You spend so much time and money planning your most magical Disney holiday that you don’t want anything to spoil it. A bad dining experience can put a dampener on your dream trip. Whether it be bad service, lack of value for money or subpar food you definitely don’t want to feel what should have been a great meal turns out to be memorable for all the wrong reasons.
So to help you avoid this here are the 5 worst restaurants at Disney World and 5 great alternatives!
1 – Avoid Be Our Guest Restaurant
This is controversial but hear me out! The setting of this restaurant is stunning and for any fans of Beauty and the Beast this is often a must visit restaurant during their trip. When Be Our Guest offered quick service breakfast and lunch this was a great option and lunch was a very affordable way to dine at this restaurant. Earlier this year this dining location switch to a table service only restaurant serving lunch and dinner. The cuisine is French and reviews are hit and miss as to whether people enjoyed it or not. At $62 dollars for a three course meal this is a pricey option for in-park dining. If you want to be able to have the experience of dining in the infamous Beauty and the Beast ballroom and love French food then this may be a good option for you. But if you are looking for a special location for a memorable dinner there is another restaurant that will offer you more bang for your buck.
Visit California Grill
If you are celebrating a special occasion or wanting a really fabulous meal whilst at Magic Kingdom hop onto the monorail one stop to the Contemporary Resort and dine at California Grill. This is one of the best restaurants on Disney property and consistently has fantastic reviews. California Grill is a fine dining restaurant, serving delicious gourmet foods with the highest level of service. And you get an incredible perspective looking over Magic Kingdom. Try to visit at sunset for beautiful vistas. This is one of the more expensive dining options at Disney, but for the quality of the food, the incredible views and brilliant service you definitely get your moneys worth.
2. Avoid Chef Mickeys
Chef Mickey's is a staple for people visiting Walt Disney World. At this Contemporary Resort restaurant you get to meet the Fab 5, what's not to love? Unfortunately due to the popularity of this restaurant oftentimes the interactions feel rushed and the food quality isn't great. The most common comment I hear is I loved my child getting to meet the characters but it wasn't worth the money we paid. Although this meal is famous for meeting Mickey and his pals there is another character dining experience where you can meet the gang in a more relaxed setting whilst enjoying amazing food.
Visit Topolino’s Terrace
Topolino's Terrace is one of the newer restaurant at Walt Disney World. It is located in the recently opened Riviera Resort. At breakfast time Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy keep everyone entertained at this fun character dining experience. I love that the characters are all dressed up as different types of artists. It is so cute and really nice to see them in new costumes! The food at Topolino's Terrace is delicious. It is a fine dining restaurant, so you can expect excellent quality food and service. Topolino's Terrace is on the top floor of the Riviera Resort so you also get to enjoy a beautiful outlook over Disney property.
3 – Avoid Akershus
This EPCOT character dining experience is often promoted as a great, and slightly cheaper, alternative to Cinderella’s Royal Table. You do get to dine with Disney Princesses but the interactions are fleeting. The food on offer is Scandinavian, which may not be to everyone's taste. I love Scandinavian food so I was very excited to eat here. Unfortunately, it was the worst dining experience I have had at Disney and sadly I am not the only one that feels this way. Akershus often receives less than glowing reviews of the food. Combined with short character interactions I think this is one to avoid. There are much better character dining experiences on offer that have both great food and fabulous encounters. Such as the one below.
Visit 1900 Park Fare
If you are looking for a Princess dining experience then 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian Resort is a great option! Featuring Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Drizella and Anastasia at dinner time you get amazing interactions throughout your meal. They don't feel rushed and are really fun! Having meaningful encounters instead of a quick photo opportunity really make the difference when enjoying a character meal The food is lovely and plentiful as this is a buffet restaurant. There will be something for everyone's palette. And you can try the famous Strawberry Soup! As you leave the restaurant you can ever take a photo with the famous slipper!
4 – Avoid Rainforest Café
This famous chain has two locations at Disney World; one at Disney Springs and the other at the entrance to Animal Kingdom. The rainforest and animal theme is so well suited to Animal Kingdom but there are definitely restaurants inside the park that offer tastier dishes. Rainforest Cafe is great for the lighting and sound effects but the food is standard fast food and not worth the price tag.
Visit Yak and Yeti
This is a fan favourite restaurant at Animal Kingdom and was a restaurant that was always recommended to me. It has a large menu, filled with delicious Asian foods. I love Asian cuisine and was spoilt for choice of what to order! The decor inside is really highly themed to feel like a Nepalese restaurant and really fits in with the Asia area of the park, which is dominated by the stunning Everest mountain.
5 – Avoid Pinocchio Village Haus
Pinocchio Village Haus is a quick service restaurant in Magic Kingdom. Located in Fantasyland this restaurant has a fabulously convenient location but serves not so fabulous food options. On offer are crowd pleasers such as pizzas and pastas but they are all pretty basic and nothing to write home about. You can get much better quality food at the next restaurant I am going to tell you about.
Visit Columbia Harbour House
This is my favourite quick service dining location in Magic Kingdom. It is situated in Liberty Square, near the Haunted Mansion, and has a lovely New England theme. It is very spacious and even has an upstairs, something most people don't notice. So you shouldn't have a problem finding a table! The food is really nice and offers some dishes that are different to your usual theme park fare, such as a lobster roll and the delicious lighthouse sandwich (it is so good!). For great tasting quick service food Columbia Harbour House is the place to visit!
What do you think of this list? Do you have any great alternative restaurants that you love that you think more people should know about? Let me know in the comments!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on which restaurants at Disney are worth the hype and which ones not so much. Come chat to me on Instagram @most.magical.guides!