Dining at Walt Disney World Resort is anything but ordinary. With so many restaurant distinctions to choose from, each sporting its own unique theme and menu offerings, Disney knows no mediocrity. Even when looking at the most casual quick service stops around various parks and resorts you’ll find that many even include some sort of specialty house offering or do up a familiar favorite in a one-of-a-kind way. And let’s not forget about all those extra stellar dining experiences Disney is known for, from character meals to dinner shows, and even private dining exclusives, to name a few. While you’ll find several notable must-do dining endeavors all throughout the parks, resorts, and even at nearby Disney Springs, here’s a sampling of 12 such restaurant experiences you simply must have at Disney World Resort Hotels in particular.
12. Victoria and Albert’s (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa)
Signature dining at this AAA Five Diamond Award-winning restaurant is perhaps one of the most famous must-do experiences fans dream about. To dine elegantly in the stately dining room using their fine Bernardaud china and Sambonet silverware, under a large hand-painted dome and accompanied by a live harpist onsite is an elite epicurean endeavor. But some guests like to take it to the max and make their mealtime here into a once in a lifetime privately hosted royal feast. For this undertaking there’s the Chef’s Table—an intimate table setup for you and a select number of guests, right in the heart of the very kitchen that cultivates such stellar culinary masterpieces.
You’re in for a multi-hour and multi-course experience (approximately three hours and spanning a total of 11 courses) laden with small sampling accompaniments of all kinds, including champagne and other spirits. The chefs and sommelier will see to your every need personally, taking into consideration allergies and any other food specific requests or personalized omissions as well. Another intimate private dining suggestion is to reserve a table within Queen Victoria’s Room. Opportune for couples, this private dining room inspired by those of old-world London and Paris holds just eight people (four parties of two) at a time, in a lavish but comfortably quaint setting where you and your other half will enjoy a specialized chef’s menu and even drink parings.
11. California Grill (Disney’s Contemporary Resort)
It’s food with a view at this signature staple that sits high in the sky, topping the zenith to Disney’s Contemporary Resort. And from this vantage point, breathtaking views of surrounding Seven Seas Lagoon and neighboring Magic Kingdom Park are just the icing on the cake, because the scrumptious award-winning cuisine offered here is enough to soar this restaurant to new heights both figuratively as well as literally. Bountiful boastings on the menu draw on inspirations from the Pacific Coast. And it wouldn’t be a true salute to California wine culture without the profuse collection of over 300 handpicked selections available to you as you dine.
California Grill is a popular pick throughout the entire dinnertime duration, but many guests like to reserve seating in par to the Magic Kingdom’s nighttime spectacular, at which time the inside of the restaurant dims and the music from the show fills the dining room. There are also outside observation decks where you can watch the nighttime magic in an open-air setting. Even better, those who did not dine in accordance to the nighttime spectacular may still access the observation deck with proof of receipt from their earlier meal or reservation proof of their later slated mealtime. While signature dining for dinner is the main attraction here, also note that on Sunday mornings California Grill presents a special Brunch at the Top offering as well—a great option for families with children.