If you’re a foodie, then Disney Springs might just be your happy place in Walt Disney World. Here, Guests can choose from dozens of eateries with menus that span the globe and atmospheres that defy imagination.
Today, we’ll take a look at a few of the table service restaurants in Disney Springs to help you decide where to start your culinary adventures – and what to leave off your list.
Skip: Planet Hollywood
Even thinking of Planet Hollywood at Disney Springs elicits an inward groan. This is easily one of the worst restaurants in all of Walt Disney World, and there’s just no good reason to eat here, with so many fabulous alternatives in Disney Springs.
Refurbished a few years back as a vintage Florida observatory, the same Hollywood decor adorns the interior. Rightfully known more for its movie memorabilia than its food, even Guy Fieri’s rehauling of the menu couldn’t save this restaurant.
Yes, you’ll get a ton of (artery-clogging) food with every order, and there are lots of kid-friendly options. But it’s pricy, and the off-the-wall twists (breading food in cereal, for example) are not able to make up for the fact that the food here is a let-down.
Eat At: Morimoto Asia Instead
This Asian fusion restaurant in Disney Springs features menu items that are as unique and mesmerizing as its comfortably posh atmosphere. At Morimoto Asia, celebrated chef Masaharu Morimoto (of Iron Chef and Iron Chef America fame) brings to life his interpretations of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese dishes in a beautiful two-story space dripping with chandeliers.
We love everything about this restaurant, from the imaginative dishes (Oreo Tempura, anyone?) to the exhibition kitchens that give Guests a glimpse into the creation of their meals. Try the signature dish Peking Duck, or the yummy Portobello Mushroom Fries.
A meal aboard a steamboat in Disney Springs seems like a great idea. And it’s true enough that the 360-degree views of the waterfront are pretty amazing at Paddlefish, which has definitely benefited from the recent luxury yacht-themed refurbishment.
But there’s not a ton to eat here if you’re not a seafood eater, and even the seafood itself tends to be fairly uninspired. It’s certainly not worth the elevated prices you’ll pay, especially when Guests can choose from so many other restaurants in Disney Springs that serve better seafood AND an excellent variety of other eats.
Skip Paddlefish unless you’re a seafood eater who isn’t remotely picky about seafood quality, or if the experience of eating on a luxury steamboat with stellar views is of paramount importance.
Eat At: The BOATHOUSE Instead
Vintage boats, delicious eats, and a stunning location on the waterfront – The BOATHOUSE at The Landing in Disney Springs has it all. Guests are drawn in by the retro Amphicars and Italian water taxis that you can cruise around in, but it’s the food that keeps them coming back.
It’s hard to know what to recommend on the menu here, because we’ve never had a bad bite. The restaurant specializes in seafood, and boasts the largest selection of oysters in the state of Florida. Steaks are also excellent here. The Filet Mignon Sliders are the best sliders we’ve ever eaten, and the Mac’ N Cheese also gets rave reviews.
After you eat, make sure you walk along the dock to gape at the gorgeous collection of restored boats from the 1930s-1950s.
Skip: Rainforest Café
Yes, dining should be an experience. But not at the expense of decent food. And that is the problem with Rainforest Café, which has two locations on Walt Disney World property: one at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and one here in Disney Springs.
We’d recommend avoiding both. Sure, the rainforest theming is great – where else can you eat inside a jungle (well, actually, at T-REX Café – but more on that in a minute), with animatronic creatures moving and making noises around you? We also love the periodic thunderstorms here, which add some excitement to the atmosphere.
But the food is bland and unexciting at best, and all the fun tropical-themed names (Beef Lava Nachos, Anaconda Pasta, The Beastly Burger) in the world can’t make up for that. Give this one a skip at Walt Disney World, and if you’re really curious, find a location near your hometown to visit.
Eat At: T-REX
With only a single location and food that is a definite improvement from that of its sister restaurant, a meal at T-REX is always a step up from Rainforest Café.
You’ll dine in a primeval jungle, or in the color-changing Ice Age Room, or maybe the Shark Room (there’s a 5,000 gallon shark tank), watching animatronic dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures come to life around you. Meteor showers will punctuate your meal.
While you’re waiting for your food, take a stroll around the restaurant to take in all the themed areas and creatures. The food here is better than expected, and you can watch meals being prepared at the brick pizza oven and rotisserie. A word of advice – enlist a few friends to help you eat the Chocolate Extinction.
With so many restaurants to choose from and new or updated offerings added all the time, Disney Springs is always evolving. While this article has merely scratched the surface, we hope that it will give Guests a place to start when planning their table service dining adventures in Disney Springs.