Evan and I enjoying treats from The Merchant of Venus
Evan refusing to smile at Rainforest Cafe
I wonder where he gets it from?
Evan and I enjoying goodies from Merchant of Venus
Entertainment at Beirgarten in Epcot
Enjoying Breakfast at Tusker House
Nicole, Goofy and I at Tusker House Breakfast
Nicole, Mickey and I at Tusker House Breakfast
Me and Daisy at Tusker House
Nicole and Daisy at Tusker House
Excited faces at Breakfast
Will and Nicole
What 5 leftover Disney snack credits buys you!
Hula lesson (no one in my fam would participate).
Boys and their video games!
Dewey shot me with Evan's Buzz Lightyear gun!
Enjoying a back scratcher before dinner. It was a very damp Disney day today!
Cinnamon Roll from Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom
Enjoying Yak & Yeti counter service lunch
Dining at Disney can be overwhelming because there are SO many choices. I will not claim to have made the best choices, but here is where we ate. I’ve included a short review of each place but feel free to leave a comment with any additional questions you may have. Edited to add: We used the Disney Dining plan for this trip which I explained here. You have the option of going with the dining plan if you stay at most Disney resorts. All the restaurants below can also be reserved by non-Dining plan guests through the Disney dining reservation system. If you plan to eat at table service (sit down) restaurants, I can’t recommend making reservations enough…it is a MUST because they fill up really, really fast.
Table Service Meals - These meals definitely take the most planning. Go ahead and reserve them knowing that you will probably need to change at least a few of them. To get the most out of them, pick places where you will spend at least $30 for entree plus dessert. Dinner is always the better value for table service meals. Some character dining options take one table credit and some take two so make sure & confirm.
- Raglan Road Irish Pub - Downtown Disney – A favorite for the whole family. The food was great, the service was great and there was live music and celtic dancing. Highlights were the lamb shank and the bread pudding.
- Tusker House Breakfast with Donald Duck, Daisy, Mickey & Goofy - Animal Kingdom – We have done this dinner twice now. It is a great character experience and the breakfast is really good. It’s a great way to kick off a day at Animal Kingdom. The breakfast is an all you can eat buffet. It has standard items like eggs, bacon, sausage and Mickey waffles. I enjoy the not so standard items like potato & leek fritatta, baked plantains and carved ham with mustard sauce.
- Yak & Yeti - Animal Kingdom – Yak & Yeti serves asian fusion cuisine. Originally, we planned to visit Yak and Yeti for lunch because we couldn’t get in for dinner. Since our first day was FREEZING, we spent less time at the parks than expected so I decided to see what table service restaurants had availability for that night. The Yak & Yeti came up so we headed there. Everyone really enjoyed their meals. It had Evan’s favorite kid meal of the entire trip….vegetarian lo mein. He devoured it! The mango pie dessert was amazing as well.
- Rainforest Cafe - Downtown Disney – The kids loved Rainforest Cafe. There are fake animals that move, a rainstorm every 20 minutes, fountains, fish….on and on. It’s like an amusement park in a restaurant. The food was actually pretty good but it took FOREVER and then was cold when it got to the table. Overall it was an okay experience but not the best by along shot.
- O’hana - Polynesian Resort – This is an all you can eat family style restaurant specializing in grilled meats. Waiters bring skewers of chicken, pork, steak or shrimp to your table. You can take as much as you would like & they keep coming around. I found that the chicken and pork were a bit dry but the shrimp and steak were really good. You also get salad with citrus honey dressing (super yummy), stir fried noodles, broccoli, and coconut bread. The best part of the whole meal was the bread pudding dessert. YUM!
- Via Napoli - Italy Pavilion in Epcot – Via Napoli is a thin crust pizzeria that also has other Italian dishes. We all ordered pizza and it was very delicious. I was a bit turned off by how they do the meal plan. If you calculate it out, you should spend about $30 for table service to break even on the meal plan. Their Margarita pizza was $16 but each additional topping was $3.95. The meal plan only covered the pizza so any toppings were extra and billed directly to you. That seems really ridiculous to me…I don’t think it should be unlimited but you should be able to get a couple before it’s extra. They did have a few prebuilt pizzas to chose from but many were vegetarian and not overly kid friendly.
- Biergarten - Germany Pavilion in Epcot – Who doesn’t love all you can eat sausages? My family loved the Biergarten. German sausages, sauerkraut, red cabbage, schnitzel, spaetzle (or as Evan calls it bumpy noodles) all inside a biergarten that looks like it’s outside but isn’t. There was an awesome band. They even performed using bells and the giant Ricola-type alpine horns.
Quick Service Meals -
- Taqueria del Lago – Mexico Pavilion in Epcot – Definitely one our favorite quick service meals. Evan really enjoyed the cheese empanada kid’s meal. He ate his and one of mine so he really liked them (he normally eats like a bird). Will & Dewey had beef tacos which they said were really good. They have choices of salsa at the condiment bar as well. The highlight of the meal for everyone was the dessert of churros with caramel dipping sauce which were divine.
- Cosmic Rays – Magic Kingdom – I wasn’t all that impressed with Cosmic Rays. The layout is very confusing as you have to go to one of 3 bays to order based on what you want to eat. The condiment bar and the topping bar are also far from each other so it’s easy to miss the toppings bar. This restaurant has a selection of sandwiches, burger-type offerings and rotisserie chicken. Our group had the pulled pork sandwhich (WAY to saucy) and the grilled chicken sandwich (ok). All came with fries. The toppings bar (when we found it) had lettuce, tomato, onions, grilled onions, cheese sauce, etc.
- Tortuga Tavern – Magic Kingdom – I picked this place because a burrito sounded good instead of a burger. I guess I was thinking Chipotle but it definitely did not taste like Chipotle. Since they have a toppings bar with lettuce tomato and salsa, the burritos and salads only get meat, rice, beans on them. This would be okay if the toppings bar were kept stocked but on the day we were there it was all gone. The manager then came out and yelled at the customer that “No one let me know it was all gone!”. Yikes!
- Yak & YetiCounter Service – Around the side of the Yak & Yeti Table service restaurant is a counter service window. Same great food for a counter service credit (much smaller menu)! Each meal is chinese food-ish complete with rice. Very yummy! The chicken mandarin salad is very good.
- Earl of Sandwich – Downtown Disney – AMAZING sandwiches. So good but be ready to order because this is the Soup Nazi of sandwich places. You will get yelled at if you don’t order quick enough. We ordered the French Dip, the Italian sandwich and the kid’s pizza sub. Everyone LOVED them so much that we commented we wished they would open on in Calgary.
- Food to Go – Old Key West Resort – Not even worth commenting on. Normal offerings of burgers, fries, sandwiches.
- Backlot Express - Hollywood Studios – Great selection of grilled panini and wraps. The turkey and the chicken panini were both very good.
Snacks – We had a hard time using up our snack credits. I didn’t want to waste them on things like water but that’s mostly what we did. Eating two meals per day at the park left us too full to eat snacks.
- Main Street Bakery – Magic Kingdom – OMG…the cinnamon rolls here are HUGE and delicious. We shared one between 4 of us. They also have very delicious ice cream cookie sandwiches that I really wanted to try but never got to.
- Merchant of Venus – Magic Kingdom – Yummy soft serve ice cream products including floats (with soda or iced coffee), sundaes, etc.
- Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Bar – everywhere – so iconic and so yummy…..just don’t read the nutrition info!
- Bakery at Norway Pavilion – Epcot – I really wanted to try one of their sweet pretzels but they weren’t a part of the meal plan. Instead we tried the School Bread, Dreamberry Horns and cherry danish. All were delish but the school bread was the best.
We ended up with 5 snack credits at the end of the trip so I bought bagged snack mixes to bring home. Yum!