YAY! You’ve got your trip to the Wonderful World of Disney planned! Now you need to figure out where to eat. You’ll find very quickly that the options for dining choices are beyond overwhelming. There are hundreds of restaurants, with just about any culinary delight you could ask for, to choose from.
If you’re working with a travel agent like me who specializes in Disney, you’ll likely receive some guidance on which restaurants would appeal to your family. If you’re planning on your own, then you’ll need to do some research and there’s no shortage of opinions available. I could easily talk about Disney food for hours, but here are three of my top picks (character meals excluded):
Via Napoli: I have 3 kids and we are constantly running in different directions, which means we eat a lot of pizza. So I’m sick of pizza. Unless that pizza comes from Via Napoli, found in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot. Because this isn’t your typical pizza.
The domed brick ovens (named after the three active volcanoes in Italy – Mount Etna, Mount Vesuvius and Stromboli) were shipped to the restaurant from Naples, Italy, credited as the birthplace of pizza. The wood-fired ovens give the pizzas a slightly smoky flavor. Combine the thin crust with fresh mozzarella cheese, San Marzano tomatoes, water from a spring similar to that found in Italy’s Campania region, and real Caputo flour imported from Southern Italy, and you have pizza perfection. Add to that the family style salad and you’ve got a great meal. If you’re smart, you’ll order an extra pizza to-go and have it for breakfast the next morning – you can do that, you’re on vacation!
Flying Fish Cafe: I love this one as much for the atmosphere outside the restaurant as the one inside. The Flying Fish is found at the Boardwalk Inn, easily accessible from the International Gateway entrance to Epcot’s World Showcase, which is a 10-minute walk away. On the Boardwalk you can find all kinds of nightly entertainment that is fun for the whole family.
Inside, you will find decor reminiscent of a fun Atlantic boardwalk, fun-house mirrors, decorative roller coaster tracks and parachuting fish. The kids will love watching the chefs prepare food in the onstage kitchen. And you’ll love the restaurant’s fresh seafood and steaks. The menu features daily specials, but the Flying Fish is known for specialties such as potato-wrapped red snapper. And the macaroni and cheese, made with leek, fontina and truffle, is a must!
50s Prime Time Cafe: This is one of Disney’s most fun dining experiences and the food is great too! Step into Mom’s kitchen, circa the 1950s, and be sure to mind your manners because your waitress, “Mom,” will be giving lessons in table etiquette.
Admittedly, this choice isn’t for everyone. But if your family has a great sense of humor and wants to see how much trouble they can get into, then pull up your vinyl chair and plant those elbows firmly on the Formica table. Momma is sure to get on to you about that! I’ve seen her put a Dad in the corner for being on his phone during a meal and “encouraging” an aunt to eat all her veggies.
Fun aside, here you will find outstanding onion rings, crispy fried chicken and old-fashioned pot roast. And reward your good behavior with my favorite dessert – ‘Smores!
As you can see, there are plenty of great experiences dining at Disney. Did you just book a trip yourself directly with Disney and now wish you had help? I have options for you! If you booked your trip within the last 30 days and did not pay for it in full, Disney will allow you to transfer that trip to me, at no cost to you, and I will get started planning your right away. It’s super easy to do. If you don’t meet that criteria, I offer itinerary planning for a fee, which includes making all the dining reservations for you, as well as countless other services that will make your trip carefree and magical.