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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!


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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!