Disney paid for my family's trip to Walt Disney World® Resort. As always, all opinions are my own.
My family of sixteen recently enjoyed a five day, four night vacation to Walt Disney World® Resort. Eight of us were guests of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine and Walt Disney World® Resort as part of the Better Homes and Gardens Magazine "Making Memories Magical" contest promotion. Enter for your own chance to win a multi-generational family trip for eight! Contest details and links found here!
Dining at Walt Disney World® Resort!
We didn't show up at Walt Disney World® Resort just to eat, although I've heard that some people do exactly that. I'm not surprised. If there ever was a showcase of fabulous food to please practically every single taste at every single price point, it's right here! We discovered for ourselves that the wide range of prices and flavors has one consistent quality - delish! Here's a sampling of what we experienced......
Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park:
The Walt Disney World® Resort manages to infuse every one of its sites with heaping platters of atmosphere. Often, that extends to the area outside of the dining room, too. Like this one. While waiting for breakfast seating at the African flavored Tusker House Restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, we admired ceremonial masks and had fun choosing our favorites. I liked that silver one next to Nick's head!
Step inside to the warm embrace of feasting! - this rich marketplace visual, and an equally amazing culinary one both greet you! Tusker House serves buffet style dining all day long. Classic items that kids will enjoy join a large selection of African specialties. Characters dressed for safari mingle about; it's a lively, exotic experience! We loved it!
Restaurantosaurus beckoned us! Oh, it was as busy as a manic bee hive when we arrived at peak lunch hour, but tables to snatch and hold opened up continually. Mommy and daddy lined up to order our food - simple and good - fries, burgers, and apple slices served in cute sand pails. Not one of us had to be coerced to "shovel it in!"
Disney's Beach Club Villas:
Two casual, family friendly eateries anchor the main lobby of the Villas. (Isn't she a beauty? Just couldn't stop taking pictures of her, inside and out - morning, noon and night! :) ) We frequented Beach Club Marketplace during our stay for quick sandwiches, early morning coffee, and the mini Disney merchandise shopping area. Time didn't allow us to poke into Cape May Cafe, but character buffet breakfast dining is featured - something you'd normally have to leave the building to enjoy. Next time, for sure!
Disney's BoardWalk entertainment district:
I've mentioned in a previous post that this lodging location is in the "backyard" of both Epcot® and Disney's BoardWalk entertainment district. That means a brisk few moments walk delivers you back in time to the BoardWalk Bakery. I recommend sending your son-in-law for take-out breakfast croissants if in-room morning dining is your pleasure. Worked for us! Scrumptious! - and a great time-saver!
® Resort-dinner-to-remember will always be Italian. At Disney's BoardWalk entertainment district. At Trattoria al Forno. Best food. Best wine. Best company! (You know who you are!:)) Step right in! "Be our guest!"
My grandsons were fascinated with the open kitchen and the flaming pizza oven.
Since I've been home, I've read independent reviews of this restaurant; plenty of people think it offers the best, most authentic food of any Walt Disney World® Resort restaurant! I was also impressed with the generous portions.
Use your My Disney Experience app to view complete menus for all restaurants and make reservations.
Cheeses! Breads! Olives! Prosciutto! Calamari!
Epcot®! So many delicious countries, such limited digesting capacity! Nonetheless, our best, most relaxed moments were those spent together in enjoyment of ethnic food. And Walt Disney World® Resort does think of everything! No matter the cultural theme, there is always a "kid section" on the menu or in the buffet line. And that includes the Biergarten Restaurant.
It might as well be Oktober! Here's a beautiful slice of Germany outside the restaurant, under the watchful gaze of Spaceship Earth® attraction.
And, when it's time for dessert, the cheesecake is out of this world!
Magic Kingdom® Park:
Table for sixteen? We managed to do it! The Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom® Park is a wonderland of beauty, great food, and characters hailing from the Hundred-Acre Wood. This evening simply warmed my heart. Characters table hop, hug, and lead a kid parade. The dining is buffet style and it's delicious!
The Crystal Palace serves three meals each day, but an evening dinner reservation assures you of quick access to the best fireworks watching location once you've eaten!
I'd recommend one elegant dining experience per park to create the best multi-generational family memories. Reserve in advance on My Disney Experience!
We found day time Magic Kingdom® Park attractions so involving and exciting that eating just wasn't a priority! If that's the case with you too, quick counter service works well, although we would have benefited from the oft-given advice to avoid rush hours! The places we chose for lunch were crazy-busy at noon, but proved yet another reason to travel with grandma and grandpa. We served as table-spotters, taking the kids with us to make the wait in line more tolerable for mommy and daddy. When lunch finally arrived, kids were relaxed and happy, ready for the serious business of eating!
Columbia Harbour House is an acclaimed venue for its seafood focused menu, including the lobster rolls we ordered! Delicious! Generously sized and reasonably priced, chips included!
Here's another choice for quick stop refueling - The Friar's Nook. Hot dogs, mac and cheese in several flavors - pot roast and barbecue among them - and more!
Disney's Hollywood Studios®:
Disney Junior Play n Dine is a lively spot, appropriately named. It was our last stop on the final day of our vacation. I secretly wondered if the kids would be "character-weary" by then, but they proved me wrong. Lots of hugs remained for Handy Manny, Doc McStuffins, Sophia the First and Jake and the Neverland Pirates in between bites from a healthy and satisfying buffet that pleased both adults and kids.
Below: Can you guess who'd just visited Disney's Hollywood Studios® gift shops before lunch?
Just had to include a final farewell to "Gertie" even though we didn't partake of her "Ice Cream of Extinction." Next time, for sure!
Bloggers and others who give travel advice often suggest packing portable snacks for kids. I agree with them. Even if you're not visiting Walt Disney World® Resort on a budget, it makes sense. I stuffed the corners of my suitcase with cheese cracker packs as my own contribution. My daughters did more. In the days before departure, texts and emails flew between us at a furious pace. What were we bringing? How much of it? How would we transport it all? It seemed a wise choice to bring peanut butter and a loaf of bread. "Bread?" read one text, "It'll get squished!"
One more reminder! Be sure to enter the Better Homes and Gardens Magazine "Making Memories Magical" contest for a chance to win a multi-generational family trip for eight to Walt Disney World® Resort! Links and details right here!
Continue reading for more! "Magical Grand Adventure - Entertainment!" is right here!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Better Homes and Gardens and Walt Disney World® Resort.