Dining at Disney World is definitely a big part of the whole experience. They have fantastic chefs and themed restaurants and together, they make up some of the most amazing places to eat.

There are several different types of dining experiences at Walt Disney World. Counter Service Dining is going to be one of the easiest and fastest types of meals. Counter Service locations are those that you can walk right up to the cashier, order what you would like off of a menu, pay, and then wait for your name to be called to pick up your food. You seat yourself and leave when your meal is complete. Some of my favorite Disney Meals are at quick service locations. A few great ones to mention-

  • Be Our Guest (Breakfast & Lunch Only)
  • Sleepy Hallow
  • Yorkshire County Fish Shop
  • Sunshine Seasons
  • Flame Tree BBQ

The other restaurants in Disney World are going to be Table Service Restaurants and I HIGHLY recommend reservations 180 days in advance if you have your heart set on any specific spot. Here are the different types of Table Service Meals-

Dale & my littles at Garden Grill

Buffet & Family Style Restaurants are plentiful in WDW. Here, you will find several restaurants all themed differently and several of them offer character meals. I love that many of the buffets have something that make them very unique; like the cinnamon roll at Garden Grill Breakfast or the lox at Akershus. They are all you can eat so come with an appetite! My favorites-

  • Garden Grill
  • O’Hana
  • Tusker House
  • Whispering Canyon

Of course you have your typical casual dining experiences at Disney Table Service Restaurants as well. These restaurants are run by excellent chefs and have special theming. A lot of times the menu will go along with the themes. You can find several of these at Disney Springs. Some of my favorites –

  • T-Rex Cafe
  • Kona Cafe
  • Beaches & Cream Soda Shop

Character Dining is one of the favorite categories in this house. The littles usually dictate where we eat and they want all the character time they can get. I love it as well because they get get pictures and autographs while dining instead of waiting in lines to see the characters in the park. Character Dining is available at buffet/family style dining, casual dining, and fine/signature dining. My favorites here are based on the characters you can meet –

  • Crystal Palace
  • Hollywood & Vine
  • 1900 Park Fare

Be sure to bring your autograph books and anything else you would like signed along with your camera!

Dinner Shows are a great option while at Disney. You get entertainment along with some delicious food served family style. The two options for dinner shows currently are Disney’s Spirit of Aloha and the Hoop-dee-doo Musical Review. Both are fantastic! The actors make it a lot of fun and try to get everyone involved. Kids just love being a part of these shows!

Fine/signature dining is also prevalent throughout Disney. These restaurants are going to have a more “Fancy” feel and the menu’s are going to be more upscale fare as well. Some of them even have a dress code. Usually offering everything from steak to seafood, chefs outdo themselves and you will find wonderful things to enjoy from appetizers to desserts. I love this category of dining and for the most part, my kids agree. Some favorites –

  • California Grill
  • Citrico’s
  • The Boathouse
  • Le Cellier Steakhouse

The final category I wanted to outline would be Dining & Dessert Events. These are meals or desserts that take place in conjunction with another event. There are several options in this category and they range from Fireworks Viewing Dessert Parties, to Tea Parties, to Dining With Imagineers. Some of these events are very special and can really enhance a trip!

There really are just so many dining options. Sometimes dining reservations can be difficult to obtain so it is best to have a plan well in advance and reserve at your 180-day window. If you are planning on a dining plan, most restaurants accept it but not all. For assistance with getting those tougher reservations, knowing which restaurants to book using a dining plan, and which would be best for your picky eater, contact me! I would love to help you plan your trip. I can take the stress of dining reservations off of you plus having me as your Travel Agent is always Free! – Start Planning Your Dreams Here!