The above are full-service restaurants, and I HIGHLY recommend getting reservations (they call it "priority seating") ahead of time (407 939 3463). This would require you to plan ahead what park you are going to on what day. My family likes to plan one "nice" meal per day, per park, and "fast food" the rest...
Outside the Parks we like Chevy's mexican on Vineland in Lake Buena Vista
1. Food at the parks is an experience. The quality varies, and I believe it is due to the fact that there are a gazillion people there, daily. Planning ahead helps.
2. If money is a factor, but you want to try one of the priority seating restaurants, perhaps have lunch instead of dinner there.
3. EPCOT has terrific dining in the World Showcase and not eating at some of those places is like showing up at prom without a date. We love to make time there.
4. The moderate and high-end resorts actually have some decent meals too, and are very empty during the day and, sometimes, quite empty on weekend nights.
5. Sometimes the experience outshines the mediocre food. For example, the Sci-Fi Drive in at the Studios is fun, but the food is only so-so...and expensive.
6. Personal Faves:
Morocco--this is one of the few places you can walk into without priority seating. Americans are not familiar with the cuisine and with the chef once working for the crowned prince of the country, the food is a bit more authentic then one would expect. At night, the evening's entertainment is also quite good. It is in EPCOT center.
Brown Derby--hugely overpriced, but they really have made an effort to recreate the menu from the original restaurant and have succeeded in a flavorful meal. It is in the Studios.
Prime Time Cafe--comfort food is the main dish here, but you are buying the atmosphere. The idea is that you are in a 50's sitcom and the waiters and waitresses are your cousins, aunts and such. Some times they are truly on task, sometimes not. But it is way fun.
Harry Ramsden's--probably Britain's only really good contribution to world cuisine, this fish and chips place is define and surprisingly fresh. Being married into a family of Britons, we love this quick service counter joint and usually treat ourselves to lunch here and eat in the shade of the nearby patio.
Magic Kingdom--this will bother my fellow MCers, but I'm such a foodie, I'll leave this park to go eat at EPCOT. It's just the way I am. However, if we are having a good time, we'll just munch piecemeal and avoid the sitdown eateries. The only place I found worthwhile was the Noodle Station near Tomorrowland. However, they massively weird hours.
Flame Tree BBQ--the aromas from this place are excellent and tempting, and good for a fast meal. However, I cheat here. I go to the nearby Animal Kingdom Lodge and try either Boma or Jiko. One is more formal, but the other is a buffet. A buffet that has wonderful dishes from Africa to try, but if you are not adventurous, they have normal staples for both you and the kiddies.
Yak and Yeti---opened AFTER my last visit, but I've heard good things.
Tea Company---there is a small vending booth for tea that tends to be a highlight for myself when I go to Animal Kingdom. Okay, not exactly FOOD per se, but the variations of tea makes this something novel and rewarding for those looking something beyond the standards in the restaurants.
Okay, okay, I admit it, I'm a picky eater and have a high palate. However, like when I am in the MK, we usually just forgo meals and just munch the day away with small services on popcorn and such. It is just easier for us.
I can hone down this recommendation with more information. Do you have smaller kids? Price range? Allergies? If you would like to PM, I can recommend a website that also has a majority of the menus for you to look at prior and some price ranges!
I would recommend the California Grill in the Contemporary, Ohana at the Polynesian, and/or Whispering Canyon Cafe in the Wilderness Lodge.
There are so many recommendations, but the California Grill is one of the best meals I've had on property, Ohana is probably my favorite all you care to eat meal, and the Whispering Canyon is such a unique and fun experience...
Our family has liked everything we've tried in MK. Our favorite restaurant being Liberty Tree Tavern. That the one request my father always makes for a WDW trip.
For Epcot...the only thing I've really like is that cafeteria style place where Soarin is. Can't ever remember the name. They have a GREAT turkey sandwich with chipotle mayo that I dream about.
We love the Sci Fi drive in in MGM.....erm...DHS. But, the food isn't that great. The atmosphere is awesome...and totally worth the bad food. The 50's diner..what's the name? Well, it has our vote for good food. We kinda missed out on the atmosphere...it was really busy when we went there. But, the food was great. So, word of advice...if you go there..try to catch a less busy time so the waitresses really have time to play their part.
As for AK....yeah, I'm still searching for good food there. I didn't like the Bar b que place AT ALL. And the pizza safari place was icky.
In the MK my family also prefers the Liberty Tree...it's a character meal as well and the last time we ate there it was basically gorge yourself on the food...they served the basics in colonial america type cuisine and once again you are paying for the atmosphere and some characters to drop by and say hello but I recommend there as well as most of the other places already suggested...but I threw my own personally MK favorite seeing as most of the people here seem to ignore some of the restuarants at the MK..
The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
-George S. Patton
We have eaten at the Liberty Tree the last 2 trips, once for dinner and once for lunch. Both times the food was A++. Although, it is currently not a character dining. It will be character dining while they redo Crystal Palace, but once that is complete it will return to non-character dining again (or it is supposed to).
The Castle- hugely overpriced and not that good.
We just ate at Mama Melrose for dinner 2 weeks ago and the food was really good. I would recommend and I would definetly consider going there again.
Brown Derby- I love the food here. Yes, it is a bit overpriced but I never had a bad meal here.
50's Prime Time- good old fashioned home cooked food. Not too expensive and it was fun.
I have never eaten at Sci-Fi. I never got a reservation for this palce. It is on my must do list, for the experience.
Outside the park
I will second Ohana's. If you can get a reservation for this place, definelty go. The food weas fantastic. We had both a breakfast there and a dinner.
Whispering Canyon has good food and is a lot of fun.
My past trip we ate at Morocco, and I did not like it. I thought the couscous was bland, no real flavor.
Coral Reef- IMO, overpriced and the food not that good.
Le Cellier- really good place. Get the soup! the steak was well prepared and they have Canadian beer.
Biergarten- we went there in May and the place has changed. Years ago it would not be on my recommend list, but now I would highly recommend it. Try to get a seating when they have their show/band on. The food was really good, served buffet style with a nice selection.
San Angel Inn- this is our fall back resturaunt. We have been there quite a few times and if we can't decide, we always end up here. The lighting is a bit dim, but the food is always good.
For lunch we usually eat at the food court in the land., They have a nice selection of salads which are amazingly fresh.
Animal Kingdom - the only place I have ever eaten there was quite some time ago- I have no real comments for that park.
Interesting thoughts here, all good. My college age kids travel with us to WDW every summer. We usually eat dinner out together some where "nice". It makes a fun family event! We enjoy the WS options at EPCOT, with France being one of our favorites.
At Hollywood Studios, Prime Time Cafe is our favorite. The food is decent but the experience is awesome fun.
We usually don't eat at Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom for supper because we are usually not there around that timer...
Downtown Disney also has some interesting options like the Irish Pub. And don't overlook some of the options at the Resorts......especially the ESPN at the Boardwalk if your favorite team is playing.
As with all things Disney PLAN ahead to get what you want.
Have a MAGICAL time!!!
Kim author, "Sharing the Magic" Columnist, www.wdwdailynews.com We are proud to be a MiceChat Partner Website!
Been a few years, but La Cellier in Canada (EPCOT) was great and so was Liberty Tree Tavern.
Negative side of things I have to list Ohana. Might have only been the one time, but any chef that partronizes someone with a nut food allergy and serves charcoal as "Polynesian/Hawaiian/etc" cuisine will never see my business again. I walked out after the treatment and seeing the "food" knowing full well what authentic Hawaiian/Polynesian/etc food should look and taste.
Hope you find everything to be great!
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