There are an overwhelming amount of choices when it comes to dining at Disney World. Today we are going to break down the fantastic restaurant options that are just at Walt Disney World resorts. There are so many ways to classify something as the best. So we have a ton of different categories to rank the best Disney resort restaurants.
Best Overall Disney Resort Restaurant
Let’s cut to the chase – when you clicked this article you wanted to know the best of the best! Starting off the list is the BEST resort restaurant
There is a lot of hype around Topolino’s Terrace at Disney’s newest resort, the Riviera Resort, and we’re here to tell you that it stands up to the hype! This restaurant is gorgeous and very classy, even putting some of the artistic theming in the breakfast foods! The food is refined but approachable.
What makes Topolino’s Terrace really different is that in the morning it is a character dining experience, (the BEST character dining on property, we think), and in the evening it is a fancy-schmancy signature restaurant in the evening.
If you’re looking for the best resort restaurant try Topolino’s Terrace for one of the best meals in a beautiful restaurant in Disney’s most beautiful resort!
Disney Resort Restaurant that is Best for Kids
What’s more kid-friendly than burgers and sandwiches in a 50s-style restaurant? One that serves more ice cream than a sweet grandma… A whole lot more. What would you think of a sundae that has a scoop of every flavor of ice cream, with every topping, and a whole can of whipped cream? Sounds like everything but the kitchen sink. Kidding! It has that too! Seriously, this restaurant has what’s called a “Kitchen Sink Sundae” for just $34.99. This is more than a ton of ice cream – This is a core memory!
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is the most immersive and relaxed of all of the resorts. When you are here for a meal or for a resort stay, you feel like you are on island time. Sit back and sip something sweet out of a pineapple! Capt. Cook’s is a great restaurant for families because the menu will have island vibe dishes, but also chicken nuggets, wings, and easy-breezy American food.
We need to discuss the real win at Capt. Cook’s… Tonga. Toast. On the breakfast menu is a little something called Tonga Toast that Disney describes as Banana-stuffed Sourdough Bread, Battered, Deep-fried, and Dusted with Cinnamon-Sugar, or as we like to say, Deep-fried goodness.
The Riviera Resort can feel so grand that at times it almost feels adult only with the fancy decor and fancier food, but Primo Piatto is definitely an approachable menu for families with sandwiches and flatbreads. Don’t worry, foodies, there are elevated simple dishes, too. We’re looking a you fluffy blueberry lemon mascarpone pancakes!
Best for Date Night
Looking for a swanky night out with some food that you recognize on the menu, but made a lot more complicated? Let’s face it, typically when you do date night you play it safe. Citricos is anything but safe! Want an example? Guava Barbequed Short Ribs. It shouldn’t work, but let us tell you, it does!
Don’t choose between surf and turf, Narcoosee’s is the perfect indulgence of surf and turf. Date night level unlocked with delicious steak and seafood, all covered in butter.
Enjoy a wonderful catch of the day and some tasty buttermilk fried chicken at the unassuming Olivia’s Cafe. What makes this a great date night spot? Unlike most of Walt Disney World, Disney’s Old Key West Resort is QUIET. Which, if you have kids, is equivalent to romance.
Best for Large Parties
Yeehaw! Saddle up, partner! The rowdy restaurant with all of the cheeky antics is perfect for large groups! The first reason why this restaurant is great for groups is the menu. Whispering Canyon specializes in bottomless skillets that you can share with other people who buy skillets, so if you have a group buying skillets, you just have a food trough of awesomeness! Also, the more important reason that Whispering Canyon Cafe is great for large groups is that there are always reservations available! Side note: how is this place still a hidden gem?!?
Dining tip: Split up large parties for reservations. It will be much easier to get 2 tables of 4 for the same time than 1 reservation of 8.
Take a break in your Magic Kingdom day with a break to Walt Disney World’s most refined resort! Grand Floridian Cafe is humongous, and a perfect place to cool off and enjoy a nice meal with your big party of 8 or more!
Nothing says group meal like tacos! Tacos just say party no matter where you are. The Maya Grill has taco salad, Mexican street corn, beef tacos, shrimp tacos, tacos, tacos, tacos!
With a menu section that is called “Spreadable, Dipable, Shareable”, how can we not recommend it for large parties? That being said, while yes, there is a kid’s menu and children are totally welcome, the best big party here would be a group of adults having an adult-only trip.
If you look up splurge in the dictionary you would find a menu for Victoria & Albert’s. This is the only restaurant on Disney property to have an age requirement! “Adults” 10 and over can enjoy one of the finest dining experiences of a lifetime. This 7-course meal starts at a prix fixe starting at just $295 per person. You can also include wine pairing to go with each course. Utter indulgence.
Indulge in a 28 oz. Porterhouse for two with cognac butter for $139 or a Chilled Admiral’s Tower for Two, which is Maine Lobster, Snow Crab, Tuna Tartare, Jumbo Shrimp, Mussels, Scallop Ceviche, and Charred Octopus Salad.
Enjoy the “non-Disney” nature that is Disney’s Gran Destino Tower at Toledo! While there is a full menu, there is also a special Chef menu. The Signature Chef Menu for two is $145 and features the the Flight of Four Pinxtos, Chuleton Bone-in Ribeye, The Spainard, and the Toledo Tapas Bar Dessert.
Disney Restaurants with the Best Fireworks Viewing
California Grill at the top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort is a great place to get some fancy sushi and other Asian/Californian-style dishes. Okay, California isn’t a cuisine, but here we’re using it to describe very fresh, very light, colorful, flavorful dishes that also have Asian inspiration.
This location is hands-down the best place to see the fireworks! You can also see them from Ohana, but if you’re looking to watch the fireworks from a restaurant, you should be up high!
PRO TIP: You don’t need to have the perfect reservation time to see the fireworks at California Grill. If you bring back your receipt from any time that day, you can watch the fireworks from the outside patio!
Best Character Dining at Disney Resorts
Chef Mickey’s is an icon! When people think of character dining, this is exactly what they think of. Classic Disney characters like Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and Donald all dressed up as chefs coming out to hug guests? Yes, please!
Sad, but true, there are not a lot of hard core Snow White fan, especially in comparison with other princesses or Disney fandoms. BUT even if you’re not a huge Snow White fan, we totally recommend this character dining because it has something that the other character dining doesn’t… Amazing food!
Don’t get us wrong, other character dining is good, but it’s not much different from restaurants that you would visit in your hometown with your kids. Storybook Dining is the exception! Food is fancy comfort food served all you care to enjoy tableside, and get this, even the food presentation is themed!
Best Value Disney Resort Restaurant
You wouldn’t imagine that in Disney World a steakhouse would be listed #1 under best value, but Steakhouse 71 not only serves a delicious steak, which I would sure hope so since it’s in its name, but the steaks start at $36 for a 10 oz. strip! Now, that is an excellent value!
Trail’s End Restaurant is a family-style all you care to enjoy restaurant at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. What makes this place a real hidden gem to throw in on your Magic Kingdom days is the price. Where other Disney all you care to enjoy start around $42 per person, Trail’s End is $29.99 and $17.99 for children.
This isn’t a resort restaurant that you should go out of your way for, but the menu is priced similarly to the quick service restaurant, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Magic Kingdom. If you’re staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort and are hankering a burger or fish taco, you can get a great deal at Spyglass Grill. They also have excellent prices on breakfast! Remember, there aren’t a lot of great early morning food options in the parks!
Best Buffet at a Disney Resort Restaurant
Boma is not your traditional buffet. There is food that everyone will love, but there are some twists on international food as well. Boma features a lot of approachable curries and African inspired dishes right alongside your typical buffet macaroni and cheese so that you can try new things but have a simple classic to fall back on if you don’t like it.
Cape May Cafe may be a buffet all day long, but the breakfast buffet is where it’s at. Priced at only $25 per adult and $14 per child, this buffet is priced right! Plus, there are Mickey waffles on this buffet line!
Best Disney World Dinner Show
It’s back! It’s finally back! Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue reopened its doors at the end of June in 2022, and we are so excited! This place brings dinner show a whole new meaning with antics and comedy in a wholesome silly way. Bring on the strawberry shortcake and unlimited ribs!
Best Dessert at Disney World Resorts
While the rest of the internet is obsessed with Ohana noodles, we’re over here singing about the bread pudding! It is thick and classic but with a tropical twist because of some pineapple and coconut. By far, the best dessert in ANY Disney restaurant!
PRO TIP: Ask for more ice cream so that you can get a bit with every bite of bread pudding
Walt Disney World knows bread pudding. Boatwright’s has a banana cream pie bread pudding that’s out of this world fantastic! The bread is just right, and you taste the custard, vanilla, and bananas. All the flavors just come together to make the tummy happy.
This one was pretty simple. Do you like chocolate? Do you like cake? Do you like chocolate cake? Now picture a 12-layer chocolate cake. Twelve thin layers of sponge cake are held together with a rich and chocolatey buttercream that is perfect for chocolate lovers everywhere!
Most Adventurous Disney Resort Menu
Try some new foods out of your comfort zone at Sanaa. The dishes are inspired by African and Asian cuisines without anything that is too wild that would be intimidating to try. The real wile part of this restaurant is the actual wildlife right outside the window! This restaurant is located right on the Disney savannah!
Where Sanaa was a gentle nudge, Jiko was a full roundhouse kick out of your comfort zone! Jiko has refined African flavors and traditional African meats. Where else in Walt Disney World can you eat wild boar and oxtail?
Kona Cafe is a great place to get away from the cheeseburgers and personal pizzas of the park. You can get sushi, poke bowls, and great fish dishes like mahi mahi.
Sebatian’s Bistro is basically the less popular Caribbean cousin to Ohana. It’s also half the price! Where Ohana is Polynesian food, Sebastian’s serves flavors from the Caribbean. Here you can try citrus chicken, mango sambal, mojo pork, and flank steak with mojito relish. We love how fruit is brought into flavor in almost every dish!
Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory – Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
Break out your best Raymond accent from Princess and the Frog because it’s Cajun, bruh! Head on down to the bayou to enjoy jambalaya, blacken shrimp, gumbo, and all kinds of flavorful Cajun foods.
Don’t Forget Resort Restaurants That Are “Off Resort”
You may have noticed those 1990s coral pink and green buildings on Disney property. Those are Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin hotels. These are unique because they are Disney Resorts without being Disney Resorts. Let us explain: Disney struck a deal with Marriot in the early nineties that resulted in these two hotels. They ARE NOT run by Disney like all of the other resorts on property. However, you will get all of the perks of a Disney World Resort guest. More on that in a minute….
These hotels have a whole list of great restaurants, too, so be sure to check them out to see if they are right for your trip:
- Garden Grove – Disney Swan & Dolphin Resort
- Todd English’s Bluezoo – Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort
- Shula’s Steak House – Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort
- Picabu – Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort
- Kimonos – Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort
- Amare Mediterranean Restaurant – Walt Disney World Swan Reserve
Why would someone stay at the Swan and Dolphin Resort?
The Swan and Dolphin Resort Hotels are run by the Marriott with no Disney theming, so why would you want to stay there? From a cost perspective, you can get a great deal on a room, and you can even use your Marriott Reward Points! From a Disney perspective, these resorts get the use of Disney transportation and it is only a 10 minute walk from Hollywood Studios. If you’re a Star Wars fan and Rise of Resistance is really important to you, this is a great option because you can wake up early and walk so you don’t need to worry about the chaos of transportation!
These resorts also share the perks of early morning entry, Genie+ perks to select your Individual Lightning Lane passes before the non-resort guests, and the ability to make dinner reservations for your entire trip at 60 days out!
Final Thoughts on Disney Resort Restaurants
Walt Disney World Resorts transport you to another place entirely and their restaurants really round out that illusion. Be sure to take advantage of your resorts and take the time to slow down and enjoy them. Maybe it’s date night or a quiet lunch, your resort is going to have a great option for you. Your goal for your Walt Disney World vacation should be that with all of the amazing food options available, you should strive to try something new on every trip. Make it something that you never order otherwise!
What Resort Restaurant Do You Think Is Best? We Want To Know!
I am a mother of three that has refused to grow up. Adulting is for the birds, so I go to Disney World every chance I get for that magical escape from reality. I believe that Haunted Mansion is the best ride in all of the Disney Parks, and I am fervently in team Happily Ever After for fireworks spectaculars, (sorry, not sorry, Enchanted). Finally, I hope I never grow tired of skipping down Main Street, USA, and my dream come true would be “friends with” the Fairy Godmother in my old age.