If there’s one thing I love about Walt Disney World it’s the food. From dole whips to Mickey waffles, I could dine on that fatty goodness all day long. On my previous trips, I was never really privy to the food onsite. We always stayed in a villa when I was younger so I was more familiar with Longhorns and Olive Garden than I was with ‘Ohana and Yak and Yeti.
So when we stayed at Disney in October, I was possibly more excited for the food than I was for anything else on our trip.
Overall the quality of food was phenomenal, we ate well and plenty. But there were a few things that I wouldn’t do again, either because they weren’t worth the credits or the experience was just a bit meh. I cover pretty much everything here including signature dining, table service, quick service and snacks.
We were only there for a week, so we obviously didn’t try everything – and this is no good advice for anyone paying out of pocket as everything we ate was on the dining plan – but as a first-time Disney diner, these are my hits and misses.
Also, I apologise for the pictures, I don’t have any for most of these, and the ones I do have are awfully dark.
Disney Dining Hits
1. The Boathouse
Located in Disney Springs, The Boathouse was the stand out meal of our trip for me.
The setting looks out over the water which is absolutely spectacular and the food is unbelievably tasty.
I had coconut shrimp with fries and I know, given this is a two table service credit restaurant on the Disney Dining plan, that I could have gotten something a bit fancier, but we didn’t really try to make the most of our credits and were determined to just eat what we wanted.
This meal gave me a thirst for coconut shrimp for the rest of the holiday, it was mouth-wateringly good. I’ve also got to give them props for the bread which was possibly the best bread I’ve ever eaten that wasn’t Turkish (side note: seriously, if you’ve never eaten Turkish bread you need to start now, that shit is delicious).
2. Yak & Yeti Quick Service
This was one I’d heard many, many positive things about before the trip so I knew I needed to try it while we were there. We actually ate here twice, once for breakfast – we both had sausage and egg muffins with tater tots – and once for lunch, where I had the honey chicken and chicken fried rice.
I only really needed the honey chicken, as it came with rice. I didn’t realise though so ordered them both, and you can bet your bottom dollar I ate it all as well. I love Asian food and this didn’t disappoint, it was well worth they hype for me. I liked it so much that the main restaurant will 100% be on my list of reservations for our next trip.
3. Dole Whip
Ah the humble dole whip. Pineapple is my favourite fruit so when I heard about a tasty pineapple snack in Adventureland, I knew I had to get my hands on one. And it didn’t disappoint.
I know some people think dole whips are an overrated Magic Kingdom snack but I loved this – the perfect treat to help you cool down on a hot Florida day. We ate it perched near The Magic Carpets of Aladdin and I think this was one of the only times we really stopped in Magic Kingdom to take everything in. It was a real pinch me moment for me.
You’ve got to wolf dole whips down quick though, as mine melted within approx. 0.5 seconds – it’s a good job I’m a fast eater.
4. Be Our Guest Breakfast
This was the location of our very first breakfast on our first full day at Walt Disney World and boy was it a way to start.
We both had Gaston’s Feast which was delicious – I do love American bacon – and had a lovely little potato thing on the side. It was also served with a plate of pastries that were equally as tasty and was just generally a lovely, lovely meal.
The setting is incredible too. I’m not ashamed to admit that I had tears in my eyes when we walked in. As our reservation was before the park opened, it was great to get the chance to walk around a near-empty Magic Kingdom. Overall Be Our Guest was one of the best experiences of the trip and one I wouldn’t do without if we went again.
5. Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival
This was one of my favourite Disney experiences.
I’m one of those people that takes forever to decide what to order because I always want a little bit of everything, so Food and Wine is the ideal way to eat for me.
We sampled the food (and drink!) here a few times and it was just pure joy. Some of the food I enjoyed the most were: the classic lime margarita from Mexico, the Jamaican beef patty with mango salsa from Islands of the Caribbean – this was unexpected but delicious –the grilled sweet and spicy bush berry shrimp from Australia and the crispy calamari from Italy. We sampled loads of the food but these are the things I remember being particularly amazing.
I enjoyed food and wine so much that going back while it’s on is pretty much a must for me now. Just a fantastic experience all round. It also resulted in a ride on Soarin’ while a bit pissed which is was pretty fun!
An honourable mention goes to tater tots – literally the nicest form of potato I’ve ever eaten.
Disney Dining Misses
1. The Yachtsman
The first of my controversial choices! I know everyone raves on about the place but we both left feeling a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, it was a nice steak. But was it the best steak I’ve ever had? No.
I don’t think my verdict was helped by the fact that we were made to wait ages for our table either. I mean, this meal was nearly $200 and we had to sit on the floor outside for 40 minutes. Not really the best start to what is supposed to be a signature experience.
I can’t remember which steak I had, but it was tender and juicy and delicious – and the mac & cheese was wonderful – but I don’t look back on it and think how amazing it was like I do with The Boathouse. At the end of the day, you expect top level service when you’re paying these prices – the tip alone was over $70 – and I didn’t feel like we got that.
I don’t know, maybe we just hit it on a bad day but I wouldn’t book again.
2. Sci-Fi Diner
Now this place is generally considered to be average at best so we didn’t go in expecting the world. We actually picked this reservation up while we were there as we still had a table service credit to use and were going to be in Hollywood Studios for Fantasmic.
The food was your standard Disney fare of burgers and chips – this was actually the only burger I had during our entire trip (it was a different story for Carl who managed an impressive nine over the course of two weeks) – and it was ok, but nothing more than that.
It’s the atmosphere in the restaurant that got it on my miss list. It was bizarre. I know it’s supposed to emulate a drive-in movie theatre, but you could have heard a pin drop in there it was so quiet. I thought the film clips would be classic Disney cartoons but they were really obscure ditties from years gone by. And you’re sat next to each other which is also a bit weird. If I remember rightly I even struggled to drink the wine I was served which practically never happens to me!
3. Casey’s Corner
This is a bit of a cop out for me because I only ordered fries, but we ate in here before the fireworks on our second week in Orlando and it wasn’t very good.
I’m not a massive hot dog fan, but they’re Carl’s favourite food so wanted to sample Casey’s at some point during our trip. In the end he was very, very disappointed with his meal.
Maybe, like the Yachtsman, we just hot this on the wrong day? It was really busy – but since it’s on Main Street and it was just before the fireworks, that couldn’t really be helped – but there was rubbish everywhere, the service was lacklustre and everything was cold.
Overall, just a bad experience and I don’t think we’ll be paying Casey’s a visit any time soon.
We had some other good and not-so-good experiences in Walt Disney World, but these are the ones that stand out. As a caveat, I am in no means telling people what they should and shouldn’t book, these are purely my experiences and I would say any of them are worth a try!
What are your Disney dining hits and misses? I’d love to hear all about your favourite places to eat!