Friday Five: 5 Disney Restaurants outside the parks that are worth the trip!

Whether you choose a dining plan or not, Disney has so many amazing restaurants both inside and outside the theme parks. Today’s Friday Five focuses on table service restaurants outside the park. These can be visited in conjunction with your theme park time or on an off day. In no particular order…

1. Boma – Animal Kingdom Lodge: Whether you choose breakfast or dinner, you can’t go wrong here. It’s one of the better meals in all of Disney World. For parents with picket eaters, don’t let the menu scare you. There are enough options for picky kids (and picky adults). It’s a great option for those with little ones as well as it’s buffet style. The food is way better than any other buffet I’ve ever eaten in Disney World. Take some time before or after Animal Kingdom. It’s an easy bus ride from Animal Kingdom and buses run very, very frequently!  (Honorable mention: Sanaa at Kidani Village).

2. ‘Ohana – Polynesian: This is an obvious one as one of the most popular restaurants in Disney World. Take a break from your Magic Kingdom day or have a late dinner after a long day in Magic Kingdom. It’s a great early dinner before heading over to Magic Kingdom for Main Street Electrical Parade & Fireworks, too! Try breakfast for a fun character meal before starting your day at the parks!

3. Whispering Canyon Cafe – Wilderness Lodge: Another resort near Magic Kingdom. This will take a bit longer to get to than the resorts along the monorail, but well worth the trip. If you’ve got kids of any age, they’ll enjoy the atmosphere and everyone will enjoy the amazing BBQ. Try the all you care to enjoy skillet and be stuffed to the gills. Make sure everyone knows that WE NEED KETCHUP too!! Take your time with this meal. Grab one of the first seatings at 5 pm or wait until you’re done with Magic Kingdom (on a night you’re willing to skip fireworks).

4. California Grill – Contemporary: Last stop in the Magic Kingdom area – California Grill. This is a great opportunity to enjoy a relaxing evening AND enjoy Magic Kingdom fireworks. This is a more upscale meal (and the price tag shows it). Not as kid friendly (somewhere I’d rather go for a date night than bring my 2 year old). You’ll still see plenty of kids around the restaurant, so don’t feel bad bringing them along. My little one doesn’t sit still ever, so not the place for her. Grab a glass of wine from their extensive menu, enjoy an amazing steak and save room for dessert. Book a table about an hour before fireworks start for the best view in the house (15 stories up). (Honorable mention for another upscale option: Narcoosee’s in Grand Floridian – another great view of fireworks and a high class meal).

5. Beaches & Cream – Beach Club: This location is light-hearted and a great place to enjoy a birthday celebration as they do a great job of embarrassing the one celebrating the birthday (maybe that’s just because I was 30 and not 13!) Perfect meal for a hot day and a quick trip away from both Epcot & Hollywood Studios. Make a reservation for lunch or just for their signature ice cream dishes.

Come back next week for more Friday Five fun!!

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