DFB Video: Best to Worst — Magic Kingdom Restaurants RANKED!

Hey Guys! We’re back with another DFB Video today, and we’re getting down to the serious business of RANKING Magic Kingdom restaurants!

magic kingdom restaurants ranked

With so many new and classic Magic Kingdom restaurants to choose from, it can be nearly impossible to know what’s what! That’s why we’re here to help! We’re reviewing all the greats (and the not so greats) in this video and ranking the Magic Kingdom restaurants best to worst.
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Review: Dinner at ‘Ohana in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

We’re at ‘Ohana!!  And ‘Ohana means FAMILY.

From the moment you enter ‘Ohana, you’re informed (or reminded, for returning guests) of the meaning of the restaurant’s name. This family-friendly spot is perched atop the Great Ceremonial House at the Polynesian Village Resort, and it’s become a must-dine for guests of all ages — including Disney World first timers!

The warmth of the atmosphere at ‘Ohana really makes you feel like you’re part of a massive extended family (where your server is your cousin), and that’s a really good thing.

‘Ohana has two dining experiences. Breakfast features characters with Lilo, Stitch, Pluto, and the Main Mouse himself. Dinner, on the other hand, is not a character meal, but still includes entertainment (which I’ll show you in this post). In either case, meals are all-you-care-to-enjoy. And while I really do love breakfast here, my most recent visit was for dinner.

'Ohana

‘Ohana

You are very welcome here at ‘Ohana! [Read more…]

Review: Dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Time to go back in time and dine with the Founding Fathers… . Or, at the very least, settle for the next best thing: dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern in Walt Disney World.

Liberty Tree Tavern has long held a special place in my heart — and in many of yours as well, I know. If you’re one of many longtime Tavern devotees, you already know that for years this Magic Kingdom Table Service has offered an a la carte menu for Lunch, while dinner has featured an All-You-Care-to-Enjoy meal served family style.

Both of those things are still true. But some notable changes to both the lunch and dinner menus took place just a couple months ago. For instance, Lunch still offers a la carte options (with some returning favorites among them), but you can also order the All-You-Care-to-Enjoy Bill of Fare, if you wish.

And the changes to Dinner? Well, there was only one. But it was a pretty darn big one, and I had to experience it for myself.

Liberty Tree Tavern Sign

Liberty Tree Tavern Sign

So please join me, my fellow citizens… .

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Review: Battered Banger and Chips at Epcot’s Rose and Crown Pub

The Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room in the World Showcase at Disney World’s Epcot is an authentic English pub dropped into sunny central Florida. And we love it. Like “can-we-move-in?” love it.

For years, Rose and Crown has earned a reputation as a classic World Showcase spot. Diners satisfy their need for English comfort food like fish and chips and cottage pie while enjoying some of the best pints found in the Parks.

But many visitors to Epcot don’t realize that the no-reservations-needed pub here has an incredible (though small) food menu and atmosphere! Plus — Carl the Bartender!

We know, we know. You want in.

Atmosphere

Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room gets high marks from diners for the restaurant’s authenticity, and it all starts with the curb appeal.

Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room

Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room

In fact, Rose and Crown features architecture from three different centuries on its exterior, which is in keeping with the period architecture found throughout the United Kingdom pavilion.

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Review: Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room in Epcot’s UK Pavilion

Join us as we visit Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room for lunch!

The traditional British Pub, located on the edge of the lagoon in Epcot’s UK Pavilion, offers an authentic experience for lunch, dinner, and drinks.

It had been a while since I’d visited the Rose and Crown; so on a recent trip my husband and I made an advance dining reservation and headed over. This is the spot to find comfort food, and I have fond memories of dining here with my parents and older brother back when you had to make your reservations via the World Key kiosks when you arrived at Epcot!

Let’s take a little tour before settling down to eat.

Atmosphere

Like any good British pub, the Rose and Crown anchors the little “village” we know as the UK Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase. It’s the first structure you come to on your left as you exit the Canada Pavilion.

Rose and Crown Pub ©DisneyFoodBlog.com

Rose and Crown Pub ©DisneyFoodBlog.com

The Rose and Crown actually offers a couple of different service options. You can head into the Pub and order a pint or anything else from their full bar as well as a few “pub grub” food items, or you can dine at their table service restaurant. (But the English Bulldog, sadly, has still not made a return.) If you’re doing the latter, you’ll check in at a podium outside of the Pub. [Read more…]

DFB Podcast Episode 4 Now Available: Best Disney Restaurants for Atmosphere

Hey all! Thanks again for your fantastic reviews and comments about our new DFB Podcast!

Just wanted to drop a line this afternoon to let you know that the fourth episode of our DFB Podcast is now posted and ready for downloading!

In this episode we cover the latest Disney Food News, discuss some Disney restaurants with exceptional atmosphere and themeing, answer a few reader questions, and reveal the answer to our controversial Episode 3 trivia question (as well as give you a brand new trivia question)!

Click here to go to the Podcast page for Episode 4. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSS or on iTunes!

Take a listen and let us know [Read more…]

Top 5 Disney Dining Plan One-Credit Table-Service Values for 2012

Now that you’ve booked your 2012 Disney World vacation, it’s time to make your Advance Dining Reservations. Which restaurants are credit-worthy?

The vacation package add-on called the Disney Dining Plan is a meal plan with a set price in exchange for a certain number of credits. Many table-service meals in Disney World cost one credit, but are you getting the best value?

Stick to the one-credit restaurants, order the most expensive meal on the menu, and maximize your savings! Let’s get to my top picks for best value at “one table-service credit” Walt Disney World restaurants. I think some of them will surprise you!

Criteria Used

When we looked at values, our main criteria was price. These restaurants offer a great bang for your buck when paying with the Disney Dining Plan.

We also looked at enjoyment level and food quality, but these criteria were secondary and tertiary to cost. Note that these aren’t necessarily our favorite restaurants, but they are good values for one Disney Dining Plan credit.

Tutto Italia

Tucked into the Italian pavilion at Epcot, Tutto Italia Ristorante boasts regional cuisines from Italy in an Old World setting. Table service is attentive, although the fine-dining atmosphere can lead to longer waits.

This restaurant serves up a Roasted Rack and Leg of Lamb ($34) as an entree. End your meal with Copetta Sotto Boscue, a dessert specialty comprised of berries, zabaglione cream, gelato, and chocolate sauce, which has an out-of-pocket price of $14. When both of these items are ordered, Tutto Italia becomes quite possibly your best one-credit table-service value in Walt Disney World.

There’s also a Veal Roast which would run you $31 out-of-pocket but… perfectly worth one dining credit!

Veal

Tutto Italia is closed for refurbishment until [Read more…]

Guest Review: Coronado Springs Resort’s Pepper Market

Bill Iadonisi returns with a colorful and impressive review of the Pepper Market at the Coronado Springs Resort. Take it away, Bill!

When guests vacation to Walt Disney World, they are looking forward to going on their favorite attractions, seeing World-Class shows and entertainment, and of course meeting the Disney Characters. A trip to Disney is an exciting adventure for all. But for many, the rides and attractions are just the tip of the iceberg.

I know that for myself, dining at Disney is a whole world of fun! With menu options from around the world and a huge diversity of food choices, the dining scene is a theme park unto itself.

Welcome!

While most guests hanker to dine in the parks, the resort venues are just as impressive. We know the classic restaurants such as Citricos, the California Grill and Jiko, but the resorts are also home to some of Walt Disney World’s “sleeper” restaurants.

These eateries are hidden gems with mostly low crowds, fantastic menus and easy access. Many times when the parks are booked, you can usually walk right in or have just a short wait before dining. Some of my favorites are the Kona Café and the Captain’s Grille. And here we will review; Coronado Springs Resort’s Pepper Market restaurant.

Atmosphere and Ordering Process

Pepper Market is an open food court located in the main building area of Coronado Springs Resort, called “El Centro.” It is a counter-service restaurant, although your drinks are brought to the table by a server.

But what makes this eatery special is its extensive menu and expansive dining area. Even during crowded times, you can usually find a table. It is themed after a south of the border-feel marketplace. Huge and airy, it is also very colorful, bright and gives the feeling of space versus claustrophobia — something we love in Disney restaurants.

Dining Area

As you make your way to the entrance, (next to Coronado’s table-service restaurant, the Maya Grill) you walk on terracotta tiles and past wrought iron fences adorned with green plants. Everything is vibrant and very colorful. It puts a smile on your face before you are even seated. At the entrance is a [Read more…]

Update on Cars Land Dining

So, I have clearly developed a little obsession about Cars Land. I think it’s going to be one of the coolest things to ever come to Disneyland, and it’s natural for the obsession to extend to where I’ll be eating in Cars Land. Hopefully you’ll indulge me. ;-)

We recently posted a piece speculating about what would happen with the table-service restaurant slated for Cars Land in Disney California Adventure. We’d heard some rumors about a “drive-in” themed restaurant similar to Disney World’s Sci-Fi Dine-in, which might replace — or accompany — the originally proposed “Flo’s Cafe.”

These rumors were clarified with a comment on our previous post from Michael Crawford of Progress City USA, “There was a drive-in proposed, but it’s not going be a part of the first phase of this area. Its budget was diverted to other things. Instead, it’s likely that it will be added later. I asked an Imagineer if it had been cut completely or might resurface later, and he said that it’s definitely something that they still want to do.”

Driving home the point, the Disney Parks Blog recently showcased this image of Cars Land’s Route 66, featuring a very cool rendering of Flo’s Cafe, the original restaurant proposed for the new land.

Artist Rendering of Cars Land, copyright Disney

So, in addition to what might be two very cool restaurants in Cars Land, we also learned that the Sally’s Motel cones will sell “cone-themed” quick service items, like “Cone on the Cob!”

Just wanted to keep you updated!

5 Best “One-Credit” Disney Dining Values

OK, you’ve booked this Fall’s free dining package, and now you’re not so sure which table-service spots deserve the credit (pun intended!)? Below are my top picks for best value in the “one table-service credit” realm of Walt Disney World restaurants. And for more tips on where to apply those credits, check out the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2017 Second Edition!

For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, Disney World offers a vacation package add-on called the Disney Dining Plan. This works a lot like your meal plan when you were back in school — you pay a set price in exchange for a certain number of credits.

Disney Dining Plan One Credit Recommendations

Each table-service restaurant meal in Disney World is worth a certain number of credits, the vast majority of them being worth one credit. In this post, I’m describing my picks for one-credit table-service restaurants that offer the most bang for the Dining Plan buck.

Chef Mickey’s

Yep, one of the most popular character meals on property is also a great value with the Dining Plan.

Chef Mickey’s

Chef Mickey’s, which offers your kiddos the opportunity to meet the entire fab five — Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, and Minnie (and sometimes Daisy!) — ranks at the top of the heap when it comes to character meal buffet pricing. Not to mention, the location is ideal: you’re just a monorail ride away from the Magic Kingdom.

By the way, both breakfast and dinner are overpriced here, so feel free to use your dining credit for either!

‘Ohana

This is one of Walt Disney World’s most popular restaurants — hands down — and its family style, Hawaiian-themed meals are only part of the reason. ‘Ohana also offers an incredible view of the Magic Kingdom Fireworks from its perch atop the Great Ceremonial House at the Polynesian Village Resort.

‘Ohana Bread Pudding

Breakfast at ‘Ohana features Mickey, Lilo, Stitch, and their friends in an all-you-care-to-enjoy Hawaiian masterpiece of a meal (including mini Mickey Waffles!). Dinner has no characters but does hold the hope for many guests for the chance to see those fireworks while digging into some incredible ‘Ohana Bread Pudding.

Price-wise, ‘Ohana is a bit more expensive than even Chef Mickey’s; coming in around $30 per adult, this is a great trade-in for a table-service credit.

(Tip: When you’re done with dinner, head down to Pineapple Lanai to trade in a snack credit for a Dole Whip!)

Boma

Another incredible buffet makes its way into our top five values list! Boma is located on the bottom floor of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jambo House, and serves up African-themed cuisine straight from an African “marketplace”-inspired restaurant.

Boma’s Zebra Domes

While this place is pretty pricey for a buffet, it also offers the valuable asset of being located in one of Disney World’s most unique resort hotels — and you and your kids can benefit from that! By arriving a bit early for your meal, while there’s still daylight left, you’ll be able to head outside and gaze — up close — at the majestic animals of the savannas. Giraffe, zebra, Ankole cattle, flamingos, and more will be right there in front of you! And if you have questions, the Lodge has provided knowledgeable “interpreters,” who can help you to better understand not only the animals, but also the countries they’re from.

After dinner, head out to the African fire pit around 7:30pm for some authentic African storytelling as the sun goes down. Then, if you still haven’t had your fill, take part in the resort’s “night-vision goggle” experience, where you can watch the savanna animals up close to find out what they do once night falls!

Sounds like a pretty full evening to me — and all for the cost of one table-service credit.

Coral Reef Restaurant

Surprised by this one? Me, too. But the bottom line is that Coral Reef Restaurant 1.) is expensive, and 2.) has a giant aquarium for a wall. Let’s face it, kids love watching the fish (and sometimes dolphins!) swim around in that floor-to-ceiling aquarium.

Coral Reef, a Table Service Restaurant

Coral Reef, a Table Service Restaurant

And while this restaurant might not be worth the money to pay out of pocket, it is worth your one dining plan credit — if only to watch them freak out about how cool it is to eat at a restaurant inside an aquarium.

The food at Coral Reef hasn’t always knocked our socks off, but the menu has improved over the years so that it’s an enjoyable meal. The “chocolate wave” dessert remains a specialty.

Price-wise, dinner entrees run between $20-$30, and desserts all cost $8 apiece, so you’re likely going to save some money by using the dining plan here.

Don’t Miss Out on Any Disney Fun!

The 2017 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, Second Edition, is now available!

2017 DFB Guide to WDW Dining Cover March 6

With more than 650 pages, the 2017 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World  Dining, Second Edition 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 mini-reviews of every single restaurant, bar, lounge, kiosk and more; an entire chapter on the best snacks in Disney World; full Disney Dining Plan analysis (and how to get FREE dining); and a full chapter on discounts and deals; you’ll have everything you need to plan your best vacation yet. Click here to get your copy of the 2017 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, Second Edition E-book — and use code SAVE2017 for a 20% discount for a limited time!

Use code SAVE2017 at check-out for a 20% off the cover price!

 What Do You Think?

Would love to hear your thoughts on the best value for a one-credit table-service meal. Have you stumbled across any deals lately? Let us know in the comments section below!

For more of our favorites, check out our Best Disney World Restaurants series!