By guest blogger Chris Andrews of Theme Park Foodie
Visitors to Walt Disney World often spend their mealtimes exploring the great food options in the four theme parks, but there is also a world of choice outside of the parks in Disney’s 18 resort hotels. Many locations feature multiple dining options to choose from. With a variety of serving styles and prices, something can be found for everyone’s tastes. We’ve chosen three dining locations at three Disney World resorts, each offering a different experience, but all of which have one thing in common: great food!
Art of Animation, Disney’s newest resort, raises the bar for the "value" resort category. The Landscape of Flavors food court is no exception. Many of the resorts offer a quick-service, cafeteria-style eatery, but this is one of the best on Disney property. Instead of the standard burgers and fries that many guests have come to expect, Landscape of Flavors offers unique dishes, including Mongolian beef stir fry or the caprese sandwich. The food court-style setup means that reservations are never required and it’s easy to get as much or as little as you want. We sometimes visit just for the gelato!
Atmosphere also sets Landscape of Flavors apart from similar restaurants in other resorts. Keeping with the animation theme, guests can choose to sit in one of four different seating areas - the Little Mermaid, Lion King, Finding Nemo or Cars. Each section features artwork commissioned specifically for this restaurant. [Price Range: $6-$12 per entrée]
Beaches and Cream offers table service or take-out dining in a cozy setting just off the gorgeous pool complex at the Beach Club Resort. Themed to a classic 1950s soda shop, the restaurant offers typical dinner fare like burgers and sandwiches, though those aren’t the stars of the show. If you’re ready for dessert and have 3 (or more) hungry friends, try the signature Kitchen Sink. With 8 scoops of ice cream, caramel, hot fudge, peanut butter, every topping offered and a whole can of whipped cream, this behemoth treat will leave you stuffed. If you can’t round up extra people to come with you, Beaches and Cream also offers “smaller” sundaes (though once they’re sitting in front of you they look anything but). We liked the "No Way Jose," which contains huge scoops of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, peanut butter, caramel, whipped cream and chocolate chips. It’s a great way to end a meal or a perfect "just because" sweet snack. [Price Range: $8-$15 per entrée, $8-$26 for desserts]
Our pick for the best of the Disney resort restaurants is ‘Ohana. This Polynesian Resort restaurant invites you to become one of the family and offers all-you-can-eat Hawaiian-themed food. The wait staff brings the food straight to the table, so it’s easy to sit back, relax and enjoy the view. If you time your reservation right, you may catch a glimpse of the Magic Kingdom fireworks show, Wishes, while you eat. ‘Ohana is one of the premier dining options at the Disney resorts, reflected in the $36 price tag (excluding drinks), but we think it’s well worth the cost. The appetizers are great, but it’s important to save room for the main course featuring steak, shrimp, pork, and chicken (we love the steak and shrimp).
Although not the main attraction like the Kitchen Sink at Beaches and Cream, ‘Ohana’s dessert is an equally delectable bread pudding with banana foster sauce. Make sure you come hungry and spend some time strolling the beach to digest afterwards. [Price Range: $16-36]
No matter what your budget, the Disney resorts have dining options for everyone. From the quick service, food court-style meals like Landscape of Flavors to full service sit-down meals like ‘Ohana, there are lots of locations to explore and taste. During your next visit to the Walt Disney World resort, set aside some time to explore some of the dining options that the resorts have to offer!
Chris Andrews is a writer for Theme Park Foodie, a blog that highlights dining and cuisine opportunities at theme parks throughout the United States with a focus on Central Florida. TPF, an UrbanSpoon featured blog, features content on Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens and more! Join the theme park food conversation on Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Facebook.