Disney World Restaurants You Only Need to Visit ONCE

Some restaurants in Disney World are tried-and-true classics as well as unique finds that we would frankly eat at every day if we could: Sanaa, Nomad Lounge, Spice Road Table, and Grand Floridian Cafe are just a few we could dine at over and over again! But with hundreds of restaurants to choose from, it can be tempting to try something new over returning somewhere you’ve already been.

Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Today, we’re sharing a list of restaurants we think are “one and done.” These aren’t necessarily poor restaurants, but rather dining locations where you go for the experience, or the menu is wildly expensive — no repeat visits are necessary.

Cinderella’s Royal Table

The first restaurant we’re mentioning may shock some of you! Cinderella’s Royal Table in Magic Kingdom is an iconic dining location that you should totally do once to experience eating in Cinderella Castle! If you have a little one who’s fond of princesses, this is also a great way to meet a lot of them at once (currently, Disney World is offering modified character dining).

Cinderella’s Royal Table

The price tag and the overall quality of food, however, make for Cinderella’s Royal Table to be a “one and done.” If you want to try something different, try Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (when open), Trattoria al Forno, or 1900 Park Fare.

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Be Our Guest Restaurant falls in the same category as Cinderella’s Royal Table in that you’re really there to dine in the iconic ballroom inside the Beast’s Castle. It’s truly an amazing environment to dine in, and will ultimately be a memorable dining experience. However, the food has been hit or miss in recent years, and the prix-fixe menu for both lunch and dinner make for a very pricey meal that frankly isn’t worth doing more than once right now.

Entrance to Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom

If you’ve already dined at Be Our Guest Restaurant, you can check out Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom for a more affordable meal, or Le Cellier Steakhouse in EPCOT for that romantic, dimly-lit signature vibe.

Space 220

Yep, we have another hot take on our list of “one and done” restaurants in Disney World! Now, Space 220 at EPCOT hasn’t been open for all that long, but based on our early impressions, we have a feeling that this dining experience will be one that you really only need to do once.

Space 220

The food overall at Space 220 is good, and it may even improve as time goes on. However, you’re really taking that elevator up 220 miles above EPCOT for the experience. And their lofty prices on their prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus would need to come back down to earth before we would say that this is worth multiple trips. There’s really nothing like Space 220 in Disney World, but you can likely find less expensive, just as tasty versions of their menu items elsewhere after you have your first trip up to outer space.

Coral Reef

Coral Reef at EPCOT sounds like a neat concept on paper — somewhat upscale seafood dining in an aquarium setting, with floor-to-ceiling aquarium habitats making you feel like you’re almost dining underwater. Sounds neat…until you realize you’re eating fish…in front of other fish.

Coral Reef at EPCOT

Unfortunately, the awkward interactions with the fish can’t be made up for by a stellar menu. Overall, Coral Reef is a great place to check out once, especially if you like seafood, but after that, you’ll do better off at a place like Sanaa for dining alongside live animals.

Sci Fi Dine-In Theater

The common theme today seems to be “really neat atmosphere, so-so food.” Sci Fi Dine-In Theater provides some of the most unique seating at any Disney World restaurant, with diners seated in old-fashion cars while movies play — just like you’re at a drive-in movie. Unfortunately, the seating seems to be the most memorable part of dining here. It’s not that the food isn’t good, but once you’ve experienced this one-of-a-kind atmosphere, you’re ready to move onto other restaurants.

Sci-Fi Dine in

Nearby in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is 50’s Prime Time Cafe, which also provides an old-school atmosphere with great food!

Oga’s Cantina

It’s probably every Star Wars’ fan ultimate dream to step foot into an actual cantina. Luckily, Disney World has made that dream a reality with Oga’s Cantina in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. The atmosphere is seriously cool, and the menu is filled with unique cocktails that could only exist in a galaxy far, far away.

Oga’s Cantina has a REALLY cool theme.

Much of Oga’s is standing-room only, and it’s not the most kid-friendly place with its loud music and menu heavily focused on alcoholic beverages. For more cult classic-style bars and lounges, head to Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, or to Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar in Disney Springs (which is full of fun nods to the Indiana Jones franchise!). If you’re just looking for a relaxing lounge, just steps away from Galaxy’s Edge is BaseLine Tap House.

Chef Mickey’s

Chef Mickey’s is a true Disney World dining rite of passage, especially for little ones. This is definitely a restaurant you should visit at least once, but beyond that…well, it’s up to what your family prioritizes on a Disney World vacation. Is it really important that you meet the Fab 5 while on vacation? If so, then this is a great way to do so while getting a decent meal in for the day.

Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Keep in mind that Chef Mickey’s is BIG. It’s LOUD. And the food is just okay. You’re really there to see the characters, and if you can stomach the price tag so you can wave to Mickey Mouse, then book that repeat visit. Otherwise, check out Garden Grill or Topolino’s Terrace instead.

California Grill

Don’t get us wrong — California Grill is totally a must-do at least once to experience its stunning views of Magic Kingdom (and maybe catch a fireworks show!). However, California Grill’s menu can be hit-or-miss, and they charge quite a pretty penny to dine there.

California Grill

Now, we will say that it may be worth it to check California Grill out once more during the 50th Anniversary Celebration for its new three-course prix-fixe menu, but if you feel like you’ve had your fill, check out Topolino’s Terrace or Toledo for more rooftop, dinner-with-a-view options.

Victoria & Albert’s and Takumi-Tei

These next two restaurants are paired together, in part due to their extravagantly high price tag and the fact that both Victoria & Albert’s and Takumu-Tei are true dining experiences that take several hours to complete.

(Please note that both Victoria & Albert’s and Takumi-Tei have not reopened following the 2020 closure. We hope they will both return soon.)

Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

These are absolute must-tries if your budget allows and you want to experience top-tier service and food in Disney World. That said, due to the price tag, it’s hard to justify multiple visits.

Water Room at Takumi-Tei

Other great restaurants that offer a similar signature feel include Morimoto Asia and Narcoossee’s.

Rainforest Cafe and T-Rex

The final two dining spots on our “one-and-done” list are sister restaurants, both owned by Landry’s — Rainforest Cafe and T-Rex, both located in Disney Springs (with a second Rainforest Cafe located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom).

Rainforest Cafe

Long story short, if you already have a Rainforest Cafe near where you live, then you can likely skip this spot in Disney World altogether. However, your kids may find the life-size animatronic dinosaurs at T-Rex to be worth a trip.

T-Rex

Once you’ve had your fill, skip the animatronic animals and head to Sanaa for dining alongside real animals that live on the savanna at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. You can even try Teppan Edo for a unique dining experience where your kids will have plenty to look at (the hibachi-style dining gives you a bit of a show to go alongside your meal!).

Looking for somewhere new to dine on your next vacation? Click here to read about some of the most underrated restaurants in Disney World!

Do you agree with our list? Which Disney World restaurant screams “one and done” to you the most? Let us know in the comments!

Join the AllEars.net Newsletter to stay on top of ALL the breaking Disney News! You'll also get access to AllEars tips, reviews, trivia, and MORE! Click here to Subscribe!

Click below to subscribe

Trending Now

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

6 Replies to “Disney World Restaurants You Only Need to Visit ONCE”

  1. I’m so glad we were able to go to BOG when it was a quick service. Hopefully they bring back that option (but why would they when it’s always sold out for the $$$ table service). My kids really love T-Rex so I imagine we will go there more than once. It’s fine for a non park day and the chocolate extinction is actually pretty good! I think having kids or even adults who are picky eaters makes a big difference in which restaurants are on your personal list.

  2. I feel like there are a ton of one-and-done or even just skip this all over WDW. This list does a pretty good job highlighting the ones specifically geared toward high price high concept atmosphere with underwhelming offerings as well as the extreme high end ones.

    But to each their own – I always thought Teppan-Edo was over hyped and overpriced especially considering you can throw a rock in any direction in and around the International Drive/Kissimmee area and are bound to hit a comparable/better quality Japanese steakhouse that costs substantially less; but still when I share this feeling with some other WDW fans I know they seem to find it blasphemous.

  3. I guess they say beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Our family absolutely loves Cinderella’s royal table. We have eaten there several times. Going into the castle is an iconic experience. On the other hand the beasts castle really is not a castle. It essentially is a pretty cafeteria. These experiences could not be more opposite. I agree Victorian Alberts is very pricey. However my wife and I did the private dining experience in Queen Victorian room and it was the greatest dining experience we have ever had anywhere. The food was beyond comparison. Every dish, utensil, wine glass, and so on was perfectly matched with the food. They surprised us with extra courses and wine to try. They did things with food we did not know were possible. It was over 4 hours start to finish. Unless you have cash to burn I agree its not something you would do very often expect for special occasions, but to have an experience that is without compare I would strongly recommend it. After I came home for a while I was comparing Ruth Chris and Jeff Ruby’s restaurant to Burger King.

  4. The three that are definitely “one & done” for me: Nine Dragons in the Chinese pavilion, Teppan Edo in the Japanese pavilion, and Rose & Crown in the British pavilion. Having dined at each, the nicest thing I can say for them is that I used my dining plan. The food at each is, at best, just OK.

  5. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall isn’t reopening as a character breakfast. It’s been turned into Florida Blue Cross/Blue Shield Corporate Lounge.