Four Less Than Obvious Restaurants to Celebrate a Special Occasion at Walt Disney World

For many guests, celebrating a special occasion during a trip to Walt Disney World is a rite of passage. Oftentimes, these celebrations involve a meal at one of the World’s signature restaurants. However, as any regular guest of the parks knows, these restaurants can get overcrowded.

Coral Reef Restaurant
Coral Reef Restaurant

If you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion at Disney World in a less than obvious way, one of the four restaurants might be what you’re looking for.

*NOTE: Before you yell at us, we’re not saying these restaurants are “unknown” by any means, simply that for numerous reasons, they’re not the first ones many guests think of when planning a special occasions. 😉

1900 Park Fare

Our first stop brings us to 1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. This charming buffet spot offers Victorian elegance that’s perfect for special occasions like birthdays or graduations. In particular, the restaurant’s character meals — the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast featuring Mary Poppins, Alice, The Mad Hatter, Tigger and Winnie the Pooh; the Wonderland Tea Party; and Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner — are a great way to meet several Disney friends at once!

Cinderella at 1900 Park Fare

The restaurant’s Grand Floridian location, right on the Monorail Resort line, makes it a convenient less-than-obvious spot to eat a celebratory meal either before, during, or after a Magic Kingdom day while avoiding the park’s packed restaurants.


Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano

Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano, while well known to Disney aficionados, flies a bit under the radar at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The restaurant doesn’t have the over the top theming of 50’s Prime Time Cafe or the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, nor the real life Hollywood name cache of the Hollywood Brown Derby.

Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano

However, the restaurant’s Italy-by-way-of California menu and jovial atmosphere makes it a festive off-the-beaten path restaurant to celebrate family gatherings and date nights at the Park.

Raglan Road

If you’re celebrating an adult occasion at Walt Disney World – think a bachelor or bachelorette party, Girls’ Night, etc. – Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant in Disney Springs is a slightly less than obvious choice, at least compared the area’s currently better-known eateries and bars like The BOATHOUSE, The Edison, and Jock Lindsay’s Hangar Bar.

Raglan Road

Raglan Road offers a large selection of Irish food and drink, as well as live entertainment every night, making it a raucous place to celebrate in the World.

Coral Reef

There are plenty of romantic restaurants at Walt Disney World that make the perfect spot for one of the most special occasions in anyone’s life: a marriage proposal. Now, full disclosure: I actually got engaged at Walt Disney World, proposing at the admittedly stereotypical for the occasion Be Our Guest. However, if you’re looking for a less than obvious place to pop the question, how about the Coral Reef Restaurant at Epcot’s Living Seas pavilion?

Coral Reel Dining Room

The restaurant used to be one of Epcot’s most well-known. However, while still popular, it has been eclipsed in recent years as a foodie culture has developed around the park’s World Showcase eateries. Coral Reef’s now comparatively less busy atmosphere, as well as the breathtaking views directly into an aquarium featuring 4,000+ sea creatures, make it a unique backdrop for a romantic proposal.

Have you ever celebrated a special occasion at one of Walt Disney World’s restaurants? Let us know in the comments below.

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4 Replies to “Four Less Than Obvious Restaurants to Celebrate a Special Occasion at Walt Disney World”

  1. Not impressed with Mama Melrose. The food wasn’t any better than an Olive Garden and service wasn’t great either. If you want better than average Italian food try Trattoria al Forno. The food is very good, the service was excellent and the atmosphere much better than Mama Melrose. Sorry Mama

  2. Celebrated a big birthday for my husband AND my mom being cancer free, but you’d never know it from the way the staff at the luau at the Polynesian completely ignored us. I tried to make things special, and God knows coordinating this trip took a lot. Looks like our first Disney trip will be our last as I voiced a complaint about this a week ago with ZERO response from Disney. Smh.

    1. Did you contact Disney and did Disney specifically tell you that they would be giving you some special attention at the luau and then they didn’t?

      1. To follow up on Ken’s question: please clarify how you were ignored. I’ve never been to the luau, so I can’t say if occasions or milestones are acknowledged. Congrats to your Mom, by the way. Hope you will continue to celebrate!