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Favorite WDW restaurants for kids

Minnie1986

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hey everyone! What are your kids’ favorite WDW restaurants? Taking my 9 yo cousin, who is thankfully not a picky eater, in the fall. However, the choices are seemingly endless and it’s starting to give me a headache lol. Chef Mickey is at the top of the list and Be Our Guest dinner is a must for me. Is Ohana worth it or overrated? Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
 

Think Tink

Premium Member
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My 3 year old nephew LOVED Ohana. Meeting Stitch was so fun for him (and me!). Pretty much any character meal is awesome for kids, he also liked Coral Reef to look at the fish :)
 

Mom2Anna&Elsa

New Member
My daughters loved Chef Mickey's even though I thought it was the worst buffet food we had on property (I sat & enjoyed my strawberry daiquiri and let them enjoy it, it's about the characters).

Our favorite character meals were at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian. Dinner time was Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Fontaine (the wicked stepmother) and Anastascia and Drizella, the two stepsisters. The character interaction with the stepsisters was fantastic-- they are the right amount of snarky to be hilarious and not too scary to kids. The breakfast characters are Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Mad Hatter, Mary Poppins, and Alice in Wonderland. Great breakfast food (including red velvet pancakes, hello!) and again, wonderful character interaction. Tigger saw my 2 year old's Winnie the Pooh shirt and took off running with her to go meet Pooh bear. It was adorable.
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
My kids really like Teppan Edo and Biergarten. They loved them at that age and they still ask to go every trip and they are 17 &18.
 

MagicalMommy

Active Member
If you’re interested in Chef Mickey’s I’d recommend Tusker House at Animal Kingdom. It includes Mickey and friends in their safari gear and the food is really good.

We do love Ohana for dinner... It’s the only restaurant we’re repeating on our next trip (although Sanaa almost got re-booked; it’s just not as convenient). Another non-character meal we’ve enjoyed is Coral Reef at Epcot — dining in front of the large aquariums. We’re trying Sci Fi dine-in on our next trip, and I think my kids (my oldest is 8) will love it.
 

NunuBelle

Well-Known Member
Took our nephew to Chef Mickey's about 4 years ago, he was 8 years old, and loved it (he is a picky eater!). He enjoyed his food and had a blast, specially with Goofy's antics
 

belledream

Well-Known Member
Note that Lilo and Stitch are only at ‘Ohana during breakfast - not at dinner. (If that’s what’s drawing you to it). We’ve only done dinner there and enjoyed the food, but it wasn’t anything amazing to us. I think it’s a bit overrated, personally. Breakfast is on my list though!

Garden Grill is cool because it rotates through Living with the Land and the characters seemed to be a notch above the rest in terms of engagement.

Also kind of out there, but maybe Tusker House or Boma if you can make it out there for some more “interesting” foods and a different kind of immersive atmosphere/surrounding.
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
Someone may mention Rainforest Cafe at AK and T-REX at Disney Springs. Ambiance wise, I can see kids enjoying those, but the food has been not great when I've been there.

If you don't do Chef Mickey, Garden Grill or Tusker House are also great character dining (and in parks). I'd also agree with Teppan Edo, Biergarten, or Raglan Road. Those places all have entertainment while they dine. Also Sanaa or Boma have great animal viewing while you dine.
 

DisneyfanMA

New Member
I'm planning a trip about 18 mos out (yep early I know). Just starting to kick the tires and T-Rex in Disney Springs looks awesome theming wise. Thinking on our off day we go there for dinner. Also targeting the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium at Universal City Walk. Its like a steampunk/Willy Wonka chocolate factory theme that serves full menu. If we hit both of those I think the kids will be thrilled. Not looking for 5 star adult dining for this trip, looking to create memories for children 5-8 years old.

Other than that maybe some quick service and 1 or 2 more reservations -considering a dinner/seat package for Fantasmic. I understand its almost impossible to get Be Our Guest. Is it unthinkable to sit down dine in a park without reservations? Trip will be Nov 2021. Jungle Navigation in MK looks neat. Any other suggestions for children that has cool theming in the parks?

ps: Take what I write with a grain, I haven't dined on property since the Hoop Dee Doo Revue, and Coral Reef (Living Seas at Epcot) way back in 1990! (Made a 1 day visit in 2011 with adult friends but we snacked at the Epcot Food and Wine stops, nothing sit down).
 
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jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
I'm planning a trip about 18 mos out (yep early I know). Just starting to kick the tires and T-Rex in Disney Springs looks awesome theming wise. Thinking on our off day we go there for dinner. Also targeting the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium at Universal City Walk. Its like a steampunk/Willy Wonka chocolate factory theme that serves full menu. If we hit both of those I think the kids will be thrilled. Not looking for 5 star adult dining for this trip, looking to create memories for children 5-8 years old.

Other than that maybe some quick service and 1 or 2 more reservations -considering a dinner/seat package for Fantasmic. I understand its almost impossible to get Be Our Guest. Is it unthinkable to sit down dine in a park without reservations? Trip will be Nov 2021. Jungle Navigation in MK looks neat. Any other suggestions for children that has cool theming in the parks?

ps: Take what I write with a grain, I haven't dined on property since the Hoop Dee Doo Revue, and Coral Reef (Living Seas at Epcot) way back in 1990! (Made a 1 day visit in 2011 with adult friends but we snacked at the Epcot Food and Wine stops, nothing sit down).
The kids will like the theme of T-Rex, the food is horrible though. We have the advantage of hindsight since my kids are not 17 & 18 and we took them to all of those "kid" themed places as well as nicer restaurants. The ones that they remember and talk about going back are not the ones with the theme, but the ones with the food that they liked. They actually prefer the higher end restaurants with the good food.
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
1900 Park Fare's breakfast is fantastic. The food is good, but the characters are really wonderful, as is the service. Alice took special time with each table/child and had a nice little discussion with them.

I agree about the mediocre food at Chef Mickey, although my kiddo loved the Minnie Waffles with her choice of toppings. The characters there were pretty good too, especially Goofy.

My 5 year old's favorite meal last week was actually the outdoor kitchens at Epcot. She liked that we could get a bunch of food to share (she loved the scallops in particular) and have a "picnic" at a table by the lake.
 
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dreamfinder

Well-Known Member
Other than that maybe some quick service and 1 or 2 more reservations -considering a dinner/seat package for Fantasmic. I understand its almost impossible to get Be Our Guest. Is it unthinkable to sit down dine in a park without reservations? Trip will be Nov 2021. Jungle Navigation in MK looks neat. Any other suggestions for children that has cool theming in the parks?
I wouldn't say it is unthinkable to do TS dining in parks without reservations, just a challenge. You stand a decent shot of getting something at Epcot, due to the sheer number of locations. Other parks will be much harder. If you have kids, then you will really want to consider ADRs as most times you may have to wait an hour or more, if the location even takes walk ups, and if kids need to eat, they need to eat NOW. If you can dine at random times, like 10:30 or 3:30, you stand a better chance than walking up at 6:45, but even then, many of the restaurants are staffing to ADR demand, and are letting tables go empty rather than pay for extra wait staff to handle walk ups.
 

DisneyfanMA

New Member
I wouldn't say it is unthinkable to do TS dining in parks without reservations, just a challenge. You stand a decent shot of getting something at Epcot, due to the sheer number of locations. Other parks will be much harder. If you have kids, then you will really want to consider ADRs as most times you may have to wait an hour or more, if the location even takes walk ups, and if kids need to eat, they need to eat NOW. If you can dine at random times, like 10:30 or 3:30, you stand a better chance than walking up at 6:45, but even then, many of the restaurants are staffing to ADR demand, and are letting tables go empty rather than pay for extra wait staff to handle walk ups.

I'm sure its been beaten to death but does Disney not see a need to add more TS to the other 3 parks, excluding Epcot? It just seems that ADR only is stressful for so many, and they could easily support several more walk up restaurants, perhaps keep them walk up only at the other parks. Agree/disagree?
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
I'm sure its been beaten to death but does Disney not see a need to add more TS to the other 3 parks, excluding Epcot? It just seems that ADR only is stressful for so many, and they could easily support several more walk up restaurants, perhaps keep them walk up only at the other parks. Agree/disagree?
They don't want to over saturate. More restaurants means more staff. And really, the restaurants are only busy during lunch and dinner. I am sure they weigh the pros and cons of opening another table service against the crowds. They don't want restaurants with open tables that someone may or may not walk up to.
 

dreamfinder

Well-Known Member
I'm sure its been beaten to death but does Disney not see a need to add more TS to the other 3 parks, excluding Epcot? It just seems that ADR only is stressful for so many, and they could easily support several more walk up restaurants, perhaps keep them walk up only at the other parks. Agree/disagree?
Costs vs returns. Guest satisfaction is no longer the priority it once was. They would rather only staff as many cast members as they know they will need rather than chance having a CM be staffed (even at service wages) and not be needed. Each location in the parks is essentially run as it's own business. So if a restaurant can turn tables from 3-10 and be full the whole time, that location shows much better profit than if there are two restaurants, each only full from 6-9 and pretty empty the other hours. Guests need to eat, and have other options (although not necessarily ideal) within any park. If guests don't plan ahead and do an ADR, they can either chance a walk up wait, or go wait 30 mins for Pecos Bills.

And they have tried the walk up only options. Skippers Canteen and I think the Plaza were both walk ups/limited ADRs for a period of time. I believe that both are now ADRs like other locations.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
My kids' favorites are dinner at 'Ohana and at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.

They have enjoyed several character meals (e.g., CRT, Akershus, Crystal Palace, 'Ohana breakfast), but they've never asked to repeat any of them. They still ask to do 'Ohana and Hoop-Dee-Doo every time we go to WDW!
 
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