Besides the thrill of Walt Disney World’s rides and attractions, lively parades, entertaining stage shows, spectacular fireworks displays, and so much more, there is the food. From a bag or box of freshly popped popcorn to an elegant sit down dinner, the food at Disney World will satisfy any appetite, no matter how picky and eater you are. For the purposes of this article, I am going to highlight those unique, delectable dishes that will take your taste buds to a whole new level of deliciousness. The buffet dining choices are fantastic, but let’s take a quick tour of those great dining pleasures found at the Magic Kingdom that can stand alone.
10. The Friar’s Nook — Fantasyland — This counter service outdoor venue serves one of my favorite macaroni and cheese dishes. It is the post roast macaroni and cheese—so yummy. The very cheesy mac & cheese is filled with shredded cheese plus melted cheese sauce, and topped with tender, juicy pot roast that almost melts in your mouth. One serving on this mouthwatering entrée is almost enough for two people to enjoy. It’s a big meal in a small container.
9. Sleepy Hollow — Liberty Square — Located near the Hall of Presidents, this colonial style outdoor eatery offers one of the most unique sweet treats I have ever had. It is a chocolate hazelnut spread and fresh fruit waffle sandwich. It is filled with the hazelnut spread, fresh strawberries, and slices of a sweet, ripe banana. I can taste it as I am writing about it. Also, if you are hungry for something a bit more salty, try the ham and cheese omelet waffle sandwich (served for breakfast only). Both of these dishes will wake up your taste buds.
8. Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café — Tomorrowland — Step right into this really cool counter service restaurant, which includes three separate bays which offer specialized menus. My favorite dish here is the ½ Rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans. The chicken is juicy and tender, and the potatoes and green beans are a refreshing change from chips or French fries. While you eat, you can enjoy the music and comedy of Sonny Eclipse, the animatronic alien lounge singer. After you eat this meal, you’ll want to let your food settle while enjoying the show.
7. Gaston’s Tavern — Fantasyland — When you think of Disney’s classic film “Beauty and the Beast”, and Gaston, the brawny villain who tries to woo Belle, this is where you may find him. The furnishings and atmosphere of this small, indoor tavern will delight and give you the impression that Gaston picked everything out himself, including the menu. The best dish here is the tavern beef stew, made up of beef, potatoes, carrots, caramelized onions, and scallions, served with a large baguette. It is the best beef stew in the whole world, Walt Disney World, that is, and if you’re lucky, Gaston might show up and let you have your picture made with him.
6. Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Café — Frontierland — This “old west” themed counter service restaurant has a brand new menu, which is now more along the lines of the “old southwest”. Once you enter Pecos Bill’s, you are transported back in time to the days when cowboys ruled the west and the southwest, just this side of the Mexican border. The menu includes fajitas, burritos, rice bowls, and soups. If you want to indulge in a truly southwestern meal, try the fajita platter, chicken or beef, which includes black beans, cilantro rice, and a warm stack of tortillas. Take a quick trip to the “fixin’s bar”, where you can embellish your meal with toppings, such as roasted corn, guacamole, salsa, shredded cheese, and more. This is the ideal restaurant to get a taste of “old west meets southwest” cuisine.
5. The Plaza Restaurant — Main Street — Take a step back in time and into this small, charming turn of the century Victorian style full service restaurant. It is located next to the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and has the same sort of atmosphere of the old-fashioned eateries of that time period. The menu offers specialty sandwiches, soups, salads, and luscious desserts. The best choice here, in my opinion, is the Plaza Club Sandwich, which is served with tasty homemade chips. Layers of savory smoked ham, tender turkey, and crispy bacon on a toasted sourdough bread, and topped with mayonnaise and tomatoes make this a super scrumptious sandwich. I’ve had club sandwiches before, but the Plaza Club Sandwich has become my favorite.
4. Tony’s Town Square — Main Street — If you’re like most Disney Fanatics, you are familiar with the classic Disney film, Lady and the Tramp. One of my favorite scenes from that film is the one where Lady and Tramp are being serenaded by Tony outside of his Italian restaurant while they enjoy sharing a plate of spaghetti and meatballs. It is such a lovely, romantic scene, but it also, at least in my case, creates a huge craving for spaghetti and meatballs. At Tony’s Town Square restaurant, a full service Italian bistro, you can satisfy your craving for a real Italian meal, and the most popular dish is spaghetti and meatballs with marinara sauce. The spaghetti is cooked to a perfect consistency, the meatballs and marinara sauce are filled with savory Italian spices, and the large piece of toasted bread sprinkled with cheese is why I highly recommend this very popular Italian restaurant.
3. Columbia Harbor House — Liberty Square — Picture a small, cozy eatery in a quaint, coastal fishing village around the turn of the century. This is the theme of this counter service restaurant and is highlighted with wood floors, heavy wood furniture, and is filled with maritime artifacts and photos of impressive sailing vessels. Look around and you will find a ship’s steering wheel, a whaling harpoon, fishing nets, a huge map of the globe, and much more. The atmosphere is fantastic, and the food is a seafood lover’s delight. My favorite seafood dish here is the grilled salmon with couscous and steamed fresh broccoli. The salmon is tender and flaky, while the couscous and steamed fresh broccoli are hot and cooked to perfection. The atmosphere and the food will make this a meal to remember.
2. Be Our Guest Restaurant — Fantasyland —The classic Disney film, Beauty and the Beast is the inspiration for this uniquely and ornately designed restaurant, located inside Beast’s Castle. The décor and atmosphere, including a hall lined with knights of armor, beautiful paintings, brilliant chandeliers, and life-sized statues of Belle and the Beast are all created to make your dining experience here unforgettable. The dish I would like to highlight here is from the dinner menu. It is the French inspired layered Ratatouille. The version here consists of oven baked zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes, and caramelized onions, sliced and layered with quinoa (whole grain) served with a bell pepper sauce. It is rich, succulent, and overflowing with flavor. The atmosphere and the outstanding menu will keep me coming back to this restaurant for years to come.
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1. Cinderella’s Royal Table — Fantasyland — What could be more magical than dining in the Great Hall of Cinderella’s Castle and enjoying a feast fit for a King? Not only do you get to meet Cinderella and get your photo with her, but all the other Disney Princesses stop by each table for a quick visit and photo. After climbing a spiral staircase, you find yourself on the threshold of one of the most stunningly gorgeous Royal dining halls in the world. It is immense and filled with ornate furnishings, huge, sparkling chandeliers, colorful flags from different nations, decorative murals, and beautifully painted stained glass windows. The room is filled with light coming from the oversized windows where you can gaze upon Fantasyland during the day, and enjoy the Fireworks show at night. Okay, my pick of the number one dish of the Magic Kingdom Park is the steak and shrimp dinner—grilled beef tenderloin and roasted shrimp with Heirloom tomatoes, Gouda mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, and caramelized onions, oh so yummy! This signature cuisine along with the sensational Royal dining hall and Disney Princess visits make this dining experience is definitely a wish come true.
When you visit Walt Disney World, dining is a part of your experience, so try something different and unique. I have not only based my picks on my own opinion but have taken other guest reviews into consideration before picking these ten. We all have different tastes and food preferences, but I don’t think anyone would disagree with most of the choices listed here. I recommend trying as many different dishes as you can while at Disney World. Most of the places I chose are counter service, but delicious dishes can be found all around the Magic Kingdom, from outdoor kiosks to fine dining restaurants. Sometimes you may find food you don’t like, and other times you will discover a new dish that surprises you, and as the saying goes, You won’t know until you try it!
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!
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