DiningThe ParksTips

No Park Ticket? No Problem! Great Dining Options Outside of the Disney Parks

Having grand meals is all part of the magic at Walt Disney World. If you are planning on a few days without heading into the Disney Parks or want to enjoy some meals outside the busy Disney Parks, we have some excellent ideas for you.

Some of the best meals throughout Walt Disney World can be found outside of Disney Parks. We will break them down so you can hopefully find the meal you are looking for to make your Disney vacation that much more magical.

Topolinos Terrace
Credit: Disney

Character Meals

Enjoying a character meal at Walt Disney World is truly magical. Luckily, a handful of outstanding character meals are located outside the Disney Parks.

Topolino’s Terrace- Disney’s Riviera Resort

One of the top character meals in or out of Disney Parks can be found at Disney’s Riviera Resort. At the top of this beautiful Resort, Topolino’s Terrace brings flavors to the Riviera.

Guests can enjoy breakfast a la Art with Mickey & Friends during breakfast. This prix fixe menu provides unique breakfast dishes while Guests enjoy incredible views from high up. While enjoying the outstanding cuisine, Guests can meet with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Daisy Duck, all dressed in unique and adorable outfits.

This truly magical experience and the most popular character meal at Walt Disney World.

Chef Mickey’s- Disney’s Contemporary Resort

For an upbeat atmosphere where Chef Mickey and friends entertain Guests while they enjoy options from a family -style all you care to eat experience. Available for breakfast and dinner, this high-energy meal is a lot of fun.

The combination of the characters, watching the monorail go by, and various dishes make this character meal fun for Guests to experience. Remember that this isn’t the best option if you want a low-key experience. Chef Mickey’s is all about the excitement.

‘Ohana- Disney’s Polynesian Resort

We are thrilled that Lilo and Stitch are again back at ‘Ohana, located in Disney’s Polynesian Resort. During breakfast, Lilo, Stitch, and other friends come around and visit with Guests. Breakfast options are family-style and include the beloved MMickey (and Stitch) waffles, fruits, bread, and much more.

Visiting the beautiful Resort and hanging out with your Ohana is a perfect way to start the day.

Story Book Dining at Artist Point- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

For a truly unique dining experience, you will want to experience Story Book Dining at Artist Point. Guests dine in the Enchanted Forest and are visited by Snow White, Dopey, Grumpy, and even the Evil Queen.

This is offered only during dinner and is a prix fixe menu. Guests can enjoy appetizers and entrees and wrap up the night with dessert. The overall experience at this restaurant is top-notch.

If you want to experience a character meal during your Walt Disney World vacation, you don’t have to have a Disney Park ticket. These character meals at some of Disney’s best Resorts are excellent options.

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)

Best Views

We have two top dining options for you outside of the Disney Parks if you are looking for dinner with a view.

Sanaa- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, we highly recommend visiting Sanna. You can enjoy a meal here while watching animals like giraffes and zebras roam the savanna.

Not only is the view incredible, but the food is also outstanding. Don’t skip out on the beloved bread service. Enjoy flatbreads and several dipping sauces that are fantastic.

California Grill- Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Our other top pick for amazing views is California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Here Guests can enjoy a meal while looking over Magic Kingdom and the Seven Seas Lagoon. Time is correct, and you can experience the Magic Kingdom fireworks above the Magic Kingdom.

Currently, California Grill is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World with a unique limited-time menu. We haven’t heard when this will adjust, but with the celebration running through March 2023, we expect it will be around for a while.

Hoop de doo musical review

Dinner and a Show

For those wanting a little entertainment with their meal, there are options outside of the Disney Parks.

Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue- Disney’s Fort Wilderness

We are thrilled that this show is again at Disney’s Fort Wilderness. This two-hour dinner and show are full of dancing, singing, and laughs. Guests enjoy all they care to eat fried chicken, ribs, cornbread, and more while the show goes on around them.

Shows happen multiple times on select evenings, so see what works for your schedule and prepare for a great time.

Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant- Disney Springs

Another excellent location for an outstanding show during dinner is Raglan Road. Live Irish music and dance happen throughout the evening while Guests enjoy excellent cuisine. There is even a Rollicking Raglan Brunch on the weekends where Guests can enjoy excellent entrees while the Rhythms of Raglan Dance Show hits the Main Stage.

Grand Floridian Cafe
Credit: Disney

Other Top Option

We have a lot of favorites outside of the Disney Parks when it comes to dining options. Here are a few other options that we enjoy during our Disney vacations.

Grand Floridian Cafe- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Located in the beautiful Grand Floridian Resort, this low-key cafe is a fantastic dining option throughout the day. Start with an excellent breakfast, or enjoy the famous lobster burger for lunch and dinner.

We love the quiet atmosphere and beautiful setting.

A great meal is essential to a Walt Disney World vacation. There are some fantastic options outside the Disney Parks for having fantastic meals. We hope that these suggestions help you determine where you want to eat.

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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