After a long, tiring day in the parks, the last thing you want to spend your evenings doing is feeling uptight about your kids behaviour in a restaurant while you’re trying to enjoy your evening meal. From coping with fussy eaters to simply trying to keep them occupied while waiting for your main course, sometimes the thought of taking your kids into a restaurant can seem like more hassle than its worth!
Fear not however, because Walt Disney World Resort in Florida caters for all, and have a wealth of restaurants where you’ll feel perfectly relaxed with your kids, letting you all enjoy a family meal out together. The only problem is that there are so many different options you may find it difficult to choose. Here is our list of the 10 best restaurants for kids, which are not to be missed. From unusual settings, to character dining experiences, these restaurants incorporate the best of child-friendly Disney.
Boma – Flavours of Africa
A buffet restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Boma is a fantastic restaurant for your children. There is a variety of foods on offer, and the chance to watch the chefs at work in the open kitchen, there is plenty to eat as well as plenty to keep your family entertained.
Resembling an African Marketplace, Boma buzzes with energy and your kids are bound to enjoy the atmosphere. However, most food is centred around an African Flair, so some picky eaters may find it more difficult to enjoy the delicious food which is on offer. However, Boma is a buffet, so chances are your fussier kids will find something they like in the abundance of choice.
Boma offers a breakfast and dinner buffet, with both being very reasonably priced, giving you plenty of options as to when you can fit a visit in. My suggestion is to do the Breakfast Buffet if you’re accompanied by fussy kids, for while you can still try African foods, there are more options offered which your children may feel more comfortable with, such as scrambled eggs, bacon and pancakes. While there is more variety at dinner, it is definitely a better experience for the more adventurous.
Spirit Of Aloha
One of the three Dinner Shows offered by Walt Disney World Resorts, The Spirit of Aloha is a show which perfectly encapsulates Disney’s Polynesian Visit Resort, where the restaurant is situated. A dinner show is the perfect way to keep your kids occupied throughout your meal, and what better way to do this than with hula dancers and a fire-knife performer!
The Spirit of Aloha is described as an ‘all you care to eat family-style luau’. Your meal and drinks are served to your table, and you can simply request more of anything served if you should feel like it! From BBQ pork ribs to fresh pineapple and Polynesian rice, this perfect for picky eaters, as they can leave what they don’t like, but order more of what they do. At least you’ll leave knowing your kids are full!
Booking seats for the Spirit of Aloha is quite expensive, but it is worth bearing in mind that this type of experience is different than a restaurant as you’re being provided with a show as well. It is also buffet, included in the price are selected drinks and tips. If you’re looking for something a bit different to entertain the whole family, then this is definitely for you. However, this show can be canceled due to inclement weather, so it may be better to avoid booking it if you know you’re going to be in Florida during their rainy season.
Hollywood & Vine
Another buffet restaurant (they are perfect for kids!), Hollywood & Vine is situated in the heart of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and features Disney characters. This is perfect for a little relaxation and entertainment in the middle of your Disney day at the theme parks. With Art-Deco theming, your kids will get such enjoyment from the décor which resembles the old Tinseltown era.
Your little ones will love meeting the characters from Jake, Sofia, Doc and Manny at the breakfast and lunch buffets, which are both lively and musical experiences! All food at the breakfast and lunch buffets are kid and adult-friendly, so there’s no need to worry about food options for your fussy eaters.
Hollywood & Vine is perfect for your little ones at these two buffet sittings, but older children may not enjoy it as much. If you don’t have young children to enjoy these musical events, try the delicious dinner buffet instead, which features American cuisine prepared at on-stage cooking stations. Be sure to take advantage of their Fantasmic Dinner package, also which incorporates your meal and designated seating at Fantasmic later in the evening – a perfect way to make the magic last through the night!
Coral Reef Restaurant
Beside The Seas With Nemo and Friends in Epcot, Coral Reef Restaurant is a dining experience not to be missed, especially for those of you with children who love animals. Sitting in an aquarium-like environment, surrounded by underwater views of the Caribbean Coral Reef, your animal-loving kids will love to watch the fish swimming by as they eat their dinner.
Coral Reef is primarily a seafood restaurant however, something to be wary of if you have a picky eater. However, their kids menu includes plenty of different options, from mahi-mahi to pizza and grilled chicken, so all types of eaters should be catered for. The kids menu also comes with different activities to keep you children busy if they get bored of fish-spotting the 85 different species of tropical fish.
Coral Reef is open for lunch and dinner, and is moderately priced, so it should be easy to fit this spectacular restaurant in when planning your Disney holiday.
50s Prime Time Cafe
Also situated in Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park, 50s Prime Time Cafe will give your children a glimpse of a by-gone era – 50s memorabilia and TV Tables playing clips from 50s Sitcoms will be fun for all the family!
There is a small show which is included in the experience, where your server (acting as mum!) will make sure you mind your manners and behave – punishing anyone who doesn’t. From eating with your mouth closed to keeping your elbows off the table, old-fashioned fun is served up with the meal, keeping everyone entertained throughout
The menu includes a wealth of American family favourites, from pot-roast to meatloaf and roast chicken, so there is bound to be something to suit everyone. There is also a kids menu with plenty of choice, and also some games, so there will be very little complaining from any family member!
In the heart of the Bavarian showcase in Epcot, Biergarten is a communal buffet-style restaurant which provides Oktoberfest entertainment while you dine. Tradition German food is served at communal style dining tables, perfect for your kids to mingle with others and make new friends.
Lively musicians provide live entertainment throughout your meal, and diners are encourage to get up and join in, dancing and being part of the merriment. Kids will love working up an appetite on the dance floor, and if that all seems to much for you, you can sit back with a stein of beer and relax in this German hall, styled to constantly be at twilight.
While food is all of German origin, even pick eaters will enjoy the sausages and vegetables on offer, and may even be encourage to try some of the more unusual dishes. The lunch and dinner buffets are both very reasonably priced, but bear in mind to leave more time than usual for Biergarten as the atmosphere is very difficult to leave!
The Crystal Palace
At the end of Main Street USA, with views of the Magic Kingdom Castle, the Crystal Palace is a buffet-style restaurant with the added benefit of being a character dining experience. Perfect for families with younger children, as it transports you to the hundred-acre wood and lets your kids meet and mix with all the loveable characters from Winnie The Pooh – the perfect way to keep your little ones entertained.
Your kids will also love the buffet atmosphere, being able to choose what they want from a selection of American favourites. You can let your older, or more adventurous kids choose from the adult selection, featuring rotisserie chicken and Atlantic salmon. However, there is also ‘Pooh Corner’, a separate children’s buffet featuring pizza and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!
The Crystal Palace is open for its character dining every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so you have plenty of options when trying to fit this experience in. You should note, however, that the breakfast and lunch buffets are cheaper than the dinner one. If you’re on a budget but would still love to give your kids a chance to dine with Pooh and friends, book in for breakfast or lunch, the perfect way to add extra enjoyment to your day in the Magic Kingdom Park.
Located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, and Downtown Disney Area, this chain restaurant is definitely not to be missed for its jungle-themed décor and expansive all-day menu. With animated animals telling your children facts about the rainforest, and the simulated thunder and rainstorms, there will be plenty to keep your kids occupied.
There is an extensive menu which is severed all day, giving you plenty of options when choosing a dining time. From burgers, to salads there isn’t much this menu doesn’t cover and I am confident all eaters will find something here they will enjoy. Bare in mind the larger portions though, or you may find you end up with a full family and plenty of left-overs!
The Rainforest Cafe is very reasonably prices and should therefore be suitable for all budgets. It is worth noting, however, that there is a shop attached to the restaurant. While it too is very reasonably priced, it may be worthwhile to bring a little spending money for your children so they can choose themselves a souvenir.
Rose & Crown Pub
If you’re missing home (though I doubt you will be!), the Rose & Crown is a perfect place for you to dine, giving you the feel that you could be sitting in any pub in the UK, bar the weather of course!
The Rose and Crown offers tradition British fare, with fish and chips, bangers and mash, and sticky toffee pudding all featuring on the menu. Those of you with fussy eaters will love the Rose & Crown – it will be perfectly easy to find a dish your child loves and is familiar with. There is also a large selection of ale, stouts and lagers, perfect for all adults missing home too!
Open for lunch and dinner, the highlight of the Rose & Crown is the piano player, arriving to play lively British tunes. It is definitely worth a visit, especially if you can get booked later on in the evening, as the dining room and garden have a perfect view of the Illuminations Fireworks.
Fulton’s Crab House
Situated in Downtown Disney Area, Fulton’s Crab House boasts a brilliant kids menu, with the added excitement of being situated on a boat! Your children will love the thought of eating on a replica riverboat, watching the comings-and-goings of Downtown Disney, while you’ll enjoy the serenity that is presented through its lake-views, as well as its 2000 bottle wine cellar.
For those of you with fussy-eaters, Fulton’s offers a kids menu with plenty of variety and choice. For the more adventurous eaters, there a mini-versions of the delicious seafood offered on the main menu, such as crab legs and shrimp pasta. However, hotdogs, burgers and mac’n’cheese also feature for those who’ll turn their nose up at fish!
However, bear in mind that Fulton’s Crab House is a Disney signature restaurant and therefore will be pricier than most. Their lunch menu, while just as delicious, is slightly cheaper, which is a perfect way to enjoy Fulton’s, but with a reduced bill. It is definitely worth a visit, but perhaps as a last-night treat rather than a restaurant used on a daily basis!
For all the restaurants mentioned, it is definitely advisable to book, as restaurants in Walt Disney World can fill up quickly, especially in peak season. You can make reservations for your chosen restaurants up to 180 days in advance, and while this time-frame can seem extreme, it can be necessary, especially for the most popular Disney restaurants. You can reserve you restaurants online, or by phoning 0800 169 0748.