Every trip to Disney World is different. My first vacation there was all about the attractions and the characters. Food was just something I had to eat really fast in between attractions to keep me alive and running around. But things definitely started to change from my third visit on. Isn´t it interesting how the older you get, the higher you score food in your list of priorities? Food starts to, actually, be a synonym for “fun”. And nobody does “fun” as good as Disney, right?!
Once you try some thematic Disney Resort restaurants, you will want to make sure they are part of all of your next Disney trips. I definitely became a fan of a few of them! Today I share here with you a list of my favorites!
This might be my favorite restaurant inside Disney Parks! Definitely a must-go if you are looking for a romantic dinner for two.
Before I knew anything about Disney restaurants and that I had to reserve a table quite a while in advance (and by this I mean monthS ahead!), I tried to spontaneously have dinner at San Angel Inn after a fun and tiresome day at Epcot. Of course, the restaurant was fully booked. I got so disappointed that the following time we booked our Disney vacation, this was the first place I rushed to reserve.
San Angel Inn is located in the Mexico pavillion, inside the big beautiful pyramid in front of the Epcot lake. You gotta make sure you arrive way earlier in order to spend some time walking around before your dinner. Disney scenery personel did an a-m-a-z-i-n-g job here!
Once you enter the pyramid, a whole new world opens before your eyes. You are immediately transported to this beautiful and alive 17th-century Mexican street market under the twilight. Here you find many Mexican products like T-shirts, hats and decoration items (it will be hard to resist a dia de los muertos colorful skull!). Sometimes there are mariachis playing around the market, which adds to the whole atmosphere. It is definitely a romantic fiesta!
The dazzling restaurant looks like an hacienda, and is located at the other end of the market. The tables sit right under a Mayan pyramid with a volcano on the backdrop. It´s just gorgeous! When we sat down, I took some minutes to admire the graceful rustic ambience.
The service was extremely kind and the food, amazing! I had camarones al ajillo, while Mathias had tacos. We were both very happy with the taste and the quantity.
You should definitely not miss a drink called La Cava Avocado, a kind of avocado margarita. Yes, it sounds weird, but I promise you it tastes amazing!
A trip to Africa has always been a dream of mine. Until I can´t fulfill this goal, I keep jumping at every chance I have to experience a bit of this continent. When I read about Sanaa, I had to try it!
Sanaa is a thematic African restaurant inside the Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom´s Villas. To go for a meal at Sanaa is also a great excuse to walk around this hotel, which is amazingly beautiful! We parked our car in the garage and only the way up to the restaurant already dazzled us. The wooden and thatch architecture is incredible! There are also charming arched doors and windows, plenty of african cultural artifacts and carved wood memorabilia.
The restaurant follows the hotel decor with a more colorful approach. The atmosphere is very rustic and comfortable. Don´t forget to look up, by the way! The ceiling is decorated as giant tree leaves!
I definitely advise you to arrive early and get a seat next to one of the big windows, so you can admire the animals walking around outside. It´s possible to see ostriches, zebras, antelopes, giraffes and others. I love to go there for the first breakfast hour, when it´s quiet and you can admire the view with the early morning sunlight and a nice cup of tea. Another tip is to go up the terrace to see the animals from an upper level.
The food is simple but very good! For breakfast, they work as a quick service restaurant. That means you can choose some basic stuff from a grab-and-go display, pay, and then, if you would like, choose some other stuff a la carte to complement your meal. There are options like waffles, hash browns with sausages, and quinoa dried fruit salad. For lunch and dinner, you can experience african and Indian culinary. Some of the interesting options are the tandoori chicken, the beef kabab and the Indian bread service (breads and sauces), which is a big hit! This is a restaurant that deserves more than one visit, since your experience at night will be completely different than the one during the day.
It´s definitely a nice place to start your day or to finish it, specially if you plan on going to Animal Kingdom park on the same day!
This is a great choice inside the Hollywood Studios park if you are a fan of vintage items and is looking for some family fun!
The 50´s Prime Time Café will teleport you straight to your American aunt´s kitchen in the 50´s. What? You don´t have an aunt in the US? Well, once you step inside, you will have one…at least as long as your lunch or dinner lasts.
This is not just a meal, this is an experience! It starts when your name is yelled (I did use the right word here, in case you are wondering) by the waitress who will be serving your table. She will be in character throughout the whole thing, asking you to do everything you would expect a mom or an aunt to ask: to set up the table, to eat your vegetables, to watch your manners….Elbows on the table?! Big no-no! And, boy, you don´t want to test their patience! But, if you are good, you might end up getting some ice cream after you leave your plate spotless….
The scenery here is amazing! You should definitely take some time to snoop around and check out the memorabilia. If you are lucky, you may be seated at a table with a reto tv where you can watch real tv shows from the 50´s. As a fan of Bewitched, the Lucy Show, and I Dream of Jeannie, this is my favorite feature of the whole restaurant!
The food is also pretty tasty. They serve classic American comfort food, like pot pies, fried chicken and spaguetti with meatballs. We all shared the Grandpa´s crab cake, which was to die for. Then I ordered a chicken pot pie as main dish, Mathias chose the Cousin Harold’s Vegetable Lasagna, my dad ate the caesar salad with chicken, and my mom ordered the sampler plate, which came with fried chicken, meatloaf and fork-tender pot roast.
The portions are h-u-g-e! Even I, who normally has the hunger of an American football player, couldn´t finish my dish. This is also a great place to eat dessert and drink milkshakes, if you can still fit them inside after the meal!
If, for any reason, you don´t have a reservation, you can still sit at the bar area and have a retro drink admiring the vintage decoration of the bar and the waiting areas.
I know, this is technically no restaurant. It´s more like a food square, where you grab a table and then go line up to order your food at the window that offers the menu you like the most. Still, because of the decoration, the ambience, and the food, it is one of my favorite places to eat!
The Harambe Market is located inside the Animal Kingdom park, at the African section. It´s the perfect place to stop and grab lunch in between attractions. Here you will have an 80´s African market feel, with four windows to order and pick up food/drinks from. There aren´t many options, that´s true, but what they have is delicious and fulfilling. Mathias loved the pork sausage, while I would go back for their barbecue ribs anytime! We have also tried their lamb and beef gyros, which didn´t disappoint either.
Don´t make the mistake of eating and leaving. Take some time to walk around and appreciate all the effort (and color!) that was put into this section of the park. You will find so many rich details, like old advertisement pamphlets for the market, African hand-made items “for sale” and vintage bikes/motorcycles.
One thing that needs to be said: the Harambe Market is not the best option during peak season at Disney. The square is not huge, so it might be difficult to find a table when the park is full!
If you, like me, love the 50´s and 60´s American culture, you cannot miss this restaurant located inside the Hollywood Studios park.
The Sci-fi dine-in looks exactly like a drive-in : the tables are actually vintage cars facing a huge screen showing parts of real old science fiction movies and commercials. You don´t even need to be a fan to enjoy it – I, myself, don´t like sci-fi, but you are so caught up in the atmosphere that the movies are just a piece that makes the whole experience cool af!! Still, I recommend to give the movies a chance: many are interesting and the names are hilarious!
The restaurant serves classic diner specials like burgers and sandwiches. I had the beef and blue burger, Mathias had the philly cheese steak sandwich , my dad the chicken pasta and my mom the shrimp and crab fondue. My parents were super happy with their meal! Mathias and I, on the other hand, expected more. I can´t say the food was bad, but you do expect to eat the best burger of your life in an American diner, and this wasn´t the case. Still, my Oreo Cookie Milkshake was a dreaaaam!
Take some time to admire the details around you, Disney is a pro at adding meaninful little touches to every scenery. In the Sci-Fi Dine-in, for example, all the car license plates are from states where the most UFO sightings have occurred 😉
Oh, and a very important PS: this is one of the few restaurants you will be glad to have to wait to be seated. While you stand by at the counter area, they will serve rounds of freshly popped popcorn straight out of the machine! YUM!
How about you? Do you have a favorite Disney restaurant? Let us know in the comments!