Disney World’s Finest Dining: Yes—it’s a Priority!

Disney World is easily as enjoyable for adults as it is for kids when you consider its exceptional dining and entertainment options. Exquisite fine-dining restaurants are situated throughout Disney World’s theme parks—specializing in every type of international cuisine imaginable. Whatever your heart (or palate) desires will be catered to: from Diver Scallop & Gulf Shrimp Cioppino coupled with caviar, to Moroccan Lamb or Texasbarbecue. Enjoy butler service amidst harp music or get festive in the Port Orleans French Quarter. Because of the sheer number of dining choices and atmospheres, deciding where to eat in Walt Disney World is as important as every other aspect of your trip.  Dinner at Disney’s table-service restaurants is typically served from 5-10 p.m. and reservations are pretty much a necessity. Additionally, time slots open 180 days in advance. For busy people who are planning a trip to Disney World, a Disney VIP tour guide can make all of your reservations in advance. It can get dicey trying to decide where to dine depending on your itinerary (where your group will be during dinner hours). Many vacationers swear by soliciting the help of experts like Disney tour guides to make dining suggestions and arrangements for their trips.

Magical Moments for Adults at Disney’s Upscale Dining Destinations:

Victoria & Albert’s: With award-winning cuisine and more formal attire, this is easily considered Disney World’s finest restaurant. Located in the Grand Floridian Resort, it is an intimate restaurant with a seven-course prix fixe menu. You may start with lobster or quail, enjoy a decadent cheese course and dive into Caprese seared filet mignon. Disney’s most exclusive four-tableQueen Victoria’s room serves up a private 10-course meal. 

Victoria and Alberts © Disney

Victoria and Alberts © Disney

Monsieur Paul: Renowned chef Paul Bocuse presents gourmet dining with the menu inspired by a famous restaurant in France. Enjoy indulgent entrees like red snapper with ravioli d’escargots or seared scallops bathed in a frothy rum-cream emulsion. White linens, plush banquettes and soft lighting set the stage—with asecond-story view of Epcot’s World Showcase.

Monsier Paul © Disney

Monsier Paul © Disney

Le Cellier Steakhouse: This is an extremely popular and quaint restaurant with an unbeatable wine cellar. Le Cellier is always a hot-spot during Food and Wine festivals at Epcot. Diners describe the fare as beyond amazing touting the filet mignon with white truffle-butter sauce and cheddar cheese soup. This “Signature” steakhouse specializes in high-quality beef.

Le Cellier Steakhouse © Disney

Le Cellier Steakhouse © Disney

Flying Fish Café: Located in the BoardWalk resort, this whimsical yet sophisticated restaurant is the ultimate seafood destination. Chef Tim Keating uses only the freshest ingredients. The daily catch varies (perhaps pan-roasted flounder with a tangerine and Vermont butter emulsion) but you can always count on crab cakes and grilled Kurobuta pork tenderloin.

Flying Fish Café © Disney

Flying Fish Café © Disney

California Grill: This world-famous West Coast-themed bistro is ideal for sushi lovers and enjoying entrees with a twist. The dragon roll with spicy tataki tuna is a must try; as well as oak-fired filet of beef with heirloom tomato risotto. Situated on the top floor of the Contemporary Resort, you can watch the Magic Kingdom’s fireworks display from a private perch here.

California Grill © Disney

California Grill © Disney

Il Mulino: Posh, yet relaxed—Il Mulina offers upscale Italian cuisine served family-style. The seasonal menu blends fresh ingredients inspired from the Abruzzi region of Italy. Tantalizing entrees include Polla Fra Diavolo (chicken and sausage in a spicy red sauce), sautéed garlic salmon with wild mushrooms and broccoli and jumbo shrimp.

Il Mulino © Disney

Il Mulino © Disney

Yachtsman Steakhouse: Rivaling the steak houses of New York City, the Yachtsman’s has an actual butcher shop on site. Generous portions and expertly prepared entrees is what this upscale restaurant is known for. Enjoy lobster bisque before a mouth-watering bacon-wrapped filet with sautéed mushroom caps and roasted Brussels sprouts.

Yachtsman Steakhouse © Disney

Yachtsman Steakhouse © Disney

Les Chefs De France: Bask in the true ambiance of Rue des Barres in this airy Parisian bistro. Some of France’s best chefs are responsible for the outstanding menu—including broiled salmon in a light Beurre blanc, roasted chicken, escargot and beef short ribs. Chefs de France is one of the most popular World Showcase eateries; you’ll know why after just one visit!

Les Chefs De France © Disney

Les Chefs De France © Disney

Jiko—The Cooking Place: Featuring cuisine inspired by the tastes of Africa, Jiko is one of the most unique dining experiences in Disney World. Vibrant spices, wood-burning ovens and the most extensive South African wine list in the U.S. make this a dining hot spot. Enjoy grilled wild boar tenderloin, curry-rubbed lamb loin, seared duck and other signature African dishes.

Jiko—The Cooking Place © Disney

Jiko—The Cooking Place © Disney

Can’t-Miss Restaurants for Kids Vacationing at Disney World

Dining Disney-style can be one of the most fun aspects of your family vacation. This is especially true for kids because there are lots of restaurants that feature “character dining.” If your child has a favorite character (such as Winnie the Pooh, Mickey, Belle or Cinderella), be sure to visit the location where that character will be. It’s important to note: some restaurants (like Chef Mickey’s featuring Mickey & friends) only have character dining for breakfast and dinner. You can book reservations at many of these spots ahead of time. Below are the two most treasured dining spots for kids—and also the hardest to secure reservations for!

Cinderella’s Royal Table: Located inside Cinderella’s Castle, “Fairytale Dining” guests are greeted by Cinderella and Renaissance-style hostesses. Nothing matches the allure of dining in the castle—the most magical landmark in the world’s most popular theme park. This royal restaurant is high-ceilinged and majestic and features an all-inclusive breakfast, lunch and dinner. Favorite entrees include lobster and crab crepes, pork loin, beef tenderloin and a fresh catch every day. Reservations are an absolute must.

Cinderella’s Royal Table © Disney

Cinderella’s Royal Table © Disney

Be Our Guest: In “Fantasyland” at the Magic Kingdom, you will find a massive eatery that transports guests into Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Be Our Guest features three themed dining rooms—the majestic Ballroom, West Wing and Rose Gallery. Lunch service makes kids feel right at home with a touch-screen order terminal featuring entrees like the grilled steak or ham & Gruyere cheese sandwich or Mickey meatloaf. Dinner is a more elegant affair, with appetizers like steamed mussels and entrees such as chicken Provinçal, thyme-scented pork chops and pan-seared salmon. Dessert is also heavenly! Many visitors say the “Be Our Guest” dinner is the best! 

Be Our Guest © Disney

Be Our Guest © Disney

Secure Reservations as Soon as Possible

Reservations are required for Disney’s best table-service restaurants. To play it safe (if you’re time-crunched and planning a Disney vacation), it’s prudent to consult with a Disney Tours service, who can help you make your dining arrangements. Although your entire vacation won’t be planned around dining, amazing cuisine is waiting for you at Disney World! 

Gustavo Hernando

Orlando, FL, USA