BE WARNED. There are some Disney World restaurants that you might want to totally, completely, and 100% AVOID.
Disney World is full of incredible eats and drinks, and some really unique creations too. But that doesn’t mean every spot is necessarily worth your cash. We’ve ranked a bunch of Disney World’s restaurants for you, but we wanted to get YOUR input so we reached out to our fantastic AllEars followers on Facebook to ask “What’s a Disney restaurant you wouldn’t recommend to someone visiting for the first time?” And they had some THOUGHTS.
Here’s a look at some of the restaurants AllEars readers would NOT recommend to someone visiting Disney World for the first time. So, if that’s you, you might want to steer clear of these selections.
Coral Reef (EPCOT)
By far, the restaurant our readers mentioned the MOST was Coral Reef in EPCOT. The restaurant is located in World Nature, next to the Seas with Nemo and Friends, and has a spectacular view of the GIANT fish tanks from the pavilion. So why don’t folks like it?
One reader mentioned that while the view here is nice, there is not enough food served for the cost. Another noted that they’d recommend a place in World Showcase over Coral Reef, so perhaps it’s also a product of EPCOT just having SO many other restaurants to pick from.
One reader pointed out that while the restaurant can be nice if you’re seated right next to the aquarium, not all tables are right next to it. If you’re seated away from it, they feel like the experience can be noisy and crowded. They also shared that the food was not anything to “write home about,” in their opinion.
Others echoed that statement, indicating that while the atmosphere is great the food has not been impressive.
In our experience, parts of the meal here can and have been good, but again when you put it up against some of the heavy hitters in EPCOT — particularly the incredible restaurants in World Showcase — it doesn’t tend to hold up. Plus, the meal can be long and you may not quite get the view you’re hoping for if not seated close to the aquarium.
In terms of pros, the atmosphere here is definitely unique, so if you’ve got an ocean lover in the group, this could be a great pick. It also has a decent amount of seafood options, which might be of interest to you.
If it’s an immersive experience you’re after, consider a spot like Space 220 in EPCOT instead of Coral Reef.
If it’s seafood you want though, you may want to walk around World Showcase to a spot like Yorkshire County Fish Shop for some pretty amazing fish & chips that’ll cost you a whole lot less and won’t take up a big part of your day.
Be Our Guest Restaurant (Magic Kingdom)
Another restaurant that was mentioned a LOT and might come as a surprise to you is Be Our Guest Restaurant. This spot is typically one of the most popular restaurants in Magic Kingdom and one of the hardest reservations to get. It is particularly known for its incredible theming which will absolutely transport you into the world of the Beauty and the Beast film. So why don’t some AllEars readers recommend it to first-time visitors?
For some, it’s the service style. Prior to the pandemic, there was a Quick Service breakfast and lunch offered here. Now, all meals are Table Service ones making them quite expensive and perhaps not as convenient to access (though there was a reservation system for the Quick Service Be Our Guest meals previously).
One specifically mentioned the cost of the meals here, encouraging first-time guests to skip this spot to save their money. And there’s no denying that a meal here is an investment. It’ll set you back $67 per adult for lunch or dinner ($39 per child) with a prix fixe meal so it certainly isn’t cheap.
One mentioned that the food was “too fancy.” While there are certainly accessible items on the menu, there are also some things that might not quite fit your tastes so you’ll want to consider that carefully. Another shared that in their opinion the food wasn’t all that good, and another felt that the portion sizes didn’t quite measure up to the cost of the meal.
One pointed out that the Beast only quickly passes by the tables here, so it doesn’t really give you a full-character dining experience. That can certainly be disappointing for some.
In our experience, some of the items here can be quite tasty but overall they don’t always come off as high-quality as other places. Plus, the character viewing is minimal, the price is high, and it can be a long meal, eating up into your precious park time.
On the flip side, the theming here is spectacular. It is probably one of those you-have-to-try-it-once-type of places simply because of how intricately designed it is. And if you’re a Beauty and the Beast fan, then this IS the spot for you.
If you’re in Magic Kingdom and want some of that Beauty and the Beast theme without the high price tag, consider visiting Gaston’s Tavern to pick up a delicious cinnamon roll and Le Fou’s brew.
And if you’re looking for a Table Service restaurant in the park with seriously amazing eats, head over to Jungle Navigation Co., LTD. Skipper Canteen for some adventurous items!
Tony’s Town Square (Magic Kingdom)
Another Magic Kingdom restaurant on this list is Tony’s Town Square. This Lady and the Tramp-inspired location serves up Italian eats and is located right at the front of the park but some AllEars readers are NOT fans.
One reader noted that while the location and ambiance of the restaurant are great, the food simply hasn’t been as good as they’d hoped. Many other readers simply noted Tony’s without giving an explanation, but it was one of the restaurants most repeatedly mentioned.
The restaurant is likely one of the most hated in Magic Kingdom, but it did get a menu overhaul in 2022. We actually LOVED the updated garlic bread here and several of the new dishes were quite enjoyable. Will it be the best Italian food you’ll eat in Disney World? In our opinion — no.
Plus, some of the dishes can be quite pricey and in the past, we’ve felt a bit rushed during some of our meals.
But it’s not all bad news. In fact, one AllEars reader shared that they’ve “never had a bad meal there” and that the service was excellent. So things really can depend.
If you reaaaaaalllly want Italian food at Magic Kingdom, this could hit the spot. Plus, that garlic bread is delicious, and the restaurant has some fantastic views of Main Street, U.S.A. particularly if you ask to be seated on the porch.
Within Magic Kingdom, we might suggest heading to a place like Skipper Canteen for delicious Table Service eats (though the menu is VERY different compared to Tony’s) or stopping by Columbia Harbour House for some tasty Quick Serice eats.
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
Another spot that got mentioned a LOT by our AllEars readers is Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. This is a spot where (once again) Disney has totally nailed the theming to look like a vintage drive-in — you can even sit at tables designed to look like CARS! So why aren’t some people recommending this spot?
One AllEars reader shared that the food, in their opinion, was “below average” here. Another echoed that saying that the food was nothing special to them, despite the cool ambiance.
One mentioned how dark the restaurant is, making it difficult to see your food. That’s certainly something to keep in mind — you’ll want to pull out those phone flashlights to see some of your dishes here!
This is another spot that has seen some big menu changes over the years, but the staples here are still basically burgers, onion rings, and milkshakes. In our experience, the restaurant can be very dark as one reader mentioned.
Plus, the seating can be awkward since guests in the car seats are facing forward, meaning you’d have to turn around to talk to some of the rest of your party. There are picnic tables in the back but those don’t quite give you the same themed experience. Also, the food isn’t all that unique.
But, again, it’s not all bad! The theming at Sci-Fi is absolutely fantastic. For many, that might make this a must-visit, at least once! It’s a great place to keep kiddos entertained too, since they’ll get to watch the giant screen throughout their meal.
While the menu here isn’t unique, the burgers, onion rings, shakes, and classic eats here can be solid. If you are looking for a place that is accessible and not overly adventurous from a menu perspective, this could be a good fit.
If you’re in Hollywood Studios and want a really spectacular meal, you may want to opt for a place like The Hollywood Brown Derby for some iconic dishes, like the amazing Cobb Salad.
For a themed environment, 50s Prime Time Cafe offers some tasty eats as well with servers that’ll heckle you as if you were in your mom’s kitchen and seating that isn’t quite as awkwardly arranged.
The Crystal Palace (Magic Kingdom)
Finally, another restaurant many of our readers mentioned was The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom. This is a buffet-style restaurant that offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner service. But, perhaps most importantly, this is a character meal where you’ll get the chance to meet Winnie the Pooh and friends! So why has this spot made the list?
Some readers mentioned feeling that Crystal Palace is overpriced for the food you get here. Breakfast here is a bit cheaper at $45 per adult ($29 per child), while lunch and dinner are $59 per adult ($38 per child). That isn’t quite Be Our Guest-level pricing, but it isn’t cheap either, so that is something to consider.
Another said that the food was not good in their opinion, and others also mentioned being less than impressed with the food there.
Some also mentioned having less-than-ideal service. One shared that while they have no issue with Crystal Palace at breakfast, they wouldn’t recommend it for lunch or dinner.
In our experience, the restaurant can be a “miss” for those who aren’t big eaters since it is served buffet-style. Plus, the food options aren’t all that unique. There are some more fun dishes on the buffet, but as a whole, the food is pretty standard.
But that’s not to say that Crystal Palace doesn’t have its fans! One AllEars reader said that they LOVED Crystal Palace.
Another also said that they loved it, especially when it came to meal options for their kiddos. One reader said they actually always recommend Crystal Palace for its character breakfast (which is a cheaper meal) but acknowledged that they are a Pooh-loving family so that could be influencing things!
Breakfast is certainly a cheaper meal here so if you want a buffet + character meal in Magic Kingdom at a cheaper price, breakfast is the way to go. AND if you time things right, you might be able to catch it when breakfast switches over to lunch, giving you TWO meals in one.
Plus, the buffet style means you’ll likely be full ahead of your big day in the parks (potentially allowing you to skip lunch and save some money there). There are also lots of safe eats here for those who don’t have an adventurous palette. And there are MICKEY CHURRO WAFFLES at breakfast that are NOT to be missed for Mickey Waffle fans.
If you want a buffet with more adventurous eats, Boma at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (not a character meal) or Tusker House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (is a character meal) could be some options to check out!
A Few Quick Mentions
These next few options didn’t quite get as many mentions by our AllEars readers as the ones above but we did want to list them here quickly:
- Cinderella’s Royal Table
- Pros: Located in the castle, awesome theming, once-in-a-lifetime-type of place, character dining with the princesses
- Cons: Extremely expensive, not necessarily the best or most unique food (though some options can be good)
- Mama Melrose
- Pros: Cute theming inside, some of the newer menu items have been really tasty
- Cons: A bit generic in terms of its Italian eats (when it comes to some dishes)
- Pros: Character dining at breakfast, some fantastic eats particularly at dinner (the noodles have a cult following), spectacular views of Magic Kingdom
- Cons: Expensive, breakfast eats are more “standard” and not as unique, dinner can be very heavy
- Chef Mickey’s
- Pros: Buffet eats if you like that, character meal with Mickey and friends, “safe” eats for picky eaters
- Cons: Loud, busy, can be a longer meal, food is pretty simple and standard
- Rainforest Cafe
- Pros: Theming is elaborate and fun for little ones, some tasty dishes
- Cons: Loud, can be overstimulating, is a chain and you might have a location near you, food won’t necessarily be the best in Disney World (more chain-type style)
Ultimately, picking a restaurant for your group can be tough. What will be best really all depends on your group and your specific needs, likes, and dislikes. One person’s least favorite restaurant in all of Disney World might end up being the one your family absolutely adores — it just depends!
One AllEars reader said it well by noting “Choose your own adventure! You never know what you may love compared to someone else!”
Want some of our opinions on the BEST restaurants in Disney World? See our articles below:
- I’ve Eaten At Over 250 Disney World Restaurants — These Are The Ones I Keep Going Back To
- Ranking ALL the Table Service Restaurants at Walt Disney World
- The Hidden Disney World Restaurants You Don’t Want to Miss
And be sure to stay tuned for more Disney news, tips, and advice!
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What restaurant would you NOT recommend to a first-timer visiting Disney World? Tell us in the comments!