There are so many dining options to choose from within the Walt Disney World Resort Complex! They have everything from casual to fine dining, from ice cream shops and hot dog stands, to fine restaurants serving steak and seafood. Many of these great restaurants are contained inside the theme parks, however, there are also many fabulous dining options outside the theme parks, at the area resorts/hotels, Downtown Disney, and Disney’s Boardwalk. You will find many types of cuisine available, and are sure to find something great to fill your appetite. There are also several dining experiences to choose from; casual dining, quick service dining, fine dining, as well as dinner shows and character dining, which is great fun for the kids.
As an overview, some of the restaurants inside the Magic Kingdom include Cinderella’s Royal Table, El Pirata yel Perico Restaurant, and the Pinocchio Village Haus, as well as Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and Main Street Bakery. Animal Kingdom boasts some great restaurants as well, including Yak & Yeti Asian restaurant, Tusker House Restaurant, and the ‘wildly’ popular, jungle-themed Rainforest Café. (Check out our Spotlight article on the Rainforest Cafe.) Some of the great restaurants inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios include The Hollywood Brown Derby, Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano, and the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, which is modeled after 1950s-era drive-ins. The Sci-Fi shows sci-fi movies while you dine in convertible car-styled tables. Epcot has many restaurants also, and since they also have the World Showcase area, which is a collection of pavilions that showcase 11 different countries, the restaurants are representative of these countries as well. So, you can ‘eat your way around the world’ and try several different cuisines. Try the Biergarten Restaurant for German fare, Bistro de Paris for French cuisine, Nine Dragons Restaurant for Chinese, Restaurant Marrakesh for Mediterranean, and many more!
You can find Character dining options at several locations throughout the parks and the resorts. Some of the restaurants offering character dining are Cape May Café, 1900 Park Fare, Chef Mickey’s, and The Crystal Palace. Disney also offers a few dinner shows. These include Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Show at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Mickey’s Backyard BBQ at Fort Wilderness Resort, and Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, also at Fort Wilderness Resort.
All of the local Disney resort hotels offer dining options. Some of these fabulous options include The Wave…of American Flavors and California Grill, both located at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort is home to Cabana Bar & Beach Club, the award-winning Todd English’s bluezoo, and Shula’s Steak House. Shula’s Steak House is the restaurant of the famed football coach, and is decorated with photos and memorabilia from Shula’s 1972 undefeated Miami Dolphins team.
Downtown Disney West Side showcases top-notch restaurants, including Wolfgang Puck Café, House of Blues Restaurant, and Bongos Cuban Café, which was created by Gloria Estefan herself. The West Side also features the new Paradiso 37, Taste of the Americas, which features nightly entertainment and an extensive tequila bar, as well as the famous Planet Hollywood. (See our spotlight article for more info.) Downtown Disney Marketplace features several excellent dining options also, including waterfront Italian dining at Portobello, Rainforest Café, Fulton’s Crab House, and the dinosaur-themed T-Rex, a Prehistoric Family Adventure. (See our spotlight article for more info.) NOTE: Admission to Downtown Disney is FREE, although some clubs may require a cover fee.
I could go on and on and on with the dining options available in and around the Disney resort area. Be sure to try and sample as many of the spectacular dining experiences as you can; with all the options, there is something for everyone! Bon Appétit!