled with fresh seafood and premium steaks. Guests who score a dining reservation for Yachtsman Steakhouse can dine on indulgent menu options including Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Lobster Bisque, Badger Flame Beet Salad, Chilled Admiral’s Tower for Two, 8-oz Black Angus Filet Mignon, 12-oz New York Strip Steak, Whole Maine Lobster, Chicken and Dumplings, Georges Bank Scallops, and 7-oz Cervena Elk.

9. Cinderella’s Royal Table

An essential dining experience in Walt Disney World that allows guests to feel like absolute royalty can be found in the heart of the Magic Kingdom inside of Cinderella Castle. Cinderella’s Royal Table is open each day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and welcomes guests into a royal banquet where they are greeted by Cinderella herself and can meet other Disney Princesses throughout their meal. With vaulted stone archways, merry royal flags, and beautiful views of Fantasyland through regal windows, guests are sure to enjoy their American-inspired menu options including Shrimp and Grits, Beef Tenderloin and Egg, Royal Avocado Toast, Seared Pork Rib Chop, Roasted All-Natural Chicken Breast, Chickpea Panisse, and Tenderloin of Beef.

10. Be Our Guest Restaurant

Another popular dining experience in the Magic Kingdom is a unique dining experience that invites guests to step directly into one of the most beloved Disney animated films. Be Our Guest Restaurant brings guests into the Beast’s Castle from Beauty and the Beast and serves up traditional French cuisine that guests can enjoy in the Grand Ballroom, West Wing, or Castle Gallery. Before meeting the Beast himself, guests can enjoy the elegance of the dining areas while feasting on meals such as French Onion Soup, Mixed Field Greens, Roasted Corn and Spinach Tortellini, Poulet Rouge Chicken, Her-Salted Pork Tenderloin, and Center-Cut Filet Mignon. Every meal at Be Our Guest Restaurant also needs to end with a sampling of the famous Grey Stuff which can be enjoyed on several different desserts.

11. San Angel Inn Restaurante

Of the four Disney Parks, many guests opt to head to Epcot when looking to enjoy an unforgettable meal thanks to the countless options located in both Future World and World Showcase. A favorite of many guests is the San Angel Inn Restaurante in the Mexico Pavilion in World Showcase. Situated in the rear of the ancient pyramid, this full service restaurant sits on the banks of a gentle waterway where guests can watch boats from the nearby Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros glide by and watch a smoking volcano in the distance. Open daily for lunch and dinner, the San Angel Inn Restaurante focuses on traditional Mexican cuisine served by candlelight in the perpetual twilight and guests are sure to enjoy menu options including Queso Fundido, Camarones a la Diabla, Tacos de Carne, Pollo a Las Rajas, Enchiladas de Pollo, and Baja Tacos de Pescado. The restaurant also offers up some delicious signature cocktails including some popular options from the nearby La Cava del Tequila.

12. Monsieur Paul

The France Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase is home to several amazing restaurants, but one essential dining experience that guests should enjoy is dinner at the signature dining location Monsieur Paul. Located upstairs from Les Chefs de France, this traditional French restaurant focuses on gourmet flavors and ingredients on a menu created by Chef Nicolas Lemoyne that pairs perfectly with the upscale décor of rich colored carpet and large windows looking out at World Showcase. Guests who settle into the cozy dining room can sip on classic cocktails and French wines while enjoying menu items including Oxtail Broth, Chicken Breast Terrine, Black Sea Bass, Pan-Seared Arctic Char Filet, Roasted Duck Magret, and Bacon-Wrapped Golden Tilefish. Dessert at Monsieur Paul is just as decadent with options such as Le Moelleux, La Sphere, Le Vacherin Classique, and La Vacherin Exotique.

13. Biergarten Restaurant

One of the most unique dining experiences in all of Walt Disney World can be found in the rear of the Germany Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase and combines entertainment and delicious cuisine. The Biergarten Restaurant invites guests to step into a quaint town square where family-style picnic tables surround a central floor and stage. Guests enjoy live entertainment from a Polka band. In addition to the upbeat music and opportunities to dance, guests can indulge in traditional German cuisine for lunch and dinner including options such as Schnitzel, Sauerkraut, Spaetzle, Rotisserie Chicken, Potatoes, Black Forest Cake, and steins of traditional German beers.

14. Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria

Another very popular dining experience in Epcot’s World Showcase that many guests return to time and time again is Via Napoli Ristorate e Pizzeria in the Italy Pavilion. Focused on authentic Italian flavors and cooking, this charming restaurant features large murals depicting the Italian countryside paired with vaulted ceilings and bright décor to welcome guests. Open daily for lunch and dinner, guests love to indulge in Southern Italian classics as well as wood-fire pizzas that are cooked in unique ovens that are shaped to look like faces and named after the famous volcanoes in Italy. Popular menu choices at Via Napoli Risorante e Pizzeria include Proscuitto e Melone, Fettucine “Via Napoli,” Quattro Formagi Pizza, Carciofi Pizza, Piccante Pizza, and Margherita Pizza. With pizza options made to serve up to four adults, this restaurant is a hearty option for guests to enjoy.

15. The Hollywood Brown Derby

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is home to several full service restaurants, but none is considered to be as essential experience as the classic signature dining option The Hollywood Brown Derby. Located at the end of Hollywood Boulevard, this popular restaurant is modeled after the famous eatery in Hollywood and welcomes guests into a warm dining area complete with deco-style accents and caricature sketches of Hollywood elite lining the walls. Open for lunch and dinner, the menu at The Hollywood Brown Derby focuses on contemporary American cuisine with options including Curried Butternut Squash Soup, Shrimp Cocktail, Grilled Wagyu Beef Burger, Our Famous Cobb Salad, Char-Grilled Angus Filet, and Faroe Island Salmon. In addition to regular lunch and dinner, guests can also opt to enjoy a special experience of Dining with an Imagineer at The Hollywood Brown Derby where they can enjoy menu favorites while listening to stories and tidbits from an Imagineer.

16. Yak & Yeti Restaurant

A wonderful dining experience located in the Asia area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom draws on culinary inspiration from Southeast Asia in a unique setting. Yak & Yeti Restaurant brings guests into a converted home that spans over two floors and features tons of unique artifacts and items from Southeast Asia. The cuisine focuses specifically on Pan-Asian flavors and ingredients and guests can enjoy an immersive theme with second story views of the walkways outside. Featuring an extensive menu, Yak & Yeti Restaurant offers up favorite choices including Firecracker Shrimp, Pork Egg Rolls, Ahi Tuna Nachos, Wonton Soup, Lo Mein Chicken, Miso Salmon, Chicken Tikka Masala, Bhaktapur Duck, Honey Chicken, BBQ Ribs, and Kobe Beef Burger. Dessert is also wonderful at Yak & Yeti Restaurant and guests should be sure to save some room for the sweet and tangy Fried Wontons!

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17. Tusker House Restaurant

Also found in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a wonderful restaurant that invites guests to dine with Mickey and Friends for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day. Tusker House Restaurant is located in the Africa area of the park in the village of Harambe and is situated inside of a bustling marketplace. Serving up a large buffet focused on traditional African flavors and some American classics, guests can walk through an open air square with offices above to choose their meals before sitting in vibrant dining areas and meeting Mickey, Goofy, Donald, and Daisy decked out in their safari gear. Some of the buffet offerings feature at Tusker House Restaurant include Mickey Waffles, frittatas, seasonal fruits, spit-roasted chicken, peri peri whole salmon, basmati rice, curry chicken, vegetable salad, curries, and much more.

18. Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’

Disney Springs has consistently grown and changed over the last few years to become a hot spot for dining in Walt Disney World, with dozens of options to choose from. Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ in The Landing area of Disney Springs is a favorite of many guests as it combines Florida flavors with quintessential Southern cooking in a cozy and eclectic dining area with both indoor and outdoor seating. Serving up brunch on the weekend and lunch and dinner each day, Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ features favorite menu options including Hush Puppy Benedict, Short Rib Hash, Church Lady Deviled Eggs, Thigh High Chicken Biscuits, Art’s Famous Fried Chicken, Country Fried Steak, and Fried Catfish. The restaurant is also popular for its inventive and strong cocktails including Muleshine, Apple Pie A La Mode, White Peach Sangria, and Old Fashioned Elder.

19. The Boathouse

Another very popular dining location in Disney Springs is also found in The Landing area and concentrates on upscale waterfront dining. The Boathouse features an airy and nautically themed dining area with both indoor and outdoor seating that offers beautiful views of Lake Buena Vista as well as the Friendship Boats cruising in the distance and the classic Amphicars launching from right outside. The menu at The Boathouse features classic surf and turf options infused with fresh Florida flavors, and guests have an extensive menu to choose from for lunch and dinner daily. Some of the most popular menu items include Oysters on the Half Shell, Jumbo Lump Crab and Avocado, Cedar Planked Kvaroy Arctic Salmon, Shrimp & Andouille Mac & Cheese, Gilled Mahi Tacos, Coconut-Fried Shrimp, Filet Mignon Sliders, NY Steak & Fries, and Maine Style Lobster Roll. A fun way to memorably end a meal at The Boathouse is by indulging in the S’mores Baked Alaska which serves four and is absolutely massive!

20. Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant

Guests who are looking to enjoy both a delicious meal and some unforgettable entertainment in Disney Springs can head over to a popular restaurant that brings Irish music and culture to life. Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant brings guests into a classic pub setting complete with dark wood paneling, high vaulted ceilings, and authentic Irish artwork and items for décor. Open for brunch on the weekends and lunch and dinner daily, guests who dine at the location can enjoy live Irish music and Irish Step Dancers who perform on elevated platforms right in the middle of the dining room! In addition to the live entertainment, guests can dine on traditional pub options with whimsical names including Nom Nom Wings, Pork Hash Tagged, Hipsters Lament, Shepard’s to Die for Pie, Bangin’ Bangers & Mighty Mash, OMG Burger, Boaring Burger, Fish & Chips, Fancy that Salmon, and Braised Be Beef.

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane has been visiting Walt Disney World since she was a child and has developed a deep love and appreciation of the Disney Parks with a particular interest in the small details and history that can be found all around. Visiting every chance she gets, Caitlin loves to enjoy the ambiance of the Disney Parks and try something new every time. She can often be found eating and drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, riding the Haunted Mansion, sipping on a Lapu Lapu, pretending Illuminations: Reflections of Earth was still in existence, and enjoying seeing the magic through the eyes of her children. When not in WDW, Caitlin can be found at home in New York dreaming of a ride on Living with the Land and counting down the days until her next trip.