Walt Disney World has completely turned around their dining experience for guests over the last ten or so years. They started with typical theme park food all across the property including hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza slices, etc.

Now, Walt Disney World has created incredible dining services across their property whether you are grabbing food from a cart or sitting down for a five-course meal, they truly have it all. In my opinion, the best dining at Disney World is about more than just the food, it’s about the experience. Every table service restaurant at Disney has an incredible atmosphere and interesting menu, but today I’m just going to be breaking down my top eight for you!

Be Our Guest

I might get some controversy for putting this at the top. I have heard people complain that this restaurant’s food is overpriced for the quality, but I couldn’t agree less. The atmosphere here is royal and cozy. The entire restaurant was created to look exactly like The Beast’s castle…and it does!

Towards the back of Magic Kingdom, Be Our Guest is only a table service location for Dinner, which is when it’s worth the time and money anyways. You will only get into Be Our Guest with a reservation, so be sure you’ve made one as soon as you know you’re going to Disney! If you can’t manage to find one, keep checking your MyDisneyExperience App the day before and day of because there are last minute cancellations. I’ve booked a reservation the day before I arrived before. It’s risky, so the earlier you can make the reservation, the better!

The menu is now prix fixe but still features incredible selections. You can start with items such as Escargot, Maine Lobster Bisque, or French Onion Soup. These are my three favorite options as well. Then, you have six entrée choices including Center-cut Filet Mignon, Spice Dusted Lamb Chops, and Saffron-infused Seafood Bouillabaisse. Dessert is always the same, it comes with an Almond Macaron, Dark Chocolate Truffle, and White Chocolate Cup shaped like Chip! This is served on a beautiful picture of the Enchanted Rose, which is also edible!

Kids can choose from a salad or fruit and cheese plate for their appetizer. Then, they have options such as Pan-seared Chicken Breast, Seared Shrimp Skewer, or Macaroni and Cheese for their main course. Kids can choose from a fruit plate and yogurt dip or the dessert trio to finish their meal.

A meal at Be Our Guest is $55 per adult and $35 per child. It may seem like a lot but I really feel as if the experience, incredible food, and three course meal pays for itself at this experience.

Tiffins

Near the front of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Tiffins is one of the most unique restaurants on Disney property. Taking inspiration from traditional African cuisine, Tiffins does an exceptional job at building a well-rounded, modern menu. Set in a beautiful dining room filled with eloquent artwork celebrating African culture, this dimly lit dining room is perfectly romantic.

They only serve Lunch and Dinner here, so be sure to plan it into your trip while at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The appetizers are fun with choices like Charred Octupus ($16.00), Mushroom Soup ($13.00), and a Spiced Chickpea Falafel ($10.00).

For entrees, my favorites are the Surf and Turf ($62.00), Crispy Sadza with Braised Berkshire Porl Belly ($41.00), and Fort McCoy Rib Eye ($49.00). They have side items available as well, but be careful as they are not included within a Disney dining plan meal credit. However, they are incredible. My favorite is the Lobster Mac and Cheese ($21.00), but the Gobi Manchurian ($11.00) is phenomenal as well.

Then, for dessert, we have options such as a Sorbet Tasting ($9.00), South American Chocolate Ganache ($12.00), and Guava Mousse ($11.00)

Kids have some great options such as salad (5.00) or the soup of the day ($4.00) as an appetizer. Then, they have Cottage Pie ($14.00), Grilled Chicken ($14.00), and the Shrimp Rice Bowl (15.00) for entrée selections. Children can choose from a Chocolate Brownie ($6.00) , Neopolitan Macaroon ($6.00), or Fresh Fruit ($5.00) for their dessert!

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

Next in line we have the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, an incredible dining room with awesome fare at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This dining room is set in a 1950’s drive-in movie. Your waiter or waitress will direct you to your car where you’ll enjoy the entertainment of 50’s sci-fi films and cartoons during your dinner.

This moderately priced menu has some fantastic highlights such as the Shrimp and Crab Fondue ($10.00) appetizer. This stuff will be gone in seconds if your family shares it. I always order one for myself! For entrée’s consider the Drive-In Burger ($21.00), Flame-broiled New York Strip Steak ($33.00), or the Pan-seared Shrimp Pasta ($25.00). Be sure to order a specialty shake while you’re there! They change these up often, but they are always amazing. They have classics as well such as the Oreo, Chocolate, or Vanilla Milk Shake, all for $7.00.

Children have traditional diner options such as Mac and Cheese ($10.00), Chicken Tenders ($11.00), and Cheeseburgers ($12.00). They also have some more adventurous options like Beef Skewers ($12.00) and Shrimp and Cheese Quesadillas ($12.00)

The dessert menu is here is comprised of fun twists on classic American desserts like a Warm Glazed Doughnut ($9.00) topped with Cinnamon Apples, Vanilla Ice Cream, and Caramel Sauce or a House-made Sci-Fi Candy Bar ($9.00). This dessert is unique and fun made up of Cookies and Cream Mousse, Chocolate Ganache, and Chocolate Sauce.

50’s Prime Time Café

This dining experience is not for the faint of heart. Located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this restaurant features a loud wait staff whom all have a dry sense of humor. The dining room is inspired by the traditional American 1950’s family. When you’re called to “COME AND GET ITTT!!!” you’ll be seated for dinner and told what Mom has on the menu.

To start, I would recommend the Fried Herb and Garlic Cheese ($9.00) or Grandpa’s Crab Cake ($13.00). Then, think about grabbing A Sampling of Mom’s Favorite Recipes ($26.00). This item gives you a sample of the menu and is great for sharing if you are budget conscience! If you just want to go for one item, you have to try Aunt Liz’s Golden Fried Chicken ($24.00) because it is to die for! To finish off, try out Dad’s Favorite Chocolate Peanut Butter Layered Cake A la Mode ($10.00). It is delicious and decadent, that’s all I’m going to say!

Children have some other great options like Goofy’s Salmon ($10.25), Mickey’s Chicken Pot Pie ($11.00), and Grandma’s Mac and Cheese ($10.00).

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

Akershus is a buffet-style table service meal in Epcot’s Norway pavilion, and one of my favorite character dining at Disney World options. It is a lot like Cinderella’s Royal Table but with better food for half the price, in my opinion. My top recommendation would be to visit for Breakfast. The food is amazing, and you’ll get let into the park a little early! You can hitch a ride on Frozen Ever-After while you wait!

If you are heading in for dinner, you’ll receive a prix fixe menu that starts a Taste of Norway, a carefully curated selection of meats cheeses, salads, and fruits. Your entrée options include some amazing cuisine like Tradisjonell Kjøttkake (Norweigian Meatballs), Raspeballer – Scandinavian Potato Dumplings, or Flyt-Stuffed Pasta.

Children have more traditional options such as Grilled Chicken Breast, Macaroni and Cheese, or Norweigan Meatballs. Akershus is expensive, yes. However, the experience, characters, and unique cuisine make it totally worth it for those eager to meet some princesses!

Via Napoli

Via Napoli might be number six simply because I’m a sucker for Italian food, but it truly is an amazing place to eat. Tucked into Epcot’s Italy pavilion, this restaurant’s menu specializes in pizza and pasta with a restaurant staff entirely native to Italy.

Start with one of the Antipastis like the Scampi ($15.00) or Arancini ($13.00). If you are interested in the pastas, I would recommend the Ravioli “Calabrese” ($31.00) or Fettucine “Via Napoli” ($29.00). They have some fantastic entrée selections, but the pizza is where Via Napoli shines. The traditional Margherita Pizza is phenomenal in itself. It’s $18.00 for an individual size or $29.00 for a large and $39.00 for an extra large. My personal favorite is the Carciofi Pizza. For an individual pizza, it is $22.00, a large is $35.00, and a massive one is $45.00.

Kids are always happy dining at Via Napoli with pizza, pasta, and other fun options. You’ll find some other fun stuff like Bocconcini ($9.50) and Gelato ($5.00) for dessert. This is one of the best restaurants to go if you’re trying to please the whole family!

Coral Reef

The Coral Reef is another incredible and unique dining experience located at the front of Epcot. This under the sea eatery features an aquarium that takes up an entire wall where you’ll find huge fish, coral, and maybe even some divers!

Another moderately priced menu includes some decadent appetizers like Lobster Bisque ($10.00) and Crispy Rhode Island Calamari ($13.00). The entrees are exquisite seafood creations like Lobster Macaroni and Cheese ($33.00), 10-oz Grilled Top Sirloin Steak ($32.00), and the Chef’s Special ($44.00) which changes often.

Children have great options here including Jr. Reef Steak ($13.00), Pasta with Parmesan Cream Sauce ($10.00) or the Grilled Fish of the Day ($13.00). The desserts are somewhat average here, but check out the specialty drinks menu for some fun options to try something new!

Chefs de France

Chefs de France is a fantastic restaurant in Epcot’s France pavilion. You’ll find a large menu of traditional French cuisine and exceptional wait staff at this location. Designed after a classic French bistro, Chefs de France is a dimly lit, romantic spot with outdoor seating options!

To start, I’m always going to recommend the French Onion Soup ($8.99) because it is so decadent and rich, the perfect start to a classic French meal. For your main course, the Gratin de Macaroni (Baked Macaroni ($18.99) is simply a bowl of cheesy goodness. If you’d like to go for something meatier, the Canard aux cerises (Duck Breast with Cherrries) ($32.99) is tender, juicy, and perfectly filling. There is also a prix fixe menu here that may be a more budget-friendly option depending on what you’d like to eat.

The kids’ menu here is less traditional. It doesn’t feature cheeseburgers or chicken tenders, but the Grilled Chicken Tenderloin ($8.50) and Pasta with Ham ($7.50) are still great options for the pickiest of eaters!

The Conclusion

Overall, when picking your table service meals, you’ll want to keep in mind the following things (not necessarily in order):

  1. Budget
  2. Character Dining Experiences
  3. Picky Eaters
  4. Atmoshphere
  5. Food

It’s important to choose options that fit your family’s food budget as Disney dining can add up very quickly. If you want to make sure you get a character dining experience, then double check which restaurants have which characters and plan accordingly. Typically, they’ll be a tad more expensive. If you’ve got a super picky eater, make sure to pick restaurants with kids menus that work for the whole family! Then, pick a place your family would enjoy eating. If you’ve got some rambunctious little rascals, Tiffins might not be the best option, but Be Our Guest would be great!

Then, of course, you have to make a decision based off of the food. Most Disney table service restaurants offer incredible food, so that shouldn’t be hard. If you want a specific type of food, look at Epcot for an array of different nationalities’ finest cuisine. If you’re more open, check out the Disney World website for a full breakdown of the menus at the restaurants you are most interested in. From there, you’ll be able to make a great dining decision that pleases the entire family!

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