Each time I go to Disney World, I'm reminded how much I love the food. The best part about eating at Disney is the fact that you can balance all the extra calories with the insane amount of walking you'll do. And sweating.
Today, I'm sharing a few of my favorites with you! Perhaps this will help you make an educated decision when your stomach starts growling. ;)
Sit Down Restaurants
- Ohana - The Polynesian Resort hosts this family-style dining experience. In the style of a Brazilian steakhouse, endless meats and fixin's are brought to your table. And I mean endless. Between my husband and brother in law, dudes who can shovel it away, they definitely eat their money's worth. At around $45 per person, it's more expensive that any restaurant I'd ever go to here at home. Even though I struggle to eat small portions of each course, it's still work the experience to me. This is my favorite Disney restaurant, hands down! Reservations are absolutely necessary!
- Be Our Guest (MAGIC KINGDOM) - I'm not a huge fan of this place, but if you're a Beauty and the Beast lover, you should try to add it to your reservations list. And a reservation is a MUST. You will not get to eat here by walking and asking for a table. Heck, you can't even walk in the building without a reservation. We've only been for breakfast. It was $20 per person and I felt the portions were small and too carb-y. Still, getting to walk around and see the ballroom, the Rose, and other B&B highlights, it was a fun time. Going at breakfast meant we got to enter the park before everyone else, but it also meant we didn't get to try the Grey Stuff. (I don't know if it's delicious!)
- Liberty Tree Tavern (MAGIC KINGDOM) - Another favorite option! I thought the portions and prices were some of the best in the parks. I LOVE thanksgiving food, so that's exactly what I ordered. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, soup, they have it all. Plus, they'll make a big announcement for your party when your table is ready. Extremely well-themed restaurant.
- Garden Grill (EPCOT) - This is like Ohana in that it's a sit-down buffet. They will bring you AS MUCH FOOD AS YOU WANT....and then some! Everything is family style, so you'll have to share with those at your table, but don't be shy in asking for seconds...or thirds. It's about the same price as Ohana, but again, you literally could sit there and eat until they shut the place down. (ps- I don't recommend that. It's a long walk back to the car!) Chip and Dale are joined by Farmer Mickey and Pluto at this rotating restaurant. The last time we dined there, they came to our table about 5 times each. Plenty of photo ops, especially for kids! I highly recommend saving room for their dessert, a shortcake with berries and whipped cream. HOLY MOLY!
Counter Service Restaurants
- Yak and Yeti - This is my favorite spot in Animal Kingdom. There is an attached sit-down restaurant, but you can get smaller portions of some of their menu items at the stand outside. I love the fried rice, which is a small Chinese food box PACKED with rice and veggies/chicken/etc. If you have a large dinner planned that evening, stop by and split one of their lunch dishes with a friend.
- Cosmic Ray's - Go ahead, Disney people, laugh at me. I LOVE Cosmic Ray's. This cheesy hamburger joint in the middle of Magic Kingdom is not much to write home about, but you can walk away full. There is a large toppings bar (lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and other fixin's) which you can add to your sandwich and literally double its size. However, I'm not a huge fan of trough-style condiments, so I usually only add toppings after a Cast Member has cleaned and replenished everything. Haha! Don't miss the puppet show! It takes me back to 1990 at Chuck E Cheese!
- World Showcase in EPCOT - So, this is several dozen spots rolled into one. Each pavilion in EPCOT's World Showcase has food from their respective country. Want Japanese food? Got it. Moroccan dessert? Yup! German pretzels? Yes, please! You have an endless list of choices. Bonus if you're there during the Food and Wine Festival or Christmas...a lot more snack stands open up!
- Las Glaces in France (EPCOT) - THE BEST ice cream on Disney property.
- La Patisserie in France (EPCOT) - Literally right next door to the ice cream spot, this place is pastry heaven. You could eat lunch here, but my favorite item to highlight is the Napoleon. Our normal vacation quota is 3 per person. The macarons are also to die for.
- Dole Whip - You will not find this just anywhere. Go to Magic Kingdom, take a left at the castle, and about 3 minutes later, you'll run into Aloha Isle behind the Aladdin ride. This is a pineapple soft serve, but they also have it in float form. I'm not alone in saying this is a MUST when it comes to Disney World treats.
There are many more places to eat at the parks. I would keep you here for days if I talked in depth about all of them. I haven't even been to all of them!
In planning your vacation, pick one or two sit-down experiences you want to have and add those to your reservations list. I cannot stress the importance of making reservations! I've seen far too many guests get frustrated because they can't find anywhere to eat. Planning is everything! The counter service restaurants don't require a reservation, so those will be good filler for the days you don't want to spend a lot of dough. As always, Disney lets you bring in basically whatever food you'd like (no alcohol or coolers!), but you have to tote it around with you all day.
If you're planning a Disney vacation, I would LOVE to hear some of your questions! Leave one or two...or seven in the comments below and I'll do what I can do add those topics to this series.
If you're just getting started, read this! Thanks for stopping by!!