PlanningThe ParksTips

Top Meals We Think Are Worth Leaving the Disney Parks

Planning where we want to eat while on a Walt Disney World vacation is a key part of our planning process.  Table-service reservations can be made at 60-days prior to check-in day and even though two months might seem silly, a lot of the prime dining locations fill up that early.

Although you might think it easier to stay in the Disney Parks for meals, we have found that there are some table-service meals that are definitely worth leaving the Disney Parks to experience.

Leaving the Disney Parks for a meal is a great way to take a break from the crowds as well as a way to experience the amazing Disney Resorts and Disney Springs.

It does take some planning and effort when it comes to eating outside of the Disney Parks; however, we have some top choices.  There are dining experiences that we think are definitely worth the extra bus ride or rideshare cost.  They offer great food and atmosphere!  Take a look and then get your dining plans ready for your Walt Disney World vacation.

steakhouse71 Disney

Steakhouse 71- Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Our first choice is located at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and it isn’t California Grill.  In October, Disney opened Steakhouse 71 as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration.  This took place of the beloved Wave, but Guests are raving about the changes.

To start the decor is a throwback to 1971 and celebrates with pictures of the start of Walt Disney World.  The food doesn’t disappoint either.  Opened for breakfast, lunch, and supper, Steakhouse 71 includes some of Walt Disney’s favorites.

Guests are loving The Steakhouse 71 Feast, French Onion Soup, Steakhouse Burger, and the Prime Rib.  The food is fresh and the servers are outstanding.  You can start your morning with a nice meal or sneak away from the Magic Kingdom for a quick, light bite in the middle of the day.

We absolutely love both the food choices, drink options, and the amazing atmosphere throughout Steakhouse 71 and it is one meal we think is worth leaving the Disney Parks to experience.

Grand Floridian Cafe
Photo Credit: Disney

Grand Floridian Cafe- Disney’s Grand Floridian

Over at Disney’s Grand Floridian, we highly recommend checking out Grand Floridian Cafe.  This beautiful, relaxing dining location is a wonderful option when you need to step away from the hustle and bustle of Magic Kingdom.

Grand Floridan Cafe offers not only beautiful views of the gardens and grounds of the Victorian Style Grand Floridian, but the food options are also top-notch.

You can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the cafe.  There are a variety of delicious options such as the lobster burger which is a fan favorite.  We like that we can get our beloved Mickey Waffle as well as amazing desserts and drinks.

Located so close to Magic Kingdom, we belove that Grand Floridian Cafe is a hidden gem that is well worth taking a monorail ride to visit during your Walt Disney World vacation.

Topolinos Terrace
Credit: Disney

Topolino’s Terrace- Flavors of the Riviera- Disney’s Riviera

For a meal with amazing food and breathtaking views, we highly recommend taking the Disney Skyliner to Disney’s Riviera Resort.  Here, you will want to experience either breakfast or dinner at Topolino’s Terrace which is located at the top of the tower.

This location gives Guests breathtaking views of the Walt Disney World Resort Property.  It isn’t just the views that are worth the trip out of the Disney Parks thought.  The food is delicious.

For breakfast, Guests can enjoy “Breakfast a la Art with Mickey and Friends.”  For breakfast, Guests are able to dine with Mickey and Friends as they show off their artistic skills.  Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy are all in adorable costumes showing off their skills and passions.

Guests start with yummy pastries before ordering an entree such as sour cream waffles or salmon.  For supper, there aren’t any characters as the meal takes on a more high-end feel.

Enjoy the sunset from high up in the Resort while enjoying a nice beverage and extraordinary entrees.

No matter if you want breakfast or supper, we highly recommend taking the Disney Skyliner over to Disney’s Riviera.  Plan in some extra time so you can explore the beautiful Disney Resort as well.

Credit: DIsneydining

Sanaa, Boma, Jiko- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

One Disney Resort we think is well worth the trip over to see is Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.  Not only is the Resort itself absolutely stunning with a breathtaking lobby and amazing views of the savanna, but the dining here is also fantastic.

Boma is the buffet that allows Guests to experience a variety of African flavors as they can pick and choose what they add to their plate.

Sanaa is another option and is known for the bread service.  Here, Guests can enjoy the fresh bread and nine dipping sauces.

Finally, Jiko- Cooking Place, is the signature dining option.  Here Guests can experience a top-notch, high-end dining experience.

No matter what kind of dining experience you are looking for, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is an excellent option and well worth the bus ride it takes to get there.

There are a lot of outstanding dining options throughout Walt Disney World.  As we looked at options found outside of the Disney Parks, these were our top options.  All of these options offer delicious food with an amazing atmosphere giving an overall dining experience.

Which of these dining locations will you be adding to your list for your next Walt Disney World vacation?

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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