Dining in Disney can take a lot of advance planning! There are many high-demand locations that typically book up a full six months in advance — and we certainly recommend many of them! However, there are also great restaurants at Walt Disney World you usually DON’T need to book a table 180 days out. Whether you decide you’d like a break from the Florida sun or realize you have time for a longer meal during your day, there are often plenty of tasty options available at the last minute.
Here is a list of our favorites to try:
The name is quite a mouthful, but the “Skipper Canteen” is your best shot for getting a day-of reservation inside the Magic Kingdom. And it’s a fun location to boot! Staffed by those silly Jungle Cruise Skippers, the Canteen features a menu with an exotic flair. Many of the dishes are Asian or African inspired, thanks to the Skippers’ travels down the Nile and other rivers around the world. We recommend the Dr. Falls Signature Grilled Steak or the Sustainable Fish. (Not piranha.)
As you may have guessed, the Biergarten is in the Germany pavilion of Epcot. This all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet features live entertainment throughout lunch and dinner. Buffet options include German classics such as Breaded Pork Schnitzel, Grilled Bratwurst with Sauerkraut, and Pretzel Rolls with mustard. There is quite a spread, so everyone should be able to find something they enjoy. And save room for dessert! The dessert bar features Freshly Baked Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce.
Animal Kingdom’s newest full-service restaurant is the only Signature restaurant on our list. Because of the cost of Signature dining (or the use of two dining plan entitlements), reservations are usually available day-of as some guests do not want to splurge on a long, expensive meal during their park day. But trust us when we say Tiffins is worth the cost! Intricately decorated with impeccable service, this will not be a meal you soon forget. Our favorites on the menu are the Shrimp and Grits and the Tamarind-braised short rib.
Located just a short walk from Epcot in the Yacht Club, the Ale & Compass Restaurant is a perfect place to get out of the theme-park crowds and heat. Formerly “Captain’s Grille,” this gastropub features New England-inspired comfort foods. Try the Coastal Clambake if you’re looking for a hearty meal or the Pan-seared Trout for something (a little) healthier.
Kona Café is usually overshadowed by its incredibly popular neighbor ‘Ohana. Lucky for you because Kona is a delicious spot worth checking out! The Polynesian Village Resort is just a few monorail stops from the Magic Kingdom, making this a great location for dinner before heading back to the park for fireworks! We love their lengthy sushi menu, as well as the Island-style Beef Burger which is served on a large pineapple roll. And if you had your heart set on ‘Ohana but it didn’t work out, their famous potstickers and wings are available on Kona’s appetizer menu.
Another great choice just minutes away from the Magic Kingdom is The Wave. Located on the first floor of the Contemporary Resort, you can actually walk from the park to the restaurant! They have one of the best breakfast buffets on property, where they are known for their Tillamook Cheddar Grits and Sweet Potato Pancakes. The Wave is all about local, seasonal ingredients so their menu is always changing and offering something fresh and new!
Sanaa might be Disney’s best kept secret when it comes to amazing restaurants. It’s a little off the beaten path at Kidani Village in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. However this resort has live safari animals for viewing so your journey is well worth it! Sanaa is a fusion of Indian and African flavors, so some guests are nervous about the “exotic” menu. We promise you will not regret ordering the Indian bread service, which comes with several different breads and dips. We also love the Lamb Shank and Butter Chicken. Sanaa is a great place to try something new and check out some of the “local” wildlife!
One of the newest locations at Disney Springs, Maria & Enzo’s is a good place to try and grab at seat during a visit to Disney Springs. Themed to be an old airport turned restaurant, the Ristorante is one of the most unique dining spaces on the list. As the name suggests, Italian cuisine is on the menu! There are lots of pasta options, and we enjoy the (giant serving) of Chicken Parmesan as well. If you don’t have luck getting a seat at the main restaurant, also check out Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar. This is a speak-easy bar and a large menu is available, along with hand-crafted cocktails and an Italian wine list.
If traveling from country to country is tiring you out during your trip around World Showcase, we suggest putting your feet up at Spice Road Table. It is in the Morocco pavilion and with seating on the water, the views cannot be beat! Spice Road Table’s menu features lots of small plates meant to be shared so your whole family can try lots of dishes. We recommend the Hummus fries, Brie Fondue, Chicken and Beef Skewers, and Spicy Garlic Shrimp.
Our last location is a perfect spot if you’re in the mood for a classic American meal for a great price! Not far from Disney Springs at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort, The Turf Club is a little-known gem. They are only open for dinner, and we suggest starting with a bowl of Classic French Onion Soup or sharing the house-made Buffalo Chicken Dip. For your entrée, enjoy comfort food classics such as Crispy Fried Chicken, a Grilled New York Strip, or Braised Pork Shanks. They also offer a three-course prix fix menu. Trust us when we say that for the price, you will walk out of there stuffed and satisfied!
Wow, this made me hungry! What are your favorite restaurants that commonly have last-minute reservations? Share in the comments!
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