Tag Archives: Signature Restaurants
Walt Disney World is FULL of amazing restaurants, and a select handful of them are good enough to earn the title of “Signature Restaurant”. These restaurants offer some of the finest food and drink options in the best settings in all of Walt Disney World.
So when it comes to picking where you will be making your Advance Dining Reservations (or ADR’s) for your WDW vacation, one question you will have to ask yourself when it comes to the Signature Restaurants is, Are they worth it? Is it worth the extra money or extra Table Service credit (as Signature Restaurants will set you back 2 table service credits apiece on the Disney Dining Plan)?
Last week I reviewed some of these restaurants in an attempt to answer the question of ‘are they worth it?’ (if you missed those reviews check them out here) and now I want to talk about the rest of the Disney Signature Restaurants in hopes that the information will help you make the right dining decisions for your vacation (because as we all know, food is one of the best parts of any vacation!)
So, here we go:
Yachtsman Steakhouse – Located at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, this New England themed restaurant offers a variety of dishes, but it’s main focus is – you guessed it – steak. And they do it well – from the braised beef ravioli, to the boneless Rib-eye, to the deconstructed Beef Wellington, they are all delicious. Some common complaints about the restaurant are that the service can tend to be slow and the food inconsistent, but I have not found those to be true. The setting is great, the Resort is beautiful, and it’s definitely worth the trip to have dinner here
Survey Says: If you like steak, you’ll like Yachtsman Steakhouse
Le Cellier Steakhouse – Head over to the Canada area of Epcot’s World Showcase for lunch or dinner here, where you can feast on Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup (made with beer and bacon!), Filet mignon or king salmon or pan-seared cod, with a trio of chocolate to finish off the meal. An added bonus of this restaurant – they serve dinner AND lunch, and lunch is usually cheaper than dinner, plus lunch will only cost you ONE table service credit per person (whereas dinner will cost 2 credits)
Survey Says: The price for dinner is a little high, so I suggest grabbing lunch here (it’s the same experience, for less money!)
Bistro De Paris – Celebrate a special occasion in style at this intimate restaurant in the France pavillion of Epcot’s World Showcase. They do a Prix Fixe menu where you can select from scallops, beef, or or chicken for your main course with options for dessert and starters as well (you can also choose to have wine pairings included, for an additional fee). It’s the perfect place to enjoy a romantic dinner, as it’s a smaller, more upscale restaurant (and there tends to be fewer families and young children dining here), and it’s also a great spot to view the nightly Illuminations show. It’s main drawback? Price – it’s not cheap, and if you aren’t sure if you like French food this might not be the best place for you to dine
Survey Says: It isn’t cheap, but it’s a great place to celebrate!
The Hollywood Brown Derby- Head over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a meal at this restaurant that is a replica of the original Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood. Try the signature Brown Derby Cobb Salad, or the Duck Two Ways, and finish off your meal with their famous Grapefruit Cake (and it’s famous for a good reason – because it’s delicious!). They also have some amazing wines and martinis, and do wine pairings as well. The decor is fun, with drawings of Hollywood stars on the walls, and it has a great “old school tinseltown” feel to it
Survey Says: If you’re a movie fan, this is the place for you – you can grab a martini and relax in the elegant setting of the Brown Derby
Fulton’s Crab House - This restaurant’s location in Downtown Disney is unique – it is actually a replica of an old riverboat that is docked right on the waterfront! The location is a huge part of it’s appeal – who wouldn’t want to eat on an old riverboat? The food has appeal too – crab cakes, oysters, and mussels grace the menu, as well as a few non-seafood selections.
Survey Says: Seafood fans will love eating here, and even non seafood fans will love the old riverboat setting
Wolfgang Puck: The Dining Room – Guests who dine here will get to experience the chef’s truly unique Asian/Californian fusion in an upscale setting. Lobster risotto, a selection of sushi, and banana beignets are just some of the items you can expect to find here, as well as prix fixe menus of specially selected items, like the Austrian 2 Course Tour. Enjoy some wine and watch as your food is prepared in the open kitchen
Survey Says: If you are looking for something truly unique and different, this is the place for you
Whether you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary, wedding, engagement, promotion, or simply the fact that you are on vacation at Walt Disney World (reason enough to celebrate in my mind!), I urge you to check out some of these Signature Restaurants for great food, drink, and atmosphere – there are so many choices that chances are one will be perfect for you!
Stay tuned right here on Chip and Co for part 3 where I will be discussing the character meals and dinner shows that will set you back 2 Table Service credits (while they aren’t technically “Signature” restaurants, they are unique and therefore more expensive than other restaurants. What makes them special? Check back next week to find out!)
- Top 10 Romantic Walt Disney World Restaurants (chipandco.com)
- Signature Restaurants – Are They Worth It? Part 1 (chipandco.com)
This same principle can be applied to Disney dining and it’s one of the things I love about Disney. At Walt Disney World, you can experience unique and high-quality dining while dressed more casually than you could at home. Since many people eat at table-service restaurants while touring the theme parks, most diners will be dressed in comfortable clothes and footwear. T-shirts, shorts, and sneakers are not out of the norm. I don’t mind dressing up but my husband is more comfortable in casual clothes and balks at the idea of a shirt and tie for dinner. At Disney, he has the best of the both worlds – great dining in casual but appropriate clothes.
If you frequent any Disney forums, you’ll happen upon a thread when people complain about guests being inappropriately dressed in Disney restaurants. These complaints are usually about diners in Disney’s signature restaurants. Signature restaurants do have a “business casual” dress code that is less relaxed than at other Disney table-service restaurants. The following signature restaurant dress code guidelines are from the Disney website.
“Men: Khakis, slacks, jeans, dress shorts, collared shirts. Sport coats are optional.
Ladies: Capris, skirts, dresses, jeans, dress shorts.
Not permitted in dining room: Tank tops, swimwear, hats for gentleman, cut offs, or torn clothing. While T-shirts are now allowed, the policy remains that T-shirts with offensive language or graphics are not acceptable.“
Just like going to work in a nice pair of jeans can be more fun on Fridays, the food at Disney just seems to taste better to my family when we’re dressed in nice shorts and sneakers.
Lisa M. Battista is the author of Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers When she’s not chasing after her little ones, you can most likely find her at the beach or in the kitchen trying her hand at a new recipe. You can follow her on Twitter @DisneyExplorer or become a fan of Beyond the Attractions on Facebook.
- To Downtown Disney or Not? (chipandco.com)
- Disney World Quick Tips – Don’t Visit Walt Disney World Through A Viewfinder (chipandco.com)
Dining at Walt Disney World can be a wonderful experience. There are dozens of outstanding table service restaurants and many more counter service venues many of which are also quite good. I’m not going to talk about particular restaurants or even the Disney Dining Plans, I’ll leave that to your judgment. What I am going to talk about are the different approaches to dining that we have tried in the past and give a very basic opinion of each.
- Table Service/Signature Emphasis – At times we have loaded our vacation with ADR’s at the Table Service and Signature Restaurants. If you truly love good food and excellent service, this is a very rewarding approach. There are some drawbacks though. Table service ADR’s are not only very expensive but they are also ‘time hogs”. If you are traveling with kids, getting the young ones to sit still for a table service meal can be a challenge depending on ages and degrees of exhaustion.
- Counter Service Only – There are definite benefits to this approach. Costs are absolutely much lower and you can eat in a sort of “on the run” mode so the heavy time constraints of table service restaurants are eliminated. Another plus is, you are not required to be in a certain place at a certain time because counter service restaurants do not use the ADR system. The MAJOR drawback with this plan – although many of these venues are quite good, overall they are uninspiring. Variety, by necessity, is somewhat limited and a relaxing meal is pretty much impossible.
- Combining Counter (daytime) and Table Service (evening) – Like most things, variety maximizes your experience. I absolutely believe that at least one table service meal per day is essential. It gives you the time and place to relax and reconnect with everyone in the traveling party. Let’s face it, when you are in the parks it’s go-go-go all day long and an evening table service meal gives you a chance to take a breather. You don’t have to limit yourself to one table service/day, and we don’t, the one per day is a minimum. Costs are higher than with the counter service strategy but can be managed.
I hope this gives you some ideas on how to approach dining on your vacation. Make your choices and no matter which approach you choose enjoy your food. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!
- Help with Disney Dining Questions (chipandco.com)
- Disney Dining Plan or Deluxe Disney Dining Plan… Which To Choose? (chipandco.com)
When we all travel to Walt Disney World, the resort hotel we choose is the easiest purchase decision we make because the costs of the room are pretty much up front with no surprises. We simply purchase what we can afford. My concern is the rest of the package which, if you’re not realistic about what you can and want to do, might have more in it than you want or need and therefore costs you more $$$. If you don’t want to or can’t use all of the items in a package, why pay for them.
- TICKETS – Examine your past vacation patterns (we all have them) and if you don’t go from park to park on the same day don’t waste money on the Park Hopper option. It’s also very tempting to purchase the Water Parks and More option but if you can’t or won’t use the option more than once or twice check the prices for a daily admission to any extras (water park/Disney Quest) and see how it compares to the option. You might be surprised.
- MEAL PLANS – If it’s not a normal part of your life to sit down to meals or you are trying to maximize your park time you might want to stick with the Quick Service Dining Plan. There are plenty of excellent choices (not just burgers and fries) in the parks. The Disney Dining Plan is a nice middle of the road choice if you like to take one meal a day to relax and dine together. Only pick the Deluxe Dining Plan if you are a real foodie and want to sit down to 3 meals a day or you like to dine at the Signature restaurants and Dinner Shows (2 credits each). Otherwise it is simply too much food!!
- EXTRAS - There are tons of extra things to do at Walt Disney World from Cirque du Soleil (great by the way) to tours, golf, and many other things. The Platinum Plan (super expensive) includes all of that stuff and more. Before you are tempted to purchase that plan just review your past vacations and ponder just how much extra time you had for those things. If you are going to do any of these things, compare prices, I can almost guarantee it will be less expensive to purchase what you can/want to do a la carte.
I guess my whole point is – review what you want and realistically can do and compare the costs. Although all the extras included seems tempting, you pay for them up front and there are no refunds. If you do them individually it may save you some big $$$. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!