What Makes Dining at Disney World so Special

With hundreds of restaurants on the property, dining is a huge part of what many people enjoy about Disney.

Some of the restaurants are wildly and wonderfully themed, and adults as well as kids will enjoy the unique experiences they offer. Some are less extreme, but with good food. With everything from simple counter-service restaurants to a gourmet AAA Five Diamond award winner called Victoria & Albert’s, the options are plentiful. These restaurants are found in the Disney resorts, Disney Springs and in the parks.

Disney Springs is packed with some of the most unusual restaurants you’ve ever seen.

For example at T-Rex you’ll eat amidst roaring dinosaurs, and in Planet Hollywood you’ll sit inside a globe packed with real movie memorabilia from major films. Wolfgang Puck offers his signature dining with counter-service to full-service gourmet within several different locations. The list goes on but you could easily spend weeks just enjoying the unique options in Disney Springs before you tried everything.

At Epcot’s World Showcase you can eat your way around the world.

All around the beautiful World Showcase Lagoon, you’ll find pavilions representing countries all around the world. Within each of them you’ll find restaurants that serve authentic international cuisine in beautifully themed atmospheres. Many locals purchase the Epcot after 4 pm Annual Pass for Florida Residents just to be able to dine there. You’ll find counter service and full service restaurants from countries including Mexico, Morocco, the United Kingdom, Japan, China, Germany, Norway, Canada, etc.

The other three Disney theme parks also have some really special and unique restaurants.

You’ll find restaurants special enough to get people to take a break from the attractions to experience them. For example:

  • Hollywood Studio’s Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater is themed as a drive-in theater at night, playing old time sci-fi film clips which are so hokey that they’re fun. Diners eat inside mini 1950’s vintage inspired cars.
  • Magic Kingdom has the Be Our Guest restaurant, displaying a dramatic Beauty and the Beast theme.
  • A super popular Animal Kingdom restaurant is Tusker House where you can experience a buffet with a African flavors.

Many of the Disney World Resorts have unique restaurants worth visiting.

Many of the resort restaurants are themed to fit in with the resorts’ theme. For example, the Beach Club resort has the Beaches & Cream restaurant, where you can get the Kitchen Sink ice cream dessert. Animal Kingdom Lodge has two African themed restaurants in the Jamba House (Jiko served me one of the best meals I’ve had anywhere, ever!). In the Disney Vacation Club section of Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Sanaa restaurant has picture windows that look out onto the “savannah” where you can see real animals like giraffes. We even saw a stampede on our last visit! The Polynesian resort has ‘Ohana’s where you can get a Hawaiian themed all-you-care-to-eat meal.

This is just a sampling. There are too many to list here, but for those who like dining out, the resorts offer exciting choices.

Character Dining Experiences are a blast for kids and adults!

There are various restaurants around Disney World that bring in Disney characters to interact with the diners. Kids tend to love the character dining experiences found around Disney World, and parents love that they don’t have to wait in long lines to have their children visit with the characters.

Counter Service restaurants range from “blah” to amazing. 

Though we find that some of the counter service food is just so-so, you’ll also find a wide variety of over-the-counter restaurants that offer better than average food. For example, the Epcot World Showcase section of the park has many excellent over-the-counter restaurants featuring cuisine from all over the world. The Earl of Sandwich restaurant in Downtown Disney Marketplace is quite possibly our favorite sandwich shop anywhere!

On the downside, we find that the fast-food like hamburgers and fries doesn’t usually measure up to the flavor you’d find in the the big fast-food chains. Still, it fills you up and it’s adequate for fuel.

Disney World is known to be awesome with handling special dietary needs.

We’ve found that Disney is extraordinary when it comes to supporting those with food allergies and special dietary needs. We get this same feedback from others on a regular basis.

Visit here to read more about managing at Disney With Special Dietary Needs. 

Do you have more tips or thoughts on this topic?

Please feel free to post them in a comment below. We’d love your input.

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