Home » You Haven’t REALLY Been To Walt Disney World if You Haven’t Eaten at These Iconic Restaurants

You Haven’t REALLY Been To Walt Disney World if You Haven’t Eaten at These Iconic Restaurants

How many calories do you burn during an average day? How many extra calories do you burn at Walt Disney World? An infographic suggests that you’ll burn somewhere between 1,255 and 1,558 calories while spending the day at a Disney theme park. You need to replenish your body fuel often. This knowledge explains why the Walt Disney World campus includes so many spectacular restaurants. Which ones are the absolute best, though? Here are the baker’s dozen must-eat restaurants at Walt Disney World.

1900 Park Fare

Image: DisneyI’m a fervent believer in the Table Service meal. For that reason, 10 out of the 12 selections listed here are of the sit-down variety. When you get to the Quick Service eateries, you’ll know that they must be special to earn a spot here.

I also lean toward character meals, as these offerings add an extra level of entertainment. While you’re eating and recuperating, your Disney favorites will wander the restaurant, interacting with all of the guests. Many of my favorite character meal memories don’t even involve my party but stem from people-watching of other hilarious encounters.

1900 Park Fare stands tall in this way. Cinderella technically hosts this meal with her beloved, Prince Charmed. It’s the evil stepsisters and Lady Tremaine who turn your dinner into an unforgettable experience. They cackle with glee as they talk trash about Cinderella. It’s hilarious. Plus, the Strawberry Soup served during this meal is the most famous dish at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.


Image: DisneyShould you prefer a more straightforward character meal, Akershus is like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. It features two great tastes that go great together. One element is the food, which isn’t like standard character meals at Walt Disney World.

You’re eating at the Norway Pavilion, after all, and so Scandinavian food is on the menu. Many of the meats and cheeses here aren’t ones you’ll find at your local delicatessen, and the novelty adds to the experience. The real highlight is the Princess Procession, though. Akershus claims almost as many princess greetings as a more storied restaurant on this list, but it’s easier to book. The food is better, too.

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Image: DisneyBe Our Guest recently changed its dinner to a prix fixe menu. They changed the meal design so that they could raise rates and charge two Table Service entitlements for the Disney Dining Plan. These modifications occurred because Disney could easily justify the decision. After several years in operation, Be Our Guest is still the hardest meal to book at Walt Disney World. It’s the only place where a king holds court in his castle and invites you to enjoy a royal meal. At certain points while you dine, the Beast even walks through the dining room, waving to the people at court!

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’

Image: DisneyWhile you’re at Walt Disney World, you’ll want some comfort food. No place at Disney will remind you of home cooking more than Chef Art Smith’s place. The former celebrity chef for Oprah Winfrey, Smith is a Florida native who participated in Disney’s college program. This restaurant commemorates his return to his roots. All of the food here is farm-to-table and compromised of Florida ingredients. And the fried chicken might be the finest that you’ll ever eat at a restaurant. Don’t sleep on the donuts, either!

Chef Mickey’s

Image: DisneySome of the restaurants listed here are more about atmosphere than flavors. I’d slot the next two entrants in this grouping. Chef Mickey’s is an All-You-Care-to-Enjoy (AYCE) restaurant that serves relatively bland, generic food. What’s the selling point? Chef Mickey Mouse hosts the proceedings; he’s brought friends, too! Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto, and Goofy join Mickey in wandering from table to table, interacting with guests. In my entire life, I have never heard children laugh louder or more emphatically than during this character meal. The experience is inimitable.

Cinderella’s Royal Table

Image: DisneyI’m not a huge proponent of the food at Cinderella’s Royal Table, and I’m not alone on this. It’s a Signature Dining experience that operates like a mess hall. Disney wants to get guests in and out as quickly as possible. They act this way because the restaurant is a license to print money. No matter how much Disney charges, people will happily pay it. They have no choice.

Where else in the world could you eat inside an actual castle while receiving royal visits from beautiful Disney Princesses? The rotation changes, but Aurora, Belle, Jasmine, and Snow White are the most likely characters to join Cinderella in plussing your dining experience. To me, Cinderella’s Royal Table is somehow overrated AND a must-do Disney meal.


Image: DisneyDo you like chicken wings? Or pork dumplings? Or sweetbread? Or Szechuan Sirloin Steak? How about Sweet –n-Sour Chicken and Spicy Grilled Peel-n-Eat Shrimp. I’ve just listed a staggering amount of food. When you dine at ‘Ohana, you get to sample as much of it as you want. Like Chef Mickey’s, the food here is AYCE. The chief difference is that you’ll care to enjoy it so much more since the Polynesian flavors are mouth-wateringly delicious.

‘Ohana is one of the Walt Disney World restaurants that sells out the quickest. The reason why is 100 percent the food. It’s a thoroughly satisfying and filling meal. As a pro tip, if you can’t book a meal here, try dinner and a show at Spirit of Aloha instead. They serve the food during the event, plus you get singing and dancing!

Rose & Crown Dining Room

Image: DisneyI’ve narrowed down all of the potential selections at World Showcase to two restaurants. I expect these choices to be controversial, too. Theme park tourists are passionate about the food at Epcot, and everyone has their favorites. I’m not picking mine here, which explains the absence of Teppan Edo. Instead, I’m listing the ones that I believe offer the greatest possible experiences for first-time guests.

At Rose & Crown, the Fish and Chips and Bangers and Mash dishes have kept England fed for generations now, and the Sticky Toffee Pudding here will blow your mind. The star of this meal, however, is the view. Presuming that you time your dinner right, you can eat a three-course meal of appetizers, entrees, and desserts and receive your Sticky Toffee Pudding moments before IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth begins. The presentation is right beside one side of World Showcase Lagoon, placing you in direct line of sight. The only thing that can make the award-winning show better is a lakeside view and a tasty dessert. Rose & Crown offers the finest dinner combo with the nightly presentation. It’s truly magical.

San Angel Inn Restaurante

Image: DisneyThe other spot at the World Showcase resides in the Mexico Pavilion. You’ll never forget eating here, either. The restaurant sits right beside Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros, the pavilion’s equivalent to It’s a Small World. Boats from the ride go right past the restaurant, creating a kind of out-of-body experience when you eat there and board the attraction in some order. You’ll see where you were just sitting either way. It’s a vague kind of Déjà vu. Of course, the attraction aspect is secondary to the view. This eatery sits on the bottom of a giant pyramid, one that matches the exterior design of the pavilion. San Angel Inn Restaurante is the most visually stimulating restaurant at Walt Disney World, although there’s another place on this list that’s somehow slightly more atmospheric.

Satu’li Canteen

Image: DisneyThe first Quick Service restaurant on this list merits a spot for its cuisine AND its theming. Satu’li Canteen is currently the anchor eatery at Pandora – The World of Avatar. Its conceit is that it’s now a gathering place for tourists to break bread. The setting was once a military mess hall, but it’s since become a homey hangout locale. The food here is decidedly Pandoran, which can cause problems for picky eaters. For foodies, however, the bowls and pods here are ambrosia, and virtually everyone will love Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse, the most colorful dessert at Walt Disney World.

Sci-Fi Dine-In

Image: DisneyForget Disney theme parks or even the city of Orlando for a moment. Sci-Fi Dine-In is my favorite restaurant on the planet. Now, I still wouldn’t recommend it as a must-eat destination if I were alone in that evaluation. Fortunately, one of my best friends and I have a running gag wherein we text each other a simple message from this location: “Greetings from the greatest place on Earth!” We’ve done this for years, and this tells you that at least a couple of movie fans are obsessive about Sci-Fi Dine-In.

The premise of Sci-Fi Dine-In is right there in the name. You’re transported back in time to the era of drive-in movie theater dates. The tables at the restaurant are hollowed out cars, and bellhops deliver food from the concession stand. While you eat, you watch a movie projection screen that shows a constant loop of science fiction films and cartoons from the era. It’s the most immersive, atmospheric restaurant I’ve ever visited. I’m absolutely addicted to it and wouldn’t deem any Walt Disney World vacation complete without a stop here.

Woody’s Lunch Box

Image: DisneyThis place debuted in 2018 as the only eatery at Toy Story Land. As such, its popularity was immediate and total. The place is a glorified shack with some moderate exterior seating. Basically, you’d see the same setup if you ordered a snow cone at a pop-shack. Still, Woody’s Lunch Box is a terrific place for families to eat. Kids will adore the theming and childish cuisine. Plus, they can order the same thing as their parents, likely grilled cheese sandwiches and tater tots or, as they’re called here, Potato Barrels. Don’t forget dessert! Imagine a Pop-Tart with bacon bits sprinkled on top and you’ll get the idea of why you want this.

Yak & Yeti Restaurant

Image: DisneySome important Disney meals are all about the flavors. My favorite of these is Yak & Yeti at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a Pan-Asian restaurant with some of the tastiest food at Walt Disney World. Yes, the World Showcase gets most of the hype due to its high volume of international cuisines available. Animal Kingdom has a couple of places on that level that are much easier to book. There’s even a hack for Yak & Yeti wherein you join Landry’s Select Club. Landry’s owns and operates Yak & Yeti and seats members first, even when they don’t have a dining reservation. As for the food, order the Pork Pot Stickers and Honey Chicken and then thank me later.