Hey Loves! This is another post in my Disney series on my blog where I’m sharing all our favorite things about Disney World, and lots of tips, tricks, hacks, and advice if you’re planning a magical vacation to the happiest place on earth. In today’s Disney blog, I’m going to be sharing the best places to eat at Walt Disney World. We have so many special memories at Disney, and my dad who passed away on Father’s Day wanted us to go back as much as possible because it was his favorite place on the planet. And if there was anything my Dad really loved to do, it was eat! So here are a bunch of the best restaurants for dinner that we’ve tried over our many trips to Disney over the years. I’ve also got some secret firework viewing spots, so make sure you know where to request a table with a view during dinner!
If it’s your first time going to Disney, or if you’ve just opted for counter service options when you visited the parks, you are in for a real treat when it comes to sit down dining at Walt Disney World restaurants. Just like the rides and the themes of the hotels, Walt Disney World restaurants are truly an experience, from the atmosphere to the cast members attire to the menu. You will be submersed into a whole new world depending on the restaurant you’re eating at, and it is just such a cool experience like no other! Just make sure you book your reservation 180 days in advance of your stay- the best restaurants fill up fast! So this way you can get to eat at the best places and the most convenient times for your family and schedule. If you miss that window, don’t stress- you can look for open reservations at less popular times, or, you can live dangerously and see if there are any last-minute cancellations that day you can snatch. Disney will always take walk-ins when possible, but there is usually always a pretty long wait. So take advantage of making those reservations as early as you can (which is at 7:00 AM ET 180 days before the first day of your stay at Disney). Time at Disney goes by so fast, so you don’t want to miss out on the fun and rides waiting for a table when you could just make a reservation! And even though we have booked reservations for breakfasts and lunches, I feel like dinner is always one of the best meals at Disney, especially after a long day of walking around the parks after you’ve built up an appetite. So I’ll just be focusing on the best dinner spots in Disney for this blog post.
At the Polynesian Resort, Ohana is one of our favorite dinner spots at Disney. The theme of the resort just feels like vacation, and the food for dinner is delicious. It’s served family style, so it’s all-you-can-eat, Polynesian-style dinner. You start with delicious honey butter and rolls, salad, chicken wings, and dumplings, and the main course is skewers of oak-grilled shrimp, sweet and sour chicken, and steak brought right to your table, with stir-fried vegetables and lo mein noodles on the side. The caramel banana bread pudding for dessert is served warm with a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream, and it’s seriously so good!! There are really fun tropical drinks including one served in a real pineapple.
If you dine at the time of the fireworks, you can also see the Magic Kingdom from the restaurant across the lagoon, so make a special request to have a fireworks window view of the lagoon. You can also see the Electrical Water Pageant on the Seven Seas Lagoon, which can be so fun for the little ones to see too.
Inside of the Mexican pyramid in Epcot, the San Angel Inn Restaurant looks like you’re sitting outside under the stars in Mexico, dining at the foot of a Mayan pyramid next to a colorful marketplace. It’s so cool! If you sit close to the water, you can see the boat ride passing by your table, but wherever you sit, you can look up at the stars above.
This restaurant has amazing margaritas, and the guacamole is unreal. We also loved the queso fundido as well. This restaurant can get very crowded, so reservations are highly recommended. It’s also very romantic- Adam and I ate here on our honeymoon, and it was so cool to feel like we were dining outside under the stars.
At the Contemporary Resort, the California grill has everything from wood-fired pizzas, one of the best steaks I’ve ever eaten, to sushi. And the views of Magic Kingdom and Bay Lake are epic. While there isn’t an over-the-top theme, this is one of the best places to watch the fireworks outside of the park, because they dim the lights and pipe in the music that goes along with the show. If you aren’t eating during the time of the fireworks, you can show your receipt and still go up to watch them from the balconies on the sides of the restaurant too.
There is a fancier dress code for this restaurant- men are asked to wear collared shirts, and women are asked to wear dresses, skirts, dress shorts, or capris, and it is asked that no tank tops or hats are worn. You can see the full official dress code on the website. And wine lovers, you will be impressed by the vast wine selection at this restaurant. And get the strawberry creme brûlée. It is amazing!
In Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom, Be Our Guest takes you into the Beast’s castle, and makes you feel like you are eating in the middle of Beauty and the Beast. There are three incredible dining areas, that truly take you into the movie. The Grand Ballroom, shown below, is just like the ballroom scene in the movie, the Castle Gallery looks just like Belle’s library, and the West Wing has the Beast’s enchanted rose. The dinner is prix fixe, 3-course menu featuring French-inspired dishes, and the kids also get a 3-course meal, including one of the cutest deserts they can paint. My son Landon loved that! Be Our Guest is one of the only places in Magic Kingdom you can have an adult drink. I’d highly recommend a glass of the Rosa Regale red champagne. It’s unreal.
In Cinderella’s Castle, you can also have a glass of that Rosa Regale red champagne at Cinderella’s Royal Table. And there is a really cool princess character dining experience like none other. When you first get called into the castle, there is a meet and greet with Cinderella. Then you head up a spiral staircase into a Medieval-themed dining room. While you eat a prix fix, 3 course meal, you get to meet many of the Disney princesses.
Inside of the German Pavilion at Epcot, the Biergarten Restaurant is themed like a Bavarian village in Germany. There are long, Oktoberfest style tables and a huge German-style buffet to feast on while performers entertain you while you eat. The little ones and the entire family are invited to get up and dance. This had made for some of our favorite old home videos to watch, and it just feels like you’re immersed into a folk performance in Germany. It’s really cool- so pick up your beer and say, “Prost!”
The Sci-Fi Drive-In restaurant is inside of Disney’s Hollywood Studios park, and this is another cool themed experience because you are immersed into a 1950’s drive-in for dinner. You sit inside of a car that’s been turned into a table, and there’s some delicious American diner food on the menu. I’d highly recommend the onion rings appetizer, served on an antenna.
There are also some pretty cool glow-in-the-dark concoctions for both the kids and the adults, served with light up ice cubes. And, there is a movie screen playing old-fashioned cartoons for the kiddos to watch while you dine. And fun tip- if you are honeymooning at Disney (my husband and I did), just make sure the servers know, and they’ll hang a “Just Married” sign on the back of our car. Makes for a fun honeymoon photo!
Those are our favorite dinner restaurants at Walt Disney World. If you’ve been, and have a favorite or two I didn’t mention in this blog, let us know in the comments! The more tips the merrier!
Thank you so much for reading this blog post in my Disney series. I hope you check out some of my other Disney posts for more tips and advice, and sign up for the weekly newsletter on the sidebar so we can stay in touch once a week.
Have an amazing day, and a magical vacation if you’re planning one to Disney!
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