Don’t Eat in the Parks on Your Next Disney World Vacation

Many of us can ramble off our favorite restaurants in the Disney World theme parks: Be Our Guest or Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom, Le Cellier or Chefs de France in EPCOT, Tiffins or Yak & Yeti  at Animal Kingdom…. Simply put, there’s always somewhere to eat in the parks!

Have you ever dined inside Cinderella Castle?

We’re going to challenge you, however, NOT to eat in the theme parks on your next Disney World vacation!

Say WHAT now? It’s true; you may be surprised to find just how many restaurants are around OUTSIDE of the theme parks — and excellent restaurants at that! Depending on which park you’re visiting, we have a few suggestions to keep in mind when looking for a place to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner away from the parks.

Magic Kingdom area

A number of excellent resort hotels are just minutes away from Magic Kingdom. You can hop on the Monorail, take the Ferry Boat, or even walk to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Hop on the Monorail at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa for a direct trip to Magic Kingdom!

At Disney’s Contemporary Resort, The Wave offers a yummy breakfast to start your day before adventuring in the parks. For a romantic dinner, check out California Grill — you can’t beat the view!

When fireworks are running, California Grill offers spectacular views of the show!

The Polynesian has a number of unique dining options, including ‘Ohana (when available), Kona Cafe, and for the adults, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto (when available).

‘Ohana Breakfast Platter is among guests’ favorite restaurant choices!

Other great options for a lunch break on your Magic Kingdom day include Grand Floridian Cafe at the Grand Floridian or Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios area

Just like the Magic Kingdom resorts can all be easily accessed by the Monorail or by boat, you can hop on the Skyliner to travel from EPCOT or Disney’s Hollywood Studios to one of their area hotels for some spectacular dining options that rivals what you would find in the parks!

The Disney Skyliner takes you to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

For breakfast, Topolino’s Terrace  is one of the newer character dining experiences in Disney World at Disney’s Riviera Resort. You can wave to Mickey Mouse and dine on some delectable dishes, plus you have stunning views of the resort area!

Topolino’s Terrace

For lunch or dinner on your EPCOT day, you are literally steps away from Beaches & Cream at Disney’s Beach Club Resort

Bailey’s Brownie Sundae with Coffee Ice Cream

Simply exit the park via International Gateway in World Showcase and walk straight to this fun soda shop-style restaurant, known for their gigantic sundaes.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom area

Your day at Animal Kingdom is the closest you’ll be to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, as it’s just a quick bus ride away! Rather than find a place to eat in the park, check out this unique hotel and its one-of-a-kind restaurants.

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Sanaa is a favorite of ours — and not just because it has a unique menu filled with scrumptious food! It also features great views of the resort’s savanna, giving the entire family a chance to check out the animals that call the resort home.

A table with a view!

If you want something a little (or a lot) more romantic, you can’t do much better than Jiko

JIko Oak Grilled Signature Filet

Disney Springs

Finally, we wanted to give a shout out to Disney Springs! The dining and shopping district is worth a visit after a day in the parks, or on your day off from the parks altogether! This place is home to a variety of restaurants, from Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ to Morimoto Asia and Wine Bar George.

Morimoto Asia

Whether you’re looking for a breakfast option before you enter the parks for the day, or you need a lunch break from the hustle and bustle, you should strongly consider looking at the restaurants at Disney World’s hotel and Disney Springs areas. You may just find a new favorite that you’ll choose over dining in the parks again and again!

Click here for the best (and WORST) of Disney World’s hotel restaurants.


What is your favorite Disney World restaurant that’s NOT in a theme park? Let us know in the comments!

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One Reply to “Don’t Eat in the Parks on Your Next Disney World Vacation”

  1. I can probably make all our Ressies out of the parks since there r Some places we have Never gone to!!!

    But there r some in Parks we want to try too. Especially Snack places