Let’s be honest about the dining scene at Walt Disney World Resort and admit that, more often than not, the experience is nothing short of amazing. From the phenomenal food itself to the fun theming and prevalent motif encompassing a given venue, when you choose to dine within one of the many restaurants making up the scene at Walt Disney World Resort, you’re in for so much more than just a simple meal. Of course, there are some establishments that outdo themselves even where Disney’s already high standards are concerned about presenting Guests with a most impressive experience across the board. Here are eleven examples found throughout Disney Resorts and theme parks that offer up some of the most unique dining experiences around.
11. Cinderella’s Royal Table
For most visitors, this is a must-do experience to pursue at least once in a person’s lifetime while on a visit to Magic Kingdom Park. It is, after all, essentially the opportunity to dine within the walls of Cinderella Castle, no less. And the entire lavish setup, so pristine and perfectly reminiscent of a medieval castle—a fairytale come to life—knows no equivalent, with those charming stained-glass windows, regal chandeliers, and all those other intricate inclusions.
The setting is enough to make even a mundane meal into an exquisite endeavor. But fortunately, the prix fixe menu offerings here are anything but mundane. As an around-the-clock operation, you can enjoy a vast range of breakfast, lunch, and dinner novelties that really encompass what it means to have a meal fit for royalty.
10. Be Our Guest Restaurant
There isn’t just one castle you can dine in at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park but two. The second is a much younger development that has emerged to become another one of those Disney rites of passage pursuits just within the last decade. I am, of course, referring to the Be Our Guest Restaurant. Themed after Disney’s classic Beauty and the Beast story adaptations, the only way to accurately describe the dining scene here is to say that it’s enchanting.
Guests will find themselves in awe of the stunning interior décor and overall presentation. There are three uniquely themed dining rooms, all of which offer their own spellbinding in-house magical effects or callouts. There is the Grand Ballroom, the West Wing, and the Castle Gallery. All succeed so perfectly in transporting in-house diners right into the heart of this tale as old as time. And you may even spot the Beast roaming about, so be on the lookout!
The full-service dining experience starts every day at 10 a.m. for lunchtime and remains in operation through the dinnertime hours. During that time, you get to indulge in a menu presentation featuring some of the finest traditional French-inspired cuisine picks. And yes, you can now savor “the Grey Stuff” anytime in the way of their Chocolate Tart dessert feature.
9. Storybook Dining at Artist Point
In continuing on with fairytale dining experiences is this dinnertime pursuit, offered up daily on location at Disney’s Wilderness Resort. Here you get to enjoy a magical-themed experience set in a lush enchanted forest-like setting in the presence of none other than Snow White herself! That’s right, this is a character dining meal in which you get to meet and mingle with this iconic Disney Princess heroine along with other beloved (and not-so-beloved) characters from the film.
The menu features plenty of uniquely themed signature exclusives along with familiar favorites, giving a creative twist in naming for an added touch. From the Sorceress Spell of “Tricken” Chicken to Bashful’s Butter-poached Sustainable Fish, part of the fun is the presentation, but all the flavors and preparations stand on their own just fine regardless. And as for sweet sendoffs, you can’t pass on such dessert features as Miner’s Treasures, the Fairy Tale Gooseberry Tart, The Hunter’s Gift to the Queen, or the ever-popular “Poison” Apple.
8. Space 220 Restaurant
Here is a more recent out-of-this-world experience that takes Disney dining to new heights, quite literally. Located within the World Discovery neighborhood of EPCOT, this is an optimal option for anyone who has ever dreamed of partaking in a meal in outer space. The restaurant is designed to mimic that of a space station, where Guests ascend up to the main dining room and get to be surrounded by huge panoramic-like “windows” featuring scenes from space throughout the meal. You’ll even see spaceships, astronauts, and more as the depictions are forever moving and changing, just as if you really were looking out into the space sky.
The meal offerings feature traditional American cuisine classics to keep the meal on more familiar turf and not as an entirely alien endeavor. Entrée selections do still have creative space-pun naming, though, just to keep things well-themed and in order. And that’s a fitting combination—a new and novel experience that isn’t too far removed from the convention. No need to overwhelm the already awe-inspiring experience.
Related: Space 220 Expands its Menu
7. Garden Grill Restaurant
Over at the Land Pavilion, on location within EPCOT’s World Nature neighborhood, there’s this fresh one-of-a-kind offering that really puts the spin on dining experiences, quite literally. That’s because the restaurant really does spin around! But don’t worry, it’s more of a subtle, rotational pace, allowing diners to take in the changing scenery of the Living with the Land attraction, which just happens to be right below. And if that isn’t unique enough for you, it’s worth mentioning that this also happens to be a character dining experience, with characters like Farmer Mickey, Pluto, and Chip and Dale, of course, right onsite for every diner’s delight.
The meal is offered up as an all-you-care-to-enjoy family-style presentation. And there are plenty of provisions included. On another interesting note, all the greens used in your mealtime presentation were actually grown right onsite within EPCOT’s own greenhouses, no less. It just doesn’t get any more homegrown than that!
6. Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
Whether you are counted among the older folks who remember well when drive-in movie theaters were all the rage, or you hail from a younger crowd, the experience you get at this Hollywood Studios favorite tends to be a mutually enjoyable one. When you come into this restaurant, you’ll feel like you’ve just stepped into an outside nighttime scene straight out of the 1950s or ‘60s with a dazzling starry sky overhead. And the table and chairs set up even mimics those of old nostalgic cars from the day and even have working lights. Then, of course, are all those campy old science fiction horror movie trailers playing on a constant loop on a grand screen. Don’t worry, though. It’s nothing too scary for the kiddos.
As for the food, it’s Americana scrounging at its finest, with burgers, shakes, and other comforts to boot. Sure, they may all feel like casual comfort eats, but their authenticity is done up so perfectly that it all just tastes so much better. And you should also know that they don’t limit the offerings to just those standards from way back when. Plant-based offerings and special dietary exclusives also make the unfathomable list of options here as well.
5. 50’s Prime Time Café
In keeping with the nostalgic setting at Hollywood Studios, here is another unique experience worth taking in. Just remember not to put your elbows on the table, and do be sure to clean your plate. It shouldn’t be too hard, given all the delicious comfort food selections being dished up here, all with that special feeling of home.
Feeling like you’re at home is really what 50’s Prime Time Café is all about. The restaurant’s very décor and motif drive this fact home so entirely. You literally feel as though you are a Guest dining at home in someone’s kitchen back in some idyllic past. From the vintage accents in furnishing and theme to the nice little retro televisions, a mealtime experience here is nothing short of a step back in time.
4. Whispering Canyon
Things tend to get a little rowdy over at this ultimate misnomer of a dining venue, on location at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. But depending on your personality, it can either be a lot of fun or incredibly annoying. One thing you can be certain of, though, is that it’s a most unique experience to take to.
Whispering Canyon is open around-the-clock, serving up western favorites in a family-style format as all-you-care-to-enjoy skillet meal offerings. And you get a lot of options presented to you and even offers for customization via special requests. Surprisingly enough, the waitstaff is great at catering to any specific needs, despite their shortcomings in showing sensitivity in other ways, like how they make big, vociferous productions when someone has a request for ketchup or even the fact that they like to throw straws at you. But that’s all part of the experience.
3. Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
Over at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, there’s another western-themed folly to take in—an authentic vaudeville experience straight out of a Wild West saloon, no less. It comes as Disney’s widely renowned Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review. A two-hour dinner show offering three separate time slots daily, you get to enjoy toe-tapping musical and dance performances as well as a slab of banter and comedy antics thrown in just for good measure by six talented onstage performers.
While all this is going on, you also get to dive into all-you-care-to-enjoy family-style offerings in the way of fried chicken and other time-tested barbecued favorites. It truly doesn’t get more unique than this if you’re someone longing for a novelty dining experience straight out of a fun-loving spaghetti western.
Who can deny that a dining experience overlooking an African savanna with animals roaming freely and sometimes coming right up to you on the other side of a window isn’t one of the most unique experiences ever? That pretty much sums up the scene at this fan-favorite table service restaurant over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. The African-inspired décor surrounding the dining room is marvelous and awe-inspiring on its own, but it’s those massive floor-to-ceiling windows that really make it all exceptional. And like I just said, depending on how close you are to the windows (and there are many of them), it can feel as though you are dining right next to a zebra, ostrich, or even a giraffe or some other exotic beast.
That being said, the food is nothing short of phenomenal. While the menu does admittedly cater to more exotic, African-inspired tastes, everything here is so great! You may find that not even picky, less adventurous eaters are easily scared away from exploring the profuse possibilities on the menu.
1. Victoria & Albert’s
Some folks like to splurge while on vacation, taking in the most upscale experiences possible. And for those applying such pursuits to the Disney World food scene, in particular, there’s no better option than a meal at the one and only Victoria & Albert’s. Regarded as the epitome of all signature dining experiences at Disney World, you’ll find this refined, elegant establishment right on the premises at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
To say the design, décor, and overall theming are prestigious in every way imaginable just doesn’t do it justice. It’s one of those simply regal experiences that go above and beyond even the standards of the most elite epicurean endeavors. It is of a AAA Five Diamond ranking, after all.
Diners have three different experiences to choose from. There is the traditional Dining Room offering, which features an exceptional prix-fixe presentation and an experience spanning up to three hours. Then there is the more intimate option of dining within Queen Victoria’s Room, which is exclusively offered to up to four couples per evening.
But for the most personalized experience with all the works, customization, and private attention, there’s the highly coveted Chef’s Table option. Whichever experience you choose, it’s sure to be among one of the most unforgettable and potentially most expensive culinary pursuits you will ever have the honor to savor.
There are so many other Disney World restaurant venues that boast an unfathomable array of unique dining possibilities. And it’s also worth noting that Disney Springs, which has a reputation for exceptional shopping and dining, also presents its fair share of unique dining options to check out as well. Whether you go all out or keep things low-key, Disney knows how to do up dining with all the magic and memory-making included.