Brunch is the hot new meal and with good reason. Who doesn’t want to sleep in and then enjoy a delicious feast of breakfast AND lunch foods? Sounds like the perfect combination to me. Walt Disney World has caught on to the trend and in recent months they have added more brunch specific menus to certain dining locations. But you don’t necessarily need a brunch menu to make a great brunch. Here are 8 great places to have brunch on your Walt Disney World vacation:
8. Tusker House, Animal Kingdom
I know that many people like to schedule their character breakfasts for PPO (pre-park opening), but I like to take the opposite tactic. I schedule mine for one of the very last breakfast seatings. This way I can arrive at the park when it opens, get in some good touring before the lines start building, and then take a mid-morning break to sit down and have some great food. Tusker House is one of the best places to do this since it offers great food and a great character interaction. I feel like the normal buffet at Tusker House has a little bit of a brunch feel to it anyway with some more substantial dishes added to the regular breakfast fare. So try scheduling a character meal like Tusker House around a brunch time of the morning. Sometimes you may even be there as they change the buffet over from breakfast to lunch foods.
7. Grand Floridian Café, Grand Floridian Resort
The Grand Floridian Café is the more casual restaurant among the many housed at the Grand Floridian resort, and it is often fairly easy to get a dining reservation here. This summer we planned a brunch here on our way in to the Magic Kingdom for the day, and I was very impressed with the menu, service and options. The breakfast are a mix of traditional breakfast foods like benedicts, pancakes, and waffles with more lunch-like entrees like Lobster Thermador Burger, Miso-glazed salmon and steak & eggs. It can be brunch any time of the breakfast & lunch services, so you could choose your Mickey waffles during lunch. And I have to say I love the Mickey waffles here because you can choose from a variety of themed & paired toppings for them (like Strawberry Shortcake-yum!)
6. Be Our Guest, Magic Kingdom
Again, many people love to do the pre-park opening breakfast at Be Our Guest. But, since this restaurant requires a reservation (even though it is technically quick service at breakfast), you may end up getting cheated out of your pre-park opening. Many times Disney adjusts park hours a month or two ahead of time based on predicted crowds, so that 8:10am reservation you made 180 days in advance might turn into peak park touring time. Here again, I look at scheduling a later brunch to avoid that dilemma and still get to enjoy many of the hearty brunch-like offerings here. I happen to love both the Assorted Cured Meats & Cheeses along with the Croque Madame and Croissant Doughnut. Other brunch worthy menu items like the vegetable quiche and Feast A La Gaston make Be Our Guest breakfast menu a great “brunch” option for many families.
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5. Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie, Epcot
Did you know that the bakery in the France Pavilion at Epcot, Les Halles, serves breakfast? Yes! And you can get to it before the World Showcase officially opens at 11am. But even if you want to spend your morning on attractions in Future World, you could still enjoy some great brunch type offerings at Les Halles after the official opening of World Showcase. My picks? The Croissant Jambon Fromage (ham & cheese on croissant), Tartine Aux Fromages (Country bread, tomato sauce, swiss, parmesan and goat cheeses), Roule Lard and Fromage (bacon and cheese roll—yes please), and the various quiches. This is a great spot to relax and grab some delicious food after a morning of touring.
4. Trattoria Al Forno, Boardwalk Resort
One of my favorite character meal experiences is the Bon Voyage Character Breakfast at the Boardwalk’s Trattoria al Forno. Although the characters are subject to change, you will normally meet Ariel and Prince Eric along with Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder. With these two couples you will get a fantastic character interaction, some of the very best I’ve experienced. And the menu is delicious as well. Each table is started off with some pastries in a frying pan (a la Rapunzel), and then you choose from a starter and an entrée from a very diverse menu. There’s King Triton’s Shipwreck al Forno (a tasty calzone with eggs, peppers, salami, bacon, sausage and cheese), pancakes, omelets, frittatas, and my personal favorite the Royal Breakfast (oak grilled steak, cheesy egg torte, and fonduta with breakfast potatoes). Plenty of great food to satisfy any brunch eater. And if you schedule this one for brunch time you can walk on over to either Epcot or Hollywood Studios to enjoy the rest of your day in the parks.
3. Paddlefish, Disney Springs
Paddlefish is one of several signature restaurants to add a Sunday Brunch menu to their lineup. And as you would expect here, seafood is the highlight of the entrees. There is a Crab and Asparagus Benedict, New Orleans BBQ Shrimp, Omelets, a Monte Cristo Sandwich, and the aptly named “The King Meets the Captain” (peanut butter and banana stuffed French Toast, crusted with breakfast cereal—hence the captain part—and a fresh berry compote). A great menu is paired with Paddlefish’s excellent location in the heart of Disney Springs with wonderful views from its decks.
2. Homecomin’, Disney Springs
We are staying put at Disney Springs for another fantastic brunch option at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’. Here we find a menu heavily influenced by Southern cooking and the fresh farm to table ingredients Homecomin’ is known for. For starters you can get house made doughnuts. Entrees featured fried Green, Eggs & Ham (biscuit with country ham, eggs and a fried green tomato), Hush Puppy Benedict (hush puppy cakes topped with chicken tenders, poached eggs, country ham and pimento cheese hollandaise), Shrimp & Grits, Short Rib Hash, Fried Chicken and Doughnuts—it is all fantastic. You can also get several unique takes on the traditional brunch drinks the Bloody Mary & Mimosa with a southern twist. The only downside? Brunch is only offered on Saturdays and Sundays currently.
1. California Grill, Disney’s Contemporary Resort
It is hard to beat the California Grill for any meal in my book. The sweeping views across Walt Disney World property make the delicious menu of creative dishes taste even better. “Brunch at the Top” is a great way to experience the California Grill. Here you start off with the table being served a variety of pastries with jams and butters along with a signature brunch cocktail . (& a kids version). Then you can move to a self serve buffet of types with choices like an Apple Salad, Bacon and Egg Salad, Greek Yogurt, Smoked Salmon and some sushi rolls. Entrees include various specialty pancakes (carrot cake please), French Toast, Fried Chicken, Shrimp, Omelettes, Steak and more. Then you will polish it off with some amazing sweet treats. And with chefs like those at California Grill you know each dish will be executed perfectly with a great combination of complementary ingredients. If you love brunch you should make this a must get reservation on your next Walt Disney World Vacation. What better way to start off a break day than with a nice leisurely brunch at California Grill? Again, the only bad thing about this is that it is only served on Sundays.
Do you love brunch at Walt Disney World? What is your favorite place to enjoy it?