Disney's Best Restaurants Around the World
October 29, 2014
These 10 restaurants are guaranteed to pack magic into every bite
Disney's Best Restaurants Around the World
These 10 restaurants are guaranteed to pack magic into every bite.
#10 Jiko the Cooking Place: Animal Kingdom Lodge, Walt Disney World, Orlando
African cuisine is the focus at Jiko the Cooking Place, which won a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence in 2014. The restaurant features a dramatic interior including twin wood-burning stoves where meats are oak-grilled and tiled columns that pay homage to the rings worn around the necks of women in the Padaung tribe. Authentic spices are used in dishes like spicy Botswana-style "Seswaa" beef short rib and Kenyan pepper steak. The Disney folks consider this one of their "signature dining experiences."
#9 Magellan’s: DisneySea Resort, Tokyo Disneyland
Magellan’s — a high-end table service restaurant in DisneySea, part of Tokyo Disneyland — features a mezzanine area lounge, galleon-themed bar, several dining rooms, and a secret wine cellar/dining room located behind a faux bookcase. The menu is a four-course prix-fixe that ranges from $45-75 per person and offers some of the most upscale food available at the park, including daily fish specials, duck in orange sauce, and sirloin steak.
#8 Crystal Lotus: Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel
The award-winning Chinese cuisine at Crystal Lotus is enhanced with unique Disney touches. A wide range of regional cuisines is on offer in an ornate setting decorated with glass walls, crystal lotus sculptures, and hanging chandeliers. Executive chef Leung Shu Wah has been praised for the Disney Signature Dim Sum, which are a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. Little piggies, fish, and Mickeys, sculpted out of rice, fish, and more helped the restaurant win the Gold (with distinction) award of the Dim Sum category in Best of the Best Culinary Awards held by Hong Kong Tourism Board.
#7 Walt's: An American Restaurant: Main Street USA, Disneyland Paris
When designing Euro Disney, outside Paris, Imagineers — the designers and architects working at Disney — wanted to create a place that would pay proper tribute to Disney’s creator, Walt Disney. Walt’s: An American Restaurant was the result. Take a visual journey through the creation of Snow White as you climb the stairs in the grand lobby to choose from one of six dining rooms, each created to reflect the six worlds of Disneyland. The restaurant is hugely popular; reservations are booked up to two months in advance and Walt’s is the setting for many gourmet gastronomic events including cheese festivals and wine dinners. Menu options include a hanger steak with confit potatoes, roasted salmon with the restaurant’s American sauce and mushroom ravioli with creamed spinach and oyster mushrooms.
#6 Flying Fish Café: Boardwalk, Walt Disney World, Orlando
Disney Boardwalk’s Flying Fish Cafe is the park’s version of a “Coney Island” styled fish shack. Chef de cuisine Tim Keating – a four-time consecutive James Beard Foundation finalist in the Best Chef Southwest category, locally sources his ingredients for the seafood-heavy menu (crispy crab cake with ancho chile rémoulade, pumpkin-see-crusted rainbow trout, Idaho potato-wrapped red snapper).
#5 Le Cellier Steakhouse: Canada Pavilion, Epcot Center, Orlando
Be transported to a cozy cellar in a Canadian château when you dine at this establishment, decorated with stone arches and candle-filled chandeliers, its design inspired by that of two famous Canadian hotels, the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City and the Fairmont Château Laurier in Ottawa. A Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2014 winner, Le Cellier features such dishes as handcrafted charcuterie, Canadian cheddar soup, and Canadian beef tenderloin.
#4 The Brown Derby: Hollywood Boulevard, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Orlando
The traditional American fare at The Brown Derby is just part of the restaurant’s nod to the Golden Age of Hollywood. The space is a replica of the original Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles, complete with vintage studio bric-a-brac and celebrity caricatures on the wall. Indulge in the restaurant’s signature Cobb salad (invented at the original Derby) and the grapefruit cake, which was created for famed Hollywood gossip columnist Louella Parsons. In true Hollywood fashion, guests can arrange to dine with a Disney Imagineer and have all their Disney design questions answered firsthand.
#3 Polynesian Terrace Restaurant: Adventureland, Tokyo Disneyland Park
The Polynesian Terrace is Tokyo Disney’s own island paradise. Polynesian-style cuisine like Barbecued pork back ribs and crisp fried shrimp tempura and fried chicken with coconut sauce is enhanced with live performances and a tropical atmosphere full of exotic flowers, seashell chandeliers, and bamboo chairs. Reservations for the lunch and dinner shows must be made in advance through a special website that is in Japanese only, so it’s a hard reservation to get, but one well worth the effort.
#2 Club 33: Disneyland, Anaheim, California
Club 33 at Disneyland is as hard to get into as New York City’s Per Se. The members-only restaurant was the brainchild of Walt Disney himself, who felt that a special place was needed to entertain VIPs. Modeled in nineteenth-century New Orleans French Quarter style, Club 33 is under the culinary guidance of executive chef Andrew Sutton, winner of the 2009 Antonin Carême Medal from the American Culinary Federation. Original Disney character sketches line the walls and unique features like a talking vulture hanging from a chandelier above tables in The Trophy Room make for a memorable meal. Want to be a member? Get in line. Each year a limited number of slots are open at best, but some years there may be none. If you do make it in, expect to dine on sassafras dusted duck breast, Creole mustard-crusted rack of lamb and iron-seared whole fish. Feel like a cocktail? Try the Club 33 Diamond Martini made your choice of gin or vodka, Lillet Blanc, gourmet truffle olives and served with diamond-shaped ice made from locally sourced purified water.
#1 Victoria and Albert’s: Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Dining, Walt Disney World, Orlando
A Champagne toast led by Victoria and Albert’s chef Scott Hunnel is not an uncommon way to start a night of service at this much-loved restaurant. He’s got a lot to celebrate. Hunnel was a James Beard nominee for “Best Chef: South” in 2007, 2008, and 2009, and was named Santé magazine’s “Culinary Professional of the Year” in 2008. The restaurant has been a AAA Five Diamond Award recipient since 2000 and features an avant-garde menu that changes daily depending on Chef Hunnel’s market bounty, - think diver scallops and Gulf shrimp cioppino, braised oxtail and cherry ravioli and herb-crusted Ocala rabbit and sausage. The menu is complemented by the restaurant’s world-class wine collection, winner of Wine Spectator’s “Best of Award of Excellence.”