With over 400 amazing restaurants and counting, Walt Disney World offers a restaurant to please every palate and budget. The perfect theming, top-notch service, and delicious menus make dining at a Walt Disney World restaurant part of the vacation experience. While the theme parks and Disney Springs include many of these fantastic eateries, sometimes getting out of the parks and enjoying a meal at one of the resorts is a welcome respite. A good deal of these wonderful restaurants can be found inside of Disney’s deluxe resort hotels. With so many to choose from, check out my list of the places I love. (Note that you must have a dining reservation or be a guest at the resort in order to allowed entry onto the resort’s property.)
1. The Wave…of American Flavors
Hop on the monorail over to Disney’s Contemporary Resort to enjoy The Wave…of American Flavors. While Chef Mickey’s is the main draw to this resort, the Wave is a definite must-do restaurant. The experience begins as you step through the cool entryway, designed to look like the curl of an ocean wave. The atmosphere is casual and friendly, yet sophisticated, with the wave motif carried over to the backs of the chairs and on the ceiling. Choose from delicious American fare, including seafood, beef, and vegetarian entrées, all prepared with locally and regionally sourced ingredients. Check out the Wave Lounge for fun cocktails, organic beer, and local wines.
Trek over to Kidani Village section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge to savor the delights of Sanaa, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner right next to the Sunset Savannah and its inhabitants. Start off your culinary adventure at the Sanaa Lounge with an African beer, wine, or cocktail. The restaurant itself is decorated with beautiful African artwork and handicrafts, but the main focus is the floor- to- ceiling windows that look out onto the savannah. Even if your table isn’t right next to these windows, it’s still easy to observe the many species of wildlife, like zebras, giraffes, gazelles, and ostriches, that live outside. The menu features a tasty variety of African and Indian dishes that everyone is sure to love. I highly recommend the Indian bread service that comes with your choice of dipping sauces. Be careful; it’s very filling! Keep in mind that Sanaa has a children’s menu with American favorites too.
3. Grand Floridian Café
Enjoy the beautiful courtyard and gardens of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa while dining at the charming Grand Floridian Café. While 1900 Park Fare is traditionally popular for character dining, and Citricos and the California Grill may get the nod for a more signature fine-dining experience, the Grand Floridan Café is the winner in my book for casual dining in an airy, Victorian setting. The menu offers tasty American fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I highly recommend the Mickey Dome for dessert.
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4. Whispering Canyon Café
If you’re ready for delicious comfort food right off of the main lobby in an amazing resort, look no further than the Whispering Canyon Café at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. The bottomless skillet meals are the most popular menu item at this Western-themed restaurant, complete with pulled pork, ribs, buttery corn, green beans, and sausage, just to name a few of the tasty options. The servers are known to have some fun with the guests, including good-intentioned joking and playful antics.
5. Cape May Cafe
If you’re looking for a fun atmosphere and a tasty seafood buffet that includes ribs and chicken too, pull up a seat the Cape May Café at Disney’s Beach Club resort. Characters have been typically present for breakfast in this beachy eatery.
Get ready for a tropical paradise-inspired meal at ‘Ohana! Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is the setting for this family favorite restaurant. Breakfast and dinner are served family style, and the offerings are delicious for both. Breakfast features traditional menu items, while dinner features sweet and sour chicken, shrimp, steak, and dumplings, and stir-fried vegetables served with a Polynesian flair. Characters are traditionally present to greet guests for breakfast. Both meals are accompanied by Polynesian music and a fun atmosphere. Don’t forget to enjoy a delicious tropical drink from the nearby Tambu Lounge.