Disney Dining: Outside the Parks Part 2

Disney Dining: Outside the Parks

Part 2

For part 2 of our look at Disney Dining outside of the theme parks we will take a look at a few more ways to enjoy the fabulous dining offered at Disney’s resort hotels.  This group is particularly appealing to adults, so if you are planning an adults-only trip like a girls weekend or a romantic getaway these ideas could help make for a memorable experience.

Signature Dining:

Walt Disney World’s finest restaurants are found in their resorts.  The cream of the crop is Victoria and Albert’s at the Grand Floridian.  This AAA Five Diamond winner would be a wonderful way to spend an evening on a resort only vacation.  Take it up a notch by booking the exclusive Chef’s Table.  Also located at the Grand Floridian Narcoossees and Citricos offer fine dining experiences at a lower price point than the elegant Victoria and Albert’s.  Across the Seven Seas Lagoon is a favorite spot among many Walt Disney World fans, the California Grill.  Although it is currently closed for a refurbishment, this posh eatery offers spectacular views of the Magic Kingdom and surrounding area from its prime spot atop the Contemporary Resort.  Talented chefs delight diners, and the incredible view of Wishes attracts many. Imagine that—a fantastic fireworks view without a park ticket!  At the Animal Kingdom Lodge Jiko offers a delicious menu of unique African inspired flavors with outstanding wine pairings.  Artist Point at the Wilderness Lodge gives diners a taste of the Pacific Northwest with specialties like King Salmon, Buffalo Strip Steak and Pacific Halibut.  The Yacht and Beach Club has the Yachtsman Steakhouse where you can get your fill of premium aged steaks prepared on an oak fired grill.  At the BoardWalk Resort a variety of dining awaits including Flying Fish and Kouzzina by Cat Cora.

Dinner Shows

You don’t need to go into a theme park to be entertained.  Disney’s resorts offer some fun and engaging dinner shows.  The most popular is the Hoop Dee Doo Revue performed in Pioneer Hall at Fort Wilderness.  This is one of the longest (if not the longest) continuously running musicals in American theater.  Over 10 million people have laughed at the corny jokes, participated with the cast, and licked their fingers after eating the tasty ribs, fried chicken, and strawberry shortcake.  And don’t forget the unlimited wine, sangria and draft beer!  The Hoop Dee Doo Revue often becomes a must-do event after your first experience.   Also at Fort Wilderness you can catch Mickey’s Backyard BBQ where you can dance a hoedown with Mickey and Minnie while feasting on a spread of BBQ favorites.  Come to think of it, this could fit in that character dining category from part 1 too!  Finally, over at Luau Cove at the Polynesian Resort you can take in the best entertainment the South Seas has to offer with Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show.  Here you can enjoy a traditional luau with dances from throughout Polynesia including hula dancers, fire dancers, drummers, and a knife performer.  Of course an all-you-care-to-eat feast featuring tropical favorites tops off the experience.

Lounging Around the World

I would be remiss if I didn’t include the many signature lounges found in the deluxe (and moderate) resorts at Walt Disney World.  You can make a game out of visiting the lounges and sampling a signature drink (monorail crawl anyone?).  For many Walt Disney World visitors a trip would not be complete without a stop at the Tambu Lounge at the Polynesian Resort to imbibe with a Lapu Lapu drink served in a pineapple.  While many are known for their food and beverage offerings (the House-made Northwest Chips with a Trio of Dips at the Wilderness Lodge’s Territory Lounge is worth a trip in itself), some are better known for their entertainment.  Yee Haa Bob, the star of the show at the River Roost Lounge at Port Orleans Riverside provides hours of hilarious entertainment suitable for the whole family.  Kick back with your adult beverage of choice and enjoy the show!

Food Challenges

One fun way to tour the resorts and sample food along the way is to set up a challenge for your travel group.  On our recent trip we challenged ourselves to a cupcake walk around the Epcot resorts, and a second one around the Magic Kingdom resorts (tough challenge, right?).  This is the same idea as the Monorail Crawl around the resort lounges.  You choose a group of resorts and a type of food item (cupcakes, cookies, snacks, etc.) to sample at each destination.  I will warn you:  this can be extremely fun and filling.  Bring your friends with you and share your challenge items!

As you can see, there are lots of options for enjoying dining experiences in Walt Disney World without ever visiting a park.  And this listing just scratches the surface of ideas and eateries to visit on your non –park vacation.  You do want to keep in mind that many of these restaurants are very popular so you still need to make your dining reservations well in advance—some become very limited after the 180 day mark.

Often Disney releases a very good discount on room only reservations with a high percentage off the room.  If you are looking for a relaxing, budget friendly vacation this could be the time to go.  Without adding park tickets to your total you will be saving a considerable amount of money—and some of that savings could go toward enjoying a dining location outside of the park that you would not normally visit on your usual Disney vacation that includes all of the parks.

Do you have other ideas of ways to enjoy all that Disney Dining has to offer outside of the parks?

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You can read part one here

About Sarah Chapman

I am a long time Disney fan since I was hooked on Walt Disney World with my first trip in 1987. Since that time I’ve tried experiencing everything I can in the parks, with a total of 30 visits and counting (I’m always planning my next trip) to Walt Disney World—not to mention Disney Cruise Line and even (shhh!) Universal Orlando and Sea World. I’ve turned my Disney obsession into a profession helping others plan their magical vacations as a Dream Vacation Maker at LBAC Travel. I am a work at home mom to three wonderful boys, and each one has been properly indoctrinated with all things Disney. Walt Disney World is definitely our “Laughing Place.” Look for me on Facebook at for updates, discount announcements, tips, tricks and planning advice for your next vacation. You can also find me on Instagram (sarahdreamvacationmaker) and Pinterest (sarahlbactravel).