Disney strives to make sure the magic isn’t just limited to their characters and rides. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, check out these restaurants!
9. Tony’s Town Square
A nod to Lady & the Tramp, Tony’s Town Square on Main Street is an Italian restaurant which – in typical Disney World fashion – makes even waiting for a table an enjoyable experience. Watch Lady & the Tramp with your children on their fireplace tv or watch your children chase bubbles around from the wands of the staff. And while the food here is good (the Butternut Squash Soup is one of the most unique dishes I’ve ever experienced), the big draw for Tony’s Town Square is the location. Grab a table on their porch at the right time and you can enjoy one of the many Magic Kingdom parades on Main Street while you dine. Bonus: The restaurant uses drizzled chocolate on your dessert plate to draw a picture of the legendary spaghetti scene between Lady and the Tramp.
8. Chef Mickey’s
Quite possibly the best restaurant for children in Disney World. Between the buffet offering a wide-range of options for even the pickiest child, the modern, open architecture, the bright, colorful decor, and the characters (of course Mickey Mouse and his pals Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto), Chef Mickey’s might just become more popular with your child than the park itself! Bonus: The monorail runs directly through the center of the Contemporary hotel, Chef Mickey’s is one of the most easily accessible – not to mention quickest – restaurants to visit.
7. Tutto Italia Ristorante
Enjoy a rustic Italian ambiance while dining on exceptional Italian dishes at Tutto Italia Ristorante in the World Showcase of EPCOT. The staff is certain to put a smile on your face with their warm, welcoming disposition (“ciao”, “grazei” and “arrivederchi” fills the air almost as much as the aroma of their fine cuisine does). Grab one of their tables outside and enjoy a wide-range of shows while you eat – from Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro with their flag-waving act to Sergio and his amazing juggling/comedy routine. Bonus: Grab a glass (or two) of Moscato to cap the perfect Italian experience!
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6. Crystal Palace
It’s tough to beat a great view of Cinderella’s castle. It’s especially tough to top if that great view is during the “Celebrate the Magic” show. Yet that’s what the Crystal Palace achieves when their incredible buffet is added to the mix. Throw in all of your favorite characters from the 100 Acre Woods and it is easy to see why the Crystal Palace is a fan favorite. Bonus: Schedule an early morning breakfast to have access to the Magic Kingdom when the crowds are the lowest. Your picture on main street with Cinderella’s castle as the backdrop will be amazing!
5. Victoria & Albert’s
Winner of AAA Five Diamond Award for sixteen years running now, Victoria & Albert’s is not your average Disney restaurant. Any doubt about that is quickly erased by the dress code: men must wear a dinner jacket and dress pants or slacks while women are required to wear dresses or dressy pant suit with a blouse. The dining room includes fresh flowers, candlelight, and exquisite tableware while a harp fills the room with soothing sounds. One of the most sought-after tables in the restaurant is the “Chef’s Table”. Set inside the kitchen, the chef and his culinary team will provide a tour of their facility, explain in depth the items on the menu, cook custom dishes that are not available to other diners, and provides a custom menu of what was ordered to take home as a souvenir. Bonus: A hidden gem in all of Disney World is Queen Victoria’s Room. With just four tables in the room and isolated from the rest of the dining room by frosted-glass doors, your dining experience is sure to be intimate and unique.
4. Hollywood & Vine
The atmosphere may be casual, but the food is anything but! Herb crusted salmon, tender roast beef, and some of the finest dinner rolls you will ever have are but a few of the many choices of this spectacular buffet. The kids corner buffet offering pizza, chicken nuggets, macaroni & cheese, the delectable desserts and pastries, as well as the character meals will make this dining experience a highlight for your children too. Like the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom, make reservations for an early breakfast for some great pre-crowd photo opportunities inside of Hollywood Studios. Bonus: The meal can be a packaged deal with the epic Disney show “Fantasmic” and includes seating in the reserved VIP section!
3. Chef de France
The first thing that will get your attention at Chef de France is the architecture. This place would make Remy smile whisker to whisker. Before your eyes can take it all in though, your ears will be flooded with the sounds of thick French accents all around you. That’s when your nose will discover culinary aromas it has never known before. Just when you think your senses are on overload, your tastebuds will deliver the knockout blow. You don’t know what gourmet is until you’ve had the lobster bisque with a baguette at Chefs de France. Bonus: The food is simply out of this world – it so good, Anton Ego would swallow!
2. Cinderella’s Royal Table
This is Disney at its best. From the moment you enter Cinderella’s castle, the painstaking detail is striking. Look to your left or right and you’re likely to see an armored knight “guarding” the castle. Look up and there is Jaq & Gus running along the stone. Regal flags, scrolls, and crests adorn the castle walls throughout. Make your way up to the dining room and you’ll discover the only thing that can match the decor is the amazing food. Your table will be overflowing with a very large variety to appease whatever it is you have a taste for – and all of it is second-to-none. Bonus: This is a character meal attended by Disney’s most beloved princesses and the dining area is outfitted by imagineers with some remarkable special effects to complete the magic.
1. Be Our Guest
For fans of the Disney classic Beauty & the Beast, dining at Be Our Guest restaurant is the closest you can come to actually stepping into the movie. Cross the gargoyle-guarded bridge to begin one of the most remarkable dining experiences imaginable. As guests pass through the royal entrance, they are invited to choose their own table from among three sections of the castle – enchanting Ballroom, ominous West Wing, or storybook Rose Gallery! Rest assured, the extraordinary detail in each is second to none. With the enchanted rose actually dropping petals in the glass bell jar with the marble base (West Wing), the claw-slashed portrait of the prince magically transforming to the beast as lightning strikes and thunder roars (West Wing), snow beautifully falling outside of the windows (Ballroom), the massive music box with Belle and the Beast dancing atop (Rose Gallery), and a whole lot more, your eyes will be as satisfied as your stomach during your meal. Bonus: Designed to leverage technology – servers will locate the table you’ve chosen via the Magic Band on your wrist!
What is your favorite Disney restaurant? Did we miss a hidden gem that should have made the list?
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