PlanningThe ParksTips

Don’t Believe These Lies About Disney Restaurants

One of the biggest decisions that Guests have to make when planning a Walt Disney World vacation revolves around food.  No one wants hungry kids so having a plan is a key to success.  Guests are able to choose either table service meals where they are waited on by amazing Disney Cast Members or quick service locations where they can mobile order and grab their food on their own.

There are some amazing choices when it comes to where to eat throughout Walt Disney World, but sometimes there are lies that start to circulate and provide misinformation.  We are here to help keep you informed so you don’t get wrapped up in these lies when making food choices for your Walt Disney World vacation.

connections eatery
Credit: Disney Park Blog

You Have to Eat Table Service To Have A Good Meal

A lot of people might try to convince you that the only way to have good food is to eat at table service restaurants.  This isn’t true at all at Walt Disney World. You might find fancier food at sit-down meals throughout the Walt Disney World property; however, there are some fantastic meals you can find at quick-service locations.

Some of the top options would be Satu’li Canteen and Flame Tree Barbecue in Animal Kingdom. Both of these options offer delicious, fresh food in large portions. The new Connections Cafe and Eatery in EPCOT has fresh, unique options that offer healthy choices as well.

In Disney Springs, you can get another amazing barbecue meal at Polite Pig. If you want something unique, consider getting a famous ronto wrap from Ronto Roasters in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Long gone are the days when you have to schedule a sit-down meal to get something besides burgers and nuggets.

Disney has done a fantastic job expanding food choices at all Disney Parks.  Don’t get wrapped up in the lie that you have to eat at table service locations in order to have good food.  There are so many good quick service locations now that this isn’t true.

Topolinos Terrace
Credit: Disney

Only People With Young Kids Should Do Character Meals

This is not the case at Walt Disney World. Character meals are for everyone that wants to try them out. Some of the best experiences at character meals have been with extended family as we have all enjoyed seeing the characters together and had a nice meal with one another.

It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, solo or with a large group of characters. Dining throughout Walt Disney World is a fun option for everyone. You can experience some great interactions right now at locations such as Tusker House, Topolino’s Terrace, Chef Mickey’s, and Hollywood and Vine, to name a few. If you are looking for an elegant character meal, look into Storybook Dining at Artist Point found at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.  Check out what characters are greeting Guests at each, and then be ready for a magical time.


Nomad Lounge
Photo Credit: Disney

Table-Service Meals Have the Best Atmosphere

There is no arguing that some of the best views and atmospheres can be found at sit-down meals throughout Disney World property. It is hard to beat a fireworks dinner at California Grill or to wake up with breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find an atmosphere at both lounges and quick-service locations as well.

Nomad Lounge in Animal Kingdom provides one of the best views and atmospheres in Disney World. Right off the water, this lounge has comfortable seating that allows Guests to truly relax. You can also enjoy a fun atmosphere at BaseLine Tap House in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This corner pub provides a welcoming atmosphere to those strolling by.

As we mentioned earlier, the new Connections Cafe and Eatery in EPCOT is an excellent quick-service location.  It provides a nice, open atmosphere giving Guests lots of room.  And don’t forget about the magic of having Casey’s hot dog while sitting on the hub grass in Magic Kingdom. Sometimes the best moments are the simple ones.

If you want a fun, unique atmosphere for your meal, you don’t have to invest time and money in a sit-down meal. Look into those fun lounges and quick-service options that will provide you with the desired experience.

Grand Floridian Cafe
Credit: Disney

If You Don’t Book at 60 Days, You Are Out of Luck

While we highly recommend trying to get your dining reservations made at the 60-day mark, if you aren’t able to snag that highly desired reservation it doesn’t mean you are out of luck.

We highly recommend that you keep checking back on the app as many reservations come available as people are constantly changing their plans. Even if you can’t get a reservation up until the day of, you still have a chance to eat at your desired location. The My Disney Experience app now displays walk-ups available, allowing Guests to join a waitlist, giving them a day of a chance to eat their sit-down meal of choice.

Don’t give up if you have a dining location you really want to experience.  Keep on checking as they open up all the time.

California Grill Fireworks
With sweeping views of Magic Kingdom fireworks from atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the re-imagined California Grill also features a new design inspired by mid-century modern California, and a new menu showcasing seasonal ingredients and a lighter touch. Known for its stellar wine list, the restaurant now boasts about 250 wine selections, 80 by the glass, an expanded sake list, eight kinds of craft beers and ciders and signature cocktails created by staff mixologists. Disney’s Contemporary Resort is located at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kent Phillips, photographer)

Table-Service Meals Are For Adults

If the dining location is in Disney World, then kids are expected and welcomed there. Except for Victoria and Albert’s, kids are welcomed at all Disney dining locations. Don’t feel like you have to skip out on the fireworks meal or the nice evening because you don’t want to bring your little one. Disney is a place for kids and families, and they are more than prepared to welcome little ones.

Having a nice meal is a special part of a Walt Disney World vacation.  Don’t get wrapped up in these lies as you start to plan.  Take a look at our other dining suggestions on How to Disney for more tips and tricks.


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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