The Best Restaurants At Disney World guide image

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The Best Restaurants At Disney World

All our favorite options for Dole Whip, pulled pork sandwiches, street corn, and more at Disney World.

There are two ways to approach a trip to Disney World: you can go in blind and probably have a kind of miserable time, or you can be good at it. We’re really good at Disney, and if you’re going to spend your hard-earned PTO on a trip to a people trap designed by a mouse, we want you to be good at it, too. We’ve visited the parks dozens of times over the years and eaten at nearly every restaurant, so trust us when we say that this guide will help you have the best possible food experience on your Disney trip. 

The first thing you should know is that there are three main types of dining establishments at WDW: table-service restaurants, quick-service restaurants, and snack kiosks. If you want to prioritize rides, shows, and parades, your best bet is to eat most of your meals on the go, but if you really want to lean into your Disney day(s), the table-service restaurants go hard on the themes and can be a lot of fun, although for many you’ll need a reservation. It’s also worth knowing about the mobile ordering through the park’s app, which lets you schedule orders ahead of time and skip some pretty long lines (because you’ll definitely be standing in enough of those already).

It’s important to know that the four theme parks that make up this massive Orlando property are not close to one another—you’ll need to either drive between them or take advantage of the (pretty awesome) Disney public transportation. So if you plan to have drinks at Oga’s Cantina in Hollywood Studios and dinner at Cinderella’s castle in The Magic Kingdom, you’ll probably want to rethink that. 

There are literally hundreds of places to get food at WDW, so for this guide we’re focusing solely on restaurants that are located inside of the four theme parks.


THE MAGIC KINGDOM


photo credit: Carina Finn

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Aloha Isle

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This is where you get Dole Whip in the Magic Kingdom, and that makes it the most important spot on our list. In addition to classic Dole Whip and Dole Whip floats, Aloha Isle is also a reliable place to get this soft serve atop a pineapple upside down cake. Use your mobile order here so you don’t have to wait 45 minutes to get your fix.


Adventureland Egg Roll Cart

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The cheeseburger egg rolls in Adventureland have a cult following, and if the phrase “cheeseburger egg roll” has any appeal to you at all, it’s worth checking them out. They’re just as cheesy, greasy, and crispy as they sound, in all the right ways.


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Sunshine Tree Terrace

If you’re on team Citrus Swirl and not team Dole Whip, you’ll want to stop here. Note that the mix they use for this frozen dessert is known to change—it’s kind of a dice roll whether you get a swirl that’s sweet or tangy. This is also where you can get the sippy cups shaped like Orange Bird that are all over Disney corners of the internet.


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Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen

There are a number of mediocre restaurants in the Magic Kingdom that are worth visiting just for the atmosphere or the fireworks views. Jungle Navigation Co. stands out because it’s beautifully themed and has some of the best food in this park. The sustainable fish is a great choice for a protein-heavy meal, which you’ll need after logging 10,000 steps running all over the park now that your ride schedule is subject to the whims of Genie+. We also love the Falls Family Falafel and Curried Vegetable Crew Stew for some vegetarian options, which can be hard to find in this park. You might need to wait a bit, but you should be able to get a table eventually, even without a reservation.


Our favorite thing to do on an early morning in the Magic Kingdom is to walk around Fantasyland eating a warm Cheshire Cat Tail, which is basically a chocolate brioche twist with pink and purple frosting drizzled on top. These aren’t always available (sometimes they’re a Cheshire Cat Paw, and sometimes you can’t get them at all), but when they are, they’re hard to beat. This kiosk also usually has some kind of savory soft pretzel.


You came to Disney just for the Dole Whip, right? If so, Storybook Treats is another important place to bookmark. This is where they have rotating character-based Dole Whip cones and floats, like the Peter Pan, a combination of lime Dole Whip and lemon-lime soda topped with a chocolate feather. This offering changes a lot, so it’s best not to have your heart set on a particular thing you’ve seen on the internet.


Gaston’s Tavern is a solid choice specifically for the colossal ham and cheese sandwich, which is just under $12 and can easily be shared. They also make a great cinnamon roll, and the slightly gimmicky Le Fou’s Brew, a frozen marshmallow-and-apple-flavored concoction, is actually pretty good. Take it outside and picnic at the fountain just in front of the restaurant. Bonus points if your nose is stuck in a book.


photo credit: Disney

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Sleepy Hollow

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If your top priority is getting on as many rides as possible, you’ll want food that you can walk around with. That’s where the waffle sandwiches from Sleepy Hollow come in. They come in both sweet (fruit) and savory (chicken) options, and the location in Liberty Square is actually pretty convenient. In the morning, you can get Mickey waffles here, too, and they have smoked turkey legs in the afternoon and evenings.


This is a pretty hard reservation to snag, so if you want to eat inside the Beast’s castle, do your best to reserve 60 days in advance (though we have had luck with walk-ins for a small party right at the start of dinner). It’s the theme that brings in the crowds: the castle is almost exactly as it was in the movie. We recommend asking to eat in the West Wing, where every so often, there’s a mildly scary thunderstorm—one time we actually shrieked when the lights came back on and the transfigured prince himself was standing over our French onion soup. The food here is pretty basic French that’s good enough, but you’re really here for the atmosphere. That said, we love “The Grey Stuff,” which is basically a cookies and cream mousse that’s light, airy, and nostalgia-inducing.


There’s something oddly comforting about enjoying a full Thanksgiving dinner in the middle of a hot, humid trip to Orlando, and that’s exactly what you’ll get at Liberty Tree Tavern. The meal is all-you-can-eat and served family style at both lunch and dinner, and there are a lot of sleeper hits on the menu. Turkey, yes, but also meatloaf, pot roast, and the Ooey Gooey toffee cake that’s worth going out of your way to try. They very rarely have walk-in availability here, and if you do manage to get a spur-of-the-moment table, know that you’ll probably end up sitting in the overflow area, which isn’t as themed as the main dining room.


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Cinderella's Royal Table

It’s worth eating here at least once, especially if you have small children or are a Disney princess fanatic. They’re open for three meals every day, but the absolute best move is to book a breakfast reservation before the park opens so you’ll already be inside during rope drop (you can also employ this strategy at Be Our Guest). Book the earliest possible time slot, and you’ll be finished with your meal in time to be first in line for Seven Dwarves Mine Train, get a front-row spot for the Magic Kingdom’s opening ceremonies, or simply run around a nearly-empty Fantasyland taking photos.


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The Crystal Palace

This wildly popular buffet is one of the only places in the parks where you’re guaranteed to meet Winnie the Pooh and all of his Hundred Acre Woods pals. That’s the main reason to book here, which is, as the name suggests, entirely enclosed in glass. The food is pretty straightforward American that’s great for picky eaters, though at breakfast we could swear that The Crystal Palace’s Mickey waffles taste better than they do at other breakfast buffets. If you manage to score a dinner reservation at the right time, the front porch restaurant offers one of the best fireworks views in the park.


Sometimes you just need a quick and reliable hot dog while you’re running laps around the park, and that’s what you’ll get at Casey’s Corner. The line is usually not too long, and the foot-long chili cheese dog is a filling meal for around $15. They also have corn dog nuggets, plant-based hot dogs, and occasional weird options, like a hot dog with funnel cake on top. 


ANIMAL KINGDOM


photo credit: Carina Finn

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Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery

This is where you’ll find the enormous Mickey-shaped cinnamon roll, which might just be our favorite cinnamon roll on the planet. It’s flaky and lacquered with syrup on the outside, and soft, warm, and gooey with cinnamon on the inside. The fact that it’s actually three cinnamon rolls in one makes it very sharable, though whether you actually do that is debatable. We like to grab this first thing in the morning whenever we start our day at Animal Kingdom, then hop right in line for a walk-on at Kilimanjaro Safaris, when the animals are most active.


Tiffins and the attached Nomad Lounge offer the most upscale dining inside Animal Kingdom, with a globally-inspired menu of things like gobi manchurian and tamarind-braised short rib. Nomad Lounge is walk-in only, and a perfect spot to snack on Thai milk bread with coconut-makrut lime sauce and charcuterie. If you’re sitting down for a full meal at Tiffins, get the whole fried fish and the short rib (you’ll generally need a reservation, but we’ve had luck with walk-in tables during off-peak months).


photo credit: Disney

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Flame Tree Barbecue

Flame Tree is located just outside Dinoland USA, and it’s one of the most reliably good quick-service restaurants across all the parks, with a menu full of solid versions of classic BBQ dishes. We usually go for the pulled pork sandwich or the St. Louis-style ribs, and it’s worth noting that they serve a lot of boozy drinks here for when you’re in or near a group with a toddler having a meltdown. Desserts here rotate, and whether the special of the day is a seasonal cupcake or a celebration cake, it’s generally something you should seek out.


photo credit: Carina Finn

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Satu'li Canteen

When you can’t possibly eat another dessert or fried thing, head to Avatar land and go to Satu'li Canteen. It’s a spot for build-your-own grain bowls and salads that’s also nicely organized and has a ton of seating. We love the cheeseburger pods, a kids menu dish that’s basically steamed buns with cheeseburger filling, and can confirm that you do not need to have a kid with you to order them.


Animal Kingdom has tons of cute little food trucks scattered around the park, and Eight Spoon Cafe is one you should make a point to visit. If you don’t want to deal with a long wait at Flame Tree, you can get pulled pork here instead, although you should know that if you order it as a sandwich, it will be served on a jelly doughnut. For a marginally less intense experience, you can get a pile of pulled pork atop a mountain of mac and cheese.


This snack kiosk has buffalo chicken chips and a lime and orange twist soft serve situation that offers a nice break from Dole Whip variations. It’s a good place to stop outside of Dinoland. 


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Tamu Tamu Refreshments

The other place to get a Mickey cinnamon roll, and even though we like the one at Kusafiri “better,” it’s literally exactly the same. They also have a solid sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich, and a few other pastries—sometimes it’s a chocolate twist done up like a Tigger Tail, which we love. You can also get two Dole Whip variations here: the Simba Sunset, which has a drizzle of bright red, tropical fruit-flavored syrup, and the King’s Cooler, which is the same thing but with rum.


This is a little snack kiosk outside of Satu'li Canteen, and it’s where you’ll find the Night Blossom, a sour slushie with popping boba that you can get with alcohol if that’s your thing. They also have pineapple cream cheese spring rolls and a few other rotating snacks throughout the day.


If you find yourself in need of sustenance immediately upon entering the park, this is a good place to stop for some surprisingly good tacos. We love the street corn tacos in particular, because it’s nice to eat plants, especially when you’re surrounded by thinly-veiled attempts at talking about the environment and stuff.


EPCOT


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Yorkshire County Fish Shop

Located just beyond the World Showcase entrance (IYKYK), this is our favorite quick meal in Epcot. The fish and chips here in jolly old fake England are as good, if not better, than ones we’ve had in actual England, and they usually have a rotating meat pie, too.


Don’t trust anyone who talks about Epcot food if they don’t mention Karamel Külche. This is where you’ll find the cult-favorite Werther’s-coated popcorn, but also a bunch of other stuff filled with, covered in, and otherwise made from Werther’s candies, like s’more cookies, Werther’s apples, and gooey caramel squares. This is a great place to stop for souvenirs on your way home, because candy is infinitely better than a Mickey-shaped keychain.


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Rose & Crown Dining Room

If you’re a fan of the Epcot fireworks, do your best to score an outdoor table here around the start time. The outdoor patio seating is first come, first served, and it has our favorite view of the lake. You can get the same fish and chips they serve at the Yorkshire County Fish Shop, plus a bunch of other pub classics like shepherd’s pie, scotch eggs, and sticky toffee pudding. And since this is Epcot, alcohol is readily available—beer is the drink of choice here.


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Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

Be prepared for a lot of screaming here (seriously, bring some Advil), as this is the prime place in the park to get up close and personal with the Disney princesses, right in Anna and Elsa’s house. In addition to being a hot ticket for kids who’ve been waiting their whole lives to hug a princess so emotionally unavailable, she literally freezes people’s hearts, the food here is excellent. You’ll get a lot of legit Norwegian dishes, like lefse, a potato-based flatbread, and some nicely spiced kjØttkake. If the kid you’re with is, shall we say, specific in their tastes, you can also get plain old mac and cheese.


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Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe

A temper tantrum’s throw from the Frozen ride, most people come here for School Bread, a giant cream-filled bun topped with shredded coconut. But there’s more to Kringla Bakery, like buttery kringla cookies and two different boozy coffee drinks—for when you need to stay awake but your brain will explode if you hear the chorus to “Let it Go” one more time.


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Le Cellier Steakhouse

Located in faux Canada, Le Cellier, where you’ll feel like you’re eating inside a wine cellar, is one of our favorite choices for a nicer night out in the parks. The whole experience is a little dated, but if you think about it, the golden era of steak and wine really was the '90s, and that’s what it feels like in here. The rib eye, filet, and strip steak are all reliably great, and the wine list is impressive.


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La Cantina de San Angel

The San Angel Inn next door wins on vibes—the Three Caballeros ride runs right through the dining room—but the outdoor Cantina has better food. We like to grab nachos or tacos here when we don’t want to spend forever having a sit-down meal, or when drinking around the world requires an immediate snack.


This corner of World Showcase is often a bit more chill, and you probably won’t have to wait as long to eat at this spot in the Morocco pavilion even at peak meal times. We love the naan spreads, and both the lamb kofta and crispy cauliflower are good, filling options for mains. 


HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS


The theming in Toy Story Land is impeccable, and that extends to Woody’s Lunchbox. If you’ve ever wanted to eat inside of an actual lunchbox, in the shadow of a giant thermos surrounded by three-story toys, you’re in luck. You’re here for a grilled cheese, served with or without BBQ brisket, but they also have totchos, breakfast bowls, and some cute and delicious little “lunchbox pastries,” which are essentially amped-up Pop-Tarts.


This quick-service spot is pretty close to the park entrance, never has a very long line, and serves some of the most reliable food at Hollywood Studios. The chipotle chicken salad roll is the best thing on the menu, and it’s ideal for a quick meal under $20.


If you’re going to have just one sit-down meal at Hollywood Studios, it should probably be here. The Prime Time Cafe feels like walking into your favorite I Love Lucy-era TV shows, and the service is…participatory. Be prepared for servers who’ll definitely have something to say about your outfit, your manners, or whatever else an overbearing aunt might have an opinion on. The food here leans on homestyle classics like meatloaf, deviled eggs, fried chicken, and a fried herb and garlic cheese served with raspberry sauce that we think about way too often.


You’re here for burgers, fries, milkshakes, and B-movies, so stick to a simple order, then kick back and enjoy the show. The dining room is set up to look like a drive-in movie theater at night, with tables inside vintage convertibles and a massive screen showing clips from old sci-fi movies and retro pre-show material. It’s the perfect spot when you’re fed up with the kids (or whoever you’re with): all the seats face forward at the screen, so absolutely no conversation is required.


photo credit: Carina Finn

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Oga's Cantina

You can’t really get food at Oga’s Cantina, but Star Wars fans will feel really bummed if they don’t have a chance to get a drink inside THE cantina. You’ll need to make an advance reservation for this spot exactly 60 days ahead to drink with your favorite droids (and yes, you can get a slot at 8:30am—you’re on vacation after all). Our favorite drinks here are the Bloody Rancor and the Fuzzy Tauntaun, which has a lip-tingling Sichuan pepper foam on top.


Star Wars Land is all about the vibes, and Ronto Roasters is indeed a vibe. There’s a huge fake piece of ronto (we assume) meat roasting on a spit in the center of the restaurant, which is located in the middle of the bustling spaceport that is Star Wars Land. And beyond the theming, the wraps they serve are actually pretty decent. We’re particularly fond of the peppercorn sauce on both the Ronto Morning and classic Ronto Wraps, but their plant-based options are solid as well. Try to avoid being questioned by roaming stormtroopers while you eat your lunch.


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