Best Themed Restaurants at Walt Disney World
There are more than 140 restaurants in Walt Disney World so choosing which ones to visit can be a difficult decision. In this list, I am going to break down the best restaurants, in my opinion, by theme.
I want to preface this by saying that if you wanted to go to Walt Disney World just to eat amazing food then you should definitely head over to Epcot. Epcot has amazing options for dining for snacks, quick service, table service and even 2 Disney dining credit table service options. Epcot has it all when it comes to food.
The themes at the various restaurants at World Showcase are beautiful. They really capture the essence of the country and make you feel like you have left Florida and are eating in France or Germany for example.
There are many factors when choosing a restaurant at Walt Disney World but in this article, we are going to primarily focus on the theme.
Olivia’s Café at Old Key West
This table service is on my list because it is somewhat of a hidden gem. It is located at the Old Key West Resort so you don’t need park entrance to eat here. The thing I like best about Olivia’s Café theme is that it feels like the small restaurants I’ve eaten at around in the Florida Keys and gulf. This restaurant feels like a true Florida oceanfront restaurant. It feels like a restaurant that you could wear formal attire to or sandals with beach clothes.
Pepper Market at Coronado Springs
This quick service restaurant at Coronado Springs is hands down my favorite quick service restaurant at any of the resorts. The theme is very fun and different from the other quick service restaurants you will find at the other resorts. The pepper market is a Spanish themed indoor marketplace. I feel like I’m in another place when I eat at the Pepper Market.
Besides the theme being great the Pepper Market has an excellent selection of food from Spanish food to Pizza to BBQ Chicken. They really have an excellent variety.
T-Rex Restaurant at Disney Springs
The T-Rex restaurant is a dinosaur themed restaurant and is much like the Rainforest café where not only is it decorated dinosaur themed but there are dinosaurs in the restaurant that come to life. The theming in this restaurant is spectacular.
You feel like you are eating in the middle of a prehistoric land and at any moment a dinosaur is going pop out. There are storms and meteor events that you see and hear. The dinosaurs roar and move. There is a lot to look at in the T-Rex restaurant.
As far as themed restaurants at Disney Springs go I have to say the T-Rex restaurant is the best there is. They do have Rainforest Café at Disney Springs too but the T-Rex restaurant just so seems to have so much more detail to it and just feels massive that I like it much better.
Boma – Flavors of Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
For a unique themed eating experience, Boma is an excellent choice. The atmosphere and theme of the restaurant are excellent but the theme of the food is what takes this restaurant to the next level. Boma is a buffet and there are a few different menu’s that the chefs rotate through throughout the week so not every time you go will it be the same menu.
I had never had African cuisine before I ate and Boma. People were telling me how good it was and that I should give it a try so one day I did. I was concerned that the food would be too weird for me and I would not enjoy it but I was up for the adventure anyway. With entrees like Pap and Chakalaka or Bobotie or Fufu I really had no Idea what I was putting on my plate. I have to say that the food there is delicious.
It is also very memorable. With the majority of the foods at the other restaurants on this list are items that I have had from other places before and while it is always better at Disney the flavors are still something I’m used to. At Boma, though I can still remember some of the unique flavors I tasted there that I have never tasted again since I ate there last. I have only been to Boma’s twice but it is one of the most memorable food tasting experiences I’ve ever had in my life.
‘Ohana at the Polynesian Resort
‘Ohana is inside the Polynesian Resort which for resort themes, the Polynesian is one of my top favorites so it would make sense that the Polynesian themed restaurant inside of it is on this list. Seated in a traditional Polynesian style hut you can look out the windows and see the awesome Volcano pool with a slide just outside and passed that you can see the Seven seas lagoon and all the resorts around it as well as can see the Magic Kingdom.
The food here is served family style in large skillets where everyone can take as much as they want. You feel like you have been welcomed by Polynesian Islanders to a celebration with delicious island food and drink.
They have a drink there called Stitch Juice that is one of the most delicious fruit drinks I’ve ever had. Every time we go I drink like 10 of them. This dining experience is also a character dining experience. You can meet Stitch, Lilo, and Mickey. During the meal they have games and they do a fun little parade with the kids where they all line up behind Stitch and follow him around the restaurant as they play shaker instruments.
This is a great restaurant for breakfast and with a family. It’s great for dinner too but it’s one of my favorites for breakfast. Also be ready for the bread they give you to start. It is delicious!
Coral Reef in Epcot
The Coral Reef Restaurant is a must for any lover of the sea. In this restaurant, one entire wall has a viewing of the 5.7 million gallons Caribbean Boral Reef Aquarium. It is slightly hidden to the right of the Nemo and Friends attraction at Epcot.
Upon entering you are greeted by the host who takes you down a hallway that makes you feel like you are going underwater. The restaurant is darker than most restaurants with the main focus lights on the aquarium which really makes you feel like you are under the sea.
It is another peaceful place to eat and relax that removes you from the go go go of doing a Disney park. It has an elegant feel to it while at the same time very comfortable.
If you choose this restaurant I have to recommend saving room for the Chocolate Wave Cake which is one of my favorite Desserts at Walt Disney World.
Teppan Edo at the Japanese Pavilion in Epcot
I have never been to actual Japan so I don’t know for sure but eating at the Hibachi grill dining experience at Teppan Edo makes me feel like I have visited Japan. The themed experience at Teppan Edo Hibachi dining begins as you approach the restaurant (side note I recommend walking to Japan around World Showcase in a clockwise experience to get the best welcome to Japan. Japan and America are basically right in the middle anyway so no matter which way you walk it’s about the same distance so I recommend entering World Showcase by Mexico and walking around that way.)
As you get close to Japan the first thing you see is a tall Pagoda that is conspicuously Japanese. You walk past the Pagoda and enter the middle of the Japanese pavilion where on your left you have a beautiful Japanese Garden, straight ahead a bridge into what looks like a Japanese fort and on your right you have the Mitsukoshi shop on the bottom level and up top of a massive staircase, don’t worry there is an elevator for those with special needs, which goes up to the Teppan Edo Restaurant.
You walk into the restaurant and the décor is beautiful and a sense of peace washes over you. With all the hustle and bustle outside at Epcot, this restaurant offers a relaxing atmosphere to really immerse you in the experience. They bring you into a room with multiple Hibachi grills and sit you family style around the grill with up to 8 at each grill. This is where they not only cook your food but do a performance of flipping the food and creating volcanos, unlike any other hibachi experience I’ve been to.
Part of what makes this experience so much better than a Hibachi grill outside of Disney World or Japan is that all the Hosts, Servers and Cooks are actually Japanese. Everyone I have met is in the cultural program and has been from Japan to where many of them were hard for me to understand because their English was a bit choppy.
Be Our Guest in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom
Be our guest is an awesomely themed restaurant. The Be Our Guest restaurant is in Fantasyland inside Belle’s Castle! The theme in this restaurant is beautifully done. The lighting is magical to set the mood in each of the three rooms which are all themed differently with the cohesive Beauty and Beast theme throughout. As you walk into the Castle you feel a bit like Belle did in that you are wondering if this is actually a restaurant or a real castle. You first order your food in a beautiful room on kiosks. Then you are given a rose that you take with you to your table.
You next enter the Grand Ballroom area and from there you can either pick a table or continue to the West Wing themed room or the Castle Gallery. The Grand Ballroom looks like the ballroom from Beauty and the Beast where Belle and Beast danced to Tale as old as Time. The West Wing is torn up and dark in the theme like the West Wing of the Castle was in the movie. The Castle Gallery is a more brightly lit room with beautiful and large paintings all about.
Be Our Gusts restaurant is a fun theme and a must for any Beauty and the Beast lover. It is a great dining experience for groups of all types and sizes.
50’s Prime Time Café in Hollywood Studios
One of my favorite things about the theming for 50’s Prime Time Café is that it is set in a time when Walt Disney was in his prime. The 50’s are when Disneyland opened, iconic Disney movies were released in the 50’s and overall a lot of the classic Disney movies and shows have a 50’s feel to them. I feel like the 50’s were the time of Disney. There is so much 50’s feel in Disney that for me it is hard to separate Disney from that time period. Disney is timeless but feels like it kept that 50’s wholesome America vibe with it.
The 50’s Prime Time Café captures the essence of the wholesome America that we remember from the 50’s. It is set like it is in a family house. It is like your family has gathered at Grandmas house she cooked a home cooked meal for you and all your relatives. They call you as kids when your table is ready so, for example, they would say “Smith kids, ma is ready for you.” The wait staff is sassy with you in the most fun way.
They will tell you go wash your hands and then ask you what color the soap was to make sure you did. They will sit down at the table with you and maybe give you a challenge or some kind of game to do as a family while you wait for your drinks and food. The food is what you would expect from 50’s America like meatloaf, pot roast, milkshakes, burgers, and fries etc. This might be one of the most fun restaurants to go to with your family. I always leave the 50’s Prime Time Café with my belly stuffed and a smile on my face.
I recommend trying the Peanut Butter and Jelly Milkshake here.
San Angel Inn Restaurante at the Mexico Pavilion in Epcot
I have to admit I have only eaten at this restaurant a couple of times but it is one of my absolute favorites as far as theme. The restaurant is inside the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot which is my favorite pavilion because from the moment you enter into it you feel like you have literally been transported to a cute traditional Mexican village.
As you enter the main room you feel like you are outside. That’s right it is an indoor pavilion that feels like you are outside. At the back side of the pavilion you see a temple that looks similar to the one you entered to get in the pavilion, and next to it in distance, you see an active volcano. The theming inside this pavilion is just the best in my opinion. It is the most immersive and magical to me.
The restaurant sits right on the water’s edge where the boat ride goes by and is outside with the rest of the marketplace keeping you in the main area of the pavilion the entire time. To me, this pavilion feels like I transported into an old classic Disney cartoon about Mexico / South America like the Three Caballeros for example. Since the majority of the Mexico pavilion is inside you feel more like you have left Epcot in Florida to go to another country more so in my opinion than any of the other pavilions.
Biergarten at Germany Pavilion in Epcot
The theming inside the Biergarten is absolutely superb. You enter a building that much like the San Angel Inn in Mexico you feel like you are outside in a foreign land. The Biergarten is set in a traditional German village as an all year long celebration of Oktoberfest.
You feel like you are in the middle of a small town yet feels very large for being inside a building. Part of that Disney magic they are so good at to optimize space or the perception of space. At the center of the town is a stage where a German polka band wearing full-on lederhosen.
This dining experience is a buffet and the tables are long picnic style table that seats up to 8. For an immersively themed restaurant that makes you feel like you’ve actually visited that country then the Biergarten in Germany is a must do.
This is one of the most unique restaurants I have ever been to. Your table looks like a car that is parked at a drive-in Movie Theater with a bunch of other cars. There is even a real movie screen that they play clips of old classic Sci-Fi movies. This is another darker restaurant since it is set at a drive-in Movie Theater outside at night. The atmosphere is very cool at the Sci-Fi Dine-in.
You feel like you are at a real drive-in Movie Theater from back in the 50’s or 60’s. You see all the other cars parked facing the movie screen at the front. Wrapped around the perimeter is a fence like they would have a real drive-In and then the décor behind it is a scenic view of a wooded landscape where off in the distance you can see a low glow over the horizon that looks to be from the lights of a nearby city.
This is a very fun unique restaurant to visit but might not be the best with smaller kids due to the fact that each you basically sit in rows of 2 with up to about 6 in each car so it might be tricky to help them the little ones with their food if needed however not impossible.
This is a great themed restaurant for 2 people especially since the seating is 2 per row and the people in front of you will be facing the screen so it can be hard to talk in a group.
Cinderella’s Royal Table in Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom
You don’t get a more iconic themed dining experience than Cinderella’s Royal Table in Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom. Cinderella’s castle is in the center of Magic Kingdom and it the focal point for the entire park. For me, there is no more magical location in all of the Disney World than Cinderella’s Castle.
Even though you enter the Magic Kingdom on Main Street USA and have to walk to the Castle I don’t feel like I’ve truly entered into the Magic Kingdom until I have passed through under the Castle and emerged in Fantasyland on the other side.
For the best-themed experience, in my opinion, the best way to experience Magic Kingdom to start is to head straight for the castle and walk through it to Fantasyland. You feel like you are really walking into the kingdom of magic and fantasy storytelling.
To enter the Cinderella’s Royal Table Restaurant you are greeted by a host in the walkway underneath the Castle on the Fantasyland side in the back. The host will take you into a royal waiting room inside the castle where you see a grand staircase that wraps around to an open balcony like area that you can overlook the waiting area for a great picture or continue up to the restaurant.
In the waiting area at certain times you can meet Cinderella! When your table is ready you are brought upstairs into the main dining area which is again inside the castle and looks like the inside of a castle. You really feel like you are dining inside of a royal castle. It is not a huge dining area but it still feels big.
As far as an iconic magical Disney theme I don’t think you get any better than Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom. It has that classic feel that makes you feel like you are not only transported into the story of Cinderella but it also makes me feel like I am in a place and time where Walt Disney himself would be.
Cinderella’s Royal Table is also a Character Dining experience where you get to meet some of the Princesses while you eat.
What is your favorite themed restaurant at Walt Disney World?
Let us know in the comments below!