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Top 5 Disney World Family Restaurants for Dinner

by Brittany Davies on September 24, 2014 22 Orlando

Between racing from attraction to attraction and waiting for parades or fireworks, sitting down to dinner with the family is a welcome reprieve from all the excitement and activity of a day at the Walt Disney World Resort. Opting for a table-service restaurant can give the family a chance to share their favorite parts of the day while refueling for the next one. Whether you have 2-year-olds, 5-year-olds, teenagers, or maybe even some of each, there are plenty of great Disney World family restaurants! With so many restaurants to choose from, deciding where to settle down for dinner can become a bit overwhelming. Every family is different, with different needs and different taste buds, but a few Disney World restaurants stand out for dining together as a family.

Here are my top five Disney World family restaurants:

5. Coral Reef Restaurant

Disney World Family Restaurants

The stunning panoramic underwater views make Coral Reef Restaurant a one-of-a-kind experience that is sure to delight kids and adults alike. Nestled beside Epcot’s The Seas with Nemo & Friends, the restaurant offers phenomenal seafood dishes like the creamy Lobster Orecchiette, an incredible selection of desserts, and a diverse kids menu ranging from seared mahi mahi to tried-and-true cheese pizza.

Disney World family restaurants - Coral Reef

With tranquil tones of swirling blue, dim lighting and soft music, this restaurant is a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of a day in the park. The whole family will be entranced and entertained by the brightly colored fish darting in and out of the reef and the huge sea turtles, looming sharks, and graceful stingrays gliding through the water. A friendly scuba diver might even swim by to wave hello!

4. Beaches and Cream Soda Shop

Disney World Family Restaurants - Beaches 'n' Cream

Walking into Beaches and Cream at Disney’s Beach Club Resort in the Epcot resort area is like strolling into simpler times. This colorful diner is a short walk from Epcot, through the International Gateway between England and France and over the bridge to the Beach Club (or take the Friendship Boats!). The soda fountain-style restaurant serves burgers and sandwiches, including a Vegetarian Falafel sandwich, and of course, ice cream! Kids can choose from healthy, Mickey Check meals like pasta marinara or the turkey sandwich and familiar favorites like hot dogs or macaroni and cheese. Choose some tunes on the classic jukebox while indulging in milkshakes, floats or sumptuous sundaes. Families with a real sweet tooth can take on the Kitchen Sink, eight scoops of ice cream smothered with every topping they have, including brownies, bananas, sprinkles, and a whole can of whipped cream!

3. Tusker House

Disney World Family Restaurants

Tusker House, a buffet-style restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, is one of my family’s absolute favorite places to dine at Disney World. The expansive variety of African style and familiar fare appeals to everyone in the family from vegetarians and adventurous eaters to those who prefer to stick to their familiar favorites. With so many choices like Peri-peri Marinated Baked Salmon, Spit-roasted Chicken, Vegetable Samosas, Macaroni and Cheese, and a variety of soups, pastas, salads, and more, every member of the family is sure to find something to delight their tastebuds.

Tusker House FoodTusker House is a great choice for any meal; however, please note that character dining at this restaurant is for breakfast and lunch only with appearances from Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Daisy and Donald Duck. Tusker House is located in the Harambe Village in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom near the new Festival of the Lion King theater.

2. ‘Ohana

Disney World Family Restaurants

Say Aloha to the island life at this Disney's Polynesian Village Resort restaurant. ‘Ohana is an all-you-care-to-eat Hawaiian meal across the Seven Seas Lagoon from Magic Kingdom. Families are greeted with a warm loaf of pineapple-coconut friendship bread, followed by waves of delicious Polynesian fare, such as honey coriander chicken wings, teriyaki noodles and vegetables, and skewers of pork, steak, and peel and eat shrimp. Dinner finishes off with ‘Ohana’s signature bread pudding a la mode with banana and caramel sauce.

Disney World family restaurants - 'Ohana meat skewers

This might not be the best restaurant for extremely picky eaters, but as at any Disney restaurant, accommodations can be made; just ask the server. While savoring the island flavors, enjoy storytelling and games with the evening’s ukulele-playing hostess. Kids can delight in coconut races and hoola hooping as they wait for the next course. Check the schedule and make reservations close to fireworks time for a spectacular view of the Magic Kingdom display over the lagoon.

1. Chef Mickey’s

Disney World family restaurants - Chef Mickey's

This classic buffet restaurant resides just a short monorail ride away from the Magic Kingdom at Disney's Contemporary Resort and is the best way to meet the Fab Five: Pluto, Donald Duck, Goofy, Minnie Mouse, and Mickey Mouse himself! Chef Mickey’s is the ultimate crowd pleaser, especially for groups with a wide age range. Adventurous eaters can taste flavors from around the world like Thai curry and chipotle BBQ chicken or seasoned salmon filet with mango chutney, while traditional favorites such as pizza, pasta, and chicken nuggets are also available. Mingle with the characters, enjoy impressive views over Bay Lake, and watch Disney’s most famous transportation system, the monorail, as it passes overhead while enjoying a family dinner at Chef Mickey’s.

*At any Disney restaurant, remember to let the server know of any dietary restrictions or special requests. Reservations are highly recommended, and be sure to call ahead to make arrangements for your celebrations and special occasions! Bon Appetit!

What is your favorite Disney World family restaurant? Share in comments below!

Brittany is a lifelong Disney fan and freelance writer, focusing mainly on food and travel tips for the Central Florida area theme parks. Her work has appeared on DisDining.com and Examiner.com. She is best described as an adventure-seeking nerd who loves good food and a good read.

 

View Comments
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Jun 2, 2018 at 4:09 p.m. Linda Baker Says...

Is it possible to book some of the top rated restaurants if you are not staying in the park? Heard they go to them first.

Reply
Jun 4, 2018 at 10:49 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Linda!

You are able to book dining reservations 180 days ahead of time, regardless of whether or not you're staying on property. Good luck!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 27, 2016 at 8:45 p.m. Gary Says...

We're coming in July Pappy, Grandma, 4 parents and 5 grand-kids (ages 3,4,5,6 7). Staying at the Art of Animation, 6-day hopper pass and meal plan. Can you give me some options for possible being able to all eat together for 1-2 dinners and the best choices to do so?

Reply
Dec 27, 2016 at 3:05 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hello Gary,

With the meal plan, your best options for group dinings with kids are one of the many Character Breakfasts. Chef Mickey's at Disney's Contemporary Resort is our top choice, and Donald's Dining Safari at Disney's Animal Kingdom is great as well.

Hoppy Planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Oct 9, 2016 at 11:33 a.m. Catherine Says...

Hi,

All the restaurants above are already booked out :( But I'm just wondering, can you still go to them, just without a reservation?

Thanks!

Reply
Oct 11, 2016 at 12:43 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Catherine,

You can check with them when you arrive, but there are no guarantees.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Sep 24, 2016 at 5:57 p.m. Sally Says...

Hi, we will be visiting with our 4 kids aged 14, 12, 10 and 6. I noticed kids meals are for under 9s but neither my 12 or 10 year old are big eaters. Would we be able to order kids meals for them??

Thanks

Reply
Oct 11, 2016 at 1:28 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sally,

Technically, I don't believe they would, although your server may let you make an exception.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Sep 4, 2016 at 7:27 p.m. Jessica Says...

Hi,

Is O'hana a character dinner?

Reply
Sep 14, 2016 at 4:42 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jessica,

'Ohana offers a character breakfast, but not a dinner.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jul 8, 2016 at 3:47 a.m. Alex Says...

what are some good themed and character dining to go to we are going in October with 3 adults and 2 kids, 13 and 16? And we just went to Cinderellas royal table last trip.

Reply
Jul 11, 2016 at 2:55 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Alex,

Be Our Guest is one of our favorites. If you go for dinner, you can meet Beast. 'Ohana at Disney's Polynesian Resort and Chef Mickey's at Disney's Contemporary Resort are also popular and near Magic Kingdom.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jun 19, 2016 at 7:59 p.m. Gary Pratt Says...

Hi could you recommend a dining show please we have the Disney dining plan,thank you

Reply
Jul 13, 2016 at 6:04 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Gary,

My absolute top choice for dinner shows at Disney is the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue! Spirit of Aloha is great, too, but Hoop Dee Doo is an all-around crowd-pleaser with tons of excellent quality food. It's also a few dollars cheaper than Spirit of Aloha. It really depends on what your family is looking for. Both shows are the equivalent of 2 Dining credits on the Disney Dining Plan or Deluxe Dining Plan, or 1 credit on the Premium or Platinum plans. This may change in 2017.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jun 5, 2016 at 7 p.m. Hannah Davis Says...

Hi. We will be visiting WDW in Christmas and need to know good ideas for new restaurants. I went through the list and found the oneswe have tried. Also we are looking for restaurants that are for a 11 year old and a 13 year old. Please respond quickly. The list is: Chef Mickey, Chef de France, the crystal palace, be our guest, liberty tree tavern, and tusker house. I want to know some other good places.

Reply
Jul 5, 2016 at 10:36 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Hannah,

Sorry for the delay! All of these are great, but we think you'll especially like Chef Mickey's, Be Our Guest and Tusker House.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Mar 30, 2016 at 2:18 p.m. Jo Says...

Hi, we will be visiting WDW in September and just wondered about portion sizes and budgeting for food while there. They are 2 adults and 2 children (6yrs & 9yrs) staying for 2 weeks (both the girls aren't big eaters and prefer to snack over big meals)

Reply
Apr 7, 2016 at 1:48 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jo,

The portions are large. I think you will find that you can do a lot of sharing.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Mar 6, 2016 at 5:47 p.m. Veronica Stewart Says...

Hi can you eat at Disney resort restaraunts if you are not staying at the resort??

Reply
Mar 8, 2016 at 1:39 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Veronica,

Yes, you can! Check out this post:

https://www.undercovertourist.com/blog/ins-outs-disneys-advance-dining-reservation-system

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 10, 2015 at 11:54 a.m. Lela King Says...

My favourite disney restaurants is Chef Mickeys and Tusker house because the food was delicious and tasty. My favourite was the Mickey Waffles, the brownies, chocolate chip cookies, breakfast pizza, macaroni and cheese, vegetables, ice cream, Mickey Mouse oreo cakes, fruit, doughnuts, rice krisp cake, cheese cake, Plutos cheese Blintz and pancakes I put syrup strawberris and cream on and it was very very very very very nice I love chef Mickey and I had a picture with all the characters my favourite is Mickey and Pluto.

Reply
Oct 8, 2014 at 11:08 a.m. john brattesani Says...

the pizza place in little Italy is so fantastic you would think you had been transported to Italy the smells food to die for service fantastic it all makes for a wonderful night

Reply
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