11 Best Dinner Restaurants at Walt Disney World
Nighttime is the best time for Disney fans. After a thrilling park visit, we’re all ready to do some carb-loading. We need to refuel before the next ride.
Here’s the pleasant surprise at Walt Disney World. Many of the restaurants here feature world-class cuisine that rivals anything you’d find in your town.
Here are my choices for the best 11 dinners at Walt Disney World.
(Editor’s note: the only rule for this list is that the restaurant must be open right now. That took places like ‘Ohana and Artist Point off the list.)
Be Our Guest Restaurant
Let’s start with the alpha. By now, you’re almost certainly aware of this Magic Kingdom restaurant.
Imagineers brilliantly maximized space at the back of the park to construct Beast Castle, with this eatery as the signature experience.
The building’s magnificent interior feels appropriate for a regal castle, and you should wander through all four sections during your meal.
Remarkably, the food quality matches the architecture. It’s haute cuisine of the highest caliber.
After nearly a decade in operation, Be Our Guest remains one of the most challenging Advanced Dining Reservations to book. That speaks to its reputation.
If you’ve never eaten here, you’ll know The BOATHOUSE as the Disney Springs place with the Amphicars.
For a little over $100, guests can book a novel tour of Disney Springs. You’ll get into a car, and it’ll drive you straight into the water…safely. It’s also a boat!
While this visual draws attention from a distance, the restaurant doesn’t need anything to add to its hype.
The BOATHOUSE possesses arguably the best reputation of any Disney Springs restaurant. Only one other place even comes close, as we’ll discuss.
What’s on the menu here? Well, fish. The theming here sells the premise that you’re fresh off the boat and ready to devour some of your fishing hauls.
However, the other entrees here are equally dazzling. And the French fries are among the best on the Disney campus.
Also, The BOATHOUSE often offers piano bar music. You can tip the pianist, and they’ll perform your favorite music, even Disney songs!
Walt Disney World will celebrate its 50th anniversary soon. During that half-century of excellence, one restaurant has towered over the reason.
I mean that literally, too. California Grill resides on the top floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. It’s a show-stopper of a restaurant design.
Imagineers constructed windows that go from the floor to the roof. They populate all areas of California Grill, providing an inimitable view of Bay Lake.
Most importantly, you can watch fireworks presentations at Cinderella Castle at night…and sometimes even EPCOT if you’re sitting in the right area.
As for the food, do you like wine? Or brunch? This restaurant is famous for both, along with a decadent menu of sushi, flatbreads, and pork dishes.
The Grilled Pork Tenderloin here qualifies as one of the most recognizable entrees at Walt Disney World…and for a good reason. It’s magnificent.
Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’
Art Smith participated in Disney’s college program. Then, the chef went off and became world-famous while working for Oprah Winfrey.
After many years away, Disney lured him home to open his own restaurant. Since then, Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ has reached legendary status.
Only The BOATHOUSE even approaches this place in terms of reputation. You’ll know this when you try to book an Advanced Dining Reservation.
This place books within moments of its reservation windows opening. That happens because Smith has mastered the craft of comfort food cuisine.
His chicken and waffles and chicken and donuts dishes will blow your mind. They’re so delectable that he could put KFC out of business if he ever franchised.
Sometimes, you want to cut loose after a chaotic park day. I firmly believe that The Edison presents the best opportunity to do so.
This steampunk eatery doubles as a nightclub, with musical performances on most nights. Also, some trapeze artists and tumblers appear as well.
If you like watching people contort themselves while you eat, The Edison’s the place for you.
The cuisine features several avant-garde options like a burger that mixes pork, hamburger, and brisket before it cooks.
Of course, the Clothesline Candied Bacon and smoking cocktails receive most of the attention. They’re visually stunning and totally delicious to boot.
With ‘Ohana out of business for a while, Kona Café has finally received its moment in the spotlight after years of playing second fiddle.
The other restaurant at the Great Ceremonial House at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort deserves the attention, as it’s every bit as good.
In the mornings, Kona Café serves coffee and Tonga Toast, its most recognizable offerings. However, the dinner menu is where the place shines.
Sushi rolls, poke bowls, and potstickers will make you forget all about bread pudding. Also, the bread service here has become my favorite at Walt Disney World.
Le Cellier Steakhouse
Do you like steak? Do you like maple flavors? Of course, you do! So, head to the Canada pavilion at the World Showcase and treat yourself to a feast.
Le Cellier is squarely in the middle of the conversation for best steak at Walt Disney World.
However, other delicacies may surprise you. I’m an ardent supporter of the Artisan Cheese and Charcuterie Plate here.
Perhaps the most famous item on the menu is the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup.
Also, the restaurant has responsibly added a decadent vegan dish.
The Steamed Asian Impossible Dumplings will make you laugh at meat-eaters. They don’t know what they’re missing.
Liberty Tree Tavern
One of my favorite Simpsons jokes involves Homer and Marge going to a theme park restaurant that celebrates New Year’s Eve every night.
The restaurant’s employees…don’t like their jobs. I think about it a lot when I visit Liberty Tree Tavern, an eatery that disproves the premise.
This place provides a Thanksgiving dinner every day, and it’s always delicious and entertaining!
The colonial-style theming meshes perfectly with the rest of Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom.
You’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time to the early days of America!
And the food is so ridiculously robust and filling that you may not want to eat again until lunch the next day.
Rose & Crown Dining Room
During regular times, I’d recommend this restaurant for other reasons. The patio on the side of Rose & Crown overlooks World Showcase Lagoon.
So, this restaurant provides the once and future view of EPCOT’s nighttime presentations.
Presumably, when fireworks return to Walt Disney World, a table here will provide a close view of Harmonious, which appears nearly ready to debut.
For now, you’re only eating here for the food, which is like “settling” for one of the best meals of your life.
Staples of British cuisine like Fish & Chips and Shepherd’s Pie populate the menu.
While the menu may sound cliche, it’s a surprisingly earnest, authentic dining experience.
Also, if my wife had to choose between Sticky Toffee Pudding and me, I wouldn’t win.
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater
This place is my favorite at Walt Disney World, and it’s honestly not even close.
Out of the restaurants I’m discussing today, I’ll admit that it probably has the “worst” food, which means that it’s like a seven out of ten.
You’re not eating here only for the meal, though. You want to sit inside a restaurant that pretends it’s a drive-in movie theater.
You know that when you sit down in your hollowed-out car, you’ll watch a delightful combination of entertainment.
Disney intersperses trailers for some of the worst sci-fi movies ever made, along with classic cartoon shorts guaranteed to make you giggle.
Also, Disney fans will delight in watching Uncle Walt interact with his friend, Garco, a talking robot. Here’s a clip:
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater exemplifies the best of Disney. And the burgers are pretty good, too!
My family adores dinner and a show. We prioritize Disney experiences where we receive entertainment along with our meal.
Alas, the pandemic has proven problematic for fans like us. Marvelous options like Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and Spirit of Aloha aren’t open.
Thankfully, teppanyaki remains available at the World Showcase. At the Japan pavilion, Teppan Edo chefs will cook your food while you watch.
Imagine an upscale Benihana with plenty of Disney charm, and you get the gist. It’s glorious. We try to eat here every trip.