Restaurant Review

Signature Restaurants

Vacationing at Walt Disney World is not just an opportunity to visit the four theme parks: riding fantastic attractions for the whole family, meeting beloved characters and watching Broadway caliber entertainment. It’s a chance to eat at some amazing restaurants, eating some incredible meals. If you’re looking for something fantastic and memorable then take a look at these restaurants that are categorized as Signature Restaurants. These restaurants are more expensive than the average Disney restaurant, entrees range from $30 to $60. These restaurants have a dress code, requiring guests leave their swim gear at the room including flip flops. Hats must be removed and torn apparel is not permitted. The food found at these restaurants is the best on property. You’ll be dining where Disney executives dine, being served by the best servers that Walt Disney World offers. They are knowledgable and willing to help guide you to your best choices on the menu. All of these restaurants, with the exception of Victoria & Alberts, accept the dining plan. They do require 2 table service dining credits though. There’s at least one signature dining restaurant at each of the four theme parks and there’s also at least one found at each Deluxe resort with the exception of the Wilderness Lodge (they’re signature dining experience has changed to a character dining experience featuring Snow White) and the Polynesian Resort (they have a a dinner show instead). I can say, they are some of my favourite places on property. A few of them made my list for top 5 meals on our last vacation. In this post they’ll be separated by where you can find them.

Magic Kingdom

Cinderella’s Royal Table

The most magical place to eat at Walt Disney World is Cinderella’s Royal Table. This restaurant is found inside Cinderella’s castle, overlooking Fantasyland, it’s open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. This is a pay-ahead meal and when you dine here for lunch and dinner it is a three-course meal, for breakfast you receive two courses: breakfast appetizers and your entree. The price for breakfast reflects this. This is the only signature dining that is also a character dining experience. We’ve dined here on numerous occasions for breakfast and lunch. Every meal I’ve had here has been well worth the price and what I’d consider above average dining. It’s probably the only Signature dining I’d bring children too. For a full review of the restaurant click the heading.

Epcot

The only theme park to have more than one signature dining experience is Epcot, with a signature restaurant at the Canadian Pavilion and the France Pavilion. Both require advanced reservations and require park admission.

Le Cellier

This beautiful steakhouse is found off the beaten path. When you’re walking along the main path that takes you through all the World Showcase pavilions you’ll see an archway for Le Cellier. You walk down into the restaurant that is exactly like a wine cellar. It is dark, with lots of candles and brick everywhere. It reminds us of an amazing bar we stumbled upon in Montreal a decade ago, a place where they use to house horses but converted into an eatery years later. Steak is obviously a popular choice on this menu but there’s also a couple other entree items for those not so inclined towards steak. For this restaurant I would skip the appetizer to fully enjoy the bread basket that comes before your entree. It highlights different areas of Canada so you really want to try each of the pieces in the basket.

Monsieur Paul

This small restaurant is found above Le Chefs de France in the France Pavilion. The entrance is found at the back of the restaurant. It’s only open from 5:30pm until 9:30 so there’s only a few seatings available. And the dining room is quite small so there’s not a lot of guests being served on a nightly basis. The service here is wonderful. When we dined here we were guided towards the best choices for our tastes. We were also moved to a window table when it was cleared out so we could have a better view of the Nighttime Entertainment. I had the meringues for my dessert which I would strongly recommend.

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Brown Derby

Open for lunch and dinner, this signature restaurant has a different menu for each of its seatings. A must any time we visit is the Cobb salad. Be sure to get the advice of your server because they’ll know what has been changed or been recently added and what’s the best on the menu. This restaurant is located off of Hollywood Blvd. before you enter into Animation Courtyard. The ambiance is that of an old Hollywood restaurant with pictures on the wall of stars that have come and gone. But what makes this restaurant the signature restaurant it is is the food and the service. Our two times here we had the same server who went above and beyond to make sure we had an unforgettable meal. Open from 12pm to 2:55pm for lunch and 3:30pm to 8pm for dinner.

Animal Kingdom

Tiffins

This restaurant is found in the old location of the Festival of the Lion King. On Discovery Island as you enter into Pandora, Tiffins is found on your right. It’s open for both lunch and for dinner, Tiffins is not just impressive because of its menu but also because of its design. The restaurant has beautiful art work and design throughout each of the dining areas. The menu is diverse giving guests an opportunity to try dishes they’ve never tried before. There are two Sadka choices on the menu, as well as tamarind-braised short rib and lamb shanks. The bread service and the charcuterie board are high on the recommendation list.

Resort Restaurants

Grand Floridian Resort

Citrico’s

Located on the second floor, this well reviewed restaurant offers a variety of courses. Citricos opens at 5:30pm and serves dinner until 10pm. The main course selection is minimal but what is served is well done. You can expect to have a decent amount of choices for children as well. This restaurant is 2 meal credits which is a little high because the prices are not that steep. For a high class spot you can get last minute reservations, try to find one through My Disney Experience or check with the Concierge desk when you arrive. To get to this restaurant make your way to the second floor of the Grand Floridian main building, by the grand staircase or elevator, pass the shops and the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra. You’ll walk into a hallway with signage directing you to Citricos.

Narcoossee’s

This Signature Dining restaurant doesn’t appear all that impressive in its decor but that’s because the focus is on the windows and the view you can see through them. Across the lagoon is the entrance to the Magic Kingdom. You can watch the boats glide by as they go pick people up at the different boat launches, and you can even watch the fireworks if you are dining when the show begins. This restaurant specializes in seafood, although there are a few options for the meat lover in your party. It also has a variety of choices for dessert with their very own Narcoosee’s Candy Bar. You can dine here 7 days a week from 5pm-9:30 or you can join them for a Sunday Brunch being offered from 9:30am-1:30pm. Find this restaurant on the northern end of the resort, on your right immediately before you walk onto the boat launch.

Victoria & Albert’s

This restaurant is the only of its kind on property. Described as a culinary experience, Victoria & Albert’s is a world-class restaurant offering a 7-course menu or a 10-course tasting menu. You need to make reservations months in advanced and can not use any dining plans. The restaurant is only open from 5:30pm-7:35pm. It is a fixed price menu costing $185-250 depending on which experience you choose. Find this restaurant on the second floor of the Grand Floridian. Head upstairs via the lobby’s elevator or grand staircase, or stay on the floor you enter off of the monorail. Walking towards Mizner’s Lounge make a left before reaching the Lounge. Victoria and Albert’s will be in front of you as you head down that hallway. Dress to impress at this place.

Contemporary Resort

California Grill

Located at the top of the Contemporary Resort you need to check in at a podium located on the third floor. You will then take a separate elevator to this 2 meal credit restaurant. Now serving brunch on Sundays and dinner every night of the week. This restaurant offers a spectacular view of the Castle and if you can line up your reservation right you can watch the fireworks from the top deck. It is an open concept. Leaving very little privacy. It’s bright and welcoming, not what you’d expect from the “best” restaurant at Walt Disney World. If you have never seen the castle from this perspective then it is breath taking. This is what you’re paying for with your meal. The view. The meal is not impressive enough for the cost. The Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios and the Cellier in Epcot outshine this restaurant. Many say this is a must do but I would skip it.

Yacht Club & Beach Club

Yachtman’s Steakhouse

This nautical themed restaurant is found between the Yacht Club and the Beach Club, it’s specialty is obviously steak. You get to see a butcher cutting up the meat as you enter into the restaurant. The restaurant is a lot of navy’s, anchors and sailors knots. We dined here on our last vacation and really enjoyed our meal. It didn’t make my top 5 list but was a meal I enjoyed none the less. I would highly recommend the Wedge Salad for an appetizer, and the Lexington Sundae. The entree is a personal choice, everyone has their own cut of meat they prefer and you’ll have your choice with this incredible restaurant but the salad and the sundae will put the meal over the top.

Boardwalk Inn

Flying Fish

The place to get the best seafood on Walt Disney World property. Yes, Narcoossee’s is a great spot for fish but here is where you’ll have some fantastic entrees for seafood lovers. Scallops, swordfish, seafood risotto, salmon and then in the appetizer menu you have oysters, mussels, lobster bisque, snow crab croquette. The only place you don’t see seafood is on the dessert menu. This is an amazing location as well, because the Boardwalk is such a beautiful place to spend an evening. Spend some time after dinner walking the Boardwalk and taking in the nightly entertainment, Flying Fish is open from 5pm-9:30pm with advanced reservations recommended. Especially since this is such a populate resort area.

Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House

Jiko-The Cooking Place

Jiko-The Cooking Place is the signature restaurant found at the Animal Kingdom Lodge-Jambo House. Don’t confuse this place with Sanaa, a well sought after restaurant at the neighbouring Kidani Village which has diners viewing the beautiful savanna that’s found on the resort’s property. The menu is African inspired, using many spices and flavours. The restaurant is open from 5:30pm-10pm. They have a vast wine selection, both red and white. The items on this menu are some of the most unique on property, find only comparable choices at Tiffins. The menu items range from Lamb to Elk, Ribs to Seafood Curry. The restaurant has deep rich colours and dark tables and chairs. You’ll need to travel to Jambo House to have dinner here, either by your own method of transportation or by grabbing a bus to one of the theme parks and jumping on a Animal Kingdom Lodge bus from there.

Disney Springs

The Boathouse

This restaurant is found in Disney Springs’ The Landing, on the water. Many tables have a beautiful view of Saratoga Springs resort. The Boathouse has a huge menu. Here you can dine on burgers and fries or a New York Strip, Baked Lobster Macaroni & Cheese or a pulled pork sandwich. For a signature restaurant you’re not going to have the same quality of service or ambiance that you would get from any of the other restaurants already mentioned. It’s a large restaurant serving guests staying on Disney property, Orlando residents and visitors alike. If you’re using a Dining Plan you’ll have to be very cautious about your choice to make sure you are still getting value for your investment. Because the signature restaurants use 2 table service meal credits make sure you are choosing one of the higher ticket items like a steak or the stuffed lobster. The Boathouse serves lunch from 11am until 3:55pm and dinner from 4pm-11pm. You don’t need reservations ahead of time for this restaurant but if you want to dine here I would use the MyDisneyExperience app and make a reservation a couple hours before you want to dine to make sure you’re not waiting for a table.

STK Orlando

STK has locations all over the world so you won’t be getting a one of a kind experience here. But if you can get one of the tables on the second floor patio you will have an amazing view, especially at night. STK offers a number of different cuts of steak, a rib “meatloaf”, salmon, tuna and a cauliflower “steak” for the vegetarians in your group. The restaurant is loud and fun, with an in-house DJ. You can dine here for lunch or dinner as well as brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

Morimoto Asia

Another Disney Springs’ restaurant found in The Landing, Morimoto Asia serves lunch, dinner and late night dining. It’s a huge two floor restaurant serving a variety of Pan-Asian cuisine. You can choose to order and share rolls, sushi, sashimi, or dim sum. There’s also a nice variety of noodle and rice bowls. At Morimoto Asia you’ll find a different menu for lunch and for dinner. So make sure you choose the right dining time if you’re basing your dining choice on a menu. This restaurant is unique, it only requires one table service credit for the dining plan at lunch and two for dinner. The reason for that is as I mentioned, the dinner offerings are different than the lunch offerings. So keep that in mind when you’re planning. Lunch is served from 11:30am-4:15pm, dinner from 5pm-10pm and late night dining is from 10:05 until midnight.

Paddlefish

Found in the beautiful riverboat in Disney Springs’ Landing. This two floor restaurant sits on the water and offers incredible seafood. It’s open for both lunch and dinner and is highly popular so make a reservation ahead of time. They also offer an amazing Sunday brunch from 11:30-4pm. The menu has something for everyone including filet mignon and chicken for those in your party who don’t love seafood. For those who do you can choose between boiled choices such as lobster, clams, shrimp, mussels, crab. Or feast on salmon, catfish or the classic fish and chips. This is another one you need to be cautious of when on the dining plan because some of the menu offerings are not highly priced so you wouldn’t be getting your value for the 2 table meal credits. If you love seafood and you don’t want to make your way over to the Boardwalk Paddlefish is your best choice for high end dining.

So as you can see, there are ample choices for fine dining at Walt Disney World. All of these restaurants also have children’s menus with some classic choices that are sure to fit even the pickiest eaters and some options for those with a more adventurous palette. For my opinion on the Deluxe Dining Plan check out this previous post, but of course you don’t have to be on the deluxe dining plan or any dining plan to enjoy these incredible restaurants. And don’t wait to enjoy them because they are constantly changing what restaurants offer. Happy Planning, Friends.