The Walt Disney World Resort has a great assortment of character dining opportunities and other fine table service restaurants for guests to enjoy. However some have theming that just make the meal an experience. To find out the best of the best, we asked members of the Mouse for Less Facebook group and compiled the results into this list. These Top 10 Disney Themed Table Service Restaurants offer unique atmosphere, tasty food, and a variety of experiences and options to appeal to many different guests. As a bonus, for those on the Disney Dining Plan, each of these restaurants requires one table service entitlement – and they are well worth it.
‘Ohana, located in the Polynesian Village Resort, features two distinct (and popular) dining experiences. First, the all you can eat breakfast includes visits from Lilo and Stitch. Then, at dinner you can enjoy all you want from a variety of meat skewers, noodles, wings, and more while family friendly games and activities occur. The name ‘Ohana means “family,” and while here your family is invited to participate in coconut races and Hawaiian dancing.‘Ohana exemplifies a restaurant that showcases a variety of experiences in a wonderfully themed environment with unique food. When all of that comes together, Disney fans respond and come back again and again.
Be Our Guest
Be Our Guest is located in the Magic Kingdom, and has a table service dinner in which you can sit in the nicely themed Grand Ballroom, the West Wing with the Enchanted Rose, or the Castle Gallery. The Gray Stuff is delicious, as well as the rest of the food, and you may meet Beast after you finish dinner! Be Our Guest is one of the hardest to get Advance Dining Reservations at Walt Disney World, so if you want to go, be ready to try early and often.
Tusker House, is a buffet located in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and gives guests the opportunity to meet “safari” versions of classic Disney characters. The food choices here, combining some African, Indian, and American flavors and favorites, give a lot of delicious choices no matter what palate you come in with. If you are spending a day in the Animal Kingdom, you have to give this place a try.
Boma, located in the Jambo House of the Animal Kingdom Lodge, is a non-character buffet that specializes in African flavors. If you ever walk by during a meal time, this restaurant seems to always be packed with a ton of energy, and fans will tell you about the the all you can eat Zebra Domes for dessert.
The Garden Grill, located in the Land Pavilion in Epcot is great American food done with a twist…literally. Garden Grill offers a harvest feast accompanied by Chip and Dale (and other friends) all while the restaurant slowly spins, showing off views of Living with the Land during your meal. In a way, this combination of characters, good simple food, and a unique experience is the epitome of what Disney dining strives to be, and it makes perfect sense that this restaurant would make it into the top 5.
Crystal Palace located in the Magic Kingdom is a perennial fan favorite for a few reasons. First, outside of holiday parties it is the only real way to meet the whole Winnie the Pooh gang. You can find Pooh and Tigger pretty easily elsewhere, but Piglet and Eeyore are much rarer, and the only safe bet is Crystal Palace.
But while maximizing time in the park with a character meal is a part of it’s popularity, what really maintains interest in a restaurant is the food. In that regard, a big part of Crystal Palace’s appeal comes from breakfast – it is routinely rated one of the best breakfasts on property. Whether that is because of the unique offering of Breakfast Lasagna (which everyone should have at least once) or just that omelets taste better when it’s Friendship Day, Crystal Palace is bound to retain its popularity during all meals of the day for years to come.
1900 Park Fare
1900 Park Fare’s popularity can be explained by a few relatively simple factors. First, the diversity of offerings. During the breakfast buffet, you get a chance to meet a great cross section of British-tied characters (Winnie the Pooh, Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland), and at Dinner you are joined by Cinderella, Prince Charming, and other members of the royal family (of which appearances by the Step Sisters and Lady Tremaine almost always steal the show). During the day, you can also attend a children’s tea party here. Not many restaurants offer this sort of diversity in experience.More than that though, you get all of that outside of the parks, so you don’t need to use a park day to eat there, and in close proximity to Cinderella’s Castle for a much lower price. While the other Grand Floridian restaurants get more hype, 1900 Park Fare is an under the radar fan favorite worth experiencing.
Biergarten, in Germany in Epcot’s World Showcase, celebrates Oktoberfest every day of the year in the atmosphere of a Bavarian village! The buffet offers traditional German cuisine as well as American fare, and is a hit even with vegetarians. At select times, musicians perform traditional German music, and guests of all ages are welcome to Polka on the dance floor! When you think of the themeing Disney is know for providing, a shining example of that attention to thematic detail is definitely the Biergarten.
Sanaa, Thought by many to be the best restaurant on property, Sanaa is a unique and exceptional dining experience that definitely justifies the trip over to Kidani Village in the Animal Kingdom Lodge. During daylight hours you can enjoy the African and Indian flavors while watching animals on the savanna, and anytime of the day you get get the legendary bread service. We recommend getting all of the accompaniments and being ready to order more bread.
Whispering Canyon Cafe
Whispering Canyon Café located in Wilderness Lodge. The Wild West theme is apparent in atmosphere and the food has a Western flair. If you like the service at 50’s Prime Time but want your food a little more rustic and your milkshakes never-ending, Whispering Canyon is for you. This fan favorite gives you a coaster to indicate whether or not you want to “play” with the servers and features a breakfast buffet and skillets later in the day. Try some Gold Rush chips and be prepared if you ask for a straw.
Note: Since the voting took place for this list, Whispering Canyon has reportedly cut out the “shenanigans” part of the experience. As such, the environment for a meal there might be different than what has happened in the past.
Disney fans are passionate about their favorites, and with so many excellent dining options it was hard to narrow this list down to just ten choices. There were two particular restaurants that both provide a fantastic and unique experience, while garnering a dedicated following.
Honorable Mention 1: Chef Mickey’s
Chef Mickey’s has been a family staple in the Contemporary for years, and the relatively recent expansion into brunch has increased the appeal and availability. For a Fab 5 character meal in walking distance to the Magic Kingdom, this is a great option.
Honorable Mention 2: 50’s Prime Time Café
Easily the most popular restaurant in Disney’s Hollywood Studio, 50’s Prime Time serves American comfort food with 50’s styling and “familial” servers with attitude. It you are looking for a unique eating experience in Hollywood Studios, especially if you like your food fried, this is a great option.