Are These Five Popular Disney World Restaurants Overrated?

There are SO MANY restaurants at Walt Disney World, and we totally understand if you’re having a hard time deciding which ones to try during your trip.

Cinderella Castle

But don’t worry — we’re here to help!

Here FIVE popular Disney World restaurants and whether they live up to the hype!

1. Be Our Guest Restaurant

Let’s start with what’s perhaps the most controversial restaurant on the list: Magic Kingdom‘s Be Our Guest Restaurant. This location offers quick-service breakfast and lunch and a signature, table-service dinner.

Be Our Guest Restaurant

When it first opened, Be Our Guest was the gotta-have-it reservation. And while it’s still popular now, the fact that dinner there now costs two credits on the Disney Dining Plan may change the perception of value for some guests. Breakfast and lunch, though, are great uses of the Disney Dining Plan.

The Grey Stuff at Be Our Guest

But is Be Our Guest overrated? The answer is a bit of a mixed bag. We say it IS a bit overrated for breakfast and dinner, but lunch here matches the hype. Whether you’re using a quick service credit or paying out-of-pocket, lunch at Be Our Guest continues to be a good deal with, in our opinion, good food. (We especially enjoy the French Dip and Braised Chicken.) Just don’t forget to use Mobile Order to avoid waiting in line to order!

2. 50’s Prime Time Cafe

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is home to a long-time guest favorite: 50’s Prime Time Cafe. It serves lunch and dinner every day in a — you guessed it — 50’s-themed atmosphere.

50’s Prime Time Cafe
50’s Prime Time Cafe

On the menu, you’ll find comfort food eats like Aunt Liz’s Golden Fried Chicken and Mom’s Old-fashioned Pot Roast. During our most recent visits, we’ve honestly found the food a bit lacking. While we love the vibe and playfulness of the restaurant, the food is not as up to par as other restaurants in Disney World. (And we’re still bummed they don’t use Viewfinders for the dessert menu anymore.)

Aunt Liz’s Fried Chicken

As much as it pains us to say this, we have to say that currently, 50’s Prime Time Cafe is the slightest bit overrated. If you’re looking for some truly exceptional comfort food, head on over to Grand Floridian Cafe or Olivia’s Cafe.

3. Crystal Palace

Now we’re going to head back to Magic Kingdom to chat about Crystal Palace. This Victorian-themed location offers a Winnie the Pooh and Friends character meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Crystal Palace

There’s no denying the charm of this restaurant, and we absolutely love the chance to interact with Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore. What we don’t love about Crystal Palace is the crowded seating areas and lack of truly good food, especially considering the restaurant’s high price tag.

Winnie the Pooh
Shrimp at Crystal Palace

Because of that, we have to say Crystal Palace is overrated; there are much better character meals on Disney World property. For a great experience and yummy food, we recommend Garden Grill, Storybook Dining at Artist Point, Tusker House, and the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno.

4. California Grill

Let’s head on over to California Grill, which is located atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort. California Grill serves dinner daily and offers brunch on Sundays. Its menu is seasonally inspired, and the restaurant boasts an extensive selection of wine.

California Grill
California Grill Brunch

This restaurant is undoubtedly well-known for its iconic view of Seven Seas Lagoon and Magic Kingdom fireworks. Along with a delicious meal, dining at California Grill grants you access to the restaurant’s fireworks viewing platform.

California Grill View

Though some may believe California Grill has declined in quality since Chef Brian Piasecki left the restaurant, we still think it’s a wonderful location for a date night or special occasion in Disney World and NOT overrated. I personally love to start my trips to Disney World with a meal at California Grill. (Pro tip: if the braised beef short rib wontons are available, you’ve gotta try them!)

5. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

The last restaurant we want to chat with you about is Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, which you can find in Epcot‘s Norway Pavilion. Akershus offers a princess character meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

First off, we want to stress how much we LOVE the character lineup at Akershus. The princesses you can expect to meet include Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Aurora, and Ariel, though this is subject to change.

Ariel at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

While we enjoy visiting Akershus to chat with the princesses, we’ve never really been wowed by the restaurant’s food. We’re all for trying new things (don’t get me started on escargot — it’s SO GOOD), the Norwegian spread just doesn’t do it for us personally. And it might be a tad too adventurous for little ones’ palates.

Akershus Buffet Spread

But since Akershus isn’t the most popular character restaurant in Disney World (looking at you, Cinderella’s Royal Table), we’d say it’s appropriately rated. 

Which Disney World restaurant do YOU think is overrated? Let us know in the comments below!

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5 Replies to “Are These Five Popular Disney World Restaurants Overrated?”

  1. Akershus was good before the princesses took over. You are paying excessive prices for princess visits. I used to appreciate the buffet, but now the selections are minimal, and the dinner entrees are ordinary. Akershus used to be a nice, quiet “adult” restaurant, but no longer.

    50’s Prime Time also used to be good, but now it seems to value volume over quality. It was a nice lunch destination, but now you can only get full dinner entrees at lunch. And the waitstaff is not as amusing as it used to be, mostly because they are too busy trying to rush customers to eat and leave quickly.

  2. We’ve eaten at 50’s Prime Time twice now and have no intention of going back. The good is ok but having to wait an extra 20-30 minutes for your table and then not even getting a TV table isn’t worth it. The service has always been good and the atmosphere fun but I dont want to wait longer than my reservation time to sit next to a cold window!

  3. I have only visited Be Our Guest for dinner, so I can’t speak to the quick server experience at lunch and dinner, but can
    unequivocally say that our dinner was one of the beat I’ve had at WDW.

    We were fortunate to be seated in the covered West Wing, where the ambiance was amazing. However, I found the ballroom and gallery room to be just OK- the ballroom reminded me of a typical catering hall, and the gallery room had the look and feel of a diner. Our meal and the service was exceptional, but I’m reluctant to go back as I would only want to dine in the West Wing again!!

  4. Be Our Guest is WAY overrated in my opinion. We had to hover over other diners to get a table and it took almost an hour to receive our lunch after asking 3 different cast members for help. We got a small cupcake to make up for it, and the food was NOT good. Cold McDonald’s fries and a greasy grilled ham and cheese. Though the inside is cool, it was a waste of time and money.

    Though Crystal Palace is overpriced, I really enjoyed it. The food was tasty and had a great character interaction. If you love Pooh and his friends, I think it is worth doing at least once.

  5. I used to love going to Akershus for breakfast with the princesses. It was really nice to go in, meet Belle, and then have photos of you and Belle delivered to your table. Then Disney got cheap and cut the photos and just throw it on your Magic Band. It’s not really the same.

    Add to that the last time I went Snow White wasn’t there so only 3 of the 4 princesses were visiting at the tables. And despite being a princess short, you’re still charged full price.

    And I don’t know why Cinderella’s table is popular besides eating in the castle. I’ve been there for breakfast and lunch and both times the food wasn’t very good. And the Breakfast characters seemed extremely rushed.