Every Guest to Walt Disney World is spoiled for choice when it comes to dining options. Whether you’re in a WDW Theme Park or a Disney Resort Hotel, there are so many fabulous spots to grab a bite that you might feel overwhelmed. And there’s nowhere on property better for foodies than Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney), WDW’s very own entertainment, shopping, and dining complex. To help you narrow your plentiful dining options, here are some top choices that excel not only at tantalizingly yummy food, but also at unique and exquisitely executed theming! After all, at Disney World, whether you’re eating at a Theme Park, Resort, or at Disney Springs, dining should be an experience.
Looking for a family-friendly restaurant, or maybe an eclectic nightlife locale? The Edison does double-duty and brings a Guest both! This unique restaurant welcomes Guests of all ages before 10:00 p.m., when everyone can soak up the mesmerizing 1920s steampunk décor and entertainment. We loved the vintage shows playing on projectors, and the stilt performers walking around the restaurant. Once 10:00 p.m. hits, there’s a cover charge and an age restriction, and the entertainment takes on more of a grown-up theme, with impressive aerialists and burlesque dancers. Regardless of when you visit, wander around The Edison to take in all the impeccably executed industrial Gothic details. Food on the menu here is appropriately unique – try the signature Edison Burger or the Clothesline Candied Bacon. Check the hours before you head out, since it isn’t always open late.
A Guest would be forgiven for assuming this dinosaur-themed eatery is just for kids, but that would be a mistake. Regardless of your age, it’s impossible to not be captivated by T-REX Café’s huge animatronic dinosaurs and other extinct creatures, regularly scheduled meteor showers, and the spectacular depiction of primeval environments. You might enjoy your food in a prehistoric jungle, a color-changing ice cave, or a coral reef – and make sure you check out the fossils in the restrooms! Wander around the restaurant to take in one of the most immersive dining experiences on Disney property. When it’s time to order, choose from a menu of child-appropriate and adult-oriented dishes with fun paleontological names (fair warning: you’ll need help to finish off the family-size Chocolate Extinction!).
Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar
Full disclosure: despite having seen the Indiana Jones movies, I had no idea who Jock Lindsey was when I ventured into this 1940s aviation-themed hangar bar on the waterfront in Disney Springs. Luckily, it didn’t matter – the vintage theming speaks for itself! Technically, Jock Lindsey’s is a lounge, not a restaurant – but it’s family-friendly, and offers some delicious food as well as creative signature cocktails. It features lots of Easter Eggs for Indiana Jones fans, who (unlike me) probably know that Jock Lindsey was Indy’s pilot sidekick. Settle in with an appetizer, flatbread, or taco – or try one of the signature libations (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), and soak up the gritty aviation theming. Fun fact: Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar turns into a Christmas-themed lounge during the holidays, the only bar to do so in Walt Disney World!
Tasteful nautical décor may seem like an oxymoron, but The BOATHOUSE somehow manages to pull it off! It helps that this upscale restaurant occupies an enviable location on the waterfront, with a floating dock and a flotilla of retro Amphicars and boats. Inside, you’ll find more boats and vintage motors – if you’re lucky, you may even be able to dine inside a converted boat! There’s plenty to look at while you’re waiting for your delicious food, which will be predictably impeccable (The BOATHOUSE is known for its seafood, but the mac ‘n cheese and sliders are also to die for). After your meal, check out the nautical-themed gift shop, or hop aboard an Amphicar tour or an Italian water taxi for an unforgettable tour of Disney Springs.
Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar and Restaurant
Speakeasy vibes abound in Enzo’s Hideaway at Disney Springs, themed after a Prohibition-era rum-runner tunnel. The theming of this fabulous tunnel bar and restaurant even extends to the entrance, which you’ll have to search for (hint: it’s at The Landing)! Once you find it, you’ll follow a tunnel to the main room, featuring concrete walls complete with graffiti and dim lighting. It’s a complete departure from the atmosphere of other eateries in Disney Springs, and truly does feel like a secret hideaway. Enzo’s Hideaway boasts a surprisingly extensive menu of exquisite Italian dishes, from appetizers to mains to sweet treats for dessert. If that’s not enough to entice a Guest to visit, you won’t find a larger selection of rum and scotch anywhere on Disney property!
Fans of Iron Chef America will be familiar with the name of Morimoto Asia‘s Chef Morimoto. But even an uninitiated Guest can’t help but be impressed by the theming and food at this popular Pan-Asian eatery at the Landing in Disney Springs. You’ll be able to get a fun backstage glimpse of food being prepared at the exhibition kitchens – that is, if you’re not distracted by the restaurant’s 20-foot-long chandeliers and soaring ceilings that elevate your dining experience. Dishes at Morimoto Asia embody Chef Morimoto’s interpretations of dishes from China, Japan, and Korea. Try the Morimoto Spare Ribs, Tuna Pizza, or Rock Shrimp Tempura.
It’s hard to go wrong when dining at a Disney Springs restaurant – and trying as many restaurants as possible during your stay will help you find favorites to return to next time you’re in Walt Disney World. But if you’re looking for a truly unique atmosphere with eye-catching details and impressive theming, the above Disney Springs restaurants do not disappoint. Bon appetit!