You’re about to hit that booking window for your Advance Dining Reservations for your big Disney World vacation, but you’re REALLY wanting to try something different from your usual stomping grounds in the parks.
Although there are so many places to eat in Disney World for every kind of guest, sometimes WHERE you sit in a restaurant can bring some extra magic. Or…it can be a disaster for your dining experience!
To make sure you avoid the mishaps, we’ve rounded up some of the best AND worst tables in Disney World. These tips and tricks might just help you get the best seat in the house the next time you visit!
The Best Restaurant Tables in Disney World
If you want these tables at Disney World’s restaurants, note that you may have to ask ahead of time when you get to the restaurant! This means you might have to wait longer until the table is available, but it can totally be worth the wait if you really want the experience!
While Skipper Canteen is a hidden gem tucked away next to the Jungle Cruise with some of the crunchiest fried chicken on property, the restaurant also houses the gorgeous Butterfly Booth. This spot is a round seating area in the not-so-secretive S.E.A. room that can fit a bigger party (or be just as comfortable for a smaller group of people).
It’s a little bit more secluded from other guests since it’s attached to the wall and away from the main seating area. Although it’s definitely cozy, the Butterfly Booth also has a beautiful atmosphere with dozens of butterflies framed against the walls.
It can be entertaining (and educational!) for whoever is sitting there to try and look up each butterfly species over the course of their meal.
How many have YOU been able to identify??
La Hacienda de San Angel
If you’re a big fan of kicking back, relaxing, and eating a meal while you watch a show, La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion is for you! This is one of very few table service locations in World Showcase that overlook the lagoon. This means — if you time your dinner right — you can get a GREAT view of the nighttime fireworks from your table!
This location has giant windows so nearly the whole restaurant can watch the fireworks at night but some tables are better than others. There are three main areas of this restaurant: the big comfy booths along the back wall (which are elevated and still have a decent, front-facing view of the windows not too far away), a slew of tables in the middle of the restaurant with hit or miss views, depending on your location, or the BEST firework views — the tables RIGHT at the windows.
We DO want to note that one time we were at La Hacienda, we asked for a table with “a fireworks view” but we were placed on the opposite end of the restaurant where our view was obstructed. Yeahhh, some are definitely better than others, so be sure to ask.
They will do their best to accommodate you (so be patient if it takes a bit longer to get you a table in the seating area you’d like).
We couldn’t make a “favorite tables” list without the BOAT BOOTH, now could we?? 😉 Over at The Boathouse in Disney Springs, one of the seating options is literally an entire boat converted into a table. You will obvi be the envy of the entire restaurant if you’re sitting here.
Since it’s so spacious, it’s a super relaxing spot to unwind after a long day in the parks. The only negative, it’s right behind the host stand at the front of the restaurant, so it doesn’t have a great view of the lake outside.
The Boat Booth is an extremely cool photo-op that you don’t want to miss out on when you’re visiting (and sipping on a Rubber Duck Drink, of course!).
There is only ONE though, so if you’re looking for this coveted table, you might have to set up shop and wait for a while. Be sure to ask when you check in!
50’s Prime Time Cafe
Remember the days your mom would say that you’d have to wait until after dinner to watch TV?? Well, this “mom and pop joint” in Disney’s Hollywood Studios encourages ALL the TV watching as you drink a Peanut Butter and Jelly Milkshake and indulge in some Fried Herb and Garlic Cheese (we’re totally craving this now).
Instead of dining in the 21st century, you get to take a trip back to the 1950s at 50’s Prime Time Cafe as you watch the most popular shows and movies from the decade.
But note that not ALL spots here have a TV set at the dinner table. Some are standard tables and chairs sans extra entertainment, so if you want to watch the tube while you dine, ASK for a TV table before you’re seated!
That extra bit of entertainment with your meal is fun for anyone who enjoys nostalgia. But, it’s also a nice break for the kids to be able to wind down and watch TV for a bit before going back into Hollywood Studios.
Animal lovers, assemble!! If you make the trek over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (or you’re staying at the resort), you’ll know that one of the biggest appeals is the African savanna full of gorgeous animals right outside. Although there are plenty of great places to eat across Jambo House and Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge, you might want to consider Sana’a as your next stop ESPECIALLY for its great view.
If you request a window table, you can have the unique experience of getting up close and personal with the savanna animals while you dine! Some might even come RIGHT up to your window to say hello during your meal!
We’ve found that the best time to eat at Sanaa to catch the animals is midday for lunch or early afternoon. If you choose the morning, the animals might not be out for the day yet. On the other hand, nighttime could be too dark to see the animals outside. You’ll be able to catch at least a few of your favorite animals roaming about in the afternoon to welcome guests to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge!
There are limited tables at the windows though and, while you can still get a great view of the animals at non-window tables, if you REALLY want a good view, ask to be seated near the glass.
Tony’s Town Square Restaurant
While we enjoy a lovely bella notte, you’re going to want to head to Tony’s Town Square Restaurant for lunch the next time you’re in the Magic Kingdom! We all know that it can be really difficult to find a great spot for the Festival of Fantasy parade (especially when the sun is beaming down on you).
But, Tony’s offers patio tables outside the restaurant that will actually give you a unique view of the parade as you eat! However, the patio tables are not air-conditioned, so they may not be ideal for everyone on a particularly hot day.
Still, we think they’re worth it so you don’t have to spend a chunk of your park time looking for a spot since you’ve got your own shaded seat at Tony’s! (Pasta and a parade? Win-win!!) Note that parades aren’t happening at the moment in Disney World. Stay tuned to DFB to see when they’ll return!
The Worst Restaurant Tables in Disney World
We have a VERY strong love for the ‘Ohana Bread Pudding (and we honestly would go all the way to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort just to get it). Although ‘Ohaha can be a super fun experience when you get to hug Lilo and Stitch during breakfast, there are a few spots around the dining room you’ll want to avoid.
The tables in the corner of the restaurant closest to the open kitchen can get really noisy. As the servers are coming and going, you can hear everything that is going on in the kitchen (which can be a pain when you’re trying to have a conversation with your dining companions).
Although the fire pits may LOOK cool, you might want to skip out on having a table near them. If you’re wanting to watch the fireworks from Magic Kingdom during the dinner show, the fire pits can often obstruct your view of the windows as well.
If you ARE dining at dinnertime, before you’re seated, ask your server if you can be placed at a window table or a center table without an obstructed view so you can watch Happily Ever After while you eat! There are tables behind the fire pits that have no view whatsoever of the Magic Kingdom. Avoid those!
Note that ‘Ohana is not open at press time. Stay tuned to Disney Food Blog for details on its reopening!
Since California Grill is located on the rooftop of Disney’s Contemporary Resort next door to Magic Kingdom, one of the big reasons to dine at the restaurant is for the fireworks views it offers. However, certain tables can prevent you from seeing anything, which can be frustrating since that’s one of the biggest reasons to visit!
In a smaller room on the opposite side of the windows that overlook Magic Kingdom, there are issues with obstructed views. If you’re seated at those tables, there won’t be fireworks views.
When you arrive to the restaurant, we recommend seeing if you can be seated by the windows that have a theme park view if you want the best location. You can also go to California Grill’s Lounge as another nearby place to watch the show!
Keep in mind that even if you don’t score a prime view at your table, you can go out on the connected observation deck during the show for a clear view.
Note that California Grill IS open at the moment, but fireworks views won’t be possible while the nighttime spectacular is not running.
San Angel Inn
San Angel Inn is one of the most uniquely decorated restaurants in Disney World since you get to overlook the inside of Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion (awesome, right??).
Well, your views could take a turn for the worse if you’re placed down by the tables near the bathroom. They’re practically a double whammy since guests are going in and out of the bathrooms as well as servers making their way to and from the kitchens constantly. All we can say is that nobody wants to be near the bathroom area when they’re trying to have a meal.
You also won’t have ANY view of the awesome Mayan temple and Grand Fiesta Tour (and that’s seriously SO MUCH of the appeal of eating here!).
However, one of the BEST places to ask for a table near is right at the edge of the water where San Angel Inn gazes out over the Gran Fiesta Tour, the Mayan Pyramid, and the steaming volcano. It’s a great place to sit since you can also take in the smell of that infamous Disney World water while you’re dining (we KNOW some of you love that smell as much as we do!).
Honestly, most tables in the main section of the restaurant are cool and really do make you feel like you’re outside. You’ll be fine as long as you don’t get stuck down by the bathroom so, once again, ask when you check-in!
Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
If you’re looking to eat buckets and buckets of fried chicken and ribs in Disney World, the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is the place to do it at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. Since the building is structured like a theater (you are watching a show after all), there are bound to be some better seats in the house than others.
The tables that are up too high could make things hard to see onstage. To make matters worse, you could also receive obstructed views in the corner of the restaurant OR have your back to the stage! Even though you can’t request certain tables at Hoop-Dee-Doo since they’re all pre-mapped out, you can book the experience as a Tier 1 or Tier 2 experience to get a good table before you visit.
These Tiers typically will land you good if not great views. Avoid Tier 3 unless you really want to experience the show on a lower budget.
Restaurants with Different Rooms
Some of the places to dine in Disney World actually give you a unique experience when you visit, depending on where you’re sitting. A few restaurants across the property feature rooms that are very unique.
Although it’s fun to point out the details in one room versus another, these restaurants can be a problem for people who want certain experiences. You may get put in a room that you don’t like, but another party member does. One room may be noisier than another within a restaurant, which could change your dining experience.
While you may like the S.E.A. Room at Skipper Canteen, your family could be seated in the louder and a bit less interesting Mess Hall. Or, you might not be able to find a seat in the Ballroom at Be Our Guest Restaurant (even though it’s your favorite!).
We recommend asking when you check in at table-service locations to be seated in your preferred area.
Scope out your room choices at certain restaurants ahead of time and see where you’d like to enjoy your meal the most!
Although it may seem hard to choose which restaurant to dine at, we’ve got some tips and tricks on what will be the best choice for YOUR family in our DFB Guide Books! You can find out which places have the best table-service spots for people in your party on top of which places are worth your Advance Dining Reservations (and what restaurants we think you can skip!).
There are always pros and cons to visiting restaurants around Disney World. BUT, part of the fun is expanding your horizons to try new places and sit in some unique spots! We hope we helped you come up with some of the BEST locations to visit (and a few spots to avoid in certain restaurants!).
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What is your favorite restaurant table in Disney World? What’s your least favorite too? Let us know in the comments below!