We’re back with yet another round where we check out some table service restaurants from the Walt Disney World Resort and decide whether they are overrated or not! For each restaurant, we discuss theming, location, menu, and some pros and cons, and it is up to you as a Guest to decide whether you find each option overrated or worth a visit.
Before we dig into this round, be sure to check out the previous rounds to decide about other locations:
Round 1: ‘Ohana, Whispering Canyon Café, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Chef Mickey’s, and Le Cellier Steakhouse
Round 2: California Grill, The Hollywood Brown Derby, Wine Bar George, Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’, and Cinderella’s Royal Table
Round 3: Grand Floridian Café, Yak & Yeti Restaurant, Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant, The Boathouse, and The Crystal Palace
Round 4: Olivia’s Cafe, Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera, Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen, 50’s Prime Time Café, and Yachtsman Steakhouse
Round 5: Tusker House Restaurant, Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, Paddlefish, Beaches & Cream Soda Shop, and Space 220 Restaurant
Without further ado, let’s check out some table service restaurants at the Walt Disney World Resort!
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is home to several table service restaurants including the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant located in the Commissary Lane area of the Disney Park. The immersive restaurant invites Guests to step into a drive-in movie theater at night where twinkling stars shine down on vintage cars that have been retrofitted with booth seating. Each car faces a large screen where Guests can check out sci-fi clips and cartoons from the past, perfectly combining entertainment and wonderful theming that make Guests feel like they are actually outside.
The lunch and dinner menus at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant focus on indulgent American cuisine with a limited menu of appetizers, entrees, and desserts to choose from. Some flavorful menu options include Crispy Onion Rings, Sci-Fi Smoked Wings, Drive-In BBQ Burger, Grilled Chicken Citrus Salad, The Feature Film Burger, Pork on Pork Burger, and Hot Fudge Sundae.
The theming at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant creates one of the most immersive dining experiences at the Walt Disney World Resort, yet somehow the restaurant still tends to get somewhat of a bad reputation. Sure, burgers and American food can be found elsewhere throughout the property, but what truly makes the restaurant special is a unique atmosphere that is definitely worth enjoying at least once.
Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano
Also found in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano which can be found in the Grand Avenue area of the Disney Park not far from Muppet Vision 3D and PizzeRizzo. This table service restaurant is run by Mama Melrose, an Italian transplant who came to California to find fame and ended up creating a charming eatery on the backlot. The interior is filled with exposed brick, hanging meats, and tons of quirky Hollywood memorabilia on the walls which Guests will love.
Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano is open daily for lunch and dinner and features a menu of Italian favorites infused with the fresh flavors and ingredients of California. Guests who dine at the location can enjoy menu options such as Crispy Calamari, House-made Italian Meatball, Mama’s Italian Pasta, Shrimp Campanelle, Charred Strip Steak, Oven-baked Chicken Alla Parmigiana, and Tiramisu.
The atmosphere and charm at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano are definitely enjoyable for Guests who are in need of a break from the hustle and bustle of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. While there is nothing particularly wrong with the food, Guests who are looking for truly delicious authentic Italian cuisine are better off heading over to EPCOT’s Italy Pavilion for a meal at Tutto Italia Ristorante or Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort brings the beauty and serenity of the South Seas to life with white sand beaches, tropical theming, and several dining locations including the table service Kona Café which can be found on the upper level of the Great Ceremonial House. The restaurant features an open-air dining room that looks out into the main lobby area and features tropical theming including gently rotating fans with blades that look like leaves, bright patterns on booth seating, and lush foliage outside of the windows.
Kona Café is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and features a limited menu of American favorites that have been updated and infused with Asian flavors from the islands. Some popular menu items that Guests can enjoy throughout the day include Tonga Toast, Macadamia Nut Pancakes, Spicy Tuna Roll, Seafood Coconut-Curry Soup, Glazed Chicken Wings, Kona Chicken Stir-fry, Turkey Bahn Mi, and Kona-braised Short Rib.
Kona Café is definitely an underrated table service restaurant that tends to often be overlooked by the very popular ‘Ohana which is located just steps away at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. While Kona Café definitely features a unique and flavorful menu and tends to be overlooked, one can argue that those looking for a feast are better off dining at ‘Ohana. However, those who are looking for a more relaxing and quiet meal definitely will have a more enjoyable experience at Kona Café.
Rose & Crown Dining Room
EPCOT’s World Showcase has no shortage of amazing dining options for Guests to enjoy including the Rose & Crown Dining Room found on the shores of World Showcase Lagoon in the UK Pavilion. The table service restaurant welcomes Guests into a charming and cozy British pub with small rooms decorated with fireplaces, traditional china, artwork, and exposed wooden beams. In addition to the several indoor dining areas, Guests can also enjoy their meals on a covered outdoor patio to the side of the restaurant or an open-air patio in the rear that offers up beautiful views of World Showcase Lagoon.
Open daily for lunch and dinner, the Rose & Crown Dining Room features a limited menu of traditional British pub favorites that are best enjoyed with a fresh pint from the adjacent Rose & Crown Pub. Some wonderful menu items that Guests can enjoy at the location include Scotch Egg, Fish and Chips, Shepard’s Pie, Welsh Pub Burger, Bangers and Mash, and Chicken Masala Curry.
The menu at the Rose & Crown Dining Room definitely features some delicious options, but it is fairly limited in traditional pub cuisine making it difficult for picky eaters to find an option. In addition, Guests who are looking for a quieter meal might find the location a little loud thanks to its proximity to the pub which is typically crowded throughout each day. However, the Rose & Crown Dining Room does feature some of the best views of World Showcase Lagoon in EPCOT making the ambiance hard to beat!
Chefs de France
The final table service restaurant that we’re going to discuss in this round is Chefs de France which is also found in EPCOT’s World Showcase in the France Pavilion. This charming location is designed to feel like a bistro on the streets of Paris complete with wrought iron windows looking out into the pavilion and World Showcase Lagoon beyond, high ceilings, beautiful artwork, and a laid back feel.
Since Chefs de France is themed to feel like a French bistro, it should come as no surprise that the lunch and dinner menus feature traditional French cuisine that one might enjoy on the sidewalks of Paris. Guests who enjoy a meal at the restaurant can order options such as Escargot, Baked Goat Cheese, Ratatouille sur Quinoa, Grilled Tenderloin of Beef, Boeuf Bourguignon, Filet de Saumon, and Crème Brulee.
The atmosphere at Chefs de France is so charming and immersive that Guests will absolutely find themselves believing that they are in the heart of Paris enjoying a traditional French meal. The only argument against enjoying a meal at the restaurant is for those who would rather spend less and save time by visiting the nearby Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie for a delicious pastry and entrée options on the go.