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Best Disney World Restaurants for First Timers

November 16, 2017

That’s right kids, it’s time for another Disney post!! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve done one, but since I’ve been feeling that Disney fever quite a bit lately, I figured it was about time I do another! Now, it’s no secret that Disney World is the most magical place on Earth. You’ve got tons of fun rides, lovely princesses, incredible attention to detail, immersive resorts…what’s not to love?

Oh that’s right, I knew I was forgetting something! The FOOD!! How could I forget the best part? 😉

What you may not know is that Disney food is essentially a whole cuisine in and of itself. With over 400 restaurants, options are literally endless and dining boredom is non-existent. You’ve got a mix of kiosks, counter service restaurants, table service and signature restaurants and every type of cuisine under the sun to meet any and all of your dining preferences. We’re talking Italian, Chinese, Mexican, German, seafood, American and so many more. If you’ve got a taste for something, you’re sure to find it somewhere!

In my opinion, Disney World does food the absolute best. Dishes are rotated often to ensure that menus remain interesting and exciting, but they also leave many of the “cult classics” around to keep fans happy! In fact, there are entire blogs centered around dining in Disney, because there’s so much to cover and so much to know about. As with everything about planning a first trip to Disney World, it can be extremely overwhelming, so that’s why it’s so great to have so many resources to turn to for more information.

Today though, I just wanted to take off a small chunk of Disney dining and share my top recommendations for a first timers trip to Disney World. With 400 options, how are you going to know which ones are the best of the best for a magical first visit? Don’t worry, I’m here to share my personal picks for 5 of the best restaurants for Disney World first timers! Let’s get started!

‘OHANA

Located in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, ‘Ohana is not only a restaurant I’ll recommend to everyone going on a trip to Disney World, but one that I myself will be sure to visit on every single trip. This place is just so good and one of my top favorites of all time.

The atmosphere and ambiance make you feel as though you’ve been transported to the islands and the food is out of this world! Your dinner consists of an assortment of skewered grilled meats, noodles, stir fried veggies, pot stickers and more served family style. And the best part? Well, besides the bananas foster bread pudding dessert served with vanilla ice cream. Dinner at ‘Ohana is all you can eat! So even though it’s a touch on the expensive side, it’s totally worth it. And the food is so delicious, you’ll start craving it the second you leave (even though you’ll probably have to be rolled out)! This place is a Disney World cult favorite and absolutely not to be missed!

You can also come to ‘Ohana for a family style breakfast and an opportunity to meet Lilo & Stitch!

VIA NAPOLI

Via Napoli is located in the back of the Italy Pavilion in Epcot and is hands down the best place to go for pizza anywhere in Disney World. The prices are reasonable, the restaurant is very large and open, and the pizza! Oh my gosh the pizza is just incredible. Each pizza is made to order and features fresh and flavorful ingredients. The dough is actually made with water imported from Italy for an authentic taste. How insane is that?! If nothing else, Disney sure is dedicated!

SCI-FI DINE-IN THEATER

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Now this one tends to get mixed reviews. Lots of people love it, some hate it. Oh well, such things are pretty common among Disney goers, so I take the bad reviews with a grain of salt until I have the opportunity to try it out for myself.

I for one, really liked Sci-fi Dine-in Theater! Located in Hollywood Studios, the atmosphere of this restaurant is among the most unique in all of Disney World. You get to sit in cars and watch old time cartoon reels under a faux starry night while you dine on classic drive-in movie fare (burgers, fries, and delicious milkshakes. Seriously so cool!

While it may not be one you will feel inclined to visit on every return trip, everyone should dine here at least once.

BE OUR GUEST

Located in the New Fantasyland section of Magic Kingdom, Be Our Guest is a relatively new restaurant that is themed after the Beast’s castle from Beauty and the Beast. Now personally, I found the food here to be…underwhelming. Not bad, but not incredible. And especially for the prices, I expected a little more. But the desserts were delicious! I’d go back just for the cupcakes alone!

However, what this restaurant lacks in food options and quality, it makes up for in ambiance and atmosphere. You literally feel like you’ve stepped right into the movie when you walk through the front doors. The themeing is insane and so unbelievably beautiful. This is probably the best place to visit on a first visit to help get you in the Disney mood!

TUSKER HOUSE

Tusker House is another one of my all time favorite Disney restaurants. Located in the Africa section of Animal Kingdom, this restaurant is actually kind of hard to spot unless you’re looking for it. So I like to think of it as a hidden gem. This place is pretty well known though, and is continually mentioned among Disney fans as a top favorite. What I love about Tusker House is not only the incredible themeing and decor, but the food! Tusker House is a buffet restaurant featuring African dishes. The variety is impressive and the choices are unique and delicious. This isn’t the place to go to find burgers and fries people!

I for one, had never eaten African food before because it’s just not all that common to find restaurants serving African cuisine. Especially not in Wisconsin! But I was excited to try it, and was pleasantly surprised. And don’t worry if you have a non-adventurous palette since they offer plenty of familiar choices as well (mac and cheese, caeser salad, corn dog nuggets, fresh fruit, etc.)

You also will have the opportunity to meet some familiar Disney characters during your meal, though they’ll be dressed in safari gear! Tusker House is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don’t miss this one!

There you have it! While these are my recommendations for the best restaurants for a first trip to Disney, you really can’t go wrong with any place when you’re here. There are so many amazing restaurants with amazing food, so wherever you go, you’re bound to enjoy yourself! Still though, everyone should visit each of these 5 restaurants at least once. I promise that you’ll love them!

If you’re looking for more, be sure to check out a few of my other Disney posts here, here, here, here, here, and here!

What are your favorite Disney restaurants? Did I hit the nail on the head or miss some good ones? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by & happy (almost) Friday!

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