At Walt Disney World there are hundreds of restaurants to choose from. There’s character dining, buffet meals, signature restaurants. How do you narrow them down? On our most recent trip we dinned at 9 sit down restaurants. Many of them would be must do’s on many guest’s lists: Cinderella’s Royal Table, Hollywood & Vine, Topolino’s Terrace. Find out where each of our dining experiences ranked to help you decide where you should eat during your Disney World vacation.
9. T-Rex. Disney Springs.
T-Rex restaurant was our middle child, Lincoln’s, choice for Disney World dining. He claims this was his second favourite meal. This meal was exactly what I expected. The food was alright, the restaurant was really dark and the wait was very long. We did have a lovely server who was very accommodating. But with all the other wonderful places to eat at Disney Springs, this seemed like a wasted meal to me.
8. Cinderella’s Royal Table. Magic Kingdom.
I had such high expectations for this supper and this meal fell short. The food was fabulous. I had a meat dish, my salad was filled with flavours I would have never combined and my dessert was rich. What brought down the experience was the lack of characters and our service. There is currently only one character at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Guests get to meet Cinderella when first arriving at Cinderella’s Royal Table. The character was fantastic. Very interactive with the kids and taking a beautiful photograph. Once upon a time, there were several other princesses that would be present during the meal. This was not the case. There are no other characters at this time. Our daughter was very disappointed, and frankly so was I. The price of the meal is still the same, except without the full experience. Our server was forgetful. At a signature meal like this, I expect the best. You are paying top dollar for delicious food and top notch service. This was not the case. It really put us off from coming to Cinderella’s Royal Table again.
This Italian restaurant is delicious. Everything is made in house. The pizza dough, the bread, the pasta, everything on their menu is fresh and flavourful. It was the perfect meal to end our arrival day. Our meal was delicious. What places this restaurant as only 7th on our list was the service and simply how tired I was. It was in the middle of the meal that the full travel day really hit me. Which really cut down on my enjoyment of my food. But thankfully I was able to enjoy it again the following day as leftovers in our spectacular villa. Our server was sub par. He was very rushed and not interactive with us. It may have been that he had a big section, regardless he didn’t make us feel valued.
Beaches & Cream Soda Shop is a small little dining location found at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. We were staying at the Beach Club during this vacation so it was a perfect spot to grab lunch during one of our pool days. We had a fantastic server. She gave great suggestions on what to order but more importantly, she offered the kids food that wasn’t on the menu. The only reason that it’s number 6 on the list is because I already knew it was a fun spot. It met my expectations instead of surpassing them.
5. Hollywood & Vine. Hollywood Studios.
Hollywood & Vine is a buffet restaurant in Hollywood Studios. It’s also a character meal. This was one of three character meals during our trip. The kids were so excited to interact with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Pluto. They gave them lots of big hugs, which warmed my heart. I found the food delicious here. I love a good buffet because it allows me to have a huge variety of food in one sitting. I was able to have some salad, some meat, some fish, some dessert. You can’t get that variety when ordering one entree. I was surprised to find the items I chose to put on my plate were flavourful and hot. It is an expensive meal. Not totally worth the price, but I knew ahead of time how much it would cost so that helped lessen the blow.
4. Ale & Compass. Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.
Ale & Compass is a sit down restaurant at Disney’s Yacht Club resort. This was a last minute addition to our dining plans. We were supposed to dine at Sanaa the day we dined at Ale & Compass, but we discovered we were able to enter our DVC party earlier than we expected. So we opted to cancel our dinner at Sanaa and grab a breakfast at Ale & Compass. We had no expectations of this meal. We left our meal with every plan of going back again. We had a fantastic server, who was always at the ready to refill our coffees and bring fresh cutlery. Our food was so good. Our kids were also very well behaved. And let’s be honest, that can make or break a meal. Our kids ate up their Mickey Waffles and were content to play with their colouring sheets. It was an incredible way to begin our day.
3. Topolino’s Terrace. Disney’s Riviera Resort.
There’s a reason this reservation is one of the hardest to get. Topolino’s Terrace is open for breakfast and dinner, we dined here for breakfast. Breakfast is a character meal which makes it more enjoyable for the kids. What places Topolino’s third on my list is the food and the ambiance. The food was delicious. This included the fantastic breakfast appetizer pastries that came in an adorable artistic dish. The restaurant is on the top floor of the Riviera resort which gives you stunning views of the Walt Disney World property. Because we dined here at 7:50, we were in and out before the crowd.
2. Teppan Edo. Disney’s Epcot.
Teppan Edo is a Hibachi Style restaurant at Disney’s Epcot. This was my husband’s choice for our Disney vacation and I’m so glad he chose it. It was entertaining. The food was delicious and we were paired with a lovely family. We would definitely go back here once the kids are older and have a more adventurous palate. But despite the fact the kids didn’t love it, it still ranks as number two because it was so good and very entertaining. It was also such a different dining experience and a great way to break up our Epcot day. I love dining at the different pavilion restaurants. Being exposed to the different foods from different nations.
- Hoop Dee Doo Revue. Fort Wilderness Resort.
The number 1 spot goes to Hoop Dee Doo Revue. This is a dinner show located at Fort Wilderness Resort. The food was Western, the service was mediocre, the performance was spectacular. The performers were witty, talented and a joy to watch. Our family was laughing, clapping and singing along. Our middle guy, Lincoln, even got chosen to participate in the performance. This of course propelled the experience into the number one spot on this list. I love ribs, so the food was great for me. Not awesome for the rest of our table. The drinks are bottomless, so that also contributes to the fun evening. We will also be back to Hoop Dee Doo in the coming years.
For more detailed reviews on some of the restaurants, click the underlined links above. If you want more advice on where to dine during your Disney World vacation check out the following posts: