Whether you’ve planned a rest day at your resort, live locally and want a Disney dining experience, or just don’t want to eat another meal in one of Walt Disney World’s parks, dining on property without a park ticket offers many delicious options.
Resort dining is often fantastic, and Disney Springs has more options for dining than ever before.
Sanaa — Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village
First up is one of our favorite table service restaurants in the World — and it also happens only to be a one-credit meal on the Disney Dining Plan when it’s available!
Sanaa features the flavors of Africa and India and serves up the Indian Bread Service, an irresistible appetizer of Indian flatbreads and several dipping sauces or chutneys.
Entrees at Sanaa range from Berbere-Braised Lamb Shank to Fragrant Duck, but one of our favorites is the Potjie Inspired, a duo that offers several vegetarian and vegan options in addition to meat.
But Sanaa is worth a visit for more than the tasty eats. It’s also a warm and inviting atmosphere, and if you dine when the sun is still up, you will also enjoy savanna views — and perhaps even dine with a furry or feathered friend!
Click here to read our most recent review and to see why Sanaa is one of our favorite places to dine at Walt Disney World.
‘Ohana — Polynesian Village Resort
If you’ve been a long-time DFB reader, you probably guessed ‘Ohana would be on our list! This family style, all-you-care-to-enjoy restaurant serves up a character breakfast with Lilo & Stitch (currently unavailable) and a festive dinner (Hawaiian storytelling and games!). For dinner, meats are cooked over a oak-fired grill and brought to the table on skewers, letting each guest try as much or as little as they’d like. Family style salad, teriyaki and stir-fried noodles, chicken wings, and pork dumplings accompany the meat and provide a little variety for diners.
But the real star here is the ‘Ohana Bread Pudding. (Yeah, we should probably note that the view isn’t bad, either, but that bread pudding!)
‘Ohana Bread Pudding has acquired a cult following for good reason! It’s a plate of dense, rich bread pudding topped with a massive scoop of vanilla ice cream. But when you pour that caramel-banana sauce on top? Disney food magic!
‘Ohana also has the added bonus of convenience. It’s just a Monorail ride away from Magic Kingdom, which means you can enjoy this non-park meal even if you’re spending a full day at the park. In fact, the Polynesian is a great place to get away from the crowds for a while and recharge!
Morimoto Asia — Disney Springs
Morimoto Asia, located in Disney Springs, offers elegant dining and thoughtful, delicious Asian cuisine. The quality here is top-notch, and it’s matched by the beautiful dining room. Dining at Morimoto Asia is a true departure from theme park dining, and while it tends to be a bit pricey, it’s also delicious.
(DFB Tip: When the Disney Dining Plan returns, book a lunch ADR at Morimoto Asia to use one table service credit (dinner requires two)!)
If you want to sample Chef Morimoto’s cuisine but can’t swing a table service meal, stop by Morimoto Asia Street Food, the quick service arm of Morimoto Asia! This spot is located on the covered patio and features pan-Asian street food. Everything from egg rolls to bao to pork ribs can be had here, and it’s all delicious!
We particularly liked the Kalbi Bao Taco and the Shrimp Tempura Roll. (See our FIRST LOOK and review of Morimoto Asia Street Food here!)
Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant — Disney Springs
Also located in Disney Springs, Raglan Road has become a perennial favorite of guests. This is because of the extensive, scrumptious menu of Irish-inspired eats that feature both traditional dishes and innovative ones. Diners can get fish and chips and shepherd’s pie alongside Caesar salad and burgers.
The added fun here is the vibrant atmosphere with music and, frequently, dance! Raglan Road is consistently good, and it’s a relaxed way to enjoy a meal without a park ticket.
Jaleo by Jose Andres — Disney Springs
Jaleo opened in March 2019 to rave reviews for the extensive, thoughtful menu and the colorful, beautiful atmosphere. Menu items are inspired by the cuisine of Spain and include classics like paella — the specialty of the restaurant — and Iberico ham. Tapas is also widely available here and makes for an exciting, interactive dining experience.
Because Jaleo’s menu is extensive with items for all tastes (and, from what we’ve been told, lots of food preferences), it is a terrific place to escape from the parks and try some special food.
Homecomin’ — Disney Springs
Chef Art Smith is known for his Fried Chicken, and Homecomin’ in Disney Springs has been serving it up hot and delicious since the doors opened in July 2016. Not only has the signature dish brought people back again and again, even entrees like the Cuban Sandwich and sides like mashed potatoes and mac and cheese provide a satisfying meal experience.
Homecomin’ now offers brunch, so you can get your Fried Chicken and Donuts on nearly all day long! (Click here to see what brunch is all about!) If you’re in need of some comfort food made really well while you’re on vacation (where, we all know, calories don’t count!), Homecomin’s soulful menu will get you there — without a park ticket!
Contempo Cafe — Contemporary Resort
Believe it or not there are quick service locations outside of the parks at Walt Disney World that are so consistently good, we even hit them up on a non-park day! Contempo Cafe is tops for its convenient location (hello, walkable from Magic Kingdom!) and for its delicious entrees and desserts. The Pot Roast is a DFB favorite when it’s on the menu, but we honestly love just about anything.
But if you’re looking for creative and delicious cupcakes and desserts (and who isn’t?), Contempo Cafe is a great place to Monorail into. The pastry case has a revolving selection of awesome cupcakes and one of our favorite Disney World Desserts: Peanut Butter Pie. There’s a 50th anniversary available right now.
If you’re looking for a non-park quick service meal and fancy yourself a glide on the Monorail, make Contempo Cafe your stop at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White — Wilderness Lodge
When Disney announced a new character dinner was taking over Wilderness Lodge’s Artist Point, plenty of readers expressed dismay. But when we tried Story Book Dining for the first time, we were super impressed. The food was creative, thematic, and delicious — everything from Royal Prime Rib to A Stroll Through Nature (a vegetarian gnocchi dish) was excellent.
And even as the food is terrific, it’s the rare character interactions that really make Story Book Dining a non-parks favorite. Diners will meet Dopey and Grumpy and have the opportunity to meet the Evil Queen! (Snow White is on hand, too!) So many fun photo ops and conversations to be had, all without stepping foot into a park!
For high-end signature dining at Walt Disney World, California Grill is on top — literally! This fine dining restaurant is located atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort and focuses on California cuisine and the use of local, sustainable ingredients. The menu here changes a lot (much to the dismay of some diners!), which means no two meals at California Grill are exactly the same. Currently, the restaurant is offering a 50th Anniversary prix fixe menu, inspired by past favorite dishes. Quality is the name of the game at California Grill, and it’s pretty amazing to think a restaurant of this caliber is just a short Monorail ride from Magic Kingdom.
A special bonus of dining at California Grill is the opportunity to view Disney Enchantment — Magic Kingdom’s fireworks show — from the observation deck adjacent to the restaurant. It’s a way to enjoy the show without entering the park!
Grand Floridian Cafe
is a table service location that’s a hidden gem on the Monorail loop. This spot serves up seriously tasty breakfast, brunch, and lunch items. While we used to order the components for a Chicken and Waffle food hack, this delish dish is now officially on the menu! Point of fact: we’ve had some of our favorite brunch items at Grand Floridian Cafe, and we recommend it for a non-park or a park day!
You can also dine at Grand Floridian for dinner, where the menu excludes breakfast items but still has some tasty options!