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Orlando with kids rec.'s needed near Disney property

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We are staying at the new Bay LakeTowers attached to the Contemporary
Leaving Sunday .
Many of the restaurants are booked ..
Sounds like a hassle.
We are 8 people.
Four kids ranging from 8 - 16.
What is kid friendly nearby outside the grounds.
Medium pricing..
Any good Fish ? Japanese? Italian?
Anything fun for the kids would be nice, as well.
Thanks in advance

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  1. if you're looking for good food outside of the parks:

    1. Downtown Disney Marketplace - Earl of Sandwich, Wolfgang Pucks Express. Excellent food. The lines could be a bit long, but it's worth the wait. Earl's sandwiches are around $6 each. Wolfgang's sandwiches around $8-10. Wolfgang's has a great 1/2 rotisserie chicken that's fantastic and definitely enough to share with 2 people.

    2. At the resorts - Polynesian resort has Kona cafe. Take the monorail and go there for lunch when you're at MK for the day. It's usually quieter and the food is also great.

    3. If you have a rental car, then you can venture outside of WDW property for your food. Just outside at the Crossroads shopping area, there's plenty of the regular chain restaurants. Sweet Tomatoes, Fridays, Buffalo Wild Wings to name a few.

    4. Celebration also has a great restaurant - Market St. Cafe serves burgers, sandwiches, and salads. There's a little italian restaurant/diner at the Water Tower Place too.

    5. Fish = Fish and Chips at Cooke's of Dublin.

    1. To follow nmw407"s excellent format, I recommend the following as well:

      1. DOWNTOWN DISNEY - Bongos (Cuban restaurant). They have a band that plays on Friday & Saturday nights. The prices are pretty moderate (at least for Disney). Most foods appeal to a broad range of tastes. In the interest of full disclosure, though, I am biased being Cuban myself. If you and your family don't want to eat INSIDE of a restaurant, you can get the "infamous" fish & chips of Cooke's of Dublin (near the Raglan Road restaurant which charges almost TWICE as much) and sodas/beer.

      2. RESORTS - The Grand Floridian Cafe can often accomodate larger parties for their early or very late dinners as walk-ins. I would suggest calling first (via your resort's excellent front counter staff) and then if they can't make you a reservation, try doing it as a walk-in when they first pen for dinner service. Their French onion soup is some of the best I've ever had, and their pasta dishes can easily feed two (seriously -- they divide it up all the time).

      3. CELEBRATION - I really like going to Columbia House at Celebration and you can catch buses which will take you there (again, ask your resort's excellent front counter staff for assistance). Celebration has loads of stuff to do & see for kids and adults alike (farmer's market/movie theater/shopping/ice cream parlor/etc.). The restaurant has Cuban food (huh, there's a pattern forming here), but one of the coolest things is to watch the waiter/waitress mix their "famous" 1905 salad tableside and serve it to the individual guests. The decoration and atmosphere of the place is pretty neat too.

      4. OUTSIDE DISNEY - Tons of chains (Bahama Breeze, Ale House, & Carrabba's are ok). Non-chains include Primo at the JW Marriott Orlando as well as Ristorante Tuscany at Orlando World Center Marriott (both Italian).

      Hope this helps!

      Ristorante Tuscany
      400 S Collier Blvd, Marco Island, FL 34145

      7620 N Wickham Rd, Melbourne, FL 32940

      Ale House
      1756 Wells Rd Ste A, Orange Park, FL 32073

      1. Downtown Disney - I second Earl of Sandwich, we've also had good luck with Raglan Road

        Epcot - The Biergarten in Germany is great for families, their lunch buffet is awesome, amongst the german food they have kids items, or items for adult picky eaters, like mac and cheese and chicken. The show is great as well, I think it would amuse all the kids from 8 to 16 and even the adults.

        I Drive / Festival Bay - Taverna Opa is fun, it can get a bit pricey but people are encouraged to throw their napkins in the air and there is a belly dancing show complete with eating fire. The lamb there is good, and kids seem to love the atmosphere.

        Kissimee/ Hunters Creek Area
        Padrinos at the villages in Hunters Creek has wonderful cuban food

        Girabaldi's Mexican in Kissimmee is a delight and great prices

        Taverna Opa-Orlando
        9101 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819

        1. Outside Disney property, there's a pretty good Italian restaurant called Pacino's on 192 across from Old Town. Has about equivalent prices to an Olive Garden, so it's cheaper than in the parks.

          Market Street Cafe in Celebration is always pretty good.

          I can't really think of any good seafood restaurants in the area that I could recommend. There's the Celebration Town Tavern in Celebration that seems to specialize in seafood, but they are horribly overpriced.

          Market Street Cafe
          701 Front St, Kissimmee, FL 34747

          Celebration Town Tavern
          721 Front St Ste 110, Kissimmee, FL 34747

          Pacino's Italian Ristorante
          5795 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, FL 34746

          1. Another suggestion of some Disney restaurants you can usually easily get in to:

            1. In Epcot, Nine Dragons in China - the kung pao chicken is fantastic (spicy!), and the Yakitori House (Japan - counter service) serves up some decent food (try the japanese curry or the spicy tuna roll)
            Sunshine Seasons in the Land is a great counter service with lots of different options that aren't burgers and chicken nuggets.

            2. Restaurants are usually easier to get reservations if you pick an off time (11am, 2pm, etc) or during lunch, visit a resort's restaurant. They're usually easier to get into since everyone is at the parks. The only one I'd really stay away from is Pepper Market @ Coronado Springs - overpriced & horrible.

            3. When you're visiting Epcot, take a breather around 2pm/3pm and head over to the Beach Club and visit Beaches & Cream. Get a kitchen sink. 8 of you should be able to finish it off.

            4. If you're at Animal Kingdom, eat at Flame Tree BBQ. Counter service - ribs and chicken.

            Pepper Market
            1001 W Buena Vista Dr, Orlando, FL 32830

            Beach Club Cafe
            68 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801

            1. Also wanted to mention if you are going to Epcot, stop in at club cool, its on the right hand side after spaceship earth. They offer free samples of sodas from around the world. It's a fun experience for the kids.

              The world showcase has a lot of eating adventures, I already mentioned the Biergarten, and there have been some other suggestions from other posters. Kids also love the french patisserie in France.

              The Mitsukoshi Department Store in Japan is also fun they sell everything from japanese popular toys, anime, to kimonos, and japanese tea sets. There is also a section with japanese candies. Pocky, and odd little candies, kids seem to love this store. Up on top of the store is Teppan Edo, a hibatchi place. It's not extremely special, sort of inline with bennihanas or kobe but the kids may like it.

              If your kids do like sushi I would reccommend Mikado Sushi in Hunters Creek, it's near the Padrinos. Fresh quality fish, perfectly executed dishes.

              9680 Argyle Forest Blvd Ste 26, Jacksonville, FL 32222

              Mikado Sushi
              13586 Village Park Dr, Orlando, FL 32837

              7 Replies
              1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                If you stop at the Cool Club, be sure to taste the soda called Beverly...this has to be the worst tasting concoction I've ever tried.

                1. re: cavandre

                  hah, we always play a joke on a friend who has never been to club cool. We tell them how delicious the beverly is and how much we all love it, we get the camera ready when they go to take a sip. lol.

                  1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                    My family I do that too!!! Only we play this joke on unsuspecting tourists. It's awesome (if somewhat cruel). :0)

                    1. re: rgcblackie

                      This must the only reason that Beverly is always on tap there.

                      1. re: rgcblackie

                        I did have one friend that ended up liking it. and he was like wow this is awesome thanks. We were all stunned, and then let him in on the joke.

                        My husband after a recent trip to Italy decided to give it another try, he though maybe it was an aquired taste, well, he still didn't care for it. lol.

                        1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                          My mom & I went to Epcot this weekend & played the same "joke" again. Seriously, it just doesn't get old. But I do think that I may be too old now to have soda squirting out of my nose from laughing. :0)

                    2. re: cavandre

                      i must agree beverly made my tastebuds recoil

                  2. Over at the Riverside Resort (next to Port Orleans)they have a food court and Boatrights both with average food, but great free entertainment for the whole family. A piano player named Bob Jackson (yehaa Bob is what he is known as search for him on the web) plays at the river roost lounge. It's a great audience participation family friendly and free show. You can bring food into the lounge area from the food court.