Walt Disney World has some of the best culinary offerings at any Theme Park worldwide. You can get everything from classic Theme Park fare like cotton candy, hot dogs, and popcorn to fresh seafood and steaks. You can get soda and Starbucks or wine and bubble tea. You can get food from pretty much anywhere in the world, gluten free options, allergen-sensitive options, vegetarian & vegan options – something to please almost every palette.
But, sometimes, you or your kids just want chicken tenders or a burger.
There’s no shame in being a picky eater. Even though we will always recommend trying new things at The Most Magical Place on Earth, some people have food sensitivities, have young children who only like certain things, or just don’t want to spend money on something they’re not sure they’ll like.
Here are some of our favorite tips, tricks, and things to know when it comes to being a picky eater in Walt Disney World.
Check the menus BEFORE your trip.
The menus for pretty much every Walt Disney World restaurant, both table service and quick service, are available on their website. Before you make your dining reservations, survey the menus and make sure there’s something that everyone in your party will enjoy. Family-style restaurants and buffets can be good picks, as people can fill their plates with what they want to eat, and you don’t have to worry about spending money on an entree you won’t like.
There’s no shame in the Kids’ Menu!
Do you see something on the kids’ menu that you would enjoy more than anything on the adult menu? Order it! Although Disney lists that their kids’ menu is for ages 3-9, Guests of any age can order from the kids’ menu at quick service restaurants. They’re also much smaller portions, so you won’t waste money or food. For table service restaurants, adults can usually order a larger portion of something on the kids’ menu for a few dollars more, although you should always ask your server because policies can change.
Bring snacks from home.
If you or your kids are picky about your snacks, don’t be afraid to throw a few in your Park bag. Although there’s a plethora of snack options in the Park, if you love to snack on Lays chips, you can bring a bag from home instead of spending $3 on a small bag in the Parks. Outside food is fine to bring into the Disney Parks as long as you’re not bringing any coolers or glass containers.
Talk to Cast Members.
If you have a dining concern, no matter if it’s allergen-related, a food sensitivity, or just being unsure, don’t be afraid to talk to Cast Members. The waitstaff and chefs at restaurants are there to help you and are usually very accommodating for things like clarifications, substitutions, and sensitivities. They also may be able to fulfill special requests, like getting chicken tenders and fries for your child at a restaurant where they’re not served. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s always worth asking!
Best Restaurants for Picky Eaters in Disney World
If you’re looking for recommendations for where you or your picky eaters should go on your vacation, here’s a few of our favorites.
Quick Service Restaurants
- Backlot Express (Disney’s Hollywood Studios): This spot offers up burgers, chicken tenders, fries, and other classic fare, as well as less traditional items like a Teriyaki Chicken Bowl and Cuban Sandwich.
- Dockside Diner (Disney’s Hollywood Studios): This spot is for the hot dog lovers in your party, offering both plain and specialty versions.
- Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe (The Magic Kingdom): This is a very typical (and often busy) joint offering burgers, fries, chicken sandwiches, and salads.
- Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe (The Magic Kingdom): If your picky eaters prefer tacos and nachos, this restaurant has them, alongside burgers, fajitas, and rice bowls.
- Connections Eatery (EPCOT): EPCOT’s newest quick service location, this cafe has a nice range of burgers, chicken sandwiches, pizza, and salads, with options ranging from typical to adventurous.
- Refreshment Port (EPCOT): This stand has a small menu featuring an important item – chicken nuggets and fries. Those looking for something a little less traditional can also get poutine here.
- Yak and Yeti Local Food Cafes (Disney’s Animal Kingdom): If your picky eaters enjoy Chinese food, you can get Pork Egg Rolls and Chicken Fried Rice here, or more American fare like burgers and fries.
- Restaurantosaurus (Disney’s Animal Kingdom): A more typically theme Park option, this slightly secluded spot offers classic fare like Angus burgers and chicken nuggets.
Table Service Restaurants
- Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater (Disney’s Hollywood Studios): Besides the amazing atmosphere, this restaurant will satisfy any burger lover in your party, and also has salad and pasta options. The kids menu includes macaroni & cheese and chicken strips.
- Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano (Disney’s Hollywood Studios): This is a very classic Italian restaurant and while the food won’t blow you out of the water, it has safe classics like pizza, spaghetti & meatballs, pasta, and chicken parmesan.
- Liberty Tree Tavern (The Magic Kingdom): This family-style restaurant serves classic American fare like mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, turkey, and pot roast.
- The Crystal Palace (The Magic Kingdom): This character buffet staring Pooh & friends offers fried chicken, mashed potatoes, ravioli, vegetables, and much more.
- Nine Dragons (EPCOT): If you enjoy Chinese food, Nine Dragons will be very familiar to you, serving up traditional offerings like spring rolls, fried rice, spare ribs, and honey sesame chicken.
- Via Napoli (EPCOT): Located in the Italy pavilion, this is for the pizza lovers in your party. Not only is this the best pizza in Walt Disney World, but there’s a wide variety of options and you can order a large for the whole table or an individual just for yourself.
- Tusker House (Disney’s Animal Kingdom): This character buffet hosted by Donald Duck & friends will satisfy both the picky and adventurous eaters in your family, serving up classics like macaroni & cheese and corndog nuggets, as well as tandoori chicken and green curry shrimp.
- Yak & Yeti (Disney’s Animal Kindom): The table service option attached to the quick service window, this restaurant has a wide menu of both American and Asian fare, ensuring there will be something for everyone in your party.