Disney dining is a big part of vacation for so many Disney Guests. International cuisine, tasty bar food, character dining, and traditional theme park bites are not to be missed at Walt Disney World. But did you know that not all of your favorite Disney eateries are owned by Disney? It’s true! Let’s talk drinks, Park fare, dining reservations, and more but with a non-Disney spin as some of these yummy spots are actually not Disney-owned.
T-REX at the Marketplace, Disney Springs
Wanna take a walk on the prehistoric side for your dining experience? If you have a dinosaur lover in your family, dining at T-Rex at Disney Springs Marketplace is a no-brainer. This shop and restaurant combo is similar to Rainforest Cafe in that it provides an immersive dining and shopping experience for Guests, placing them in the middle of the Jurassic period.
Still, you may be surprised to learn that this impeccably themed spot is actually owned by Landry’s instead of Disney! The Landry family of restaurants owns spots like The Chart House, Bubba Gump, Salt Grass Steak House, and Joe’s Crab Shack. Other surprising Disney World Landry’s owned spots are Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria at EPCOT World Showcase and Yak & Yeti in Animal Kingdom’s Asia.
T-REX restaurant is a great place to dine alongside fun animatronic dinosaurs while enjoying bar food classics like burgers, nachos, sandwiches, and appetizers. I’m a huge fan of splitting the Supersaurus Sampler. This appetizer sampler can be shared between 4 people and rings in at just under $33. Loaded down with Cheesy Skillet Meatballs, Nashville Hot Boneless Wings, Chili con Queso, Caprese Flatbread, and Mozzarella Sticks, this is a delicious shareable starter you should consider.
Remember to check out Landry’s Select Club before your Disney vacation if you are planning on dining at Landry’s owned restaurant at Disney World. You may get a welcome coupon, and you will rack up points for the dining dollars you spend on vacation at Landry’s restaurants and outside Walt Disney World.
Yak & Yeti in Asia, Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Did you know one of my favorite spots for affordable and shareable meal options in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is also not Disney owned? It’s true! Located in Asia near Expedition Everest, you’ll find Yak & Yeti Restaurant. The beautiful decor and delectable menu make this one of my favorite table service spots in the Park. If you want dumplings, fried rice, or noodles, this is a must-visit spot. Another Landry’s-owned spot, you can rack up Landry’s reward points while you chow down. Do not skip a visit to Yak & Yeti during your Animal Kingdom visit, it is yummy!
Tutto Italia Ristorante at the Italy Pavilion, EPCOT World Showcase
If you have ever indulged in creamy pasta at Tutto Italia Ristorante after a full day of the Disney experience, you know how this comfort food hits the spot. Securing an advanced dining reservation for this cozy table service restaurant is something I do regularly. The Calamari Fritti served with a zesty marinara piccante is always the appetizer of choice for my family. The Fettuccine made with homemade pasta, slathered in a creamy white sauce, is divine and perfectly paired with grilled chicken.
Believe it or not, Tutto Italia Ristorante is actually owned by the Patina Hospitality Group. Founded in Boston, Massachusetts, Patina believes in crafting high-quality cuisine from the freshest ingredients to provide an immersive culinary experience for Guests.
Polite Pig at Town Center, Disney Springs
Chances are you will smell this Disney Springs restaurant before you see it. That’s right, I’m talking about the melt-in-your-mouth barbeque at Polite Pig. Nestled between Disney Springs Marketplace and Town Center, you will find smoked pork barbeque that you can smell from the Lime parking garage.
This is one of my favorite Disney Restaurant spots for great barbecue on a Disney vacation. Polite Pig is the best restaurant to enjoy starters like glazed chicken wings. Another great starter is the Slider Trio which allows you to taste the Southern Pig barbecued pork, Low and Slow Brisket, and Fried Chicken in small bites to decide which is your favorite. As far as sides go, the mac and cheese at this spot is one of my Disney mac favorites!
3 underrated restaurants at Disney: places to dine at Disney without the crowds #disneycouples #disneyplanning #happilyeverafter #firstdisneycountdown #disneyparkstips #disneyworldtipsandtricks #firstdisneytrip #distok #distokfam #disneyvacationplanner #disneytravelplanner #disneyworld50 #magickingdom2022 #disneytravelagent #firstdisneyexperience #magickingdom
Polite Pig is actually owned by a group of Florida chefs with a passion for barbeque. James, Julie, and Brian Petrakis serve up delicious quick-service-style eats perfect for a shopping day lunch.
Joffrey’s Coffee, various locations across the Walt Disney World Resort
All the caffeine lovers that frequent the most magical place on earth are familiar with Joffrey’s Coffee. You’ll find Joffrey’s Coffee stands in each Disney Park, and thank goodness, because after days of hitting extra magic hours, rope drop and running to attractions, we need all the help we can get. This brand has become synonymous with Disney World vacations since its introduction in the Parks in the 90s but believe it or not, this is a Tampa, Florida-owned company and not a Disney-owned brand.
These days you’ll even find Joffrey’s Coffee in your Disney Resort room coffee maker set, at Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney Springs, and Disney water parks. Starbucks is fine in the real world, but when I’m on a Disney vacation, Joffrey’s Coffee is the best restaurant option for delicious coffee on the go. Regardless of who owns this delectable coffee company, we need all the iced coffee to get properly amped for days in the parks!
San Angel Inn Restaurant, Mexico Pavilion at EPCOT’s World Showcase
At the start of the World Showcase countries, you’ll find one of my favorite spots for great dining ambiance – San Angel Inn Restaurant. At this Palmas Restaurant Group-owned spot you’ll dine under the stars alongside a Mayan temple while boats of Guests ride by the dining space on Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros. The Tostadas de Pollo, Totopos Con Queso, and Carne Asada are to die for, so don’t forget to try them when you are dining at this spot.
Morimoto Asia at The Landing, Disney Springs
Looking for a yummy dining option at a Disney Springs Restaurant? Try Morimoto Asia for incredible Asian street food from the walk-up window or for a table-service dining experience. Be sure to secure an advanced dining reservation for this Patina Restaurant Group-owned spot. The Duck Ramen, Beef Lo Mein Noodles, and Pork Dumplings are some of my favorite eats at this Disney Springs spot!
How many of these spots are on your list of favorite Disney dining eats?