Disclaimer: We have yet to try all the places that Disney World has to offer. That being said, we’ve tried a number of them and based on two family trips to Disney World, these were our overall favorites. These places include table service restaurants and counter service restaurants. Our favorites are not based on just price or food alone, but the overall experience as a whole.
On our first trip to Disney, we tried to make it a very budget friendly trip. We rarely ate at any table service restaurants or character meals. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that we made in the morning for lunch, and just tried to keep things as cheap as possible. For our second time around we were determined to try as many new restaurants as possible. We had so much fun trying all the different food options, and even after all of new tries, I still have not tried a dole whip! Here is our list of favorite places to eat at Disney World.
- Yak and Yeti (counter service): For a quick lunch while at Animal Kingdom we headed over to Yak and Yeti counter service for some Asian cuisine. Along with the Asian flare offered, they also serve hamburgers and hot dogs. Our favorite items of the menu were the egg rolls and the chicken fried rice of all things, in which our kids happily devoured.
That’s a baby sleeping on dad
- ‘Ohana (The Polynesian Resort): For a change of pace we took the monorail over to the Polynesian on our last night in Disney World, to eat at their family style restaurant, ‘Ohana. Before dinner they have the kids come up and participate in a couple of games. One of them is coconut races using little brooms. My kids had so much fun doing this and it was great for them to burn some extra energy before dinner while we waited for our food to come out. We really ate ourselves silly at ‘Ohana as it is an all-you-can eat style dinner consisting of pineapple-coconut bread, meat skewers, stir-fried vegetables and their famous bread pudding for dessert. I will go back to Ohana for the bread pudding alone it is that good! There is something for everyone here and I promise nobody is going to leave hungry.
Coconut races and bread pudding!
- Cinderella Castle (Lunch): This one is a pretty obvious one. They could have served us cold mush for lunch and we would have loved it (just kidding). The whole experience at the castle is in our opinion worth the hefty price tag at least once. Here’s why… Before heading upstairs to the main dining area, guests get to have a meet and greet with Cinderella first and get their picture taken with her. You also get a framed photo of you with Cinderella, which is included in the overall dining price. They do a couple of special things for the kids once in the dining all, and the whole place is surrounded by beautiful stain glass windows. The food is good, but we were there for the princesses. Even our 7 year old boy at the time loved it.
- Biergarten (Epcot): Adults go to Biergarten for the gigantic steins of beer that you get. Kids go for the all you can eat dessert buffet and the dancing. While you are feasting on the all you can eat buffet, the live German band plays upbeat music while guests can dance along to the beat. I have to admit that when we booked our dining reservation at Biergarten is was for the experience but we quickly discovered that the food was exceptionally good. There were a lot of different options and I didn’t eat one thing that I didn’t really enjoy. We all agreed as a family that Biergarten was one of our favorites and a must do again.
- Sanaa (Animal Kingdom Lodge): Ahhhh, Sanaa…When I think of Sanaa, I get all dreamy eyed and it’s probably because it was a meal experience unlike anything we have every had before. Once again, I booked this dinner based more on experience but had heard the food was amazing. We just weren’t sure what to expect once we got there. We were greeted with a taken care of by the friendliest of staff. We asked for a table by the window so our kids were able to get up and stand near the window where every so often the curious animals and birds would come over to say hello. We got to watch zebras, giraffes, gazelles and ostriches play outside while we munched on the most delicious naan bread platter consisting of 9 different dipping sauces. My kids gobbled up the bread and their dinner and the plates were huge. If you don’t have very adventurous eaters in your group, please don’t let the initial menu scare you away from not eating at Sanaa. The whole atmosphere was so authentic and memorable as was the food. Sanaa is a must do again every time because we love it so much. It’s our new Disney dining tradition.
Naan bread platter, meeting animal friends and enjoying dinner
We can’t wait to go back to Disney World and have been planning our next trip for quite a while. In the meantime, I’d love to hear where your favorite places to eat at Disney are! Did I persuade you to try one our our favorites? I’d love to hear what you thought of it.