Former Cast Member’s Best Restaurants at Disney World + Photos

  • I worked at Disney World and have been visiting and eating at the parks my entire life.
  • I love dining with characters at Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom and Garden Grill at Epcot.
  • They are pricey, but California Grill, Be Our Guest, and Ohana are great for special occasions.

As someone who has been to Disney World my entire life and even worked there for two years, I love experiencing all of the property’s amazing dining experiences.

I now live in the Orlando area and often venture to parks and resorts for meals.

After spending a lot of money on my foodie adventures, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite Disney World restaurants.

Crystal Palace makes me feel like a kid again

kayleigh posing with piglet at crystal palace

The characters go to each table.

Kayleigh price

Crystal Palace is located on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom and has large windows offering beautiful views of Cinderella Castle.

The food is an all-you-can-eat buffet. I went for breakfast and dinner and enjoyed it each time.

During their meal, Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger and Piglet go from table to table to meet everyone.

It’s so pure to see everyone meet their favorite childhood characters. They even invite children to parade through the restaurant in a parade.

Whispering Canyon Cafe is great fun for an affordable price

kayleigh pretending to eat a hamburger with a big knife in the cafe whispering canyon

Servers are hilarious at Whispering Canyon Cafe.

Kayleigh price

The Whispering Canyon Cafe at the Wilderness Lodge serves affordable homemade food like skillets, burgers, pulled pork, loaded nachos and more.

In addition to the amazing food, the servers are absolutely hilarious and will have you laughing the entire time. I don’t want to give too much away, but if you decide to go, you should definitely order the ketchup for a treat.

The experience has been different each time I’ve been, which always makes me want to come back.

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ is by far my favorite restaurant at Disney Springs

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ food and drinks are out of this world – especially if you’re looking for classic Southern-style cuisine.

It serves crackers and dips, chicken and dumplings, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and so many variations on the best fried chicken I’ve ever had (I’m not exaggerating).

There are also several different flavors of brandy on the menu.

California Grill Is Expensive But Worth Spending At Least Once

kayleigh and friends posing on the porch of the california grill

The California Grill’s balcony is a great spot for photos.

Kayleigh price

I had the best dining experience of my life at California Grill.

I only went once because it’s so expensive so I wouldn’t recommend it being a regular occurrence if you’re on a budget. But the service, cooking and experience is amazing.

The restaurant is on the top floor of the Contemporary Resort and has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom.

My favorite part is that if you’re going to dine at the time of the Magic Kingdom fireworks show, you can watch it while enjoying your meal. You can also step out onto the balcony for a better view.

This was a once-in-a-lifetime meal, and I think every Disney fan should try it at least once.

I have real dreams about the food at Ohana

ohana disney world restaurant food platter

I recommend the noodles at Ohana.

Kayleigh price

I always have a craving for Ohana’s food, especially the noodles. It’s one of the more expensive restaurants on this list, but I’m confident it’s worth the price.

The restaurant is located in the Polynesian Resort and serves all you can eat, family style food for breakfast and dinner.

There are three courses for dinner, starting with an appetizer of green salad and bread. The main course includes chicken wings, pork dumplings and a skillet of noodles with beef and shrimp. And for dessert, you can taste the famous bread pudding from the restaurant à la mode.

The Polynesian is my favorite resort on the property, so I love the Ohana ambiance. There are live singers walking around playing the ukulele and floor-to-ceiling windows that offer sweeping views of the Magic Kingdom.

Sci-Fi Dine-in transports you to a 1950s drive-in movie theater

Sci-Fi Dine-in at Hollywood Studios is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

You sit in a car in front of a huge screen showing scenes from different science fiction movies in black and white.

The food isn’t top-of-the-line, but it’s a good, moderately priced meal with menu items like onion rings, chicken fingers, burgers, and pasta.

There is also a wide range of specialty milkshakes.

I had dinner at the Grand Floridian Cafe for breakfast, lunch and dinner – it’s all delicious

Grand Floridian Cafe French Toast

Brioche French Toast from the Grand Floridian Cafe.

Kayleigh price

I’ve been to the Grand Floridian Cafe for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, and each time I’ve loved what I’ve gotten.

I recommend the French Onion Soup, Lobster Burger, Omelet and French Brioche Toast. And I love the free orange butter cookies that come with every meal.

It’s also a big bang for your buck. The restaurant is located inside the Grand Floridian Resort, one of the luxury resorts on the property. But the restaurant’s prices are quite affordable considering the expensive environment.

Be Our Guest transports me to my favorite Disney movie

Kayleigh and her mother posing with the beast at our guest restaurant

You can meet the Beast at Be Our Guest.

Kayleigh price

Growing up I was always the biggest fan of “Beauty and the Beast”, so naturally when Disney opened Be Our Guest it quickly became one of my favorite restaurants.

It’s another expensive spot so it’s better to save for special occasions, but it’s worth it for me.

The restaurant transports you straight to the movie. The main dining area is inspired by the ballroom in the Beast’s castle. There is also a “West Wing” room with the iconic red rose.

At dinner, you also have the opportunity to meet the Beast, which is fun as the character doesn’t appear often otherwise.

Dinner is a three-course, fixed-price menu with a selection of appetizers, entrees and desserts. He even serves “the gray stuff” from the movie for dessert, which is definitely delicious.

Ale and Compass Serves My Favorite Breakfast at Disney World

Ale and Compass is located at the Yacht Club Resort, and every time I’ve eaten there, I’ve been impressed by how good the food is.

The salted caramel apple French toast is by far my favorite breakfast dish on the property. And for dinner, I love the shrimp pasta, half chicken and Angus strip steak.

Every meal leaves me wanting to come back for more. I know I will never be disappointed with a dish served here.

I love meeting characters while having dinner at the Garden Grill

kayleigh posing with chip at the grill garden at disney world

The squirrels meet at the Garden Grill.

Kayleigh price

The Garden Grill at Epcot offers views of the Living With the Land promenade and dining with Mickey, Chip and Dale. It’s always fun because you never know what to expect from these squirrels.

Food is served family style and is all you can eat. It’s similar to a Thanksgiving feast, with turkey, gravy, beef, mashed potatoes, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, salad and a berry cake.

I love the food, and you’ll get stuffed at a decent price.

You can watch your food being cooked at Teppen Edo

Teppen Edo, located in the Japan Pavilion at Epcot, serves mouthwatering delicious food.

Chefs prepare Japanese-inspired cuisine right in front of you.

You can choose from steak, chicken, seafood and vegan options served with pasta or rice. There are also different sides, including sushi and a variety of vegetables.

The food is out of this world good and the chefs keep you entertained at all times.

Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is my all-time favorite restaurant at Disney World

kayleigh posing in front of the hoopdeedoo magazine sign at disney world

Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue is a dinner theater show.

Kayleigh price

I saved the best for last. Hoop-Dee-Doo is my all-time favorite dining experience at Disney World because of its food, show, energy, and location.

The dinner theater is located in the Fort Wilderness campgrounds and serves an all-you-can-eat family-style meal with three different courses. My favorite parts of the meal are the fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, strawberry shortcake and sweet tea, and endless sangria.

As you eat, there is a musical show going on around you that involves a lot of audience participation. It’s super fun, and I’m always laughing until my stomach hurts.

The show shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic, but Disney recently announced that it is reopening later this month.

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