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10 Tips & Secrets For Walt Disney World Restaurants

Walt Disney World is home to some amazing dining options with unique themes, cuisine, and entertainment. Guests can enjoy everything from quick service meals and snacks to fine dining experiences and character meals. With so many options to choose from when looking to dine in Walt Disney World, there is sure to be an option to please even the pickiest of eaters. While there are many restaurants to choose from, some of them are so popular that they are hard to get reservations to. Guests should follow a few simple tips before leaving home to ensure that they can experience the restaurants of their choice. Once on vacation, guests can also enjoy plenty of amazing details and secrets in Walt Disney World restaurants in addition to the great food. Here are ten tips and secrets for Walt Disney World restaurants!

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10. Book Advanced Dining Reservations –

Walt Disney World restaurants all feature amazing themes and menus making many of them very popular dining locations for guests. Due to popularity, it is absolutely necessary for guests to make reservations for Disney restaurants as far in advance as possible. Advanced Dining Reservations can be booked one hundred and eighty days in advance and are absolutely musts for popular restaurants like Be Our Guest, Le Cellier Steakhouse, California Grill, and ‘Ohana.

9. Try Last Minute Reservations –

Sometimes booking Advanced Dining Reservations far ahead of vacations doesn’t pan out since certain restaurants are already completely booked. Instead of being discouraged, guests should try to make last minute reservations to restaurants that they really want to try. Plenty of guests end up cancelling reservations at the last minute, freeing up some spots for other guests to snag. The best time to score last minute dining reservations is the night before or morning of. You never know when a guest might get lucky!

8. Garden Grill’s Hidden Mickey –

The Land Pavilion in Epcot is home to a restaurant which invites guests to dine on fresh produce grown locally in the pavilion’s greenhouses. The Garden Grill is a slowly rotating restaurant which allows guests to enjoy delicious family style meals while meeting Chip, Dale, Mickey, and Pluto. Guests can even look down into several scenes from the nearby attraction Living with the Land. One portion of the restaurant is covered in an intricate mural depicting plenty of flowers and vegetation. Guests who look closely can spot a Hidden Mickey comprised of Mickey’s head in near profile peeking out from behind several horizontal fern leaves.

7. A Second Floor –

A popular quick service dining location in the Magic Kingdom is the Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square. Open for lunch and dinner, guests can order up delicious options like the Lighthouse Sandwich, Fried Shrimp, and Salmon. The décor of the restaurant is nautical and there is plenty of dark wood paneling, props that would look at home on ships, and maps. The restaurant tends to get crowded during mealtimes, and many guests don’t realize that there is a second floor to Columbia Harbour House. Guests can head upstairs to find more tables up against windows that offer beautiful views of Liberty Square and the Rivers of America.

6. Whispering Armor –

Be Our Guest Restaurant invites guests into the Beast’s Castle to enjoy authentic French cuisine in scenes straight out of the classic Disney animated film Beauty & the Beast. Be Our Guest Restaurant is unique in that it operates as a quick service location during breakfast and lunch but switches to a full service location for dinner. When visiting for breakfast, lunch, or dinner guests should pay extra attention to the hallway with suits of armor. Listen closely as the suits of armor occasionally whisper to each other!

5. Hiding Mice –

One of the most popular dining locations in all of Walt Disney World is housed in Cinderella Castle for a truly royal experience. Cinderella’s Royal Table features an opulent setting in which guests can enjoy delicious meals and meet their favorite princesses. A great detail hidden in the restaurant that might be overlooked by many guests can be found high in the rafters above. Small figures of Jaq and Gus from the animated film Cinderella can be found peeking down at guests!

4. The Best View –

An amazing dining location in Epcot is the Coral Reef Restaurant which allows guests to enjoy amazing food while watching marine life serenely swim past. The main focal point of the dining room is a massive aquarium in which turtles, sting rays, sharks, and fish constantly swim by. Guests who have reservations for Coral Reef Restaurant should arrive early and ask to be seated against the tank for the best views in the house.

3. Free Toppings! –

Meals in Walt Disney World can be expensive, but two quick service locations in the Magic Kingdom feature free toppings bars to make regular meals fantastic! Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café and Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café both feature free toppings bars equipped with toppings, additives like tomatoes and onions, and plenty of other options to elevate any meal.

2. Le Cellier Steakhouse’s Hidden Mickey –

Le Cellier Steakhouse in Epcot is one of the most popular restaurants in the park as it invites guests into a cozy wine cellar where they will feel as though they have been whisked off to Canada. Before entering into the main dining room, guests check in with Cast Members at a desk which is situated near a massive wall comprised of wine racks. Guests who look closely on the wall can spot a classic Hidden Mickey there!

1. Always Save Room! –

Perhaps the biggest tip that any guest looking to dine in Walt Disney World can follow is to always save room for dessert! From fresh baked pastries and decadent cakes to ice cream dreams and unique indulgences, there is a dessert to make every guests’ mouth water in Disney restaurants. So be sure to always save room!

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane first started visiting Walt Disney World when she was two years old, and despite spending most of that trip quarantined with the chicken pox she managed to fall in love with the place. Visiting WDW every year since, she especially loves learning all about the history and small details of the parks and eating/drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival each fall. When she's not in Disney, Caitlin lives in New York and spends her time counting down the days to her next trip.