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Where is the best places to eat at Disney World? February 23, 2010

Posted by Serena in Getting started.
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There are so many awesome places to eat when you’re at Disney. There are places you go to see characters, places that have yummy food, and a few places that have both.  When researching your options, my favorite place to go is AllEars.net. I could go into details giving you a list of them all, but I see no reason to reinvent the wheel. Check out her links for prices, menus and reviews. They’ve worked hard to give you unbiased reviews. I, however, can be as biased as I want when I tell you my favorite places to eat. Which places you go will depend on your interests and budget.  Deciding which places you go to for your sit-down meals is a big starting off point for creating your touring schedule. You probably wouldn’t want to plan on spending the day at Animal Kingdom when you need to eat dinner near Magic Kingdom. That will waste a lot of travel time.

You may be thinking that there is so much to do and see at Disney, who wants to waste time at a sit down restaurant? But we’ve found that slowing down, and taking a break while you have a nice meal can be just the thing to rejuvenate you for more touring. Plus, in many cases, Disney’s restaurants are an experience in of themselves. They may end up being some of the highlights of your trip. Here’s my top picks:

Cinderella’s Royal Table:  Character- Magic Kingdom-This is the restaurant inside the castle. If you have a little girl that is into princesses, this is going to be heaven for them. This place is wildly popular and expensive. What makes it so special? First, it doesn’t hold many people. That means lots more face time for your little princess to interact with her favorite princess. Second, how cool is it to go inside that castle? That alone is very exciting for kids (and adults!).  Second, the prices are higher because they include photos. When you first go in they take a picture- usually with Cinderella. If you have a bigger group keep in mind you get more than one picture. We had a group of eight, and got two poses- one of the kids with Cinderella, and one with the whole group. While you’re eating they bring you the photos in a folder with a picture of the castle- it’s very nice. Also, there’s other little touches- a wishing star, magic wands, knight swords for the boys- all in all it’s a very magical experience. FYI- if you want to eat here- you must make reservations ASAP. Ideally at the six month mark. If there’s nothing available, keep trying, even the week of your trip. Because you have to pre-pay with this one, people actually do cancel if they can’t make it.

Ohana’s: Polynesian Resort- This is a non-character dinner at the Polynesian and it’s a great choice on a day you plan on touring Magic Kingdom. You can jump on the monorail or ferryboat and be there in a few minutes, then go back to the park when you’re done. Ohana’s is an all-you-can-eat restaurant, with the most amazing grilled meats and seafood you’ve eaten.  If you’ve ever been to one of those Brazilian steak houses, it’s along the same lines, but with more of a Polynesian flare in the flavors. Being right across the water from the castle, you have great views of the fireworks- they even pipe the music in the restaurant during the shows. What I love about this place is that we adults can sit back with a mixed umbrella drink and enjoy the food and views, while the kids run around the restaurant being entertained by the Ukulele-wearing staff who sing, dance and play games with the kids. Who could ask for anything more?

Rose & Crown- Epcot’s World Showcase- this British pub style restaurant is in Epcot’s “United Kingdom” land. It’s got the best fish and chips you’ve ever had, and a great view from the outside patio seating. If you don’t have reservations, this is one place you should check- they try their hardest to accommodate. Great service and great atmosphere.

Crystal Palace: Magic Kingdom- If you are traveling with a 2-5 year old, put this one on your list. It’s an all-you-can-eat buffet with Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore. The restaurant itself is gorgeous, and the characters are friendly and unintimidating. If you have little ones who are a tad bashful, this is a good choice for a character meal, since it may ease them into the experience. The food is excellent- come hungry because there is a ton to eat, My personal favorite is the breakfast buffet. Make an early reservation, and you get to come in the park before opening. That way, when you get done you can start touring Magic Kingdom.

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