Honestly, one of my favorite things about Disney resorts is the restaurants. There are so many wonderful options to choose from and I don’t think I’ve ever been to a single one that I didn’t enjoy. But we do have our favorites. Here are 6 restaurants that we love at Walt Disney World resorts:
6. The Wave…Of American Flavors
Seafood anyone? The Wave in the Contemporary Resort is a great middle ground for people who don’t want to deal with the craze at beloved Chef Mickey but don’t want to break the bank at California Grill either. This restaurant makes you feel like you are walking along a wave about to crash. The interior is elegant but subtle, continuing with the wave theme. What’s unique about this restaurant is not just the great seafood, but also the healthy and organic menu. We love the Wave for something a little new, a little different, with a whole lot of freshness.
5. Il Mulino
My family and I don’t make it out to the Swan or Dolphin very often, but when we do, it’s for the great food. This one’s at the Swan Hotel. Sometimes I just crave serious Italian food, you know? Il Mulino is the place to be! This swanky place is based off of a hugely successful Italian restaurant in New York City. The inside of the space definitely makes you feel like you’re in the Big Apple with its brickwork and close-quarters. But it almost doesn’t matter where you are because you’re surrounded with such amazing smells and tastes. We love this place because it is a bit nicer, but still has a really cool atmosphere and killer food.
4. Trail’s End Restaurant
Trail’s End has a special place in my heart. If you’ve ever stayed at Fort Wilderness, chances are you had breakfast every morning at Trail’s End. Or maybe a quick lunch. Or perhaps a massive dinner. Whichever one, it was always super good. My family loves breakfast at this restaurant for the buffet and laid-back atmosphere. Its name is perfectly fitting, as it’s a bit out of the way and definitely something you’d find in the middle of the wilderness. The staff is intentionally a little rough around the edges and up for some jokes and loud chatting. I love rolling out of the RV and making my way down to the end of the trail for biscuits and gravy and chocolate milk out of a mason jar. Nothing like it.
3. Garden View Tea Room
I’m a sucker for finger sandwiches. But in all seriousness, this unique restaurant in the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is just about as good as it gets. Keep in mind, though, that this is not one of those “oh, let’s stop in for a cuppa!” The Tea Room is very pricey and high-class. It’s wonderful, but usually just for special occasions or splurges. Putting all of that aside, this restaurant is fabulous. I love it because it makes you feel like British royalty from the second you walk inside. Afternoon tea is pure elegance and provides its guests a variety of teas and cheeses and pastries while gazing out onto the Floridian gardens. It’s a wonderful time to unwind, be fancy, and snack on some fantastic treats.
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‘Ohana means family, and family means no one gets left behind or forgotten. This restaurant is all about that motto! We love this spot in the Polynesian Resort. ‘Ohana is a very popular choice and can sometimes have a long waitlist, but it’s always a good time once you get in. You really do feel like family when you walk into ‘Ohana! The always-friendly staff welcomes you with a small tour and plenty of “Mahalo’s!” ‘Ohana offers a character breakfast with Lilo and Stitch and a non-character, family dinner. The dining experience itself for dinner is a bit different than other restaurants because your servers just bring the food on giant skewers and keep it coming! Throughout the night you’ll also hear from singers and storytellers and kids get to participate in games all around the restaurant! ‘Ohana is simply a really fun, celebratory restaurant with amazing Polynesian cuisine.
1. Jiko – The Cooking Place
Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of my all-time favorite resorts on Disney property for a number of reasons. But high up on that list is because of Jiko. The first thing you smell when you enter AKL are the wafting scents from two wood-burning ovens. They pull you into the lobby and down the twisting stairs to The Cooking Place. Jiko’s layout is completely open-except for the special wine room, but I’ve never been in there-so you can see everything that goes on, including those ovens. Its décor is a beautiful continuation of the African theming for the whole resort. And those smells are just a tease of the wondrous flavors that the Jiko chefs present. Jiko constantly invites you to expand your palate and try new and exciting things!
What are your favorite resort restaurants?