Home » 7 Great Overlooked Restaurants in Walt Disney World Theme Parks

    7 Great Overlooked Restaurants in Walt Disney World Theme Parks

    Walt Disney World has plenty of well-known restaurants that you can fight to get a reservation to, but for every coveted spot at a restaurant like La Cellier, there are plenty of other options at restaurants that are just as unique, but easily overlooked. If you’re looking for something new and different to try on your next visit, consider some of these options that you may have passed right by.

    1. The Biergarten, Germany, Epcot

    Often overlooked in favor of other wildly popular World Showcase restaurants, like Le Cellier in Canada or the Rose and Crown in the United Kingdom, the Biergarten offers an excellent selection of authentic German food on a seemingly never-ending buffet at a reasonable price (for World Showcase). Settle in to communal tables in a cozy indoor setting surrounded by facades that resemble a quaint Bavarian village.

    While you eat, you’ll enjoy a floor show featuring German band members who play traditional German music, including 12 foot long wooden horns and some very small bells at a very fast speed. You can even get up and polka on the dance floor if you’re in the mood. Anyone who knows how to enjoy a good Oktoberfest celebration will appreciate the never-ending festivities at this boisterous buffet.

    2. Tortuga Tavern, Adventureland, Magic Kingdom

    This small establishment isn’t always open and when it is open tends to be available for lunch only. Located across from Pirates of the Caribbean, this is a delicious option for Mexican favorites. Make sure to stroll by and see if it’s operating while you’re in the park if you’re in the mood for something a little different. Tacos, burritos and nachos are featured, along with a generous toppings bar that lets you customize your meal.

    Thanks to the toppings bar, Tortuga Tavern is a great choice for filling up on a budget. Pile your tacos or burritos high with extras to get the most out of every dollar. Tortuga Tavern is a counter service restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating.

    3. The Hollywood Brown Derby, Hollywood Blvd, Disney’s Hollywood Studios

    Disney’s Hollywood Studios offers several high-concept restaurants that many people have heard of, like the 50’s Prime Time Café and the Sci-Fi Drive In. Lesser known is a little gem located just off of the Hollywood Blvd and near the entrance to the Great Movie Ride. The Hollywood Brown Derby is a recreation of the famous Brown Derby actually located in Hollywood, California. As the Brown Derby was the original creator of the Cobb Salad, Disney’s version also offers the classic dish, along with a wide selection of other mouthwatering delights.

    This restaurant also offers some spectacular special dining options. With the Fantasmic dining package, you’ll enjoy an entrée, beverage, and dessert as well as a VIP seat after dinner for Fantasmic. The special Dine with an Imagineer experience gives you the chance to indulge in a delicious four course lunch in the Bamboo Room of the Hollywood Brown Derby with a Disney Imagineer at your table to sate your curiosity as the meal sates your hunger.

    4. Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano, Streets of America, Disney’s Hollywood Studios

    Another high-concept establishment, though far lesser known than some of its neighbors, Mama Melrose’s offers wonderful Italian food in a themed restaurant with plenty of fun little details to see. The story goes that Mama Melrose was a hopeful starlet in early Hollywood whose career never fully took off. During auditions, she would cook for her fellow hopefuls, and when her acting career failed, she opened her now-famous restaurant.

    Her successful and famous friends have turned up over the years to partake in some of her fabulous cuisine and to leave a piece of memorabilia or two. Though this is an entertaining tale, it’s not what Mama Melrose’s was first designed for.  The original plan for the restaurant was for it to be Muppet owned and operated.

    5. Restaurantosaurus, Dinoland USA, Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    Like many things at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, this is something you kind of have to search for. Located in a corner of Dinoland USA, Restaurantosaurus offers hamburgers and chicken sandwiches in a well-themed location. As the story goes, the Dino Institute came to the area when dinosaur remains were found. They brought with them a large number of grad students to assist in the excavation process. Those grad students needed a place to live, so they took over the local fishing lodge as their dorm. Some of the dining rooms offer research notes and diagrams, while other areas are clearly the bunk rooms for the students. The food is good and the atmosphere always offers something amusing to notice.

    6. The Plaza Restaurant, Main Street USA, Magic Kingdom

    Most people know exactly where the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor is on Main Street USA. What most folks overlook is the tiny restaurant right next door. Open for lunch and dinner, the Plaza Restaurant offers plenty of diverse options. Soups and salads are there as an opener, while a grilled Ruben or the Plaza Club make fantastic entrées. Dinner options include timeless classics like a meatloaf dinner or Angus chuck cheeseburger.

    Another great upside to this restaurant is the price. The Plaza offers a wonderful sit down meal in an air-conditioned environment for a similar cost to any of the counter service locations found around the resort.

    7. Nine Dragons, China, Epcot

    Image: Disney

    What most Americans don’t realize is that the food we recognize as “Chinese food” is actually a bit different than traditional Chinese cooking. The Nine Dragons restaurant found at the China pavilion at Epcot meets us half way. They offer meals that we can recognize as Chinese food, while keeping the tradition of Chinese cooking alive and authentic. The menu boasts plenty of food that anyone will enjoy, including pot stickers or hot and sour soup as an appetizer, and Kung Pao Chicken and a vegetable and tofu stir-fry as entrees.

    If you haven’t tried them before, change up your dining routine with these delicious Walt Disney World theme park restaurants.