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10 Restaurants First Timers Must Try in Disney

Dining is a big part of a Walt Disney World vacation.  At 60 days prior to check-in Guests can start to make their dining reservations through the My Disney Experience.  When you start looking into all the restaurant options throughout the four Disney Parks and the Disney Resorts it can be super overwhelming.

We have our top ten restaurants in Walt Disney World that we think first-time visitors to Disney should visit.  These choices are because of the unique experiences that they offer as well as the delicious food that can be ordered.

This list will hopefully help you narrow down your dining options at Walt Disney World.

Cinderella's Royal Table
Credit: Disney

Cinderella’s Royal Table:  Magic Kingdom

Our first choice is the most iconic of all the dining locations and that is Cinderella’s Royal Table located inside the castle itself.  This is the only way most Guests are able to get into the castle during their vacation.

Guests are able to enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table.  These meals are pre-fixe with a set price but offer a majestic dining experience in the Grand Hall.  Prices range from $42 at breakfast and $62 at dinner for adults and then $27 to $37 for children ages 3 to 9 years old.

This meal isn’t cheap, but it is a fairytale experience that we think first-timers should consider experiencing during their Disney vacation.

Be Our Guest
Credit: Disney

Be Our Guest: Magic Kingdom

Another amazing dining experience found in Magic Kingdom is Be Our Guest. This experience takes Guests inside the Beast’s castle where they see the three beautiful dining areas taken right from the movie.

The Grand Ballroom is where we saw Belle and Beast dance the night away, in the West Wing Guests will see the enchanted rose, and in the Castle Gallery Belle’s private library can be seen.  We feel that this dining experience is amazing and one that first-time visitors to Walt Disney World will truly enjoy as they are transformed into the movie.

Lunch and dinner are a 3-course dining experience focused on French-inspired dishes.  The cost here is similar to Cinderella’s Royal Table with adults at $62 and children at $37.  We are also hearing of brunch starting to be served as the restaurant is opening earlier at 10 am.  Not much is known about this offering, but if it continues it would be a great way to visit.

Garden Grill
Credit: Disney

Garden Grill- EPCOT

Heading over to EPCOT, we think that a first-time visitor would be missing out if they didn’t try Garden Grill for a meal.

This family-style dining location not only slowly rotates showing scenes from Living with the Land, but Guests can enjoy meeting both Chip ‘n’ Dale, as well as farmer Mickey and possibly other Disney favorites.

For either lunch or dinner, Guests will enjoy a harvest full of delicious delights.  This is such a unique dining experience that we think first-time Guests will love it.

EPCOT- Space 220

A new outstanding dining experience in EPCOT is Space 220.  This out-of-this-world prix-fixe meal serves both lunch and dinner.  Lunch is a 2-course meal whereas dinner is a 3-course meal all featuring American cuisine.

During the meal, Guests will enjoy views of Earth from 220 miles up.  Part of the fun of this dining experience is the journey in the special space elevator that takes them to the stars.  This gives amazing views of EPCOT as they travel high up into space.

Space 220 is such a unique dining experience that we think first-timers will truly be amazed.

Sci Fi
Credit :Disney

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater- Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Another outstanding dining experience can be found in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre is a ‘50s-style drive-in theatre that plays sci-fi movie clips while Guests enjoy American cuisine.

As most of us no longer have the opportunity to experience a drive-in theatre, Sci-Fi is a fantastic option for a unique dining experience at Disney.

The lunch and supper menu is basic, but it is the atmosphere that makes this fantastic.

Mickey Tusker House

Tusker House- Disney’s Animal Kingdom

First-time visitors to Disney’s Animal Kingdom should try Tusker House.  Not only does this dining location offer character interactions with some of the big five such as safari Donald, Mickey, and Goofy, but they can also enjoy a variety of different flavors and cuisine.

Currently, a family-style meal, a variety of favorites are included throughout the day.  Beloved Mickey and Simba waffles can be found at breakfast and a variety of meat such as Moroccan spiced beef or spit-roasted herb chicken can be enjoyed for lunch and supper.

The colorful atmosphere, great characters, and delicious flavors are a wonderful choice for first-timers to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Whispering Canyon
Credit: Disney

Whispering Canyon Cafe- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

For a hearty meal with all-you-care-to-enjoy skillets first-timers (and all Guests) should head to Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

Not only will Guests be able to see the beautiful Disney Resort, but Guests will also be able to have a fantastic meal as they enjoy buttermilk-cheddar biscuits to slow-smoked ribs at lunch and dinner.  As these skillets are unlimited, it is a wonderful way to enjoy a variety of food and make sure the family gets full.

This is a unique dining location and one that we think first-timers will enjoy.

‘Ohana- Disney’s Polynesian Resort

One of the most popular dining locations in Walt Disney World is ‘Ohana found at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.  A family-style meal is served for both breakfast and dinner here focusing on Polynesian flavors.

Savory meats such as grilled teriyaki beef or grilled chicken alongside the ‘Ohana noodles are some of the best food.  Don’t forget the pineapple coconut bread pudding with vanilla ice cream to wrap it all up.

A beloved dining location in Walt Disney World and a must-do for first-timers.

Steakhouse 71- Disney’s Contemporary Resort

One of the newest dining options to open in Walt Disney World is Steakhouse 71 found at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.  This new dining location offers meals all day long with a nod back to the 1970s when the resort first opened.

Fans are raving about Steakhouse 71 and the amazing food options that are available here for Guests.  From the outstanding burger to steaks, first-timers to Walt Disney World will love the atmosphere, food, and chance to step away from the Parks.

Topolino’s Terrace- Flavors of the Riviera (Disney’s Rivera Resort)

Our last must-do restaurant for first-timers to Walt Disney World is going to be breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace.  This amazing dining location offers both French and Italian cuisine and one of the best breakfast dining experiences in Walt Disney World.

Called “Breakfast a la Art with Mickey and Friends”, the breakfast is a prix fixe menu that not only provides amazing bird’s eye views of Walt Disney World but also allows Guests to interact with Mickey and his friends in their amazing costumes.

These adorable costumes are fantastic and make this a must-do dining experience.  The combination of the characters, views and amazing food makes Topolino’s Terrace a top choice for first-timers to Walt Disney World.

It can be a lot of work to determine where to eat in Walt Disney World no matter how many times you visit, but for a first-time visit, it can be overwhelming.  We hope our list of 10 restaurants first-timers must try will help you narrow down your look and determine where you want to eat during your next Disney trip.

Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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