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The 5 best Walt Disney World Resort hotels for dining

Food is an enormous part of any Disney vacation, and while there’s no shortage of excellent dining options in the parks, the different hotels on Walt Disney World property host some of the best restaurants in Disney. Guests don’t have to have park tickets or be staying at a Walt Disney World Resort® hotel to dine at any of these restaurants.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground

Fort Wilderness might seem like an odd pick for a place to eat considering it’s nothing but campgrounds, but it’s packed with family-friendly dining options that are all but guaranteed to please everyone. Trail’s End Restaurant is an all-you-care-to-enjoy feast that features old-time foods at one of the most affordable price points of any Disney buffet. If you time your visit to the restaurant just right, you can get there for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays and get the perfect mix of Mickey waffles and smoked meats. Guests can also grab the food here to-go so they can enjoy the home-style comfort food in their hotel room or out on the campgrounds.

Also nearby is Hoop-Dee-Do Musical Revue, a two-hour-long dinner show featuring all-you-care-to-enjoy country-style food akin to that at Trail’s End Restaurant. The skits and songs performed by the hilarious cast are nothing short of a blast, and as an added bonus guests 21 and older are given unlimited draft beer, wine, and sangria.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Few hotels quite embody the essence of the classic Disney spirit better than Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and few provide the variety and quality of food as the resort. It’s filled with cafés and bars in gorgeous locations, not to mention some of Disney’s best restaurants.

1900 Park Fare serves breakfast, brunch, and dinner. Characters at breakfast often include Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter, Tigger, and Winnie the Pooh. Dinner often has guests meet characters from Cinderella, and a tea party, intended primarily for guests between ages 4 and 12, features characters from Alice in Wonderland.

Narcoossee’s is one of the marquee seafood restaurants on Disney property, and offers one of the best views of the Seven Seas Lagoon, while Citricos is an indulgent Mediterranean restaurant that heavily features its award-winning list of wines. The staple restaurant of Grand Floridian has to be Victoria & Albert’s, widely considered to be one of the most romantic locations in Disney, and the perfect mirror of the atmosphere of the hotel that it resides in.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

For a lot of guests, the big draw of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge are the savannas filled with over 200 animals. It’s undoubtedly one of the coolest features of any hotel around, but what also makes Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge special are its award-winning authentic restaurants.

A lot of the marquee restaurants here focus on African flavors, but they do enough in their dishes that most guests will find something to like. Sanaa is the quick-service restaurant that offers a full Indian-style bread service that brings with it 9 accompaniments and sauces. Boma – Flavors of Africa is an all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet with flavors that are intended to represent over 50 African countries, but those more accustomed to traditional American food should find some comfortable options, too. Boma is considered by many to one of the best buffets in all of Walt Disney World Resort®, which makes it even more astounding that Jiko – The Cooking Place is the true hallmark restaurant of the resort. Jiko’s extravagant meats and steaks are the standouts on an incredible menu, making it a can’t-miss for Disney dining aficionados.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

‘Ohana at the Polynesian has become the stuff of legends in Disney circles. It’s extremely difficult to get a last-minute reservation here for both breakfast and dinner. Both meals are family-style all-you-care-to-enjoy, where servers will bring more of any dish you request for as long as you can keep eating. The food is nothing short of incredible, and the Hawaiian-inspired cuisine for dinner is cooked to perfection every single time. The standout dish, though, is the ‘Ohana Bread pudding àla mode topped with caramel sauce and bananas. It’s the best dessert on property, and while it can be ordered at the bar, the rest of the experience at the restaurant make the price far more than worth it.

On top of ‘Ohana, the Polynesian has some of the best poolside bars of any resort on property, one of the best lounges in Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, and great counter service and casual dining in both Capt. Cook’s and Kona Café, respectively. If those aren’t enough, you can pick up one of Disney’s famous Dole Whips at Pineapple Lanai just outside of the hotel lobby.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

While this list isn’t necessarily about which hotel has the single best restaurant, the crown jewel of dining at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is ultimately what makes it the best hotel to eat at on property. While there are other dining options at the hotel, there are two that stand out.

Chef Mickey’s is arguably the single most family-friendly restaurant in Disney. Its American buffet is familiar and approachable, and dining in the heart of Disney’s Contemporary Resort as monorails zoom by is the perfect dining experience for young guests as well as the older ones in the family. Add in meet-and-greet experiences with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck, and Goofy, and you’ve got the perfect meal to capture the fun of Disney.

As great as Chef Mickey’s is, and even more so the other restaurants on this list, it’s the California Grill, situated at the top of the hotel, that puts this resort as the best one to eat at. California Grill’s mind-blowing food is as much of a draw as is the top-level view of the Magic Kingdom. Guests who dine at California Grill can bring their receipt back later to watch the fireworks over the castle in what is the most unique viewing location imaginable. California Grill won’t just provide the best meal you’ll have in Disney, but it’ll provide one of the best meals you’ll ever have.

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