You’ll never find a universal opinion on anything. As individuals, we all share distinct opinions that rarely line up completely. At Walt Disney World, a handful of restaurants do earn nearly universal approval, though.
Most people love Woody’s Lunch Box, ‘Ohana, and Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’.
Some places cause arguments when they come up in conversation, though. Why can’t anyone agree on these Disney restaurants? well….
Be Our Guest Restaurant
Sometimes, I wish I could go back and tell my past self that Disney fans would gradually turn on Be Our Guest.
Okay, I’d first tell myself to buy Bitcoin, but the Be Our Guest thing would be in there too.
Seriously, when Be Our Guest opened in 2012, fans marveled over the décor and the delicious cuisine.
More than anything else, they gushed about The Gray Stuff, which was as delicious as the song promised.
Over time, Disney increased the prices dramatically to account for the place’s popularity. Now, it’s a prix fixe dining experience that costs about a Bitcoin to enjoy.
As the price has increased, the popularity of the place has taken a turn. Now, the word you’ll hear most often is “overrated.”
I don’t agree, but that’s the source of division. Some guests no longer evaluate the restaurant as offering good value.
A different schism occurs with Chef Mickey’s. I mean, who wouldn’t want to experience a character meal featuring members of Disney’s Sensational Six?
Mickey Mouse wears an adorable chef’s outfit and comes to your table to say hi! It’s the absolute best…as long as you’re not a foodie.
Critics lament the menu options here, which are admittedly lackluster. As I type this, Chef Mickey’s isn’t currently a buffet.
Disney altered that practice during the pandemic and hasn’t restored it here. Instead, you’ll select your entrée, appetizers, vegetables, and dessert.
The focus on a few dishes has improved the quality, but it’s still not on a par with Disney’s finest restaurants.
Instead, the perception exists that this restaurant serves an A+ character interaction with a C+ meal.
Coral Reef Restaurant
Do you know what’s much better than sleeping with the fishes? I vastly prefer eating with them.
At Coral Reef, guests enter an indoor restaurant that resides near the massive saltwater tank aquarium at The Seas with Nemo & Friends.
As far as dining experiences go, I’m dubious that anything else in Florida compares to this rare opportunity.
You can dine as you watch the inhabitants of a massive aquarium go about their days.
Why doesn’t everyone love this? The answer combines those of Chef Mickey’s and Be Our Guest.
Coral Reef qualifies as one of the most expensive meals at Walt Disney World. And the food is just okay to some.
Personally, I quite like eating here, as I love the bread, the entrees, and (especially) the dessert. However, mine feels like a minority opinion.
Coral Reef barely ranks in the top 500 out of TripAdvisor’s Orlando restaurant rankings. That’s on the low side for Disney Table Service eateries.
Jungle Navigation Co. Skipper Canteen
Is there such a thing as cuisine that’s too ambitious for most?
You shouldn’t answer no until you eat at Skipper Canteen, a place that drives Disney’s management crazy with frustration.
The theming at Skipper Canteen embodies the best of Disney Imagineering. The Society of Explorers and Adventures (SEA) backdrop is impeccable.
Meanwhile, the cast members really get into this opportunity to extend the Jungle Cruise storyline into a new location, a restaurant with frequent SEA guests.
What’s the problem? People who believe Skipper Canteen is lacking obsessiveness on the decidedly international menu.
Some of the entries available here…aren’t for everyone. In fact, a couple of them could hospitalize me if I ate too much.
Fans of spices and exotic dishes adore the place, but not everyone’s a foodie. Those who aren’t feel left out by the menu and often get stuck eating the chicken.
San Angel Inn Restaurante
I don’t get the complaints about this one. Sure, I try to be open-minded, but you’re nitpicking if you don’t like San Angel Inn at the Mexico pavilion.
This place resides near an abandoned Mayan temple AND a Disney attraction. The ride in question is Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros.
Boats from this ride sail past the restaurant. For this reason, Disney has created a dark backdrop that sets the mood for the meal.
So, you’re eating in a romantic location, watching a Disney ride, and gazing at a marvel of Disney Imagineering.
So, you’re eating Mexican food. Who doesn’t like Mexican food? Sadly, someone must not, as critics argue that it’s overpriced and overhyped.
Apparently, you can somehow overhype a meal that takes place in the shadow of a full-sized Mayan temple.
You know what else gets too much hype? stonehenge Seriously, have less crazy opinions, internet!
See above re: crazy.
Yes, Disney lovingly crafting a plausible representation of a futuristic mess hall on an alien planet. And yes, some people don’t like the place because of the food.
At Satu’li Canteen, you can admire the splendor of Pandora – The World of Avatar while you dine on unique entrees.
Disney bosses put a lot of thought into what people would eat on Pandora, ultimately settling on protein bowls and burger pods.
Those who take the con position on Satu’li Canteen believe that the shallow menu punishes those with ordinary palates.
Finding something to eat may prove challenging if you’re not a fan of said protein bowls, as the burger pods sometimes vanish from the menu.
Still, the desserts here will leave you smiling for hours afterward. So, if you leave this place hungry, that’s on you.
The final two divisive restaurants share some similarities. Both are popular Disney Springs establishments that serve high-quality cuisine.
STK Steakhouse remains in the conversation for best steak in Orlando on an annual basis. And it’s definitely top three at Walt Disney World.
Critics lament two aspects of a visit here. The first is the price. Currently, steaks here start at $49 and could cost as much as $157.
I love steak more than anyone else you’ll ever meet in your life, and even my face loses all its color due to the sticker shock of that.
Then, there’s the secondary issue. This place is loud. The majority of negative comments about STK Steakhouse mention the noise.
I’m not saying the audio is the primary sticking point for all of them, but it does make a frustrating dining experience that much worse.
As a steakhouse fanatic, I’m still a huge proponent of STK Steakhouse, though.
T REX restaurant
Similarly, I swear by T-REX at Disney Springs, a place where the dinosaurs come to life.
This immaculately themed restaurant includes countless audio animatronics, and they all build to a crescendo every 20 minutes or so.
At this point, the entire dining room recreates the experience of an extinction level event that wiped out the dinosaurs.
However, that blessing to some represents a curse to others. They lament the shattering volume at which the dinosaurs shriek in fear.
I’ve eaten here with someone I didn’t know well. Making conversation proved incredibly challenging due to the high decibels on display.
On the plus side, T-REX offers a deep menu, solid grub, and a Build-A-Bear store, only it’s a Build-A-Dino instead!
For tourists, T-REX is as good as it gets. Those who want a good meal at Disney Springs without a bunch of overhead should probably pick somewhere else, though.
So, which Disney World Restaurants do you like and dislike from this list? Let us know in the comments!