Magic Kingdom, how we love you. You are, for many of us, the source of our earliest Disney Memories. Heck, some of us remember when you were the ONLY Park. (Am I showing my age here?)
But even though you’ve been around the longest, we’re no less fond of you. In fact, coming back to ride old favorites or experience new attractions always feels a bit like coming home.
However, even with so much to do and see in Magic Kingdom, it’s the eating that we look forward to the most! And I know a lot of you are planning your 2016 Disney trips RIGHT NOW and are wondering what our favorites might be.
So today, let’s take a closer look at our Favorite Magic Kingdom Restaurants. They are spots that we love for all kinds of reasons — from food to history and atmosphere and beyond!
Hooray! Let’s eat!
Be Our Guest Restaurant
When Be Our Guest Restaurant was first announced, we were excited to say the least. I mean, New Fantasyland, a new classic film, Be Our Guest, restaurant? It was practically destiny. (Now if they could just rig up a singing candelabra, life would be perfect.)
If you ever wanted to step into a Disney movie, this is your chance. Imagineers went to extraordinary lengths to recreate Beauty and the Beast in every room of this castle. Right from the beginning, the West Wing struck a chord with guests — and with us!
If you dine there, be sure to check out the Beast’s portrait as the painting changes from the arrogant, handsome prince to the Beast — if only for a second!
But as truly amazing as the theming is, it’s not the only draw here. We’ve also had some pretty delicious food as well — especially at lunch. The format at lunch is quick service, but the meals are anything but fast food. While you order (or pre-order) your meals at a kiosk, you sit down and your food is delivered to you. On real plates! And don’t bother looking for burgers. But why would you, with options like Braised Pork Coq Au Vin Style?
And don’t forget — breakfast and lunch at Be Our Guest are such hot tickets, you can actually make advance dining reservations for them. (Since dinner is table service, you should also plan to make ADRs for that meal as well.) You also have the option of pre-ordering breakfast and lunch via the My Disney Experience App.
Dinner is delicious as well. For the evening meal, you’re treated to a table service experience. But know this — dinner at BOG is the hottest ticket in the Magic Kingdom. You’ll need to book 6 months in advance for this one.
And to complement the French-inspired cuisine, you can also indulge in wine or beer — the only place in all of Magic Kingdom where you can.
As much an attraction as an eatery, Be Our Guest Restaurant is worth exploring during your next Disney World visit.
Liberty Tree Tavern
And now we travel across lands and through time — from one of Magic Kingdom’s newest restaurants, to one of its originals. Liberty Tree Tavern is one of our perennial favorites.
Liberty Tree Tavern is as much a slice of history as anything else. Themed in 18th Century American Colonial style, rooms reflect the personality of notables they’re named for. Dine in the shadow of Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross, John Paul Jones, George Washington, and others.
One interesting aspect of dining at Liberty Tree is that lunch and dinner offer different menus, and take on different formats. Lunch is an a la carte selection, while dinner is a family style feast, offering American favorites, like turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
While both are excellent, I prefer lunch, which features some of my all-time favorite Disney dishes, like the Liberty Tree Tavern Burger. Trust me, you can skip dinner when you have this for lunch!
But you can’t skip dessert! Because anytime Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake is an option, I’m going to take it.
Stop by for the history, stick around for the food — or vice versa. Either way, you’re winning.
Sleepy Hollow Refreshments
But if you suddenly feel hunger threatening and you don’t have an advance dining reservation, don’t despair. Sleepy Hollow Refreshments is another dining destination we wouldn’t want you to miss.
Located a stone’s throw from Liberty Tree, this counter service spot also sits in the shadow of Cinderella Castle and it offers some of the most interesting — and filling — snacks in all of Disney World. We’d argue that they would easily pass for a meal.
Whether you find yourself at Sleepy Hollow for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, we heartily recommend that you save room for one of their Waffle Sandwiches. Introduced just a few years ago, they’ve quickly won a place on our list of must-try treats!
Plaza Restaurant. You may be thinking, What is that? That’s because this table service spot is often overlooked when it comes to Magic Kingdom’s more razzle dazzle spots, like Be Our Guest Restaurant and Cinderella’s Royal Table.
But take my advice: don’t overlook this place! Because the Plaza Restaurant offers two great things — good food and great value (by Disney standards).
It may be a little nondescript as themeing goes, but it is pleasant and fits into Main Street USA beautifully. Watch for visits from the Mayor of Main Street or the Fire Chief through your meal, and be sure to check out the view of Cinderella Castle from The Plaza.
We have also been impressed with their menu offerings. The Meatloaf Meal might not sound all that interesting, but it’s one of my favorite best kept secrets at Walt Disney World!
Another favorite is the Chicken Strawberry Salad — it’s as beautiful as it is delicious.
And you can’t pass up the temptation of a great Milkshake, right? Me neither!
With the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor right next door, these hand-dipped treats are the real deal!
But our list of Top spots wouldn’t be complete without characters + food! And so we make our way to Crystal Palace next.
This Magic Kingdom fixture has also been around since the dawn of Disney time. Inspired by England’s Crystal Palace and other Victorian-style conservatories, the space is stunning.
But step inside and you’ll meet your favorite characters from 100 Acre Wood!
Whether you choose to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the buffet is expansive, and offers a wide array of American-style favorites. Guests who enjoy their morning meal rave about the Breakfast Lasagna, while the lunch and dinner crowd enjoy freshly prepared Rotisserie Meats, roasted in view of the carving station.
Many of you tell us that your Disney vacay wouldn’t be complete without a visit here. With beautiful surroundings, warm character interaction, and good food, we can totally see why!
Honorable Mention: Cinderella’s Royal Table
Even though we’ve reached the end of our Top 5 — and trust me, there are other notables we’d love to mention — we can’t wrap up our list without a nod to Cinderella’s Royal Table.
I mean, the castle is so iconic that it represents the entire Walt Disney company. And are you kidding me that there’s a restaurant in there, too???
Really, a meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table has to be on the bucket list of every self-respecting Disney fan. Who doesn’t want to see inside those walls and turrets?
Dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table ensures character interaction, too. While you enjoy your meal, Cinderella’s princess friends meet and greet and take pictures and offer autographs. (Cinderella doesn’t actually mingle, but you have a chance to meet her before you’re seated.)
In the past, the food here was considered largely overpriced and forgettable. But in the last few years, changes have been taking place. We’re seeing more turnover on the lunch and dinner menu as chefs look to take a more seasonal approach and capitalize on hot and healthier food trends.
The characters and ambiance are still the big draw. But chances are nowadays, you’ll enjoy your meal here as well.
Honorable Mention — Skipper Canteen
The jury is still out on this one, since it JUST opened in December 2015. But who wouldn’t love a Jungle Cruise themed restaurant, right?!
Yep, Jungle Cruise skippers staff this spot, and there’s a whole backstory related to the beloved ride as well.
Dine in one of three themed dining rooms, and indulge in dishes with far-flung flair (look for flavors from Africa, Asia, and South America — the three continents that are home to the rivers visited in the Jungle Cruise).
Those who have fond memories of The Adventurers Club in Downtown Disney can indulge in a dessert named after one of our favorite Adventurer drinks: Kungaloosh!
And that’s a wrap! Our List of Our Favorite Magic Kingdom Restaurants offers something for everyone. Whether food is the sole reason you choose your restaurant destination, or you enjoy equal parts of Disney history and/or ambiance, you’re sure to find at least a couple of options that meet your needs!
Ready for All of Our Best Tips?
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Now we want to hear from you! Let us know in comments what your picks are for the Top 5 Magic Kingdom Restaurants!