Having a delicious meal at a sit-down restaurant is the perfect way to decompress after a long day of touring the Walt Disney World Parks. Luckily, you don’t have to go too far to get the relaxation you deserve – WDW has plenty of table service restaurants located throughout all of the 4 Theme Parks , and here are the Top 10:
1.Hollywood Brown Derby- Modeled after the original Hollywood restaurant, this spot is classy and classic . It’s fun to check out all the star’s charicatures on the walls, and it’s even more fun sampling the delicious menu offerings – the Cobb Salad is a must try (it was invented by Bob Cobb, the owner of the California Brown Derby Restaurant), and for dessert the Grapefruit cake is light and delicious. They also have an exclusive wine list and can do pairings to help make your meal even more perfect! This is the perfect place to dine after a day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios , with it’s “Old Hollywood Glamour” theme, its like you’re stepping back in time to the Golden Age of Hollywood!
2. 50′s Prime Time Cafe- With menu items like meatloaf, pot roast, and fried chicken, this Hollywood Studios spot is full of down home cookin ‘ just like mom made, with colorful “characters” to boot. No, it’s not a character meal, but the staff really gets into character by welcoming you into “Mom’s Family”, and making sure you mind your manners (be prepared for a punishment if you can’t keep your elbows off the table or if you don’t eat all your vegetables!). It’s a fun time for all, and if you’re lucky enough to snag a “TV Table” you can be entertained by clips of classic 50′s sitcoms. Don’t forget to follow up your meal with a Peanut Butter and Jelly Milkshake (you’ll be glad you did, they are out of this world!)
3.Crystal Palace- There are a lot of good things to say about this one, like the food – they serve breakfast lunch and dinner buffet style here, and everything is delicious and fresh, from the warm Mickey Waffles at breakfast to the salads at lunch and the carved meats at dinner, it is all delicious. The characters that circulate for pictures and autographs are some of my personal faves – Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet are loved by adults and kids of all ages. The other amazing thing about the Crystal Palace is it’s location – right at the entrance to Main Street in the Magic Kingdom , its an ideal spot to grab a meal, and if you’re lucky enough to be eating an early breakfast there, some amazing pictures of an almost empty Main Street! This is a must do on every trip for me, and I think the best part about it is they serve all 3 meals daily, so your chances of getting a reservation there are pretty good!
4.The Plaza Restaurant- This lesser-known spot is located on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, and they are serving up burgers, sandwiches and salads for lunch and dinner, as well as some super yummy ICE CREAM treats for dessert. The restaurant is less popular than other Magic Kingdom spots, why this is I am not sure, considering that their Plaza Club Sandwich followed by a Banana Split make for an amazing meal (…or late afternoon snack…). All of their food is fresh and delicious, and its a great place to grab a quiet, relaxing meal complete with an ice cream treat!
5. Tusker House – The only buffet available in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park , breakfast (and now lunch!) are Character meals starring Donald and friends in their safari gear! The breakfast buffet includes the usual yummy waffles/pancakes/eggs/meats etc, and also has biscuits and gravy as well as yogurt and oatmeal options. Lunch and dinner include some more African themed dishes including various carved meats, salads, hummus, and cous cous. The characters here are great, but to me its really the food that I go for, its a step above your average buffet when it comes to selection and freshness
6. Le Cellier Steakhouse – This is a very popular spot, so while I recommend ADR’s for all WDW Table Service Meals, I would HIGHLY recommend one for Le Cellier! Why, you might ask? Well, as it states in the name, they serve up a mean steak, along with some amazing seafood and prime rib as well. Their signature dish is their Canadian Cheddar Cheese soup, and they also serve up a chocolate “moose” for dessert (it really is shaped like a moose!)Le Cellier is located in the Canada pavillion of Epcot’s World Showcase , and the restaurant itself sort of feels like a wine celler, dark but warm and inviting. Dinner can get pricey, so I recommend grabbing a lunchtime meal here, where many of the dishes are similar to the dinner menu, but the prices are slightly lower
7.Tutto Italia Ristorante – I am a sucker for a good Italian Pasta Sauce, and lucky for me I can get that along with an authentic Italian dining experience at Tutto Italia Ristorante in Epcot’s Italy. Serving up all the classics, from lasagna, to spaghetti with meatballs to veal and braised short ribs, you are sure to find something here that will have you saying “That’s Amore!”. Plus they have a decent wine list and some mouth-watering Italian dessert items (like Tiramisu, Gelato, and Cannolis!). You can choose to dine on the outdoor patio at an umbrella covered cafe table, or in the beautifully themed dining room complete with Italian “Old World” ambiance
**One thing to note: the restaurant is currently closed for renovations, but will reopen in May of 2012!
8.Liberty Tree Tavern – This colonial themed restaurant in the Magic Kingdom serves up lunch as an ala carte meal, and dinner as a ‘family style’ meal (meaning you can finish all your food and they will bring you more!). The Lunch menu includes soups salads and sandwiches, and a dessert menu that includes the drool-inducing Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake. Dinner is a set menu that is basically a Thanksgiving Feast that starts off with salad and rolls, and then continues to include turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, mac and cheese, and green bean casserole. The food is nothing fancy, but it certainly hits the spot and is a must do for all Thanksgiving lovers out there. History buffs will love all the historical artifacts decorating the restaurant, and kids will love the coloring pages and crayons provided while you wait
9. Rainforest Cafe – There are two locations of this chain restaurant located at WDW – one in the Animal Kingdom Park and one at Downdown Disney. Now, I realize it may seem strange to include a chain restaurant on a top ten list like this (especially when there are so many amazing WDW restaurants!), but I promise you, my reasons are good – First, its great for kids – the kids menu is bigger than some other Disney restaurants, and the theming is perfect for little ones, they love the fish tank, animals, and overall jungle feel of the restaurant. Second, the menu selection may not be gourmet, but it is pretty large – they have a lot of different types of entrees, from burgers to salads to pasta to seafood and chicken dishes, theres a really good chance you’ll be able to find something you like on the menu. Oh, and all the menu items have rainforest themed names, which may seem corny but I think is fun and adds to the atmosphere of the restaurant
10.Wolfgang Puck Cafe - If you don’t know much about Chef Wolfgang Puck, then what you should know is that he likes to be different, to try new dishes, and as a result, you won’t find anything boring on the menu of this Downtown Disne y restaurant! Some of my faves: The bacon wrapped meatloaf, the wood fired pizzas (especially the Margherita!), and the pumpkin ravioli. The Cafe also has an extensive sushi menu, and many yummy-fruity-delicious specialty drinks! If you are looking for something new, different, and unique, I would highly recommend a meal here, Wolfgang Puck has a way of taking things we know and love and making them even more delicious (like putting bacon on meatloaf – a seriously genius concoction!)
I would highly recommend Advance Dining Reservations for ALL of the above restaurants, since they are “the best”, that means they are popular and without an ADR, you run the risk of getting stuck eating Mickey Ice Cream Bars for dinner (wait…that’s supposed to be a bad thing but I am having trouble seeing how…)
Don’t agree with my choices? Everyone has their own favorites, and I would love to hear where YOU like to eat your Table Service Meals at the Walt Disney World Parks!
- Top 10 Table Service Meals at the WDW Resorts (chipandco.com)
- Top 3 Places To Get An “Adult Beverage” at WDW (livinginagrownupworld.wordpress.com)