**Updated 2020 post on Disney World Resort Restaurants ***
Recently, I wrote a post about my favorite Disneyland resort restaurants. It was such a hit, I had people asking me to do the same for Walt Disney World resort restaurants. There are so many great places to eat in Disney World that I decided to break the post into my top five favorite places to dine in the resorts, and then another post with my top five favorite restaurants in the theme parks. Also, keep in mind these are all sit down or “table service” restaurants in this particular review. Enjoy!
1.) Trails End Dinner Buffet
Trail’s End is one of those places I always knew existed but knew it didn’t get a lot of hype. Luckily, I went out on a limb and booked it, in an effort to try something new. This place is now a must go-to for my family and a hidden gem among Disney World resort restaurants! It’s a good old fashioned country buffet with all the comfort foods you could imagine. Not to mention, the price point is great for a Disney buffet since there are no characters. For sweet tea drinkers: this is the real deal. It’s the only place on Disney property that makes tried and true “homemade” sweet tea. They have everything from pizza, to fried chicken, to mac and cheese, green beans, corn, mashed potatoes, and cornbread. For dessert, there is red velvet cake, banana pudding, and soft-serve ice cream with toppings like gummy bears and hot fudge, as well as some other southern favorites. You won’t leave here hungry and the servers are very friendly. Also a great place for a birthday celebration! They will have the whole restaurant help wish you a good one and will bring out a special dessert (in our experience).
*Please note there is NO PARKING at the restaurant. You have to park at the front of Fort Wilderness and take an internal bus to the back. We like to eat here on Magic Kingdom day and take the boat to Fort Wilderness from the park. They also have a full bar for those wondering! Another plus, they have a nice playground right outside of the restaurant that Emma Kate loves to play on after we eat. They also have rocking chairs on the big front porch. So relaxing!
This has been a long time favorite of mine at the Grand Floridian. Beautiful, elegant, and delicious are a few words I would use to describe Citricos. It has my favorite steak, as well as a great drink menu. The sweeping views of the grounds are relaxing, and the open kitchen is fun to watch. It is a great “fancier” meal while not being stuffy. It is on the second floor of the Grand Floridian, so you can stand at the railing and listen to the orchestra or pianist at night while you wait for your table, or grand a drink in the nearby lounge. So romantic!
Tip: Ask for a table by the window for beautiful views! We like to dine here earlier in the evening/while it’s still daylight so we can see out.
3.) California Grill
Situated on the top floor of the Contemporary, California Grill is the place to be when the sun goes down to watch the fireworks show. There is even a private viewing deck outside for diners to visit. If you love sushi, you have to try the food here. I personally don’t eat sushi, but the husband loves this restaurant, and I enjoy the steak. It has a fun lively atmosphere, with wall to wall windows looking out over Bay Lake. It can get a little loud, but the food and views make up for it. If you dine before the fireworks begin, all you have to do is show your receipt at the desk and they will let you back up to view the fireworks.
*Check-in for the restaurant is not on the top floor, please follow directional signs to check in.
4.) Ohana Dinner
This place is pure fun, and we always leave so full! Ohana serves food family-style at the Polynesian resort. They bring a huge portion of different menu items in big bowls or platters, and you can eat as much as you want. For the meats, food is brought around on giant skewers and then pieces are put onto your plate. The noodles are to die for, as are the views of the lake and castle. Be sure to save room for dessert, the bread pudding is delicious! For those with little Mouseketeers, there are fun games going on during meal times, and celebrations like birthdays and anniversaries are always acknowledged with your “cousins”.
Stay for fireworks (music piped in) or walk down to the beach for a great view after dinner.
5.) Cape May Café Breakfast
Cape May is a character buffet (at breakfast only) at the Beach Club resort and serves your standard breakfast fare, but plenty of it! I love that the characters come around to your table for photos, and really seem to take time with you, even if you are a “big kid” like me. The restaurant is beautiful and open, and the food is plentiful. Emma Kate loves the waffle toppings bar (I mean chocolate syrup and candy, yes please!). It’s a great way to start your day before heading off to the parks.
Tip: We like to eat here on EPCOT day and just walk over to the park after we eat. I have seen Minnie, Goofy, and Donald in their adorable beach gear here.
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QOTD: What are your favorite Disney World resort restaurants?