Walt Disney World Resort Dining… Out of the Parks

Before I started traveling to Walt Disney World as often as I do now, I mostly stayed in the parks.  I barely spent any time in my own resort, let alone any others.  I had no idea what I was missing!!!  The biggest thing I felt like I missed out on was fabulous dining options.  Eating in the parks is OK and the food is good, but with few exceptions, I find the options in many of the resorts beat out most in the parks.

I, of course, have my favorites.  Who can resist seeing their kids’ eyes light up when they spot a Kitchen Sink Sundae at the Beaches & Cream Soda Shop at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.  They are serving it other places around the property now, but it’s great to go to the original location that looks like an old-fashioned soda shop.  If I’m looking for something off the beaten path, it is great to drop my son off at Simba’s Cubhouse and enjoy a quiet dinner with my husband at Jiko – The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.  I highly recommend the Taste of Africa appetizer.  After dinner, we enjoy a stroll of the grounds heading out to the savannah to view the animals.  For dinner and a show, I can’t resist the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.  The food is good and with fried chicken and strawberry shortcake, kid-friendly.  The food, though, is nothing compared to the entertainment. The show has me in stitches!!!  Even my usually serious son was laughing.  Plus, it was great getting out into that wooded area that seemed so far away from the busy parks.

I, though, have lots of friends who travel to Disney World and was curious about their favorites.  While I’ve eaten at many of the restaurants, there are plenty left for me to try, so I created a survey and invited not only my Disney friends, but MMwtM readers as well to take it.  Here are a few of their favorites.

The number one choice by far, with nearly 25% of the vote, was ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.  According to one reviewer, “The food was amazing!”  Someone else who had been there for the character breakfast (there are no characters at dinner) said they enjoyed the “characters and atmosphere.”  In fact, nearly everyone who chose ‘Ohana mentioned the atmosphere as at least part of their reason for choosing it.

Other popular choices were Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge for its “great food,” “lack of crowds,” and “fun ways they keep the kids entertained;” Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort for its great location and character dining; California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, for which one respondent raved that it has “great views, excellent food, amazing service, best fireworks viewing site on property;” and Boma – Flavors of Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge which many respondents chose for its atmosphere, but also for its food over which one respondent replied, ” love the wide variety of tasty food.”

On your next Walt Disney World Resort visit, be sure to check out some of these great places in addition to the parks!

Magical Memories with the Mouse would like to thank all those who participated in our survey. As promised, we have selected one lucky person to receive the Cooking with Mickey cookbook and kitchen accessories.  Our winner is the person whose email begins with Dawnkazmierski.  Congratulations!!!


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