Throughout Walt Disney World there are a vast variety of dining opportunities. Of course, everyone has their own personal favorites, but today we’re going to share a closer look at some of our favorite dining locations that have been tried and true for many years. Every once and a while you’ll come across a random fluke experience, but nearly every location on this list we’ve visited many times with great results.
1. The Crystal Palace
While a select few guests aren’t thrilled by the food at this buffet style table service offering, it truly offers an extensive variety of choices. The food certainly isn’t what you would find over at Victoria and Alberts, but it does feature a great variety of choices. Personally, I see this as one of the best table service offerings at the Magic Kingdom. It is quite expensive at both lunch and dinner, but the food is some of the best you’ll find in the park. Also, considering it is a buffet, if you don’t like something just head back up to the counter and try something else. For both kids and adults alike, this would be one of my highly recommended dining experiences.
For kids (and many adults) this is in fact a character meal at all three meals. Pooh and friends great guests of all ages and even perform a small parade through the restaurant. The atmosphere is elegant, yet not overbearing. It really has that classic Main Street feel which sets the stage for a great day in the Magic Kingdom. Personally, we highly recommend the breakfast offering. It is quite a bit cheaper that the other meals and if you book a later breakfast you won’t miss the short wait times of the early morning and you may just get a taste of lunch while they set up for the next meal.
2. Whispering Canyon
Second on the list is Whispering Canyon. For years this has been a go to location for each of our trips to Walt Disney World, even long before we started staying at the Wilderness Lodge. The atmosphere has changed slightly over the years, but today it still holds true to a fun loving set up. If you enjoy barbecue, the canyon skillet is certainly the must try item on the menu. You not only get to partake in a bottomless skillet of food, but you also get a taste of a variety of different items found throughout the menu.
Along the way, the cast members really go above and beyond to make the experience memorable. Kids get the chance to run around the restaurant on stick horses and jokes of all types aboutnd throughout your time in the restaurant. For this location I typically recommend dinner for more that one reason. The whole place is much more crowded at night and as a result the staff gets the chance to have more fun with guests and create a greater variety of jokes that are funny yet tasteful. Another great option is the breakfast they offer. The main menu item is still a bottomless skillet and family style. Overall, it is a really fun experience and one of the many dining locations that have become “hidden gems” over the years. Reservations are readily available throughout the day, and the Wilderness Lodge is only a short bus or boat ride away from the Magic Kingdom.
3. Homecomin’ Kitchen
If you follow the site (thatks!) you likely saw our recent review of Homecomin’ Kitchen. To be quite honest, this climbed into a very high ranking on our list of “must-do” dining. The food is incredible, the staff is outstanding, and the overall experience is really outperforming expectations. If you’ve not been here, be sure to check it out on your next trip to Walt Disney World. You don’t have to have a park ticket to experience it, and due to it’s location at Disney Springs, there is more that enough to do before and after your meal. If you missed our in depth review, be sure to check it out here.
4. Garden Grill
To be quite honest, Garden Grill was a dining location we absolutely loved years ago, then after a few menu changes, we quit going for quite some time. Just recently we went back to try breakfast for the very first time (it’s a fairly new offering) and we really enjoyed the experience. As a rare family style meal in Epcot and one of the few character meals in the Epcot resort area, it’s hard to pass up a meal at Garden Grill. The menu does tend to vary every few years (so be sure to check before you go), but the experience has always been top quality.
The restaurant itself rotates, which provides a one of a kind dining setting, and a small portion of the dining room overlooks the Living With The Land attraction below. However, it is worth noting that this is not a cheap family style meal in any regard. It is quite pricey, but if you’re on the dining plan this is a great place to use a table service credit at Epcot. If you have kids that want to meet Mickey and friends without the long lines, look no further!
5. Teppan Edo
Teppan Edo is a dining location that I overlooked for years. As the only true hibachi experience at Epcot, you really receive a dinner and a show at somewhat reasonable price. The steak is really outstanding and the rice is essentially endless (if you ask nicely). The entire experience takes place on the second tier of the Japan pavilion above the Mitsukoshi retail location. The chefs are extremely friendly and the hibachi style “show” is entertaining while providing your food in a quick timeframe. All in all, it is an amazing place to eat lunch or dinner. If you make a dinner reservation and time it just right, head outside after your meal to catch a great view of the Illuminations fireworks from the balcony area or the ground level of the pavilion below.
There you have it, our top “must-do” table service dining locations. We certainly have more where these came from, but for the sake of the article we decided to share just a few for the time being. Did your favorite make the list?