Disney World Dining – Best 1-Credit Table Service (Part 2)

I’ve talked about my favorite 1-credit table service restaurants at Disney World before (here).  But it’s been a while, so I thought an updated version was in order.  If I were making my ADRs (Advance Dining Reservations) right now for an upcoming vacation, here’s what I’d recommend…

Disney World Dining – Best 1-Credit Table Service (Part 2)

I still stand by most of my original picks although I will most likely not eat dinner at Be Our Guest again (preferring the quick service breakfast or lunch) and I’ll pass on Chef Mickey’s in the future because I’ve found a place I like much better.  I’m now proud to say I’ve visited a few of the honorable mentions from the previous list and would highly recommend these:

Kona Café – Right next door to ‘Ohana in the Polynesian, Kona offers a different dining experience.  Where ‘Ohana is great for big appetites and fans of family style dining, Kona is better for folks who want options and have varying tastes and appetites.  The menu is Pan-Asian and offers a great variety (sushi lovers seem to flock here).  The service is consistently good and we’ve been so happy with the food, we’ve eaten both dinner and breakfast at Kona on more than one trip.  Just a short monorail ride from Magic Kingdom, Kona’s an excellent place to eat before heading to Magic Kingdom for the evening.

Whispering Canyon Café – We’ve been twice now and had a great meal both times.  It’s fun, filling, and in an awesome setting at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.  Somewhat similar to 50’s Prime Time Café in server/guest interaction, Whispering Canyon  is a favorite of meat-and-potatoes fans with an American menu that includes an all-you-care-to-eat skillet.

Tusker House – I’ve gone on and on (here) about the food, the characters, and the service.  It’s a buffet with choices aplenty.  I love seeing Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy in their safari outfits while filling up on some very unique menu offerings.  Not to worry if you have picky eaters – this buffet includes plenty of choices for all tastes.  If you don’t want to leave the park to eat at Boma (Animal Kingdom Lodge’s buffet) and you love a character meal, Tusker house is a safe bet.

We’ve also tried and wholeheartedly recommend…

Yak and Yeti – The table service option (there’s also a quick service window) of this highly themed restaurant in Animal Kingdom’s Asia section is quite good!  If you like Pan-Asian food and want a nice sit-down, non-character in-park experience, Yak and Yeti’s a solid choice.  The menu is surprisingly broad and we love the atmosphere – very cool décor!

Via Napoli – It was lively and a little loud, but for a family dinner, Via Napoli was fantastic!  Everyone in our party of seven was happy with their choices and the pizza was about as good as it gets at Disney World.  I’d choose again Via Napoli if I wanted to stay in Epcot for dinner and had a group to please.

Morimoto Asia (1-credit for Brunch or Lunch only) – The service, the menu, and the atmosphere are much less kid-friendly than most Disney World eateries.  That’s not to say that kids aren’t welcome, but Morimoto Asia in Disney Springs is where we like to go for a lunch date.  The servers are professional and knowledgeable, the menu is broad with plenty of options for sharing.  We can take our time and feel like we’ve found an oasis in the middle of the often chaotic Disney Springs area.

Raglan Road – This is our tried-and-true dinner choice in Disney Springs.  It’s very family friendly and the menu is full of hearty comfort-food  choices.  Plus, entertainment!  Irish dancers and live music add a very special element to eating at Raglan Road.  Hello!  Dinner and a show for 1-credit? Yes!

Again, if I were going right now, I’d choose Tusker House over Chef Mickey’s or 1900 Park Fare.  I’d choose Via Napoli in Epcot, Kona Café at the Polynesian and Raglan Road in Disney Springs for dinner.  If my schedule made a nice lunch versus dinner possible, I go for a Magic Kingdom park-break at Wilderness Lodge to visit Whispering Canyon or I’d head to Disney Springs and enjoy an awesome meal at Morimoto Asia.

What do I need to try next?  What’s your favorite 1-credit table service restaurant at Disney World?


Disney World Dining – 5 Great Lunch Spots

Twilight-Zone-Tower-of-TerrorThere’s a lot to be said for a sit-down lunch on a Disney World vacation.  Especially during the hot summer months – a table service meal provides an excellent break from the scorching sun and high humidity.  It gives you time to rest, re-hydrate, cool off, and re-energize so you can get back to park touring action!  Sometimes a restaurant’s lunch menu is less expensive than their dinner menu, making this strategy a money-saving one as well.  While there are many (MANY!) restaurants on our favorites list, today I’d like to recommend a few we particularly love for a mid-day break…

Disney World Dining – 5 Great Lunch Spots

Magic Kingdom Area – When it’s hot, I want to eat outside the park.  A short (and wonderfully cool and scenic) boat ride away is the Wilderness Lodge’s Whispering Canyon Café.  What we like about this restaurant is the no-frills but tasty menu and the casual, relaxing atmosphere.  Keep the fun going with an eatery that’s packed with great Disney service and a few hilarious antics.  Check out the menu here.Whispering-Canyon-Burger

Disney’s Hollywood Studios – The Hollywood Brown Derby is right in the middle of the action, but makes you feel miles away.  The inside dining room provides a beautiful, old-Hollywood setting, but the outdoor patio lounge is our favorite (menu).  With shaded tables and an interesting menu (offering plenty of light options on a hot day) – we love grabbing a late lunch or happy hour snack here.RM-Brown-Derby-Patio

Animal Kingdom – I’m a big fan of lunch on the go in this park during the not-so-summery months of the year, but when the weather is at its hottest, I want to escape the heat inside the Yak & Yeti’s dining room.  Like everything and everywhere else in Animal Kingdom, Yak & Yeti is elaborately themed.  The menu is great and it’s easy to find something refreshing and not too heavy on a hot day.

Epcot – The choices are overwhelming!  I would love to say it’s an easy decision, but I’d be lying.  My absolute favorite thing about needing to eat lunch in Epcot is the opportunity to dine around the World (Showcase).  Most of the time, we opt for sharing counter-service meals so we try food from several different countries.  When we want a light lunch on a hot day, though, it’s hard to beat Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar in the Italy Pavilion.  Tutto Gusto in Epcot's ItalyThe high top tables and wine cellar atmosphere are great and the food and beverage options even better!  We like to share a couple of small plates of Italian meats and cheeses then enjoy an entrée of pasta or a panini.  The servers are always happy to help with wine selection if you aren’t up on your Italian labels.Morimoto-Asia-Dining-Room

Disney Springs – Now this is a great place for a cool, relaxing mid-day break…and the choices are awesome!  I could recommend several excellent options for a fabulous dining experience, but I’ll narrow it down to one great restaurant – Morimoto Asia.  What we love about Morimoto’s is the perfect combination of tranquil atmosphere and excellent food (share some spareribs – they’re amazing!).  Morimoto-Asia-Spare-RibsThis place may be a little pricier than the other options I’ve listed, but the experience and service are worth a bit extra to me.  The menu is extensive and a meal here is the kind of experience that can’t be rushed, so set aside a couple of hours and just relax!

Do you like a sit-down lunch at Walt Disney World?  What’s your favorite place to eat on a hot day?

Disney Dining Review – Whispering Canyon Cafe

Whispering-Canyon-CafeNeed a Magic Kingdom park-break? Craving a terrific meal in a great setting?  Got a hungry group or family to please?  Have I got a restaurant for you!

Whispering Canyon Cafe, located in Disney’s beautiful and majestic Wilderness Lodge, offers guests a unique, and delicious dining option just a quick boat-ride away from the Magic Kingdom or a bus-ride from the other three parks.  Didn’t I make that sound wonderful?  The real deal is that Whispering Canyon is plain old fun!  Worth the trip no matter how you get there.  The theme is western, the food American, and the service will be either hilariously ridiculous or the usual service of the excellent Disney variety – you get to decide if you are ready to be part of the action or if you just want to watch and enjoy some tasty comfort food.Whispering-Canyon-SignWhispering-Canyon-Indicator-NO-FUNWhispering-Canyon-Indicator-FUN

Raymond and I booked lunch at Whispering Canyon based on reviews we’d read and recommendations from Disney World food fans like us.  Having had poor luck with meals in the past at Artist Point, we were hoping Whispering Canyon would become our go-to dining choice at Wilderness Lodge – a resort we love to visit!  We booked for lunch on a Magic Kingdom day and the break could not have been more perfect.  The weather was gorgeous and our FastPasses were spaced just right to have enough time to get to Wilderness Lodge, enjoy a leisurely lunch, and get back to rides and attractions.Whispering-Canyon-Table

Our first impressions were great!  We gave our name at the podium and were seated immediately.  The décor is adorable!  We were seated near the middle of the room which gave us an excellent vantage point from which to view the action.  If you’ve been to 50’s Prime Time Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Whispering Canyon’s experience is a bit like that one, but (to me) better.  I don’t want to spoil it for you, but if you have a good sense of humor and don’t mind being picked on a little, you’ll enjoy Whispering Canyon.  (If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, you’ll use one table service credit to eat there.)  The crowd during our lunch was mostly made up of families and groups of friends who were there to embrace all that this special place has to offer.Whispering-Canyon-Detail Whispering-Canyon-Shelves Whispering-Canyon-Lighting

After a quick glance at the menu, we decided to split the Slow-smoked Pulled Pork Spring Rolls with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce for $12.49.  These were absolutely fantastic!Whispering-Canyon-Cafe-Menu Whispering-Canyon-Pulled-Pork-Spring-RollsWe each ordered a different beer to try (both brews were new to us) and Raymond decided to go with a burger and sweet potato fries (Bacon-Cheese Angus Burger -Thick-cut Praline Bacon, Sharp White Cheddar, and House Ketchup with your choice of House-made Idaho Potato Chips, French Fries, Sweet Potato Fries, or Cucumber Salad -$17.49).  Whispering-Canyon-Cafe-Beer Whispering-Canyon-BurgerI thought a basic tuna melt sounded exactly right (Tuna Melt on Sourdough Bread with Vine-ripened Tomatoes, Sharp White Cheddar, Arugula, and Herb-Olive Oil – $14.49).  Whispering-Canyon-Tuna-MeltWe were very happy with our choices and before we knew it, our bellies were too full for dessert and we could hear our FastPasses for Space Mountain calling to us.  We headed to the boat dock and enjoyed the scenery on our way back to Magic Kingdom.Wilderness-Lodge-Dock

Absolutely we will be making a return visit to Whispering Canyon at the earliest opportunity!  Our expectations were high and we were not disappointed.  Good food, fun atmosphere, excellent service…all in gorgeous Wilderness Lodge.

Have you eaten at Whispering Canyon?  How’d you like it?