Are These Disney Restaurants Worth the Money?
I’ve noticed more pricing discussions on social media lately.
Obviously, nobody should be surprised by that, as inflation has caused a surge in the price of meals.
Still, Disney fans appear at least somewhat more sensitive to food costs at the moment.
So, I’m hearing more questions about value. Are these six Walt Disney World restaurants worth the money? Let’s discuss…
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa hosts a deep restaurant lineup with high-quality options.
Seriously, the fourth-best eatery here would be the best at SEVERAL Disney resorts. For this reason, some places tend to get lost in the shuffle.
Citricos had previously fallen victim to this fate. So, management interceded and closed the restaurant for renovations.
During this downtime, Disney added a new theme, Mary Poppins Returns. While that choice may prove dated sooner rather than later, it’s great for now.
The subtle Mary Poppins touches accentuate the refined dining experience. In addition, the views through the floor-to-ceiling windows here are divine.
You’ll luxuriate in the relaxing ambiance of this idyllic setting…until the bill arrives. Citricos ain’t cheap.
Disney lists the lower tier of pricing at $35 per person. If you can eat at Citricos for that price, you’re my hero. Honestly, I don’t think it’s possible, though.
After all, the entrees start at $34, and most of them are in the mid-$40s. That’s before we factor in appetizers and enhancements.
For this reason, I’d suggest passing on Citricos. It’s a perfectly lovely place, but it’s only about the 12th best value among monorail resort restaurants.
Le Cellier Steakhouse
How do you feel about the taste of maple? Is poutine something you can put in your mouth? If you answered yes to the second question, you are now my sworn enemy.
Anyway, I’m mostly joking here, but let’s state terms about Le Cellier. This place is more Canadian than a sports channel that only shows hockey and curling.
If this place were a football team, it’d be the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. They’re real, I swear.
Anyway, the point is that you should calibrate your expectations around a decidedly Canadian dining experience.
We’re talking Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup, cheese and charcuterie plates, seafood, and all the steak you could ever want…some of it bison!
Also, yes, despite my lingering objections, they do sell poutine.
How Canadian is this place? Two of the desserts are Maple Crème Brûlée and Chocolate Mousse “Maple Leaf”. I think I lost two teeth in a hockey fight just typing that.
I’m joking a lot since some of the people closest to me in life are Canadian – you should hear the redneck/Tennessee jokes they tell me – but this place is special.
Every time EPCOT offers a festival dining package, I strongly encourage people to select Le Cellier, which I believe offers the best overall meal experience.
The prices here are undeniably on the sticker shock side. Most entrees cost north of $50 now.
Still, this is the rare Signature Dining experience at Disney that I pick without hesitation. We even spent an anniversary here once. I like it that much!
I’m on a boat!
That’s the primary selling point of Paddlefish, a restaurant that isn’t waterfront as much as it’s on the water.
When you dine here, you’re setting sail on the S.S. Empress Lilly, a vessel named for Walt Disney’s wife, Lillian.
However, you’re not really going anywhere. This ship remains permanently docked throughout your meal.
You’re eating on a steamboat, but you’re paying Empress Lilly prices.
While budget-focused diners can eat entrees here for as little as $18-$20, the reality is that you’ll likely pay at least $45 per person for the meal.
I quite like the place as a one-time experience. I wouldn’t provide Paddlefish repeat business, though.
Seafood fans may disagree…and the 360-degree view of Disney Springs is inimitable.
Here’s one of the most challenging evaluations on this list. I just mentioned the remarkable dining experience at Paddlefish. That one pales in comparison to Space 220.
To “enter” this restaurant, you must travel into outer space by boarding a space elevator, a stellarvator, and riding it beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.
In other words, you enjoy a mini-attraction before you sit down for your meal. Then, while you dine, Disney will immerse you in the theme even more.
The walls here consist of digital monitors, all of which project (fictional) outer space imagery like astronaut walks and asteroids.
You’ll find the whole thing dizzying…but in the best possible way!
Disney has also themed the meal as if you’re a space traveler devouring quasi-futuristic entrees. Alas, that’s also the con here.
The food here isn’t anything special, while the prices rival even the most expensive options at Walt Disney World.
Seriously, dinner costs $79 per person here before taxes, gratuity, and potential upcharges.
As with Paddlefish, I deem Space 220 a one-time only type of meal unless you fall in love with the concept.
Also, if money is tight, I’d suggest that you simply watch the YouTube video of the experience instead.
$200 meals at Disney just don’t make sense as long as Woody’s Lunch Box exists.
During mid-2021, Disney closed one of its most beloved restaurants, The Wave… of American Flavors.
Management chose this strategy because the eatery’s loyal fans weren’t enough to keep the tables filled. Its reputation far exceeded its popularity.
So, we all held our breath while awaiting the replacement, which proved to be Steakhouse 71.
Then, we tried this restaurant even though we had low expectations…but something strange happened.
We liked the new place as much as the old one! Plus, the prices remained approximately the same as The Wave, one of best value propositions on the Disney campus.
You can order a steak at a reasonable price here, and it’ll taste like one of the best you’ve ever eaten!
This place is terrific and HIGHLY recommended! You’ll struggle to find better bang for your buck at Disney Table Service restaurants.
(We still miss The Wave, though!)
Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood
You’ll find this rooftop restaurant at Gran Destino Tower, the expansion at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.
As the name indicates, the menu here proves remarkably comprehensive. You can order table shareables like Tapas or a flight of Pintxos.
In fact, a couple can order a ridiculously sized Flight of Four Pintxos, albeit for a stiff fee of $145. It’s one of four Signature Chef’s Dinners for Two.
However, Toledo also sells less expensive solo entrees that range from $29-$37. So, you don’t have to break the bank here.
When couples choose this place as a romantic specialty meal, you’ll likely break the bank, though…and Toledo can get SPENDY!
More than anything, you’re paying for the rooftop setting, one complete with views of two different fireworks presentations at EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Is that worth $200 after taxes and tip? I would argue no, but you will disagree if you adore rooftop dining.
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Feature Photo: Disney