For years, people visited Walt Disney World more for the theme parks and rides than for its restaurants. After all, food typically takes a back seat to the fun and adventure of a Disney vacation. However, in recent years Disney World has broadened its focus to include catering to people looking for a fantastic food experience too. As a result, Walt Disney World restaurants have definitely upped their game to highlight a wide variety of food tastes and styles.
Here are eight Walt Disney World restaurants to try if you’re looking for something beyond traditional theme park food.
1. Victoria And Albert’s, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Victoria and Albert’s is Walt Disney World’s finest dining choice. It has won the AAA Five-Diamond Award 16 times. Top-rated chefs provide three different gourmet dining experiences. In the dining room, guests can enjoy a seven-course meal with a menu that changes every day. However, it typically features caviar, duck, kobe-style beef, gelato and more. In Queen Victoria’s Room and the Chef’s Table, guests are treated to a 10-course tasting menu. Fresh king crab, chicken, cheese and pork are highlights on the menu. Vegetarian options are also available. Meals start at $185 without wine or $250 with wine pairings.
2. Flying Fish, Disney’s BoardWalk Resort
Disney’s Flying Fish restaurant is known as one of the signature Walt Disney World restaurants. It is a fan favorite for many Disney and non-Disney diners. Open daily for dinner, the Flying Fish offers guests a taste of fine surf-and-turf meals. The menu features Yellowfin Tuna, Blue Crab Bisque, Bison Strip Loin and Maine Lobster. Entree prices range from about $27 to $65.
3. Sanaa, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas, Kidani Village
Visit Sanaa for a meal that brings you directly to Asia and Africa—both in taste and in setting. The restaurant looks out on Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge’s savannah. You just might see a giraffe or wildebeest walk by your window!
The lunch and dinner menus offer fresh meals with delicious spices including tandoori chicken, MishKaki (beef tenderloin in ginger marinade) and a seafood curry. The meals can be spiced up according to personal tastes. Sanaa is a perfect place to try something different, even if you usually play it safe. I am not an adventurous eater, but thoroughly enjoyed my meal. If you go to Sanaa, you must get the Indian-style Bread Service with dipping sauces. Yum! Menu prices range from $8 to $26.
4. California Grill, Disney’s Contemporary Resort
The California Grill on top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort is one of Walt Disney World’s most popular restaurants. It offers spectacular views of the nightly Magic Kingdom fireworks show. However, the menu is what brings people back over and over again.
California Grill is open for brunch and dinner. The menu features California-style cuisine with an Asian twist. For brunch, diners can choose from a self-serve buffet or entrees such as frittatas, pancakes or eggs benedict. At dinner, chefs prepare choices such as artisan tacos, flatbreads, ostrich, beef, scallops, pork and varieties of sushi.
Meal prices range from $35 to $59.99.
5. Beaches And Cream Soda Shop, Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort
Beaches and Cream Soda Shop made a name for itself by serving delicious burgers and sandwiches, along with incredible desserts. You won’t get an upscale dining experience here. However, you also won’t pay fine-dining prices. Still, you’ll get an amazing meal and leave feeling as happy as a kid in an ice cream store.
If you love ice cream, bring a few friends and try the Kitchen Sink sundae. The list of ingredients is too long to post here, but trust me, it’s incredible. And, you won’t be able to eat it alone.
6. Ohana, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Ohana (which means family in Hawaiian culture) is a Disney World star for breakfast and dinner. In the mornings, Ohana serves a family-style breakfast. Large plates of fresh fruit, pastries, waffles and meats are placed on the table for diners to enjoy. They are refilled as needed. Breakfast also features a character breakfast with Stitch, Mickey Mouse and other Disney friends.
Dinner is also served family-style with a variety of grilled dumplings, meats, breads and salads for everyone to sample.
Getting a reservation at Ohana is not easy, so I recommend going online well before your trip (at least 180 days in advance) to get a spot.
7. Columbia Harbor House, Disney’s Magic Kingdom
This quick-service restaurant tucked away in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square is a hidden gem. Columbia Harbor House offers affordable and delicious food within a theme park, which can be a rare combination to find. Touring Plans readers rank it at a 93 percent out of 100.
Columbia Harbor House serves classic American food, including New England Clam Chowder, chicken nuggets, fried shrimp, lobster rolls, macaroni and cheese, and chocolate cake. With prices ranging from $5.99 to $14.99, Columbia Harbor House offers good value for a solid meal.
8. Rose And Crown Pub, Epcot, World Showcase
Over at Epcot, stroll around the World Showcase to the United Kingdom pavilion. There, you’ll find the Rose and Crown Pub. This full-service restaurant makes some amazing fish and chips, along with other pub grub favorites such as bangers and mash and cottage pie. You’ll get an authentic British experience at the Rose and Crown, including delicious food and upbeat hospitality.
The location also offers a great viewing area for Epcot’s fireworks show Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. Get there about 90 minutes early for a seat on the water, if you can!