AN ORLANDO FLORIDA THEME PARK FANATIC

RESTAURANT
REVIEWS AND RATINGS


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In this section I will review some of the restaurants that are located in and around the parks. The only ones that I am going to mention are those which I have been to more than once and only those restaurants that serve at least two of the following; breakfast,  lunch, or dinner. No one at any of the restaurants inside or outside the park knows that I am writing this so there were no special considerations given to my party what so ever. Everything that I saw and received was what a typical guest would get when they go to these establishments.

Inside the parks I have found that, at all of the restaurants that I have been to, the staff is both well trained and courteous. In other words, the service has always been excellent with few exceptions. Full service restaurants are nicely decorated and very clean.

Outside of the parks is a different story. Service and cleanliness are not always up to par. This isn't always reflective of the entire chain to which a restaurant is part of, it's more a matter of the large number of people that the restaurant serves during certain hours of the day and the limited staff that are available to deal with them. What I am trying to say is that for the most part, they do their best. Unfortunately, their best isn't always adequate.

Remember, only the restaurants that I have personally been to will be reviewed here. There are literally hundreds of restaurants in and around the parks and it's just impossible for one person to try every restaurant.

Requests for priority seating are accepted at just about all full service restaurants in the parks and with the exception of a few, advisable. Priority seating will give you the first available table for your party size as close to the time that you requested. If you plan on eating dinner early you would probably get a table without a priority seating and have only a minimal wait. If however, you have more than six people in your party call or go to the restaurant early and request priority seating whenever possible. Tables in restaurants that can accommodate six or more people are few and you could encounter a long wait without it. Requests can be made anywhere from several days to several months in advance by calling Disney World reservations or guest services at other parks. At the park, requests can be made at Guest Relations, the restaurants, World Key kiosks at EPCOT, and at the corner of Sunset and Hollywood Boulevard at MGM.  At Universal you can make reservations at guest services, the restaurant, Universal Studios reservations and as you exit the moving sidewalk when coming from the garage.

Restaurants will be listed by park or location and section where applicable.  So, let's get started.

SPECIAL NOTE: It should be noted that if you plan on a Character Breakfast park admission is required if the breakfast is inside the park. Any breakfast that is held outside the turnstiles does not require that you have a ticket to the park. Many of the Disney hotels put on a character breakfast every morning. A priority seating reservation is recommended.

Ratings are from one to five stars. 

* = unacceptable
** = fair
*** = good
**** = above average
***** = outstanding

The meal price rating includes non-alcoholic beverage, tax and tip.  Keep in mind that the rating does not mean there isn't anything on the menu above that price it simply means that most meals do fall in that price range .

Ratings are from one to five  "$"

$ = meals under $10.00
$$ = meals for around $10.00
$$$ = meals for under $15.00
$$$$ = meals for under $20.00
$$$$$ = meals for over $20.00

 

WALT DISNEY WORLD


THE MAGIC KINGDOM
NOTE:  There is no alcohol served anywhere in the MAGIC KINGDOM.

MAIN STREET

(1) TONY'S TOWN SQUARE
$$$$
***
This is a nice little Italian restaurant located right at the beginning of Main Street. Styled in a classic turn of the century design, its decor is patterned after Tony's in the Disney feature, "Lady and the Tramp". This is a moderately priced full service restaurant with good food and service. Portions could be a little larger on some of the meals but they are adequate.  This restaurant hired a new chef a while back and the quality was not as good as it was when I last visited this restaurant.  Priority seating requests are not required but as with all full service restaurants can be made upon arriving at the park.

(2) THE CRYSTAL PALACE
$$$$
****
A buffet style restaurant with a wide variety of meals available. This is a character restaurant where you can dine with Winnie the Pooh and friends.  The food here is really good with a wide selection that will satisfy every ones taste.  As with all character restaurants priority seating is recommended due to its popularity.

(3) CINDERELLA'S ROYAL TABLE
$$$$$
****
This restaurant is located at the Fantasy Land entrance to Cinderella's Castle. In the morning they offer a family style character breakfast with all the pomp and circumstance that you would expect when eating in a castle.  A photo with Cinderella is included with the price.  Very nice atmosphere and very good food at all servings. Also very expensive for the evening meal. Expect at least $27.00 per person for meal, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage.

 

LIBERTY SQUARE

(1) COLUMBIA HARBOUR HOUSE
$
***
A colonial styled fast food restaurant. This is one of my personal favorites for an inexpensive lunch or dinner. Fish and chicken are the main items on the menu but a children's menu is also available. Patrons walk up to the cashier, place their order, pay for it and then pick it up at the counter. The food is good and the service is fast. You also get large portions for the price. It is located between The Hall of Presidents and The Haunted Mansion.

(2) LIBERTY TREE TAVERN
$$$$$
****
An excellent family style all you can eat restaurant. Once again, this is a character restaurant so reservations for priority seating are recommended. Food is served family style at the table and by this I mean that the waiter brings out two or three entrees along with side dishes and beverage. The main dish consists of roast beef, chicken and fish. A children's menu is also available. Dessert is extra. The restaurant is designed to look like a colonial inn both inside and out. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and the rest come to the table for the enjoyment of children of all ages. Very enjoyable.


TOMORROW LAND

(1) COSMIC RAYS STARLIGHT CAFÉ
$
***
This restaurant was formerly known as the Tomorrow Land Terrace. It was renamed in 1995 to fit into the New Tomorrow Land. Aside from the decor, nothing else has changed. What we have here is a fast food self serve restaurant. The menu consists of burgers, various other sandwiches, as well as salads and chicken dishes. As with all establishments of this type in any of the parks you can expect to pay between $6.00 and $8.00 for a meal consisting of a burger, fries and coke. The quality is much better than McDonalds but not as good as the same meal might be at a full service restaurant. It would also cost a little more at a full service restaurant when you factor in tips. These types of places are good for a quick, inexpensive meal but you should not rely solely on them during your trip.

 

THE CONTEMPORARY RESORT HOTEL

(1) CHEF MICKEY'S
$$$$$
****
Without a doubt this is the best buy in all of Disney World. This is an all you can eat character buffet which is out of this world. Prices are about $23.00 for adults and $15.00 for children and it's all inclusive. Everything from soup to dessert to beverages is included. The only thing that is extra is the tip. This is not one of those small buffet tables that you are use to. It's huge. There are also two good size dessert tables with all kinds of good things to eat. Once you are seated, a server will come to your table to take your drink orders. Soft drinks, milk, juices, coffee and tea come with the meal. You are then free to indulge in the buffet to your hearts content. During the meal, your server will visit your table from time to time to clear dishes and to refill your drinks. This is truly a food lovers paradise. Priority seating reservations are accepted. If you don't have them you could wait as long as an hour for a table. It's very popular. This restaurant is also open for breakfast but I have never tried it.

EPCOT

FUTURE WORLD

(1) Pasta Piazza Restaurante'
$
***
This restaurant is located inside Communicore West. Fast food such as pasta, salads, and pizza can be purchased here at a reasonable price. The best bargain here is to buy a whole pizza which is large enough to feed four adults. Pricing for the rest of the items is the same as anywhere else in the park. A nice quick meal, but nothing special.

(2) The Electric Umbrella
$
***
Located inside Communicore East, this restaurant features many types of sandwiches. Prices are about the same as anywhere else for these items but it is an inexpensive quick meal.

(3) The Land Food Court
***
This mini mall of fast food establishments is located on the lower level of The Land. Shops selling sandwiches, pastries, ice cream and other items can be found clumped together across from the attraction Listen To The Land. The food is very good and reasonably priced. Many items are made on the premises unlike other fast food places which bring in the food from a central location. This is a best bet for a quick snack, breakfast or lunch.

(4) The Garden Grill
$$$$
****
Located upstairs from the Food court, The Garden Grill is a revolving character restaurant which overlooks Listen To The Land. As it revolves, tables pass by the different scenes that you would see on the ride. The big difference is that you are looking down from above giving you another perspective on the scenery. This is a somewhat expensive full service restaurant. The food is always very good, served family style and the service is excellent. Many of the vegetables served with the entree are grown in the agricultural station that you pass on the ride down stairs. Expect to pay around $23.00 per person. Reservations are accepted and, like all full service restaurants at EPCOT, can be made at the restaurant, guest services, or at any World Key terminal.

(5) The Coral Reef
$$$$$
****
The Coral Reef restaurant is located in the Living Seas pavilion. It features a wide variety of foods in its menu all of which are well prepared and very good. The service here is outstanding. A unique feature of this restaurant is that all tables have an unobstructed view of the main tank. You can sit and eat a relaxing meal while you watch sharks, barracuda, and other fish swim by. This is a very expensive restaurant with menu items starting at $20.00. A family of four could quite easily drop $100.00 here if no one is eating off the children's menu. Reservations for this restaurant are accepted and can be made at the restaurant, at guest relations, or at any World Key Terminal.

THE WORLD SHOWCASE

Just about all of the countries have one or more fast food type restaurants.  Restaurant prices in the World Showcase range from inexpensive to very expensive depending on which ones you go to and what types of food you like. The food at most of these fast food places is prepared in the style and by natives of the country you are in so the quality should be above average. All of the countries have full service restaurants.

(1) San Angel Inn Restaurante MEXICO
$$$$$
****
The San Angel Inn offers traditional Mexican dishes prepared by expert chefs from Mexico. The food is superb and the portions are more than adequate. The staff is friendly, courteous and attentive. The restaurant is indoors but the decor gives the appearance of an outdoor cafe at night. Traveling musicians serenade you at your table singing traditional Mexican songs. All of this comes at a price, and it is expensive. Entrees start around $15.00 and go up from there. If you like Mexican food and you can afford the price, this is a great place to go. Reservations are highly recommended

(2)  TUTTO
$$$$
****
This is one of the more popular restaurants at EPCOT. It features traditional Italian dishes prepared by chefs who before coming here worked in the Alfredo's in Rome, Italy. The food is excellent and the deserts are even better if you can manage to eat them after filling up on your dinner. Portions are much more than adequate. Even though they may look small, they are very filling. The service is very good but I think that they could come around a little more often than they do. The prices here aren't bad. A family of four could probably eat for less than $70.00 without much trouble. Reservations are requested though not required. Just don't expect to get in without a long wait if you don't have one.  This restaurant has recently changed management.  The new name of the restaurant is TUTTO.  I have not had the chance to visit this restaurant since the change but I have been told that the food is basically the same.  We will review it soon.

(3) Restaurant Akershus NORWAY
$$$$$
****
Once again we are at an all you can eat buffet.  Aren't they great!   I guess you can tell what I like to do on vacation. The interior of the restaurant is made to look like a Norwegian castle and food is prepared in the typical style of the country. Dine on everything you would expect to find on a noblemen's table. Very expensive due to the fact that every thing other than the meal is extra. Meals are generally around $ 20.00. Very good food and a very friendly and courteous staff.

(4) Rose and Crown Pub   ENGLAND
$$$$
****
Located on the main road that runs around the World Showcase, this is just what one would expect of an English pub.  A separate bar area features a piano player who invites everyone to sing along.  The restaurant portion is divided into two sections.  An air conditioned section and a patio overlooking the World Showcase lagoon.  If you get a seating after seven on the patio stay after dinner and watch Illuminations.  The patio offers a great view but you should request it when you make priority seating arrangements.  Our waitress name was Lowri and she was just wonderful.  I believe that all staff in the World Showcase are from the country they represent.  Lowri was from Wales.  She was very helpful in explaining the different meals.  We stuck to the more traditional fare.  Fish and chips or steak.  Both were excellent and the portions were large.   I had a bowl of clam chowder with mine.  It was the best clam chowder I've ever had.    All in all I highly recommend The Rose and Crown Pub.

(5) Nine Dragons   CHINA
$$$$
*****
If you enjoy Chinese food then this is the place to eat.  Generous portions, good food, along with friendly service and great atmosphere makes this restaurant number one in my book. 

(6) Lotus Blossom Cafe    CHINA
$$
****
This is a fast food cafe located just past the Nine Dragons Restaurant.  Indoor and patio seating is available.  The food here is great and the price certainly won't break your budget.   Many of the items featured on the menu are the same as those at the Nine Dragons.   Smaller portions and counter service as in any Disney fast food restaurant.   If you like Chinese food and don't mind eating with out air conditioning this is a top pick.

(7) Restaurant Marrakesh    MOROCCO
$$$$
*****
The food here is excellent and not too pricey.  Very nice decor and there is even entertainment.  At least once during your meal Moroccan musicians come out and play traditional native music. Towards the end of their performance a belly dancer comes out.  She even asks the guests to join her. This is especially for the children whom she teaches to dance.

(8) Les Chefs de France   FRANCE
$$$$$
****
Typical
French food and friendly service.  Very expensive but worth the price.  This restaurant has a classic French decor and reservations are a must.

(9) Teppanyaki Dining Room   JAPAN
$$$$$
*****
Make your reservations at least 30 days in advance for this restaurant.  The food is excellent and cooked at your table.  Meals are communal meaning if you have a small group, four or less, expect to be seated with another family.  The chefs are extremely entertaining and you have a choice of several dishes.

(10) Le Cellier Steakhouse    CANADA
$$$$
****
If you enjoy a good steak cooked to perfection this is the restaurant for you.  Located beneath the large building the towers over the rest of the area, this restaurant has a mid evil look to it.

(11) Biergarten Restaurant   GERMANY
$$$
***
This restaurant is a recreation of a German beer hall.  It features a buffet of classic German cuisine.  Most of the selections on the buffet are good but you should be aware that this is not a gourmet restaurant.  The one thing that this restaurant has is a live show featuring an October fest type band and liters and half liters of German beer.

DISNEY HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

(1) The 50's Prime Time Cafe
$$$$
****
What you will get here is a good home cooked meal just like your mother use to cook. You even get a mother that looks over your shoulder making sure that you keep your elbows off the table and that you eat all of your vegetables. All in good fun of course. Dishes like meat loaf and pot roast are the kind of food that you will find on the menu. The restaurant is set up to look like an average kitchen from the 1950's. Within the view of every patron is a small television which plays a continuous stream of clips from old TV shows of the 50's. A good time and good food at a reasonable price. A family of four should be able to get away with less than $70.00. This is a fairly popular restaurant so reservations are advisable although not required.

(2) The SCI-FI Dine In
$$$$
***
This restaurant was designed to resemble a drive in theater. The booths were made to look like cars and there is even a giant movie screen up in front that shows trailers from old SCI-FI movies. The quality of the food is, for the most part,  good. However, I have found it to be a little inconsistent. You may go one time and find the food excellent and go back another time and find it to be only adequate to good.  Should you choose to eat here be sure to try their milk shakes. The prices aren't too bad. Expect to pay about $80.00 for a family of four. Reservations are advisable due to the popularity of this restaurant.

(3) Mama Melrosas
$$$$
****
If you like Italian food this is the place to go. Probably the best restaurant that you will find in any of the parks. One of the unique points of this restaurant is that everything is made from scratch on the premises right down to the pasta. In other restaurants throughout the parks, much of the food is prepared at a central location and brought to the restaurant to be finished. That is not the case here and it shows. I make it a point to stop here at least once on every trip. I just can't say enough about this restaurant. It has been my experience that you cannot leave here dissatisfied. The service is top notch and there is always someone checking to make sure that everything is to your satisfaction. You will pay a little more for all of this but it is worth it. A family of four should be prepared to pay between $70.00 and $80.00 for a meal here and reservations are recommended.


(4) The M.G.M. Commissary
$$
***
This is a fast food restaurant with a good variety of choices on the menu. As this type of restaurant goes, the quality of the food is better than average. Plenty of room to sit down even if you just want to have a drink in air conditioned comfort. There are also out door tables for people to eat at if that is what you would like. This is a good place to have a snack or a meal at a reasonable price.

(5) Starring Rolls

Located next to the Brown Derby, This bakery is an excellent choice for a light breakfast or a mid day snack. All types of pastries and cookies are available along with juices, soda, and coffee. They also have some great sandwiches The prices are fairly reasonable and the quality of the food is very good.

(6) The Brown Derby
$$$$$
*****
This restaurant is styled after the famous Hollywood restaurant of the same name. Don't be surprised if you should see a few stars from the golden era of film. The food is excellent and the service is outstanding. Menu items are a bit pricey, starting out at about $18.00 for an entree. Everything is extra unless stated on the menu that it is included. If unsure and you don't want a surprise, ask. Never be embarrassed about asking questions when in the park. I doubt that you will come up with one that hasn't been asked before.  The COB SALAD is really great.

ANIMAL KINGDOM

The Animal Kingdom is fairly new so I haven't been to very many of the establishments.  There is only one full service restaurant at this park and that one is the Rainforest Cafe.  There are several fast food type restaurants in the Animal Kingdom which feature dishes to suit anyone's taste.   I will review the two restaurants that I have been to but it should be noted that the others probably as good as any of the other fast food restaurants at Disney World.

 (1) The Rainforest Cafe
$$$$
***
This is a full service sit down restaurant which has a jungle theme.   All around you are animatronic animals which go about there business just as if you weren't there.  Monkeys, gorillas, lions and elephants are just a few of the creatures you  will encounter.  This is not a Disney operated restaurant which is why it is outside the gates to the park.  Note that there is an entrance to this restaurant inside the park.  Just take the first left after you pass through the turnstiles.  A hand stamp and valid ticket are required to regain entrance to the park.  This is a chain restaurant which promotes ecology and the saving of the rainforests of the world.   Sometime during your meal you will be asked if you would like to join the effort.   If you do, a ten dollar fee will be added to your bill.  Unless you really want to help save the rainforest or live near one of these restaurants and can take advantage of the special offers that you will receive through the mail, do not be afraid to decline.  It is very low pressure sales.   I found the food to be good with ample portions but the service to be a bit too slow during peek times.  Beware of the appetizers, they will fill you up and unless you are going back to a residence with a refrigerator that you can take it with you, the main coarse will be wasted.  Note that the sampler platter is more than enough for two people to make a meal of it.  Pricing is a bit on the high side but there are menus outside of the entrance that you can inspect before you enter and there are some inexpensive dishes.  If you plan on eating here, priority seating reservations are recommended and should be made upon your arrival at the park.

(2) Restaurantosaurus
$$
***
Located in the Dinoland section of the Animal Kingdom, this restaurant features counter service with hot dogs and Hamburg's as its mainstay.  Not expensive and it is a great place for a quick bite.  Indoor and outdoor seating is available.  The breakfast features a wide variety of the standard breakfast fare including pastries and fresh fruit. 

(3) YAK AND YETI
$$$$
****
Located in the Asia section of the Animal Kingdom, this is the first sit down restaurant inside this park.  It is your basic Chinese restaurant set in what appears to be a very old building.  It truly amazes me that Disney can go to so much trouble to make something new look very old.  The atmosphere is excellent along with the service.  They could use a few more items on the menu but the items that are there are very good.  There is also a drink menu with a few interesting variations on traditional Asian drinks.  Priority seating reservations are accepted but not really needed at this time.  I'm sure once word get around that the restaurant is there this will change so make reservations to be safe.  Overall a very nice restaurant but a short menu.

DOWNTOWN DISNEY

(1) Bongos Cuban Cafe
$$$$$
*
The above rating is not a mistake.  Trust me on this one if no other.  The service, once seated, was atrocious.  We had to ask for a place setting as there were five of us and we also had to request water which was not given to us as a normal restaurant would when you sit down.  The waiter (Thomas) seemed to be more interested in the goings on at the bar than his customers.  He even used foul language within earshot of the guests.  If you want to try traditional Cuban food go elsewhere.  My wife and her family are Cuban and they informed me that what we ordered although named correctly was not Cuban food.  It had been changed in a variety of ways perhaps to provide more general appeal to the locals.  Everything is ala-cart.  Nothing except bread is included with the meal.  All I can say is that my wife had been after me to try this restaurant ever since it opened and she is sorry she did.

There is a fast food walk up outside of this restaurant which is very good.  It is diagonally across from the Virgin Mega Store.

(2) WOLFGANG PUCKS CAFE
$$$$
****
This restaurant
is the downstairs full service restaurant.  There is also a walk-up and an upstairs dining room.  The food and the service are very good.  For those who like it they also have a sushi bar.  One entree that is on the menu is a COBB SALAD.  It was good but I prefer the COBB SALAD at the Brown Derby over at Disney Hollywood Studio.  A good restaurant but just a little pricey.

(3) THE T REX RESTAURANT
$$$$
****
This restaurant
opened during the last week in October 2008.  Very similar to the RAIN FOREST CAFE in that there are audio-animatronic animals all over the place.  The major difference is that the animals are dinosaurs.  The food is good and the service is excellent.  Portions are dino size although slightly on the expensive side.  Every half hour the place erupts with all of the dinos yelling and screaming as well as a meteor shower over head.  A very noisy place overall.  Not the kind of place for a romantic dinner for two but a great place for families with children.

 

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

(1) International Bazaar
$$
***
A cafeteria style restaurant located adjacent to The Animal Actors Show which features all types of ethnic fast foods. There are several different lines, each featuring a different style of cooking. This place has reasonably good food at a reasonable price. Picture a food court at a large shopping mall and that is what you have here. Great for a snack or a meal. It is air conditioned inside and there are side walk tables available.

(2) Lombard's Landing
$$$$
***
A full service restaurant located across the street from Earthquake in the San Francisco section of the park. This restaurant features a full menu with prices that start at around $15.00. The service is very good and the food is excellent. Reservations are not required but are advisable.  When you arrive just give your name when you arrive. There may be a little bit of a wait but you can sit down in air conditioned comfort until you are called.

(3) The San Francisco Pastry Company
$$$
****
Located just outside Lombard's Landing, this shop features some of the most mouth watering pastries you've ever seen. They also sell assorted sandwiches and beverages. There are about a dozen tables outside the shop where you can sit and eat. On a crowded day at the park these few tables are not sufficient. It is not unusual to see people standing around waiting for a table. It is best to claim a table first and then send someone up to purchase the food. The food here is very good but it is also expensive. A sandwich, dessert, and a soft drink could run you $12.00. For the money I would much rather go around the corner and have a full meal. This is a great place for a mid day snack but beware of the price.

(4) Finnegan's Bar and Grill
$$$
****
Located on the corner 5th Ave. and Delancey St., Finnegan's is an Irish Pub complete with all the atmosphere of Ireland including a rather loud Irish singer. Corned beef and cabbage and other Irish favorites along with assorted sandwiches fill the menu. The food is very good but the service is a little slow. Prices for everything on the menu are reasonable and the food is filling. There is usually little or no wait for seating.

 (5) The Monster Cafe
$$
***
Located halfway up the street from the main entrance to the park, this restaurant is sort of a cafeteria style establishment.  Modern looking and decorated with things that will remind you of some of the horror movies from long and near past.  Tables are very clean as they are bused the same as a full service restaurant.   You pick up your food just like you would in a cafeteria and then go to a table. After your meal just get up and go.  The dishes and trays will be cleared by the staff.  Chicken and pasta are the main courses.  Meals come with meat, potato, and vegetable.  Drinks and desert are extra.  For the price, about $10.00 a head, this is the best value for your money at Universal Studios.

(6) Louie's Italian Restaurant
$$
***
Located just down the street from THE MUMMY, this Italian restaurant is a good bet for a quick bite. Pasta and pizza are on the menu and it's really pretty good.  There is also a STARBUCKS located at the same location.

(7) Beverly Hills Boulangerie
$$
***
This fast food restaurant is at the front of the studio across from the LUCY walk through.  Great sandwiches at a reasonable price.

(8) Mel's Drive-In
$$
**
A 50's style diner with burgers, fries and the like. 
Not bad but you could do better.  Be sure to check it out if you like classic cars.  There are usually three or four 50's era cars parked in the parking lot.

(9) Richter's Burger Co
$$
***

A good place for burgers and chicken sandwiches.  Located across from Beetlejuice at the beginning of the San Francisco area of the park

(10) Churrascaria Brazilian Steak House
$$$$
*****
Located in CITY WALK at Universal Studios on the second floor of the Latin Quarter.  This restaurant opened quietly but we heard about it on a theme park information site.  Several weeks before we went I had seen a similar Restaurant on the Travel Chanel that was in Brazil.  My interest was peaked so we went and tried it out.  Though expensive, about $49.00 per person with beverages, this has to be one on the best restaurants I have ever been to.  It is an all you can eat restaurant so bring your appetite.  They have a large side item bar with everything from salad to sushi.  That's just to start with.  The real joy is the pit roasted meats.  Everything from steak to chicken are brought to your table and cut to order.  The flavor is to die for and they just keep bringing it to you.  A two sided coaster tells the server when you want more.  Red for not now and green for bring it on.  Make reservations as you enter the park.  Though not busy now I am sure they will be filling up as word gets around.  They open at 5PM sharp
 

ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE

For the time being I have three reviews for you.  Aside from City Walk there is only one full service restaurant at Islands of Adventure.  I will be reviewing that restaurant after my next trip.  Mythos only takes reservations for lunch.    I'm going for diner.  I'm dyeing to see what kind of wait I'll have.   For all I know, I may die waiting to get in. 

(1) Captain America Diner
$$
*
This is a fast food restaurant located in Marvel Super Hero Island.  I really can't say much about this place except that the food is fair and the prices aren't.    My advice is to move on up the street to another restaurant.  The only thing that this place has going for it is that it is air conditioned.

(2) The Burger Digs
$$
***
Another fast food establishment but not another looser.  The burgers were great even though they cost a little more and the decor was neat and clean.  For fast food, this is about as good as it gets here.  This restaurant is located in the main building in Jurassic Park.  Indoor and outdoor seating is available.

(3) Wimpy's
$$
***
Located on Toon Island across from the BILGE RAT BARGES this is the same food as the Captain America Diner and the seats are all outside.  Enough said.

(4) Mythos (pronounced   mith - os)
$$$$
*****
This is a rather unique restaurant in that the design gives you the feeling of being deep inside a cave. High ceilings and walls with the appearance of weathered stone and a fountain in the center of the room.  It appeared to me that this restaurant isn't all that popular because so few people were there. There are no reservations taken for dinner, only for lunch.  Lunch may be this restaurants big meal.  I don't give a five star rating to every good restaurant I go to but this one deserves it.  Service was outstanding.  I had just finished my beverage and another was set down on the table before I could put my glass down.  The food was more than adequate and there were meals for under $15.00. Sandwiches that came with everything on them and very tasty fries.  Full meals start at around $16.00. Hats off to the waitress, I wish I knew her name so that I could recognize her here, but I neglected to write it down.  By the way, a full bar is available.  Try the hard lemonade, and try Mythos.  You will enjoy it.

(5) Blondies
$$
****
Located in Toon Lagoon this is the place to go if you want a great sandwich.  Order a Dagwood if you want a really big, great tasting sandwich.

(6) Confisco Grille
$$$
****
This is a full service restaurant with a Mediterranean flare.  The food is very good and you get good size portions.  Great tasting appetizers also.
  This restaurant is located just at the point you would turn left to go to the HULK or right to go to SEUSS Island

(7) Cafe 4
$$
**
Right across from the HULK, this fast food restaurant has Italian style food and it's OK.  Nothing great but not bad.

 

 KISSIMMEE


In this section I will review some of the better places to eat on and around the Route 192 strip. There are countless restaurants and take out joints in this area but my priorities are good food, good service, and good value for my money. I have eaten at most of the established restaurants in the area, and by established I mean ones that have been in operation for more than three years, and have written off most of the fast food places for one reason or another. Most of the fast food restaurants in the area do not give you a good value for the price and the quality of the food is lacking. Other restaurants have been written off for poor service and/or cleanliness. I don't have abnormally high standards. It's just that some of these places are really the pits. In general, the average vacationer will only need two or three good places to eat so stick to the better ones and you'll always leave satisfied.


(1) The Olive Garden (On RT. 192 East Near RT. 535)
$$$$
****
This is a full service sit down restaurant which is part of a national chain that specializes in Italian food. The service is always good, the food is always excellent and the restaurant is always clean. This is a great restaurant and the prices aren't that bad. There are prices on the full menu to fit just about anyone's budget. Be careful of the desserts, they are very good and very expensive.


(2) Shoney's (Two Locations Both On RT. 192 East)
$$
***
Shoney's is a very nice place. It's clean and they have a very friendly staff. The food for lunch and dinner isn't all that it should be but they have a great buffet breakfast for a price that you won't believe. For less than $5.00 you get an all you can eat buffet that features something for everyone. Bacon, eggs, hash browns, pancakes, cereals, and assorted fruits are just some of the items here. Your beverage is not included in the price. For breakfast, this is one of the best values that I have found.


(3) T. G. I. Fridays (On RT. 192 East Near RT. 535)
$$$
****
This is another national chain that gives good value for the price. It's clean, well decorated, and the staff is both courteous and helpful. The food is better than average and cooked to order. Menu prices start at around $7.00 and range to about $16.00. There are daily specials also. This is a good choice for lunch or dinner. Beverage refills are free except lemonade.  I was told that it came from the bar and they had to charge for each glass.

 

(4) Ponderosa Steak House (Three Locations.  On RT. 536 At RT. 535, On RT. 192 East And On RT. 192 West)
$$$
***
Yet another national chain that's not bad if you like steak. They also have their Grand Buffet which features an all you can eat salad bar that has a lot more than just salad. Everything else here is more or less cafeteria style in that you take what you want and pay at the end of the line. If you order a steak they will cook it the way you like it and bring it to your table. Prices start around $12.00 and it's really not a bad deal. This is another chain that offers an all you can eat breakfast. For around $5.00 it's probably the best deal going outside the park. Beverages are extra but refills are free.


(5) Bob Evens Steak House ( On RT.192 Near RT. 535)
$$$
****
I promise that this is the last national chain on my list. They offer a full menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Prompt, friendly service and a country decor make this a nice place anytime of the day. The food is very good and reasonably priced. There is seldom much of a wait here because most people would rather go somewhere they are familiar with or to a restaurant that has a buffet. Keep that in mind if you are pressed for time. At Bob Evens you will probably get seated almost immediately.


(6) Red Lobster (On RT. 192)
$$$
*
I lied, this is yet another national chain. You've probably seen the ads on TV showing huge plates of mouth watering sea food for under $10.00. At least I'm not the only one who lies here. The food here was only slightly better than average and everything on the menu was expensive. At the time I went, a lobster dinner went for $22.00 minimum. There were inflated prices on other items as well. Unless you can catch one of their advertised specials and everyone in your party sticks to that, I would avoid this place because it is out of the average vacationers budget.

(7)  BAHAMA BREEZE  (Just off Interstate 4 on RT. 535)
$$$$
*****
This is a chain restaurant that features Caribbean style food.  The portions are tremendous and you can actually order half portions or you can order a full portion and split it.  The food is very good and the service is excellent.  I've tried it twice and was satisfied both times.  Try the onion rings for an appetizer but don't plan on finishing them yourself.

(8)  OUTBACK STEAK HOUSE   ( Rt. 192 in KISSIMMEE )
$$$$
****
Welcome to the Outback, as the commercial says.  The food here is very good.  Steaks cooked to perfection.   This restaurant has quick courteous service and a menu with something for everyone. Didn't care much for their blooming onion.  Too hard to get the pieces off.   I'd much rather have old fashioned onion rings. 

(9)  SHELLS SEA FOOD  ( Rt. 192 in KISSIMMEE )
$$$$
***
I had been told about this place a couple years ago and decided to give it a try.  If you like great sea food, try some place else.  The food isn't bad but being from New England maybe I expect more than others.  My sea food platter was skimpy and wasn't all that tasty.   The waitress was also hard to find at times.

(10)  COLUMBIA RESTAURANT    (Located in down town Celebration )
$$$$$
****
Very good Cuban style dishes.  Forget Bongos, this is the place for authentic Cuban food.  Very elegant atmosphere (but don't worry about dressing casual) and a very attentive wait staff.   Portions are large and very tasty.  A perfect choice for anyone looking to try something different

(11)  CRACKER BARREL    (Located on Rt. 192 in KISSIMMEE )
$$$
****
This is the place for down home cooking like your mother use to make.  Dishes like chicken and dumplings, pot roast and oven fried steak abound.  The staff is friendly, courteous and fast.  You enter through a country store so don't think you are in the wrong place.  If you like good food, in a very relaxed atmosphere and at a decent try this restaurant.  After dinner, check out the country store for some hard to find items.

(12)  THE GOLDEN CORRAL   (Located on Rt. 192 in KISSIMMEE) 
$$$
****
Not the steak house I expected when I pulled in.  This restaurant is an all you can eat buffet and steak is only one of the items available.  I didn't have the steak but I did have a lot of the other items on the line.  I was very surprised when I tasted the fried chicken and it wasn't the dried out meat that usually comes from a buffet.  You can get soups, salads, main dishes galore, deserts and unlimited beverages for a very low price.  You can even get take out (paid for by weight) which is something unheard of to me until now.  Can't wait to go back.
 

ORLANDO AREA

(1) P F CHANG'S  
P F CHANG'S is a Chinese restaurant that is a cut above most Chinese restaurants in the area.  They have a wide variety of dishes on the menu and the prices are not bad for the portions provided.  Both service and food are excellent.  If you enjoy hot and sour soup request a bowl.  For a couple dollars more than a cup you get enough for four people to share and then some.  The entrance to this restaurant is outside the main entrance to the mall.

(2) McCormick & Schmick's  Seafood Restaurant  (Located at the Mall Of Millennia)
$$$$
*****
Top quality sea food restaurant. 

(3) Brio Tuscan Grille  (Located at the Mall Of Millennia)
$$$$
*****
A very good Italian restaurant.

(4) Cuba Libre (International Drive in Point Orlando shopping center)
$$$$
*****
A very good Italian restaurant.  This is great food, great service, and great atmosphere.  Live entertainment after 7 and proper dress is required after 7.  Restaurant opens at 5 PM on first floor.  Parking for dinner will be about 4 dollars and payable by credit card at Point Orlando garage.  There is valet parking.  I have been there twice and not been disappointed.  In case you did not realize it it is a Cuban restaurant.

 

The following is a list of character breakfasts and / or dinners that I have been to.  The name of the breakfast / dinner, the location, and what characters appear are listed.  They are all "all you can eat" meals and are either table service or buffet.  Prices run from about $17.00 to $26.00 per person for adults.  Children under 9 eat at a discount.  I enjoyed all of them and if you have small children this is a must.  The characters come up to each table for a private photo session and the host or hostess will even take a group shot for you if you ask.  The food is always excellent and the experience is well worth the money.

DISNEY CHARACTER DINING

1900 PARK FARE (THE GRAND FLORIDIAN HOTEL)

Mary Poppins and friends

MICKEY AND MINNIE'S MINI HUNA (POLYNESIAN RESORT)

Mickey, Minnie and the gang

CHEF MICKEY'S (CONTEMPORARY RESORT HOTEL)

Mickey, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale and more

LIBERTY TREE TAVERN

Goofy, Chip and Dale, Pluto, Minnie Mouse

 

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