It's the reality that is never quite fun to hear: sometimes your favorite dining locations won't be easy to get reservations for. As the parks have become more popular than ever before, so have the most popular restaurants. Fortunately, Disney has reinforced its dining options so much that there is an abundance of options in each park that are just as excellent as some longstanding favorites.Below is a restaurant you'll find in each park and in Disney Springs to consider switching to when your favorite is unavailable.
Jungle Navigation Co. Skipper Canteen
I routinely see last-minute availability at Skipper Canteen in Magic Kingdom Park®, a wonder once you've stepped in for the first time. Outside of a certain Beauty and the Beast restaurant, none in Magic Kingdom have better theming, whether that be in decor or menu. The food is by all accounts spectacular too, with options that range from grilled meats, to Thai noodles to stews.
The Hollywood Brown Derby
Drive-in dining and old-school home cooking are the top food attractions in Disney's Hollywood Studios®, but the Hollywood Brown Derby fits right in with those themes. In a park known for its burgers, fried chicken and PB&J milkshakes, the Brown Derby matches with a signature dish of its own: the Cobb salad. This restaurant features a bit more of an upscale menu than the other popular ones in the park, giving a nice refuge from the busy days of theme park vacations.
Coral Reef Restaurant
Stepping away from the dining-heavy World Showcase, guests can find this gem closer to the front of the park. Coral reef surrounds guests with tanks of fish while they dine on seafood, though there are friendlier options for the seafood-averse. It's not only a great backup restaurant, but also a great change of pace for all the options in World Showcase.
Tusker House Restaurant
I would argue that Tusker House is the go-to restaurant in Disney's Animal Kingdom®, but reservations typically aren't impossible to come by. The unique menu pumps up the flavor more than anywhere else in a park with great dining options already. Your Tusker House motto should be: prioritize this anyway, even without need for a backup.
You could randomly select a dining reservations at just about any restaurant in Disney Springs and come out with a hit meal. It's become one of my favorite places in all of Orlando to go for food, though some reservations are certainly still hard to come by.
Enter the Edison, where I can consistently find last-minute reservations available. Upscaled Americana food makes this one of the most approachable restaurants on this entire list, but that's no slant at its quality. It's the sort of place where kids and picky eaters can find something they'll be happy to eat, while adults will find complex flavors and one of the most robust drink menus on property (especially for my fellow bourbon fans).
Do note that the restaurant has a dress code—essentially just no theme park attire. Suits and the like are not required.