Five Overhyped Walt Disney World Restaurants

There are tons of great options for delicious food in Disney World, whether you’re looking for a luxurious meal, a quick snack, or a tasty treat.

Breakfast at Chef Mickey’s

But despite all the participation trophies on our shelves, we know that not everyone can be a winner. So which Disney World restaurants are NOT worth a visit?

To help you avoid spending money on mediocre food and experiences, we made a list of 5 Disney World restaurants that are definitely not worth the hype they get.

Some of these restaurants are among the most popular in Disney World, but don’t let that fool you. We’ve eaten at all of them several times, and we’ve been consistently disappointed.

Dinner at Be Our Guest

Before we get into it, we want to put a disclaimer in here. We included restaurants that have let us down several times, but that doesn’t mean that they were totally bad experiences or that our readers had the same experiences we had. A lot of these spots are great for certain age groups or if you’re looking for a very themed meal, and we know that people will disagree with us even when it comes to the food!

So if you love one (or more) of the places on our “Overhyped Disney World Restaurants” list, we hope you won’t take it personally! Let us know about your own experiences and thoughts in the comments.

Milkshake at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

We’re starting off the list with one that might shock you, especially if you’re a die-hard Beauty and the Beast fan.

Be Our Guest

The Be Our Guest restaurant is located in Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom.

Be Our Guest Restaurant

At this spot, you’ll get to dine inside the Beast’s Castle, either in the main ballroom, the West Wing, or the art gallery. (Ask to sit in the ballroom or West Wing if you do go here — they’re the most iconic rooms if you love the movie.) Just being in these locations is pretty amazing, so this restaurant might be a “do it once for the experience” place, but it’s not one of our favorites by a long shot.

To Be Our Guest!

As huge Beauty and the Beast fans ourselves, it hurts us a little bit to include this restaurant on our list of overhyped spots in Disney World. But we have to be honest! The food here is usually mediocre, so we can’t justify those high prices.

Be Our Guest Dining Room

Right now Be Our Guest is especially expensive since both dinner and lunch are prix fixe meals. That means that you pay one fixed price to choose an appetizer, entrée, dessert, and drink, and you can’t order any of those à la carte instead.

French Onion Soup at Be Our Guest

These prix fixe meals cost $62 per adult and $37 per child (ages 9 and younger). You can get some amazing food in Disney World for lower prices than that! We’re talking filet mignon at Le Cellier Steakhouse in EPCOT kind of amazing food, not just Quick Service meals.

50th Anniversary Meal

Some dishes at Be Our Guest are really not bad, but for the high prices, we usually expect more exciting and impressive flavors than what we get.

Try the grey stuff!

And when we tried the new 50th Anniversary menu, the thing that stood out to us the most (and NOT in a good way) was the Squid’s Revenge drink. There was an actual cold, rubbery octopus tentacle in the drink. Honestly, that by itself was enough for us to question all of our life choices to this point.

The Squid’s Revenge!

But we will concede that the dining rooms and theming in general are fabulous at this restaurant. If you’ve ever wanted to put yourself directly into the Beauty and the Beast story, this is the place to do it. Just know that you’re really paying for the experience of eating in a ballroom, not for five-star cuisine. (And please, if you’ve ever loved us, do not order the Squid’s Revenge.)

Instead…

Instead of dining at Be Our Guest, you can find a Disney princess-themed restaurant at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge called Storybook Dining at Artist’s Point. This restaurant is themed to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and it has much better food (in our opinion) than the Beauty and the Beast counterpart.

Storybook Dining

Storybook Dining costs $60 per adult and $39 per child, which is a similar price to Be Our Guest. But for that cost, Storybook Dining offers better food and it’s also a character meal! You’ll see Snow White, the Evil Queen, and some of the Seven Dwarfs during the meal.

Snow White

For a cheaper option, we’d recommend heading to a Magic Kingdom quick service restaurant like Casey’s Corner or even the Spring Roll Cart and then finding the Disney princesses somewhere else, like in a cavalcade.

Princess Processional at Magic Kingdom

The princesses can also often be seen towards the entrance of Magic Kingdom at the Main Street Railroad Station.

Click Here to Learn More About Finding Princesses in Disney World

Chef Mickey’s

Character meals are some of the most popular (and expensive) meals in Disney World. Chef Mickey’s is towards the top of that list since guests can dine close to Magic Kingdom (this restaurant is located at Disney’s Contemporary Resort) with Mickey and the gang.

Chef Mickey’s

As much as we love to chat with Mickey, this restaurant isn’t our favorite place to do it. The food is now quite a bit better than it was before, but it’s still not quite enough to justify what it costs.

Chef Mickey!

Breakfast here is $42 for adults and $27 for kids, and dinner is $55 for adults and $36 for kids. Dishes include Mickey waffles, sausage and bacon, scrambled eggs, and other typical breakfast foods in the morning and things like gnocchi, prime rib, and roasted salmon for dinner.

Entrées at the reopened Chef Mickey’s

Like we said, when Chef Mickey’s reopened recently, we were actually really impressed with the improvement in the food. But one of the problems with this restaurant is that there are similar options available that we think are much better.

Banana Bread French Toast

If you’re looking for a character meal near Magic Kingdom, we don’t think you’ll be too disappointed with this choice. But if you can reschedule that character experience to one of our other recommendations, we’re pretty sure you’ll thank us for the upgrade.

Instead…

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you can dine at Tusker House, which has more unique and exciting food options (like Durban Chicken & Egg Curry and Moroccan Spiced Beef) for the same price as Chef Mickey’s.

Tusker House Pastry and Fruit

And this spot has all the characters, too! You’ll see Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and more friends in their cute safari outfits.

Mickey at Tusker House

But our favorite character breakfast is probably actually Topolino’s Terrace at Disney’s Riviera Resort. This restaurant is easy to get to since it’s on the Skyliner route. So if you’re staying at a Skyliner hotel or visiting EPCOT or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it’s just a short ride away.

Topolino’s Terrace

We love the food at this spot (for breakfast and dinner), and you’ll get to see Mickey and the gang here in outfits inspired by the arts if you dine at Breakfast a la Art, the character breakfast.

Topolino’s Terrace

The view from this restaurant is amazing since it’s located on the upper floor of the Riviera Resort. It costs the same as Chef Mickey’s as well, so with delicious food and amazing views, it’s a better deal for your money.

Click Here to See All the Character Meals in Disney World

Coral Reef

What can we say about a restaurant that lets you watch fish in a huge aquarium while you eat seafood at the same time?

Coral Reef

Like Be Our Guest, the atmosphere of Coral Reef is actually really impressive and fun. There’s a HUGE tank filled with all kinds of fish and other marine life along one wall, and you might even be seated right next to it. Other tables and booths are elevated on steps, so everyone at least gets a view.

Coral Reef Dining Room

Unfortunately, that’s about it when it comes to things that impress us about this restaurant. The food here is pretty mediocre, and we just feel a little weird about eating fish while they’re swimming right next to us.

Coral Reef at EPCOT

Entrées range in price from $24 to $36, and kids’ meals are $11 to $13. With fairly reasonable prices (for Disney World sit-down restaurants) and okay (but not great) food, why does this spot make our top 5 for overhyped restaurants? A big problem is its location. Coral Reef is in EPCOT, and as you all know, EPCOT has a ton of amazing food.

Kids meal at Coral Reef

If it were over in Magic Kingdom, we might actually really enjoy this restaurant! But with so many other great options nearby in EPCOT’s World Showcase, Coral Reef falls a little flat.

Key Lime Tart at Coral Reef

That being said, it might still be worth the visit if you or your kids love sea creatures. But we’ve got some better recommendations for you, even if that’s the case.

Instead…

If you want a similar (but much less expensive) experience, head to The Seas aquarium (in EPCOT’s World Nature) and walk around for a while, checking out the amazing variety of marine life here. Then, take a short walk over to the Yorkshire County Fish Shop in the UK pavilion of World Showcase and get some delicious fish and chips for $11.49!

The Seas Aquarium

It’s a seafood dinner and a show (albeit at different times) at half the price you’d pay at Coral Reef. And we honestly prefer the fish and chips at Yorkshire County to most of the food at Coral Reef. Usually, the batter is crispy and delicious, and the fish is flaky and flavorful.

Fish and Chips

For a different sit-down option in EPCOT, we love Garden Grill. This restaurant (located in the Land pavilion, near Soarin’) actually rotates very slowly in a circle. It gives guests views of the Living With the Land attraction while you eat, and it’s also a character meal!

Garden Grill

We enjoy the classic food here (it’s kind of like Thanksgiving food, with turkey, potatoes, veggies, and more), and it’s fun to see Mickey and the gang while we eat. As a character meal, the prices are a little higher here, at $55 for adults and $36 for kids.

Chip ‘n’ Dale Harvest Feast at Garden Grill

For an elevated seafood dining experience, we recommend the BOATHOUSE in Disney Springs. This spot has much better seafood than you’ll typically find at Coral Reef, in our opinion.

The BOATHOUSE

Here, you’ll find a raw oyster bar, market-fresh fish, and a lot of options for entrées like Shrimp & Andouille Mac & Cheese and Maine Lobster Bisque.

Firecracker Shrimp

There’s also a wide range of prices, so you can get some large, fancy meals for close to $50 or keep things simple with oysters, sandwiches, shrimp dishes, and more for less than $20.

Click Here to Check Out Another Seafood Restaurant in Disney World that Recently Reopened

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is home to some fun restaurants, like the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. Instead of a traditional dining room, this spot has a bunch of old-style cars at the drive-in!

Sci Fi Dine-In Theater

You’ll watch retro movie clips while you dine, which makes a really fun experience for kids.

Sci-Fi Dine-In

The sad news is that the food here is only okay, and it’s pretty expensive for what you get. Like most of the other restaurants on this list, you’re really just paying for the experience because the food is kind of disappointing.

Burger at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

It’s not hard to drop $40 on just a burger, onion rings, and a milkshake here, and we think there are better versions of that exact kind of food in this park.

Instead…

Disney’s Hollywood Studios also has the 50’s Prime Time Café, which is another highly themed, retro restaurant. The main difference? We think the food here is better.

50’s Prime Time Cafe in Hollywood Studios

Comfort food is the name of the game, and 50’s Prime Time knows what they’re doing when it comes to fried chicken, chocolate cake, and milkshakes.

Fried Chicken Dinner

The prices are similar to Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, but we think the quality of the food is much higher.

Plus they have this herb and garlic cheese.

In addition, the theming is super fun, with each table in its own “kitchen” area. And the servers here are usually in character as your bossy relatives who are very strict about keeping those elbows off the table in mom’s kitchen.

50’s Prime Time Seating

So if you’re looking for a fun experience that has great eats to match, 50’s Prime Time Café is our pick!

Click Here to See Our Ranking of All the Hollywood Studios Restaurants

Rainforest Café and T-Rex Café

These two cafés are very similar in a lot of ways. Both can be found in Disney World (and elsewhere in the US). Both have immersive theming. And both have disappointed us with not-so-good food.

Rainforest Café

Rainforest Café has two locations, one at the entrance to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and one in Disney Springs’ Marketplace; and T-Rex Café is in Disney Springs as well. These spots are popular with kids who love to see the fun decorations and enjoy a predictable menu with chicken nuggets, quesadillas, and hot dogs.

Fun dining room

But when we’ve eaten at these restaurants, we’ve found that the food leaves a lot to be desired. There are some amazing restaurants at Animal Kingdom, so we don’t want to give up a great meal (that can still have fun theming) for a mediocre one.

T-Rex Cafe

And T-Rex Café is located in the dining center of Disney World. When you’re surrounded by some of the highest-quality dining in the World, it’s just a shame to choose this chain restaurant instead.

Rainforest Cafe

We do need to concede the fact that both of these restaurants will be very impressive to kids. If you’re traveling with a lot of youngins, they might demand to eat inside the volcano (the T-Rex Café), and maybe we don’t blame them. But we think you can do better and find somewhere with fun theming and amazing food.

Instead…

There are SO MANY options for restaurants in Disney Springs. Pick anywhere else. Some of our favorites are Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Kitchen and Wine Bar George. Although these restaurants are more upscale than the T-Rex Café, you can still find good options for kids. Homecomin’ especially has a friendly menu with fried chicken and even donuts.

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’

If you’re looking for something that will appeal more to kids, we’d recommend Chicken Guy!, which has a very simple menu of chicken tenders and fries as well as LOTS of fun sauces to choose from.

Chicken Guy! Meal

Or you could visit the food trucks like Hot Diggity Dogs.

Hot Diggity Dogs Food Truck

While you’re in the Springs, we think the best way to go is to get great food in one place and then find the fun theming somewhere else. Stores like the LEGO store and World of Disney can be amazing experiences for little ones.

LEGO Star Wars Figures

As far as the Rainforest Café at Animal Kingdom goes, we have a hard time passing up the chance to visit Satu’li Canteen in Pandora at Animal Kingdom. This spot has a fun theme and backstory, too, and there’s still a kids menu with more familiar options.

We <3 Cheeseburger Pods

Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has the animal factor if you’re looking for a truly wild experience.

Table with a view

And the animals here are actually alive! You can dine next to a window with live animals right on the other side. (Say hello to our friend the Crowned Crane if you see him — the window is one-way, and he loves to see himself in the reflection.)

Click Here to See the 20 Best Meals You’ve Never Tried in Disney World

This list is based on our experiences and guest reviews, but it’s possible that you’ll have a different experience at these restaurants! And maybe some of the atmospheres and theming are worth the not-as-good food for at least one visit. Either way, tell us about your thoughts on these places in the comments!

Sci Fi Dine In Theater

Keep following AllEars for more updates and planning advice as you get ready for your next Disney World vacation.

See 10 Disney World Restaurants that ARE Worth the Hype

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11 Replies to “Five Overhyped Walt Disney World Restaurants”

  1. Sci-Fi rules! We’ve always had good experiences there. 50’s Prime Time is a different story though. The food is okay. But the waits are ridiculous even with reservations & before the pandemic. Also, all the times we’ve been we have never got a TV table. Last time we had to sit by a cold window. It’s not a must do for my family

  2. We’ve been to WDW numerous times and dining is a major component of every trip. But, the last time we went, my best meal was a simple grilled chick sandwich at T-Rex. Of course, the pleasure is not in eating the meal, it’s the joy in your kids’ or grandkids’ faces as they EXPERIENCE the meal. Priceless!

  3. Totally disagree about SciFi. As a vegan, this is one of my fav places in WDW to eat, though it is crazy overpriced. Love the Island Cake, Flying Saucer Impossible Burger, and the Cookie Shake. The theming is so much fun.

  4. Chef Mickey used to be a must do for us when it was a buffet. I admit we had not tried ever buffet at WDW, but my family really liked it. Very good. Now it is a shadow of its former self. It doesn’t have the choices that it had formally. We hope to go to Ohana in March. If they still don’t have the pineapple bread, I will be disappointed.

  5. Best meal I ever had at Disney was at San Angel and I’m not a Mexican food person either. The five mentioned I totally agree with. Add Tusker House, Crystal Palace, and Le Cellier to that list also. While the experience at Sci-Fi was cool (the first time), the food is quick service quality.

  6. Disagree about the Coral Reef! We always have found the food to be great, with a very friendly staff and the atmosphere is second to none. Highly recommend the Coral Reef!

  7. We visited recently and were pleasantly surprised with Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. We had the pan-seared Salmon Pasta, it was delicious. We were seated after a 5 minute wait after we joined the walk up wait list. It was a fun experience!

  8. We took two of our grandkids yesterday for our granddaughter’s 5th birthday. It was worth every penny! Food was good (steak so much better than what we got in Canada), scallops very tender. My grandson loved his chicken. Six people and not one complaint about food. The Beast came around every 20 minutes or so. The kids were beyond excited. Kids desserts were fun, as they got to paint the Chip cup. Was it expensive, oh yeah, but we knew that going in. So worth the wonderful memories.

    1. I recently had my first visit to Prime Time Diner. It was an amazing experience. My whole family loved it. Honestly, where else are you going to find crispy gluten free chicken at Disney. And I don’t mean those weird chicken tenders they sell but real actual fried chicken. Safe to say, I’ll be back.