I Need to Book my Dining, Where do I Start?
There are a couple things to consider when selecting dining preferences. First are you a foodie looking for amazing food, looking for specific characters, atmosphere, or is location the most important factor? Are you picking your dining preferences based on friends and family whom have already traveled? How many times have they traveled and are they actually able to give you the best recommendations? (Or have they only traveled one time and suggesting only what they have experienced) These are all things to consider in the question above, and one reason having a travel planner for Disney World really helps. Having a planner customize your plans by giving advice, making sure plans don't overlap and are located in the right areas, as well as actually booking your dining for you are just a few of the perks you will experience. Did you know you can book through the app/website at 6am EST or 7am by phone at 60 days from the start of your trip? For Walt Disney World your can book 60 days out + 10 days into your packaged reservation where as Disneyland is one day at a time. Some experiences even book at midnight instead of 6am. Knowing these rules are where we can come in to take that stress off of your planning process. Let's start off by talking about the options for character meet & greets. Please note characters are subject to change, as are locations offering meet and greets.
Cinderella's Royal Table - Location Magic Kingdom A Princess Meet & Greet and dining experience. This signature meal is located in the castle, and one of the most popular locations on the grounds. Your best chance to land this experience is making sure it is later in your trip. Please note you will need to pay in full for this dining experience at time of booking instead of the normal placeholder. Pro Tip: Try to to schedule at least 2 hours before fireworks, or earlier, so you don't miss fireworks or Tinker Bell's flight. View Cinderella's Royal Table Menu Here
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall - Location Epcot Experience the Princess Meet and Greet but spend a few less dollars. This experience is located in Norway Pavilion and is a great back up plan for Cinderella's Royal Table. You also get the chance to meet a few different princesses like Belle. One note is to be sure to check the menu, this is by far the biggest complaint especially if you have any picky eaters. View Akershus Menu Here
Artist Point Storybook Dining - Location Wilderness Lodge Dine in the forest with Snow White, the Evil Queen, Dopey, & Grumpy. From dancing, singing, and quite the assortment of desserts, this dining experience is truly one to remember! This experience has amazing food and you will leave smiling. View Artist Point Storybook Dining Menu Here
Chef Mickey - Location Contemporary Resort One of the most sought after reservations, especially for breakfast! Enjoy your favorite characters while the monorail goes by inside the A-frame Contemporary Resort. The Contemporary resort is just footsteps from the Magic Kingdom, so often clients like to take a break from the park and enjoy a meal with their favorite Disney friends! View Chef Mickey Menu Here
'Ohana Breakfast with Stitch and friends - Location Polynesian Resort Such a fun breakfast opportunity with Stitch, Lilo, Mickey, and Pluto! Truly one of the best all-you-care to enjoy breakfasts on property that includes characters! *Please notice that dinner will not have characters View 'Ohana's Menu Here
Topolino's Terrace: Location Riviera Resort
The newest fab 5 breakfast at the top of Riviera Resort. This signature location is a great way to start breakfast before the parks (especially Epcot & Hollywood Studios since they are connected by the Disney Skyliner) , or even a late breakfast on your rest day or departure day depending on your flight time!
*Please notice that lunch and dinner will not have characters View Topolino's Terrace Menu Here
Tusker House: Location Animal Kingdom A great place to see the fab 5 characters, and best time is always breakfast! Keep in mind Mickey and gang will be dressed safari ready! View Tusker House Menu Here
Hollywood & Vine: Location Hollywood Studios A great grab for the Fantasmic Dining package keeping you centered for one of the best night time spectaculars in Disney. *** Please note Breakfast is Disney Jr characters and lunch and dinner are the Fab 5. *** Not all dining will come with the Fantasmic Dining Package, please ask your travel advisor for more details. View Hollywood & Vine Menu Here
Crystal Palace: Location Magic Kingdom Winnie the Pooh and friends have come from the 100 acre woods just to visit with you. This is one of those menus to check often because it seems to change more often than other locations. Crystal Palace faces the castle in Magic Kingdom and is right off of Main Street USA. I personally like visiting after the parade goes by! Crystal Palace Menu View Here
Garden Grill - Location Epcot A rotating restaurant, need we say more? This location rotates over the ride "The Land," and truly is a fun experience for the kids. Make sure you come hungry, this is a family style location, and they won't disappoint. View Garden Grill Menu
Cape May - Location Beach Club Resort If you enjoy the fab 5 but don't want to spend extra time dining in the parks, this location has the cutest theme for breakfast. Your favorite characters are ready for their day on the beach and boardwalk! *Please notice that lunch and dinner will not have characters Cape May View Menu Here
Are you ready for your magical vacation? Our travel planners are a free service and can get you a custom quote today! MAGIC KINGDOM DINING (All of these locations require park tickets) Now that we have talked about all the best character meals Disney has to offer, it is time to move on to locational dining you might be interested in. First up we have the Magic Kingdom. There are 2 character dining experiences Cinderella's Royal Table and Crystal Palace which we mention above in our character section, but let's look at some of the other favorites here in the MK! One of the most popular is Be Our Guest.
Be Our Guest has the most amazing ambiance you could possibly imagine, making you feel like you are right in the movie. The moment you walk through the castle doors, you will be taken away to some of the most amazing rooms, great food, and of course, "The Grey Stuff." If you want a less formal experience, Liberty Tavern and Skipper Canteen are our next go to locations. Liberty Tavern has a very
Thanksgiving feel menu, and the one thing to note about this location is that people come back year after year! This can be a bit harder to score a reservation because it is a more intimate setting, and they don't serve food as late as some of the other restaurants. Skipper Canteen has a fun sarcastic feel playing off of the skippers in the Jungle Cruise which is just across the way. From fun servers, to delicious food, you are sure to enjoy the break from the sun at this treasure from the seas. Another thing we like about Skipper Canteen, is it just doesn't feel like typical theme park food. Most dishes are creative, different and with a special twist. It is a great change in plans for the person just looking for something, "different."
Their menu is described as an African, Asian, and Latin inspired foods, so again there is a little bit of something for everyone.
Are you not one to venture out this far? This next location is one that will remind you of the comforts of home, or at least your local Olive Garden. Tony's Town Square is located just outside the train station across from the city hall. Inspired by Tony's restaurant from the movie the Lady and the Tramp, it is a great spot to grab that Italian faire you are looking for. The big
glass windows remind me of Chefs de France in Epcot, and the views of the parades going by, people watching, and music in the air always are a nice greeting after a long day in the park. These reservations tend to be easier to obtain than the locations mentioned above
EPCOT DINING (All of these locations require park tickets) This truly is a park filled with dining opportunities to fit any palette, budget, and theme. Epcot has multiple festivals that have pop up stands or country centered cuisines, as well as table service locations that are themed to culture, experience, and a variety of menu options. One of the hardest to get dining locations in Epcot is Space 220. This is one of the newest restaurants in Epcot, and its Space themed interior has everyone wanting to land a reservation here. Located next to Mission Space, Space 220 first has you greeted by multiple hosts, and even an elevator attendant that takes you to their eatery on the edge of space. As you look through the center of the elevator you will watch Epcot fade into the background, as you dining experience, which is out of this world, is about to begin. Be sure to watch for those silly astronauts out the windows as you eat, they are quite the attraction in themselves, there might even be a light saber battle. This is for sure an experience you want to place at the end of your reservation, or you probably won't get it. Don't forget to also explore the character meals at Epcot located above, like Garden Grill & Akershus Royal Banquet Hall.
From outer space to under the sea, Disney truly understands how to give you the most immersive experience. Coral Reef, truly has my heart when it comes to atmosphere far more than their food. Don't get me wrong, the food is good, but the atmosphere is truly what you expect when you go to Disney. Every seat in centered around the aquarium, and it is a very calming experience after a day in the park. I love going here on a hot day around lunch, because when you are, "under the sea," it just feels cooler. After your amazing meal, hop on the Nemo ride and see the ocean life from a different perspective! Now on to the World Showcase where the restaurants are themed culturally to 11 different countries around the world. Since we already know I love atmosphere, I'm going to show you my top 3 atmosphere centered locations in the World Showcase at Epcot. First on our list is
Germany's Biergarten. From the moment you walk into these doors you are taken away to a small Bavarian village. You will be seated with new friends from other parties around the park in traditional Biergarten fashion, and you will enjoy an all you care to enjoy feast while listening to live music and possibly even hitting the dance floor. My favorite part is watching all the little girls twirl in their gowns, and couples enjoying some polka music on the dance floor. The best time to visit is during lunch because you get a nice break from the sun, and the atmosphere is themed after dark in the streets of Germany, so it is a wonderful contrast during the day!
Next up, one of my favorite places in Epcot, Le Celier. This Canadian Steakhouse has it all from atmosphere to steak that will simply melt in your mouth. This reservation is pretty hard to get due to the fact there are very few seats located in the venue. This is one of those locations that has you coming back for more. Please note that they only serve lunch and dinner, and it is best to try to get this reservation later in your stay since it is a popular place to dine.
Do you love Mexican food? Epcot's Mexico has multiple locations to eat, but the one I'd like to feature is San Angel Inn. Again this is all about that theme for me, and it is so nice that weddings are even conducted here along with different group events. Plus you can hop on the 3 Amigos ride right next door and enjoy your cruise through the country's history, but look out for Donald Duck always causing chaos and some funny relief. Tutto Italia is the Italian restaurant I always pick over Tony's at Magic Kingdom, Via Napoli at Epcot located next door, or Mama Melrose at Hollywood Studios. This location has a little of everything, and kids always enjoy it. This is one of those locations in Disney that I don't feel
like is over themed or too theatrical, it honestly just tastes like a good Italian meal, with simple ingredients you will love. Sometimes it is nice to keep it simple especially when picky eaters are in your travel party. However if you are feeling a bit more adventurous and you want to try some French Cuisine, head over to Chefs de France for an incredible meal, beautiful glass windows, and a variety of items on their menu.
You can expect anything from beef tenderloin, classic onion soup, or even roasted duck with cherries. Don't skip the dessert here, they have some of the best desserts on the menu, and their chefs are constantly offering different seasonal items, rotating menus, and delicious new desserts that will catch your eye!
All this being said, if you like less scheduling in your day, we suggest visiting the booths along the World Showcase. All year around you will find an amazing variety of things to eat, and you might just enjoy, "snacking around the world." Are you ready for your magical vacation? Our travel planners are a free service and can get you a custom quote today! ANIMAL KINGDOM DINING To be honest our favorite items to eat at Animal Kingdom Park are the quick service
locations like Flame Tree BBQ or the fun items at Pandora. However a lot of clients love to eat at Yak and Yeti, and since this is such a popular location we suggest having this toward the end of your vacation if it truly is important to you. However they also offer a quick service location right outside their entrance, so sometimes that is the best choice to add some flexibility to your calendar. (Keep in mind it won't have the full menu) The great part about Animal Kingdom park, is that you usually have a slower paced day and some extra time to enjoy a nice sit down experience.
Maybe this is the day you would like a signature meal to sit down at Tiffins at the entrance of Pandora right before you enter Africa. This is truly a chef's masterpiece, where food meets art. Each plate is masterfully crafted and you will leave in wonder, and it won't be that heavy meal that you might get at some locations. Last but not least I always like to mention that there is a Rainforest Cafe also located at the entrance of the Animal Kingdom park. I tend to skip this experience not because it isn't delicious but because I know I can get it at other locations. However, if I have
kids in our travel party, they absolutely love the moving animals, thunderstorms, and unique atmosphere. This also tends to be a much less busy location compared to the one located at Disney Springs. All of these locations are great, but I still think my favorite Animal Kingdom location is Tusker House character breakfast (mentioned above)!
HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS DINING To get us started, where else to begin then 50s Prime Time Cafe. The cafe is not for the
faint of heart, because here, you are treated like family. OH YES, that's right you better clean your plate or they will get after you, especially when you didn't eat your green beans! This is definitely the place you go for the comfort food, and even some new creations like a peanut butter and jelly milkshake! IT IS DELICIOUS, even if it sounds a little crazy!
If home cooked meals and waiters picking on you isn't your thing, head on over to Sci-Fi Drive In where you can go to your local drive in and watch some short sci-fi clips. Don't worry, these aren't too scary for the kids, the theming is amazing, and the burgers and shakes won't disappoint either. One thing to note, this reservation is a hot item in Disney. This is one we always book first and you have a better chance if it is later in your stay! I'll have to admit both Prime Time and Sci-fi are very relaxed atmospheres so if you like something a little more high end look no further than the Hollywood Brown Derby. Disney's Hollywood Studios is home to the Hollywood Brown Derby and people come back here year after year, and beg for this
reservation. Keep in mind this is a signature restaurant, so it won't disappoint, especially if you order their famous cobb salad. Hollywood Studios has so many unique locations to pick from and but frankly these are my top three hands down. Remember as mentioned before you can find the Hollywood and Vine character meal in Hollywood Studios (mentioned above) which offers Disney Junior characters at breakfast, and Mickey & Gang at lunch and dinner.
Do you have big Toy Story fans in your travel party? Did you know that the newest location to eat is in Andy's backyard? The Round Up Rodeo BBQ is a great way to sit and
relax in one of the busiest areas of Hollywood Studios. The theming is fun for kids and adults alike, and you sure feel like one of his toys because, because they are the same size as you! Since this experience is new, it tends to fill up fast, so again this might be best to have toward the end of your trip for the best chance to snatch a reservation. DISNEY SPRINGS DINING No park tickets needed Did you know that each Disney resort has transportation to Disney Springs? This outdoor shopping, entertainment, and destination of all things delicious is a great way to spend your day off from the parks! Disney Springs does have a variety of quick service locations as well as snack stands and sweet treats, but for this blog we are going to focus on our favorite table service destinations!
Starting with the Boathouse, this surf and turf menu is truly exquisite! You can enjoy your waterfront dining and even the amphibious cars that drive straight into the water! This is one of the best meals you can ask for at Disney Springs, and I really can't say enough good things about it other than get here! Next up the other most sought after date night or special
occasion destination Wine Bar George! If you ask any experienced Disney foodie where to go at Disney Springs these are the two locations they are going to send you to. Last but not least I like to mention a completely different style of dining. Raglan Road is an Irish style pub with singing, dancing, and some of the best food around. Another nice thing is they are open late hours, it is easi
er to get larger groups in here for dining, and the life music is a great source of entertainment! If you don't want to grab a table service location, I highly recommend the quick service fish and chips location right next to it to get your fill some of the best fish and chips around!
RESORT HOTEL DINING These options are great options on your rest and relax day during your vacation. Since all of these options are at different resorts, you will need to jump on transportation to the nearest park to transfer or get an Uber/Lyft. These options do require more travel time, but are a fun way to see, "the world."
'Ohana - Polynesian Resort Family Style -Hawaiian Flavored Specialties Located in the heart of the Polynesian Resort across from the Magic Kingdom, this is the one of my absolute favorite locations to eat on every trip. This is a very popular location, so snagging a reservation can be tough, but I always opt for a late night dining to try and time it up with the Magic Kingdom fireworks since the Polynesian Resort is located directly across from the Magic Kingdom! View 'Ohana's Menu Here
California Grill Contemporary Resort A breathtaking view of the Seven Seas Lagoon is just the kick off to your amazing dinner here at California Grill. Complimentary roof top fireworks the night of your dinner doesn't hurt either. This is a wonderful date night, surprise dinner, as well as celebration spot especially with fireworks lighting the night sky. View the Califonia Grill Menu Here.
Yachtsman Steakhouse Yacht Club Resort From the famous french onion soup, to their amazing steak, you really can't go wrong when looking over this menu. Located on Crescent Lake, which is between Hollywood Studios and Epcot, the location will have you loving and laughing the night away. Directly over the water you will find the BoardWalk Inn which has wonderful reflections off Crescent Lake, allowing you to enjoy an after dinner romantic walk. View Yachtsman Steakhouse Menu Here
Boma Animal Kingdom Lodge One of our favorite buffets in Disney is at none other than Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. Inspired by the African marketplace, you are sure to find a wide variety of African inspired food mixed in with some comfort foods that are sure to please everyone. . Just make sure you save room for some dessert, they are known for their zebra domes! Are you looking for a good spot for breakfast, look no further than one of the best Disney breakfasts around. View Boma Menu Here
Hoop-dee-doo Review Fort Wilderness Resort Do you need to laugh? You have found the dining that was made for you! This long running show just across Bay Lake is on almost every Disney fan's bucket list! One thing to note about this reservation is that it would require full payment at the time of booking! Check out more info about this dinner show here!