Where did we leave off? Oh yeah, I HEART MY TRAVEL AGENT. Guys, really that post is a must read because that is the FIRST step in my planning Disney. How often do you plan Disney, you may ask? We do an annual trip every year with our kids and pull out all the stops like staying on property, fun souvenirs, shows, and (you guessed it) DISNEY DINING!
Honest to you, eating in Disney is my favorite. I swear I wear my Joey-from-Friends stretchy pants and expect to live the following month in the local gym because I enjoy eating while there so much. We are such foodies, my family & I. My husband picks with me that as soon as we are through with one meal, I am already planning the next. So Disney is the perfect place for us to indulge because I get to plan and research all the fun, good food they have to offer and plan our trip accordingly around each meal of the day.
How do we afford all the dining? FREE DISNEY DINING
Look here, some people say it’s a scam and that the price is built in or whatever but every time I price it with free dining OH MY WORD there is a whole bunch of savings there! So I wait until FREE dining is on an offer (or my sweet travel agent adds it to our existing reservation when it’s released) and we SAVE THAT CASH! When you have 6 mouths to feed on a vacation, every penny counts right!? Free dining it is, saves me from packing a bunch of sandwiches each morning of our vacation plus we get to eat OH SO GOOD food that someone else has to do the dishes for. It is vacation, after all!
So what are our favorite places to eat at Disney World? Mmmmmm I am SO glad you asked!
The Wave (The Contemporary Bottom Floor)
Y’all. Shut your mouth good food! We actually ended up eating here by mistake on a girls Disney trip a few years ago and I have booked this one on our schedule ever since. We ate Christmas Dinner here last year during our Holiday trip to Disney. It’s such good food, fresh & local. They have a great selection of seafood, vegetables, & meats. Nothing we have eaten we have ever been disappointed in. Top Pick!
Mama Melrose (Hollywood Studios)
O boy! I hope you like Italian food because the portions are HUGE here! We could have all shared one lasagne, much less a full 3 course meal as the dining plan offers. We all ended up taking Doggy Bags & our desserts to go because no one could fit another bite into their stuffed bellies! The ambiance is good as well, like all Disney restaurants to service is incredible. It is one not on a lot of people’s radars so easy to get last minute reservations.
Hollywood & Vine (Hollywood Studios)
Surprisingly this restaurant has not so great reviews. We ended up here after plans went array on our December Disney trip but I am so glad we did. We aren’t crazy about buffet style, for various reasons, so I was kind of leaning towards not even eating at all. But to my SHOCK the food was incredible! They have a lobster Mac-n-Cheese that we wrote home about (really- we wrote home!) and the fish & meat selection was cooked with amazing seasoning. Not bland at all like a lot of buffets! The dessert bar was of course a crowd favorite, we all had dunked marshmallows and fruits from the chocolate fountain (side note: the servers dunk it for you for health reasons-boo). Now they also have a Hollywood & Vine Star Wars character meal for 2 table service credits! Put this one on your short list for sure.
Sunshine Seasons (Epcot)
This quick service option is MY FAVORITE PICK for Epcot. Gosh, they have all sorts of different foods to choose from like Chinese (my favorite) and even a huge rotisserie style chicken leg! Options from all different types of cuisines, we really enjoy eating at this one after we ride Living with the Land & Soarin’
Wolf Gang Puck Express (Downtown Disney)
Another quick service favorite pick, we choose to eat at this one on our “shopping night”. After we let the kids go grab spend their money they’ve earned (more about that later) we relax and have a great meal at Wolfe Gang Puck Express. They have all sorts of options from sandwiches to salmon to pizzas, you can even choose to sit at the butcher block table by the kitchen to watch them cook! Such a cool place and a great value for just 1 quick service credit!
Tutto Italia Ristorante (Epcot)
Can you tell we like Italian food? Ha! This is another great one, and is voted “best value” to use on the dining plan because it’s entrees average about $36 but it is only 1 table service credit! The food here is incredible. Traditional Italian food, nothing we have eaten has been bad but we are especially fond of the lobster & cheese ravioli and the lasagne is also awesome. Just make sure you top off dinner with their Tiramisu or a Cannoli. Yum!
Honorable Mentions Include:
Chef Mickey (Contemporary)- We LOVE the characters and the atmosphere here, hard to get a reservation though.
Akershus (Epcot)- The food is a little odd, but the buffet of meats, seafood, and cheeses as your appetizer will fill you up! Plus the Princesses are always a pleasure to dine with.
1900 Park Fare (Grand Floridian)- This is our FAVORITE breakfast so far, just a good down home southern cooked breakfast with made to order omelets, grits, and bananas foster french toast! The seating here isn’t that great and it’s hard to get good pictures with the characters which is why it makes the HM list.
Tusker House (Animal Kingdom)- Options here are plentiful for breakfast, which is the only meal we have had here. The juice is awesome! Here is a secret for those that have had this juice and love it: you can buy it at the store! It’s Simply Orange with Mango, our local Publix carries it.
So what restaurants are on our list to try on our upcoming trip? I am going a little rogue and trying lots of restaurants that we have never been to! Those include:
Teppan Edo (Japanese Hibachi Style in Epcot)
Ohana (Polynesian Resort)
California Grill (Contemporary)
Crystal Palace (Magic Kingdom)
I am SO excited about our new foodie adventures that lay ahead of us on this trip! You better believe I will be reporting back to let y’all know which ones were keepers and which ones we will leave for the other Disney guests to enjoy. I may even have a few surprise food eats up my sleeve for this trip, so you’ll have to stay tuned. If I say it on here I may ruin my husband’s surprises! I always like to have some tricks up my sleeve.
So now it’s your turn, what’s your favorite Disney eats? Head over to the ESM Facebook page & share underneath this post! Now I am headed to go apply my weight loss trio of Young Living oils because after all this food talk, those brownies in the kitchen are calling my name REALLY LOUD!
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. When you use them, you help support this site. Thanks so much!