Sunday, July 24, 2005

Disney World Eating Establishments

This will be the first of many blogs discussing Disney World. In this blog, I've chosen to discuss the very best and very worst restaurants in the World. I'll divide them up by Theme Park (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, MGM Studios, Animal Kingdom). You'll notice that most of these restaurants serve very starchy, high carb foods. This is on purpose. They say you walk an average of 10 miles a day while you're at Disney World, so you'll need the energy.

Magic Kingdom - There's not very many restaurants that are worth eating in the Kingdom.
Crystal Palace - This one you shouldn't miss. I really enjoy the character lunch with Winnie the Pooh, but they also serve breakfast with Winnie. For breakfast, they have a traditional buffet with eggs, bacon, sausage, etc... For lunch they have a number of pastas, vegetables, and other buffet dishes. If you go, be sure to try their pink lemonade.
Cinderella's Royal Table - I really can't recommend the food here. The breakfast is plain and uninspired, but it is a character breakfast with the princesses. Typically, you have to make reservations 120 days in advance. If you're interested in a princess breakfast, you may have better luck with Akershus. To get a reservation here for breakfast, you must call within the first 15 minutes of the reservationist opening (1-800-WDW-DINE) 120 days before your expected dining date.
Pecos Bill Cafe - If you are looking for something quick, then this is probably the place for you. Pecos Bill Cafe has the best hot dogs in the Kingdom and the best condiment bar to go with them. Definitely not elegant fare, but good for a quick bite.
Liberty Tree Tavern - This restaurant serves its food family style. You get a selection of ham, roast beef, and turkey along with side items such as mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, and green beans. You also get, for dessert, apple crisp with ice cream. The food is served on large plates and bowls and you get to scoop out your serving. It is also a character dining at supper with Mickey, Minnie, and an assortment of other friends.
Tony's Town Square - Italian food right inside the gates of the Magic Kingdom. It's not exceptionally good, nor is it exceptionally bad. My son really liked the calamari, but I'd avoid it for one of the other restaurants listed here. However, if you're trying to get a dinner reservation at the last minute, this usually makes a good choice.

EPCOT has the best restaurants in the World. If you go during October, be sure to try out the food and wine festival. It is a celebration of foods and wines from across the Earth.

Nine Dragons - I love Chinese food and this is some of the best I've ever eaten. I especially recommend it for lunch. They have a sampler/combo lunch that allows you to try many of their excellent dishes. It is definitely a must try.
Restaurant Marrakesh - This is a Morrocan restaurant and the food is magnificent. Furthermore, you are entertained with a collection of Morrocan music and belly-dancing. What more could you ask for?
Tangierine Cafe - This is a counter service restaurant near Marrakesh that serves Grecian fare. The food is very good when you're looking for something quick to snack on.
Akershus - Once again, a Princess breakfast with the same plain and uninspiring fare. However, if you have a little girl, these are must dos!
San Angel Inn - A lot of people highly recommend this restaurant, but I've never had good food or service here. It might be worth a try, but I recommend the other restaurants much more.

MGM Studios - The food here is respectable, but not amazing. There are a number of sit down eateries that are interestingly themed and therefore worth the time.

Sci-Fi Dine In Theatre - I've never actually eaten here, but it looks like a lot of fun. You sit in cars and watch a "B" movie on a big screen.
Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano - Not much on atmosphere, but the food here is really good.
50s Prime Time Cafe - This is a fun place to dine. You sit at a table and watch 50s reruns while you eat, and if you don't clean your plate then you're going to get made fun of! All in all, a fun place to eat and the food's not too bad either!
Hollywood and Vine - This is a buffet style restaurant that doesn't have much in the way of atmosphere, but the food is good and you can get in and out quickly.

Animal Kingdom - Animal Kingdom closes early, so you won't eat supper here often. For lunch, the best thing to do is find something quick and cheap because there doesn't exist a decent restaurant in this park. If you are interested in a character breakfast you can try Restaurantasaurus to eat with Donald and the gang.

There are also a number of great restaurants in the hotels of Walt Disney World.

Grand Floridian Resort and Spa - This has three of the best restaurants in the World.

1900 Park Fare - This is a character dining experience with an excellent buffet. I really enjoy eating breakfast here with Alice in Wonderland and Mary Poppins. Also, if you go, be sure to order a Mary Poppins to drink. It is fresh strawberry and orange juice and it is delicious!
Grand Floridian Cafe - If you're in the mood for soups and sandwiches, the Grand Floridian Cafe is the place to be. They have some exotic variations on the norm and it is all quite excellent.

Contemporary Resort - This resort contains Chef Mickey's, a delightful place to eat breakfast. The breakfast is buffet style and Mickey and his friends come around to your table to ensure you're having a great time.

Polynesian Resort - If you have time, you should definitely experience the Spirit of Aloha show. It is a luau dining experience that includes excellent food and an incredible show. I think my daughter was 2 when we went and she loved it. She even got to dance with the luau girls.

Animal Kingdom Lodge - The AKL features two great restaurants, Boma and Jiko. Boma is a buffet featuring fare from Africa. The food there is amazing, even for breakfast. Jiko is a more elegant dining experience, but has some of the best food in the World. If you're interested in a quieter atmosphere and higher priced food, this is the place to go.

If I've left something off the list, it is probably because I haven't visited there. If you're interested, just leave me a comment and I'll try it the next time I go.

No comments: