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One Time Only: Disney Restaurants We Won’t Be Dining at Again

We love to nerd out about all things Disney food! We love discussing sweet snackson-the-go optionsaffordable theme park eats, cuisine-specific guides, and more. But today, let’s talk about those Disney restaurant experiences we will not be doing again. 

Can you think of spots you’ve visited at a Disney Park that you would not visit again? Maybe the luster was in the first visit, and you wouldn’t have as much fun on return visits. Perhaps the food was not that great. Possibly the location was inconvenient, or maybe the food was yummy but pricey. For these reasons and more, this article is focused on Disney restaurants we won’t be dining at again.

Chef Mickey’s

Chef Mickey's

Credit: Disney

Starting with a controversial one. A short monorail ride from the Magic Kingdom Park is Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. This buffet was a staple of Disney vacations when I was a child and was a crowd-pleaser for the whole family. These days, it’s landed on my one-time-only list. Prices have steadily climbed over the years while the food quality has declined. 

You’ll still chow down on a buffet of roast meats, sides, salads, and desserts for dinner, but the food quality for the price is just not my favorite. Snagging a restaurant reservation here for character dining or to dine underneath the monorail may make sense for your family, but I’m going to pass on Chef Mickey’s for now.

Rainforest Café 

Rainforest Cafe Dining Room

Credit: Disney

Rainforest Café in Disney Springs Marketplace was another vacation staple for my family for years but now has moved to my one-time-only list. The food is good, and the environment is so much fun, but with the expansion of Disney Springs in the last decade, there are many better dining options to explore. Narrowing down what I’m going to eat during a shopping day has become tough with options like BoathouseBlazeD-Luxe Burger, and Morimoto Asia

I will always have a special place in my heart for Rainforest Café. I will absolutely drop by the Lava Lounge at my leisure to snag a tropical cocktail between shops, but this beloved Disney Springs spot is no longer on the list of places I frequently dine at.

Crystal Palace

Dining Room

Credit: Disney

Much like Chef Mickey’s, Crystal Palace Restaurant in Magic Kingdom is not my go-to dining spot these days. The American-style buffet cuisine at this theme park feels more like a Golden Corral or Ryan’s Buffet than it did in previous years. The building itself is beautiful, and I love that it’s a character dining experience with more difficult-to-meet characters, but otherwise — I’m out!

Crystal Palace

Credit: Disney

No staple dish makes you want to come back for more. For example, 1900 Park Fare’s Strawberry Bisque is iconic, and the Butternut Squash Soup at Boma is so delicious. Crystal Palace is expensive; the dining room is cramped, and the food is average.

California Grill

California Grill Sushi

Credit: Disney

Another dining experience at Disney’s Contemporary Resort that ranks on this list because of the booking difficulty and cost is at the top of the hotel. California Grill is a delicious table service restaurant with a view of this iconic Disney World Resort and the Magic Kingdom. Diners enjoy a beautiful view of Bay Lake while sipping California wines and enjoying iconic foods like Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli and fresh sushi. My favorite pork dish is prepared in three different ways.

This elite dining experience is a Disney must-do, but it is pricey. Securing an advanced dining reservation for this Disney experience can be challenging, especially for larger parties. Unfortunately, because of scheduling difficulties and price, this dining experience can be a one-time-only experience for many Guests.

Cinderella’s Royal Table

Character meal cost

Credit: Disney

What could be more magical than dining at Cinderella Castle? Talk about major Disney Princess vibes! Cinderella’s Royal Table is located at the Fantasyland entrance in the Magic Kingdom. As you might guess, securing a Disney dining reservation for this spot and shelling out the cash to dine here is not easy. If you do secure an advance dining reservation to eat at Cinderella’s Royal Table, you can look forward to a fantastic character dining experience with Disney Princesses! 

Kids and adults alike will love this Disney experience! You’ll dine on a prix fixe menu with options like Steamed Mussels, Beef Tenderloin, and Chocolate Mousse. This is a notoriously difficult dining reservation to snag, so most Guests that do visit this restaurant do so only once or twice. 

Victoria & Albert’s

Victoria and Albert's Chef

Credit: Disney

What can be more luxe than dining at a Deluxe Disney ResortTHE Deluxe Resort is Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. Located right on the monorail line, this Victorian-themed hotel delivers big on decadent dining options, beautiful views of Bay Lake and the Magic Kingdom and plenty of opportunities for relaxation and luxury. Speaking of luxury, this Disney hotel is home to what many consider the most exclusive and expensive Disney World restaurants – Victoria & Albert’s.

Victoria & Albert’s is a once-in-a-lifetime customized dining experience. You will enjoy a chef-to-table experience that is so customized I can’t explain the food you will enjoy at this exclusive Disney spot. Because this is so exclusive, dining reservations are sparse, and the price is HIGH. Victoria & Albert’s is a definite one-time-only dining experience. 

What Disney restaurant are you striking from your dining plan on future visits?

This post originally appeared on DisneyDining.com.

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