Magical experiences are easy to come by at Walt Disney World and that certainly includes dining at one of their award-winning, signature restaurants. There are quite a number of them that set the stage for an intimate meal, providing their patrons with top-notch service, an ambient atmosphere and artistically-inspired, delicious dishes. Looking for the perfect date night destination certain to wow your loved one? Take a gander at our top ten fine-dining options at Walt Disney World to see if one tickles your fancy. It’s no surprise that dining at one of these locations is a surefire way to add some pixie-dusted romance to your night and you’ll be savoring the memories for years to come!
As the restaurant my now-husband took me to the night he proposed, I have a strong affinity for this dining spot and can confidently recommend it as a romantic dinner destination. With upper-level views that have patrons admiring the gorgeous grounds of the Grand Floridian Resort while they dine and a menu that is chocked full of remarkably delicious Mediterranean-inspired fare, giving this restaurant a go is a no-brainer. The quiet atmosphere strikes the perfect balance between comfort and sophistication, enabling guests to feel relaxed in a room that comes with wonderfully cushioned dining chairs and an overall warm, inviting space. There isn’t anything about this restaurant that feels “stuffy” and warrants appeal to families with children just as much as the romantic couple. On the menu you’ll find food like braised veal shank, pan-roasted chicken and oak-grilled filet of beef. The fresh, seasonal fish selection always pleases MY palate, especially when it comes served over a bed of tantalizingly creamy risotto or couscous.
9. Le Cellier Steakhouse
Located in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion, this restaurant has been a crowd-favorite and one of the most sought after reservations inside EPCOT (and all of Walt Disney World, for that matter). Having lunch seating sets this restaurant apart from most other fine-dining locations, though the lunch and dinner menu reflect both the same food options and price point. Although you can expect to find red-meat and lots of it, there are other specialties here, like seafood and pasta, revealing that their selections hold vast appeal to all different tastes. It’s a toss-up on the most popular entree here as they are all mighty tasty, but the Poutine Fries side dish and the Maple Crème Brulee dessert are a slam dunk.
8. California Grill
People initially book their reservation here for the phenomenal view of Cinderella Castle (and the nightly fireworks show), and return again and again for the outstanding cuisine. Located on the top floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, California Grill boasts a menu full of Pacific Coast flavors and their dishes reflect true masterpieces. Here, you’ll find unique selections like their Chili-Coffee Rubbed Pork Flatbread for an appetizer, an outstanding selection of cheese plates, sushi like you’ve never had it before, and carefully crafted entrees ranging from Kabocha Squash and Mascarpone Ravioli to Seared Jumbo Scallops to Bison Striploin. Between the view and the savory dishes found here, you’ll feel like Disney royalty. Whatever you do, don’t leave before trying out one of their outrageously delicious desserts, like their Chocolate Pudding Cake or Warm Homemade Fritters!
7. Shula’s Steakhouse
I consider this one of Disney’s hidden gems, located inside the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel. Decorated to reflect the 1972 Miami Dolphins’ “Perfect Season” under coach Don Shula, this restaurant is full of memorabilia and photos that reflect the only undefeated football team in NFL history. I have yet to meet a person who has regretted dining at this signature restaurant and if you do your digging, you’ll find rave review after rave review. Many boast that the steak here is the best they’ve EVER had, arguing that the hefty price point just might be worth every penny (and hey, you’re on vacation after all!). Shula’s Steakhouse has won numerous awards, most notably the Critic’s Choice for Orlando’s Best High-End Steak House. Almost as good as the tasty dishes are the exceptional attention and service you’ll receive here. There are plenty of items on the menu to debate over, mostly meats and seafood as well as 10 dessert options to drool over.
6. Monsieur Paul
This restaurant, located just upstairs of Les Chefs de France in Epcot, exudes elegance, refinement and romance. Featuring precise French cuisine and breathtaking views of the World Showcase, this is the perfect destination to celebrate a special occasion. Lobster a l’Americaine, Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb and the award-winning Black Truffle Soup grace the menu here, as well as the their unparalleled Grand Marnier soufflé and triple chocolate cake. You don’t have to be a gourmand to enjoy a dinner here, but you’ll certainly savor each and every bite of their French-focused cuisine.
5. Artist Point
Having dined here more times than I can count, I will say there is a reason why this fine-dining restaurant located in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge continues to leave an impression. Though the atmosphere might not give you the majestic views of Cinderella Castle it still grants its patrons with charming panoramic views of Bay Lake and the meticulous frontier-inspired grounds of the Wilderness Lodge Resort. The cuisine here reflects a Pacific-Northwestern feel, including continuously changing fresh, seasonal dishes with a focus on seafood and meat, as well as their ever-popular mainstay, Cedar-Plank Roasted Salmon. This restaurant boasts an award-winning wine list (featuring over 130 wine selections) and an outstanding dessert menu. Not a strictly exclusive fine-dining restaurant, you’ll see all types of patrons here, including families with small children and couples alike.
4. The Flying Fish Café
Sure, the Boardwalk has no shortage of fantastic places to dine, but if you are seeking a place to treat yourself to some of the finest seafood you’ve ever had, The Flying Fish Café is THE place to go! Many restaurants along this strip have come and gone, but this restaurant has stood the test of time and remains a popular destination where signature-dining is concerned. The energy here reflects the passion put into their dishes, everything from the Potato-wrapped Red Snapper to the Pork Tenderloin to the Vegetable Lasagna made with precision and expert care, certain to wow your taste buds. If you even like fish just a LITTLE bit, trust me, order it here and you might fall passionately, head-over-heels in love with it all over again. Also, not to be missed are their seasonal dessert selections which are insanely, out-of-this-world yummy.
3. Jiko- The Cooking Place
I am constantly amazed at the vibrant, unique flavors found at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort. Truly, dining at one of the restaurants here is an experience you won’t find anywhere else on Disney property, leaving a lasting impression of wonderful South African-inspired cuisine. Jiko is the fine-dining restaurant found at this resort, located just a stone’s throw from the family-favorite buffet, Boma. There is so much to gaze at here, from the trickling creek right outside the windows to the dusk to nighttime color changing wall, the ambiance is certainly impressive. Though the décor itself is outstanding, even more outstanding are the plates of food, prepared with great attention to the blend of traditional African, Indian and Mediterranean flavors prominent here. Their Oak-grilled Filet Minion served over their famous mac and cheese hits it out of the ballpark and is a crowd-favorite for sure. You’ll find other selections of meat here as well as chicken and fresh fish selections.
This is another one of those fine-dining spots that is well-known for their tremendous location and beautiful views. Located at the Grand Floridian, this restaurant glances out at the Seven Seas Lagoon, also providing one of the best spots to watch Magic Kingdom’s nightly fireworks show. The rich, wood accents and nautical décor suit the space perfectly at its sits right on the water and even offers an outdoor verandah/deck for patrons to roam pre/post-meal. The specialty here, no surprise, is seafood and steak. Make certain you save room for dessert. I urge you—no, IMPLORE you—to try the Almond-Crusted Cheesecake with Lambert Cherry Sauce. One of the best desserts I’ve ever tasted.
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1. Victoria and Albert’s
Those who have had the great pleasure of dining at this exclusive, fine-dining restaurant located at the elegant Grand Floridian Resort and Spa are not surprised to find it number one on our list. Yes, the price for dinner here is hefty (no less than $150 per person) but the atmosphere, flavors and overall experience is one for the books. Throughout their evening patrons will indulge in a 2-3 hour, 7-course meal (10 in the Victoria Room and at the Chef’s Table), each plate boasting the freshest ingredients possible on their daily-changing and inspired menu. You’ll find items such as truffles from Italy, beef from Japan, poulet rouge from North Carolina and oysters from northern Florida. There is a strict dress code here and this is the only restaurant on Disney property where children under the age of 10 are not permitted to dine. You will be wined and dined with service that will be attentive to your every need and desire, ensuring that everything is met beyond your expectations. This may only be a once-in-a-lifetime meal, but the memories will certainly stay with you forever.
Have you ever dined at one of these fine-dining restaurants? Share your experience with us in the comments below!
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