When planning a trip to Walt Disney World, we all think about the restaurants we want to try. With almost 400 options (including food carts, quick service, full-service and everything in between), it can be difficult to pick. Many try to grab reservations for the most popular full-service restaurants, like Cinderella’s Royal Table, Chef Mickey’s, and California Grill. But why not consider trying one of the more underrated full-service Disney restaurants at Walt Disney World?
Of the almost 400 restaurants on Disney property, there are 90 full service restaurants. Each offers a different dining experience and cuisine. I’ve tried quite a few of them over my 25 years of visiting the Disney Parks and have put together a list of the Top 5 Underrated Disney Restaurants that you need to try.
The Plaza Restaurant
The Plaza Restaurant is located on the corner of Main Street U.S.A in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. It is open for lunch from 11 AM to 2:55 PM and dinner from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM (these times may change depending on time of the year and crowd levels). Prices for adults range from $15 to $34.99 for adults and kids menus are of course available.
So what’s so great about The Plaza Restaurant? A few things actually…
1. Food – The food is simple and ensures that everyone will find something they’d like to eat. I’m personally a big fan of the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich and the fact that you can get milk and cookies for dessert.
2. Availability – If you’re looking for a reservation in Magic Kingdom, it can be tough some days. I’ve found a lot of success grabbing a last minute reservation or walking up to The Plaza Restaurant.
3. Location – If you time your reservation just right, you can watch the afternoon parade come down Main Street U.S.A while enjoying your lunch (and some air conditioning!).
I’m a big fan of grabbing a late lunch (any time before 3:00 PM) which allows me to usually get a less expensive meal, watch the 3:00 parade come down Main Street, and not feel bad when I want to grab a Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar for “dinner!”
Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen
Next time you’re in Magic Kingdom, consider grabbing lunch at Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen, located across from The Swiss Family Robinson Tree House. The restaurant is currently offering lunch from 11:30 AM to 2:55 PM and dinner from 3 PM to 7 PM. Pricing for adult meals range from $15 to $34.99 and kids menus are available. Added bonus? If you are a Disney Visa Cardholder, you can 10% off your meal when using the card.
Skipper Canteen is the newest full service restaurant in Magic Kingdom and plays off the story line of the beloved Jungle Cruise attraction just a few steps away. So a little bit of history…
The Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd., started by Dr. Albert Falls on April 8, 1911, operates the Jungle Cruise boats. Dr. Fall’s granddaughter, Alberta, came to live with her grandfather from some time to learn the business – what originally was a tropical river cargo shipping venture. As business declined however, Alberta opened up a sight-seeing cruise for passengers to help the business stay “afloat” – the Jungle Cruise attraction. To feed the hungry travelers, Alberta opened up their home offices and named it the Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen.
When you visit the Skipper Canteen, you will be seated in one of the three dining rooms – the Crew’s Mess Hall, The Jungle Room (the family parlor), or the secret meeting place of the Society of Explorers and Adventures (S.E.A.).
Skipper Canteen has one of the best overall experiences of a Disney restaurant and is a must-do in my book. I would highly recommend Skipper’s Canteen for parties who are traveling with someone with allergies. You can also check out my WDW Gluten Free Guide for more information.
Disney Vacation Club Members may be more familiar with this hidden gem, located at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. Olivia’s Cafe is a nautical-themed eatery with a neighborhood favorite feel. They are best known for their Banana Bread French Toast and Conch Flatts Club Sandwich.
Olivia’s Cafe serves breakfast from 7:30 AM to 10:30 AM, lunch from 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM, and dinner from 5:00 PM to 10 PM. Meals cost between $15 and $34.99 and Olivia’s has an extensive drink menu.
You will definitely feel like you stumbled upon a hole-in-the-wall favorite on a corner of Key West, as the story goes that Olivia Farnsworth would invite people into her home as they mentioned the incredible smell coming from her kitchen.
If you’re wondering how best to travel to Olivia’s if you aren’t staying at Disney’s Old Key West Resort, consider taking a boat from Disney Springs over to the DVC Resort.
Another plus? Disney Visa Cardholders receive 10% off on breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Coral Reef Restaurant
Located at The Seas with Nemo & Friends in Epcot, the Coral Reef Restaurant is an experience the whole family will be wowed by. Lunch and dinner seatings are available between 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM (lunch) and 3:45 PM and 8:30 PM (dinner). Meal pricing varies between $15 and $34.99 per adult and Disney Visa Cardholders receive 10% off during lunch.
The Coral Reef Restaurant serves a seasonal offering of seafood, along with other options, ensuring there is something for everyone. In addition to the delicious food, you’ll have a panoramic view of The Seas with Nemo & Friends. As one of the largest man-made ocean environments on the planet, you’ll get the chance to see more than 60 aquatic species that call The Seas home. You may even catch a glimpse of a scuba-diver, including Mickey Mouse in his scuba gear!
Trail’s End Restaurant
Trail’s End Restaurant is a Disney restaurant that even the biggest Disney fans may not know about. Located in The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, this all-you-can-eat buffet is a great spot for a casual breakfast, dinner, or weekend brunch. Trail’s End Restaurant is not currently serving due to the reduced capacity on property, but is a must do when it does open.
Trail’s End Restaurant meals range in price from $15 to $34.99 for breakfast, weekend brunch, and dinner. Disney Visa Cardholders also receive a 10% discount on all dining times.
This rustic locale offers many American favorites for an all-you-can-enjoy experience. This is a great option for families with picky-eaters, as anyone will find something they love. Be sure to try some of the cornbread, which is legendary!
The best part about Trail’s End Restaurant? The location. Fort Wilderness Resort has a ton of activities to offer – so much so that I encourage people to take a morning or afternoon and just explore. From the boat launch, to the Tri-Circle D Ranch, there is so much to do! You can read about my visit to Fort Wilderness during my Bachelorette Trip here.