The hotel is booked, the tickets have been bought, and the theme park game plan is in place. You are now browsing through the restaurant options at Walt Disney World and, chances are, you’re overwhelmed by the number of restaurant experiences available. This is not an uncommon situation. I would like to share with you my top 5 favorite places to eat at Disney World.
Located in the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Citricos is a restaurant with a laid back and relaxed atmosphere. Because it is a lesser known restaurant, obtaining dining reservations is never too difficult. The servers take their time with you and do not rush you to finish your meal, which can be very welcome after a long day in the parks when you want to unwind. The menu at Citricos includes both Mediterranean and American cuisine, and the best part is that the menu is seasonal. This means that your meal tastes unbelievably fresh. Be sure to indulge in dessert. One of my favorites is the lemon scented cheesecake. This is one of the more pricey restaurants at Disney World, but it’s a good thing to splurge on.
Of all the restaurants in World Showcase at EPCOT, my favorite is located in France. Le Chefs de France offers authentic French cuisine in a setting reminiscent of a French cafe. Portions here are generally very large, so I recommend sharing a meal with another person. The roasted chicken and gratin de macaroni are my family’s personal favorites. This restaurant is open for lunch, so an earlier reservation may be cheaper.
The best restaurant for first timers at Disney would have to be Chef Mickeys in the Contemporary Resort. Be sure to bring your camera, because this is a character meal with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, Chip, Dale, and Goofy. It’s an awesome alternative to waiting in lines, or using up Fastpasses to meet with your favorite characters. The food here is on an all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet. Chef Mickeys offers a very good variety of food for all members of the family. Adults can dig in to foods like salmon and roast beef while children can eat off of a smaller bar with foods like chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese.
California Grill is a newly renovated, high end restaurant located in the top of the Contemporary Resort. Like Citricos, California Grill is one of the pricier restaurants, but it can be made more affordable by sharing. The seasonal options are fresh and delicious. Some of my family’s favorites are the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli and the various flatbreads. A great thing about California Grill is that when you have a reservation for a meal there, you are allowed out on their observation deck. Seeing “Wishes Nighttime Spectacular” is even more magical from this non crowded vantage point.
Ohana, in the beautiful Polynesian Resort, has quickly become my family’s favorite restaurant in Walt Disney World. As soon as you sit in your seat, the food starts coming, and coming, and coming. You are treated to a Hawaiian feast as you are brought pineapple coconut bread, honey coriander wings, pork dumplings, salad, pork loin, sirloin steak, spicy grilled peel-n-eat shrimp, teriyaki noodles, and stir fried vegetables. Be sure to save room for a bite of the decadent bread pudding they will also bring you. While you are chowing down, a cast member sings songs, plays with the kids, and teaches the hula. It is the perfect end to a magical day at Walt Disney World.