Stop Wasting Your Time at These Disney World Dining Locations

Walt Disney World has a LOT of restaurants, and some are better than others in terms of the menu, the quality, the ambiance, or all of the above. 

Be Our Guest

We could talk all day about the best ones, but we also want you to know which restaurants to avoid. Some of these are fine, but you can find better options; others are just plain bad.

We’re here to let you know which Disney World Restaurants you need to stop wasting your time visiting!

The first category of restaurants we’re going to talk about are the ones that are just too ordinary. They’re not bad necessarily, but you can find something super similar around where you live usually. If you don’t live near any places like these, then feel free to try them out, but if you do, there are sooo many better options for you at Disney World!

Tutto Italia Ristorante

Located in the Italy pavilion in EPCOT, Tutto Italia is just your basic Americanized Italian food. They have chicken parmesan, lasagna, fettuccine alfredo, etc. It’s nothing you can’t find at your local (or even a chain) Italian joint. 

Tutto Italia

If you still want to indulge in the food, at least go next door to Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar! It’s the same menu but a much more interesting atmosphere. Plus, it’s a wine cave, so it’s got that going for it.

Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar

And if you want really good Italian food, that you might not be able to find everywhere, go over to Via Napoli for some pizza or make time for an extended meal at Il Mulino at the Swan hotel!

Lotus Blossom Cafe

This is basically just a Panda Express. Actually, Panda Express has more options. This is like Panda Express Lite (which, if that’s something you love, could be a good thing!). Lotus Blossom has average Americanized Chinese food you could find in a mall food court.

Lotus Blossom Cafe

So while it is fine and will fill you up, we think hungry guests can do better than this.

Katsura Grill

Just like Lotus Blossom… but the Japanese version. Katsura Grill in EPCOT’s Japan pavilion has mediocre ramen and udon and unimaginative sushi rolls.

Katsura Grill

If you really want sushi, check out Tokyo Dining or one of the festival booths that are in Japan throughout the year; there’s usually some sort of fresh fish offering.

Japan Booth

And honestly, the noodle dishes at the food festivals, like The Noodle Exchange, are usually better than the ones here.

Coral Reef Restaurant

There is something weird about eating fish while *looking* at fish; it’s unsettling. The aquarium is cool, but the food at Coral Reef is nothing special, especially when you’re at EPCOT, the park with some of the most diverse and unique food offerings.

Coral Reef Restaurant
Coral Reef Restaurant

If you’re looking for good seafood there are WAY better options like over at La Hacienda de San Angel or even Yorkshire County Fish Shop.

Sunset Boulevard Restaurants

Yep, all of these spots, EXCEPT for Hollywood Scoops (we love you, Scoops!). These Quick Service restaurants include Anaheim Produce, Catalina Eddie’s, Fairfax Fare, and Rosie’s All-American Cafe.

Fairfax Fare on Sunset Boulevard

These restaurants are mostly fine, but they’re pretty standard theme park food. If you venture into some other areas of Hollywood Studios, you’ll find some way better choices! Woody’s Lunch Box or Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo are better themed and have more exciting eats.

Woody’s Lunch Box

Okay, now let’s get into the bad restaurants. We want you to know that all of these have some appeal — and that appeal might be perfectly suited to you or someone in your party. But food and the dining experience are subjective, and we just aren’t fans of these spots overall.

Rainforest Cafe & T-Rex Cafe

These two have super basic, expensive food and gimmicky themes. We would say they’re like Applebees but with over-the-top theming. They’re ridiculously overpriced for what you get in terms of food quality; the mixed drinks average around $15, the burgers around $20.

T-Rex Cafe

And can we talk about the animatronics and decor? How realistic do you think it is that they regularly clean all the foliage to dining standards? Just imagine all the dust *shivers.* Plus, a lot of the elements are looking outdated these days.

Rainforest Cafe

If these places will make your kids’ entire lives, consider stopping here for a few appetizers or just to enjoy dessert…then maybe try introducing them to some places with better food. There are places in Disney with heavy theming that still have good food, like Raglan Road in Disney Springs and Yak & Yeti in Animal Kingdom.

Planet Hollywood & House of Blues

It’s a big NO from us! These two are also chains and kind of fall into the same category for us, so we’re putting them together. You can find other locations for Planet Hollywood and House of Blues elsewhere in the country, but if you choose to partake in these restaurants, set your expectations low. They’re like Times Square restaurants: they’ve got a lot of flash, but they’re not known for their food.

Planet Hollywood

They also aren’t the most kid friendly restaurants, either, and you can find significantly better options in Disney Springs. Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ offers much better quality eats with items kids will love, or grab some Quick Service at D-Luxe Burger or The Polite Pig.

House of Blues

Pinocchio Village Haus

This Fantasyland spot has basic flatbreads, a Caesar salad, and chicken strips. Yawn. One non-food reason to check out Pinocchio Village Haus is the windows looking out over “it’s a small world”. You might pop in here to share a snack like breadsticks with a side of tomato basil soup or to try specialty desserts like the Tangled Eclair.

Pinocchio Village Haus

We can do better, and we don’t even have to go far! Grab something at Friar’s Nook or Columbia Harbour House instead. The offerings are more interesting and better quality, respectively.

Puffy Pizza Places

You know what we’re talking about! Those personal pizzas that are more dough than pizza that you find at carnivals or football games. Places notorious for this in Disney World are Pizzafari in Animal Kingdom and PizzeRizzo and Catalina Eddie’s in Hollywood Studios.

Pizzafari

It’s just so “meh” when you’re surrounded by other amazing options! We’ve already discussed some of the better places in Hollywood Studios, but in Animal Kingdom you could have anything from Satu’li Canteen to Flame Tree BBQ. We totally understand if your kids will only eat plain cheese pizza, but we want you to get a chance to try something better!

Tony’s Town Square

Tony’s in Magic Kingdom is commonly called the Olive Garden of Disney World, but we’ve heard some people think it actually might be worse! And for $22 for a plate of spaghetti, that’s definitely not worth it.

Tony’s Town Square Restaurant

You can find much better Italian food around Disney World — and better food all together in Magic Kingdom, like over at Skipper Canteen or even Plaza Restaurant.

Skipper Canteen

Those are all of the restaurants we don’t think are worth your time or your money at Disney World. We know plenty of folks enjoy these options, and we love that you have your favorite spots. For our money, though, we think these are not up to par.

Click here to see the best restaurants at every price point in Disney World!

Do you think we missed any restaurants that should be on the list? Let us know  in the comments!

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9 Replies to “Stop Wasting Your Time at These Disney World Dining Locations”

  1. You say that a lot of these are similar to chain restaurants but those of us from other countries can’t go to those chains in our home towns & if we stay on Disney property don’t have a car to visit whilst in the USA. When abroad I like to try the local cuisine so basic American food is different to us!

  2. This is the new Iger/Chapek overpriced for less Disney. It used to be each restaurant would have unique items and something special about it. Now it’s cut costs to the bone and homogenize.
    Speculating about cleaning in Rainforest is funny. How often do you think the roll out Genie lifts and take half a day or so to clean the giant lighting fixtures in Morimoto Asia or all the exposed beams in Homecomin’?

  3. my daughter and I ate at Coral Reef in August and loved it… however I do agree that for it being in Epcot it gets overlooked alot. It would fo much better as a restaurant in Magic Kingdom that doesn’t have alot of good food options

  4. What a terrible list someone made. Do not, i repeat do not listen to these suggestions above. So many good places listed, what a terrible, terrible article.

    1. I agree with Jeffrey. Some of these places we always thought were good and are regular stops for us. I guess everyone has their opinion.

  5. The Plaza restaurant is the most overpriced burger in Disney World. Its not good or worth eating. my kids have always loved Tony’s although I agree it is simple Italian food, but its at least worth eating.

    The Boathouse has the best burger on Disney property. Its a true steak burger and the flavor is fantastic.

  6. For someone with allergies, Starlight Cafe and Backlot Express do offer opportunities in classic theme park food that aren’t necessarily offered everywhere else. From that perspective, they’re nice quick options.

    Coral Reef does need to update their menu. I don’t think the problem is as much having the aquarium and eating fish. There really isn’t that much of a connection. The menu is overall very heavy, too much cheese, pork product, butter, large quantity of steak. The mahi mahi recipe isn’t correctly balanced.