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Disney World Dining Guide: Table Service Dining

Plant-based Rigatoni Bolognese from Trattoria al Forno at Disney's BoardWalk Resort

What is Table Service Dining?

Yes, Disney might have different names for the types of dining, but it is pretty easy to break down. Table Service is any meal where it is sit-down dining. Here’s a general breakdown of what you can expect at a table service restaurant.

  • Service: The main distinction is you will have a server taking care of you, there is no walking up and placing your order at the counter here. 
  • Price: Of course, with all the added benefits you will be paying a higher price.
  • Experience: Disney breaks Table Service down into a few categories: Buffet/Family Style, Casual Dining, Character Dining, Dining Events, Dessert Events, Dinner Shows, Fine/Signature Dining, and Unique/Themed Dining. 
  • Reservations: Reservations are highly recommended when looking to dine at a Table Service Restaurant. They can be made 60 days in advance beginning at 5:45 AM Disney World Time, and some reservations go quickly.

Reservations for Table Service Dining

One question I always get is, “Do I need to make a reservation?,” the short answer is YES! If you are planning your trip far enough out, you should have the date marked for when you can begin making your reservations.

You can book dining 60 days out from your arrival day, beginning at 5:45 AM Disney World Time, with most restaurants becoming available at 6 AM. 

Pro-Tip: One of the benefits of staying on property is you can book the length of your stay, up to 10 days, when you are 60 days out from your arrival day. If you aren’t staying on property, you will have to go in and book each day separately as the 60-day window opens for that day. 

There are however a few caveats to keep in mind:

If you can book the entire length of your stay, move those hard-to-get reservations to later in your trip. They should have more availability since not everyone can book all days at once. And try and snag the hard to get reservations first, it might make sense to go in order – but you need to be booking those hard to get ones first, they include:

  • Be Our Guest
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table
  • Topolino’s Terrace
  • Le Cellier
  • Ohana
  • California Grill
  • Oga’s Cantina

If you dont snag a reservation, you do have a few options:

  • Walk-Up Wait List: Most restaurants do offer a walk-up waitlist, however, they fill quickly and I wouldn’t count on them. You can join them by going to the host stand or joining via the My Disney Experience App. They are a good option if you are looking for a last-minute reservation, but I would try the other two options below if you still have time! 
  • Reservation Finder: I’ve said it before and I will say it again, if you didn’t snag that reservation you wanted, try using Touring Plans Reservation Finder. You simply put in when and where you want to dine, and they will send you a text and an email when a reservation opens up. Did I also mention it is completely FREE? For how to use it, check out my Instagram Reel
  • Checking the App: You can always look for openings in the Disney App, I suggest clicking through all the times for the day you want, as the app can be a little glitchy. Also, check about 24 hours before for last-minute cancelations people to avoid getting charged a no show fee!

Disney World Dining Guide: Table Service

Topolino’s Terrace

Location: Riviera Resort

Type of Cuisine: French Italian 

Disney Official Menu

Stand Out Dishes: 

Ricotta. This ricotta is made in-house and is a must-order when I visit, it is creamy and pairs perfectly with their Epi Bread. 

Rigatoni. I DREAM of this rigatoni often, it comes with braised chicken and honestly is perfect. 

Classic Sole Meunière. Even if you don’t love fish, you’ll love this dish – it isn’t fishy at all, just perfect.

Topolino Tips:

Breakfast is also outstanding at Topolino, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy join you for breakfast, and in my opinion, it is the best character dining meal in Disney.

If you can, book this one at sunset and you can enjoy a cocktail on the patio while watching the sunset over your favorite park icons like Tower of Terror.

California Grill

Location: Contemporary Resort

Type of Cuisine: American

Disney Official Menu

Stand Out Dishes:

Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli. This isn’t your typical Ravioli, this is made with a wonton wrapper and in a very light tomato broth.

Braised Beef Short Rib Wontons. Literally, this dish is what dreams are made of, tender beef short rib in a spicy garlic chili oil. Yes, this one does have a kick to it, but it’s delicious.

Braised Beef Short Rib Wontons in a chili oil from California Grill at the Contemporary.
Braised Beef Short Rib Wontons from California Grill

20-oz Bone-In Rib-Eye Steak. One might not think steak when it comes to California Grill, however, it’s one of the best I have ever had on Disney Property, and if the mac and cheese make an appearance as a side, you won’t regret it.

California Grill Tips:

With fireworks back, book your table around Happily Ever After and enjoy the view from the observation deck!

Sanaa

Location: Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village

Type of Cuisine: Indian/African

Disney Official Menu

Stand Out Dishes:

Indian-style Bread Service. Probably the most famous bread on Disney Property. This one comes with 9 different sauces, and I will leave them ranked in a photo below, and 5 different types of bread. Honestly, this could just a meal in itself.

A Ranking of the Sanaa Indian Bread Service Dips.
Sanaa Bread Service Dips Ranked

Potjie Inspired – Butter Chicken. A true staple here, I like that you also can pick the side vegetable, my personal favorite is the Aloo Masala, which is a potato dish.

Sanaa Tips:

If you can, ask to be seated with a savanna view, that way you can watch the animals from your table while enjoying your meal.

Trattoria al Forno

Location: BoardWalk Resort

Type of Cuisine: Italian

Disney Official Menu

Stand Out Dishes:

Insalata Caprese. Three words, house made burrata.

In-house made Burrata with tomatoes and basil form Trattoria al Forno.
Insalata Caprese from Trattoria al Forno

Plant-based Rigatoni Bolognese. Okay, when I tell you that this dish is one of the best plant-based options on Disney Property, I mean it. The flavor in the bolognese is phenomenal, and honestly, I wouldn’t even be able to tell this was plant-based if it was a blind test.

Lasagna al Forno. This isn’t your mother’s lasagna, but in the best way possible.

Teppan Edo

Location: Japan Pavilion in Epcot

Type of Cuisine: Japanese

Disney Official Menu

Stand Out Dishes:

Filet Mignon. When it comes to hibachi you can’t go wrong with the classics, this filet mignon is cooked to perfection in front of you.

Ebi. aka Shrimp.

Tori. aka Chicken.

‘Ohana

Location: Polynesian Resort

Type of Cuisine: American

Disney Official Menu

Stand Out Dishes

‘Ohana Noodles. The internet lost its mind when they announced the reopening of ‘Ohana without the noodles, but fear not, they heard the cries of the internet and they are back on the menu.

‘Ohana Bread Pudding. Honestly, the most satisfying thing ever is pouring that caramel sauce over the ice cream on this pudding. It is one of the best desserts at Disney and you can quote me on that.

‘Ohana Tips: If you can book your dinner around the fireworks in Magic Kingdom, do it. There are seats that have a window view, but you also can head out to the Polynesian Beach where they pipe in the Happily Ever After Music!

Top Table Service Ranked According to Instagram  

Of course, we all have different tastes, so I took to Instagram to ask my followers about their favorite Table Service restaurants in Disney, and they delivered.

  1. Topolino’s Terrace
  2. Le Cellier
  3. Sanaa
  4. California Grill
  5. ‘Ohana
  6. Skipper Canteen
  7. Hollywood Brown Derby
  8. Homecomin’
  9. Trattoria al Forno
  10. Yak and Yeti

Top Dishes Around Disney

There are so many great dishes around Disney World, and while the restaurant might not make the top list for this one, they shouldn’t be overlooked. One of my favorites on this list is the Plant-based ‘Seafood’ at Toledo, honestly, that whole menu is amazing!

Filet and Mac and Cheese at Jiko

Fried Chicken at Homecomin’

Bread Pudding at ‘Ohana

Disney World Dining Guide

This post is just a small part of my series on all things Disney Dining, where I break down the best restaurants and what you should order. So, be sure to check out the complete Disney World Dining Guide!


Looking for the Top Table Service Dining in PDF Form? Fill out the form below to download it!

0 In Disney/ Disney Tips & Tricks

Disney World Dining Guide

The bread service at Sanaa, nine different sauces and 5 different types of bread.

Where should you eat in Walt Disney World? I’ve got you covered. With over two hundred restaurants, thousands of snacks, and hundreds of cocktails, diving into Disney Dining can be overwhelming. But with a little guidance and this Disney World Dining Guide, you can be planning your best Disney Vacation and you won’t be missing out on any of the best dining spots in Disney. 

In this Disney World Dining Guide, we will be diving into all things Disney Dining, from Table Service and Quick Service favorites, to what restaurants in Disney give you the best experience because everyone deserves a magical and delicious Disney vacation. 

What are the different types of Disney Dining?

  • Quick Service
  • Lounges

What specialty dining do they offer in Disney?

  • All You Can Eat
  • Disney Experience
  • Disney Springs
  • First Time Must Do’s

Let’s Talk Everything Disney Dining Basics

Table Service

If you are looking for a full sit-down meal with a server at Disney, you are going to want to book Table Service. Reservations are strongly suggested for these meals and can be made 60 days in advance. 

Disney does break down Table Service Restaurants a little more, which includes Signature Dining – they are the top Table Service Restaurants, All You Care to Enjoy Restaurants – where you pay one price and get unlimited food. All you Care to Enjoy used to serve as buffets in a lot of locations, but have since changed. Finally, you have dinner theater, which currently is not operating, but includes shows like the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue.

Quick Service

In Disney, your basic fast food style service is known as Quick Service, it is essentially any restaurant where you order from a counter. That includes both restaurants and carts and kiosks located throughout the park. 

As one would expect, Quick Service is always a cheaper option when it comes to Disney food, and is abundant. You don’t need to worry about making advanced dining reservations, however, you do need to familiarize yourself with Mobile Order.

Lounges

Lounges fall somewhere between Quick Service and Table Service, they are essentially the bars of Disney World. Most offer light snacks and drinks, and you always can grab to-go drinks at these spots. 

You’ll find Lounges throughout the parks, and at the Deluxe Resorts, with a few at the Moderate Resorts as well.

Breaking Down Disney Dining

The questions I get most often about Disney Dining break down into the following topics. I find that people are looking for these types of restaurants most often when planning trips. So while Disney doesn’t categorize them this way, I think it is the easiest way to break them down!

All You Care To Enjoy

One thing Disney is well known for is its all-you-can-eat restaurants. Previously, these use to be in the form of buffets, but now for the foreseeable future have been converted into family-style meals. 

Most, but not all, character dining tends to be all you can eat, and there are also some themed restaurants as well.

Disney Experience 

One thing Disney does well is restaurants that are so immersive that you feel like you are in the story. This is in no way an official Disney category, but there are restaurants you should visit, both Table Service and Quick Service if you want to experience all things, Disney. The price point of these restaurants tends to be higher, as you are paying for the overall experience and not just the meal. 

A great example of these would be Be Our Guest, where you dine in Beast’s Castle from Beauty and the Beast, and Cinderella’s Royal Table, where you dine inside the iconic Cinderella Castle.

Disney Springs

Located on Disney property is Disney Springs, it is a shopping pavilion with lots of food options. Most restaurants here are own by outside companies, and the food choices are endless. It is a lively area that can be a great escape from the parks!

First Time Must-Do’s

So you’ve booked your first trip to Disney but don’t know where to eat? These are the must-do restaurants in that category that really make a Disney trip feel like magic. It could involve character dining or dinner with a great view of the fireworks. It’s my list of restaurants I tell people that have to dine at, at least once.

Disney Dining Guide

Disney Dining is always an experience, and with over 200 restaurants around Disney World, it can be overwhelming. Be sure to dive into the guide above for more details on specific categories, including where I recommend dining, and what to order.

More of a visual person? You can also find my full guide in video form over on my Instagram!

0 In Disney Drinks/ Disney Tips & Tricks

The Ultimate Epcot Drinking List

These are the drinks you NEED to order the next time you are in Epcot. Drinking Around the World can be overwhelming, there are plenty of options to choose from, but the real question is, what should you be ordering? I have tested many drinks around the World Showcase, and have determined that these are the drinks you need to order.

Of course, we are starting in Mexico, because it is the only right way to drink around the world – I mean, you do you, but the true Epcot people will judge you.

Mexico

Of course, you have to grab a margarita when in Mexico, and I recommend heading into the pavilion and checking out La Cava del Tequila. Their variety of margaritas is unparalleled to the kiosk outside – even though they are own by the same company. The drink of choice in Mexico has to be La Cava Avocado, it is their famous avocado margarita, yes, it actually has avocado in it, however, you don’t really pick up on that flavor, it just contributes to more of a creamy texture.

La Cava Avocado – La Cava del Tequila $15.50

 
 
 
 
 
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Norway

Heading to Norway, you have limited options compared to some other countries. But I always recommend heading into Kringla Bakeri, their snacks are cheap and delicious, and I prefer it over the cart outside. My go-to choice is the Viking Coffee, which you can order both cold and hot. It is a combination of coffee, Kamora, and Baileys, and it is the perfect not too strong tasting spiked coffee.

Viking Coffee – Kringla Bakeri OG Cafe $13.00

China

China has some of the most slept on drinks in Epcot. Joy of Tea which sits right on the lagoon, is completely unsuspecting but houses some of the best drinks. Honestly, by the time you have reached China it is probably getting warm out, and the Canto Loopy is the perfect refreshing drink. It’s a combination of Cantaloupe Juice and Vodka and is a must when you pass through China.

Canto Loopy – Joy of Tea $11.00

Germany

When in Germany of course you have to have a beer, it’s the most German choice that you could make. There are quite a few beers and beer cart options in Germany, and I highly suggest picking up one of their huge pretzels, you know to soak up the alcohol. My go-to here is the Schöfferhofer Grapefruit, it is only 2.5% percent which is honestly the break your liver needs by the time you reach Germany.

Schöfferhofer Grapefruit – Beer Cart $9.50

Italy

Italy is the land of wine, and the pavilion in Epcot really reflects that, you can find wine everywhere and you can’t go wrong with it. However, my favorite beverage is seen at pretty much every festival, so you usually can find it at the festival kiosk. It’s the Italian Margarita – made with tequila and limoncello. There is something completely different about this one, and I know you wouldn’t expect to get a margarita in Italy, but I promise it’s delicious.

Italian Margarita – Italy Festival Booth

American Adventure

Things have changed recently in the American Pavilion, with the opening of Regal Eagle and the outdoor bar there. Now, I must admit I want to dig further into the bar menu than I have, but there is one clear stand out here. It’s the Moonshine Sour from Regal Eagle’s Outdoor Bar. It is the perfect combination of blackberry and blood orange, and according to the bartender, it is the most popular drink in Epcot right now.

Moonshine Sour – Regal Eagle Outdoor Bar $14.00

Japan

The Japan Pavilion hands down has the best drinks in Epcot, there, I said it. You can’t go wrong with any option in Japan, from the sake bar in the back of the pavilion to the garden house, you always can find a great option. I am the biggest fan of the Garden House and their signature cocktails, I am a die-hard Violet Sake fan, and it will always be my number one, but the Tokyo Sunset is also an excellent choice.

Violet Sake – Garden House $9.00

Morocco

If you’ve never visited the bar in the Morocco Pavilion, you need to add it to your list. The theming inside is amazing, and the drinks are even better. You might some people taking shots while drinking around the world, but I highly recommend their Sangria. It is a staple in the pavilion, and you can get it at the bar inside Spice Road Table, and no you don’t need to dine there, you can just grab your drink and go.

Sangria – Spice Road Table $11.00

France

France is one of my favorite pavilions, and by this point, you are probably really feeling drinking around the world, so might I suggest heading to the bakery and picking up a $2 baguette. It’s a steal and by your 9th drink, you are going to need it. Now onto the main event, the drink – to me the most quintessential Epcot drink can be found in France, it’s the Orange Slush from Les Vins des Chefs de France, which is a kiosk right on the lagoon. It’s a combination of Grand Marnier, Rum, and Grey Goose Orange. And if you are feeling extra, you can add an extra shot for $6.75.

Orange Slush – Les Vins des Chefs de France $11.50

United Kingdom

When visiting the UK Pavilion, you have to venture into the Rose & Crown, it is one of the best bars to grab a drink in all of Epcot. Of course, you can always go with a beer, I am a big fan of the layered beers they serve, and they have more combinations than you would think. However, my go-to drink is the Welsh Dragon, if you read the ingredients you might question my choice, but do me a favor and just go with it.

Welsh Dragon – Rose & Crown Pub $16.oo

Canada

We have finally made it to the final drink in this Drinking Around the World Tour! Canada does not disappoint, because I believe the most slept on drink in Epcot resides here, though I am not sure if it’s slept on or because it’s most people’s 11th drink, so they probably don’t really remember. I am talking about the Ottawa Apple from Popcorn in Canada. It is a great combination of whiskey, apple, and maple.

Ottawa Apple – Popcorn in Canada $13.00

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Looking to take this list with you? Download the PDF version by clicking below!

Well, we have made it to the end of the Ultimate List. Epcot has so many great drink options, but these are my go-to favorites that you will always find me reordering.

What is your favorite drink in Epcot? What must you order every time you go? Let me know in the comments!

0 In Disney/ Disney Tips & Tricks

Best Fastpasses at Every Disney World Park 2019: Plus, the Top Common Fastpass Mistakes

Fastpasses, people will tell you they can make or break your Disney World Vacation. If you are trying to ride the most popular rides a Fastpass is easily your best bet as it can save you so much time while at the park. The question is, what are the best Fastpasses in every park? Today I will tell you the Fastpasses you should be booking, and the common mistakes I see people make all the time.

Fastpass Overview

A quick rundown about booking Fastpasses in advance:

  • You get 3 advanced book Fastpasses per day – you can only book one park per day (be sure to read the mistakes about how to get the most out of those 3 Fastpasses)
  • You can book 60 days out from the first day of your trip if you are staying on property, 30 days if you are not staying on Disney property
  • When you reach 30 or 60 days out from your first day you can book Fastpasses for the entirety of your trip
  • Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios all operate with tiers. This means you only can get one pass at a time for their top tier rides, so anything in Pandora or Toy Story Land.

Disclaimer: I am typically head to the park with 1 or 2 people, so if you are booking for an entire large party some of these rides and tricks might not work for you.

Magic Kingdom

On a busy day at Magic Kingdom lines can get out of control, so if you can book Fastpasses, do so. There are rides that you should grab a Fastpass for if you see one, and one’s you should totally pass over.

Book these passes at Magic Kingdom:

7 Dwarfs Mine Train This is probably the most sought after Fastpass at Magic Kingdom, if you want to ride it and don’t want to wait hours, book it if you see it. Pro-tip: If you are attending a party, ie. Halloween or Christmas, you can’t book Fastpasses during the party, however the lines are always significantly shorter.

Peter Pan This queue on this ride gets insane REAL fast. I have in the past snagged last minute Fasspasses, but if this is a must ride for your kids I strongly suggest it. Unless you don’t mind waiting 95 minutes for a ride that will having you saying, “cute, but not worth 95 minutes.”

Space Mountain If you are looking for a little adventure, do it.

Rides that others might suggest, but use your own judgement:

Big Thunder Mountain This is always my go-to last ride of the night and the line is usually short after fireworks. I have had a Fastpass for it in the past, but every other time I have gone I just wait and almost walk on. Plus, this ride is sooo much fun to ride at night and gives you a great view of the castle all lit up.

Jungle Cruise Hello ‘Day of Fastpass’! I typically never book in advance because day of there are often Fastpasses available, and they tend to be ones where the ride is on a pretty hefty wait, but the next Fastpass booking is in 5 minutes.

Animal Kingdom

So, like I previously mentioned Animal Kingdom is a tiered park, with Avatar being the only rides in the top tier. This means you are putting Flight of Passage up against Nav’i River Journey, while everything falls to a lower tier.

Book these passes at Animal Kingdom:

Tier 1

Flight of Passage This is by far my favorite ride is all of the parks (minus The People Mover) but I would NEVER wait 300+ minutes that this ride climbs to on some peak days. If you see a Fastpass for it, book it.

Nav’i River Journey If you cant get the Fastpass to Flight of Passage, of course book Nav’I River Journey if you have the chance. Also, if you are not a fan of motion simulated rides, I also suggest Nav’i. This ride is like Pirates of the Caribbean on steroids.

Tier 2

Kilimanjaro Safari The lines for the safari can get long. I always use one of my fast passes for this ride. I have scored some same day Fastpasses for this ride as well, but you never know. Pro-Trip: Book your Fastpass for early morning, it’s when the animals tend to be most active.

Expedition Everest If you are looking for a serious thrill ride, Everest has you covered. My one tip would be if you are going during the off season and are a single rider, don’t bother on a Fastpass. Everest is the only ride in Animal Kingdom that has a single rider line. During peak times it can get a little busy (I have seen it online at about 45 minutes) but I personally have never wait more than 10-15 minutes.

Dinosaur If you have people on your trip that you think will like this ride, do it. I usually always skip this one but haven’t really been able to score a same day Fastpass.

Rides that others might suggest, but use your own judgement:

Kali River Rapids If you are headed there during the summer and want to cool off, booking a Fastpass can work.

Epcot

Again, Epcot is another tiered park, things will probably shift with the addition of Guardians of the Galaxy in 2021, but for now, here is what you should book.

Book these passes at Epcot:

Tier 1

Frozen If you love Frozen this is a must ride. The animatronics on this ride are amazing, and I have ridden it every time I have gone to the park.

Test Track If you have a need for speed I would suggest Test Track. The queue is pretty interactive, so it keeps you well entertained beyond the ride itself.

Soarin’ I love Soarin’, I mean love it, however I would 100 percent prefer a Fastpass for either Frozen or Test Track. Plus, if you hit this queue at the right point of the day you typically can find standby down to about 30 minutes.

They are all great, so honestly, don’t make me choose. I personally love Frozen, so that is always my go to as it tends to have the longest line. However, all are equally good choices. I also tried to hold out of the same day Fasspass for Soarin’ on my last trip and it didn’t work for me at all.

Tier 2

Spaceship Earth This ride is closing in 2020 for almost 2 ½ years, so get it in while you can. Also, there are many times throughout the day where the line is less than 15 minutes, if you don’t have a Fastpass, ride it then.

Mission Space Again, I have walked on this ride, but it’s a good choice.

Rides that others might suggest, but use your own judgement:

Living the Land One might say I am crazy for putting this on the list, but last time I was there the line was 45 minutes. I mean I love Living the Land, but I am not waiting 45 minutes for it… unless it’s raining.

Hollywood Studios

With Star Wars: Galaxy Edge now opened, there will probably be a shift in things at Hollywood Studios. However, they are not offering Fastpasses with the area opens. Again, it’s tiered and as of recently they have bumped more rides into the top tier.

Tier 1

Slinky Dog Dash This is on my list because I have been to Disney twice since Toy Story Land opened and I have yet to ride it. At no point have I been able to secure a Fastpass no matter how many times I look. Book it if you see it! Side note: I was in Disney on Toy Story Land opening day, and someone noted the line was over 300 minutes, or how they put it “that means you can watch all three Toy Story movies just while waiting in line.” No thanks, I will pass.

Alien Swirling Saucers I have chosen this time and time again since Slinky hasn’t been available and I do not regret it. I love so much about this ride.

Toy Story Mania Again, another good option. However, this ride was around before Toy Story Land, so it is something to note.

Tower of Terror

Rockin’ Roller Coaster

Tier 2

I feel like day of Fastpasses have been harder than ever to get in Hollywood Studios, and I don’t feel like Galaxys Edge opening will help in the least bit. Remember that when you are in the park and you use all three of your pre-booked Fastpasses for the day you can book another tier 1 attraction if it is available.

Star Tours Honestly, this is the only Fastpass I would say you should score in tier 2, everything else is typically easily booked day of. So, pick another ride or show and go with it.

I hope you take some of these tips and tricks in order to help make your Disney experience amazing. What Fastpass did you score using these tricks? Let me know in the comments.