Today we’ll be discussing the 5 Walt Disney World restaurants that you simply must try at least once! We realize that everyone has their favorites. For instance, my family can’t get out of Disney without dining at T-Rex due to my sons fascination with dinosaurs!
But while we realize that everyone has their personal favorites, we are going to focus on five amazing restaurants that you must try at least once. Each is unique in it’s own way. It probably won’t be possible to get all five restaurants in the same trip. Of course if you were able to manage this feat, we promise you’d have a fabulous time!
Let’s get started with everyone’s dream restaurant:
Victoria & Albert’s
It’s very rare to find a negative review of this exquisite restaurant. However, be warned, it is very costly. A couple will easily spend $300, but it is well worth it. Chef Scott Hunnel prepares the dishes for this Five Diamond restaurant, and this ten course meal will blow you away. The service is impeccable, the room is pristine and clean, and everyone raves about the food.
Located at the Grand Floridian Resort, this is a fine dining experience that you need to try at least ONCE!
On the List because: It’s a Five Diamond restaurant!!! How many times do you get a chance to eat like this? Not often! You simply won’t be disappointed. There are very few restaurants you can eat at where you will probably leave and say “This was the best dining experience of my life”. Victoria and Albert’s is one. But you will pay for it. Just prepare yourself.
Tip for Dining at Victoria & Albert’s: Make plans for your small kids. Kids under 10 aren’t permitted. Also, Victoria & Albert’s isn’t on the Disney Dining plan, so plan accordingly.
I won’t book a vacation to Disney without also going to Ohana. The experience is amazing, although it’s inclusion on this list won’t surprise anyone. It’s extremely popular. It’s basically an all-you-can-eat affair, with the servers loading you up from the beginning of your experience. They start you out with pork dumplings and Corriander chicken wings, which I usually just pick at. Why waste the stomach space?
Then comes the main affair, the meat. Steak, Pork loin, Shrimp and chicken/turkey are the usual servings and the servers with the skewers of meat continually rotate throughout the dining room, giving you the chance to load up your plate. Ladies, if this doesn’t sound appetizing, just let your husband have his “moment”. Also, the Ohana staff continually has music and games going to keep the kids satisfied while your husband is gorging himself. So sit back, relax on some wine and have some fun!
On the List because: Unlimited mouth-watering meat. Yes, there are plenty of buffets in Disney, but none match the quality of the meat at Ohana.
Tip for Ohana: If you are a vegan, why bother, right? WRONG! The vegan special at Ohana is usually a big hit for vegans. Salad, soup, great-tasting tofu, and yummy noodles. This is surprisingly one of the best restaurants at Disney for vegans. If they can stand the sight of meat everywhere they look!
Fine dining meets an amazing atmosphere! The California Grill has an unbelievable selection of food and wine. Orlando residents and Disney vacationers are ecstatic about the reopening of this restaurant in 2013. For most of the year, it has been getting refurbished. But if you are planning a trip from the fall of 2013 and onward, it will be open. This restaurant sits atop the Contemporary resort, overlooking the Magic Kingdom. From amazing cuts of filet and steak, to mouth-watering desserts, this is fine dining at it’s best.
On the list because: It’s on the Disney Dining plan, it’s some of the most delicious food at Disney, and it’s the best view in all of Disney World.
Tip for California Grill: Try to arrange your dining around the Magic Kingdom firework show. If you have a mealtime DURING the fireworks, make sure and get there early and try and get a window seat. However, we recommend getting a dinner reservation about an hour before the show. When your food is complete, you can head outside to the private balcony, and watch the firework show. And best of all, they loop in the sound directly from the Magic Kingdom! A wonderful experience!
Be Our Guest
One of the newest additions to Disney is Be Our Guest, located in the Magic Kingdom. Not only is the food amazing, but the atmosphere is beyond compare. The detailing of the inside of the restaurant is beautiful. You feel as if you are in the middle of the movie!
Be Our Guest is the first location that allows alcohol in the Magic Kingdom, and everyone raves about the cupcakes! While all of them are good, the Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcake seems to be the absolutely front runner!
On the list because: Having a great steak dinner in the heart of the Magic Kingdom is something that’s been sorely needed for a long time! As is the ability to have alcohol! This, combined with the amazing scenery makes this a must-do for any Disney traveler.
Tip for Be Our Guest: Book early! Be Our Guest fills up fast. However, it is also a large restaurant and certainly wouldn’t count on this, but if you missed on a reservation, it’s worth a try especially mid-week.
Cinderella’s Royal Table
This is the one restaurant that is not on the list due to it’s food. It’s all about location. What better location is there than in the castle! Not only do patrons get to eat in the castle, but they get visited by the Disney Princesses. There is nothing more “Disney” than eating here.
As for the food, it’s also pretty good. Just don’t go in expecting Victoria & Albert’s or California Grill, because you will leave disappointed. Dinner is a typical appetizer, entrée and dessert. Entrée’s currently consist of swordfish, beef tenderloin, chicken pasta and pork loin, among a few others.
However, we don’t necessarily recommend this experience for dinner. While the dinner is ok, there are a few reasons we recommend the Royal Table for breakfast.
First of all, the breakfast fare is all-you-can-eat. And it is very solid. They have quiche, French toast, steak & eggs, lobster/crab crepes and other traditional breakfast fares. It’s served family style, and as mentioned is basically all-you-can-eat.
As a reminder, Royal Table takes 2 Dining credits for breakfast and dinner, so plan accordingly.
On the list because: If you have children, this is an experience they won’t forget. Dining in the castle is an atmosphere that can’t be matched. It’s also a character dining experience, which adds to the touch.
Tip for Cinderella’s Royal Table: You need to book this very, very early. Typically for an early-morning reservation, you’ll need to get up as soon as Disney World opens to book your reservation. Try to book it 180 days out from when your trip begins. The best time is about an hour before the park opens. Then you can eat and be in perfect position to do all of fantasyland in the first hour!
More of our favorite Walt Disney World Restaurants
There are many more restaurants to choose from, and honestly it’s impossible to choose just five. We invite you to take a look at our Disney Dining section, and take a look at many of our other favorites! We also always recommend the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. This book gives great details on all the Disney restaurants!