Disney: The Food
Last week I shared all about our Disney World experience with a toddler, and one HUGE piece of that is FOOD! Disney has some pretty spectacular food. And traveling with a toddler, we took advantage of sitting down for every single meal so that we could have a break in the air conditioning and Peyton could get recharged for the day. Today I am sharing where we ate and what our favorites from the trip were!
If you click on the links to the restaurant below, they will take you right to the restaurants hours, menu and pricing!
On Monday we arrived to the hotel later than planned due to flight delays. As soon as we walked in the door of the hotel we beelined straight for dinner. We checked in at the Grand Floridian Cafe and they told us it would be a two hour wait. We put our name down and THEN went to put our stuff down in our room. We got settled into the rooms, took a monorail ride and our table was ready! Seating capacity at the restaurants is definitely still restricted, so we were thankful to get in even though it was late.
On Tuesday we started the day at Animal Kingdom and our one and only reservation we had for the trip was for lunch at the Tusker House. This is a character dining experience and I am SO GLAD we booked this. If not for this lunch, Peyton would not have had a close-up interaction with her favorite Disney friends. This was the day that we discovered Gasparilla Island Grill which was two buildings down from us at the Grand Floridian. This was a great place to grab breakfast every morning and an afternoon snack if we found ourselves back at the hotel. We finished the day at the Regal Eagle Smokehouse in America in Epcot for dinner.
Most quick service restaurants in Disney World are currently operating on mobile orders only through the My Disney Experience App, this was the case with both Gasparilla and Regal Eagle. I loved the mobile order setup. This gives you a chance to thoroughly read the menu as opposed to the two seconds you usually get to look it over before you are forced to order quickly. On the app you are able to sub your sides and choose things that you would normally not even realize is an option- this was a big plus for me!
On Wednesday we started with breakfast at Gasparilla Island Grill and headed out to Hollywood Studios. We had lunch at the ABC Commissary, a family favorite! That night we had a quick dinner at the Pinocchio Village Haus- it had just stormed and wait times were down and Peyton was napping so we grabbed something quick and went on to ride more rides!
On Thursday we were back at Gasparilla Island Grill for breakfast before heading to Magic Kingdom. We were only there for a few hours before going back to the resort for lunch and some pool time. We ate at the Courtyard Pool Bar and then let Peyton swim for an hour or so before taking a nap and then it was back to the parks! We snagged a last minute dinner reservation at The Crystal Palace at 4:30. Since dinner was so early, we were able to hop to TWO more parks that night! Once we reached Epcot at the end of the night, we walked around the world and sampled some items from the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. It was the very first day of the festival so lines were crazy, but all the menus looked fantastic!
While sitting at dinner on Thursday night, we were able to check the app and find a VERY last minute reservation for ‘Ohana at 10:00 on Friday morning! This restaurant has been on my bucket list for a while. I definitely want to go back for lunch or dinner but breakfast was SO GOOD. The “stitch juice” was AMAZING!
One thing that I love to do as soon as we get to our resort is go to the closest quick service restaurant and purchase one of these cups. They have gone up in price and come in right at $19.99. Once you pay the one time fee, you can refill this cup at any Coca-Cola machine on any resort property during your ENTIRE stay! Considering one Coke is around five dollars, this is a STEAL. You are also allowed to bring these into the parks so you can start your day with a cold drink!
I think it is also important to note that all children under 3 eat for free at family style meals! At both Tusker House and ‘Ohana, Peyton could eat from the same offerings and not be charged an extra fee! Cast Members say that is because all children under 3 are “Mickey’s Guests”. Melt my heart!
One last piece of advice I can share is- wear those first time, celebration, birthday buttons! Peyton was holding her first time button at the ABC Commisary and a Cast Member approached us and asked if she could have a cupcake! Just something else that Disney does that elevates the entire experience.
Some other restaurants that we love at Disney but weren’t able to enjoy this time include: Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre, Beaches and Cream Soda Shop, Chef Mickey’s, The Boathouse.
Ann H Buckner
This has to be the greatest Disney family guide ever, especially for folks who have never been. So proud of you for creating this great Disney “how to go” information.