For the most part, dress at the Walt Disney World restaurants is extremely casual. At counter service restaurants and the vast majority of table service restaurants, guests may wear whatever they would wear to tour the theme parks.
The official Disney parks ruling on attire states:
“Proper dress is required at all Disney Theme Parks. Shirt and shoes must be worn at all times.” — Source
Typical theme park attire might include shorts, jeans, t-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, sneakers, sandals, or flip-flops. If your clothing meets these requirements, then you are welcome to eat at most Disney dining establishments.
There are a few restaurants that have slightly more stringent dress requirements. These are the Signature (Fine) Dining restaurants that are located outside of the theme parks, including:
Artist Point, Wilderness Lodge Resort
California Grill, Contemporary Resort
Citricos, Grand Floridian Resort
Flying Fish, Boardwalk Resort
Il Molino New York Trattoria, Swan Resort
Jiko, Animal Kingdom Resort
Narcoossee’s. Grand Floridian Resort
Shula’s Steakhouse, Dolphin Resort
Todd English’s bluezoon, Dolphin Resort
Yachtsman Steakhouse, Yacht Club Resort
The official dress code for these restaurants states:
“Men: Khakis, slacks, jeans, dress shorts, collared shirts. Sport coats are optional.
Ladies: Capris, skirts, dresses, jeans, dress shorts.
Not permitted in dining room: Tank tops, swimwear, hats for gentleman, cut offs, or torn clothing. While T-shirts are now allowed, the policy remains that T-shirts with offensive language or graphics are not acceptable.”
In practice, this means that guests are dressed just one step up from what they would wear to the parks. Although some guests choose to wear business casual or cocktail attire to signature restaurants, you will often see at these venues wearing khaki shorts, a t-shirt and sneakers. Men should avoid tank-style or muscle shirts. Women may wear sleeveless tops or sundresses as long as they not overly revealing. There are no prescribed footwear requirements, other than that you must be wearing shoes. Specifics of the dress code are not strongly enforced. As long as you are neat and presentable, you will be seated.
The signature dining restaurants located within the theme parks (Hollywood Brown Derby, Bistro de Paris) have no specific dress code other than standard park touring attire.
Victoria & Albert’s
The Walt Disney World restaurant with the most stringent dress requirement is Victoria & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. The official dress policy, which is enforced, is:
“Men: Dinner jackets with dress pants/slacks and shoes. Ties are optional (Please no jeans, shorts, sandals, flip-flops, or tennis shoes)
Ladies: Cocktail dress, dressy pant suit, skirt/blouse or nice dress. (Please no jeans, shorts, capri pants, sandals, flip-flops or tennis shoes)”
In practice, you will see men wearing suits or sport jackets. Many, but not all, will be wearing a tie. Most women will be wearing some form of formal business attire such as a skirt suit or pants suit (if they are dining as part of a business function) or some form of cocktail attire such as an evening suit or knee-length dress (if they are dining on a social occasion). Either form of female dress is equally acceptable. You may encounter guests wearing black tie or floor-length gowns, but this is much less common.
The air-conditioning at Walt Disney World restaurants tends to be quite good. If you are prone to an indoor chill, you may want to keep a light sweater with you.
There are three dining venues at Walt Disney World which feature princess and leading lady characters in their dining rooms: Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom, Princess Storybook Meals at the Akershus in the Norway pavilion at Epcot, and the character meals at 1900 Park Fare in the Grand Floridian Resort. There are no special dress requirements for these meals. However, many young girls, and a few young boys, choose to wear costume attire to these restaurants. While the experience will vary on any given day, you can expect that about half of the girls under the age of ten will be wearing princess-style costumes. A handful of boys under the age of ten will also be wearing costumes. Adults are not allowed to wear costumes to these venues.
If you choose to have your child wear a costume to a character meal, be aware that there is no specific requirement that the costume be an official Disney parks costume. Homemade costumes are welcome as are those purchased at discount stores or online.