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Jan 19, 2012 09:44 AM

Disney/Kissimmee dining help

I was trying to research dining over on a Disney board, but I'm not really sure of the standards over there other than massive quantities of food.

Will be heading to Disney.....visiting most of the parks. We will be staying at Windsor Hills in Kissimmee.

Any recommendations for good, but casual dining? We'll have our 4 and 5 years olds who do well in restaurants and love to eat. But at the same time, after a long day, I just want to relax at dinner and not worry about them being perfect.

My plan is to eat most breakfasts at our "home", but a nice pancake place is always welcome. Most lunches will be sandwiches and veggies brought with us as the thought of most of the crap they serve at quick service places makes my waistline grow. But I would like to have some meals out. My boys love Italian, sushi, Greek, pretty much everything.


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  1. Hi, I live 11 miles from disney and work there. The dining there is pretty pricey, however, if you intend to eat in the parks for anything other than fast food it is good to get a reservation several days in advance.. some of the restaurants book up for months at certain times of the year. If you are going to Hollywood studios you have got to take your family to Prime time cafe. Too much fun and awesome food!! Most of the quick food service places are just that, just something to grab and go but they are okay but pricey. Out side of disney, there is everykind of restaurant you can imagine. Just drive a few miles west on 192 toward hwy 27 and there is longhorn, bahama breeze, olive garden, applebees and orlando ale house. There are 7 cracker barrels in the local area which is really the best breakfast place and great for kids. If you want to go a little more upscale, I would say try the mall at Milleina or international drive.

    1. Here's a couple of threads that are worth starting with - if you have any questions are reading feel free to follow up

      1. Hi rizzo! The great thing about eating in the Disney parks and resorts is that no one bats an eye at a table with young children, even in most of the more "upscale" restaurants. And almost every restaurant has a children's menu, so if the kids are in a less-adventurous mood after a long day, they can get comfort food. The children's menus are usually a mix of typical kid food (chicken nuggets, pizza), plus the better restaurants add something interesting and thematic to the menu. All have relatively healthy choices scattered between the fries.

        Epcot has the most varied dining options of any of the parks. The Hacienda de San Angel is nice and casual, and has a great view of the lagoon. The Biergarten in Germany has a very fun Oktoberfest show. Food is just so-so, but it's loud and fun, with long communal tables, and the kids can go down to the show floor and dance. Via Napoli might be a good option as well. Decent pizza, and a laid-back atmosphere.

        There are great options at the Disney resorts, too. Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge is a stellar buffet. It's a combination of African food plus more familiar options, with a great SA wine list. The lobby at Animal Kingdom is a great place to hang out and wait for your table, and there is a TV with couches where the kids can watch vintage Mickey cartoons.

        Or head to Downtown Disney to Raglan Road. It's an Irish pub with a nice beer selection and really good food. Comfortable, casual atmosphere, and because it's Disney kids are always OK. (Especially earlier in the evening.)

        Enjoy your trip!

        14 Replies
        1. re: MouseChow

          Thanks!! The place at AK sounds wonderful! I'll have to put that on top of the list.

          I'll go check out your site you linked. Also, what character breakfast (for boys) is best?

          1. re: rizzo0904

            for the character breakfasts...probably Tusker house,Ohana..maybe Cape May cafe...

            definitely check the disneyworld website for character dining and book them waaay early

            1. re: srsone

              Hollywood and Vine restaurant does a buffet breakfast with characters from the Disney TV shows (Handy Manny, Little Einsteins, Special Agent Oso, etc). If your kids like those shows, they might like that.

              If you want characters like Mickey and Goofy, you can also try breakfast at Chef Mickey's in the Contemporary Hotel.

              As mentioned previously, make reservations ASAP for these.

            2. re: rizzo0904

              For the character breakfast, I'd recommend Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom if they like Winnie the Pooh. Try to get reservations for before the park opens, and you'll get to see the park when it's practically empty!

              The other recommendations here are great! Just avoid Akershus and Cinderella's Table since they're princess meals.

            3. re: MouseChow

              Hi MouseChow!
              Going to Magic Kingdom for the day in July..where would you suggest in the park for late lunch?

              1. re: Beach Chick

                Hiya Beach Chick! Frankly, there is very little that is truly chowish in the Magic Kingdom. Unless you're heading to a character meal, do NOT waste time or money on a sit-down meal in the park. Your best bets for a late lunch (IMHO):

                1. Columbia Harbor House restaurant - grab a vegetarian Lighthouse sandwich. it's got hummus, broccoli slaw, and tomato on multi-grain bread. The tuna sandwich isn't bad either. Bring them upstairs, to the little dining room that creates the "bridge" between Liberty Square and Fantasyland. It's a nice little spot that tends to get overlooked by the crowds. (And in July it is going to be crowded!)

                2. Turkey Leg to go! In Liberty Square, on the way towards Frontier land, there is a little stand right on the water that sells massive smoked turkey legs. We are a family of 3, and one leg is plenty to share.

                3. For dessert, don't forget to get Dole Whips at Aloha Isle in Adventureland. I like the pineapple juice float with pineapple/vanilla twist soft serve.

                Have fun!


                1. re: MouseChow

                  Thanks Mouse!
                  We're staying at the JW Marriott at Grande Lakes for a week..moved from the Ritz and going for one day to see my beloved Disneyworld..
                  July is going to be hot, humid and crowded...yikes!
                  Dole Whips are a must..
                  All the best!

                  1. re: Beach Chick

                    It's not a trip to Mouse Hole East without a hot dog from Casey's Corner. And a Dole Whip.

                    1. re: MandalayVA

                      Do they make that in a turkey dog?
                      ; )

                    2. re: Beach Chick

                      The JW is nice. are you planning to do dinners/ lunches over there beside the Disney stuff?

                      Normans at the Ritz is nice. Also a bunch of places I know in the area if you are looking for any more lunch/dinner options.

                      1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                        Planning on most meals at the JW and Ritz..
                        Norman's looks really nice and probably do Primo too.
                        Just one day at Disney World and the rest hanging around the pool and playing golf.
                        Loved to go outside the resort for some non-fancy pants food..Cuban would be awesome...

               your name!

                        1. re: Beach Chick

                          Thanks! :)

                          If you head down John Young Parkway, about 5 minutes down the road is a plaza - The villages of Hunters Creek in there are 3 notable places.

                          Padrino's Cuban
                          Mikado Sushi
                          All Italian Market

                2. re: MouseChow

                  Second on Boma. Really good. One of the best meals of our trip. Might go again if we get to AK this time around.

                3. Just got back from an Orlando visit.

                  We were really impressed by Padrino's in Hunter's Creek. Great Cuban food and a very friendly atmosphere. Kids might do well off the appetizer menu.
                  Also went to El Tenampa in Kissimmee (4563 Rt 192, just east of "Marker 14") - Mexican that is more towards the authentic Mexican side than Americanized. Really good and huge portions. House made "aguas frescas" are really good especially the horchata, which is riced-based but tastes kind of like sweet milk with cinnamon in it. Also there is a Mexican grocery store adjacent, I assume run by the same people, that has a nice assortment of made-in-store Mexican sweet bakery items - which might be fun to pick up for breakfast for something different.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: maple99

                    I'm glad you liked Padrinos. There are plenty of people that come down that want Cuban food and while Miami is a hotbed for it, there are only a few small places all around greater Orlando that are worth the visit.

                  2. For a luau themed dinner, there was a consensus years ago that the one at Seaworld provided the most bang for the buck. But I normally end up at the Polynesian Village. Both Emeril's at Universal Studios are remarkably kid friendly. As is the Hard Rock Cafe. Please do all us locals a favor and not go to the chain restaurants, especially on US 192 and International Drive. We know they are terrible. Don't need to tell us again.

                    Plan on 5 days for Disney alone. Sea World and each Universal normally take a day each. And if you still have time, Kennedy Space Center is about 90 minutes away. Check the NASA web site for next space launch. The shuttle is finished but we are still launching satellites from the Cape.