Over the years, there have been times when the quality and choice of food offered in theme parks has attracted criticism. But in Disney World at least, that stereotype has changed and you can now enjoy some pretty spectacular dining experiences.
There are countless quick service and snack options in the Magic Kingdom, but here I am going to share my Top 5 dining experiences (in no particular order of preference) that involve taking a break from the heat, crowds and queues, to sit down and enjoy something pretty special.….
Cinderella’s Royal Table
This is the place to make your little princess (and prince)’s dreams come true! Even just getting to go inside the iconic castle would be enough to delight any Disney fan, but this restaurant also has one of the best character experiences on Disney property.
There is a good choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner, catering for meat lovers, veggies and the health-conscious too. As great as the food is, this along with “Be Our Guest” (which we’ll come to next) is a definite “dining experience”, where food is only part of the equation.
Be Our Guest
Probably the hottest ticket in town when it comes to Disney dining right now, this relatively newly-opened restaurant has (in my opinion) the best theming of anywhere I have eaten on Disney property!
From the falling snow outside the windows to the breathtaking ceiling, the food is almost secondary. On our first visit the theming was so realistic and spectacular that my 18 year-old daughter actually cried. The Beast is in attendance throughout your stay, and you can even “try the grey stuff” (it is delicious!)
The Liberty Tree Tavern
If you have ever wanted to try some of those dishes you often hear referenced on American TV, such as “Pot Roast” or the US equivalent of our Sunday Roast, the turkey dinner, this is the one for you!
This colonial themed restaurant is situated in Liberty Square and serves traditional New England style home cooking. The excellent theming and simple no-nonsense food makes for an excellent experience, plus you can be fairly sure that even the fussiest eater will be catered for.
This perennial favourite is just off Main Street USA, and features an all-you-can-eat-buffet experience, sprinkled with the magic of character interaction. Whether you visit for breakfast, lunch or dinner, the buffet will always be well stocked with everything you could wish for, and some more besides!
The large, airy building is, as the name suggests, mostly made up of glass, and the characters you’ll meet come from the “Winnie the Pooh” stories. Breakfast includes a made-to-order omelette and pancake station, and lunch and dinner offer a carvery-style meat option. This is one of the most popular eateries so making a reservation is highly recommended.
The Plaza Restaurant
This little gem can easily be overlooked, tucked away off Main Street. The décor is Victorian themed, and is a little less formal than the other restaurants I’ve mentioned. It isn’t the largest venue, and the menu is a little more basic, offering burgers, sandwiches and salads, but the milkshakes and desserts are worthy of a visit on their own.
With entrees around the $15 mark, The Plaza is perhaps a more affordable option too.
Whilst it is true that you will often pay more for whatever you eat on Disney property than you would outside of it, it’s important to remember that you are in a theme park. Yes they do tend to charge premium prices, but if you want to eat without taking a lengthy trip off Disney property you will pay a bit more. And as compensation for this, Disney offer immersive, interesting and sometimes downright jaw-dropping culinary options.
My advice? Make your reservation at all of these places now and you definitely won’t regret it!