Eats Outside the Parks – Why They’re Worth The Trip


Most people come to Walt Disney World for the theme parks. They are the main attraction, and each of the 4 is truly amazing in their own ways. One thing that most people don’t realize on their first few trips is that the World extends far beyond just the parks – and many of the WDW Resort Hotels are a destination in and of themselves. All of the Hotels are huge, beautifully themed, and best of all – the food there is to die for. Seriously, some of the best food in WDW comes not from the Parks – but from the Resorts.

So the question is, why should you leave the Parks, the thing you really came to see, to go eat at some Hotel?

Here are the Top 5 reasons:

1. No Park Admission Required: I know I have said it before, but I will say it again – a trip to WDW is not cheap (but it IS worth every penny), and one way I like to save money is by purchasing theme park tickets for fewer days than the length of my stay (if I am going to be in WDW for 5 days, I may only buy a 3 or 4 day Park Hopper Pass). So what do I do on those days without a Park ticket? Well, I relax mostly, and EAT – I can travel to any of the other Resort Hotels within the World for free, and eat at any of their restaurants without paying for park admission, whereas if I want to dine with Cinderella in her castle, I need to pay the price of an admission to the Magic Kingdom

2. Variety: Park food has come a long way since the burgers and fries of my childhood, but it still tends to be overall the same throughout the parks, with many quick service eateries offering variations on the same foods. The resort hotels can be more creative in their offerings, and if you are willing to make the trip from the Parks, you can experience African themed cuisine at Boma, sushi at California Grill, or a delicious steak at Yachtsmen’s Steakhouse, and so much more!

3. Change of Scenery: After a long day at one of the parks, you’re tired, your feet hurt, you’re hot, you’re hungry, and there may or may not have been multiple meltdowns already (I know I am guilty of them, even as an adult!). So what better way to relax, recharge, and refuel than by eating a delicious meal at one of the many Disney Resort Hotels? You’ll feel better, and ready to take on the Parks again in no time!

4. Smaller Crowds – Like I said, most people come for the theme Parks, which is good for you if you make the smart choice to eat at the Resorts – generally the resort restaurants are less busy which definitely makes for a more enjoyable dining experience. This also means it may be easier to get an Advanced Dining Reservation for one of these restaurants, or if you don’t have an ADR, it may be easier to just walk in and try to get a table at a less crowded resort restaurant. NOTE: While this is usually true, it isn’t always the case, and more popular resort restaurants will be packed and have no availability, but as a general rule of thumb, you have better chances if you want to eat a sit down meal outside of the Parks.

5. The FOOD – saved the best reason for last, and as I mentioned, the variety of food is amazing outside the Parks, but the quality is another thing that really sets it apart. It actually tastes good – all of it! Some of the best food I have ever had has come from Walt Disney World – they really work hard to provide the best of everything to their Guests, and the food is no exception. Even the Counter Service restaurants within the resorts are great – you wouldn’t expect that a food court type eatery would provide such great food, but they do, it’s consistently good, and the fast, friendly service keeps me coming back time and time again.

My personal faves when it comes to dining outside the Parks? I love Boma (new and exciting foods that were also super delicious), and Chef Mickey’s is a must do (what better place to meet Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto and Goofy all at once, while you watch the Monorail sail through the beautiful Contemporary Resort).

Take a chance and explore some new Resort Hotel restaurants on your next WDW trip, you’ll be glad you did!

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One thought on “Eats Outside the Parks – Why They’re Worth The Trip

  1. Downtown Disney is our favorite “out of the park” destination for food. The variety is almost overwhelming. Our personal favorite is Planet Hollywood for the Strip Steak.

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