I didn’t mean for this series to go past two parts, but it started getting pretty lengthy when I added food information to Part 2 about the Parks. Theme park food generally comes down to chicken fingers and churros — satisfying enough but also tiring after x number of days. Disney World definitely has its fair share, but it also has a wide range of food that fits different budgets and cuisine cravings. This post highlights some of my favorites.
Be Our Guest Restaurant
One of the highlights of the trip! We got reservations here for my mom’s official birthday dinner. I had heard lots of great things about the restaurant, so my expectations were somewhat high. The restaurant is located in Beast’s Castle in the new Fantasyland extension of the park. It’s basically in a back corner, making it feel very isolated. Adding to that isolation feel, you cross a bridge to get to the castle, and they don’t keep the castle doors open. Doors only open when it’s your party’s turn to be seated.
There are 3 dining rooms — the main ballroom, the West Wing, and the Rose Gallery. We were seated in the West Wing which, while dark and gloomy, also might be the coolest room. (The main ballroom is gorgeous too, though.) The West Wing features the famous enchanted rose, whose petals fall off slowly, and a portrait of the Prince, with flashes of the Beast when most of the petals fall.
The food is easily some of the best I’ve had in the parks. I had the Sautéed Shrimp and Scallops with a glass of L’ombre de la Bete Chardonnay, the house white. For dessert, I tried the grey stuff and it was delicious! (It’s a cookies and cream mousse on top of a chocolate crust.) The cauliflower au gratin that comes with the pork chop is also incredible cheesy goodness.
The Rose & Crown
EPCOT easily has the most diverse cuisine choices. The International Festival of the Arts this time of year also meant there were a bunch of pop up food stands set up as well. For another big family seated dinner we chose The Rose & Crown at the UK Pavilion. It’s a classic British pub featuring a dark-wood interior, hearty British fare, and a fair selection of beers/beer cocktails.
My meal? Bangers and Mash with a dark and tan. I highly recommend the bangers and mash — really rich flavors and textures. For dessert? Banoffee tart (Banana, Jameson Irish Whiskey-Caramel, Sweet Cream, and Chocolate), another solid decision.
Sci Fi Diner
I LOVE this place — mostly for the ambiance but the food is fine too. I just love the outside-inside drive-in atmosphere and the B Movie trailers and retro cartoons they play while you eat. (Though, honestly, they could stand to extend the clip selection a bit. We went through 1.5 cycles during our meal.) Food is standard American fare. I had a Southwest Vegetarian Burger with a spiked Oreo milkshake which acted as both my cocktail and dessert.
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto
For some pre-Ohana cocktails, we went to Trader Sam’s at the Polynesian. Trader Sam’s is an “interactive” Tiki bar with limited seating. When certain cocktails are ordered, the room changes — with different lights, sounds, and sights for each. If tiki drinks are your thing, you won’t be disappointed either. I had the HippopotoMai-tai (and ended up leaving with the souvenir glass) and the Castaway Crush.
Tip: Get there early if you want to get in quickly and easily. It’s pretty popular and there’s limited seating. For reference, we lined up at around 3:30PM for a 4:00PM opening and were the fourth party in line. (This was also in the middle of January.)
This again is getting pretty long. So here’s a quick snapshot of some other things I ate/drank that I would recommend.
Drinks: Coco-jito at the Sandbar and the Bay Lake Sunset at the Top of the World (both at the Contemporary Resort), Lost on Safari cocktail at Dawa Bar (Animal Kingdom), Dole Whip Float at Aloha Isle (Magic Kingdom Park), The Scottish Professor and The Bitter Barkeep at Jock Lindsay’s Hangar Bar (Disney Springs), Cokes of the world at Club Cool (EPCOT), Mint Julep at the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge (Hollywood Studios)
Eats: Character breakfast buffet at Chef Mickey’s (Contemporary resort), Lefse at Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe (Norway, EPCOT), Pot Roast at 50’s Prime Time Cafe (Hollywood Studios), Tikka Masala Sausage at Harambe Market (Animal Kingdom), Shrimp mac and cheese at Columbia Harbour House.
Other Recommendations: While I didn’t do these things this time around, I also recommend eating at Chefs de France in EPCOT, Jiko and Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Coral Reef Restaurant in EPCOT, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in EPCOT.