Disney World Character Meals are terrific, but there are tons of wonderful dining options all around Disney that your kids will love. Here is the top 10 list of Non-Character Meals that I think you should check out:
1. T-Rex Cafe and Rainforest Cafe – I know, this is cheating listing two instead of one, but they are the same company brand so I think it’s ok. These restaurants are so much fun. T- Rex is at Downtown Disney. Rainforest Cafe also has one at Downtown Disney but there is also one at the Animal Kingdom. The restaurant is totally transformed into a prehistoric extravaganza or a tropical rainforest at scheduled intervals. T-Rex Cafe in particular is a must visit for our family. The gift shops that are a part of these restaurants are really cool to peruse while you wait for your table.
2. 50’s Prime Time Cafe – in Hollywood Studios – this restaurant is hilarious. Think Flo’s Diner from your childhood done Disney style. The waitstaff implores adults in particular to finish their vegetables and keep their elbows off the table! Waiters are also known to give everyone a nickname, make the kids set the table, and to tell everyone that they “aren’t cleaning up after you!” You even get to watch old time tv shows on the tv at your table. The atmosphere here is pure fun and the food is great – best fried chicken ever.
3. Whispering Canyon Cafe – at the Wilderness Lodge – bottomless milkshakes. Need I say more?
4. ‘Ohana – at the Polynesian Resort. Dinner does not have characters, but there is always an entertainer that plays ukelele and hands out leis. He or she also encourages the kids to play with hula hoops while the music is playing and join in the coconut races with brooms. Schedule this meal to coincide with Magic Kingdom fireworks – they dim the lights and pump in the fireworks music! Magic.
5. Beaches and Cream – at Disney’s Boardwalk. This one is a little unconventional but one of my favorite tips that I give clients. On the night that you arrive, skip a regular dinner and surprise them with the KITCHEN SINK for dinner instead. It is an ice cream masterpiece that costs $29 and will certainly feed your entire family. It’s a really fun surprise to do ice cream for dinner and it arrives at your table with tons of fanfare. I dare you! Your kids will never forget it. I promise.
6. Coral Reef – in Epcot. The food is great and the views of the fish tanks are spectacular. When you check in, ask the server if you can sit next to a tank, it’s a lovely atmosphere!
7. Teppan Edo – also in Epcot. This is a Japanese steakhouse style restaurant – you know, where they cook the food in front of you and make a volcano out of onions, spin an egg on a spatula, and send food flying through the air. Even if your kids may not be adventurous eaters, you should try it. You can ask them to bring the kids chicken nuggets!
8. Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant – at Hollywood Studios. My kids love this joint. You get to sit in a car (some tables aren’t so request one when you check in with the hostess) and watch old old sci-fi films on the big screen. It’s dark and cool in there – the movies are silent and not scary, but the vibe is very unique. We love it.
9. Liberty Tree Tavern – at Magic Kingdom. Reminds us of big dinners at Grandma’s house. All you can eat mac and cheese? Yes please. Make your reservation for the first dinner time of the day and your family may be chosen to open the restuarant by “ringing the bell”!
10. Last but not least – Cape May Cafe at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts – this might not work for your kids, but mine love crab legs. It’s a fun treat to eat as many as you possibly can at the buffet. The buffet has tons for everyone to enjoy even if you don’t enjoy seafood.
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