Disney Imagineers work diligently to theme each area of the parks so guests feel immersed in the setting of the land or area in which they currently are located. It’s no surprise, then, that they pay close attention to the theming of the eateries as well. The quality of Disney food goes without saying; Disney hires world-class chefs, and even the culinary college program is the hardest internship to land in all of Disney World. With these high standards, the food is sure to be impeccable even at quick-service locations.
The five restaurants listed below certainly don’t make up an exhaustive list of the best-themed restaurants, but the combination of great food and excellent theming makes this a pretty good list.
5. Flame Tree Barbecue
Flame Tree Barbecue is the only quick-service and only outdoor location on our list. Despite its quick-service status, the BBQ here is amazing.
Flame Tree has covered seating areas as well as sunny spots overlooking a lake (where Rivers of Light will soon debut), a pond, and Expedition Everest in the background. Each patio features a predator and its prey proving that Disney can tickle adult topics, like the Circle of Life, in a tasteful way. It also fits with the overall theming of Animal Kingdom.
4. Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace is not only a great character dining experience, but it is also a beautiful photo op especially in the evening when outdoor lighting adds beautiful architectural features to the area. Inside, this 1800’s Victorian Greenhouse-themed restaurant is truly an enchanting setting.
The best way to experience Crystal Palace is to make Advance Dining Reservations for the character breakfast before Magic Kingdom opens. In the early morning hours, guests with Advance Dining Reservations can experience an almost empty Main Street U.S.A. Don’t forget to get a picture in front of Cinderella Castle with no one else around!
3. Tusker House
We return to Animal Kingdom for our second character dining restaurant. Not only is this eatery known for its delicious buffet and Donald Duck Safari dining experience, but the Tusker house has amazing and immersive theming.
As part of Africa in Animal Kingdom, Tusker House is appropriately themed to resemble an open-air African Marketplace. The ceiling is draped with colorful, flowing fabric pieces like those in authentic marketplaces. Diners can even dream up stories about the people living on the second floor balcony of the restaurant.
2. San Angel Restaurante
San Angel is located in the Mexico Pavilion of Epcot’s World Showcase. Guests dine inside a Mayan Temple while watching the Gran Fiesta tour riverboats pass by. If you’ve always longed to eat at Disneyland’s Blue Bayou restaurant but just can’t make it to California, San Angel in Disney World is a very similar experience.
1. Be Our Guest
Finally, Be Our Guest is an amazing restaurant with delicious French-inspired food and incredible theming. In fact, it can be argued that Be Our Guest is the best themed area in all of Walt Disney World considering that entering the castle transports guests into the animated film of Beauty and the Beast.
There are three dining rooms- The West Wing, the Rose Gallery, and The Ballroom- each of which is unique, though the Ballroom is probably the best-themed room. If you are hoping to look out the windows and enjoy the sunny Central Florida weather, think again. Since you’ve entered the French Countryside, it’s snowing outside! The faux windows help simulate the snow and the totally immersive quality.
Are you going to meet Beast? Listen to the Suits of Armor who sometimes chat with one another then are shushed by the others when they suspect that a guest is nearby. This is appropriate considering the story goes that the castle is filled with former residents who are cursed to live as inanimate objects until Beast finds his true love.
Be Our Guest is the one of the hardest reservations to land in all of Disney World even with a quick-service lunch option, so be sure to book as soon as possible (up to 180 days in advance).
Are you a fan of the Be Our Guest restaurant in the Magic Kingdom?
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