Many of us have been there. We’re all set to go to Walt Disney World for the trip of a lifetime, and we can’t wait to share this experience with our kiddos!
But even though Disney is the Happiest Place on Earth, navigating its vastness with a toddler can be challenging at best, and a nightmare at worst.
And few parts of the trip are more challenging than meal times.
While we all agree that certain spots are inappropriate for small children — Victoria and Albert’s restricts patrons to the over 10 crowd — there are some choices that are better than others.
And you may be surprised to know…it doesn’t all come down to characters.
Below, we offer you a few choices from our picks for Best Spots to Eat with a Toddler — a brand new section in our just-released DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015. Pick up yours today for $4 off using code 2015 right here!
Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
One of my favorite spots to dine no matter who’s with me is Sanaa. Located in Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, the restaurant is known for its exotic menu of African and Indian Fusion. And when I dine here, you know you’re gonna spy some incredible Butter Chicken on the table!
While the menu makes it a must-visit spot for guests who enjoy out of the ordinary cuisine, the restaurant is also quiet and rarely crowded — great features for guests who have a small fry in tow.
But the real attraction for toddlers is the view! Forget animatronics on the Jungle Cruise — look out the windows at Sanaa’s sweeping vistas and you’ll see the real deal!
Sanaa overlooks Sunset Savanna and spying a zebra, giraffe, or other exotic animal is practically guaranteed!
Here’s another TIP: Keep in mind when you make your advance dining reservation that the animals tend to retire early, and it may get dark on the savanna earlier than you think. Planning lunch or an early dinner at Sanaa during daylight hours is your best bet for seeing the wild side of the restaurant.
Play ‘n Dine at Hollywood and Vine Restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Although there are puh-lenty of Character Dining options at Disney, some are better than others when it comes to entertaining babies and toddlers. We’ve chosen two in the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015, and Play ‘n Dine at Hollywood and Vine Restaurant is one of them.
So, what sets Hollywood and Vine’s Play ‘n Dine apart? The characters! While practically all other Character Dining options at Disney involve either some subset of the Fab Five or Disney Princesses, Hollywood and Vine’s Play ‘n Dine features the original characters from the Disney Junior lineup! That means that your kiddo will come face to face with friends like Pirate Jake, Doc McStuffins, and Princess Sophia!
Seeing these beloved characters up close and larger than life is completely magical for most kiddos. And the buffet menu features lots of kid favorites, too. Even picky eaters will enjoy the spread!
Here’s another TIP: If you’re interested in sharing a meal with the funner-than-fun Disney Junior Gang, be sure to book your advance dining reservation for breakfast or lunch. Dinner offers a bountiful buffet — but no characters. (Maybe it’s past their bedtimes or something.)
Coral Reef Restaurant in Epcot
Finally, we come to another of our favorite spots for Disney dining with our small humans — Epcot’s Coral Reef Restaurant.
Coral Reef shares its view with neighboring attraction The Seas with Nemo & Friends, and the star of the show is the largest inland saltwater environment ever built! As you dine, you’ll experience the ever-changing waterscape of a thriving coral reef. (Check out a review of our recent lunch here.)
And thanks to the souvenir Fish Guides, a visit here can be as educational as it is fun! Besides, trying to identify all of the sea creatures will make the wait time go by in a snap.
For more Disney Restaurant suggestions that are great for Toddlers, be sure to order your copy of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015! We’ve got lots of suggestions that are guaranteed to keep your kid busy enough for you to shovel a bite or two of food into your mouth. Maybe even three! 😉
Ready for All of Our Best Tips?
We’ve got TONS of Disney World Dining Tips in our big, bold, 490-page DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 — and the guide is your ticket to planning your best Disney trip yet!
The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 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 2015 E-book — and use code 2015 for an extra $4 discount for a limited time!
What’s your favorite spot for sharing a meal with a toddler in Walt Disney World? Join the conversation in comments below!