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Skip That Table Service Restaurant, Eat Here Instead at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

As a Guest, you probably haven’t come to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom for the food.  The stellar restaurants in Disney Springs and the Disney Resorts across property are usually more famous, after all.  But there are some surprising dining gems in Magic Kingdom, both of the quick service and sit down variety, and it would be a mistake to bypass them.  

So, which should you choose while enjoying a busy day in the Park?  Here are some suggestions for table service restaurants in Disney’s Magic Kingdom that never disappoint – and a few you should consider avoiding!

Skip: The Diamond Horseshoe

Guests might enjoy this musical saloon-style table service restaurant more if music was actually performed here.  Unfortunately, the dining experience at The Diamond Horseshoe is a bit of a letdown – you’d be forgiven for staring at the stage, waiting for someone to come out and play the piano.  (Spoiler alert: it’s not going to happen.) 

Credit: inside the magic
Credit: inside the magic

The food here is adequate and consists of all-you-can-eat comfort food like roasted turkey breast, roasted pork, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and mac and cheese.  But it can’t compare with the food at other table service restaurants on WDW property.  Do yourself a favor and skip this one.

Eat At: Be Our Guest Restaurant Instead

This much-hyped restaurant in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland might seem overrated to the uninitiated.  But, after dining here many times, I can confirm that Be Our Guest Restaurant is deserving of every bit of that hype!  Unlike at the Diamond Horseshoe, there are no unfulfilled promises here – Be Our Guest delivers in every way.  

Guests step into Beast’s Castle to dine in one of three themed rooms straight out of the animated film (head first to the delightfully atmospheric West Wing to see if you can snag a table; if not, there are tons of tables in the magnificent Grand Ballroom), complete with enchanted rose, changing portrait, and perpetually falling snow outside. 

Dishes are inspired by French cuisine, and yes, you guessed it – the “Grey Stuff” is indeed delicious.  Dining at Be Our Guest Restaurant is always a treat!

Skip: Liberty Tree Tavern 

Liberty Square’s Liberty Tree Tavern is a celebration of America and features six dining rooms, each commemorating a key figure in the history of the United States.  Dishes here even have names that celebrate America (Patriot’s Platter, Declaration Salad).  

But this is still just a somewhat overpriced family-style table service restaurant that encourages Guests to stuff themselves on familiar favorites that offer nothing new or exciting for your palate.  You can skip this one without missing out on much.

Eat At: Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd Skipper Canteen Instead

You’re on vacation – why not step outside of your comfort zone and embark on an adventure for your tastebuds?  Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd Skipper Canteen in Adventureland extends the theming and backstory of the classic Magic Kingdom attraction Jungle Cruise. In fact, you’ll hear the same groan-worthy but always entertaining puns from your server as you would from your Jungle Cruise skipper.  

There is a lot to explore in each of the three eclectic dining rooms, but the cuisine is the real star here.  Dishes take their inspiration from Africa, Asia, and South America, and each unique meal is an expedition unto itself.  Skipper Canteen has some of the best and most creative food in all of Disney’s Magic Kingdom – book a reservation here, and your tastebuds will thank you!

Skip: The Crystal Palace

First, the pros: The Crystal Palace in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is beautiful, with its elegant, airy Victorian greenhouse theming.  It also enjoys a pretty fabulous piece of real estate, it’s right on Main Street, U.S.A.  

Unfortunately, the list of cons outweighs the atmosphere and location.  The Crystal Palace formerly played host to the characters from the Hundred-Acre Wood, but currently, Winnie the Pooh and pals are on hiatus, removing one of the main reasons to visit this buffet style restaurant. 

The food here has never been anything to write home about (it’s tolerable, but Disney World can do better, and does, in many other locations).  Plus, because this is a buffet, you’ll end up paying more than you would like and feeling obligated to eat more (mediocre) food than you want to so that it is worth your while.  Feel free to skip.

Eat At: Cinderella’s Royal Table Instead

Like The Crystal Palace, meals at Cinderella’s Royal Table in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland were formerly character meals (in this case, Guests were visited by Disney princesses as they dined).  Unlike The Crystal Palace, a meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table is still more than worth a visit, even with character dining on hold.  

First off, this magical restaurant is located within Cinderella Castle, which in itself is enough reason to book a meal here.  It’s also breathtakingly gorgeous and regal.  Vaulted ceilings, stone arches and pillars, suits of armor, and of course unparalleled views across Fantasyland abound.  The food here is great, with options for adults and kids, but it’s the overall experience Guests will rave about – you’ll feel like royalty when you dine here!

Bottom Line

Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is the Theme Park that comes to mind when most Guests think of WDW.  Chances are you’ll be visiting this iconic Park once or twice during your vacation to Disney World!  While you’re there, you’re bound to get hungry, and sometimes it’s nice to sit down for a table service meal and relax for a bit.  It’s important to know which sit down restaurants in Disney’s Magic Kingdom are worth your time and money, and which you can skip without missing anything.  Bon appetit!  

About Stacy Milford

Stacy has lived in 4 countries on 3 continents, and travels whenever humanly possible. Passionate about music theatre, dessert, and adventure in the great wide somewhere, she visits Walt Disney World every year, usually during Halloween! Stacy currently divides her time between writing and teaching English as a second language to children in China, and is pretty sure growing up is over-rated.