Finding good places to eat at Walt Disney World can be, well, difficult. (no offense Mickey…) I say this because a lot of places, mostly quick service, offer the same types of foods that are mass produced and not always the tastiest. I will say though, Disney has stepped up their game with some of their eateries and others are simply classic. That’s why I thought it would be an informative and insightful post to write about dining at Disney!
Today’s post is going to center on dining at Disney’s Magic Kingdom and I thought it would fun to break the post down by basically taking you through a day at MK only by meals! Obviously, my tastes are going to be different from anybody else’s, but I am going to put a few options for each meal/category so I can hopefully cover a variety of food palettes! There are also many different price ranges and special options like character meals, so I am just going to list my favorites in each meal and try to diversify the list as much as I can!
Breakfast: My family and I never get to the parks early enough to have breakfast, unless it is super special. I actually only have one place on my list for breakfast because others either don’t stand out or don’t offer it! But I highly recommend this amazing breakfast experience you can get at the Magic Kingdom!
- The Crystal Palace: Crystal Palace is a wonderful, character-dining experience and the best part – it is a buffet! No limits on the Mickey waffles, I know, it’s the best. Eat and talk with your family as you watch Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger and (the elusive character find) Piglet roam the restaurant waiting to take a photo with you! My family and I recently dined here and the beauty of the building paired with the character experience and unexpectedly good food made it my top pick for a Magic Kingdom breakfast.
Lunch: Lunch is usually at an awkward time for me and my family on vacation, since we wake up at about 10 am and are always rushing to get breakfast before it ends at 11 – I know someone will relate. But Magic Kingdom has some tasty options at all price levels.
- Pinocchio Village Haus – Despite the seemingly German name, Pinocchio Village Haus has mostly Italian food! This in my opinion is one of the better quick service food places at Magic Kingdom and is a go to for me and my family. Now, I’m not saying the food is fresh and healthy, but it is fresh-er and more tasty at an economic price – for Disney World anyway. My favorite is the chicken parmesan!
- Be Our Guest Restaurant – Now, it could be surprising that I didn’t include this restaurant as a dinner option but I have eaten lunch and dinner at Be Our Guest and I was honestly not super impressed with the dinner. It gets a lot of hype and there’s basically never availability so you would think it is really worth the cost and the waiting to get inside. The dinner food was not bad, but it did not meet the expectations or the price. So, I definitely recommend that if you get the chance, you grab lunch here – which is becoming as difficult to do as get a dinner reservation. I absolutely love their Carved Turkey sandwich and their French Dip, both on these delicious baguettes and served with really good french fries. Hands down, my favorite MK lunch.
- Liberty Tree Tavern – Liberty Tree Tavern is a sit down restaurant, so if you are looking for a place to relax, spend a little more money on a nicer meal and enjoy being waited on, this could be your place. What I like about Liberty Tree Tavern is that it is a buffet and the food selection caters to many. Turkey, mashed potatoes, veggies, pork and more really give you that feeling of an American/New England Thanksgiving all year round (which is fitting in Frontierland). This option is definitely the priciest for lunch, so if you are into it, I recommend balancing it out with breakfast in the room or doing something simple or off-site for dinner.
- Pesos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe – I am not the largest fan of Mexican food, but Pecos Bill in Adventureland has gotten rave reviews my family. It is a quick service restaurant and if you’re looking for something other than chicken nuggets or a cheese pizza, this could be the bit of flavor you are looking for in your theme park food!
- Skipper Canteen – I really was excited for a new restaurant coming to Magic Kingdom, because I don’t associate MK with the best theme park food out of the four at WDW. However, in my opinion, the menu at the Skipper Canteen is very specific and not good enough to justify the price. My food wasn’t that great and I really didn’t find anything that appealed to me in the first place when we sat down to eat. It could definitely be someone else’s taste – I just didn’t feel it offered very much for different palettes.
- Ray’s Starlight Cafe – I used to think the Starlight Cafe was the bottom of the totem pole of all Disney dining. Even though I have grown to not see it that way anymore, I still wouldn’t make it my first choice if I am eating lunch at Magic Kingdom. This is another affordable quick service, but the food is the generic, basic food at pretty much all the theme parks. Pre-made chicken nuggets, burgers and french fries. It is also an older establishment and usually very crowded. I definitely don’t think so low of it anymore because the food isn’t bad, the atmosphere is fun with Ray giving a concert while you eat and the prices are cheap. But, with the price level being the same, I would recommend a Pinocchio Village Haus or Pecos Bill before I hit the Starlight Cafe.
Snacks: There are tons of options for snacks because most of the gift stores will have small items and there are pop up carts with food around every corner. You could always play it safe with a Mickey Pretzel, but the places I picked out to tell you about have still basic, but more distinguished choices that you can’t necessarily find at one of the pop up carts!
- Gaston’s Tavern – I love visiting this area of the park because Disney made their addition to Fantasyland so beautiful! Gaston’s Tavern is in a nook next to a Beauty and the Beast themed gift shop and they have more unique treats than the usual snack carts! You can check out LeFou’s Brew, hummus and chips or my personal favorite – the warm cinnamon roll. I guess I could technically call this a dessert place since it does offer some mouthwatering sweets, but sometimes dessert can be a snack too!
- Liberty Square Market – You can find Liberty Square Market right next to the Hall of Presidents. It doesn’t look like much at all and tends to blend in with the crowds on busy days if you aren’t paying attention! But this area is a bit larger than a normal snack cart and what I love the most is that it offers some classics like Mickey Pretzels, but also has fruit! I don’t know why, but fruit is not easy to find when in the parks! So if you want something less fried and carb-y then definitely head here for a super fresh snack to keep you going. It is especially helpful on those hot Florida days!
Dinner: I honestly struggled putting together dinner options at the Magic Kingdom and I realized that I don’t usually eat dinner there! Honestly, I would recommend maybe dining at a Magic Kingdom Resort and then hopping on the monorail to continue your night at the park. There are a couple I came up with, but for the value and the quality, I’d say a dinner at Whispering Canyon at the Wilderness Lodge or something casual like Gasparilla Island Grill at The Grand Floridian is your best bet!
- Tony’s Town Square Restaurant – I never actually remember the name to this restaurant! My family has always called it Tony’s Toontown Restaurant because Toontown used to be the land where the Storybook Circus is now! I still don’t know how that led us to get so confused but Tony’s Town Square is the correct name! This is an Italian restaurant and it is sort of at the middle ground price range. I haven’t dined here in quite awhile but I know I have enjoyed it when I have! And the building it is located in also has character meet and greets, so if the wait time is low before dinner, maybe you can get a picture with Mickey!
- Cinderella’s Royal Table – I have never dined at Cinderella’s Royal Table, which makes me sad, but I can’t imagine anything more magical than dining in Cinderella’s Castle on a moonlit night, no matter what the food tastes like! It is also open for breakfast and lunch but the best part is that the Disney princesses are walking around to meet you as you dine! This option does break the bank a bit, but it is really an experience to make a memory.
Dessert: I could probably go on and on about dessert anywhere, but I tried to narrow it down as best as I could to my personal faves! What I like about Magic Kingdom is that there are some things you can only get there, as well as everyone’s classic favorites, like a Mickey Ice Cream Bar. Some are easy to find, others are hidden gems.
- Plaza Ice Cream Parlor – This is a classic spot on Main Street! The ice cream is really rich and delicious and despite the fact that you don’t really spend that much time enjoying the atmosphere of the parlor (since you’re in line for most of the time and there’s nowhere to sit), it is a super cute, old time feel that is fun to look at. If you want to get a little souvenir for your visit, definitely order the Mickey’s Kitchen Sink Sundae! It comes in a little plastic red sink that resembles Mickeys outfit! Yellow knobs on the front for his buttons and his white gloves are the handles for the faucet!
- Big Top Treats – I would consider this dessert stop more of a hidden gem. Big Top Treats is part of the circus tent back in Storybook Circus, the furthest land from the front of the park. Maybe it’s just me, but I just don’t think many people pass through there as they do Tomorrowland or Fantasyland! I am probably completely wrong, but the entire area itself just seems so roomy, with quite a few secluded spots to sit down and relax in the middle of a hot day. Big Top Treats is in the center of the tent and probably has the largest sweets selection besides The Confectionary on Main Street. I really love the marshmallows coated with (I think) chocolate and in different designs! The last one I got was Olaf, but I have also found these treasures at a small bakery in Animal Kingdom and the ones there are different animals! At Big Top there are also caramel apples, sugary sweets and another fave of mine – a giant chocolate chip Mickey-shaped cookie!
- Starbucks – Now, I absolutely love that Starbucks is at Disney now – it’s genius. I don’t really get much when I am at Starbucks but I have found that only the one at Magic Kingdom on Main Street has this beautifully rich and delicious, thick chocolate brownie that – if you’re a chocolate lover – is to die for. I prefer my brownies cake-y over fudge-y and that’s what this brownie does. Definitely go try it out – it is the only Starbucks I have ever seen with it!
- The Confectionery – Potentially the motherload of all desserts, The Confectionary has a huge selection of both fresh sweets and packaged ones. So if you are in the mood to buy and eat later, this is your stop! I love the Rice Krispie Mickeys and they have so many different kinds, it is hard to pick just one! It’s also a great stop to bring a gift back for a friend or to grab a quick treat as you are exiting the park!
Find an entire list of dining at Magic Kingdom here: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/magic-kingdom/
Food is a huge part of a vacation and Disney delivers in many ways! It can be hard, especially if you’ve never been to Disney World before, to pick and choose the right restaurants just because there are so many. I have highlighted my favorites, but I also encourage you to experiment! Just do your research before so that you don’t waste money on a meal you didn’t like. I want to know your favorite eating spots at the Magic Kingdom! If this series is something that is liked, then I would love to do more Dining through Disney posts in the future!
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