10 of Our Favorite Walt Disney World Table Service Restaurants Without Characters
Let’s be honest, when it comes to dining at Walt Disney World not everyone wants to have breakfast with the princesses or a lunch buffet heaving with Disney Junior characters. As a matter of fact, my nine-year-old is currently going through a “character dining is for little kids” phase and though I disagree with here, we’ve become accustomed to filling our days with reservations sans characters. With that in mind, I thought I’d share with your some of our favorite Table Service offerings that don’t come with Mickey, Ariel or Jake! Readers should not NONE of the options below fall into the Fine/Signature Dining Category. I thought I’d save those for another list (so keep following along!)
1. Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
This is one of my favorite places to dine in the whole world! This minute you walk into this soundstage/eatery designed to look like a Drive-In Movie Theater at night, you’ll realize that you’re somewhere special. Instead of a booth, you are seated behind the wheel of a convertible car facing a large Drive-In Screen playing awesome B Movies from the ’50s. The food here is classic American diner cuisine (think burgers, hotdogs and shakes) but we’ve never ordered an item here that we’ve been disappointed with. Some of our favorite highlights include the Drive-In BBQ Burger heaped high with Onion Rings and Crispy-fried Jalapenos and the Oreo Milkshake. Adults will also like the tasty cocktails some of which even come with glow cubes which goes well with nighttime-themed lighting you’ll find here. Dining here will set you back $15 – $35 per adult and advanced reservations are essential.
2. Teppan Edo – Epcot
This is a fun, active and engaging meal the whole family will enjoy! What you’ll get at this Japan Pavilion eatery is more akin to dinner theater as you watch the amazing hibachi chefs mix up some incredible treats. Guests can choose from a variety of stir-fry options including steak, chicken, seafood and vegetarian options. All dishes are served with Udon noodles and steamed rice. Also on offer is teriyaki chicken as well as sushi and edamame. Dining here is one Table Service Dining Credit or $15 – $35 per adult if paying out of pocket. Be sure to make your reservations well in advance!
3. Sanaa – Animal Kingdom
For a truly exotic dining experience right in the heart of Walt Disney World, Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is pretty impressive. Not only can you watch exotic animals like zebras and wildebeests trek past while you eat but the menu offers an eclectic array of World Cuisine that is sure to appeal to all tastes! One of our favorite dishes is the delicious Indian-style naan flatbread which comes with an array of delicious dips. There’s also a nice range of mix-and-match menu items that come with your choice of a protein including Goan seafood curry, spicy Durban Shrimp and a side like Lentil Dal or Cilantro Coconut Vegetables. Children also have a nice mix of options to choose from including Indian-inspired offerings like Butter Chicken.
4. 50’s Prime Time Cafe – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Whenever I visit Hollywood Studios with my family we always have the Sci-Fi Dine-In versus 50’s Prime Time debate because both are THAT GOOD. The vibe here is a mom’s kitchen from the 1950’s. You’ll dine in a retro dining room on classics like meatloaf, pot roast and fried chicken. The staff will make your feel like family (literally) and aren’t afraid to criticize you for not cleaning your plate, having your elbows on the table or failing to eat your vegetables. And one last tip, if you haven’t had a milkshake from 50’s Prime Time Cafe at Hollywood Studios you haven’t lived! We recommend that you try the iconic peanut butter and jelly milkshake which tastes remarkably like the real thing! Entrees range from $15 – $35 per adult and advanced reservations are encouraged to avoid long waits.
5. Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’- Disney Springs
I am a firm believer that no visit to Disney Springs (Disney’s Downtown Shopping District) would be complete without a visit to Homecomin’. The speciality of this eatery is Sunshine-State Style comfort food! It is the brainchild of James Beard Award-winning chef, Art Smith. Homecomin’ has already garnered a huge reputation for serving up flavorful dishes with highlights including deviled eggs, fried chicken and his signature dessert the Shine Cake. The restaurant also started serving up a weekend brunch from as early as 9 am on Saturday and Sunday. During this feast you can tuck into treats like Green Eggs and Ham and their delicious Hallelujah Biscuit. Entrees cost between $15 – $35 per adult and it’s best to make reservations in advance!
6. Kona Cafe – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
If you don’t want the character dining experience at O’hana, breakfast at this Table Service eatery is a fantastic alternative! Here you’ll find Tonga Toast (banana stuffed French Toast) that is legendary as well as the awesome Liliko’i Juice which is a combination of orange, guava and passion fruit juices. For lunch and dinner sushi lovers will delight in the Onstage Sushi kitchen with rolls being served up fresh and delicious. Nestled in the Main Ceremonial Hall of the Polynesian you’re also just a quick boat or monorail ride away from the Magic Kingdom making it a perfect stop before heading to the park! Entrees here also fall into the $15 – $35 per adult category. It is possible to get a last minute reservation here.
7. Jungle Navigation Co. LTD- Skippers Canteen – Magic Kingdom
This Adventureland Table Service eatery is in my mind is massively underrated. If you love the hilarious hijinks of The Jungle Cruise then you’ll certainly love the way this carries over to your dining experiences with the staff here having the same humor! The restaurant is themed after the classic Adventureland attraction so be sure to look around at the decor! The menu here is neat and slightly outside of the box. Some of my favorites include the Curried Vegetable Crew Stew as well as the Thai noodles. This restaurant also serves alcohol where botht he sangria and the Lemonda Shandy is delicious! For kids there’s a create your own entree options which will please even the pickiest of eaters! Reservations are essential here but it’s always good to plan ahead. Entrees range from $15 – $35 for adults.
8. Yak & Yeti- Disney’s Animal Kingdom
With guests flocking in droves to Tusker House or the Rainforest Cafe, Yak & Yeti nestled in the Asia section of Animal Kingdom theme park is a bit of a hidden gem. This restaurant serves up delicious Asian cuisine where you’ll find everything from fun shareables like the melt-in-your-mouth pot stickers to incredible noodle bowls. Seafood lovers will definitely be impressed with dishes like Tuna Nachos, Lo Mein Shrimp and Lobster Garlic Noodles. I’ve been lucky enough to try many of the dishes here and think the honey Chicken is the clear standout! You’ll also find an array of creative cocktails and a Kobe Beef Burger sure to satisfy your meat cravings. This eatery is popular with Disney regulars so I recommend booking in advance. Entrees range from $15 – $34 per adult.
9. Spice Road Table – Epcot
I love this Moroccan Pavilion eatery so much that once I get talking about it, it’s hard to keep me quiet! This restaurant nestled on the waterfront of the World Showcase offers both inside and outside seating with beautiful views. For a special treat try booking your table to coincide with the parks evening fireworks display! The food here is wonderful with many dishes being served up tapas style. I typically order several dishes like hummus and olives, stuffed grape leaves and calamari. Those looking for larger entrees can’t go wrong with their delicious mixed grill skewers or lamb sliders. Again standard table service pricing as outlined above applies. Though it is possible to walk up try and make reservations especially if you’re looking for fireworks viewing.
10. Beaches and Cream- Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort
If you prefer to escape the hustle and bustle of the theme parks and enjoy a fun lunch than make your reservation for Beaches and Cream. Located near Stormalong Bay, this eatery specializes in treats you would’ve found at a traditional soda shop. The Grill Cheese Sandwich here and Tomato Soup do not disappoint. I also recommend trying a delicious float or incredible milkshake ( I recommend the Mickey Confettis Milkshake.) However, let’s be honest here, the real draw is the ginormous Kitchen Sink Sundae coming it at $34.00 and is sure to put a surprise on your family’s face. It comes with heaping scoops of Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Cookies and Cream, and Mint Chocolate Chips and is smothered in every topping available. Have those cameras at the ready to capture the fun. This eatery books up surprisingly quickly so be sure to make your reservations well in advance!
Reservations can be made for all of the selections above in advance via the My Disney Experience App or by calling 407.WDW.DINE. All of the eateries listed above will set you back 1 Table Service dining credits for all of you on the Disney Dining Plan.
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