Must-do Disney: Sit-down Dishes!

“When in Disney, don’t forget to book dining reservations!” That has to be my most hard-pressed tip for first-time Disney travelers when I am asked for advice. While quick service locations throughout the resort have some tasty options, if you limit yourself to these walk-up locations for your meals then you’re going to miss out on some of the best food and dishes that Disney has to offer.

Personally, I love taking time out of a busy park day to have a relaxing sit-down lunch or dinner. Not only does a dining reservation guarantee you time out of the Florida heat, it also offers an immersive dining experience that you’d otherwise miss out on. I have quite a few favorite dining locations in Disney and have listed a couple of them below, making sure to highlight the must-try dishes and meals at each.


Starting with my DVC home, ‘Ohana and Kona Cafe’ at the Polynesian have some of the best comfort food items on Disney property. I am lumping these two restaurants together because a few of the dishes overlap and are offered at both, making Kona Cafe’ a much more desirable option when you missed out on a hard-to-get ‘Ohana reservation.

The highlight at both of these restaurants for dinner are the ‘Ohana noodles. At ‘Ohana these noodles are served as a side dish in the family style platter that is delivered to your table. At Kona Cafe’ you can get a chicken or shrimp stir fry with these noodles which makes for a filled entre. The noodles have a pineapple soy teriyaki sauce that will make you want to lick your bowl clean.

For dessert, both restaurants offer the ‘Ohana bread pudding with a banana caramel sauce to drizzle over top. While the bread pudding is standard dessert at ‘Ohana, you better come early if you plan to order this at Kona Cafe’ since they are known to run out. Being a non-bread pudding lover, I am shocked to relay that this is my favorite Disney dessert on property, especially with that gooey caramel sauce on top.

Bot restaurants are located in the second floor lobby area of The Poly and have an island vibe that is a great way to kick-off or wrap up your Disney vacation. ‘Ohana is perfect for family dinner and offers the ambience of love Polynesian music. Kona Cafe’ is much more of a relaxed dining option but delivers equally on the food scene.


Sticking with the Asian-inspired eats, Yak and Yeti is a great place to have lunch or dinner in Animal Kingdom. The prices here are much lower than that of the other two sit-down restaurants in the park and the food options are great.

Whether you’re more of a traditional Pan-Asian foodie whose go-to is chicken with broccoli and rice, or you’re a more adventurous eater, Yak and Yeti has something for everyone.

My favorite dish here is the honey chicken with white rice topped with black sesame seeds. The portion is perfect and the honey sauce is delicious. The presentation of the food at Yak and Yeti is always spot on as well, and even with kids dishes the chefs make sure the plate looks like a work of art. If you want something you can share with someone else in your party, you can’t go wrong with the lettuce cups or garlic noodles.

Even though you’re completely stuffed from dinner, you have to order the mango pie for dessert. This pie slice is like a cheesecake/key lime pie consistency with a sugar cookie crust and is a must for everyone to try when dining here. You can get a “mini mango pie” from the quick service Yak and Yeti location next door but the pie is always better when it comes from the restaurant.

Before or after your meal at Yak and Yeti make sure to walk around the restaurant to see all of the eclectic décor. This restaurant has tow levels, so if you’re seated on the first floor don’t be afraid to ascend the stairs and get a view of Animal Kingdom from the second story.


Wilderness Lodge is, hands down, my favorite Disney resort. The relaxing mountain vibe that carries throughout is my kind of vacation, and I’ve found that there’s no other place in WDW that I like to relax more than Geyser Point.

Geyser Point is the outdoor bar and lounge that sits beside Bay Lake. While this location doesn’t take reservations, you should still find space in your itinerary to eat here while in Disney. The chairs here are the most comfortable you’ll find while dining in Disney and the overall vibe matched with the food selections are some of the best on property in my opinion.

My go-to when I’m here are the teriyaki soy wings and homemade chips. It’s a great snack to share with friends or eat as a meal by yourself. When I want something casual and unplanned for lunch or dinner in Disney, this is where I come. On the drinks menu Geyser Point will sometimes have season beer or mixed drink flights which are not only delicious but fun to order and take pictures with.

The next time you’re in Disney do not let this place fall under the radar! Even if you’re just at Wilderness Lodge to explore the resort, take a few minutes to grab a drink at Geyser Point; I promise it will become a new favorite place of yours.


Hopping from laid-back resort lounge to pricy castle dining experience, next on my Must-do Disney list is Be Our Guest. This restaurant quickly became a favorite spot of mine to eat at in Magic Kingdom and the price tag will probably tell you why that is. Yes, you’re paying for the ambience of Beast’s castle and the rare appearance by Beast himself, but the food here is some of the best I’ve had on Disney property.

My favorite room to eat in at Be Our Guest in the ballroom, which features floor to ceiling windows looking out over the snowy gardens. To me, this room makes me feel like I’ve been invited to Beast’s castle for dinner where as the other two rooms leave something to be desired after stepping foot into the ballroom.

The Rose Gallery room holds the infamous red rose that determines Beast’s fate and is a bit darker than the other two rooms. If you’re dining here with little princesses then requesting the Ballroom will probably go over well with them.

The menu here is a pre-fixed style, meaning that you will pay one set price and receive an appetizer, entre, and dessert. The menu options are fancier than your average theme park food but the quality is unparalleled. I always start with the French onion soup which is the perfect ratio of bread to cheese to onions. I’ve had the French onion soup at Chefs de France as well and am happy to report that Be Our Guest’s wins that round.

The real star of the show for dinner though is the filet mignon with mashed potatoes. The filet was cooked perfectly and melts in your mouth. The portion size here is also great for the price you are paying. To be honest, this steak is the best I’ve had when dining anywhere- not just Disney property. It hands down topped the filet I had Le Celiier!

As if the ambience, character sightings, and food wasn’t enough to sell you on Be Our Guest, the management here is fantastic as well. We had the manager come around twice to ask how our dinner was and engage with us on how our day in Magic Kingdom was going. My advice when headed to Magic Kingdom: Don’t look at the price- just book Be Our Guest and enjoy a fantastic, up scale sit-down meal in a castle.


It didn’t take long for one of Disney’s newest restaurants, Topolino’s Terrace, to top the must-do character breakfast dining for many guests and there’s multiple reasons why that is. Situated at the top of the Riviera Resort, Topolino’s offers 360 views of Walt Disney World and is easily accessible using the Skyliner. There’s also the too-cute-for-words characters that, not only make an appearance, but have a full blown dance routine for breakfast guests.

Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy all some dressed for the occasion in art-inspired outfits that you won’t see anywhere else. While Topolino’s shares the same price tag as Chef Mickey’s, you seem to get more of a tailored experience and better quality character interactions and food at Topolino’s.

As for the the actual reason you’re here, breakfast is served to you instead of a buffet style but is still considered “all you can eat.” Your table will receive a paint bucket full of pastries and spreads and you will also be able to pick one main breakfast dish as well as smaller dishes of menu items that you’d also like to try. The sour cream waffles here are the BEST waffles I’ve ever had. They feature a distinct orange flavor and are topped with fresh raspberries. This is always my go-to breakfast when I manage to score a reservation here.

While the $42 per person price may have you second guessing your breakfast here, I promise it is worth it. Everything from the decor of the restaurant to the unique breakfast offerings and even the cute take-home postcard you receive will have you feeling confident that you started your day off the perfect Disney way.


Last, but certainly not least, is a place that everyone in the family will enjoy because who doesn’t like pizza? Via Napoli is an upscale pizzeria in the Italy pavilion of Epcot, and while the prices of the pizzas may have you wondering what’s so special about this place, I can promise you that it’s worth it.

Never have I ever had a better pizza than the ones that are served at Via Napoli. Not only that, but I’ve never found a pizza that comes close to Disney’s authentic Italian pizza. Now, I’ve never been to Italy but I imagine that even the pies in the land of pizza have some competition going up against the one’s you’ll find here in Epcot. Everything about these pizzas are fresh, from the dough to the cheese, all the way to the crisp basil on top.

Just thinking about Via Napoli pizza has my stomach growling and my wallet begging me to book another trip to Disney. The large pizza, which will set you back about $40, can feed three people- maybe four if you have kiddos. The mezzo metro pizza, which is extra large, can feed four to five people and is about $50, depending on toppings.

My go to when at Via Napoli is either the Margherita pizza with pepperoni or the picante pizza, which has crumbled spicy sausage, topped with fresh basil. Don’t forget to ask for red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese! You’ll find that your requested pizza toppers come mickey-shaped! And if you need something to wash down the pizza with, you can’t go wrong with the iced tea at Via Napoli. Do we know why the iced tea here is better than anywhere on Disney property? No, we don’t, but we’ll keep on ordering it!

And so my Must-do Disney Dining lists have come to an end. I have to say, all of this writing about and reflecting on Disney has me wanting to book a trip solely for the food. My next Disney blog post I’ll be focusing on Space 220 Lounge, including which drinks should be on your must-try list, food options available in the lounge, and how to snag that hard-to-get reservation!

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