Review: Dining at Disney

Back in February, we decided to splurge and purchase annual passes to Disney World. We knew we’d be back in June for sure, and we could plan a few long weekends. After all, it’s only about 7 hours or so from Atlanta. By the end of the year, the number of trips will total five. I can most certainly say we’ve gotten our moneys worth thus far. The annual pass includes dining discounts. Dining is obviously an important part of any trip, and we are pretty much newbies to the Disney seen. So what have we discovered thus far when it comes to dining?

I thought I’d provide a review for each of the places we’ve dined at thus far, excluding quick service. Warning…this post is really long. We’ve tried restaurants at each of the parks, the Grand Floridian, and Disney Springs. Overall, Epcot is the best place for food. Is anyone really surprised by that?

1900 Park Fare

Great breakfast and a variety of characters visit your table. We were actually really impressed with the overall selection of food on the buffet. This reminded us of a Las Vegas style buffet. The food was hot and delicious. Service was fine…essentially what you’d expect for a buffet. The characters included Alice, Mad Hatter, Mary Poppins, and Tigger. It was by far one of the best breakfasts we’ve had at Disney.

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Grand Floridian Cafe

We’ve eaten here twice, and the service just isn’t great. The food is pretty good, but I just don’t think we’ll go back. The family at the table beside us actually got so frustrated that they just left. I think that’s rude, but I get it. We haven’t had any difficulty getting seated, which is nice (even with a reservation at most Disney restaurants, you still wait). I really like the ravioli dish. Ryan had the waffle this past time and a salad the first (the salad was fairly large). Overall, it’s okay and not worth the money.

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Be Our Guest

I was pleasantly surprised by this one. We really enjoyed it. The restaurant is very large and features several rooms. You can tour each room and take a photo with the Beast during your meal. The theme and details of this restaurant are great. I felt like we were actually dining in the castle. The food portions were a good size, and the food tasted great. We both had steak. I will note that the bread could be better. It’s not fresh. Ryan enjoyed the grey stuff, which tasted like icing to me. The pace of the meal was pretty good too. I would highly recommend this over Cinderella’s Royal Table (it’s better and cheaper). Note this location is open for lunch and breakfast as quick service.

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Photo Credit: Disney

Cinderella’s Royal Table

This was a disappointment all around. First off, it’s very expensive and the portions are smaller than at Be Our Guest. The food just isn’t good either. I hardly ate anything. Ryan did like the salmon. We also weren’t impressed with the castle. It just isn’t what we thought it would be. The pace of the meal was fine. I think the waiter new I didn’t care for my meal (since I didn’t really eat it), but I didn’t bother with getting anything else. Several princesses visit your table throughout the meal. Snow White is spot on. I wouldn’t recommend this unless you have a small child that demands it. It’s just not worth the money.

The Plaza Restaurant

We had a reservation and waited for at least an additional twenty minutes. The server was fine, but we were sort of in a rush after waiting. The food is priced reasonably. It wasn’t anything special, but it’s better than some of the quick options. The restaurant is actually really small. I probably would pass on this one too.

Yak & Yeti Restaurant

This restaurant is highly recommended online, and we enjoyed it. It was very busy… several large parties. It’s actually a much larger restaurant than it appears. Service was fairly quick and the food was hot. I had some sort of sparkling soda drink, and it wasn’t good. The actual food, which is Asian inspired, was delicious. Prices are on par with other restaurants in the park.

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Photo Credit: Disney Dining

Rainforest Cafe

Both the Rainforest Cafe at Animal Kingdom and Disney Springs are good. The service is usually pretty quick, and the food is good. It’s a fun restaurant to eat with kids too. The prices are pretty reasonable for the portion size.

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

I ate here when I was a kid, so I recommended we try it this past visit. Our waitress was great and quick. I’m all about speed if it isn’t obvious. The food tasted like typical park or quick service food. It was fine but not anything special. Eating in the cars is pretty neat. I enjoyed it as a child, but I wasn’t as crazy about it as an adult.

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Backlot Express

We actually had breakfast here as part of our early admission to Toy Story. This location is quick service oriented, but there is a quasi buffet for breakfast. You order an entree from the menu and then there’s a continental style buffet to enjoy in addition to that entree. The entrees included some healthier options. Food was pretty good.

Tokyo Dining

I love this place. We’ve actually eaten here for lunch and dinner. I really like the teriyaki chicken and bento box. The restaurant feels authentic and the wait staff are very polite. You don’t have to wait too long for your meal, and the view is nice from pretty much all of the tables. Back to the bento box, this is a great to share for lunch. Just a little cost savings tip.

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San Angel Inn Restaurante

If you read the reviews online, this place is dark. It’s hard to see anything because it’s so dark. I felt the food was more authentic than your traditional Mexican restaurant. Our waitress was fine from what I remember. The food was really hot and tasted great. It is more expensive than quick service, and we actually like the quick service options in Mexico.

The Boathouse

This started out a disaster, but they fixed it. It ended up being a fabulous meal with all of our family. Although we had a reservation, we had to wait (typical Disney and we had a large group). At first, they tried to squeeze us into a tight spot. I wasn’t having that, so I notified staff. Within ten minutes, they had us moved to much better spot. There was literally no room to move at the first table. I couldn’t even get to a chair.

Our waiter was very kind and joked with all of the ladies (they were flirting up a storm). He checked on us periodically to make sure we had everything we needed. The food was very good. I think everyone really enjoyed their meal. We all had an entree and dessert. I would highly recommend this restaurant. You’ve got to try the strawberry shortcake! Ryan really liked the stuffed lobster.

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Photo Credit: Disney Food Blog

As I mentioned above and in conclusion, Epcot is the place to go for dining I’ll have to share a review of some of the quick services places we’ve dined at in another post. I’ll be sure to keep you all posted on the places we visit this fall too.

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