So we are a few months into the New Year, and I was thinking about the Disney New Year’s Resolutions I made – and one of them was to try new things – and one area which I especially wanted to broaden my horizons was in Disney Dining – I have never disliked anything I have eaten at Disney, but I realized that there is PLENTY out there that I haven’t even tried yet! So if you’re like me, maybe you will want to think about branching out when it comes to Dining at Disney. Not sure how?
Try these tips:
Venture To New Locations: I definitely think it’s worth it to go “off the beaten path” when it comes to Disney Dining – heading to a Resort that might take some time to get to, or making a reservation at a Downtown Disney restaurant that you haven’t tried – these might really be worth your while! There really are some amazing restaurant options at the WDW Resort Hotels – like ‘Ohana (which I tried in December and absolutely LOVED) which is located just a monorail ride away from the Magic Kingdom at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Or you could take a boat from Epcot over to Disney’s Boardwalk Resort where you’ll find delicious Greek inspired dishes at Kouzzina and beers brewed on site at Big River Grille and Brewing Works. Or you could head on over to Downtown Disney- which is known primarily for its shopping, but they also offer tons of delicious cuisine – like a twist on classic American dishes at Wolfgang Puck, or authentic Irish dishes (and dancing and music!) at Raglan Road Irish Pub
Try Exotic Cuisine: “Theme Park Food” gets a bad reputation – a lot of it is frozen burgers/chicken/fried foods that don’t taste particularly good – but lucky for us – Disney has worked VERY hard to break out of that mold and offer fresh, quality food to its guests. You can certainly get hamburgers/chicken fingers/fried foods here, but if you’re willing to broaden your horizons a bit, you will discover they have a LOT more to offer than the standard Theme Park fare. Restaurant Marrakesh over in offers traditional Moroccan fare – like beef, lamb, and chicken kebabs as well as Moroccan beer and specialty cocktails. A family favorite of ours is Boma – an African inspired buffet over at Animal Kingdom Lodge that offers mouth-watering salads, roasted meats, and a selection of delicious house made hummus. Epcot offers tons of different restaurants themed after their “World Showcase” countries – so if you want something new to please your palate, take a stroll through the countries and see what looks good! Oh, and FYI – most places that specialize in “exotic” can also make you sometime more plain or American if you request it, just in case your stomach isn’t ready for an adventure when you arrive at the restaurant!
Dress Up For Dinner: Most Disney restaurants don’t require that you dress up, but a few do have a dress code, and sometimes its nice to get dressed up and go to a nice restaurant – makes it feel like a real vacation celebration doesn’t it? So put on your best polo and khakis or summer dress and head over to The Yacht Club Resort where you can enjoy a delicious steak dinner at Yachtsman Steakhouse, or enjoy some delicious seafood at Narcoossee’s at the Grand Floridian Resort, or enjoy signature African cuisine while the animals roam around outside the restaurant on the savannah at Jiko at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Looking for something really fancy? Victoria and Albert’s is the spot for you – with their multiple prix fixe menus, fresh ingredients, wine pairings, and plenty of new dishes to try, it’s a great place to celebrate and enjoy a delicious meal! Something to note – men will be required to wear a jacket and pants here, and women are encouraged to wear cocktail/nice dresses, and flip flops and shorts are not allowed
Don’t Overlook Your Resort Dining: Many WDW vacationers don’t spend a ton of time at their WDW Resort – as they are busy checking out the Parks and exploring all that WDW has to offer – which is all well and good, but sometimes grabbing food at the Parks is neither quick nor easy, and the truth is you may be better off heading back to your own Resort where you can relax, take it slow, and grab some amazing food. Many times I find the food at my Resort’s Counter Service dining spot is better than a lot of Counter Service options at the Parks, and generally it isn’t as crowded and there are almost always places to sit – sounds like paradise right?
Ok – so now you have some ideas about what you might be able to change when it comes to your Disney Dining routine, and hopefully you will be able to put those ideas into action next time you visit WDW!