Best Disney World Resort Restaurants
One of things that makes a Disney World vacation so fantastic is that there is so much do and explore outside of the parks themselves. And with the current reduced park hours (and no park hopping), we feel that this is a great time to explore some of what the resorts have to offer. Specifically the dining!!
Today’s post was written by special guest authors from the Magical Adventure Co! First of all, a quick introduction. Magical Adventure Co. is built on the foundation that a Disney or Universal vacation truly is an adventure and we are here to help you make it magical – whatever that may mean for you. We love talking about how magical staying on Disney Property is and exploring all that the resorts have to offer, from the pools to the food and especially the drinks!!
In this post, we will share our favorite all you care to enjoy and casual dining options at the many Disney Resort restaurants. While we will be saving the Signature Dining (think California Grill at the Contemporary or the Yachtsman at the Yacht Club) another time, hopefully we will inspire you to explore something new on your next Disney World adventure.
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All You Care To Enjoy!
Disney World is full of all you can eat offerings, and we often find them to be the best bang for your buck when choosing among the more expensive dining options at Disney World. With the new restrictions in place after re-opening, we assume that these restaurants will likely look a little different as they reopen in the coming months.
Cape May Cafe
Cape May Cafe is a seafood buffet located at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. Before we get to the food, let’s rave a little about how much we love this amazingly picturesque hotel. The plush lobby welcomes you with the scent of sea and sand. You feel transported to a turn of the century New England beach side hotel as it harkens back to a time when many New Englanders escaped to a calming, upscale beach side getaway.
Aside from getting to explore this beautiful resort, the food is also delicious. We know what you’re thinking: seafood and all you can eat doesn’t really spell an appetizing experience. Outside of Disney World, you would be completely right. But remember, Disney takes an otherwise unappealing experience, sprinkles pixie dust, and voila – you find yourself enjoying a seafood buffet. In addition to the delicious seafood, you can also find a beef carving station, delicious salads and veggies, and a magnificent dessert bar with a ton of miniature sized treats!
This is a very popular dinner spot, due to the food (gimme those snow crab legs!), and proximity to Epcot World Showcase. Making dinner reservations when they come available is highly recommended. We’ve occasionally been able to snag a reservation the day or week prior, but those are very hard to come by. Additionally, we suggest making sure that you’re sitting in the main dining area (it’s where the beach umbrellas are). There is a dining area off to the side that is a bit further away from the main area, and to be honest: it’s a depressing room.
Unlimited grilled meats! What more do we need to say? Ohana offers delicious all you can eat family style dining. The main course consists of Chicken, Steak and Shrimp delivered directly to your table on 3 ft. long skewers straight off the grill. The chicken and steak are both delicious, but the shrimp is the showstopper. These jumbo shrimp are enormous and make for an incredible meal. But don’t get too caught up just thinking about the main course, the appetizers and veggies should not be overlooked. Especially the teriyaki noodles, they are delightful!
Ohana is located in Disney’s Polynesian Resort and you can see Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle from the dining room. If you make your reservation for the right time of evening, you can actually watch the fireworks show from the dining room! They turn down the lights and actually play the music over the speakers. Now this is all pending the resumption of the Happily Ever After show at Magic Kingdom at some point in the future.
In order to snag the best view (including a view of the fireworks when they return), shoot for a reservation about an hour before the fireworks and ask for a seat in the main dining area by the window. You will need to grab these reservations as soon as you are able.
In addition to these two options, we also highly recommend Boma over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. This resort transports you to the heart of Africa with four surrounding savannahs filled with a variety of wildlife making you feel like you’re really on a safari. It’s a perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the parks to enjoy the beauty of nature.
Boma is the adventurous foodie’s delight, with choices from all over the world. If you’re worried about trying something new, each dish is labeled with what’s in it, and it’s country of origin! Additionally, there are more familiar dishes for the less adventurous palates. With it’s marketplace theme, Boma is fun for the whole family as you take a tour of the African continent’s most popular dishes.
The only issue is that with the current reopening plans in place, it likely won’t be the same. Without the Buffet option we just aren’t sure what Boma will be like after opening as the fun of it is the chance to pick and choose across many different options. So keep an eye on the reopening plan and maybe try to check it out once we can experience buffets again at some point in the future.
Casual Table Service
Scaling the price point down a bit, the casual dining options at Disney World can be a great find when you are looking for some great food but aren’t trying to spend $50+ per person on a meal. While there are a few spots in this category that should probably be skipped, we have found three that we have loved and would definitely recommend.
Grand Floridian Cafe
This charming Victorian eatery is not only a fun chance to explore the Grand Floridian Resort, but the food is quite delicious as well. Located on the first floor with floor to ceiling windows, the bright dining room overlooks the courtyard and rose gardens. You can even ask for a table by the windows to get a little upgrade on your view.
As mentioned above, don’t forget to leave a little extra time to tour the resort. As the most expensive and luxurious resort in Disney World, it’s always worth a visit just to see the amazing touches Disney has put on this place. Take some time to walk around the atrium and to explore the grounds outside. Plus it’s just a short ride from Magic Kingdom by monorail or boat and a great spot to hop to before or after a visit to the park.
As far as food, the lobster thermidor burger and buttermilk-fried chicken are our favorites, but we haven’t gone wrong with anything we have tried.
As one of only two table service restaurants outside the parks not at a Deluxe Resort or at Disney Springs, Boatwrights at Disney Port Orleans Resort – Riverside is often overlooked on most restaurant lists. While its location does make it a little harder to get to than our other favorites, it’s definitely worth it especially if you are staying at either of the Port Orleans Resorts. If you are coming from French Quarter, just hop on the boat for a relaxing cruise prior to dinner!
The dining area is themed after an old Louisiana shipbuilding factory on the Mississippi with a boat frame hanging from the ceiling and antique shipbuilding tools as decorations. But the southern and Cajun fare is the reason to make this a dining choice on your next adventure. We enjoyed the Nashville hot chicken and the lump crab cakes, but you can always just try it all with the “All-You-Care-To-Enjoy Chef’s Platter”! In addition to the food, the beer selection was impressive with select brews local to New Orleans.
As this spot is rarely fully booked, you can often just walk up and get a table, but reservations are always a good idea just to make sure. However, on our last visit we made our reservations 2 hours before dinner and there was plenty of availability.
Beaches and Cream
Did we save the best for last? Of course! Beaches & Cream Soda Shop is an adorable burger and ice cream stop that is next to Beach Club’s expansive pool. This recently renovated boardwalk-style casual dining experience is well-themed to match its neighbors.
If you have a group of 4 or more in your party, we highly recommend getting a Kitchen Sink. This famed dessert is, you guessed it: everything and the kitchen sink! Served in a mini kitchen sink, this dessert comes out with fanfare to alert the whole restaurant that you are about to enjoy something special. While the Kitchen Sink and dessert menu are the most popular portions of the menu, the burgers and sandwiches are delicious, making it a great lunch or dinner spot.
This is a very popular stop, so reservations are highly encouraged. However, if you’d rather get an ice cream and sit by the pool or take a stroll around the Boardwalk, there is a to-go window with limited dessert options, such as ice cream, shakes, malts, etc.
PIN ME FOR LATER!
Have you been to any of these Disney Resort restaurants? What are your favorites? Let us know your thoughts!
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