Dining in Disney; What Works for You?

By Dream Maker
Whether it’s a quick bite to eat or sitting down for a nice family dinner, there is something for everyone when dining at Walt Disney World!

With close to 400 dining options, the abundance of choice can become overwhelming. With this breakdown of what’s available and personal favourites, I hope to help make your dining experience easy and enjoyable – as it should be!

Character Dining

Have you ever wanted to dine with your favourite Disney characters? Then choosing a character dining option for your next Walt Disney World trip would be a great choice for you!

Currently, until all the pre pandemic restaurants reopen, there are six (6) character dining locations open, making your choices of where to eat more straightforward. With differing characters, including Winnie the Pooh, Mickey and Friends, Snow White and many more, your decision for dining may be even easier to make.

Different character dining options include:

  • Chef Mickey’s, located in Disney’s Contemporary Resort, where you’ll meet Chef Mickey and Friends
  • Hollywood & Vine, located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where you have the chance to meet popular Disney Junior characters as well as Minnie Mouse and her Friends
  • Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White, located in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, where you can meet characters from the Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • And more!

Additionally, a personal favourite of mine would be the Garden Grill restaurant. Located in Epcot’s The Land Pavilion, the Garden Grill has a slowly rotating dining room with large windows next to tables overlooking the scenery of Living With the Land, an attraction that allows guests to learn about Walt Disney World’s innovative growing and farming techniques. This restaurant also allows guests to meet and take photos with Chip and Dale, and their Disney Pals.

Prices for character dining locations typically vary from $35-$60USD per guest.

Fine/Signature Dining

For every food lover out there, fine/signature dining is just the thing for you! With close to 30 high-end dining options all with amazing menus and experiences, you can find the perfect combination for any appetite.

Depending on your preferences, whether that be steak, seafood, or worldly cuisine, and your dining budget, finding the perfect fit for you and your party’s ideal dining enjoyment is easy and fun!

Some popular Walt Disney World fine/signature dining locations include:

  • The BOATHOUSE – an upscale waterfront seafood specialty restaurant located at The Landing in Disney Springs
  • Jiko – The Cooking Place – a signature South African cuisine restaurant located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • California Grill – an American, Seafood, and Sushi fine/signature dining restaurant located in Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Prices for fine/signature dining can generally vary from $35 to over $60USD per person for dinner menus.

Counter Service

With over 200 choices for counter service dining, this option has the most variety by far. Having so many options listed for counter or quick service dining, looking through them all can seem intimidating. However, finding the right choice for you and your party is much simpler than you might think!

Making the decision for counter service dining has many factors that cut down the choices available to you. Usually, when choosing to use counter/quick dining options, the park you’re in, where in the park you currently are, and what your preferences are all play a part in the choice you make. 

Some of my personal favourite counter service dining options include:

  • Pinocchio Village Haus – a quick service dining restaurant that specializes in American food. Located in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park
  • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café – an exciting quick service dining option with stellar musical entertainment. Located in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom Park
  • Connections Eatery – a dining option offering a diverse range of foods inspired by Italian, French and Asian cuisines. Located in World Celebration at Epcot
  • Restaurantosaurus – an awesome dinosaur themed quick service restaurant that offers staples like chicken nuggets or Angus burgers. Located in DinoLand U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
  • And my absolute favourite quick service restaurant, PizzeRizzo – an Italian quick service restaurant themed after Rizzo the Muppet. Located in Grand Avenue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • Plus many more at all theme parks and Disney resorts!
Prices for counter service dining are generally $15USD and under per guest.

Casual Dining

Looking for a sit-down meal, but in a more casual/laid-back environment? Choosing a casual dining restaurant might be just the thing for you! With close to 40 different options, finding a casual dining restaurant that suits everyone’s tastes is easy, especially with such a diverse range in cuisine.

Some top picks for casual dining include:

  •  Beaches & Cream Soda Shop – a retro dining experience that has savoury meals and epic desserts, including their kitchen sink ice cream sundae that can serve four people! Located in Disney’s Beach Club Resort at Epcot Resort Area
  • AMC Disney Springs 24 DineIn Theatres – enjoy a full meal alongside a movie at the AMC theatre located in West Side at Disney Springs
  • Grand Floridian Café – a casual yet elegant dining experience specializing in American cuisine. Located in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Prices for casual dining locations are typically between $15-$35USD per adult.

For even more help with selecting the best options for you and your family be sure to ask your Disney Authorized Travel Planner!

Thank you for reading!

If you have any questions or would like me to help you plan your dream vacation, feel free to send me a message.

May all your journeys be magical,

Your Dream Team

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