One of the ways Walt Disney World is always changing is its dining experiences. While returning guests have their old standbys, changes to the menu, restaurant staff, or sometimes both, can turn the fortunes of some favorites and some underdogs.
Emerging locations, shuffled chefs, and general changes in transportation that update how people are directed throughout Disney World are all reasons that some restaurants may become more or less favorable over time. Improved food, service, or price changes all affect people’s perception of value.
Best Table Service Disney World Restaurants for Families
First, let’s take a look at table service restaurants. These restaurants often require reservations, but, due to changes in 2020 that have since stayed, some are offering the ability to walk up and be placed on a waiting list. Regardless of how guests choose to visit these establishments, these are the five best Disney World restaurants for families.
The first restaurant I’m sharing is an old favorite standby. Kona Café is a longstanding, great value restaurant. Even now, it remains one of the least expensive table service restaurants and one of the most crowd-pleasing at the same time.
Kona Café is also a rare resort restaurant that is easily accessible to visitors of Magic Kingdom. It is a quick monorail ride to the Polynesian Village. Other resort restaurants require hopping aboard multiple forms of transportation to reach them.
Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’
Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ has been a fan favorite since it opened only a couple of years ago. It also has the distinction of being one of the best values, particularly at Disney Springs.
Homecomin’ is an experience in southern charm with a subdued theme that pays homage to the state of Florida. The artfully prepared comfort food, moonshine cocktails, and celebrity chef status help make this moderately priced restaurant one of Disney World’s most go-to meal options.
Grand Floridian Cafe
One surprise value restaurant comes out of one of Walt Disney World’s most fancy motifs. The Grand Floridian is known for the 5 AAA Diamond-winning restaurants Victoria and Albert’s. Yet, one of the breakout new favorite table service restaurants for the best value is the Grand Floridian Café.
Disney comically describes this deluxe resort restaurant as elegant and unpretentious. It is true, and that combination is working for this new crowd-pleasing favorite.
Mama Melrose‘s Ristorante Italiano
It’s easy to see how Mama Melrose could surface as a phenomenal value at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and one of the better values in Disney World as a whole. Comparatively, it is the most appropriately priced.
There is a lot of hoopla surrounding the Sci-fi Diner and 50’s Prime Time Café, both of which resumed operations recently. However, the pricing at those establishments is not far off from The Hollywood Brown Derby. The best table service value in the park is the unassuming Italian restaurant in the quietest corner of the park.
The Plaza Restaurant
The Plaza Restaurant has been a favorite for hardcore Disney fans for a while now, and it remains a favorite despite its rise in popularity. Often referred to as a “hidden gem,” it lies on the path less traveled in the Magic Kingdom.
The best thing about it is that it’s a Magic Kingdom restaurant. As the most visited Disney park, it’s great that they have one of the best values in Walt Disney World. Hiding in plain sight at the end of Main Street USA, the Plaza Restaurant’s claim to fame is the bottomless milkshakes, but they make great sandwiches, too.
Best Quick Service Disney World Restaurants for Families
Quick service Disney World restaurants tend to follow a lot of the same patterns. They offer similar foods at the same prices, almost across the board. There are some exceptions to this quick service “rule,” and the exceptions really stand above the rest.
Three of these values are such restaurants located very near each other in Disney Springs. Two offer something special inside Disney parks that deliver more bang for your buck than what you find elsewhere.
Hands down, the Polite Pig is the best barbecue restaurant in Disney Springs. It might possibly be the best one in Orlando. I highly recommend the Slider Trio or the Low and Slow Brisket sandwich.
You can’t really go wrong with anything you order because even the sides are worth waiting for. Splurge a little on an adult beverage pitcher and you’ll really be in business!
Earl of Sandwich
Earl of Sandwich is a longstanding great value in the Marketplace neighborhood of Disney Springs. This more family-oriented area has some of the best values and it’s a relatively inexpensive place to spend some time with kids away from the Disney parks.
Earl of Sandwich provides low-priced sandwiches that taste great and don’t skimp on portion size. It’s the classic win-win-win.
Wolfgang Puck Express
If you stayed at Disney Springs all day long and wanted to save money on three meals at different restaurants, Wolfgang Puck Express would be one of those choices.
You could go here for breakfast, lunch or dinner. All menus offer great value.
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe
Pecos Bill is a themed quick-service restaurant. Most of what you’ll find here is southwestern themed, such as tacos, nachos, and burritos.
It includes some unique menu options, and it’s also low priced and has lots of dining space which in my opinion increases the bang you get for your buck.
There are a lot of Disney World restaurants with exotic cuisines, particularly at Animal Kingdom. If you have picky eaters or small kids, you’ll appreciate the value at Satu’li Canteen.
The food on the kids menu is familiar, but uniquely presented. For the adults, the portions are hearty, healthy, and filling.