Traveling with a family of different tastes to (attempt to) satisfy isn’t easy. As a result, I’ve learned to book a lot of buffets on our trips to Walt Disney World.  There are a lot of options in this category, but here are our three favorites, in no particular order.

1. 1900 Park Fare

Not only is this dinner with Cinderella and her family very entertaining, but there is a nice variety of food.  Chicken Marsala, sushi and beef strip loin are just a few of your dinning options at this Grand Floridian restaurant.  A variety of salads, desserts and sides round out the menu.  1900 Park Fare also boasts one of the most popular, at least with the Disney nerds, and talented chefs on property, Chef TJ.

Get Park Wise: If at all possible, avoid sitting in the dining room closest to the entrance.  This area gets a lot of foot traffic and can really be distracting during a meal.  This may occasionally mean that your wait time will be a little longer, so you’ll have to weigh that against having someone almost constantly passing your table.

2. Dinner at Boma

I do have to preface this by saying I’ve not yet experienced breakfast at Boma, which I hear and read is supposed to be fantastic.  It’s on our next trip list.  That being said, we really enjoyed Boma after not really caring too much for it on our first venture to the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  We were drawn in for a second dining experience while staying in the Jambo House wing of the hotel.  The smells wafting through the lobby were too yummy to ignore, so we tried and succeeded in getting a same day reservation for dinner.  This buffet is pretty expansive offering authentic fare for more exotic palates while still being appealing for those who aren’t quite as adventurous.  Don’t forget to save room for dessert, as Boma features one of our favorite dessert buffets on property.

ŸGet Park Wise: When making plans to dine at Boma, schedule some extra time to enjoy the gorgeous lobby and savannas at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  Be sure to inquire about the night vision goggles for better viewing of the animals after dark.

3. Breakfast at Chef Mickey’s

I know Chef Mickey’s gets a lot of mixed reviews for dinner, but we love it for breakfast.  It features mostly standard Walt Disney World breakfast fare, which is pretty difficult to ruin.  While the food is good, we really enjoy this meal for a combination of eats and atmosphere.  Playing with classic Disney characters while the monorail whizzes by in the background has really made for some magical moments for our family.

Get Park Wise: If you’re hoping to dine with Mickey and his pals here, be sure to get your reservations as far in advance as possible.  This is a wildly popular meal, and it fills up early.

We all have opinions and favorites at Walt Disney World.  What are your top three buffets?

  • mkcoastie

    Boma is Bliss

  • almandot

    I guess we’re not including the “all you care to enjoy” fare as part of the buffet list? Those two seem to go hand in hand at WDW and my list would be different if it included that.

    I could never include a breakfast on my top list though. It’s all the same everywhere. I’d rather put Biergarten on the list.

    • Nope, just actual buffets on this list. While all buffets at WDW are all-you-care-to-enjoy, not all-you-care-to-enjoy restaurants feature buffets. I’m tucking those away for a future drool-inducing article, promise!

  • Terrytiger

    hands down, Biergarten is MY favorite buffet on property.

    • I like the ambiance at Biergarten, but really don’t like the food. Wish they’d just have a menu and table service instead of a tiny buffet.

      • I remember the food being ok, except for those pretzel rolls and the cucumber salad, which were delish. Those are the main reason we want to go back to Biergarten. 😉

      • stitch1085

        Yes I agree. Biergarten was good but the selections were very limited. Eating the buffet at Animal Kingdom Park and then the next day going to Biergarten I was scratching my head thinking, where’s the rest of it? My friend did enjoy the beer flight though! So sad Germany no longer carriers Rumplemintz.

    • We did Biergarten a few years ago, and I’ve been meaning to give it another go, but we just can’t seem to get back there. We had a nice time.

  • MikeT1975

    Never did a buffet or character breakfast before. Going in May with my wife and son to Crystal Palace for the first time – for Winnie the Pooh, of course. Is it any good? Or just expensive French Toast and Egg Beaters?

    • Funny you should mention the french toast. The kids’ buffet features Pooh’s French Toast, which is actually one of my favorite sweet treats on property. We eat breakfast at Crystal Palace on every trip since we love a pre-park opening breakfast. 🙂 The rest of the offerings are pretty standard, but there are definitely a few gems on the breakfast buffet there. Have fun!

  • Gregg Condon

    Great article. Boma is a for-sure stop on our next visit as it’s the one place we’ve missed on our 3 trips that is the biggest regret.

    1900 Park Fare also sounds pretty awesome.

    • Thanks, Gregg! Hope you enjoy Boma. You should probably add 1900 to your list, too. 🙂

  • tofubeast

    Hmm, I would go with Biergarten, Crystal Palace and Boma.

    I also LOVE the buffet portion of the meal at Akershus (lunch/dinner). I wish there was an option to just eat that rather than having to order a full plated meal.

    • We’ve only done the breakfast at Akershus, and it was pretty standard. We’ll have to try lunch or dinner. Thanks for your list!


    My husband & I went to Boma and what a disapointment. We are both pretty open to different types of food besides bad & that is what we had at Boma. Put it this way after we had the buffet dinner we went to our hotel store and ate since everything else was closed & we were hungry. I will give it this that the desert was great- a pineapple desert. But our service was terrible too- we love disney & I love the Animal Kingdom Lodge but just not for dinner.

    • What a bummer! It’s a good thing that Disney has so many options. We tried The Mara for the first time while visiting friends at Animal Kingdom Lodge last week, and it was pretty good. Maybe that would be an option you could try. They do carry Boma’s delicious Zebra Domes in their coolers. 🙂 Thanks for your input, always happy to hear all experiences.

  • Amy VandenBoogert

    The only buffet I’ve done so far is the Crystal Palace because I love the Pooh characters (especially Tigger). My boyfriend wants to take me to Boma sometime for dinner. I’d like to check out Chef Mickey’s in the future as well as it looks like fun.

    • Hope you get the chance to try Boma and Chef Mickey’s! 9 times out of 10 (completely unscientific…haha!!) they don’t disappoint.

  • longears

    Did Boma for breakfast on our trip last November (11-11-11 for my birthday) and it was the most diverse breakfast buffet I’ve ever seen. All the usual breakfast food and numerous sleections off the lunch/dinner menu. Never had grilled asperagras for breakfast before.

    • We almost tried it for breakfast last week, but we had lunch reservations at 50s Prime Time Cafe in Hollywood Studios. My friend said that if we had breakfast at Boma, we wouldn’t have room for lunch. Haha!! Looking forward to trying it this fall.

  • JiminyCricketFan

    I love Boma. I know schedule it a couple times in my trips to WDW.

    I also love the Crystal Palace. I enjoy it more than Chef Mickeys, which can be a little frantic. Crystal Palace has just the right menu for me, so I love it.

    I also love 1900 Park fare. It is a blast with the characters, and the food is good too.

    So my top three are:

    1) Boma
    2) Crystal Palace
    3) 1900 Park Fare

    • I do agree that Chef Mickey’s can be a little overstimulating at times, but then so can most of Disney, right. 😉 Great list!

  • jcruise86

    Thanks, Jessica, and everyone who left comments!
    I’d love a column on “Top Ten Restaurants at WDW for Healthy Options”!
    If you’re going to WDW on a date or honeymoon, don’t count out character meals. I took my wife when we were a new couple and the characters seemed to love interacting with two adults. They were surprisingly fun for two people in their mid to late 30s.

    Looking forward to Boma!

    • jcruise86

      (The character meal we enjoyed was at the Crystal Palace.)

    • You’re welcome! I love reading all the lists and comments, too.

      I may just have to head to the parks to do a little field research, taste testing and photography for that article. 😉 I’ll see what I can do for ya! And, yes, character meals can be just as fun for “grown-ups.”

      Thanks for your comment, too!