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One & Done: Table Service Restaurants We Don’t Need to Try Again

Throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, there are countless table service restaurants available to Guests that serve up a wide array of cuisines, including everything from traditional American favorites to international delicacies. With so many options to choose from, there are a handful of table service restaurants that have incredible menus and atmospheres, leading them to become must-dos. While there are plenty of popular table service restaurants, there are also a handful of locations that can be considered one and done. Whether because of limited menus, lacking themes, or other various reasons, these table service restaurants at the Walt Disney World Resort can definitely be considered one-and-done options for Guests.

Mama Melrose

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Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano

Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano is a table service restaurant found in the Grand Avenue area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, just steps away from Muppet*Vision 3D. This unique location brings the story of Mama Melrose to life, sharing how she left Italy for California as a girl and became well known on the backlot for her fusion of classic Italian cooking and California cuisine. Open daily for lunch and dinner, the interior of Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano features classic elements like red and white checkered tablecloths, as well as quirky Hollywood memorabilia collected over the years.

Margherita Flatbread

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The menu at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano features options including Crispy Calamari, Margherita Flatbread, Charred Strip Steak, Mama’s Italian Pasta, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Grilled Bone-In Pork Chop, and Shrimp Campanelle. While there’s nothing particularly wrong with the restaurant, Guests are better off enjoying a meal there once and next time opting for The Hollywood Brown Derby or the 50’s Prime Time Café in Disney’s Hollywood Studios or heading to Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria in EPCOT for Italian cuisine.

Be Our Guest

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Be Our Guest Restaurant

There are several table service restaurants available to Guests in the Magic Kingdom, including Be Our Guest Restaurant in Fantasyland. This unique location offers Guests the opportunity to step through the doors of the Beast’s Castle and into the enchantment of Beauty and the Beast for lunch and dinner each day. The interior of Be Our Guest Restaurant features three dining rooms and Guests can enjoy their meals in the Grand Ballroom, West Wing, or Castle Gallery.

Center-cut Filet Mignon

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Be Our Guest Restaurant features a prix-fixe menu of traditional French cuisine for both lunch and dinner and Guests can dine on options such as French Onion Soup, Escargot de Bourgogne, Herb-salted Pork Tenderloin, Center-cut Filet Mignon, and Poulet Rouge Chicken. While the atmosphere and theming of Be Our Guest Restaurant is stunning, the high cost and limited options available on the prix-fixe menu make it a one-and-done table service location in the Magic Kingdom.

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Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant

Another table service restaurant available to Guests in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, which can definitely be considered to be one of the most uniquely themed table service locations at the Walt Disney World Resort. The interior of the restaurant is themed to feel like a classic drive-in theater at nighttime, and Guests are invited to sit inside vintage cars facing a large screen that plays a medley of sci-fi clips and commercials on loop. The theming is absolutely immersive, and Guests can even check out stars twinkling in the sky and the silhouette of nearby trees outside the drive-in.

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The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner and features a menu of American favorites including Crispy Onion Rings, Sci-Fi Smoked Wings, Pork on Pork Burger Grilled Chicken Citrus Salad, Classic American Burger, and Drive-in BBQ Burger. There’s no disputing that the immersive theming of the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant is amazing, but the restaurant can really be considered a one-and-done for Guests who don’t want to watch the same loop of sci-fi clips time and time again.

Dining Room

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‘Ohana

Okay, hear me out on this one! ‘Ohana is undoubtedly one of the most popular table service restaurants at the Walt Disney World Resort and can be found on the upper level of the Great Ceremonial House at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The tropical and relaxing table service restaurant features a large open-air dining room with island décor and exposed wooden beams, and Guests can even look out large windows at the lush grounds of the Disney Resort with Seven Seas Lagoon, the Magic Kingdom, and Cinderella Castle in the distance.

Breakfast Skillet

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‘Ohana is open daily for lunch and dinner and serves up family-style feasts of American favorites for breakfast and island classics for dinner. While dinner is absolutely worth it at ‘Ohana, breakfast can definitely be considered a one-and-done meal, as the set pricing per Guest is relatively high for platters of items like scrambled eggs, bacon, Mickey Waffles, and fruit that can be enjoyed elsewhere for much cheaper. It’s definitely nice to enjoy the early morning light through the windows at ‘Ohana, but one and done for breakfast is enough, and Guests are much better off visiting for dinner.

Whispering Canyon Cafe

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Whispering Canyon Café

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is a stunning Disney Resort on the shores of Bay Lake that focuses on bringing the rustic charm and sense of adventure found in the National Parks and lodges to life. The Disney Resort is also home to the table service Whispering Canyon Café, a unique location that continues the rustic theming with wooden accents, scenes of cowboys and ranches, and earthy tones. Part of what makes the restaurant so unique are the Cast Members who work there, who take on a slightly sarcastic and deadpan tone intended to create a series of antics and unforgettable moments for Guests who are dining there.

Dinner Skillet

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Whispering Canyon Café is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and features hearty menus of filling and decadent meals including All-You-Care-To-Enjoy Signature Skillets and entrée options including Ham and Cheese Omelette, Chopped Bison Burger, ‘Burnt Ends’ Nachos, Cedar Plank Salmon, and Char-crusted New York Strip. While there is no denying that the food at Whispering Canyon Café is delicious, the antics of the servers can get to be a little much and are definitely a one-and-done for Guests.

Chef Mickey's

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Chef Mickey’s

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is home to several table service restaurants including California Grill and Steakhouse 71, as well as Chef Mickey’s, which can be found in the heart of the Grand Canyon Concourse underneath the monorail beams and stunning Mary Blair Mural. Chef Mickey’s features a large open-air dining room with brightly colored accents and sweeping views of the Disney Resort’s concourse that Guests can enjoy throughout their meals. One of the biggest draws for the restaurant is the opportunity to meet favorite characters decked out in their chef’s attire, including Mickey, Goofy, and Donald.

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Chef Mickey’s is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and serves up family-style platters of American favorites including Slow-roasted Beef Brisket, Mickey Waffles, Citrus-poached Baby Shrimp, Potato Gnocchi, and Roasted Garlic Gratin Potatoes. While it’s always fun to meet characters at a table service restaurant, Chef Mickey’s is severely lacking in theming and menu options and Guests who have eaten there once are better off enjoying a character meal at other locations like the Crystal Palace, Cinderella’s Royal Table, or Hollywood & Vine or hopping the monorail to dine at a location at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

Donald & Breakfast

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Tusker House Restaurant

The final table service restaurant at the Walt Disney World Resort that can be considered a one-and-done for Guests is Tusker House Restaurant in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This popular location welcomes Guests into an African marketplace where beautiful theming and details can be found all around, truly making them feel as though they have traveled across the world to the village of Harambe. Guests who dine at Tusker House Restaurant also have the unique opportunity of meeting Disney characters including Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and other friends who are decked out in their safari gear and look as though they are about to head over to Kilimanjaro Safaris.

dinner at tusker house disney world

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Tusker House Restaurant is open each day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and serves up family-style platters of American and African cuisine including items like Simba Waffles, Durban Chicken & Egg Curry, Spit-roasted Herb Chicken, Moroccan-spiced Beef, Cape Malay Green Curry Shrimp, and Berbere-marinated Pork. While the theming and chance to meet favorite characters is fun at Tusker House Restaurant, the high preset prices for meals and limited menu options make this table service restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom a one-and-done until the full buffet returns.

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.