Welcome one and all to todays post all about the best Disney World dining experiences that you may not know about.
With over 60 restaurants across its four Orlando theme parks and resort hotels, Disney World offers no shortage of dining options to its 20 million annual visitors.
From character breakfasts to sit-down seafood spots, there’s a perfect meal for every palate and preference. But with so many choices available, it can be tricky to decide where to book those coveted reservations.
In this post, I’ll draw on my own Disney dining experiences to recommend my top 11 picks for the tastiest, most magical restaurants across Disney World.
I’ll spotlight the ambiance, signature dishes, and what makes each location uniquely special. You’ll also find my tips for reserving tables, strategic timing around park hours, and pairing your meals with nearby attractions.
Follow my advice for a vacation filled with delightful dishes and lasting memories worth savouring. Whether you’re a first-timer or Disney veteran, get ready to start “tasting the magic”!
Be Our Guest (Magic Kingdom)
Step into the Beast’s enchanted castle at Be Our Guest, located right in Fantasyland. The intricate Gothic architecture and cast Members dressed as Belle and Lumiere surround you in the romance of Beauty and the Beast.
Dine in the West Wing while thunder rumbles and the Beast’s portrait changes from human to beast form. Or head to the Ballroom with snow falling against the tall windows and the floating rose centrepiece.
For lunch, classic French dishes like the braised pork “coq au vin style” or grilled croque madame sandwich pair nicely with the ornate setting.
At dinner, entrees include herb-crusted prime rib, sautéed shrimp and scallops, and my favorite – the gratinée d’aubergines entree with eggplant, tomato sauce, and melted cheese.
Save room for dessert classics like the creamy lemon meringue cupcake or the sweet and fruity strawberry cream cheese cupcake.
What sets Be Our Guest apart is the immersive theming that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into the film itself.
From the talking wardrobe in the lobby to the animated characters in portrait frames, Disney magic comes through in every detail.
With three unique dining rooms, it offers a versatility not found at other Disney World eateries. Come hungry – portions here are hearty!
Since it’s hugely popular, book a table 180 days out. Ask the host about quicker lunch seatings as fewer guests eat midday meals here.
After your meal, linger to snap photos on the West Wing Bridge or by Gaston’s fountain out front – this is one of the most Instagrammable spots in Magic Kingdom!
California Grill (Disney’s Contemporary Resort)
Take Disney dining to thrilling new heights – literally – at California Grill. Perched atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, this restaurant offers jaw-dropping views of Magic Kingdom and its nightly fireworks shows.
Floor-to-ceiling windows bathe the space in natural light during lunch and daytime hours. Come nightfall, the lights dim to spotlight the view outside.
The menu focuses on fresh California-inspired cuisine using seasonal produce and sustainable seafood.
Signature dishes include house-made sushi, brick-oven pizzas with creative toppings like barbecue chicken, and perfectly seared scallops in a pork belly and apple cider reduction.
For the 21+ crowd, the cocktail menu stars creative martinis and the extensive wine list offers nearly 100 varieties.
What’s truly unique about California Grill is the viewing experience. As the Happily Ever After fireworks cue up in the park, the restaurant itself becomes part of the show.
The lights dim and the soundtrack plays while explosions of colour reflect on the giant windows. From your table, you have the best seats for a stunning fireworks spectacle made even more magical through immersive dining.
While walk-ins are sometimes accepted, make reservations at this popular rooftop eatery 180+ days out.
Request the fireworks viewing package to guarantee watching while you dine during scheduled displays.
Arrive early and check in with the California Grill hostess to secure your fireworks-viewing seat ahead of time. Pro tip: Come for the later dinner seating for both a meal and the fireworks finale!
Sanaa (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge)
For a taste of African flavour, head to Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge hotel. Inspired by the cuisines of Africa, this restaurant boasts a one-of-a-kind view into the hotel’s savanna sanctuary.
Watch giraffes, antelopes, and other wildlife roam as you dine on tantalizing dishes boasting unique worldly spices.
The cuisine combines Indian and African ingredients and cooking techniques for mouthwatering results.
Signatures like tandoori chicken feature yoghurt-marinated meat cooked blazing hot in a traditional Indian clay oven.
The African-style flatbreads emerge piping hot and pillowy, perfect for dipping in mildly spiced red lentil dal or rich green coriander chutney.
For adventuresome eaters, try the unique baby carrots with cashews and dried fruit in a mildly spicy curry sauce.
The resort’s 33-acre savanna is the true star here. The restaurant’s large picture windows create an uninterrupted panorama looking out on the grasslands below.
As the sun sets, the animals wander nearer to the lodge, coming nearly face to face with enthralled guests. Dining while giraffes and zebras graze in the golden hour light is a one-of-a-kind magical memory.
Make reservations ahead of time to guarantee wildlife viewing seats at the windows. Ask to be seated on the savanna side when you check in.
For a special Disney dining adventure, book the Wanyama Safari dinner package and dine under the stars on the savanna itself after normal park hours!
Jiko (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge)
For a refined taste of Africa, visit Jiko at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Swahili for “the cooking place,” Jiko’s dining room has an elegant interior inspired by the rich cultural traditions of Africa.
Intricately carved wood, bronze statues, tapestry rugs, and globe lights set an ambient backdrop, like dining inside a sophisticated safari lodge.
The menu takes cuisine far beyond typical Americanized fare for an authentic global dining adventure.
Signature dishes include oak-grilled filet mignon with South African red wine sauce and the famed African-style grilled shrimp with coconut-peanut sauce.
Adventurous diners will love unusual entrees like wild boar tenderloin or Berbere-style Nile perch. Don’t miss their extensive wine list, highlighting the best vintages from South Africa.
Jiko’s one-of-a-kind ambiance creates a singular fine dining experience. Many ingredients are imported directly from Africa, ensuring unparalleled authenticity.
Dining recaptures the spirit of eating together, building connections – represented by how tables curve conversation-style instead of rows.
After your meal, step outside to observe the Wanyama savanna just beyond floor-to-ceiling glass doors for a magical nightcap.
While among Disney World’s more upscale dining choices, Jiko still accepts casual dress in its dining room. Make advance reservations and request window seating overlooking the savanna at night.
For a special celebration, reserve the private room or chef’s tasting wine dinner. Ready for a global adventure in Disney dining? Experience Jiko’s “cooking place.”
Victoria & Albert’s (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa)
For the ultimate fine dining experience at Disney World, book a table at Victoria & Albert’s in the opulent Grand Floridian Resort.
With just one seating per night, this exclusive gourmet venue whisks you away to a romantic Victorian era reverie.
The dramatic red and gold decor transports guests to turn-of-the-century indulgence. As a violinist performs, servers present delicate and decadent courses with polished poise and precision.
With the Chef’s Table, sample up to ten nightly changing dishes artfully crafted from seasonal ingredients secured that very morning.
Selections may include pan-seared Scottish salmon, Miyazaki Wagyu beef, or Alba white truffles shaved tableside over your dish.
Wine pairings meticulously match vintages to complement each bite. For truly special occasions, upgrade to the intimate Queen Victoria room for a private dining experience.
The level of sheer luxury makes the Victoria & Albert Restaurant stand apart as Disney dining royalty. The dress code sets the tone – jackets required, ties preferred for gentlemen.
With just one, prix fixe seated dinner per evening, tables are highly exclusive but the splurge is well worth it. From champagne greeting to parting gifts, expect first-class treatment with attention to every detail.
Given the intimate venue size and soaring demand, book your seating 6 months in advance if possible.
The online booking system releases new tables 60 days out for those willing to be more flexible with dates. Reservations book quickly – set calendar alerts for the online release dates.
With prices starting around $290 per person, Victoria & Albert’s is a true fine dining experience befitting Disney magic at its grandest.
Tusker House Restaurant (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)
Tusker House’s buffet bursts with colourful African-inspired dishes from fragrant curries to spice-rubbed rotisserie meats.
Help yourself to authentic flavours like peri peri chicken roasted in a South African barbecue marinade or Moroccan lemon and garlic roasted pork loin.
Don’t miss the delicious vegetarian options too like spicy Ethiopian red lentil stew or creamy hummus.
While you eat, Disney characters stop by dressed in safari khakis for memorable photo ops.
Kids go wild as Mickey, Donald, Daisy and Goofy strike poses, show off playful antics, and shower little ones with hugs.
It all feels intimately personal thanks to the restaurant’s cosy rustic setting. Thatched roof ceilings, hand-carved Animal Kingdom iconography, and rich textures continue the African adventure theme.
With Disney guests flocking to Tusker House for its character breakfast buffet and dinner offerings, book your reservations 180 days out.
Request an early opening time around park opening if you can – starting the day with a safari meal sets a magical tone for Animal Kingdom adventures ahead.
For dinner, ask for a seating during the night time entertainment like Rivers of Light. After the dazzling show wraps up, you’ll miss the massive crowds exiting the park.
Le Cellier Steakhouse (Epcot)
Tucked away in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion, Le Cellier Steakhouse surrounds you in rustic charm reminiscent of a wine cellar or chalet.
Stone walls, dark woods, and flickering candlelight set a cosy, intimate mood in the dining room. Through small windows, you can peer into the pavilion’s scenic backdrop.
This specialty chophouse serves premium prime cuts seared to tender perfection alongside rich classics like truffle-butter topped mushrooms and Yukon Gold mashed potatoes.
Signature dishes also include the famous Canadian cheddar cheese soup and Le Cellier poutine loaded with short rib and cheese curds.
What makes Le Cellier stand out is that it replicates an authentic steakhouse experience – the quality of dishes and refined service – within a Disney World theme park setting.
Kids with less adventurous palates have plenty of more familiar staples to choose from as well. The variety and execution appeal to a wide audience.
Due to its tucked-away location and popularity, many guests simply don’t know about this hidden Disney gem!
Get on the walk-up waitlist at the entrance as early as possible for your best chance at a last-minute table.
Also try booking a late lunch or early dinner reservation to avoid the longest waits. With incredible steaks worth traveling for, Le Cellier satisfies any carnivorous Disney foodie.
Monsieur Paul (Epcot)
For fine French dining, make a reservation at Monsieur Paul in Epcot’s France Pavilion. Its prime waterfront location offers a romantic backdrop of the World Showcase Lagoon.
The restaurant interior resembles a Parisian country home with floral wallpaper, elegant chandeliers, and windows that perfectly frame the pavilion gardens outside.
White tablecloths and servers in crisp white aprons elevate the ambiance.
As you would expect, the menu highlights classic French cuisine made with the finest ingredients. Signature dishes include escargot baked in parsley garlic butter, steak frites with buttery Cafe de Paris sauce, and miso glazed salmon.
Save room for dessert like profiteroles drizzled with chocolate or their flawless vanilla creme brûlée.
What makes the experience unforgettable are the little details transporting you to France itself – the lilting music, French-speaking waiters, and the perfect view outside to watch Epcot’s nightly fireworks.
Kids will love gazing at the flaming lights from the Ratatouille ride next door while parents savour exquisite bites and old world ambiance.
Since Monsieur Paul offers finer dining, dress is resort-casual – save the tank tops and hats for more casual venues.
Request a table by the windows to watch IllumiNations, and aim for later dinner reservations after 8 pm to catch both your meal and the fireworks.
With its impeccable cuisine and lovely location, this restaurant indulges your senses on many levels.
Trails End Restaurant (Fort Wilderness Resort)
Nestled deep in Disney’s wooded Fort Wilderness grounds, Trails End transports you to ranch-style comforts with its hearty family-style meals.
The rustic theming fits the wilderness camp vibe with wooden benches, checkered tablecloths, and campfire singalongs out back after your meal.
Expect hearty portions and down-home cooking like smoked barbecue pork ribs, rotisserie chicken, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes and all you can eat salad.
It’s perfect for filling up hungry troops after full days playing outdoors. Save room for hot apple cobbler or chocolate pecan fudge brownie topped with ice cream.
What makes Trails End unique is the fun conveyance to reach it. Take a peaceful scenic boat ride from Magic Kingdom resorts to traverse the Seven Seas Lagoon and admire lush landscapes along the way.
Kids will delight in getting there by water transportation while city dwellers appreciate a taste of rural countryside escape.
Make reservations early as seating fills quickly. Request an outdoor patio table if weather permits to immerse yourself in the woods.
While casual attire reigns, you may get splashed by an enthusiastic kid so keep that in mind! Bring healthy appetites and get ready to unwind into the comforts of Trails End’s informal hospitality.
The Edison (Disney Springs)
For a truly unique dining experience, visit The Edison at Disney Springs. Housed in an elaborate Industrial Gothic-style building, its steampunk decor features dark moody lighting, rich woods, and accent pieces like antique phonographs.
Waitstaff in 1920s-style digs keep the Roaring Twenties theme swinging all night long.
The innovative gastropub menu offers creative bites like loaded tater tots with short rib gravy and fried lemon garlic brussels sprouts.
Share savoury snacks like the giant Bavarian pretzel or fried avocado tacos while sipping unique craft cocktails.
When night falls, live entertainment like contortionists, cabaret dancers, and aerial acrobats perform dazzling stage shows.
What makes The Edison one-of-a-kind is how it transforms throughout the day. By lunch, light streams through windows framing Disney Springs’ lake below for a relaxing midday meal.
At night, the scene shifts into a glamorous speakeasy with dramatic lighting, live music, strong pours, and a dress code kicking in after 10 pm.
It keeps dinner guests entertained into the wee hours for Orlando’s ultimate night out.
While families can visit earlier on, late nights take on a 21+ exclusive vibe. Make reservations anytime but arrive by 10 pm for best access on weekends.
Be prepared to abide by the evening dress code – dress smartly to match the upscale atmosphere. For an extraordinary Disney experience with the best people watching, step back to the roaring twenties at The Edison.
Boma – Flavours of Africa (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge)
For a lively family-friendly dining experience, enjoy Boma’s bountiful buffet at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Rich woods, thatched roofs, and intricate tapestries continue the lodge’s celebration of African culture. Huge picture windows in the dining room offer perfect views overlooking the resort savanna.
The buffet spreads out a mindboggling array of homestyle African stews, wood-fired rotisseries, paprika-spiced flatbreads, watermelon rind salad and over 70 desserts!
Taste spicy Ethiopian lamb stew, Moroccan seafood salad with couscous, oak roasted chicken with tropical fruit salsa and more. It’s a round-the-world adventure without ever leaving Disney World!
The restaurant wins fans with its welcoming vibe perfect for gatherings and big appetites.
Families appreciate buffet flexibility and adventurous kids leap at the chance to pick out new flavours for themselves.
The open kitchen provides a glimpse at all the action behind the scenes too.
While more casual guests certainly won’t feel out of place, being surrounded by the resort’s deluxe accommodations may inspire you to spruce up – safari shirt and slacks or a bright patterned sundress.
Request a wildlife viewing table when booking. Come hungry and return for seconds…or thirds! With a dash of Disney magic, Boma brings “the flavour of Africa” home through unforgettable cuisine and hospitality.
Dining Your Way Through Disney Magic
With a dizzying array of themed restaurants across Disney World, I hope spotlighting these top 11 eateries helps you narrow down the best options for your vacation crew.
From lavish fine dining ambiance at Victoria & Albert’s to a prime table for Epcot fireworks over French cuisine at Monsieur Paul, there are special meals awaiting around every corner.
Don’t forget to prioritize reservations for the most in-demand hot spots like Be Our Guest and California Grill.
Take note of my tips on timing and reservations to maximize your chances of dining at each of your preferred picks.
With so many uniquely immersive experiences, you may need multiple trips to taste your way through them all!
Beyond the atmosphere, Disney World dining delights your palate with global flavours from African stews at Jiko to tender Aussie filet mignon at Outback Steakhouse.
Treat yourself to signature dishes you simply can’t find anywhere else in the world. And save room for dessert – even fantasy dream treats like a gray stuff gateau fit for a Disney princess.
By pairing mouth watering cuisine with enchanting locales and entertainment, Disney World dining takes you far beyond typical theme park fare.
These restaurants let your family create priceless food memories while steeped in pure magic. Savour each delightful bite as you taste the magic of Disney!
Do you have a favourite Disney World dining experience? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.