Guys I have a confession to make… I LOVE food. There, I said it. Okay but let’s be real… I’m sure plenty of you already knew that. For those of you that DON’T know, yes, I am quite the Disney foodie and this is not my first post about all the beautiful food Disney has to offer. In my prior post I discussed my all time favorite snacks/desserts from Disney World, and today I would like to discuss the best meals! The great thing about being on the program and being a Cast Member in general is that you get discounts on food/dining at certain locations! Locations can either change monthly or stay the same, you’ll learn how to find out during training. But today I would just like to highlight my top 10 favorite meals I gloriously enjoyed and where I got them! I will also give some tips for all you lovely souls out there who have too many food allergies to count! On that note, lets get started (In no particular order!).
Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge
How do I describe this meal? LIFE. CHANGING. Oh my gosh, everyone, please go here! Talk about a true hidden gem, I honestly didn’t even really know this restaurant truly existed until this program! The restaurant I’m referring to is Sanaa, located in Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Did I mention you might even see an animal or two out the window while you eat?? This restaurant has everything!
Sanaa is a restaurant that is suppose to replicate cuisines from certain parts of Africa. The servers will usually give you the cultural explanation before your meal begins (which is really cool) about how the cuisine is heavily influenced by the Indian flavors and culture. This is where I HIGHLY recommend everyone steps out of their comfort zone to try something new! I did and I have been dreaming about it ever since. Also, although I’m not sure if this is still the case now, but Cast Members got a 40% off discount if you dined at Sanaa for lunch!
Okay so lets get to my meal! The first picture (left) was an appetizer for the table. If you’ve heard of Sanaa before, you’ve probably heard of their most popular appetizer (that could probably could as a meal because people DEVOUR it), their Naan. Naan is basically the most doughiest and heaven sent flat bread known to mankind. There are two options when it comes to ordering Naan. It can be ordered with all nine dipping sauces (of course we had to try all nine) or a cheaper option with less dipping selections.
For my main course (right), even though I was already full, there is an options where you create your own dish. This option is known as Potjie Inspired, which is once again explained by your server on it’s cultural background. The base of it is you pick one item from the Journey (I picked butter chicken), one from the harvest (I picked paneer tikka), and then either basmati rice or cilantro-coconut vegetables (I picked rice because I’m a carb queen). IT WAS AMAZING. I was sickly full after because it was just so good I simply couldn’t stop eating or let the food go to waste!
Sci-Fi Dine In Theater at Hollywood Studios
The Sci-Fi Dine In Theater is a hidden gem in what is currently, due to construction, the back of Hollywood Studios. Besides the food being out of this world, the dining experience itself is a sight to see. The entire restaurant is inside, but in typical Disney fashion it certainly doesn’t feel that way.
When you first arrive, you are met by a hostess in 60s attire-style. The restaurant itself can’t be seen from the hostess desk and honestly I think it really enhances the experience. Once you round the corner the shock factor comes into play. The hostess then leads you to your car for the evening. Yup, the entire restaurant is created to replicate a Old Drive In movie theater. Guests either dine in retro car-tables or concession stand outdoor seating. All the tables have a perfect view of the night sky above them and the massive movie screen at the front of the restaurant. The screen plays endless clips from old sci-fi movies as well as some retro Disney videos! It is certainly something you have to see for yourself.
On to my meal! I usually go for lunch, which like Sanaa, at the time of my program had a discount for Cast Members. My roommates and I started out meal off by splitting two Sci-Fi Specialty Shakes (aka the best mint chocolate chip milkshake you will ever have in your life).
ALLERGY SPECIAL- Unfortunately I have done some research and don’t believe this is a menu item anymore, but I ordered a Gluten Free Salmon BLT Burger with Gluten Free Sweet Potato Fries topped with cinnamon sugar! It was so good, but don’t worry! There are still Gluten Free burger options on the menu, just not this one specifically anymore! If it’s still there someone comment and let me know below because it truly was a delight.
Kona Cafe at Polynesian Resort
Feeling like starting your morning in a tropical oasis? Head over to the Polynesian Resort and check out Kona Cafe for breakfast! They have a great little breakfast menu with some tropical delicacies. The photo above was my lovely breakfast of Macadamia Pineapple Pancakes with my choice of a side of bacon! THEY ARE AMAZING. Hands down one of the best breakfast options that Disney has to offer. I don’t think these pancakes can be found anywhere else on property either so I highly recommend trying them out. They are packed with sweet pineapple and full macadamia nuts! Plus its a great quick table service restaurant that’s in close proximity to Magic Kingdom! Great way to get a hearty breakfast then jump on the monorail for a day in the park!
Be Our Guest at Magic Kingdom
Lets put their service to the test shall we? Dining with Beast in his castle is something only a select few guests get to experience. I say this because it is a HIGHLY popular restaurant considering it is a more recent addition to the Magic Kingdom. I strongly encourage that if you would like to eat here that you try and make a reservation in advance! Otherwise it is very hard to get seated as a walk-in!
Anyways, I decided to focus on lunch and dinner. I have never been to breakfast there, but I have heard there are other better options throughout Disney. Personally, price wise, I liked lunch better. At lunch it is a quick table service restaurant where you order your meal beforehand, find your own table, then the server magically will deliver the food to you! Prices are also a little cheaper considering it isn’t a full sit-down table service meal! For my lunch I got the Carved Turkey Sandwich (top right) with Pommes Frites (fancy words for french fries) and it was beautiful savory goodness. Definitely one of the best lunches I had in Magic Kingdom. Also I heard that a certain item was delicious, so of course I had to try it! When the Grey Stuff (bottom right) arrived I think my childhood self nearly jumped with joy. How could you not be excited to try stuff from a song you’ve been quoting your whole life? So yes, I tried the grey stuff, and it was delicious! Basically think of it has the best cookies and creme cupcake you will ever have!
Dinner is slightly different in the castle. Like I have already said, it is a formal sit-down style of serving. You are taken to your table instead of finding your own and a server is there to take your order. The menu is a little pricier and the options are a little more extravagant. The slight price raise is also due to the fact that you dine with the Master himself! The Beast can be seen wondering the halls and is available for a photo opportunity when your meal is finished! For my dinner I decided to receive a dish from Chef Remy himself! I ordered the Layered Ratatouille which was laid on top of quinoa! Chef Remy definitely was responsible for this dish because it was marvelous! I think my eyes got as wide as Anton Ego’s when I took my first bite. Talk about service! Also although I did not try it, the grey stuff comes in a bigger portion size for dinner (just sayin).
Waves at Contemporary Resort
Many of you might not know, but I’m an Italian girl. An Italian girl who loves her pasta. When my roommates and I wanted to feel a little on the fancier side, but without blowing our bank, we found this hidden gem inside The Contemporary Resort! Waves is located near the front desk of the lobby inside the resort. The whole restaurant gives off the fancier, modern vibe, but the menu won’t entirely make your wallet cry!
When we sat down and I noticed gnocchi was on the menu I almost fell off my chair. I think I could eat gnocchi every day for the rest of my life and be a content human being. The beauty in the picture above is the Seared Potato Gnocchi. This bad boy is gnocchi with butternut squash, mushrooms, a bunch of other things I love and topped with a brown sugar sauce. LIKE WOW. I was in such a state of happiness, I swear I went into a solid food coma after and could barely function. We also ordered a collective appetizer to split that I unfortunately don’t have a picture of. We order the Artisinal Cheese Selection which was a great mix of different cheese with pairing foods such as nuts, grapes, and honey! It was a little on the pricier side for an appetizer which is why we chose to split it. This restaurant is also considered more on the affordable side because I received a Cast Member discount while on my program!
1900 Park Fare at Grand Floridian
Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. I REPEAT, RED VELVET PANCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING. This is just ONE of the fancier breakfast buffet options offered at the 1900 Park Fare Supercalifragilistic breakfast! (Forgive me Mary if I spelled that wrong, I probably should brush up on the song). ANYWAYS. This restaurant is located inside Disney’e Grand Floridian Resort & Spa! I once again received a Cast Member Discount for breakfast here and I would highly recommend giving this buffet a try! Besides the basics such as mickey waffles, sausage, and toast, this buffet had a few more extravagant options! This varied from a delicious blueberry filled pastry and smoked Salmon to once again THE RED VELVET PANCAKES. Can you tell I liked those? On top of the vast food selection, you were greeted by some practically perfect special guests! Mary Poppins, Alice, Pooh, and the Mad Hatter all make their way around to each table for a chat and photo opportunity! Definitely a great place to see some uncommon characters and be able to talk to them!
Garden View Afternoon Tea at Grand Floridian
Have you ever wanted to dine like royalty? Want to have high tea in the lap of luxury? Well grab your tiara or crown and head over to the Garden View Tea Room at the Grand Floridian! The menu offers different packages for your afternoon tea, ranging in prices depending on how many courses you decide to choose. I chose the three course meal that included your own tea kettle, and obviously three courses of delicious tea food! The first course consisted of finger sandwiches, cheese, and fruit. The second course included a jelly tart and a biscuit with three spread options! Lastly, you are allowed to choose between three different desserts and I chose the array of small sweets. Included in this array is chocolate covered strawberries, macaroons, and pastry puffs in the shape of swans! Talk about fancy! It is a little on the pricer side, but it is an extremely fun and lavished experience to do with friends and the whole room has an amazing view of the Floridan grounds.
Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk
Set sail for adventure! Sail (or swim) on over to Trattoria al Forno on Disney’s Boardwalk to take part in the epic Bon Voyage breakfast experience! This sit down dining experience is hosted by a group of fun loving adventurers otherwise known as Ariel, Prince Eric, Flynn Rider, and Rapunzel! This dining experience is very new and started half way through my program! As soon as we could get our hands on a reservation, we booked it! It is on the slightly pricer side because it is Character Dining without a Cast Member Discount, but the food was amazing and I thought it was extremely worth it.
This meal is what I would call a half three course meal. Meaning after you place your pre course and main course order, your table is given a plate of goodies (middle) to enjoy! This included various cookies, breakfast pastries, and mini cupcakes. Next you are given your pre course order which in my case was an adorable little fruit & granola parfait (right). I call it a pre course meal because they are not big enough to be considered a full course. Lastly, your main course arrives and in my case I got THE BEST OMELET OF MY LIFE. Let me tell you, this bad boy up here on the left was an egg white omelet filled with goat cheese and spinach, topped with smoked salmon! WITH a side of home fries. Like how could one go wrong!? Healthy and delicious!
Also I got to meet the swoon worthy Flynn Rider and his smolder. Definitely worth it. Rapunzel was the sweetest and the rest of the crew was excited to take part in our adventure at sea! This was definitely a great breakfast opportunity.
Chefs de France at Epcot
Hmmm where should we go for dinner tonight? Some place we haven’t been before? How about we just jump over to Paris for a three course meal in front of the Eiffel Tower? Wow sounds like a great idea, lets go!
That’s how simple it is people. Dine all around the world if you get the chance! I had always dreamed of eating at Chefs de France and it was definitely on my dining bucket list. Something about its atmosphere just made me feel so elegant. Besides the menu items being all in French and low key panicking about looking ridiculous trying to order my dinner, the experience was wonderful! My roommates and I decided to take the opportunity and chose the three-course meal selection (Single meal options are available). When choosing the three-course option, you are given sections with items for appetizers, main courses, and desserts that you may pick from. The menu is limited compared to the full one but this is due to the three-courses set price which I would say is EXTREMELY reasonable for how much food we got!
After we ordered all three courses at once (our ICP waiter was quite the cutie so messing up my French order was that much more embarrassing) we were given bread for the table to share. Talk about a great start already; no restaurant can go wrong with giving free bread. My first course was Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (left) or as I like to call it French Onion Soup. This soup was delicious and covered with cheese! Just be careful chewing and try dipping the bread in it!
The second course was Filet de saumon riz Pilaf et asperges, sauce beurre blanc à l’aneth. Please tell me you can see why ordering was difficult now considering that mouthful was just basically a fancy way of saying salmon with asparagus and rice pilaf (middle).
Lastly, for dessert, I got Gateau au chocolat which was a delicious slice of chocolate cake topped with chocolate frosting with an adorable little scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream! The chocolate and the mint flavors paired so well and overall the entire meal was so delicious! I highly recommend this dinner on a night when you’re feeling on the fancier side! My roommates and I dressed up and really made the whole night an event! We even got the photo pass photographer in front of the pavilion to take some great group shots of us! Also did I mention the restaurant has a great view of Illuminations? All around amazing experience!
Skippers Canteen at Magic Kingdom
Lastly, this is a great place to go when you don’t have a reservation because the wait time for a table never seems to be bad! Wanna hear dad jokes and bad puns while you enjoy a meal? Then head over to Skippers Canteen over in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom. When the Skippers aren’t taking guests on high stake treks through the jungle, they hangout in the canteen and serve restaurant goers with some delicacies found on their explorations!
I ordered the Char Siu Pork which was marinated pork with white rice and Chinese Broccoli! It was so good and the price was so reasonable. Our skipper definitely enhanced the entire experience as well. The whole atmosphere of the restaurant makes you feel as if you’ve stepped into an exotic expedition and are about to go off on an adventure of your own!
There ya have it folks! Some of my favorite meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner from all over Disney property! Look out for my next food post that will hopefully be helpful to all you allergy friendly folks out there! Also please subscribe to my blog and show it to your friends!!