Today, we’re pulling another great question out the Disney Food Blog mailbag. You guys ask some great ones, and lots of times, we’ll get several emails and inquiries about the same subject.
Today, we’re going to delve into the wonderful world of birthday celebrations for grown-ups!
Celebrating Grown Up Birthdays in Walt Disney World
Our DFB reader asks:
We will be vacationing at WDW in May. My 25-year old son will have a birthday while we are there. We would like to have a special meal to celebrate, something fun but also really good!
I love this question! Disney brands itself a great place for all kinds of celebrations. And when it comes to birthdays, why should kiddos have all the fun?
When planning a special meal to celebrate a birthday at Walt Disney World, the most basic advice is probably a great starting point: what does the birthday boy or girl enjoy?
Does he like fine dining, or would he prefer a great night out at a sports bar? Does she like a quiet, elegant setting, or a spot with intricate themeing? Or are they a kid at heart who can Celebrate Mickey with the best of them?
Fantastic ideas abound for fun birthday celebrations at Disney World, but let’s go with my three favorite ideas. At the very least, it might lead to some good brainstorming when it comes time to plan your own special dinner party!
For the Disney fan who enjoys a fine dining experience, there would be no other place to celebrate a birthday than where these two things meet — Disney’s signature dining restaurants.
If you’re looking for the pinnacle of fine dining, consider booking a table at Victoria and Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
The ultimate in Disney fine dining, this relaxed, refined restaurant has won countless awards for its upscale take on modern American fare and its stellar wine menu. To make it an even more special experience, book the Chef’s Table!
Another great option is California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The restaurant sits atop the hotel, and boasts panoramic views. It’s a great spot for viewing Wishes, Magic Kingdom’s fireworks spectacular!
Food here is always fresh and inventive, celebrating the farm to table movement and the Asian fusion style that placed California on the culinary map.
For something a little off the beaten path but no less delicious, check out Jiko at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
In a relaxing atmosphere that mimics the African savanna at sunset, you’ll enjoy dishes that incorporate the rich flavors of Africa. And oenophiles love Jiko’s wine list, which boasts the largest collection of African wines outside of that continent.
And whether you’re a seafood fan or a land-lubber, my current favorite Disney restaurant — Flying Fish Cafe — has something for everyone.
Celebrate with knowledgable servers, a great menu, and a fun atmosphere.
Super-Themed and Casual
If fun-filled, themed dining is more your speed, why not check out one of Disney’s super-themed restaurants for your special occasion?
50s Prime Time Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is, hands down, one of my favorites. With its retro decor and kitschy knickknacks, you’ll swear that you’ve wandered back in time to your Aunt Gladys’s formica-clad kitchen.
And the fun doesn’t end there. Your server (who will also be your cousin or some other relation) will spend the entire meal making sure that you mind your Ps and Qs, and that you eat every last vegetable. (No lying. If you don’t, they’ll feed them to you.) Comfort food is the name of the game here, and I can’t get enough of their Fried Herb and Garlic Cheese!
Take an equally fun trip back in time at Sci-Fi Dine-In, also in Hollywood Studios. Enjoy dinner in your very own convertible as you view awesome B movies from the 50s! The Picnic Burger is daunting — but hey, if you don’t splurge on your birthday, when will you?
If you have a super sports fan in your midst and fine dining isn’t really your thing, then ESPN Club may be just the right fit. You’ll never miss a moment of the big game. No, really. There are even TVs in the bathrooms!
Dining is hearty and…well, everything that you could dream that the ultimate sports bar could be. And more.
Character Dining: It’s Not Just For Kids!
But what about character dining? Because if you think it’s just for kids, well, think again.
Maybe you don’t want to twirl a napkin with the best of them at Chef Mickey’s (although that really does have its charms), but if you’d still like to rub shoulders with some of the Fab Five, check out breakfast or lunch at Tusker House in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
A cast of characters dressed in fun safari gear will stop by your table while you dine on food inspired by African dishes.
The menu is prix fixe and reviews of the food tend to be mixed…but who are we kidding? I’m totally going here to say I’ve been in the castle!
An alternative for guests seeking dinner with the princess set is Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Epcot’s Norway Pavilion. In addition to the beautiful setting, you’ll be greeted by princesses and will feast on dishes inspired by the cuisine of Norway.
Guests especially love their Koldtbord, the Norwegian-inspired cold buffet. And be sure to try the Traditional Kjøttkake — Norwegian Meatballs served with a delicious Lingonberry Sauce.
Of course, no matter where you end up celebrating, don’t forget the cake! Be sure to stop by our Disney World Cakes FAQ Page for the answers to all of your cake ordering questions!
And remember that you’ll want to make an advance dining reservation for sure. You don’t want to leave an important occasion to chance when it comes to snagging a table.
The biggest problem that you’ll have in determining where to spend your birthday at Walt Disney World will be narrowing down all of your incredible choices to just one.
Now I’d really love to hear from all of YOU!
What’s your favorite spot to celebrate a grown-up birthday in all of Disney World? Leave a comment with your suggestions so that we give our readers PLENTY of good selection to choose from!