My annual pilgrimage to Orlando, FL is quickly approaching where I will once again pay the national tax on having children (commonly referred to in the USA as “theme park admission”). With this in mind, I thought that I might divert from writing about technology for a brief moment and provide some brief guidance to the uninitiated as to where to find some good eats.
But first, a public safety tip:
Do not eat dinner and then immediately ride the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
I’ve been to Dis over 15 times and eaten at most of the establishments. I make a point of always experiencing someplace new rather than hitting the same places over and over and, generally speaking, I try to keep my expectations low. I work in Washington, DC which has evolved into quite a foodie-destination over the last decade. I’ve also done a ton of expense-account dining over the years and had some extraordinary meals over the years, so I’m rather difficult to impress. The key to Disney dining is to approach each meal with relatively low expectations. If you’re looking for great european food, go to Europe because you’re not going to find it at Epcot. In my opinion, Disney has always been best when it sticks to the basics rather than trying to bring great, complex ethnic meals to its customers. Buffet-style arrangements tend to produce better and more consistent results than ordering off a menu.
So, without further ado, Here’s a list of restaurants where the meals exceeded my expectations:
- Hoop-De-Do Musical Revue @ Fort Wilderness Campground (American BBQ)
- Flame Tree BBQ @ Animal Kingdom (BBQ)
- Whispering Canyon Cafe @ Wilderness Lodge (BBQ)
- Artist Point @ Wilderness Lodge (Pacific Northwest)
- Boma @ Animal Kingdom Lodge (African)
- Citricos @ Grand Floridian (American / Mediterranean)
- Yak & Yeti @ Animal Kingdom (Asian)
- Cabana Bar and Beach Club @ Dolphin Hotel
A few notes:
- I have not yet dined at Victoria and Alberts (Grand Floridian) which is generally considered to be the best restaurant in Orlando.
- I had a great meal at O’hana many years ago, but recent reviews have not been kind.
- My business associates tell me that we had a great dinner at Bongo’s, but I think that’s just the Mojito’s talking…
- Had a great time at Chef Mickey’s for breakfast one year, but was disappointed the next. I think that it’s one of those places that you should experience once — but only once.
- Aborted an attempt to dine at Liberty Tree Tavern after we arrived on-time for our reservation but weren’t seated for over 40 minutes and finally gave up in frustration.
This year we’ll be dropping by a few new places listed below. Somehow I doubt that the sushi from Splitsville is going to get on my list, but who can turn down raw fish served at a bowling-alley? What could possibly go wrong? I do have some high hopes for Liberty Tree Tavern, assuming that we don’t have another reservation melt-down….
- Tony’s Town Square Restaurant (Magic Kingdom)
- TomorrowLand Terrace Desert Party
- Luau Cove
- Rose & Crown Dining Room
- Biergarten Restaurant
- Splitsville Luxury Lanes
- Tusker House (return visit)
- 1900 Park Fare
- Liberty Tree Tavern
What are your favorites? Feel free to enter a comment in the space below!