Top 9 Non-Character Restaurants That Your Kids Will Love At Walt Disney World

Since Walt Disney World is a place for kids of all ages most of the restaurants are extremely kid friendly. There are some, though, that go above and beyond, places where your kids won’t want to leave. Those are the restaurants that made this list. It’s meant to be a general guideline for kids from preschool through middle school.

As mentioned in the title, character meals are purposely not included since those are all made for the kid in all of us. All you can eat options and dinner shows are also excluded. The choices are restaurants that serve full meals, places that are mostly bakeries or ice cream shops are also not listed. Although restaurants known for pizza and burgers are included, I’ve tried to add a few other fun options as well. I’ve also tried to spread out the choices so a couple of honorable mentions are suggested. Just because a restaurant is not on the list does not mean that your kids won’t love it. You know them better than anyone, if you think that they will like it give it a try!

Remember that if a restaurant is full service you will want to make a reservation by visiting http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/reservations/dining or calling 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463). The last thing that you want is for your children to have their hearts set on eating at a certain restaurant, only to discover that there are no openings or that the wait will be too long. If you’re there on a busy day you may want to visit the counter service restaurants at a slightly off time. That way you won’t wait as long and there will be more of a chance that you’ll be able to find a table.

If your kids are picky eaters talk to your server at a full service restaurant or a cast member at the counter service places. It should not be hard to accommodate minor requests. You might want to take a peek at the menu for a restaurant before you decide for sure whether or not you want to take your family there. The restaurants here are listed partly because of the atmosphere, you will want to make sure that the food is still something that your kids will like. Kids’ meals and menus, when available, are intended for children who are nine years old and younger.

9. Rainforest Café

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park & Disney Springs Marketplace

Honorable Mention at Disney Springs: Planet Hollywood

It’s loud, busy and a whole lot of fun! With two locations at Walt Disney World, Rainforest CafĂ© is known for its animatronic animals, vines and thunderstorms. Food choices include burgers, sandwiches and pasta. The kids’ menu offers slightly different takes on the classics. There are some non-alcoholic beverage choices besides the normal soda or milk for kids as well. Your whole family might want to split the Sparkling Volcano for dessert. It’s made out of brownie and ice cream, with chocolate and caramel sauces. Be warned, it’s huge.

8. T-Rex

Disney Springs Marketplace, full service

T-Rex is more than just a family restaurant, it’s an experience for the entire family. It’s owned by the same company that owns Rainforest CafĂ©, so there are some similarities, but T-Rex features dinosaurs instead of monkeys and elephants. A couple of the dinosaurs are quite large so if you think your child will be afraid of them you might want to eat elsewhere. The food features similar types of offerings as Rainforest CafĂ©, with pasta, salads, burgers and steak for the older members your party. The signature dessert is called Chocolate Extinction. Once you’re done with your meal the younger members of your party might want to play archeologist in Discovery Dig or try their hands at panning in Discovery Creek. You can also bring home a new friend from Build-A-Dino By Build-A-Bear Workshop.

7. Coral Reef Restaurant

Epcot-Future World, full service

While some people may be surprised to find a restaurant known for seafood on a kid friendly list, your children will understand why once they’ve been. When entering the restaurant you will be given a list of the fish that are in the giant aquarium, your kids will want to see how many they can spot. If they tire of that the kids’ menu has games that they can play while they wait. It features items like Mac n’ Cheese or Chicken Drumsticks, or your children can order a complete Grilled Fish of the Day meal. If you are not a seafood fan the adult menu also has steak, pork and chicken options. Arrive a few minutes early for your reservation and ask for a table by the aquarium for best viewing.

6. Restaurantosaurus

Disney’s Animal Kingdom-Dinoland U.S.A., counter service

Another dinosaur centered option, this one from the view of a group of paleontology students. They’ve decided to turn their living area into a restaurant and you’ll see plenty of signs that they’ve been around throughout the place. The kid’s menu is nothing special (chicken nuggets, PB&J, turkey wrap or cheeseburger with sides and a drink) but they’ll still love the place. A chili cheese dog, a double cheeseburger and a vegetarian substitute are among the adult choices. There’s plenty of indoor seats available, offering a welcome break on a hot day.

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5. Casey’s Corner

Magic Kingdom-Main Street U.S.A., counter service

Honorable Mention at Magic Kingdom: Tony’s Town Square Restaurant

The mighty Casey does NOT strike out with this baseball themed eatery. Celebrate America’s pastime here. The options are simple, you can get mostly hot dogs with various toppings. There is also a toppings bar so you can create your own masterpiece. From time to time during the day a pianist entertains the diners. Desserts include cotton candy and Cracker Jacks. There is both indoor and outdoor seating but it is limited so you will want to plan your meal accordingly.

4. Sanaa

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Village – Kidani Village, full service

With a view of the animals on the Disney made savanna, your whole family will have a great time. The interior of the restaurant is unlike anything that you will see elsewhere. The word “sanaa” is Swahili for “artwork” so you know that you will find it incredible. If you’re worried that your kids won’t like entrees such as the Kenya Coffee Barbeque Sandwich or Tandoori Chicken they can order something a little less adventurous off of the kids’ menu. The choices there include things like butter chicken or cheese pizza. They might also want to enjoy a non-alcoholic specialty drink while watching the animals out the window.

3. Restaurant Marrakesh

Epcot-World Showcase Morocco Pavilion, full service

You might be surprised that a restaurant that features a belly dancer makes a kid friendly list but this deserves to be there. Designed to look like the interior of a palace, every member of your family will be awed by the details. The kids might want to try couscous (it is a type of pasta, after all) but if they aren’t ready for that the kids’ menu contains a hamburger, chicken or Moroccan style pasta. The Bastilla for Two is a big enough dessert to feed several people. Don’t fret about the belly dancer, she is dressed more modestly than some of the tourists that you’ll see in the parks on a hot day. Kids seem to be mesmerized by her and she might even invite them up to the front to teach them a few steps. It’s all in good fun.

2. Cosmic Ray’s Starlight CafĂ©

Magic Kingdom-Tomorrowland, counter service

Though there is plenty of seating at Cosmic Ray’s it gets filled up quickly so you might want to not plan to eat there in the middle of normal lunch or dinner hours. The fun atmosphere has a retro feel to it, making you think of the way that the future was envisioned in old science fiction movies. Cosmic Ray’s has three different food bays from which you order but they all serve the same things (they used to have different foods at each bay). There are chicken, burger, and sandwich options. If your kids aren’t thrilled with any of the options the kids’ menu includes a turkey sandwich, chicken nuggets or a Smucker’s Uncrustable Sandwich. The whole family will love the toppings bar for the burgers. Parents, please accompany your children to it, there are hot items on it. Sonny Eclipse, an animatronic alien, entertains the diners with his nightclub singing routine. Outdoor seating is also available with a great view of Cinderella Castle.

1. 50’s Primetime CafĂ©

Disney’s Hollywood Studios-Hollywood Boulevard, full service

Remember to clean your plate or you won’t get dessert! At 50’s Primetime CafĂ© you get to watch TV while eating your dinner, sitcoms from the 50’s are run on black and white sets. What makes the restaurant so much fun is your server. There’s constant interaction between your party and the server, who becomes a member of your family. Home style comfort foods are served, things like Mom’s Old-fashioned Pot Roast and Cousin Harold’s Vegetable Lasagna. The kids’ menu includes Salmon, Grilled Chicken Tender Meatloaf and Meatless Meatballs with Pasta. There are also several appetizer options for kids. You’ll want to save room for dessert with options like Ice Cream Sundaes and Traditional Warm Apple Crisp. Non-alcoholic specialty drinks are also available for kids of all ages.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.