Japan Tepan Edo

The Top Five Hidden Gem Restaurants in Disney World

Dining is a big deal in Disney World, and some people even book their Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) before they book their Disney resort hotels reservations! That means they figure out where they’ll eat before they know where they’ll stay!

You can book ADRs up to 180 days, or six months, before your vacation, so you have plenty of time to book your dining and still find accommodations.

However, reservations for some restaurants fill up so quickly that even if you attempt to book them 180 day out, they may already be booked up. These include especially Cinderella’s Royal Table in Cinderella Castle and Be Our Guest, both in Magic Kingdom‘s Fantasyland.

If you can’t get the restaurant you want, don’t worry! There are plenty of less popular restaurants that are just as good and sometimes even better than the very popular ones. Even if you can get a reservation at the busiest restaurants, consider trying something different! You never know what you might find.

You just might find a hidden gem restaurant like these five!

1. Grand Floridian Cafe

The Grand Floridian Resort Hotel and Spa is Disney World’s flagship hotel. It is one of the most expensive Deluxe Resort hotels, and there are even Disney Vacation Club accommodations at this resort. Being so high-end means that there are plenty of extra amenities like very good dining.  The Grand Floridian Café is one such location.

They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner with simple yet sophisticated menus. Breakfast and lunch use the same menus with brunch-like options, and dinner steps it up a notch with soups and salads, a variety of entrees, enhancements, and desserts. There is also a full kids menu for all meal times.

The pricing is reasonable, and the restaurant isn’t usually very busy; it’s pretty easy to get an ADR here even at the last minute. Once you’re done, hop on the monorail and head to Epcot or Magic Kingdom, or take a bus to anywhere else on property!

2. Teppan Edo

The hibachi-style dining at Teppan Edo is quite an experience!
The hibachi-style dining at Teppan Edo is quite an experience!

Teppan Edo is the table-service restaurant in the Japan Pavilion in World Showcase. The establishment is set up in hibachi style with long tables seating up to ten people with grills built right into the tables. This allows for an awesome dining experience because the chefs prepare your meal in front of you in a very interactive way.

Teppan Edo is open for lunch and dinner with the same menu all day. All of the ingredients are fresh, and there is plenty of variety.

3. Whispering Canyon Café

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is reminiscent of the great mid-west, and Whispering Canyon Café, located in the lobby of the lodge, is everything you love about America’s National Parks but in warm, sunny Florida.

The best deal at Whispering Canyon is the an all-you-care-to-enjoy breakfast platter with scrambled eggs, western home fries, bacon, sausage, buttermilk biscuits and sausage gravy, and of course the famous Mickey waffles. It’s served hot in a big skillet family style, and you can always ask for more of anything you want. There’s also an all-you-care-to-enjoy lunch and dinner skillet plus a la carte items for each meal time.

This restaurant can get a little rowdy, but it’s totally worth it. Plus, when you’re done eating, you can take the water taxi over to Magic Kingdom!

The buffet at Whispering Canyon is a rootin-tootin good time!
The buffet at Whispering Canyon is a rootin-tootin good time!

4. La Hacienda de San Angel

La Hacienda de San Angel in the Mexico pavilion in World Showcase opens nightly for dinner serving authentic south of the border options including some familiar ones like guacamole, empanadas, and New York steak plus some unique dishes like Tacos de Camarones and Carnitas Yucatecas. The food is really good!

But the food isn’t the only story here. La Hacienda de San Angel is situated right at the water’s edge making for the perfect location to view the nightly fireworks show. If you’re dining at night, request a seat next to the window when you check in. There’s no guarantee they’ll make it happen, but even a few rows back from the windows provide an excellent view.

5. The Wave … of American Flavors

The Wave … of American Flavors serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Disney’s Contemporary Resort Hotel right on Bay Lake. It’s a short walk from Magic Kingdom, just across the street!

The Wave has "eggcellent" eggs benedict!
The Wave has “eggcellent” eggs benedict!

Breakfast includes a buffet of house specialties like eggs benedict and signature sweet potato pancakes with pecan-honey butter plus classic breakfast favorites. There are also a la carte entrees and kids’ meals available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

It’s very easy to get a same-day reservation for any meal time. While you’re just across the street from Magic Kingdom, there aren’t any windows in this restaurant, so there isn’t a great view, but the restaurant is really nice!

What is you favorite hidden gem restaurant at Disney World?