If you peruse any Walt Disney World social media groups or forums, etc., you will undoubtedly run across discussions about dining at the parks.
- “Should I eat here?”
- “Is the food good there?”
- “There are no reservations available, what are the odds I can walk up and be seated?”
- “Will they let me order this certain thing?”
- “Can I ask for a meal with no gluten?”
The list goes on and on when it comes to questions and comments about dining and there are dining only related groups for the foodies, but it seems that there’s a lot more discussion about table service restaurants at Disney Parks. In nearly 35 years of visiting Disney World, I’ve only eaten at table service restaurants a handful of times. I’ve eaten at:
- ‘Ohana (character breakfast with my sister’s family and all of our kids when they were little- so good and fun!)
- Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater (both with my kids and adults only- this one is fun and the food was pretty good)
- The Crystal Palace (character breakfast- all adults- loved the food and the atmosphere!)
- La Hacienda de San Angel (adults only- this was an accident, we were trying to reserve at the other Mexico pavilion restaurant- I was underwhelmed by the food here)
- San Angel Inn Restaurante (adults only- this is the Mexico pavilion restaurant we were trying to eat at- the theme and views are nice but as a Texan always eating Tex-Mex/Mexican food, I just found this to be ok)
- Le Cellier Steakhouse (adults only- I really enjoyed my meal here and we happened to sit next to friendly people which made the experience nice too)
- Coral Reef (adults only- I was worried about eating here because I don’t eat seafood but this has been my favorite restaurant to date! I had a steak and it was so good and I love the giant aquarium that everyone can see while dining)
- Cinderella’s Royal Table (character dinner- adults only- I kind of fangirled for a few minutes because we got a table overlooking Fantastyland and the server gave me a wand and Wishing Star. The theme was great, I got to see Snow White among the other princesses, but the food was not great for me)
- Tiffins (adults only- my food wasn’t bad, this was better than ok but I enjoyed the bar/lounge area more)
- Via Napoli (big group during a friends meet up trip- I really liked the pizza we had)
- Planet Hollywood (adults only- food was good, the milkshake I got was the showstopper, it was a little crowded as in the tables were very close together where we were seated)
Ok, so maybe this seems like a little more than a handful, but I’m considering the fact that there are around 90 full service/table service restaurants within Walt Disney World. And I’ve only eaten at these places in the last 4-5 years. Up until then, I had only eaten at ‘Ohana with my family and at Sci-Fi Dine-In with my kids.
The main reason that I rarely eat at table service restaurants at Disney World is because my kids like even fewer things than I do, so it didn’t make sense to make a reservation when I knew they wouldn’t eat the food. Now that my kids are grown up, I could try taking them to a table service restaurant, but my 18 year old still prefers only eating pizza or fries when we’re at Disney and my 22 year old would rather grab something from quick service anyway. Disney is pretty good overall with accommodating special food/dietary requests, but my kids just only like certain things.
The other reason I don’t worry about eating at table service places is the fact that a lot of the time you can’t get a reservation where you want to eat because people can start making reservations 180 days out and it’s sometimes hard to get a reservation if you’re like me and forget to look into that. I guess that’s another reason to utilize a travel agent (and no, I’m not a travel agent).
Maybe it’s time for me to try other restaurants at Disney World during upcoming trips next year. Not that I want to spend the money for some of these places, but it seems now I can try a few more places that I’ve been wondering about. Or…I’ll probably just pick up some chicken nuggets and fries and then head to the next ride… °O°