Disney dining is known for its wealth of decadent options, but it also has a reputation for thwarting excited guests who are looking for a specific meal in a limited window of time. If you’re having trouble getting into one of the park’s more famous restaurants on your terms, consider branching out and opting for one of these lesser-known alternatives instead. Broadening your options will make it much easier to stick to the rest of your schedule. Some of these picks can even save you money over their pricey counterparts as well!

1. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

Akershus Royal Banquet

When You Wanted: Cinderella’s Royal Table

Cinderella’s Royal Table is considered the peak of character dining if you’re looking for Disney princesses. However, these tables are notoriously difficult to get. If you’re looking for delicious dining with royal guests stopping by the table, consider booking a seat at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall instead. The lineup here includes several beloved princesses like Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, Snow White, and Aurora.

Dining in this medieval castle lends a royal air to the experience. The diverse lineup of dishes includes both Norwegian specialties like Tradisjonell Kjottkake (meatballs, mashed potatoes, and vegetables with lingonberry sauce) and more familiar favorites for the kids, such as macaroni and cheese or pizza. Though the decadent dishes are plenty elegant, this dining experience is less expensive than Cinderella’s Royal Table.

You will need to make a reservation, but tables are typically a bit easier to book at this World Showcase restaurant than at Magic Kingdom’s alternative.

2. Cape May Café

Cape May Cafe

Cape May CafeImage: Jack Miller, Flickr (license)

When You Wanted: Coral Reef Restaurant

Many people instinctively think of Epcot’s Coral Reef restaurant for seafood. Granted, its breathtaking views of the surrounding coral reef are a big draw. However, you can’t always find a time that fits with your theme park schedule, and you’ll pay top price for dishes that don’t always get rave ratings. An often-overlooked alternative is Cape May Café. Located at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, this is an option you can add to your day no matter what park you’re planning to visit.

Both restaurants fall into the same price range, but Cape May is a buffet, so you can go back again and again, sampling dozens of options if your first few bites aren’t to your liking. Cape May’s dinner buffet features a full calm bake, snow crab legs, seasonal vegetables, freshly baked bread, and a carving station. Kids will find a selection of recognizable favorites, and the dessert table is sure to delight.



Rather than Cape May, I recommend Bluezoo at Swan, Flying Fish on Boardwalk or Narcoosies at Grand Floridian.

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