The one vacation planning aspect that gives me the most joy is deciding where I want to sit down and enjoy a nice meal.
I wish so many of the people who heckle our return Disney Parks trips would just look at the array of food choices there are. It’s so vast, and just as fun as checking out new attractions (in my opinion, anyway).
Making a decision on Disney restaurants should factor in:
- How frequently you visit
- Who you are traveling with
- How open minded you are about food
- Recommendations from others
One issue that we stumble upon time and time again is how to balance our old favorites with newer spots. In the past, if we were going on a 4-day trip and knew we wouldn’t be returning for awhile, we stuck with the old standbys. But if it’s a longer trip with the chance to really spread ourselves around, we make it a mission to check a few new places off our growing list.
With our upcoming 5 days in Walt Disney World and 4 of them in the parks, James and I have opted to try more new places than restaurants based on the nostalgia factor. He actually makes a good point… a few of the places we will be visiting are new places to him and spots I haven’t frequented since I was a kid. So there’s that.
brand new to us
Restaurant Marrakesh in Morocco: This one is kind of a big deal; I feel like it’s a restaurant we’ve been working our way to because James has always been a picky eater. But over the years, he’s gotten to be so much better and after a few rave reviews, we will be dining here to discover it for ourselves.
Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge: For years and years I’ve been hearing such praise for this spot (especially from my former Disney Store co-workers). A buffet with a great variety of African foods and an opportunity to hang out in the Animal Kingdom Lodge are always a treat. (This is actually a step in the process to get James to eat at Jiko. Still working on it.)
Be Our Guest Restaurant at Magic Kingdom: Before we even booked a trip, I could not get a reservation here for dinner at all. We are going to attempt to have lunch there because, well, we just have to. We’ll definitely be following Disney on Wheels’ advice when it comes to getting in there. I do hope it’s a prime experience.
new to him but it’s been awhile for me
Artist Point at the Wilderness Lodge: Now I originally wanted to try Territory Lounge at WL but we do pick one nicer dinner per trip and this was it. I haven’t been here in over 7 years at least, and James has finally warmed up to the menu. I’ll be looking forward to hanging out in WL (it’s been another few years since I’ve been there at all) and trying out the lovely cuisine with a view!
Crystal Palace Character breakfast at Magic Kingdom: One of my favorite things about my husband is his love of character breakfasts. While Winnie and the gang aren’t our favorites (although Eeyore will always hold a special place in my heart), this reservation was born from a blog post idea. But it’s always fun to get to MK early in the morning, and have a nice buffet. We’ve barely enjoyed any meals in the Kingdom since we’ve been together, and I thought it was about time that we got back there.
we can’t quit you
Mama Melrose’s at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: There’s not much of a choice at DHS, really. Since we had picked our fancy meal, we weren’t going to be trying The Brown Derby (which would fall into our second category) so we decided to return to one of our favorite places to dine together. I’ve told you about my love of Mama Melrose’s already but it doesn’t detract from my excitement of going there once again. Penne alla vodka, here I come!
Yak + Yeti at the Animal Kingdom: As much as I enjoy Tusker House, it’s a nail biting decision between these two every single year. Since we’ll be spending a full day in AK without leaving for another park, we did finally book a late lunch to coincide with the Jungle Jammin’ parade! I’m hoping it all works out and we can see the parade for the restaurant windows!
There’s a very slim / minuscule chance that James and I will be reporting back to the Disney Parks this year, and while we’ve certainly cut back on some of the things we usually do (booking lunch and dinner reservations; park hopper opportunities) I stand by our current choices. I think it’s the perfect mix of restaurants that tug at our heart strings and also attempting to walk on the wild side and create new experiences.
How do you balance your restaurant loves with your need to try out new places?