So you have decided to book that trip, but now you are asking every friend you have that has been to Walt Disney World….Where do we eat? Excellent choices in so many parks. How should you plan? Well, it depends on the following:
Where are you staying? Do you want to head back to the parks for more rides in the evening?
What are your family dining habits? Small lunches? Large Dinners?
How much of your dining experience do you want to devote to dinner?
After you have thought about these important things, we can begin to plan effectively. To do that you should know what to expect…..from a Walt Disney World restaurant…and maybe a few tips to get a bit more of out of it….
Here are a few to get you started. As always we will be adding more along the way.
Restaurant: Chef Mickey’s
Where is it: Disney’s Contemporary Resort (Magic Kingdom Resort Area)
What to expect: A rousing meal for the whole family, character meet and greets. Solid buffet food. Close proximity to continuing your evening in Magic Kingdom or Epcot.
How to get a bit more out of it: keep an eye on the characters, ask for a seat in the main area. Play along with the crowd and the characters, you won’t get a better chance of taking pictures with the big 5 characters.
Restaurant: Whispering Canyon
Where is it: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (Magic Kingdom Resort Area)
What to expect: Another fun family meal. Set in the lobby of the Wilderness Lodge, there is a charming feel to this family style dinner where you can share a multitude of tasty entrees.
How to get a bit more out if it: bottomless milk shakes for the family. Try as many dishes as you can take with the family style trays. Enjoy the Toy horse rides for the kids. Walk around inside for the whole family to take in the wonder of that building with a bubbling spring in lobby.
Restaurant: The Coral Reef
Where is it: The Seas Pavilion in Epcot (Future World)
What to expect: Giant fish tank on the wall, looking into the Seas with Nemo underwater creatures. Good selection of seafood as well as land lover entrees.
How to get a bit more out of it: Ask for a table near the tank. Enjoy the attractions in the Seas pavilion beforehand to give the kids table conversation. Bring a few snacks to keep the kids happy while you wait for the meals to come out.
Restaurant: Le ‘Celliar
Where is it: Canada Pavilion in Epcot (World Showcase)
What to expect: great food for adults, cozy atmosphere.
How to get a bit more out of it: seize the opportunity to allow the entire family to try the famous cheddar cheese soup with the kids menu appetizer version. Each of the steaks have their own accolades. Try the pretzel bread and ask for more if it is a hit with the family. Have the kids stop at the adjacent Kidcot fun stop in the Canada Pavilion to color a character (agent P or Duffy) before hand, they will be given crayons to add more to it inside.
Restaurant: Via Napoli
Where is it: Italy Pavilion in Epcot (World Showcase)
What to expect: Pizza of all sorts. Solid Pasta dishes.
How to get a bit more of it: Order the largest pizza to share for the family. Try the hot antipasto for two, it feeds a family of 5. (If you like dark beer, order a pitcher of Moretti for the group.) Bring some crackers for the kids while waiting for the pizza. Again they are given crayons, so stopping at the Kidcot fun stop on the walk in will give a bit more entertainment. Lastly, check out the pizza ovens before you leave.
Restaurant: Flying Fish Cafe
Where is it: Disney’s Boardwalk Inn (Epcot Resort Area, on the Boardwalk)
What to expect: Wide selection of seafood. Open dining area.
How to get more out of it: Turn an appetizer into a meal. Bring healthy snacks and coloring books for the kids (table room may be larger than most). Leave time beforehand to walk around the boardwalk. Save room for dessert at Seashore Sweets next door.
Restaurant: Garden Grove
Where is it: The Swan Hotel (Epcot Resort Area)
What to expect: A peaceful atmosphere for a character meal. At least 2 Disney Characters to roam among a restaurant that is rarely packed.
How to get more out of it: Book your dinner for Friday night, the only full buffet left is a seafood bonanza. Kids Mac and cheese is available, don’t be shy to ask for elbows or tubes if your kids have a type they need to have. Bring your camera, plenty of time for pictures.
Restaurant: La Hacienda de San Angel
Where is it: Across from Mexico Pavilion in Epcot (World Showcase)
What to expect: Another great open atmosphere. Mexican fare with a flavor. Great views of the World Showcase Lake.
How to get more out of it: Head inside the pavilion first to enjoy the boat ride with the family. Stop and let the kids pick up another Kidcot Drawing, you will have the time while waiting for dinner inside La Hacienda. Bring a few snacks to the table for the kids as they wait. Try the grill plates for two for the adults, as you can feed a child as well from it.