At Walt Disney World there are so many unique and entertaining places to dine. Your choices range from a quick snack to a memorable breakfast, lunch, or dinner with some of your favorite Disney characters. There is no better place to enjoy a meal than one at the “most magical place on earth”. Here is a list of my favorites, described by theme, menu and prices.
1. Columbia Harbour House—Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom—(Lunch, Dinner)–The nautical theme and seafaring accessories of this two-story counter service dining establishment takes you back to a time when ship captains and their crew would pull into port and visit the local diner for a delicious hot meal and refreshing beverages. Columbia Harbour House is decorated with ships’ steering wheels, pictures of sailing vessels on the walls, lighting resembling old fashioned lamps, all sorts of sailing ships’ tools and equipment all around, and there is plenty of seating.
The menu: fried fish, shrimp, or chicken baskets, lobster rolls, grilled salmon, clam chowder in a bread bowl, vegetarian chili, fries, etc., and for the kids; chicken nuggets, macaroni & cheese and more. For your sweet tooth, try a seasonal cobbler, chocolate cake, or yogurt. Assorted fountain drinks are also available. The average cost for an adult meal is between $12 and $15; kids meals are around $6.
2. Boatwright’s Dining Hall—Disney’s Port Orleans-Riverside Resort—(Dinner)—Hungry for some southern hospitality and mouth watering New Orleans style Cajun cooking? Well, Boatwright’s Dining Hall can satisfy those hunger pangs with a menu of Louisiana Bayou specialties such as: Cajun crawfish bites, gumbo and jambalaya, voodoo chicken, sweet tea-brined pork chops, prime rib, or andouille-crusted catfish, to name a few. For dessert, bananas Foster angel food cake, bread pudding, or pecan pie complete this delectable, southern feast. Boatwright’s is reminiscent of a rustic shipyard warehouse, complete with a skeletal hull of a fishing boat suspended from the ceiling. All around the room and on the walls are shipbuilding tools, saw blades, axes, and more. Salt and pepper shakers can be found in toolboxes on every table. Even though Boatwright’s is a bit pricey ($15 to $30 per adult, kids–$9-$11), it is worth it, and after dinner, take a casual stroll around the beautiful grounds of this picturesque southern style resort, or climb aboard a horse drawn carriage for an after dinner ride around the premises.
3. 50’s Prime Time Café’—Hollywood Studios—(Lunch, Dinner)—The 50’s Prime Time Café’ is a full service restaurant located near Echo Lake at Hollywood Studios. The theme is the family kitchen of the 1950’s, where families would sit around the dining table and enjoy their meal while watching their favorite TV show. The furnishings are all 50’s style, with old-fashioned laminated table tops encased in a chrome frame, and vinyl cushioned chairs. The linoleum checkerboard floors add to the overall theme. Each dining room has a different design with hundreds of articles reminiscent of that “rock n roll” era of America.
The menu is classic American comfort food; for instance, Dad’s stuffed pork chop, Mom’s old-fashioned pot roast, Aunt Liz’s golden fried chicken, Cousin Ann’s traditional meatloaf, to name a few of the delicious choices. For dessert, you can choose from Dad’s brownie sundae or Mom’s favorite chocolate peanut butter layers cake. The milkshakes and root beer or coke floats are so refreshing. Here at the Prime Time Café, the servers not only take your order, bring your food, but also chastise you if you don’t make a “happy plate”! Prices are moderate ($15- $20 per adult, kids—under $10), the 50’s Prime Time Café’ is a true dining experience.
4. Be Our Guest Restaurant—Fantasyland—Magic Kingdom—(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)—Dining at Beast’s Enchanted Castle is a wondrous and unforgettable dining adventure. Join Beast and his other guests for a delicious quick service breakfast or lunch, and a full service sit-down dinner. There are three elaborately decorated dining rooms straight out of the movie. There is the Grand Ballroom, the West Wing, and the Castle Gallery, each with its own unique and elegant theme; murals on the walls, stained glass windows, and furniture fit for royalty. Enjoy the convenience of a quick-service breakfast or lunch, or an elaborate sit-down dinner with special appearances by the Beast and Belle.
Offerings on the menu include: Breakfast—assorted meats and cheese, open faced bacon and egg sandwich, vegetable quiche; Lunch—prime chuck roast beef or carved turkey sandwich, French onion soup; Dinner—grilled strip steak, sautéed shrimp and scallops, braised port, just to name a few of the delectable choices. There are assorted beverages, and desserts like lemon meringue cupcake, chocolate cream puff, or the grey stuff (chocolate shell, cookie crème topped with Lumiere’s grey stuff), plus several other yummy sweet treats. The prices range from $15 to $30 per adult, kids-$8-$10) depending on whether you are dining at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
5. Pizzafari—Animal Kingdom—Discovery Island—(Lunch, Dinner)–Pizzafari is a quick service restaurant with six beautifully decorated dining rooms, all celebrating the beauty of the continents of Africa and Asia with colorful murals on the walls depicting every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and plant life found in these two extraordinary countries. You can look all around and everywhere you look the flamboyant paintings give you the impression that you are eating in the midst of an African jungle. The menu consists of pizzas, meatball subs, heart of romaine salad, baked pasta Bolognese, or breadsticks. For you sweet tooth, try a chocolate mousse or tiramisu. The prices are reasonable: $10-$15 per adult,kids-$6.
6. Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe’—Magic Kingdom—Tomorrowland—(Lunch, Dinner)—Cosmic Ray’s is a counter service restaurant located in Tomorrowland, across from the Tomorrowland Speedway. The menu consists of mostly American food: ½ rotisserie chicken with vegetables, chicken nuggets, grilled chicken sandwich, 1/3 lb. Angus bacon cheeseburger, veggie burger, BBQ pork sandwich, hot dog, and more. Add fries or green beans to your meal, and for dessert enjoy triple-chocolate cake, carrot cake, or chocolate gelato; very yummy. There is a wide variety of beverages. There is plenty of seating inside, where you can enjoy a performance by the out-of-this-world Sonny Eclipse and his band (audio-animatronic aliens). There is also seating outside where you can dine and watch the people passing by. Prices range from $8-$11, with kids’ meals averaging $6.
7. The Crystal Palace—Magic Kingdom—Main Street—( Character Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)—The Crystal Palace is another very popular restaurant which has been a part of Walt Disney World since its opening in 1971. Resembling Victorian greenhouses of the late 1800’s, the Crystal Palace is an enchanting place to enjoy a magnificent buffet breaskfast, lunch, or dinner, in the company of the inhabitants of the 100-acre wood, Tigger, Piglet, Winnie the Pooh, and Eeyore.
Some of the delectable choices are: Breakfast: scrambled egg and omelet station, fresh fruit, variety of potatoes and comfort food; Lunch: salads, freshly made soups, carved meats, fresh vegetables, pastas, freshly-baked breads; Dinner: salads, carved meats, spice-boiled shrimp, freshly-prepared pastas, chicken, beef, fish, and vegetable creations, home-made sweets and ice cream. Dining at this special character “Palace” is a truly whimsical experience for the whole family. The cost of the buffet is not cheap, ranging from $15 – $60 for adults, depending on which buffet you choose, slightly less for kids.
8. The Boathouse—Disney Springs—The Landing—(Lunch, Dinner)—The Boathouse Restaurant with its nautical marina theme is dining at its finest and is located in Disney Springs right on the waterfront. Follow the lighthouse to this marina themed restaurant for a fantastic experience. The furnishings and surroundings are all typical of a boathouse marina and gift shop, including an actual boat you can sit in while you dine. Enjoy a scrumptious meal at the restaurant, then relax by taking a ride on an Amphicar, a vintage vehicle which can travel on land and water. Sit back and take in the remarkable view of Disney Springs. There are other waterfront activities to choose from. The menu offers American, Seafood, and Steakhouse cuisine, and even though the prices here are quite pricy, the food is divine and a heavenly delight for any appetite.
Here are a few of the menu specialties: oysters on the half shell, coconut Baja jumbo shrimp, premium salads, filet mignon, steamed whole Maine lobster, New York strip, Porterhouse steak for two, and for a delight dessert, try Key lime pie in a mason jar, whiskey caramel cornbread cake, and the highly anticipated Gibsons S’mores Baked Alaska (for 4) which is outstanding. The Boathouse Restaurant is not just about the meal; it’s about the whole experience of a meal and entertainment on the waterfront.
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9. Chef Mickey’s Fun Time Buffet—Disney’s Contemporary Resort—(Character Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)—What better way to spend part of your morning, afternoon, or evening enjoying a fantabulous breakfast, lunch, or dinner in the company of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. The Contemporary Resort is one of the original Disney Resorts and is the perfect setting for this very special character buffet. As you dine on delicious food and beverages, you can interact with Mickey and his pals while the monorail slowly glides through on its way to the Magic Kingdom. Now for some buffet choices:
Breakfast: cheesy potato casserole, buttermilk biscuits and country gravy, Mickey waffles, ham and cheese frittata, assorted Danish, yogurt, etc.; Lunch: seasonal salads, peel-n-eat shrimp, BBQ ribs, baked salmon, carved ham , mini cupcakes, cookies, build-your-own sundaes, and more; Dinner: in addition to the lunch items, dinner includes specialties such as, roasted vegetables with pasta, mango barbeque pork ribs, oven-roasted lemon pepper chicken, spice rubbed sirloin of beef, and so much more. These delectable buffets are even more pleasurable because of the spectacular surroundings and Chef Mickey and friends.
10. San Angel Inn Restaurante—Epcot—World Showcase—Mexico Pavilion—(Lunch, Dinner)—Once you enter this World Showcase Pavilion, you are immediately transported into a typical outdoor marketplace plaza in an enchanting country called Mexico. Through the magic of Disney Imagineering, this nighttime scene comes to life with all sorts of vendor carts filled with authentic Mexican souvenirs, including sombreros, clothing, sandals, toys, collectible statuettes, jewelry, mugs, and so much more. In the back of the marketplace is the San Angel Inn Restaurante, where you can enjoy an authentic lunch or dinner while dining under the twinkling stars with a background view of an ancient Aztec Pyramid. There are lanterns on every table which enhances the experience of dining by twilight.
The lunch and dinner menus are filled with traditional Mexican dishes, with specialties like Sopa Azteca (traditional tortilla soup) and Polla a las Rajas (grilled chicken breast served with red peppers and onion cream sauce), just to name a few. For your sweet tooth, how about Crema Bavaria (creamy Bavarian mousse served with mixed berries), Helado de Dulce de Leche (caramel ice cream), or Pastel de Queso con Cajeta (cheesecake with caramel sauce). If you are in the mood for authentic Mexican food in a truly Mexican atmosphere, this is the dining choice for you.
There are so many dining choices at Walt Disney World, and whether you choose a quick snack, counter service, or a full sit down or character meal, you won’t be disappointed. Every dining establishment comes with its own unique menu, themed surroundings, and excellent service. These are just a few of my favorites.
Have fun and enjoy choosing yours.