Can You Go to a Disney Restaurant Just for Dessert?

It’s no secret that Walt Disney World has restaurants geared for every type of guest, from families just looking for a quick bite to foodies looking for a meal fit for their “refined palate.”

Topolino’s Terrace — Flavors of the Riviera Desserts ©Disney

But for those with a sweet tooth, it’s the dessert after the meal that’s the real draw. Many Disney desserts have taken on near legendary status — we’re looking at you Beaches and Cream Kitchen Sink — and it can be tempting to think about going to a table service restaurant solely for dessert and nothing more. But surely that can’t be allowed…

Or could it?

Believe it or not, according to the Walt Disney Company, it is, at least according to a 2012 post  on the official Disney Parks Moms Panel website. In response to a question asking if a party with a reservation could just order dessert at a table service restaurant, a Disney representative replied:

“In general, the answer is ‘yes.’ You really shouldn’t have any problems if all you want to order is dessert. There are some great ones at Walt Disney World.”

While that statement has just enough caveats to make us think that a Disney restaurant could refuse to only serve a party dessert under certain circumstances, it still clearly states that in general, only ordering dessert is OK. That being said, to paraphrase one Dr. Ian Malcolm, you’ve spent all this time wondering if you could go to a sit-down restaurant and only order dessert that perhaps you haven’t thought about if you should.

For starters, Disney dining reservations aren’t easy to secure. Is it really worth going through the process of securing one just for dessert? On top of that, nearly all of Disney’s desserts are pre-made on some level, meaning they come out very quickly by design. So if you go to a sit-down restaurant and order nothing but dessert, your whole dining experience is going to last somewhere around 20 minutes, meaning you’ll barely be able to appreciate the theme and ambience of your dining location before the check arrives.

Creme brulee

In addition to the practical questions, there are also a few etiquette questions. For starters, is it really fair to take up a dining reservation and table space in a sure-to-be crowded restaurant just for dessert? We can’t answer that for you, but we hope you’d agree that it would be rude to linger once your dessert is completed. Secondly, there’s the matter of your waiter or waitress. As we’ve previously discussed, table service servers live on their tips, so serving a party in a busy restaurant who are only ordering a dessert can put a real dent in their pay on any given evening. Our advice here would be to look at the price of the entree off the menu that you would have most likely ordered that evening and leave a 20 percent tip based on the price of that meal plus your dessert.

While the debate as to whether you should only order dessert at a Walt Disney World sit-down restaurant could easily rage, the answer to the initial question of whether you could is a definitive yes. So, if you want to hit up Le Cellier for Maple Crème Brulee or grab nothing but grapefruit cake at the Hollywood Brown Derby, do so to your heart’s content. Just be conscious of other guests and your servers while doing so.

Have you ever considered going to a Disney World sit-down restaurant for nothing but dessert? Or better yet, have you ever done it? Let us know in the comments below.

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13 Replies to “Can You Go to a Disney Restaurant Just for Dessert?”

  1. How funny this is exactly what I made a reservation at the derby for: grapefruit cake. I made it middle of the afternoon… an off time. You can’t stop me.

  2. We’re headed there in about 60 days. I got on at 5:45am to try to secure character dining… and all that was available was 9:20pm. There’s no way i can make my 4 & 8 year old wait to eat until then but just the right time for desert. To me, having been a server, I’d be thrilled if a late table only ordered dessert for a little break.

  3. We went to La Cellier so my husband could have the cheese soup, his favorite Disney food. I was aware of taking up a table, but it was his birthday. We went during off hours, not dinner time, but there never is REALLY an off time ad Le Cellier, is there?

  4. I suspect this already happens more than one would think, and that is why some Disney restaurants have implemented a “price fixe” menu at several of their popular high end restaurants.

  5. My wife and I had dinner at Be Our Guest shortly after the fixed-price menu went into effect. We asked our server about the reasons for the change. She told us that too many families were coming in and ordering only a cupcake or two just so they could do a meet-and-greet with the Beast. The fixed-price menu ended that.

  6. We have gone to the Sci-Fi for dessert only. But we did so during off hours. We didn’t linger and we looked at the menu before hand so that we knew exactly what we were ordering. We had enough time to enjoy our dessert and experience the theme of the restaurant.

  7. Our family of five did it at Coral Reef. They have excellent desserts. We had no issue, left a nice tip and had a lovely time spending 45 minutes in front of the beautiful ocean tank ambience. I plan on doing it again on our upcoming trip.

  8. All restaurant patrons, at Disney World or elsewhere, should feel welcome to order and consume any item on the menu. They should do so in a reasonable amount of time, at all posted hours of operation, and tip as they fit (the norm being 15-20% of the check). Lastly, they are under no obligation to consider how these actions may be considered breaches of etiquette to either the facility or other patrons.

  9. Solo trip about 20 years ago. Did a dessert only trip breakfast lunch and dinner. This included a soufflé at Monsieur Paul and many many other delicious items from both quick and table service restaurants. All that walking made it so I didn’t gain an ounce, but my dentist was overjoyed! Put it on radp at the time and a few responded that it was a good idea.

  10. If you’re iffy about “ohh I don’t know..just for dessert? but what about adrs, etiquette.. etc etc!” Just go to the restaurants lounge. 1. most lounges for the nicer Disney restaurants that have them don’t start getting crowded until 6. 2. You don’t need adrs , you can just sit down once you tell front people you just want to sit at bar area 3. They serve the exact same menu as the dining room

    1. I have been a waitress, and most do not have the luxury of Disney crowds for the entirety of their shift. I also made a living off being a waitress. I did not care if someone had appetizers or dessert only, I don’t see why a Disney waitress would. My guess it is Disney the company that cares.