So you have decided to take a family vacation and have decided that it is going to be at Walt Disney World.
Planning a trip to Walt Disney World can seem overwhelming with 4 Theme Parks, 2 Water Parks, more than 20 Disney Resort hotels, a multitude of dining, recreation and other fun things, you can throw your hands up in the air wondering where to go first or what to do!
In a series of articles I take a look at some topics with the help of veteran Disney travelers to give you some advice:
Third – Where to Eat?
So you are probably thinking - an amusement park - pizza, chicken nuggets, hamburgers, right? How hard could this be?
Anyone who reads AJ Wolf’s blog, the Disney Food Blog, a blog devote to dining at Disney, comes to realize that trying to figure out where to eat at Walt Disney World is often one of your toughest decisions because “it depends on your budget and who you are traveling with,” AJ says, explaining that if your making your first trip to Walt Disney World, you will need to go to “at least one character meal, a “Disney-esque” restaurant like 50’s Prime Time or Sci-Fi Dine-In.”
Mike Rahlmann, host of the BeOurGuest WDW Trip Planning Podcast and Magical Mouse Radio, and also a travel agent with the Magic For Less Travel agency, explains that dining at Walt Disney World is more than you think: “For a first trip to Walt Disney World, I would encourage guests to diversify when it comes to dining experiences.” Mike explains, “While the attractions and shows can vary greatly all over the Walt Disney World Property, so do the dining options.”
‘Character meal?’ ‘Disney-esque’ restaurant? You are probably thinking what language are they speaking? All I want is to eat.
No problem. Walt Disney World provides dining options for the families, those on the go, and those wanting to enjoy a quiet meal together.
Want to be able to sit down, enjoy your meal and visit with beloved Disney characters you see in the parks? Choose a character meal. Enjoy breakfast or lunch or dinner with Disney’s Princesses, Donald Duck or the big cheese himself, Mickey Mouse.
Mike Rahlmann recommends doing just that: “First, I would make sure to have some kind of character meal. Let’s face it, we all want to be kids at Walt Disney World, and this is a great time to do so, while having a nice meal at the same time!” Mike is right. There is something about making memories over a meal that you just won’t forget.
Stuart, recommends them: “First I would say for your sit down meals try to eat at places that offer cuisine that you don’t have where you live. If you are traveling with children there are two character buffets that offer good food and a fun dining experience, Crystal place in the Magic Kingdom and Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort.”
Prefer some spice in your meal? Like ethnic food at an amusement park? Walt Disney World has you covered. ? Yes, you can more than just a hamburger and chicken nuggets at Walt Disney World.
Dave McBride, creator of the website Jambo Everyone, celebrating Disney’s Animal Kingdom, says that Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one of the best places to get great food with restaurants like Yak and Yeti, Boma or Jiko. “As far as the food is concerned, all of those places are some of the best places outside Epcot to get ethnic foods.” Dave explained, “Jiko is perhaps WDWs best restaurant, top 5 for sure!”
One place in EPCOT that Stuart, recommends: “Another great place to dine is Via Napoli located at Epcot in the World Showcase Italy pavilion. It’s the only place on property with good pizza.”
“Of course Be Our Guest Restaurant will likely be a new favorite for everyone.” AJ Wolf says. Although not everyone agrees. Stuart’s favorite? “My favorite place for lunch is in Epcot’s World Showcase, Yorkshire County Fish Shop. They offer the best fish ‘n’ chips I have ever had.”
In my previous article, we made the point that Walt Disney World is huge, but that is a good thing. It gives you the opportunity to plan and enjoy time for meals and that in turn can allow you to make some memories. “Also, consider a fun Counter Service option as well. With places like Flame Tree BBQ at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park and Sunshine Seasons at Epcot, there are some fun and creative options for a meal on-the-go.” Mike Rahlmann explains, “Also, make sure to schedule an Advanced Dining Reservation for a meal at a resort where you are not staying. This gives you an opportunity to explore the World beyond the theme parks, and many of Walt Disney World's best restaurants are located in the Deluxe WDW Properties! When you are at a theme park, you are always very close to a nice deluxe resort with some exceptional dining experiences!”
Mike makes a good point, with Walt Disney World so big, you are not restricted to just the parks for a good meal. No matter what time of the day it is, breakfast, lunch or dinner, there is always a place at the table for you and your family at Walt Disney World.
I want to thank everyone who I interviewed had for all their great contributions, Walt Disney World is a great place and you can find more information about trip planning at their various sites:
You can find more about Stuart Sternberg at his website, WDWFANZONE.