Disney offers plenty of fun and unique dining experiences in all the parks and throughout the resorts. These restaurants provide great food, unique themes, and the well-known Disney service.
However, there is just one problem. The restaurants are often booked full. Oftentimes, you can’t necessarily get into the restaurants you really want to visit.
What can you do when your favorite Disney restaurant has no more dining reservations available?
Fortunately there are alternatives. Many of them are not quite as famous, but still offer great food and fun.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and fun Disney restaurants that often book up, and alternatives you can try if your first choice is not available.
When It’s Full: Be Our Guest Restaurant
Ever since it opened, Be Our Guest has been very popular. It’s easy to understand why. The food is French but still accessible, and the décor is amazing. It transports guests into the middle if the animated classic “Beauty and the Beast.” All this means that it can be hard to get an Advanced Dining Reservations, and getting a table by walking up is unlikely.
If the Be Our Guest is booked up, consider these alternatives:
Lunch at Be Our Guest
If you can’t get in to enjoy a delicious dinner at Be Our Guest, you might still enjoy a lunch there. The ambiance is the same, the food is different but still very good, and the quick service set up means you will spend both less time and less money at lunch compared to dinner.
Cinderella’s Royal Table
While Cinderella’s Royal Table, located inside Cinderella Castle, is also extremely popular, it is at least possible that it may not be quite as in demand as the uber-popular Be Our Guest depending on when you check. You can still get great ambiance as well as a very special and memorable dining experience.
When It’s Full: Chef Mickey’s
It may be the most quintessential Disney character dining experience. Chef Mickey’s, located inside Disney’s Contemporary Resort, offers a great buffet, amazing ambiance with the monorail gliding by overhead, and the fun, classic characters everyone wants to meet like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy. All this means that it can be hard to get a reservation. The standby wait times for breakfast or dinner can be long.
While we are talking about popular Disney character meals, we might as well add the Crystal Palace and Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom as well as Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway pavilion of Epcot. Fortunately, there are other equally fun character meals – they are just a bit more off the beaten path.
If the Chef Mickey’s is booked up, consider these alternatives:
Cape May Café
Located inside Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Cape May Café offers a bountiful buffet as well as your favorite classic Disney characters including Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy. While there is no monorail nearby, you can catch a boat to the International Gateway entrance of Epcot.
Tusker House may be one of the most overlooked character dining experiences in all of Disney World. It is tucked in the back corner of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but it offers some wonderful food as well as a chance to spend some quality time with Mickey and his friends. Disney carries the safari theme into the restaurants and the character’s costumes, which is fun as well.
If someone in your party is a fan of Lilo and Stitch, this is the character breakfast for you. Mickey and Pluto join Lilo and Stitch for a good time and a good buffet meal. Plus, once you are finished eating, you are just a short monorail ride away front the Magic Kingdom.
Hollywood and Vine
If you have little ones who watch Disney Junior, look no further than the character meal at Hollywood and Vine. Meet Handy Manny. Doc McStuffins, Jake and the Never Land Pirates, and Sofia the First. After you’ve filled up on made-to-order omelets and pastries, go out and enjoy the fun of the Hollywood that never was and always will be at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
When It’s Full: Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue
If you are looking for a fun evening filled with hearty food and classic entertainment that doesn’t take itself too seriously, check out the awesome Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue. You will find this dinner show tucked away at Disney’s Fort wilderness Campground. There are many good reasons why this dinner show has been successfully packing in the crowds for decades. The barbecue is tasty, and the entertainment is wholesome and fun. It’s no surprise that getting a table at this popular dinner show experience can often be difficult.
If the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue is booked up, consider these alternatives:
Mickey’s Backyard BBQ
Dinner at Mickey’s Backyard Barbecue is a great alternative. This dinner show takes place outside, so during the hottest times of the Florida summer, this may not be for everyone. However, the food is also delicious, and the entertainment is fun. Mickey provides a different type of show, but it’s a great way to see the big cheese as well as many of his friends including, Chip, Dale, and Goofy.
Whispering Canyon Café
Located inside Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, the Whispering Canyon Café doesn’t offer a dinner show, but there is still plenty of goodhearted entertainment. Kids get a chance to safely ride stick horses around the restaurant, and many unsuspecting guests get a huge surprise when they ask for ketchup.
What are your favorite alternatives when the most popular Disney restaurants are booked up?