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Best Disney World Restaurants for First Time Disney Visitors

Everyday we receive lots of mail from you, our awesome DFB readers, asking for restaurant suggestions and recommendations. And while we certainly have our favorites, we know that you do, too!

So when a Disney first-time visitor recently asked what restaurants we would recommend for their upcoming trip, we couldn’t think of a better panel of experts to ask than YOU!

When I put the question out on the Disney Food Blog Facebook page, I was overwhelmed by the huge and immediate response that I got!

Let’s take a look at your recommendations for the restaurants first timers must experience on that inaugural Walt Disney World trip!

If you have other thoughts or ideas — or, better yet, stories of your favorite restaurants during a first-time visit — please share them with all of us in the comments section! More suggestions are always better!

Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

When it comes to first time Disney dining, the winning restaurant recommendation is, hands down, Chef Mickey’s in Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Many of you agree that anyone visiting the Happiest Place on Earth for the very first time MUST experience a buffet that includes lots of character interaction.

Chef Mickey's is highly recommended by our DFB Readers!

But the suggestion is practical, too. Readers pointed out that a character dining experience offers terrific value for your Disney dollar, with an all-you-care-to-eat option.

A View of the Castle from Chef Mickey's

And with the addition of characters, you have a less rushed (and air conditioned!) meet and greet opportunity that guarantees you’ll see lots of characters without waiting in long lines in the parks.

Also, don’t forget that Chef Mickey’s is walking distance from the Magic Kingdom. This is a great
place to start or end your Magic Kingdom day!

Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland

Judging from the reader response, we’d say that Disney definitely hit the mark with one of its newest restaurants, Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland.

Be Our Guest Restaurant Bridge Entrance

Set in Beast’s Castle (from Disney’s animated classic, Beauty and the Beast), the huge eatery is a counter service location for lunch and table service location for dinner (see our “Everything on the Menu!!” Review Here!).

Be Our Guest Restaurant Ballroom

The menu has a French flair — and chefs worked hard to create tasty, interesting meals for the younger set as well.

Be Our Guest Restaurant also has the distinction of being the only spot within Magic Kingdom where guests can order beer and wine. While it broke with tradition when Disney announced the decision to offer adult drinks in the otherwise dry park, they felt it was necessary in keeping with the French-inspired menu.

The Beast occasionally greets visitors in his study during dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Many guests celebrate special occasions at Be Our Guest Restaurant, and if that’s you, be sure to mention it to your server. He may actually bring you a celebratory taste of “The Grey Stuff” — mentioned by Lumiere in the film!

This cookies and cream panna cotta truly is “delicious!”

The Grey Stuff -- It's Delicious!

Guests seem to be loving this spot for many reasons, and Advanced Dining Reservations for dinner remain hard to come by.

While we’ve tasted just about everything here and agree that the food’s quite good, most of you especially love it for the incredible, immersive themeing. So, remember that even if you can’t get a reservation for dinner, you can still enjoy the restaurant itself — including getting a peek at all three dining rooms — if you dine here for a counter-service lunch!

braised pork -- coq au vin at Be Our Guest Restaurant -- for LUNCH!

Here’s a TIP: if at all possible, snag a table in the West Wing and keep an eye on the Prince’s portrait!

‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

The fan base for ‘Ohana in Disney’s Polynesian Resort came out loud and clear in support of their favorite restaurant.

We heard from lots of you that a Disney World vacation isn’t complete without least one meal here, with dinner enjoying the highest number of votes. (Though the delicious character breakfast featuring Mickey, Lilo, and Stitch is no slouch!)

'Ohana Fire Pit

While ‘Ohana can be a little uneven at times in service and quality, we’ve heard from many of you lately that it’s back on top in both areas.

With a unique family-style feast of Polynesian-style “churrascaria” and a show kitchen that can’t be beat (all that meat!), first time visitors will walk away with an experience that is both unique and delicious.

And don’t forget to save room for one of the best desserts at Disney — Pineapple Coconut Bread Pudding with Bananas Foster Sauce!

Bananas Foster Bread Pudding at 'Ohana

But another huge reason for the ‘Ohana love is the fantastic view of Magic Kingdom fireworks that you’ll have if you happen to time your dinner reservations just right. Between that and the bread pudding, you’ll be a Disney fan for life!

50s Prime Time Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

You had better eat those veggies and keep your elbows off the table! While DFB readers love good eats, fantastic themeing and engaging (sometimes downright cheeky) service also win big points. Many of our readers said that anyone venturing to Disney World for the first time must be sure to book a table at 50s Primetime Cafe.

50s Prime Time Sign

Located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this table service spot serves comfort food with a hearty helping of nostalgia. Tiny black and white TVs roll clips from old sitcoms as you feast on Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes or Chicken Pot Pie.

Don’t forget to ask for a “TV Table” when you check in!

Our TV Table at 50s Prime Time Cafe

Of course, we highly recommend you order our favorite Disney menu item of all time — the fried herb cheese appetizer! It was newly brought back to the menu after years away, and we couldn’t be happier!

Fried Herb Cheese

And ordering a drink from Dad’s Liquor Cabinet is a way fun bonus!

Dad's Electric Lemonade

If you book a table, be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to explore all the fun decor here. It’s truly an amazing throwback to the mid-20th century.

And here’s a TIP: if you go to the restroom, be sure to note the color of the soap. After all, your “Cousin” (that’s your server) may ask to make sure you washed your hands! (If you’re a 50s Primetime newbie, be sure to read some of our favorite readers’ experiences here!)

Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square

While some of you can’t wait to book a table with Mickey and Minnie, still others feel that the quintessential Disney dining experience is tied more to history and reliably good food.

Those were the top reasons why you cited Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom as a must do for your first timers dining list.

Liberty Tree offers an a la carte menu during lunch and a family style, all you care to eat affair at dinner, meaning that you can actually have two meals here and have completely different experiences.

Lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern offers pasta, sandwiches, this incredible Pot Roast (which my husband orders on every visit), and the to-die-for dessert — Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake!

Liberty Tree Tavern Pot Roast

Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake at Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

But the dinner at Liberty Tree — basically a traditional Thanksgiving meal served family style has a big following, too!

Roast Pork, Turkey, and Beef with Cornbread Stuffing and Chutney at Liberty Tree Tavern

Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy

Throughout all of the many comments we received, there was another resounding suggestion: first timers must eat somewhere in Epcot’s World Showcase. One of your very favorite international-inspired spots is Via Napoli in the Italy Pavilion.

Via Napoli's Pizza Ovens

And why not? A recent addition to the Italy Pavilion, Via Napoli offers some of the best pizza that we’ve had anywhere, ever (and especially at Disney!).

Pizzas are thin-crust and made with imported water to better reach the dough consistency you’d experience if you were dining right in Naples, Italy. Try the Italian Margherita, our favorite Quattro Formaggi, or one of the many other pizza options on the menu! And don’t forget to sample some of the amazing new beers that they are starting to feature here!

Via Napoli Pizza Margherita

Of course, pasta might also be your choice… Isn’t this gorgeous?!?

Candele from Via Napoli

 

We also love the setting, including the three enormous wood-burning ovens named after Italian volcanoes. You definitely won’t go wrong — food-wise — planning a meal here.

Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Fort Wilderness Resort

We were super excited to see that many of our readers loved and suggested Hoop De Doo Musical Revue Dinner Show at Ft. Wilderness as a favorite for first timers! We couldn’t agree more!

This classic “hootenanny” combines singing, dancing, and wacky comedy for 2 hours of family fun that will keep you rolling.

Napkin Twirling and other Audience Participation Will Occur

While you enjoy the entertainment, you’ll also be eating some delicious foods – Fried Chicken, Barbecue Ribs, plus yummy sides.

Hoop Dee Doo Revue Bucket of Fried Chicken

Grownups can also enjoy unlimited beer, wine, and sangria, and soft drinks are available, too. And be sure to save room for the awesome and delicious Strawberry Shortcake!

Strawberry Shortcake

Boma at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, and/or Tusker House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Sometimes at Disney you need a little something different, and many DFB readers passionately avowed their love for the restaurants on property specializing in African flavors! But of all of them, Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge and Tusker House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom were your favorites.

Atmosphere and Buffet at Tusker House

With similar menus, you can’t go wrong by choosing one or the other of these buffet-style feasts.

Featuring African specialties like Quinoa Porridge, Bobotie, and beautiful pastries, breads, chutneys, and spreads, you’ll find a lot to tempt your taste buds. Check out our recent Tusker House Review for dozens of food photos!

Boma Breakfast Pastries

One point of distinction: if you’re looking for a character experience, choose Tusker House for breakfast or lunch.

Characters are not there for dinner at Tusker House, or for any of the meals at Boma.

Goofy strikes at pose at Tusker House in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Be sure to try the Jungle Juice, too!

Le Cellier Steakhouse in Epcot’s Canada

Many readers agreed that a first visit to Disney World should include a stop at one of the resort’s signature restaurants. While a few different spots were mentioned, Le Cellier in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion garnered the most buzz.

With some of the best steaks that we’ve ever tried, this spot wins rave reviews for its consistently good food and cozy setting. The service is often very good here as well.

Inside Le Cellier

Our favorite items here are the Poutine and Mushroom Filet with Risotto. But don’t take my word for it! There are plenty of options to sample.

Just remember, this restaurant is now a signature meal — which means 2 Disney Dining Plan credits and a hefty price tag for out of pocket payers — for both lunch and dinner.

Mushroom Filet Mignon with White Truffle Butter Sauce and Micro Chevril

And if dessert is on your radar, we are big fans of the Maple Crème Brûlée!

Maple Crème Brûlée

Les Halles Bakery in Epcot’s France

For your final food stop, First Timers, DFB loyal readers want to make sure you don’t miss out on one of Epcot’s newest stops, Patisserie Boulangerie Les Halles.

Les Halles

While there has been a bakery stop in the France Pavilion for quite some time, a recent upgrade to this super popular counter service eatery has resulted in some much-needed indoor seating, and more room for the lines (which can sometimes get quite long).

Les Halles Seating

There has also been an expansion to the menu. Now, in addition to pastries and sandwiches, you can enjoy many more soups and salads here as well.

Salads at Les Halles

It’s also a terrific stop for those who would like a gourmet coffee or glass of French wine. Check out an extensive Epcot Les Halles Review here!

Chocolate tart, creme brulee, strawberry tart.

And Now It’s YOUR Turn to Share Your Suggestions!

And there you have it! Our DFB Readers’ suggestions for the Disney restaurants that you simply must try on your first visit to Walt Disney World! It’s a big list to be sure, so we recommend taking a few of these picks and incorporating them into your plans. Or, if you’re anything like us, just try them all!

We’d like to thank you for stopping by and making all sorts of fantastic recommendations. And while we couldn’t list them all, we really appreciate all of your input!

Ready for All of Our Best Disney World Tips?

We’ve got TONS of Disney World Dining Tips in our big, bold, 450-page DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2014 — and the guide is your ticket to planning your best Disney trip yet!

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The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2014 is full of tips and planning tools developed by Disney World experts over 20+ years of visits. We’ve done the research for you, so you’ll know just which spots will uniquely suit your family’s needs!

With sample dining itineraries, plus our “Disney Dining at a Glance” section, featuring “Where Can I Find?” options, you’ll have everything you need to plan the best vacation ever. Click here to get your copy of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2014 E-book — and use code 2014 for an extra $4 discount for a limited time!

What are your favorite recommendations for a first time diner at Disney? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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139 Comments

  1. Megan says:

    I can agree with many restaurants you have chosen. A few other good ones are: Raglan Road in Down Town, Chefs De France, and yak and yeti.

    I have had terrible experiences at Boma, and Le Celliar. and The Brown Derby. For newbies I would tell them not to waste 2 table credits on The Brown Derby…unless you are on the Deluxe Dining

  2. kristia says:

    We went for our honeymoon in April 2013!!

    1.) Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge– ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!! amazing food, wonderful people and has the largest selection of south african wine of any other restaurant in the U.S.
    This was by far our favorite place! just amazing. If you don’t go then you should regret it lol

    2. Akurshus at Epcot– the princesses were wonderful! I am a vegetarian and they didn’t have a wide range of options on the menu so my waitress had the head chef come out and speak with me, He was SO kind and created an off menu dish for me. Seriously amazing. My husband who isn’t a vegetarian also really enjoyed his dining experience.

    3.) Biergarten in Epcot Germany– super fun and the food was fantastic!

    4.) Yak & Yeti at Animal Kingdom– SO good!

    5.) Marakish in Epcot Morocco– so fun and authentic moroccan food! VERY good!

    we ate at a few of the other places that have been mentioned but these were by FAR our favorites! we would also recommend staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge if you are an animal lover. Its a beautiful place for honeymooners!

  3. AJ says:

    Kristia — Thanks for sharing your favorites!!! Congrats on your honeymoon!!

  4. Nicki says:

    We ate at Le Cellier the last time we went. Without a doubt the BEST filet we had ever had. The atmosphere is also very romantic.

  5. Catherine says:

    Doing Disney on a budget, I would vote for any buffet meal.
    Can’t beat Crystal Palace for Character breakfast.
    50′s Prime time great fun and atmosphere.
    1900 Park Fair in the Floridian for Character Dinner always a great time.

    I could go on and on…….

  6. Jeanette says:

    Kona Cafe at the Polynesian and La Hacienda de San Ángel at Mexico in Epcot ;-)

  7. Taylor M. says:

    Chef Mickey’s is one of those places you HAVE to go when going to Disney World!!! Its the best place we went and we had soooo much fun!! Great for Kids & Adults! 100% recommend

  8. Michele says:

    I agree with many of the choices here and I can add a few: California Grill and Narcoossee’s are my family’s favorites. Great atmosphere, great view and great food at both. Beaches & Cream my personal favorite for lunch. Boma is wonderful for breakfast. So any outstanding restaurants to choose from! Your blog really helps to narrow them down.

  9. TMSMartin says:

    I scored Le Cellier on my first call (I was outside at 6 am with my coffee on day 180 out!)!!! Hubs & I did this for “date night” (we had a family group of 24!)…and it was WONDERFUL!!! Best steak…E.V.E.R…did the Kansas City Coffee Rub steaks…melty!

    Best entree’ my 2 boys are still raving about (and asking me to make) is the Lobster Bisque from Coral Reef…which is probably my favorite so far (we’ve only been to WDW once…so far!). Everything there was DELICIOUS…I had the seared tuna. Mmmm…

    We carried snacks & water in our backpack (and breakfast at the hotels) so we could splurge on special dinners…and we ate a few counter service lunches…my mostly we were so busy & adrenaline-filled we didn’t eat much in one sit-down! It was go-go-go!!!

    I do have to say tho…the only bad food I had was at a counter service Mexican restaurant in Epcots Mexico (right across from the Myan staircase I think)…my burrito was AWFUL…but it was too crowded to return, so I just didn’t eat. SO…be wary of that one.

  10. Colleen says:

    I absolutely LOVE Le Cellier! My favorite. Hands down.

    My fiance and I stayed at Disney for an early anniversary vacation back in March, and we scored reservations for Be Our Guest (exactly 180 days from the day I wanted to go there I made the reservations). I ended up being sick that day, and barely ate any of the food. I My fiance absolutely loved it though. I remember enjoying what I ate, though.

    If you have little ones, go to Whispering Canyon Cafe at Wilderness Lodge. It is pretty darn funny! The kiddos will really enjoy the atmosphere the restaurant and servers present.

    We did not have the best experience at 50′s Prime Time Cafe. I have eaten there before with amazing experiences, but recently, the servers have been slacking on their theming. The food there is also nothing special.

  11. Sonia says:

    Last Summer we went to Disney World, here are the restaurants that we dined at in order of preference (Location/restaurant name/highlights/notes):
    1. Downtown Disney, Fulton’s Crab House, Lobster Corn Dogs-need I say more?, best meal in Disney
    2. Epcot, Rose & Crown, fish & chips, request seat on patio facing the lake-it’s a perfect view for the nighttime fireworks.
    3. Magic Kingdom, Cinderella’s Royal Table, pictures with Cinderella included and all princesses make an appearance.
    4. Downtown Disney, Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe, really good pizza and
    5. Epcot, Akershus, Swedish meatballs were very good, pictures with Belle included and all princesses made an appearance here as well!
    6. Grand Floridian, Supercalafragilistic Breakfast 1900 Park Fare, breakfast character buffet, great breakfast buffet with Pooh & friends, Alice in wonderland characters, & Mary Poppins.
    7. Magic Kingdom, Main Street Bakery, ham egg & cheese croissant, large breakfast sandwiches were very good-great breakfast.
    8. Animal Kingdon, Tamu Tamu, ham egg & cheese flatbread, french toast sticks, fruit salad, on the way to the Safari. Very good.
    9. Beach Club Resort, Cape May Cafe, great character breakfast buffet.
    10. Contemporary Resort, Chef Mickey, character buffet. Character’s were great but will pass on this next time. Food way okay but definitely not worth it.
    11. Downtown Disney, Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop!!! – LOVED IT., not a meal but counted as a snack on the DDP. Unbelievable dessert.

  12. Pedro says:

    Thank you AJ for your comment about mugs. I´ll be at All Star Movies with quick dining plan. I think that my Kids (Stefano 7 and Luca 4) will enjoy a Breakfast with characters so which one you recommend the most? (I know that I have to pay for it). And one more question, do you know if is possible to upgrade your plan? Mine is included with the room.

  13. Tiffany says:

    Yup Pedro, you can pay to upgrade :)

  14. Katie says:

    Wow! so glad I stumbled upon this blog, my brother and I were lucky enough to go to WDW 10 years in a row as children, so we’ve been able to sample a good deal that Disney has to offer. I have always LOVED Le Cellier! So many wonderful things to choose from! The Be Our Guest Restaurant looks fantastic and I can’t wait to try that one this fall when we take my little boy for the first time. We always loved the Sci-fi drive in restaurant at MGM Studios. Unbelievable malt shakes and burgers and such a neat atmosphere!!

  15. Pedro says:

    It´s difficult to make a reservation for September right now. Any ideas to have breakfast, lunch or dinner with Mickey and the gang?

  16. Pedro says:

    Lunch in Chef Mickey is without reservation? Disney web page reservations is for breakfast and dinner.

  17. AJ says:

    Pedro — Lunch is not served at Chef Mickey’s except for in very busy seasons.

  18. Eileen says:

    I’ve heard a lot of parents say they like the character meals because of the time-saving eat while meeting characters thing. But my experience was that my kid was too excited and distracted by the characters and goings on to eat much and was hungry 30 minutes after we left. Given how much the meals cost this is something to keep in mind, especially with smaller kids.

    My best tip for dining at Disney is to try to order kids meals you can take with you in case they get hungry later after not eating at meal time. chicken fingers, waffles (with fixins on the side) traveled well.

  19. Idelis says:

    At Hollywood studios, Sci-Fi Dine in Theatre. Surprised it wasn’t mentioned. Neat 50′s throwback where you dine in cars and watch clips, trailers of old b movies. Burgers and milkshakes style food but great for lunch and a unique driving er dining experience. Book ahead for shorter wait and guaranteed in car seating, otherwise there are picnic table style seating if restaurant is full and you are a walk in which may lessen the experience for some. Most seats are in the 50s Belvedere style cars facing movie screen. Some cast members (former roller skating hostess here) even roller skate through the restaurant. Fun and unique spot.

  20. Dani says:

    Pedro I would book breakfast or lunch at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom for your boys. The food is amazing and they’ll get lots of time with Mickey, Minnie, Daisy & Goofy. The kids even get to have a parade through the restaurant! It’s the best character meal we’ve been to at Disney.

  21. Gwen says:

    Now I am HUNGRY!!!!!!! Hurry up September!!!!!!!

  22. Debbie C says:

    An additional one I would add to the suggestions is Sci-Fi Diner at Hollywood Studios. The food is pretty good and the atmosphere is tons of fun – especially if you just can’t resist sitting in a drive-in movie theatre watching old grade B sci-fi flicks!!!!

  23. Barb says:

    We go to Disney World once or twice a year and here are our top favourites:

    Chef Mickey’s – a must do with children. The food was better this year than in previous years. Large buffet with lots of selection. Characters are great.

    La Hacienda de San Angel – amazing food and décor. Try to get a table by the window to view the Epcot fireworks at 9:00 pm.

    Hollywood & Vine Dinner Buffet – good variety and desserts at the buffet are fantastic.

    1900 Park Fare: great dinner buffet, including higher end items not found at other character buffets. Never been disappointed.

    Liberty Tree Tavern – fantastic any time you go. Great service, too.

    Many of the others listed above are great such as the 50′s Prime Time Café, Sci-Fi Dinner Theatre, O’Hana’s, Cinderella’s Royal Table, and Crystal Palace, as recommended. Not a big fan of Le Cellier or Tony’s Town Square. They were both average at best.

  24. Amy says:

    We travelled to disney world back in March for our honeymoon, and I have to say that my favourite resturant was the Coral Reef in epcot. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was so amazing, you sit infront of the massive aquarium and watch sea turtles and rays swimming by you as you eat. I couldnt take my eyes off them for the whole time we were
    There, it really was magical!

  25. Stephanie says:

    No one has mentioned san angel? we were hoping to dine there before fireworks one night. Any reviews?

  26. Suzanne says:

    I would definitely recommend Sci Fi Diner, Hollywood Brown Derby and La Hacienda de San Angel never had a bad meal at any of these and for children the Sci Fi Diner is amazing sitting in cars. My worst experience was the Rose and Crown in Epcot had to wait an hour for reservation even though we had booked months in advance and the service was appalling (and I’m from UK ) .
    My other tip to newbies is to make reservations well before your holiday or else you really won’t get in any of the good ones.

  27. Suzanne says:

    Also not strictly a meal but the Tomorrowland Terrace fireworks and cakes is a fantastic experience. Buffet of lots of delicious desserts and cakes and drinks while watching Wishes from a prime spot.

  28. Kristen Williams says:

    I went to Disney with my husband two years in a row, once for our honeymoon and again for our 1st year anniversary in January this year (beats our cold New Hampshire weather). At first, I was nervous we wouldn’t find dining options to satisfy both of us as I am a vegetarian and he is not. There was certainly no need to be concerned. We enjoyed all of our meals.

    We absolutely LOVED Be Our Guest and Boma!

    The two I would love to add to the list are:

    The Garden Grill at Epcot. I don’t think we could go to Disney without going to the Garden Grill. The food is wonderful, you can meet Chip and Dale and possible farmer Mickey, and you eat in a rotating dining room overlooking a section of The Land attraction. What I suggest is to check out The Land attraction right before your dining reservation.

    The Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We dined there on our Honeymoon and were each blown away by our dishes. There vegetarian option was easily one of my favorites at Disney.

  29. Kristen Williams says:

    Correction: *Their* vegetarian option was easily one of my favorites at Disney.

  30. Brittney says:

    Great suggestions, but many first timers don’t realize the need to plan your meals 6 months in advance, which several of these choices (Le Cellier, Be Our Guest(dinner), Hoop-dee-doo) require.

  31. John says:

    Lol – just goes to show the diversity of opinion when it comes to Disney dining. The 5 spots (in order) I force my first time friends to visit when they finally succumb to the Disney trip are:

    1. Jiko
    2. Chef Mickey’s
    3. Teppan Edo
    4. 50′s Prime Time Diner
    5. Kouzzina

  32. Louisa says:

    I love your list! We ate at many of these places on our 1st visit!!

    I would add Teppan Edo in the Japan Pavillion to this list too as we found it to be both delicious and entertaining! We laughed a lot with our wonderful chef and then enjoyed the food she had prepared for us. Great night!!!

  33. Jan says:

    My absolute fave restaurant at WDW is Flying Fish! It might not be a must do for first timers, though. It would depend on your audience.

  34. Jodi says:

    We experienced our first trip to WDW Sept 7-14 and I cannot believe the attention to detail every restaurant displayed for the guests in the taste of the food, service and atmosphere! It was awesome. We took our 2 oldest grandsons ages 7 & 10, and they not only had a wonderful time with the Characters, but ate very well. Our oldest grandson is type 1 diabetic, and “every” restaurant had the chef come out to discuss the best meal for him, WOW!! (He didn’t have to inject insulin the entire week-which is very unusual) We tried to fit in as many character meals possible and I’m so glad we did. Our favorite was Be Our Guest, but we loved all the others too. Crystal Palace, Tusker House, Coral Reef, Chef Mickey and most of the others mentioned here. The first thing I did when I got home was call our travel agent and book our 2nd trip. In my opinion WDW goes out of their way to make certain everyone has a wonderful time.

  35. Paula says:

    We love all your choices, but they focus only on table service. If you’re willing to go outside table service, we all love Flame Tree Barbecue in Animal Kingdom. My son and I love the pulled pork sandwich, and my husband can’t wait to get back next month for the smoked chicken salad. Portions are generous and food tastes fabulous!

  36. Pat Christensen says:

    I agree with Idelis, our favorite was the Si-Fi Theater. It was fun to sit in the cars for kids and adults, it was the quietest dining experience we had as kids were busy looking and the food was great!

  37. Keith Berkner says:

    Cape May Cafe at the Beach Club.

    Best kept food secret in all of Disney.

  38. Anna says:

    Liberty Tree Tavern is a must for any fisrt time disney world guest. If you can get in Cinderellas Royal Table is my absolute favorite! Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge is amazing. You have to get the Indian bread service. My favorite at Hollywood Studios (that’s very price friendly) is Starring Rolls, they have huge yummy sandwiches and amazing desserts . If you like sushi Tokyo Dining in Epcot is really good and a perfect place to watch the fireworks. The pizza at Via Napoli is to die for and you can’t go wrong either San Angel resuruant.

  39. Tina says:

    We have been many times and I must say that Whispering Canyon has some great food and it is so much fun!! It is in Wilderness Lodge!! I strongly believe this is a must visit restaurant. Go on a special occasion its even more fun!!

  40. Thad says:

    We ate at theexican restaurant on a dining reservation that one of the earlier people warned against last night. I booked a candelight processional package. La Hacienda de San Angel. We live 30 miles away and wanted to see Trace Adkins narrate the Christmas story. Absolutely an incredible experience. We shared the Delar which is designed for 2, but we ate less than half. Not for lack of trying, it was fantastic. It was the kid of experience that’s got me looking into booking more dining reservations. I booked Be Our Guest for Valentines Day, and that will be my 2nd Disney dining experience. I will keep you posted.

  41. Thad says:

    Del Mar. Dadgum auto correct. The empanadas were the best desert I’ve ever tasted

  42. Dean says:

    Our family of six will spend 15 days at WDW next Christmas (Dec 19-Jan 3). I’ve been 3 times but this will be my families first visit. The kid’s ages range from 22, 20, 17 and 7. My concern is my wife and 3 step children would greatly prefer Asian food (they are from Thailand) and really wouldn’t eat breakfast. I may take the 7 year old to a character breakfast and take the family out to an Asian restaurant at Disney on Christmas Eve, which would allow them to watch a spectacle or firework’s display. Any suggestions?

  43. Jan says:

    Dean — The only Asian restaurant where you could watch “fireworks” I believe would be Teppan Edo at the Japan pavilion at Epcot where you can watch IllumiNations if you’re at a table by a window…not sure if you can see anything from the China pavilion. There’s no Thai restaurant at Disney World, but maybe some Asian flavors in Animal Kingdom. There’s no evening show in Animal Kingdom at present, though.
    As for the character breakfast for your 7 year old, it depends which characters he or she likes — there are several good ones — Winnie the Pooh and Friends at Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom, Alice and Wonderland friends and Pooh characters at 1900 Park Faire at the Grand Floridian and of course, Princesses at Cinderella’s Royal Table in Magic Kingdom or Akershus in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot. I could go on and on, but here’s a good link to tell you where to find all the character meals: http://allears.net/din/cbchar.htm

  44. Jaime Mullen says:

    I could go to WDW every year! We have a few favorites:
    1. Whispering Canyon Cafe – hilarious fun!
    2. San Angel de Hacienda – great atmosphere!
    3. Boma – great culture and flavors!
    4. Sci-fi theater – just a great theme
    5. Prime Time Cafe – great food and so fun!
    6. Chef Mickey’s Breakfast. Buffet and Character Meal

    We always have fun and love the food! We just pick the restaurant based on the menu for a more appropriate lunch or dinner.

  45. Holly says:

    HOOP DE DOO REVUE is a MUST!!! My family has been three times and we will be going again this year for a fourth. It is SO much fun and the food is really yummy! The entertainment value cannot be stressed enough. You will love it from beginning to end!

  46. Melissa says:

    Hoop De Doo Revue is a must and so is Chef Mickey! I have been to Disney World many many times and these are the two i never miss!!

  47. Jennifer says:

    I was real big into characters so I recommend Akershus at Epcot, Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom, 1900 Park Fare at Grand Floridian, Cape May at Beach Club. Those were my first timer experiences and I would love to visit some of the ones listed above if I get to go back.

  48. Jerry says:

    I cant believe you didn’t suggest the BierGarten in EPCOT. that is in my opinion the best in all of Disney World, Also the Rose and Crown.

  49. Jesse says:

    Interesting to see others’ takes on this. We have young ones, but like to mix up the Character Dining with more relaxing sit down meals. My own must-eat list for first-timers would include (assuming you’re traveling with children):
    Le Cellier (For me, it’s not a trip to WDW without coming here. The house filet is delish.)
    Tusker House (Way better breakfast then Chef Mickeys, IMO. Better buffet, more spacious, and more time with the characters.)
    Akershus (The salmon and meatball dishes are both great, the appetizer buffet could be a meal in and of itself. QT with princesses, this makes a good alternative to dining at the Castle if you can’t score reservations there.)
    Kona Cafe (Great breakfast. I highly recommend the pineapple macadamia pancakes. Good coffee too, an occasionally elusive thing at WDW restaurants.)
    Cinderella’s Royal Table (Mostly because it’s part of the whole deal. The food is good, though nowhere near the best.)
    Cape May Cafe (Because all you can eat crab legs.)
    1900 Park Fair (Breakfast was good here, but if you go for dinner, the buffet has some really great choices.)

  50. Yvonne Taylor says:

    I would certainly not recommend Hollywood and Vine we had the worst experience ever last October. They lost our reservation and the Waitress went out of her way to be difficult and then charged for NOT Attending. The food was mediocre and it wasn’t made clear how the buffet system worked. Most people took their starter and main course together. Never again

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