Disney World; the final frontier of theme parks and the place where every kid’s dream comes true. From the rides to the games and live Disney characters parading the park, there seems to be nothing the company can’t accomplish with a little fairy dust. But is the food in the park as magical as everything else? Let’s take a walk through those sparkling castle gates and take a look at the top ten restaurants at Disney World Florida.
10. Be Our Guest Lunch
For lovers of the classic story of Beauty and the Beast, this restaurant was made for you. Set in the heart of the Beast’s castle, guests are invited to join the royals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, dining just behind those classic castle doors. Meals can be taken in either the grand ballroom where the timeless song, “tale as old as time” is sung, in the forbidden West Wing where the Beast first had his lair, or the Rose Gallery, where the famous magic rose is kept. According to reviews, no expense was spared in creating this magical experience as the ballroom is just as decked out in shiny glitter and gold as it is in the movie. The ballroom can seat many guests at a time and offers the full “Belle” experience. Guests to this section of the three dining rooms report that no detail was missed and raved over the high quality of the décor. So, the atmosphere is just right, but what about the food itself? Well, it would be a travesty to serve the typical run of the mill fast food in a ballroom, so Disney created a menu based off some of the classic meals in the movie. Heavily inspired by traditional French cuisine, selections range from Braised Pork to Croque Monsieur and none disappoint. As one of the more popular dining experiences in the Magic Kingdom, reviews suggest making a reservation as the wait time for tables can be quite long, although it is always worth it. So, if you’re looking to dine like Belle or brood like the Beast, this restaurant is for you.
9. Cinderella’s Royal Table
Based off yet another famous princess story, Cinderella’s Royal Table is a must-see if you’re looking to dine at Disney. As one of the park’s most highly rated restaurants, guests are invited into the magical space and are met by the belle of the ball herself before even entering the palace. After meeting Cinderella, guests enter the dining area and are able to meet Snow White, Aurora, and Ariel as well. According to reviews, the ambiance of the restaurant is immaculate and makes diners feel like they really are in a regal castle. Like the Be Our Guest Lunch, every detail of the castle is in place, and the designers made sure that the experience felt authentic by basing some of the architectural elements of the structure off real castles. As for the food, reviews say guests were not disappointed, although with the hope of getting as many people in and out as possible, you may not order extra portions of foods. The meal starts off with a few rolls and some butter, and the entrees also impress with items like the Beef Tenderloin, which received rave reviews for its high quality and fine-dining feel. True to Disney form, some of the menu items are a not so subtle nod to the movie, like the “Clock Strikes Twelve” dessert which includes a chocolate drizzled clock face around a circular cake. Due to the popularity of the restaurant, booking is usually 180 days ahead of dining, but the experience is totally worth it!
8. Garden Grill
For all the fans of the classic Mickey Mouse, this unique dining experience is for you. Located in Epcot’s Land pavilion, guests can meet the world’s most famous mouse and other characters like Pluto, and Chip n’ Dale, and enjoy the fun-loving atmosphere. It is also the spot where guests can enjoy Chip n’ Dale’s Harvest Feast, which is a staple Disney attraction. If Disney princesses aren’t your cup of tea, this restaurant is an awesome and equally immersive alternative. With a rotating dining room, customers are able to look into the “Living with the Land” attraction and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. The Garden Grill is also one of the few character dining experiences which offers an all-you-can-eat feature that makes it worth your while to spend the time and money there. On the lower deck, the attractions are a little closer, but the upper level offers a higher view of the whole restaurant and is closer to the inner column. With a family-style atmosphere, the restaurant offers delicious meals fit for everyone. Some menu items include some classic dinner rolls to start, a filet of beef, and a fish meal, which both come with mashed potatoes in true “harvest” style. Although it’s not fine dining like Cinderella’s Royal Table, the food at The Garden Grill is just as high quality and presents well. The next time you’re in the Epcot section of the park, check out this awesome spot for some genuinely good food.
Ever wanted the full Japanese experience right in the middle of Disney? Well, Takumi-Tei is exactly that with its Japanese-inspired atmosphere and food. Also located in the Epcot region of the park, Takumi-Tei offers diners five different rooms to choose from, ranging from themes like water, earth, wood, stone, and washi paper. Each space was designed to bring calm to the diners and be a vastly different vibe from the rest of the park. While not cheap, the restaurant offers authentic Japanese cuisine with sushi meals galore, offering a nice alternative to the usual theme park food. One of the big features is the nine-course $180 meal that must be ordered if the guests are seated at the chef’s table. Some of the menu items include Karikari Sushi, Shirasu, and Tsukemono, and all are prepared with the freshest ingredients much like any other Japanese restaurant. Like the other fine dining experiences, no detail is too small for Takumi-Tei, and the surroundings match the theme of each room exceptionally well. In terms of atmosphere, this restaurant ranks as one of the highest among guest ratings, and as for authenticity, it would have been easy to Americanize the food at Takumi-Tei, but reviews say that it’s the real deal. So next time you find yourself craving sushi in the Magic Kingdom, head on over.
6. Storybook Dining at Artist Point
Another classic dining spot in Disney World, the Storybook Dining experience is one that you won’t want to miss on your visit to the park. Based around Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, the restaurant offers a “prix fixe” menu and is one of the more affordable spots to eat. It also happens to be yet another place to enjoy “character dining” and guests can meet the loveable dwarves and Snow White herself. In terms of decoration, the dining rooms are designed to look like a lush green forest, likely to fit the theme of Snow White. Tree branches grow directly out of support beams scattered around the room, and they light up and change color once the sun goes down. While guests are eating, characters from the movie are free to walk around and often interact with the diners. The menu at Artist Point is super versatile and great for families. To start, guests have the option of ordering appetizers like Winter Squash Bisque, Hunter’s Pie, and the Wicked Shrimp Cocktail, which are all a nod to the movie. Some great vegetarian options are also available there like, “A Stroll Through Nature” which is a bowl of butternut squash gnocchi served with some vegetables. Artist Point also has some great fish meals like, “Bashful’s Butter-poached Snapper” which is served with some wild mushrooms. Overall, the Storybook Dining is a meal option visitors would not want to miss.
5. San Angel Inn
One of only two table service restaurants in Epcot’s Land, the San Angel Inn is set in a majestic, ancient façade where diners can enjoy their meals in the shadow of a Mayan temple. And while the temple is the main attraction in terms of ambiance, there’s no missing the giant erupting volcano behind it, nor the cleverly placed ruins scattered around the dining room which make the experience wholly immersive. Guests also have the opportunity to look over into a river which separates the temple from the dining room and watch the boats from another attraction go by. The décor definitely creates a moody and mysterious atmosphere, especially at dinner service when all the lights are low, and the temple illuminates the lake. As for the food, the San Angel Inn serves authentic Mexican cuisine. Some of their more popular dishes are the tacos and homemade tortilla chips, which are served with homemade salsa. Another favourite are the Enchiladas Verdes con Pollo which are classic enchiladas covered with tomatillo sauce and served with a side of rice and black beans. The Arrachera con Chilaquiles is also another popular option and consists of a grilled New York strip steak also served with rice and beans. So if you’re craving an ancient and unforgettable experience, San Angel is the place to go.
4. Chef Mickey’s
Set in Disney World’s contemporary resort, Chef Mickey’s is yet another character dining experience where visitors can meet Mickey and many other characters. Perfect for families and larger groups, Chef Mickey’s offers a buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and although the meals consist of American comfort food, the restaurant pulls it off exceptionally well. It also provides an option for families called the “Family Feast” which offers a slightly cheaper fare only for breakfast hours. Some of the menu items with this deal include several pastry options, a chilled and frozen bar with things like yogurt and fruit, and the traditional American hot breakfast with things like eggs, bacon, and pancakes. Despite its simple cuisine, Chef Mickey’s is one of the more popular restaurants in the park because of the nostalgia it evokes. Guests can’t get enough of their favourite Disney mouse. The buffet is set in the Grand Canyon Concourse which resembles a train station with neon lights and colourful decorations, and of course, it’s complete with the rumbling of monorails overhead. The décor is also slightly inspired by a 90’s diner, with the checkered flooring and bright façade. It may not be one of the fanciest places to dine in Disney world, but it is definitely one of the most sought-after experiences that just can’t be skipped.
3. California Grill
Like Chef Mickey’s, the California Grill is set in the contemporary section of the park and offers an all-you-can-eat selection of their amazing food. It is also the only place guests can order bottomless mimosas, which will certainly excite exhausted parents at the end of the day. Located at the very top of the resort, visitors to this spot can catch some awesome views of the Magic Kingdom and enjoy a laid-back brunch with their families. Upon entry, adults are treated to a mimosa by their host and are guided to a table near one of the massive windows. While still being classy and elegant, this brunch experience also maintains a low-key level of fanciness that, while still being elegant, manages to invite diners to relax and enjoy the food without worrying about being underdressed. After the complimentary mimosa, guests are invited to tour the buffet and to ask any questions. Since California Grill is a hybrid dining experience, there is also the option to enjoy the buffet as an appetizer, then order off the a la carte menu for the entrée. According to reviews, a wide variety of foods are offered there, from sushi to steaks and everything in between. Since it is brunch themed, many of the buffet options contain eggs, toast, and light meats like Prosciutto. If Victoria and Albert’s is a little too pricy for your liking, California Grill is a great alternative and offers some excellent food choices and an overall great dining experience.
2. Flying Fish
Located on the boardwalk, Flying Fish is a fine dining restaurant just a short walk from Epcot’s Land. Widely considered one of Disney’s signature restaurants, Flying Fish ranks high in service, ambiance, and food even outside the park, and continues to deliver only the best. The restaurant has recently undergone renovations, but the original Flying Fish décor was inspired by Coney Island and had an elegance and class about it. The new Flying Fish also follows this motif, but changed most of the design elements to make guests think of the golden age of seaside boardwalks. Still, the overall vibe of the restaurant is classy, and guests are even asked to adhere to a bit of a dress code if they are going to dine there! Naturally, the dining room has a very blue theme, and many of the crystal decorations are shaped like fish. As for the food, reviews have stated that it falls short only to Victoria and Albert’s, which is easily the gold standard of Disney restaurants. So, all in all, it’s pretty amazing. Two of the signature dishes there are the Snake River Farms Wagyu Strip Loin, which is an amazing cut of Japanese beef, and the Ora King New Zealand Salmon, which comes in a thick strip and is topped with cilantro. For dessert, the restaurant offers dishes like the Under the Sea, which consists of different salted chocolates that will remind guests of the ocean. Coupled with the amazing environment, guests will find a new love for fish in this restaurant!
1. Victoria & Albert’s
Named after the two famous Victorian royals, this restaurant offers a heightened dinner experience for the more mature Disney visitor. Offering a fine-dining menu, this spot has actually won several awards for its impeccable service and food and was named the #2 restaurant in the US by Trip Advisor. Although it is definitely one of the pricier places to eat in the park, it is also worth it and even holds its ground to restaurants outside the park in the real world. Not skimping on any luxury, the atmosphere of the restaurant certainly does feel royal as guests enter through a grand staircase into a lavishly decorated dining room. Visitors are welcomed into their seats and are even offered a high-end wine menu before ordering. Unlike the other restaurants in the park, Victoria and Albert’s has no fixed menu. Every couple of months, the entire set of food options are changed which helps keep the menu fresh and new and sets it apart from the rest of the park restaurants. So, if previous visitors return to the spot after a year, everything they saw on the menu before will have been changed for variety. In terms of food, this spot doesn’t disappoint. At one point, there was a Minnesota Elk Carpaccio available which, according to reviews, looked and tasted like a true high-end restaurant created it. Overall, Victoria and Albert’s easily tops the list when it comes to restaurants at Disney World.