One Time Only: Disney Restaurants We Won’t Be Dining at Again

Over here at¬†DisneyDining.com, we love to nerd out about all things Disney food! We love talking about sweet snacks, on-the-go options, affordable¬†theme park¬†eats, cuisine-specific guides, and more. But today, let’s talk about those¬†Disney¬†restaurant¬†experiences we will not be doing again.¬†

Can you think of spots you’ve visited at a Disney Park that you would not visit again? Maybe the luster was in the first visit, and you wouldn’t have as much fun on return visits. Maybe the food was not that great. Possibly the location was inconvenient, or perhaps the food was yummy but pricey. For these reasons and more, this article is focused on Disney restaurants we won’t be dining at again.

Chef Mickey’s

Chef Mickey's

Credit: Disney

Starting off with a controversial one. Just a short monorail ride away from the¬†Magic Kingdom¬†is¬†Chef Mickey’s¬†at¬†Disney’s¬†Contemporary Resort. This buffet was a staple of Disney vacations when I was a child and was a crowd-pleaser for the whole family. These days, it’s landed on my one-time-only list. Prices have steadily climbed over the years ($59 per adult for dinner) while food quality has declined.¬†

You’ll still chow down on a buffet of roast meats, sides, salads, and desserts for dinner ,but the food quality for the price is just not my favorite. Snagging a¬†restaurant¬†reservation¬†here for¬†character¬†dining or to dine underneath the monorail may make sense for your family, but I’m going to pass on¬†Chef Mickey’s¬†for now.

Rainforest Café 

Rainforest Cafe Dining Room

Credit: Disney

Rainforest Caf√© in Disney Springs Marketplace was another vacation staple for my family for years, but now has moved to my one-time-only list. The food is good and the environment is so much fun, but with the expansion of Disney Springs in the last decade, there are so many better¬†dining¬†options to explore. Narrowing down what I’m going to eat during a shopping day has become tough with options like Boathouse, Blaze, D-Luxe Burger, and Morimoto Asia.¬†

I will always have a special place in my heart for Rainforest Café. I will absolutely drop by the Lava Lounge at my leisure to snag a tropical cocktail between shops, but this beloved Disney Springs spot is no longer on the list of spots I frequently dine at.

Crystal Palace

Dining Room

Credit: Disney

Much like¬†Chef Mickey’s,¬†Crystal Palace¬†Restaurant¬†in¬†Magic Kingdom is not my go-to dining spot these days. In fact, the American-style buffet cuisine at this¬†theme park feels more like a Golden Corral or Ryan’s Buffet than it did in previous years. The building itself is beautiful, and I love that it‚Äôs a¬†character¬†dining experience with more difficult-to-meet¬†characters, but otherwise — I’m out!

Crystal Palace

Credit: Disney

No staple dish makes you want to come back for more. For example, 1900 Park Fare’s Strawberry Bisque is iconic and the Butternut Squash Soup at Boma is so delicious.¬†Crystal Palace¬†is expensive; the¬†dining room is cramped, and the food is average.

California Grill

California Grill Sushi

Credit: Disney

Another dining experience at Disney’s Contemporary Resort that ranks on this list because of the booking difficulty and cost is at the top of the hotel. California Grill is a delicious table service restaurant with a view of this iconic Disney World Resort and the Magic Kingdom. Diners enjoy a beautiful view of Bay Lake while sipping California wines and enjoying iconic foods like Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli and fresh sushi. My favorite pork dish is prepared three different ways.


Have you eaten at California Grill? ? #disneyworld #californiagrill #disneyparks #disneyfood

‚ô¨ Sunny Day – Ted Fresco

I think this elite dining experience is a Disney must-do, but it is pricey. Securing an advanced dining reservation for this Disney experience can be tough, especially for larger parties. Unfortunately, because of scheduling difficulties and price, this dining experience can be a one-time-only experience for many Guests.

Cinderella’s Royal Table

Character meal cost

Credit: Disney

What could be more magical than¬†dining at Cinderella Castle? Talk about major Disney Princess vibes! Cinderella’s Royal Table is literally located at the entrance to Fantasyland in the¬†Magic Kingdom. As you might guess, securing a¬†Disney¬†dining reservation¬†for this spot and shelling out the cash to dine here is not easy. If you do secure an¬†advance¬†dining¬†reservation to eat at¬†Cinderella‚Äôs Royal Table, you can look forward to an awesome character dining experience with Disney Princesses!¬†

Kids and adults alike will love this¬†Disney experience! You’ll dine on a prix fixe menu with options like Steamed Mussels, Beef Tenderloin, and Chocolate Mousse for $67 per adult. This is a notoriously difficult¬†dining¬†reservation to snag, so most Guests that do visit this¬†restaurant¬†do so, only once or twice.¬†

Victoria & Albert’s

Victoria and Albert's Chef

Credit: Disney

What can be more luxe than dining at a Deluxe¬†Disney Resort? THE Deluxe Resort is Disney‚Äôs Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. Located right on the monorail line, this Victorian-themed hotel delivers big on decadent¬†dining¬†options, beautiful views of Bay Lake and the¬†Magic Kingdom, and of course, plenty of opportunities for relaxation and luxury. Speaking of luxury, this¬†Disney hotel¬†is actually home to what many consider the most exclusive and expensive¬†Disney World¬†restaurants¬†out there –¬†Victoria & Albert’s.

Victoria & Albert’s is a once-in-a-lifetime customized¬†dining experience. You will enjoy a chef-to-table experience that is so customized, I can’t even explain the food you will enjoy at this exclusive Disney spot. Because this is so exclusive, dining reservations¬†are sparse, and the price is HIGH.¬†Victoria & Albert’s¬†is a definite one-time-only dining¬†experience.¬†

What Disney restaurant are you striking from your dining plan on future visits?

About Katie Chapman

Hey There! I am a Georgia native with a passion for writing, traveling, cooking, decorating, pugs and of course all things Disney. Growing up in South Georgia just a few hours from Walt Disney World made for a magical childhood. Some of my best memories were made on Main Street U.S.A. with my sister watching SpectroMagic nighttime parade or beside my grandparents, parents and extended family at Chef Mickey’s celebrating on a family vacation. Epcot was my favorite park from a young age and I credit it with my interest in and love for international travel. As a kid I loved meeting characters and watching films around World Showcase and could spend hours exploring each of the countries in Epcot. These days, my husband and I get away to explore a new country whenever we can and even incorporate trips to The Disney Store and Disney Parks around the world in our travels. One of our travel goals is to visit every Disney Park in the world. I love writing about Disney restaurants, park tips, Disney outfit inspiration and Disney history. Pocahontas is my favorite Disney Princess (90s kid here!) but Mr. Toad is my spirit animal. When I’m not at Disney I’m reading about park history, watching Disney documentaries and shopping vintage Disney merch for park outfits. I never pass up a reservation to Ohana, an empty seat on Living with the Land or a Violet Sake.