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Top 9 Disney Dining Views

Credit: Disney

(Photo credit www.stuckincustoms.com)

Top 9 Disney Dining Views

Every foodie knows that you eat with your eyes first. That’s one of the reasons Disney chefs work hard to create such beautiful plates. But did you know that Disney Imagineers also believe in this truth? It’s part of the reason why they have placed the many Disney restaurants “just so” – so that your eyes have more to gaze upon than the food you graze upon.

There are certainly many gorgeous views across the Walt Disney World property which makes it hard to single out just ten. And of course your “views” may differ than mine. But in the spirit of beauty being in the eye of the beholder, let me share my favorite Disney Dining Views organized in relation to each other.

9) Spice Road Table– Morocco Pavilion, Epcot

The newest addition to the World Showcase Lagoon in Epcot is Spice Road Table, a waterside eatery offering Mediterranean inspired small plates, drinks and desserts.  The restaurant sits waterside and you can choose from outdoor or indoor seating. Inside the restaurant you will be blown away by the elegant and elaborate décor including an eye catching chandelier and a beautifully stocked bar.

8) San Angel Inn Restaurante – Mexico Pavilion, Epcot

This view makes my list because of the unique atmosphere it creates. San Angel Inn Restaurante sits inside the Mexico Pavilion, which is kept perpetually dim to suggest an evening fiesta. Your table, therefore, sits in an “outdoor courtyard” which overlooks the dark flowing waterway of the pavilion’s boat ride. The backdrop to it all is an impressive Mayan temple rising out of a painted jungle mural complete with a glowing volcano in the background. Eating in this restaurant always makes me feel as if I have traveled back in time to another world.

7) La Cantina de San Angel – Mexico Pavilion, Epcot

For a quick serve restaurant, the water view from this eatery can’t be beat. La Cantina de San Angel has a dining area built out over the shores of the World Showcase Lagoon which allows you take in the beautiful surroundings of the circle of countries. I particularly enjoy sharing nachos and a margarita or two with friends as I watch the clouds drift by. As an added bonus, you can watch the local flocks of white ibis searching for food along the shoreline.

6) Tokyo Dining – Japan Pavilion, Epcot

Located on the upper floor of the Mitsukoshi pagoda, this elegant Asian restaurant serves beautifully presented food against the inspiring backdrop of the World Showcase. Snag a table by the windows and you’ll enjoy a view overlooking the replica red torii of Itsukushima Shrine which frames Spaceship Earth in the distance. On a bright sunny day, I find the contrast of the blue sky, white clouds, red torri, and silver ball captivating. An added plus — the balcony gracing this restaurant is a prime viewing location for Epcot’s evening fireworks.

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5) The Garden Grill – The Land Pavilion, Epcot

This character dining restaurant featuring Mickey and Friends makes my list because of its rotating view. The second floor restaurant slowly turns, offering a revolving glimpse into the first floor boat ride, Living with the Land. From your table you can see scenes of the rainforest, farmhouse, sandstorm, and prairie backdrops that the boat ride glides through. As an added perk, many of the vegetable served in this restaurant are grown in The Land’s state-of-the-art greenhouses.

4) Coral Reef Restaurant – The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Epcot

This top-notch table service restaurant features stunning windows of fish – as in views of live fish swimming around the saltwater aquarium that’s the pavilion’s main attraction. As you enjoy a meal here you’ll be gently mesmerized by some of the 8,500 inhabitants of this 5.7 million gallon tank. It’s an unforgettable glimpse into an underwater world.

3) Outer Rim Lounge – Disney’s Contemporary Resort

The Outer Rim Lounge can be found just to the left of Chef Mickey’s and the Contempo Café on the Grand Concourse. Where the California Grill gives a great view of man-made beauty, the Outer Rim Lounge presents the natural beauty of Florida since it overlooks Bay Lake, the only original lake in the Magic Kingdom area. In the middle of Bay Lake you will see Discovery Island which used to be a small zoological park back in the day. Sitting here with a drink, I appreciate all that’s uniquely Florida, including the sudden summer rainstorms that come in across the lake.

2) Narcoossee’s – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Jutting out into Seven Seas Lagoon, Narcoossee’s offers a view of the Contemporary and Magic Kingdom from the other side of the lake. But that’s not why this restaurant has made it onto my list. Instead, I think it provides one of the best views of the nightly Electric Water Pageant which has been running continuously in one form or another since Walt Disney World’s 1971 opening.

1) California Grill – Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Situated on the top floor of the Contemporary Resort hotel, it’s hard to beat this bird’s eye view of the Magic Kingdom and the other Disney resorts around Seven Seas Lagoon. My favorite thing to do is to enjoy a meal or a drink in the lounge while watching the colors change in the sky as the sun sets. It’s magical to see the lights come on in the Magic Kingdom, and this is the best place to appreciate the spectacular beauty of the park’s fireworks.

About MichelleJ

Michelle Johnston began her love affair with Disney at 2 years old on her first visit. She grew up to help the Walt Disney Company develop the Disney Institute Resort, a learning & discovery vacation resort no longer in operation. She served on the pre-launch team as a Research & Development Coordinator with a focus on program development There she created over 100 experiential youth and adult programs in the Culinary Arts, Environment, and Design Arts tracks. Michelle then progressed to the world of ideation, helping Fortune 500 companies create new consumer products and marketing communications. She is owns Word of Mouth: Writing, Editing , Resumes & Business Marketing providing freelance services and is also the co-author of Welcome to Grandparenting and the 109 Ways eBook series. To this day, Michelle maintains her passion for all things Disney, especially Walt Disney World and its wide array of eating experiences.