While it’s the rides that make me eager to book my next Walt Disney World vacation, it’s the dining experiences that keep me coming back year after year. While growing up, my family was always on a tight schedule which meant we didn’t often enjoy the sit-down venues that the parks have to offer. As I’ve grown older and started taking my own family to the Happiest Place on Earth, I’ve made it a point to spend more time indulging in the one-of-a-kind dining experiences only Disney could offer. Here are all the dining experiences Disney Fanatics should have (and some of my personal favorites!)
1. The Crystal Palace – Magic Kingdom
At the forefront of Adventure land, nestled off Main Street U.S.A. is the Crystal Palace – a buffet with real character! My family and I have always had breakfast here and it’s become a staple on the majority of our vacations. They offer a buffet, which of course, is delicious and while you eat, you get to get up close with the pals of 100 Acre Woods! As someone who loves Winnie the Pooh, it’s such a treat to be able to see them in a relaxed and beautiful environment like the Crystal Palace.
2. Cinderella’s Royal Table – Magic Kingdom
I was fortunate enough to dine at this exclusive restaurant for the first time three years ago and have loved it ever since. I was practically giddy walking up into Cinderella’s Castle! If you’re obsessed with Disney Princesses like I am, then this opportunity to dine with Snow White, Jasmine, Princess Aurora, Cinderella and Ariel is the meal for you! I recommend wearing a tiara to feel like true royalty while you dine. The food is absolutely delicious, unique and Instagram-worthy!
3. The Boathouse – Disney Springs
I’ll admit that growing up, my family and I often skipped over Disney Springs in the spirit of spending more time on rides, but that’s the last thing you should do. Disney Springs offers so many unique dining experiences, including the Boathouse, that if you don’t go, you’re really missing out. When we went a few years ago, we were lucky enough to sit outside on the deck with a stunning view of the water and even a chance to check out the Vintage Amphicar and Italian Taxi Tours pass by! Inside, there’s live music, exciting crowds and the most decadent seafood you’ll ever it. I give this restaurant two Mickey-shaped thumbs up!
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4. Pinocchio Village Haus – Magic Kingdom
I know it may seem weird to list an ordinary counter service eatery on the list of great dining experiences, but trust me, it’s one of the best quick dining services in Magic Kingdom. While the food is good, and the service is quick, what really makes this place unique is that you have the chance to snag a seat by the giant window that overlooks the loading zone of It’s a Small World. Here, you can wave to guests as you chomp down on your pizza as you watch them float off into another universe. Personally, I’ve always loved the opportunity to do that. It makes this quick and affordable dining service stand out from the others because it can blend two different experiences. Plus, any young children in your family think it’s the coolest thing ever!
5. Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant – Hollywood Studios
I think this is one of the more unique dining experiences Walt Disney World has to offer because it transports guests back to the cheesy, sci-fi movies of the 1950’s. You and your guests will be loaded into a car-shaped booth while grainy, black and white sci-fi movies play in the background. It feels like a night out at the drive-in. The food is especially tasty and I recommend ordering their famous milkshakes!
6. Sleepy Hollow – Magic Kingdom
On your way to Adventureland, it can be hard to take notice of the small eatery that sells the best homemade waffles you’ll ever eat. Waffles are notoriously delicious in Walt Disney World but what makes this experience so unique is how many varieties of waffles you can order. Whether you’re in the mood for a savory sandwich or a sweet Nutella treat, all of their selections will be sure to tickle your taste buds!
7. Victoria and Albert’s – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
While this may not be the most affordable dining option you’ll run into, it’s one you absolutely must have. Victoria & Albert’s is a Five Diamond award recipient since 2000 and offers an unbelievably decadent 10-course dining experience. This restaurant serves up the ultimate luxury.
These are just a few of my own personal favorites, but anywhere you and your family choose to dine is going to be a wonderful experience. Walt Disney World prides themselves on making each restaurant uniquely themed and the food – well, is there anything in the world that compares to how scrumptious the selections are? You really are part of their world when you’re dining in Walt Disney World!