Disney World Restaurants You’ll Need to Try in 2023

in Walt Disney World

A skillet of breakfast food.

Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

There is so much to cover when it comes to your Walt Disney World vacation. Between tickets, park reservations, hotel reservations, Genie+, Lightning Lane, and more, it’s easy to get lost in the details. One thing you DON’T want to overlook is choosing where to dine on your trip. However, with the rush of making Disney dining reservations and the literally hundreds of food options at the resort, you can easily miss the best spots. Have no fear! This guide will help you pick the best Disney dining options for 2023.

In this guide, we’ll cover hot new restaurants, old classics, and hidden gems throughout the parks and resorts. We’ll also give you multiple picks for table service, quick service, and snack offerings.

Dining room
Credit: Disney

Disney Dining Basics

Before we get into the restaurants, let’s go over what you need to know to make your Disney Dining reservations.

What are the different kinds of Disney Dining?

The two main kinds of dining experiences at Walt Disney World are table service and quick service. Table service restaurants are locations where you are seated at a table, and the waitstaff takes your order and brings your food. These also may be buffets or prix-fixe meals. Quick-service restaurants are fast-food-style locations where you place your order at a counter or mobile order through the My Disney Experience app and pick up your food.

How early can I make my Disney Dining reservations?

You can make your Disney Dining reservations 60 days in advance. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, you can make your reservations 60 days before your check-in day and for your entire trip, up to 10 days. Reservations open on the My Disney Experience app or the Disney World website at 6 a.m. EST, and the phone lines open at 7 a.m. Make sure you are logged in and ready to go a few minutes before!

Credit: Disney

Where do I need a Disney Dining reservation?

Reservations are accepted at all table-service restaurants. While you may have some luck joining a walk-up list for some restaurants during the slower season, if you have your heart set on a location, we highly recommend getting a reservation. For very popular meals like Space 220, Cinderella’s Royal Table, or Be Our Guest, a reservation is likely the only way you’ll get in. Reservations are not generally required for quick-service restaurants. If you’re unsure, look up the restaurant on the Disney World website or My Disney Experience app.

What is the Disney Dining Plan?

The Disney Dining Plan is a series of plans you can add to your Disney World vacation that pre-pay your dining costs. There are several kinds of plans offered, from plans that cover two quick-service meals a day to deluxe plans that cover a wide variety of dining experiences. The Disney Dining Plan is currently unavailable and does not have an estimated return date, although some speculate it will be sometime in 2023. However, Disney is offering an alternative promotion – read about it here.

How do I get a last-minute Disney Dining reservation?

If you couldn’t snag the restaurant you wanted, you have a few options. Continue to check the My Disney Experience up to and during the day you’re visiting, as cancellations happen all the time, and something may open up. You can also attempt to join a walk-up list, and you may have some success with less popular restaurants. This writer could not get a reservation for Oga’s Cantina at Disney’s Hollywood Studios 60 days out but was able to join the walk-up list the day of and only waited 15 minutes. You never know!

Trail's End Restaurant, popular Disney World restaurant located in The Campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

The Best Disney Dining for 2023

Now, let’s get to where YOU should be Dining at Walt Disney World in 2023!

Best Table Service Restaurants

What NEW table service restaurants are coming to Walt Disney World?

A spread of BBQ food.
Credit: Disney

If you’re looking for the latest and greatest in table service restaurants, look no further than Roundup Rodeo BBQ, opening March 23, 2023, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This Toy Story-themed restaurant serves up classic BBQ, family style, and is sure to please the whole family, with menu items such as Prospector’s Homemade Cheddar Biscuits, Evil Dr. Smoked Ribs, Slinky Doooooooooog Mac & Cheese, and Cupcake à la Forky. There’s even plant-based offerings like  Impossible “Rib Chop”. Adults will enjoy the variety of specialty cocktails like the Snake Eye Margarita, while kids will love the playful Toy Story theming. Reservations for this brand-new spot open on February 21, so get ready to book!

Check out all the new restaurants coming to the Disney Parks here!

What are some hidden gem table service restaurants?

skipper canteen
Credit: Disney

Dining reservations at the Magic Kingdom can be hard to book. With must-have restaurants like Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be Our Guest, when those book up, many families fear there’s nothing left. However, for a quality meal and immersive theming, look no further than Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen, located in Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom. This eclectic spot is themed around Disney’s Jungle Cruise attraction and offers a unique and exotic dining experience. Fans of Asian, African, or Latin cuisine will enjoy Irrawaddy Irma’s Hanger Steak, “Tastes like Chicken” Because it is!, or “Hardy Har Char” Siu Pork. Kinds can venture outside their comfort zones with Congo Connie’s Coconut-Curry Concoction or stick to comfort classics like Junior Skip’s Macaroni & Cheese. With corny jokes from the Cast Members and a huge interior with lots of theming and secrets to explore, this spot offers an adventure your family will never forget.

Olivia's Cafe
Credit: Disney

Looking for something a little more classic? Check out Olivia’s Cafe at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. This hidden, casual spot features savory home cooking with classics like Slow-Cooked Prime Rib, Bacon Cheeseburger, and its famous Southernmost Buttermilk Chicken. Don’t leave without trying their famous Key Lime Tart!

What’s the best Character Dining in Disney World?

Thanksgiving Disney World
Credit: Disney

Character Dining is a staple of most families’ Disney World vacation. But when fan-favorite restaurant Chef Mickey’s fills up, where do you go to dine with Mickey and Pals? Look no further than Garden Grill, located inside The Land pavilion at EPCOT. This location is much easier to get a reservation at than Chef Mickey’s, and guests can dine on family-style comfort classics like Barbecue-Roasted Chicken, Macaroni & Cheese, and Berry Short Cake. This restaurant ROTATES (slowly) inside the pavilion and gives guests a glimpse of the Living With the Land attraction below, and they’re joined at their tables by Mickey, Pluto, Chip, & Dale in their farming best. This meal is $55 for adults and $36 for children aged 3-9.

storybook dining dopey at table
Credit: Disney

Looking for a little bit more of an experience? Head to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge to join Snow White, Dopey, Grumpy, and The Evil Queen at Story Book Dining at Artist Point. This highly themed meal features a delicious prix-fixe menu including Royal Prime Rib Roast, “Cottage” Beef Stroganoff, and Bashful’s Butter-poached Sustainable Fish. Characters parade through the restaurant, inviting guests to join in on the fun. At the end of your meal, don’t miss the dazzling Hunter’s Gift to the Queen, served in a smoking box filled with maple popcorn and chocolate ganache hearts. This meal is $65 for adults and $39 for children.

What’s the best meal for adults at Disney World?

Jiko Wine
Credit: Disney

Looking for a romantic date night or a sophisticated night out at Disney World? Look no further than Jiko – The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. This is an upscale location with a stunning wine selection. Guest can dine on Merguez-spiced Lamb Shank, Oak-grilled Filet Mignon, or Seafood Tagine. Although on the pricier side, this refined restaurant is sure to impress any date.

Takumi-Tei Japan
Credit: Disney

Do you want to splurge on a truly unique experience? Head to Takumi-Tei, EPCOT’s newest signature dining experience. This speciality Japanese restaurant offers a prix-fixe, unique sushi or plant-based tasting menu. Guests will be able to sample multiple courses of seasonal appetizers and sushi and experience some of the most beautiful decor and best service in Walt Disney World. Be prepared to pay, though – the regular menu for this experience is $250 per adult, or $150 for the plant-based menu. If you are an adventurous eater, love Japanese food, or want to splurge on something you can’t get anywhere else, go for it!

Best Quick Service Restaurants

What NEW quick-service restaurants are coming to Disney World?

The Cake Bake Shop® Bakery by Gwendolyn Rogers coming to Disney's Boardwalk
Credit: Disney

To experience the latest quick service offering in Disney World, head over to Disney’s Boardwalk and to The Cake Bake Shop Bakery by Gwendolyn Rogers. This brand-new location (occupying the space once held by ESPN Club) will offer cookies, brownies, pies, macarons, cheesecakes, dessert bars, and more. This will be an excellent place for a sweet snack after a long park day! There is no opening date confirmed for this location yet, but as construction progresses, we can anticipate it opening sometime soon.

Where is the best place for lunch at Disney World?

Two cheeseburger pods
Credit: Disney

For a nutritious, filling, and get-the-most-bang-for-your-buck lunch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, head to Satu’li Canteen in Pandora: The World of Avatar. This is a unique location that offers food beyond your standard fried theme park fare. Guests can customize their own bowl with ingredients like Slow-Roasted Beef, Wood-Grilled Chicken, Chili-Spiced Crispy Tofu, and various sides and sauces. You can also try the famous Cheeseburger Pods or “Teylu” Hot Dog (which are more child-friendly). The food at this location is delicious, nutritious, and offers large portion sizes, so splitting a meal is absolutely doable.

A close up of a plate of food
Credit: Disney

The Polite Pig at Disney Springs offers high-quality, no-frills BBQ. You can get all of the BBQ staples at this joint, including chicken, pork shoulder, ribs, turkey, brisket, and more. Don’t miss the delicious sides like Tomato and Watermelon Salad, BBQ Cauliflower, and Mac and Cheese. The prices are surprisingly affordable for a Disney World restaurant. Best part about this restaurant? It’s in Disney Springs, so you don’t even need a park reservation to dine here.

sleepy hollow waffle sandwich
Credit: Disney

This writer would be remiss if he didn’t mention HIS favorite quick-service spot in Walt Disney World, Sleepy Hollow. This tucked-away location on the edge of Liberty Square has one star on its menu – waffle sandwiches. Need we say more? You can try the Sweet-and-Spicy Chicken-Waffle Sandwich for lunch, or the Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich for breakfast or a sweet snack. Or both. In one day. We won’t tell. This location also offers Funnel Cakes and Turkey Legs.

What’s the best quick-service restaurant for kids in Disney World?

Credit: Disney

Sometimes, your kids just want chicken nuggets and french fries, a burger, or a hot dog. Listen, we get it. While you’ll find no shortage of these offerings at most Disney World restaurants, for a quiet spot with fun theming, we recommend Restaurantosaurus in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The location is in the back of Dinoland, a typically quiet area of the park, allowing kids to take a break from the hustle and bustle. The restaurant offers theme park classics like Angus Cheeseburgers, Foot-Long Hot Dogs, and of course, Chicken Nuggets. It’s a great alternative to much busier classic options like Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.

Best Snacks

What’s the best place to get a snack at Disney World?

It would be near-impossible to pick from the nearly hundreds of snacks available at Disney, so let’s run through a few new favorites and old classics.

aloha isle 2
Credit: Disney

It would be impossible not to mention Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom and the delicious Dole Whip. This pineapple ice cream float is a refreshing classic, but be sure to check out the Tropical Serenade, a Pineapple-Orange-Guava juice float served with coconut ice cream and an upside-down pineapple cake pop (it’s a 50th Anniversary treat, meaning it will be gone soon!) Pro Tip: You can also get your Dole Whip fix at Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Animal Kingdom, Refreshment Port in EPCOT, and various resorts like the Polynesian and the Boardwalk.

Karamell Küche EPCOT
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

We recommend anything and anything from Karamell-Küche at the Germany pavilion in EPCOT for caramel lovers. You can’t go wrong with most offerings here, but we recommend the Caramel Popcorn, the Gingerbread Caramel Cookie Sandwich, or the Salted Caramel Squares.

Cold Brew Black Caf
Credit: Yahoo News

For a unique drink offering, check out the Cold Brew Black Caf at Kat Saka’s Kettle in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios. This drink is a dark, rich cold brew topped with sweet cream cheese and chocolate puffs. We know it sounds a little odd, but it ends up tasting like delicious mocha cheesecake. You can also get it spiked with Godiva Chocolate Liqueur.

A basket of fries
Credit: Insider

Finally, for a savory recommendation, check out Mr. Kamal’s kiosk in Asia in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and get yourself some Seasoned Fries. These are a great twist on classic theme park fries and are served with Curried Honey Mustard or Korean Chili Ketchup. The menu at this kiosk changes up often, but there’s usually some iteration of the Season Fries being served.

Of course, we have barely scratched the service of Disney’s dining offerings. Be sure to explore Inside the Magic for more tips, and happy eating!

in Walt Disney World

Comments Off on Disney World Restaurants You’ll Need to Try in 2023