Should You Eat at These Disney Restaurants in 2023?
Deciding where you want to eat at Walt Disney World never feels easy.
The problem with having 200 different choices is that you may feel overwhelmed.
So, MickeyBlog occasionally evaluates some dining options to let you know whether we think they’re worth the time, effort, and cash.
Should you eat at these Disney restaurants in 2023? Read on to find out!
You’ll find Flying Fish on Disney’s BoardWalk, the entertainment district behind EPCOT’s International Gateway.
The stylistic design of the BoardWalk may create a bit of confusion since the buildings tend to blend together.
Just look for the snappy blue sign! It’s hard to miss. If you don’t notice it, scan for the Trattoria al Forno sign and walk past the AbracadaBar to find Flying Fish.
While many of the restaurants at the BoardWalk have earned glowing reputations over the years, Flying Fish generally finishes at the top of the list.
For example, TripAdvisor voters have graded Flying Fish among the top 100 restaurants in Orlando at the time of publication. That’s out of more than 2,150 eateries!
This intimate dining experience feels decidedly un-Disney in that you won’t notice any sort of theming here. It’s just a really good seafood place.
In terms of meal quality, there isn’t one. Flying Fish holds the sort of rare, universal appeal that is difficult to find anywhere, much less near a theme park.
The primary cons are more about the restaurant itself. The lightning here hints that it’s more of a date night option than a place for a group of friends to break bread together.
Also, this place is decidedly not Disney-like in its style and tone. It’s simply an excellent restaurant that happens to be near EPCOT on the Disney campus.
When you’re celebrating something at Disney, Flying Fish should hold a spot on your shortlist when you prefer haute cuisine to more of an experiential meal.
Conversely, you can always celebrate at home once you’ve returned from your trip.
While you’re at Disney, you may prefer to do things that are more Disney-like. If so, Flying Fish isn’t your best bet.
Hollywood Brown Derby
You’ll find Hollywood Brown Derby near Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Let’s say that you’re facing the entrance. You’ll want to turn right toward the courtyard. The Hollywood Brown Derby has remained in this location since its opening in 1989!
You’re participating in legitimate Hollywood history when you eat here. In 1926, screen legend Gloria Swanson’s ex-husband opened the Brown Derby.
This restaurant quickly became the most prestigious place to do lunch in Hollywood. In 1987, before Hollywood Studios opened, Disney licensed the franchise.
When Disney-MGM Studios opened in 1989, the restaurant served as a direct connection to the golden age of Hollywood.
Even though the Brown Derby has since died as a franchise, Hollywood Studios maintains this direct link…and the world-famous Cobb salad!
The Hollywood Brown Derby serves the original recipe for this salad, among other dishes.
So, when you order the Cobb salad, you’re sharing the same meal with Clark Gable and Lucille Ball! That’s pretty great, right?
Like Flying Fish, Disney’s version of the Hollywood Brown Derby falls into a unique category. Disney lists this restaurant as a Signature Dining experience.
When you hear the words “Signature Dining,” you should mentally substitute “super-expensive!”
Most of the appetizers here cost $18 or more, while most entrees are over $50.
So, dinner for two here will almost always cost at least $100. You may prefer a Quick Service meal and some Disney Genie+/Lightning Lane purchases instead.
Whenever people ask me about dining at Hollywood Brown Derby, I suggest that you try it once. You may discover it’s not for you.
The ambiance here definitely feels elitist, especially for a place that shares the same block as Runaway Railway.
Still, I know plenty of Disney fanatics who would rank Hollywood Brown Derby among the top five Disney restaurants overall. That makes it worth a try!
You’ll find this cleverly themed mess hall near Avatar Flight of Passage at Pandora – The World of Avatar.
Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse.
No other dessert at Walt Disney World looks and tastes this good. It’s a work of art that packs a mighty flavor punch, too.
Due to the massive size of the mess hall, it’s one of the best places to find a table at Animal Kingdom. However, it’s also one of the most popular places to eat.
So, the crowds you face here will rival the ones at Avatar Flight of Passage. Meanwhile, the food isn’t for everyone. It’s tasty, for sure.
Not everyone loves protein bowls, though. During the restaurant’s early days, it offered an equal number of cheeseburger pods.
Alas, the current menu only features one such Bao Bun (unless we count the kid’s menu).
So, if you don’t like protein bowls, this isn’t the place for you.
Due to the location, you’re likely to try this place at some point. Reaching a non-Pandoran restaurant will require quite a hike. When you’re hungry, you’ll just stop here.
When you do, you’re likely to enjoy the place. TripAdvisor ranks Satu’li Canteen among the top 25 Quick Bites in Orlando. It has also ranked as high as ranked 99th of 3274 restaurants in Orlando.
In other words, most guests leave Satu’li Canteen feeling satisfied.
You’ll find Space 220 beside Mission: SPACE at EPCOT’s World Discovery. And you’ll have no problem knowing whether you’re there.
The first thing that will happen once Disney calls your name is that you’ll ride the Stellarvator into outer space. It’s like a pre-meal Disney ride!
Space 220 has earned the title of the most immersive dining experience at Walt Disney World.
You will genuinely buy into the illusion that you’re eating a meal as you orbit Earth.
Disney has disguised full-sized digital monitors as “walls.” They’ll show all sorts of astronautical activities. You may even notice an astronaut puppy floating around!
The entire meal will include this sort of outer-space entertainment. It embodies the best of modern Disney Imagineering, and you will adore the whole show.
Remember how I mentioned the prices as a negative for Flying Fish and the Hollywood Brown Derby? Yeah, those places are comparatively cheap. I wish I were joking.
Dinner at Space 220 costs $79 per person plus tax. Also, the restaurant offers add-on menu items that will increase the price to more than $200 per couple.
The cuisine at Space 220 proves remarkably high-end. It’s almost enough to justify the price of admission on its own.
Still, the Stellarvator and outer space theming will be what puts this meal over the top. You absolutely MUST try Space 220 at least once in your life!
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