Planning a Disney World trip can be overwhelming, to say the very least. You need to buy tickets, reserve a Park Pass reservation for the parks, make a hotel reservation… and that’s just the start. One of the major things you need to plan for your Disney World trip is dining. At Walt Disney World Resort, you will find over 200 dining options — a migraine-inducing number to choose from when deciding where you want to eat.
Around the resort, there are two main options you need to know: quick service and table service dining. Quick-service dining requires no reservation. With this type of dining, you can order at a register in-person or through mobile order on the My Disney Experience app. Table service takes a little more planning, as table service restaurants require a reservation ahead of time. If you are staying on Disney World property, you can make reservations for the entire length of your stay up to 60 days before your arrival. If you aren’t staying on the property, you can make reservations 60 days in advance.
I have been writing about Disney and planning Disney vacations for the past several years, so I’ve been to Disney World a lot. In that time, I’ve experienced many of the dining options that Disney offers, so I’m sharing the 10 table service restaurants well worth a reservation (and five you can skip!).
Must-Do Restaurants in Disney World
You’ll find ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, located on the monorail line in the Magic Kingdom Resort area. Ohana features an all-you-can-eat family-style feast with a Hawaiian twist. For breakfast, you can enjoy the Best Friends Breakfast, a character dining experience where you can meet Mickey, Lilo, and Stitch. The family-style breakfast includes picks like scrambled eggs, ham with pineapple, and Stitch waffles. At dinner, you won’t have character dining, but you will be able to enjoy a feast that includes teriyaki beef, spicy peel-n-eat shrimp, and ‘Ohana noodles (they’re delicious, believe me).
‘Ohana is a must-do not just for its menu but its location. Located on the monorail line, you are a quick stop away from Magic Kingdom if you’re doing an early morning breakfast. Or, if you’re heading there for dinner, you’ll potentially have an incredible view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks if you’re there at the right time!
2. Cinderella’s Royal Table
You need to do this dining spot at least once at Disney World. Cinderella’s Royal Table is located inside Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom. The restaurant serves up a prix-fixe menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, meaning you can pick from a list of options for a first and second course (plus a third for lunch and dinner). The meal also includes character dining with various Disney princesses, including Cinderella, Ariel, Snow White, Jasmine, and Aurora.
There’s no denying that this meal is expensive, but if you are dining with a fan of princesses, few spots can beat this incredible location and its character opportunities.
3. Garden Grill
Over in Epcot, you’ll find Garden Grill in the Land Pavilion. This restaurant offers a family-style menu with a unique twist on farm-to-table. That’s because some of the ingredients have actually been grown within the Land Pavilion!
That’s not the only thing unique about Garden Grill, though. The restaurant rotates (mind you, it rotates very slowly) so that you can get different views of scenes from within the Living With the Land ride.
You can enjoy Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Harvest Feast at Garden Grill — a character dining meal with Chip, Dale, Pluto, and Mickey — for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu includes family-style dining with options like grilled beef, garden salad, and turkey with gravy. For many Disney fans, Garden Grill is a must-visit restaurant that both kids and adults absolutely adore.
4. Chef Mickey’s
Located inside Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Chef Mickey’s is a favorite among families. Serving both breakfast and dinner, the restaurant features character dining, which means you’ll get to dine with characters like Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Pluto. The restaurant serves a buffet with a lot of traditional fare (think Mickey waffles for breakfast), so you won’t have any problem finding something for everyone to eat. While this restaurant may be a skip if you’re in a party of just adults, the experience is an absolute must-do for kids who want to meet the characters.
5. Roundup Rodeo BBQ
Roundup Rodeo is the newest table service restaurant, located in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In Toy Story Land, you’re “shrunk down” to the size of a toy, so everything you’re experiencing is from a toy’s perspective. That continues into this restaurant, where you are surrounded by Andy’s rodeo! The restaurant has a Western theme and features displays of your favorite Toy Story character. Kids of all ages will love the lunch and dinner menus packed with BBQ favorites. The restaurant serves family-style meals, so even picky eaters can find something they like.
6. Tusker House Restaurant
More adventurous eaters will enjoy character dining at Tusker House in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Tusker House offers a buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all three of which feature appearances by Safari gear-clad characters like Donald, Goofy, Mickey, Minnie, and Daisy.
Tusker House will be slightly different from many of your other Disney buffet options, with flavors that may be better suited for less picky eaters. However, if that is you, the food here is delicious. For breakfast, you can grab picks like Durban chicken and egg curry, while lunch and dinner feature meats such as the Cape Malay green curry shrimp and Moroccan-spiced beef.
7. Akershus Royal Banquet
If you want to meet the Disney princesses in a slightly more relaxed setting than you’ll find at Cinderella’s Royal Table, head over to Akershus Royal Banquet. Located in the Norway Pavilion of Epcot, Akershus Royal Banquet offers Norwegian-inspired dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
At Akershus, you’ll be able to meet the Disney princesses such as Snow White, Ariel, Aurora, Jasmine, and Belle, among others. Breakfast will have your traditional early morning picks like pastries, bacon, and waffles, while lunch and dinner offer options like Norwegian meatballs and lefse with cardamom-cinnamon butter. The food is delicious, and truly one of the more underrated character dining meals you can find in Disney World.
Boma is a restaurant I always recommend when someone tells me they’re going to Disney World. Located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, this restaurant is definitely off the beaten path if you’re not staying at that hotel. However, believe me when I say that it’s worth the visit.
This buffet-style meal showcases the flavors of Africa, combining a unique blend of African and American cuisine for breakfast and dinner. For breakfast, start your day with a Kenyan AA coffee, pastries, and French toast bread pudding. For dinner, you can enjoy freshly prepared roasted meats at carving stations, along with seafood dishes. While the menu may sound slightly adventurous for younger eaters, they do also offer options like chicken nuggets for kids with a pickier palate.
If the menu weren’t enough to make the list, the location certainly would be. That’s because Animal Kingdom Lodge features its own savanna with a variety of different animals you can see up close. I’d also be remiss not to shout out Jiko – A Cooking Place, a restaurant right next to Boma. While it missed this list for its much more adult-oriented atmosphere, it’s my favorite restaurant on all of Disney World property for a date night.
9. Space 220
Heading back to Epcot, you’ll find one of the most immersive dining experiences in Disney World. Space 220 takes you up to dine among the stars. Instead of featuring windows, you’ll find giant screens encompassing you all along the walls, giving you a view out into space to really make you feel like you’re having a galactic meal.
The restaurant has a prix-fixe menu for lunch and dinner, where you can pick your option for each of the three courses. The menu includes space-themed modern American cuisine like “galactic” salmon or “blue moon” cauliflower.
Because of the incredible atmosphere, this is a pricey restaurant that is also tricky to get a reservation for. If you just want to check out the restaurant itself without the commitment of a full three-course meal, it’s always worth checking to see if there’s any walk-up availability for the Space 220 Lounge. The lounge does not require reservations and will allow you to order select picks from an a la carte menu.
10. Be Our Guest
Located in Magic Kingdom, Be Our Guest is a Beauty and the Beast-themed restaurant that brings guests into Beast’s Castle with three uniquely themed dining rooms. While Be Our Guest used to offer quick-service dining, it has been a table-service restaurant for the past few years with a prix fixe menu of French-inspired cuisine for lunch and dinner.
Be Our Guest is hands down one of the most popular restaurants in Disney World, but I will admit that I went back and forth on whether to include it. The reason for that is that your experience really may depend on where you sit. Be Our Guest has three dining rooms: the Grand Ballroom, West Wing, and Rose Gallery.
While all three spots are incredibly well-themed in their own way, I have found that the most popular spot for diners is the beautiful grand ballroom. However, when you make your reservation, know that there is no guarantee on where you will be able to sit. So, if you are with a younger party member who may be upset they aren’t sitting in a spot like the Grand Ballroom, you may want to reconsider Be Our Guest for a spot like Cinderella’s Royal Table instead.
Restaurants You Can Skip in Disney World
1. Tony’s Town Square
Located in Magic Kingdom, Tony’s Town Square is themed after the iconic restaurant where Lady and the Tramp share a piece of spaghetti in the famous Disney film. While the creative theming of this restaurant is very cute, the menu is why I’d recommend skipping Tony’s altogether.
Tony’s Town Square has an a la carte menu of Italian-inspired cuisine, including pastas and seafood. However, if you’re a fan of Italian food, there are much better picks throughout Disney World — the food at Tony’s is just average. Opt for an Italian restaurant in the Italy Pavilion of Epcot instead.
2. Coral Reef
Fans of ABC sitcoms from the ’90s probably would recognize Coral Reef. The seafood restaurant takes itself very literally — as in, you are eating seafood amid a giant aquarium in Epcot. The menu includes options like mahi mahi, clam chowder, or shrimp and grits. While eating, you’ll be able to look into the Seas, one of the largest manufactured ocean environments in the world. You’ll be able to spot sea creatures that include sharks and sea turtles swimming amongst coral reefs.
While the atmosphere is undeniably cool, the menu itself is often not worth the high prices. If you’re a big seafood fan, I’d recommend Flying Fish at Disney’s BoardWalk or Narcoossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
3. Rainforest Café
If you’re dining with younger kids, Rainforest Café may seem like a surefire hit. With locations at Disney Springs and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the restaurant includes unbelievable theming and animatronics that make you feel like you’ve entered a rainforest. With a massive Cheesecake Factory-level menu, there are also tons of picks for everyone in the family.
So, why did it make a list of skippable restaurants? Mostly because it’s a chain restaurant you can find in many other places around the country, and, to me, it’s not worth picking over one-of-a-kind places that you can only find in Disney World.
4. Sci-Fi Dine-In
Located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Sci-Fi Dine-In takes you back to the 1950s. The restaurant resembles a retro drive-in theater, with tables shaped like vintage cars set up to watch clips from old sci-fi movies on a big screen.
If you or someone in your party is a big fan of anything retro, this may be a cool pick, but otherwise, the menu is just nothing special. With classic American fare, nothing available to eat here is particularly special. While the theming is neat, a lot of newer restaurants have come out with similarly exciting theming that I would recommend instead.
5. Mama Melrose Ristorante Italiano
Similarly to Tony’s Town Square, Mama Melrose offers an Italian-American cuisine menu. The restaurant is located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, in an often-overlooked part of Grand Avenue.
While the food is better than Tony’s Town Square, there are still better Italian options to consider throughout Disney World. The menu offers options like strip steak, seafood, chicken, pasta, and more. Unless you are a huge fan of Italian-American cuisine, the restaurant probably isn’t a must-do on your trip.