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Skip This Disney Full-Service Restaurant… Dine Here Instead!

Dining is a crucial part of any Walt Disney World experience. Whether you are spending the day in a Disney Park or relaxing in a Walt Disney World Resort hotel instead, you always need to consider the next Disney restaurant you will visit.

When dining in the Walt Disney World Resort, it is recommended that you secure an advance dining reservation for any full-service restaurant that you wish to eat in. While some restaurants may have walk-up availability, advance dining reservations guarantee your dining experience. We understand that no matter how hard you try, there are some restaurants you just won’t be able to get a dining reservation for.

With this in mind, we want to share with you the Disney restaurants we skip and those we dine at instead. While some will be popular restaurants amongst Disney Guests, others are a little less well-known but still provide an excellent Disney dining experience.

Skip: ‘Ohana

‘Ohana is a family-style restaurant in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The Disney restaurant offers two dining experiences for Guests. Start the stay with the Best Friends Breakfast featuring Lilo & Stitch. Alternatively, enjoy a family-style dinner and fill up on Hawaiian specialties.

We adore the atmosphere of ‘Ohana, especially during dinner time. It’s even more special when your dining reservation coincides with Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom Park. However, securing a reservation in the Disney restaurant can take time and effort. You can also expect an extensive check at the end of your dinner, costing $59 per adult and $38 per child before tax and gratuity.

'Ohana, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
Credit: V Mills

Dine: Sebastian’s Bistro

So, you can’t get that advance dining reservation at ‘Ohana that you have been waiting for? Why not dine at Sebastian’s Bistro instead? Located at Old Port Royale promenade at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, you can enjoy Latin and Caribbean flavors served in family-style dishes. You can enjoy a four-course meal for $35 per adult and $19 per child before tax and gratuity. Catch the Disney Skyliner from EPCOT or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and stroll through Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort before your dining experience. After dinner, walk to Disney’s Riviera Resort and explore a new Disney Resort hotel.

Sebastian's Bistro, Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
Credit: Disney Tips

Skip: Tusker House

Have you visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom if you haven’t dined in Tusker House? The Disney character dining location is popular throughout the day. Guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the restaurant. The Harambe marketplace provides the perfect setting for the delightful buffet. Then, sit at your table to enjoy your food, accompanied by Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Mickey Mouse, and Goofy in their safari gear.

Being a Disney character dining location, you can expect to pay more for your experience. Breakfast is $45 per adult, and $29 per child, while lunch and dinner are $59 per adult and $38 per child, not including tax and gratuity.

Tusker House, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Credit: Disney/TripAdvisor

Dine: Boma – Flavors of Africa

Whether you can’t secure an advance dining reservation at Tusker House or are looking for a cheaper restaurant, there is an excellent alternative in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Just a short bus ride from Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the Lodge has plenty of exquisite restaurants to dine at. One of those is Boma – Flavors of Africa. While lunch isn’t offered here, breakfast is available between 7:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., and dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Enjoy a variety of flavors from over fifty African countries and favorite American classics.

Advance dining reservations are easier to come by at Boma – Flavors of Africa, compared to Tusker House. You also don’t require a Disney Park Reservation to be able to dine. Additionally, there is a welcomed saving for dining at Boma – Flavors of Africa, which reflects the Disney restaurant not offering a Disney character dining experience. Adults can enjoy breakfast for $35 and children for $21. Dinner costs $54 per adult and $32 per child before tax and gratuity. We recommend taking some time to explore Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge after your dining experience. You won’t want to miss the Savannah!

Boma - Flavors of Africaa, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Credit: Disney/Orlando Sentinel

Skip: Tony’s Town Square

Located at the top of Main Street, U.S.A, in Magic Kingdom, Tony’s Town Square is an Italian restaurant. Like in Lady and the Tramp (1955), Guests can enjoy the famous spaghetti, meatballs, and other classic Italian dishes. Lunch and dinner are served at the Magic Kingdom restaurant. Walk-in availability may be possible throughout the day. However, advance dining reservations are recommended.

Tony's Town Square, Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney/Chaotically Yours

Dine: Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano

When dining in an Italian restaurant in the Disney Parks, we prefer Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Hidden away in Grand Avenue, the most welcoming dining space features string lights, checked curtains, and walls filled with mementos. The menu is varied, offering Italian dishes with a Californian twist. We also love that dining at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano can be part of the Fantasmic! dining package provides guaranteed seating in a reserved area of the Hollywood Hills Amphitheatre.

Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano, Disney's Hollywood Studios
Credit: V Mills

Skip: Cape May Cafe

Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast is served daily at Cape May Cafe in Disney’s Beach Club Resort. Guests can enjoy a breakfast buffet, featuring all their favorite breakfast items, including Mickey waffles. Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Goofy join Guests in their swimming outfits. Cape May Cafe is a popular spot to dine before a day in EPCOT theme park, so advance dining reservations are highly recommended.

Cape May Cafe, Disney's Beach Club Resort
Credit: Resort Gals/Disney

Dine: Ale & Compass

But maybe you want something a little cheaper and without the accompaniment of Disney characters with your breakfast? One of our favorite spots is just next door in Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. Ale & Compass offers an intimate, quiet dining place reminiscent of a cozy lighthouse. Breakfast is from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Our recommendation is to enjoy the Breakfast Buffet for $23. Help yourself to continental offerings from the kitchen buffet before enjoying your choice of entree. Within the cost, you also have a choice of beverage. You won’t be disappointed!

Ale & Compass Restaurant, Disney's Yacht Club
Credit: V Mills

Skip: Citricos

In Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Citricos serves delectable Floridian cuisine with Mediterranean flavors. Enjoy the whimsical and elegant theming that pays homage to Mary Poppins Returns (2018). Dinner at Citricos is from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Secure an advanced dining reservation to guarantee your dining experience at the sophisticated Walt Disney World restaurant.

Cirticos, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort
Credit: V Mill

Dine: California Grill

While Citricos is a good restaurant choice, if you are looking for a signature dining experience, we prefer California Grill in Disney’s Contemporary Resort. California Grill offers stunning views over Magic Kingdom Park and Seven Seas Lagoon. While the dining experience is a little more pricey, the food is delectable. After dinner, retire to the outdoor viewing platform to enjoy the best view of Happily Ever After. The nighttime spectacular music is played through the speakers to enhance your viewing.

California Grill, Disney's Contemporary Resort
Credit: V Mills

Which Disney restaurants are you planning to dine at during your next Disney vacation? Are there any that you are yet to try? We recommend visiting them in your plans to enhance your Disney experience.

Victoria Mills

Victoria is a Disney-loving, tea-drinking, Math teacher from Liverpool, England. Her motto is 'work hard, Disney harder'! Having taken part in the Disney College Program back in 2010, Victoria's love and appreciation for Walt Disney World only grew, and it's the place where she feels most herself - it's home!

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