If You're Heading To Disney, This List Will Help You Plan Kid-Friendly Meals (2024)

If You're Heading To Disney, This List Will Help You Plan Kid-Friendly Meals (1)

Traveling to Walt Disney World with children is a rite of passage for many parents. Seeing the wonder and joy in your kids' faces as they experience the happiest place on Earth has got to be up there in the "family memories" hall of fame—but that doesn't mean a veritable meltdown can't ensue at any given moment. The key to curbing those often-hanger-related pains? Finding a place where both kids and adults can enjoy a good meal. As veterans of many, many, many Disney trips, we present our favorite places to find Disney delicacies to satisfy both parents and little ones alike.

If You're Heading To Disney, This List Will Help You Plan Kid-Friendly Meals (3)

Be Our Guest, Magic Kingdom

If You're Heading To Disney, This List Will Help You Plan Kid-Friendly Meals (4)

Age recommendation: All

It's impossible not to be in awe when you walk into Be Our Guest, no matter your age. The place is stunning and has three different rooms for kids to gawk over—the Grand Ballroom, the Beast's West Wing, and the library-themed Castle Gallery. The food is equally as stunning. The kid's menu is full of tyke-friendly fare that'll appeal to tiny gourmands, like grilled beef tenderloin and house-made macaroni and cheese. Meanwhile, grown-ups will swoon for the juicy "Poulet Rouge" chicken, which is served alongside a tempting savory bread pudding. Also for the adults: a Beauty and the Beast-themed selection of private label Champagnes and other wines, like the L’ombre de la Bête Vin Rouge—a.k.a. "Shadow of the Beast"—a velvety blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre with notes of blueberry, wild herbs, and spice. For dessert, don't skip out on the Chocolate Tart topped with Lumiere’s special "Grey Stuff. (Shh, it's a mix of vanilla and chocolate puddings.) Keep in mind that this is a pre-fixe affair, with three courses starting at $62 for adults and $37 for kids.

PLAN A VISIT Magic Kingdom Park, Fantasyland

Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

If You're Heading To Disney, This List Will Help You Plan Kid-Friendly Meals (5)

Age recommendation: 3 and up

Kids LOVE dinner and a show, and this is probably the best one at Walt Disney World. For good reason—it's been running for more than 40 years! Located at the camping-themed Fort Wilderness Resort, this high-energy show is full of live music, dancing and plenty of pioneer-themed antics. The food skews hearty—think fried chicken, smoked BBQ pork ribs, and fresh-baked cornbread—but it's really the show that makes this place a must-see. Bonus: Beer, wine, and sangria are unlimited for those 21 and up. Tickets start at $39 for kids and $66 for adults.

PLAN A VISIT Magic Kingdom Resort, The Campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort

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Sci-Fi Dine In Theater Restaurant, Disney Hollywood Studios

If You're Heading To Disney, This List Will Help You Plan Kid-Friendly Meals (6)

Age recommendation: 6 and up

Under twinkling stars and a twilight sky, shiny retrofitted Chevys act as the tables at this movie-themed restaurant. Kids will love the cartoons and Oreo milkshakes ($7), adults will smile at the clips of old monster movies and the Drive-in BBQ burger ($22) slathered in bourbon-bacon jam. This is a place where it would be easy to spend an entire afternoon, making it perfect for when you need a little bit of quiet time—and a food-coma induced nap.

PLAN A VISIT Disney's Hollywood Studios, Commissary Lane

Crystal Palace, Magic Kingdom

If You're Heading To Disney, This List Will Help You Plan Kid-Friendly Meals (8)

Age recommendation: Up to 13

Character dining can be a special kind of torture for anyone out of grade school, but if you're going to go for it, you might as well go all the way. The Crystal Palace—modeled after the stunning glass Victorian buildings from the days of the World's Fair—is a truly beautiful locale. The buffet ($23 for kids and $39 for adults) is packed with hearty fare like braised beef brisket and country-fried chicken smothered in black pepper gravy, but the real attraction is the look on your child's face when their favorite character pops up to give them a quick hug and pose for a photo. Hot tip for parents: you can even order mimosas and sangria at breakfast!

PLAN A VISIT Magic Kingdom Park, Main Street USA

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Casey's Corner, Magic Kingdom

If You're Heading To Disney, This List Will Help You Plan Kid-Friendly Meals (9)

Age recommendation: All

With its old-school baseball team vibe and classics like chili cheese hot dogs, French fries, and corn dog nuggets, this quick-service restaurant is easily a family favorite. And good news: It's on the cheaper side! Entrees range from $9.50 to $14, and snacks max out of $6.50. Ideally located right in Main Street Square, it's a great spot to post up at one of the bright red umbrella-ed outdoor tables and take a break as you cross from Adventureland to Tomorrowland. Plus, it's possibly the greatest spot for people watching in the park for adults... and the kids won't be able to resist the view of Cinderella's castle.

PLAN A VISIT Magic Kingdom Park, Main Street, USA

Biergarten Restaurant

If You're Heading To Disney, This List Will Help You Plan Kid-Friendly Meals (10)

Age recommendation: All

Transport your family to a quaint German village and then watch as the party gets started! Located in the Germany pavilion of the World Showcase, this beer hall-style restaurant might not seem kid-friendly on the surface, but the atmosphere, live German band, and dancing make it a win for everyone. The buffet-style meal ($25 for kids, $46 for adults) includes German favorites like schnitzel (tell the kids it's basically just a giant chicken finger), flavor-packed sausages, and fluffy spätzle.

PLAN A VISIT Epcot, World Showcase

Cinderella's Royal Table, Magic Kingdom

If You're Heading To Disney, This List Will Help You Plan Kid-Friendly Meals (11)

Age recommendation: 4 to 13

The cream of the character-dining crop, Cinderella's Royal Table is the place to take aspiring princesses to meet their idols. Located inside Cinderella's castle, the dining room is really fit for a queen, with windows overlooking Fantasyland, towering stone columns, and soaring buttresses. Cinderella and her princess crew can all usually be found here for a hug and a photo, but you'll definitely need a reservation. On the menu, there are dishes like spice-crusted pork tenderloin for the adults and chicken nuggets for the kiddos. Prices can get up there at both lunch and dinner (prices start at $62 for grown-ups and $37 for kids) but we suggest swinging by in the A.M. for the relatively budget-friendly breakfast buffet ($42 for adults and $27 for kids), which includes items like smoked gouda-infused shrimp and grits and caramel apple-stuffed French toast.

Pro tip: Go for breakfast and you'll experience less crowds and early entry to the park.

PLAN A VISIT Magic Kingdom Park, Fantasyland

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Harambe Market, Disney's Animal Kingdom

If You're Heading To Disney, This List Will Help You Plan Kid-Friendly Meals (12)

Age recommendation: All

This Animal Kingdom location's food is totally kid-friendly, but a little bit cooler than the normal chicken fingers and fries. Think: Bowls brimming with ribs ($15) or grilled chicken ($13) and the "Simba" cupcake stuffed with white chocolate mousse and crowned with sweet buttercream. Wash it all down with a Frozen Flamingo, a non-alcoholic concoction bursting with strawberry and passion fruit.

PLAN A VISIT Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Africa

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe, Magic Kingdom

If You're Heading To Disney, This List Will Help You Plan Kid-Friendly Meals (13)

Age recommendation: 5 and up

The best place for Tex-Mex favorites at Disney World, Pecos Bill's offers delights like loaded pork carnitas nachos smothered in queso ($11.50), ground beef tacos ($11) and a chicken rice bowl ($12.30) brimming with grilled peppers, black beans, sour cream, and salsa. The atmosphere is pure Western saloon, and the outdoor tables offers great people-watching as people wander through Frontierland. Don't sleep on the mini churros ($6.20), which come with a decadent chocolate dipping sauce.

Pro tip: If your kids have pioneer-sized appetites, order the Nachos Rio Grande off the secret menu. It's a HUGE skillet of nachos that will definitely impress the weary.

PLAN A VISIT Magic Kingdom Park, Frontierland

Pinocchio Village Haus, Magic Kingdom

If You're Heading To Disney, This List Will Help You Plan Kid-Friendly Meals (14)

Age recommendation: All

Kids love watching the It's A Small World boats float by through the viewing area in this spacious quick-service restaurant. The dark polished wood tables and ample seating makes it feel like a hidden gem. It was one of my family's favorites when I was growing up, mostly for its creative takes on kid-friendly theme park fare, like pepperoni flatbread ($12 for an adult portion, $7.30 for kids), Caesar salad topped with crispy chicken tenders ($11.30), and Greek-inflected baklava drenched in walnut and honey simple syrup ($6.20).

PLAN A VISIT Magic Kingdom Park, Fantasyland

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Chef Mickey's, Contemporary Resort

If You're Heading To Disney, This List Will Help You Plan Kid-Friendly Meals (15)

Age recommendation: All ages

No kid or adult has ever not been enthralled by the sight of a spaceship sailing through the lobby of the Contemporary Resort. Just one Monorail stop away from the Magic Kingdom, Chef Mickey's is a classic character buffet that lets parents take a break from the park. Chef Mickey's has an especially awesome breakfast and brunch with the much-coveted Mickey Waffles as the star of the show. Meanwhile, parents, don't miss out out on the Magical Morning co*cktail menu, which is packed with alcoholic treats like the vodka-spiked Blueberry Bellini and the Hazelnut Cold Brew, which is fortified with Frangelico Liqueur.

PLAN A VISIT Magic Kingdom Resort, Disney's Contemporary Resort

50s Prime Time Cafe, Disney Hollywood Studios

If You're Heading To Disney, This List Will Help You Plan Kid-Friendly Meals (16)

Age recommendation: 6 and up

Pass off parenting duties to your waitress at this classic television-themed restaurant. You sit in a faithful recreation your favorite '50s sitcoms kitchens, complete with a TV playing clips of those very shows. Your waitress or waiter acts as "mom" or "uncle," encouraging kids to eat their vegetables, get your elbows off the table, and try to join the clean plate club. TV dinner favorites like Aunt Liz's Golden Fried Chicken ($25), Cousin Megan's Traditional Meatloaf ($22), and Mom's Old-fashioned Pot Roast ($25) make finishing your dinner easy for everyone.

PLAN A VISIT Disney's Hollywood Studios, Echo Lake

Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe, Magic Kingdom

If You're Heading To Disney, This List Will Help You Plan Kid-Friendly Meals (17)

Age recommendation: All

Themed as a '50s-era lounge, but with a space station twist, Cosmic Ray's has all the kid favorites—chicken strips ($8), barbecued chicken sandwiches ($7.50), and mac and cheese ($6.80)—to calm down cranky little ones. For the grown-ups, Walt's Chili-Cheese All-Beef Foot-long Hot Dog ($14) hits the spot, as does the charbroiled Angus Bacon Cheeseburger ($12.30). The schtick of ordering from different "bays" is fun, but warning, it's a little hard to manage if you're dining with a crowd. On the plus side, Sonny Eclipse (a wise-cracking auto-animatronic alien) plays his galactic piano every so often, usually to the delight of kiddos.

Pro tip: Make kids a salad from the famous fixings bar so they get SOME vegetables on your vacation.

PLAN A VISIT Magic Kingdom Park, Tomorrowland

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Satu'li Canteen, Disney's Animal Kingdom

If You're Heading To Disney, This List Will Help You Plan Kid-Friendly Meals (18)

Age recommendation: 6 and up

The newest dining location at Animal Kingdom, this Avatar-themed restaurant has some of the healthier options on Disney property. It also has some of the most creative food. Go for the Chili-Garlic Shrimp Bowl ($15.50), which comes with a crunchy vegetable slaw flecked with white boba balls, or the Cheeseburger Steamed Pods ($12.80), which are essentially fluffy ground beef-stuffed bao. For more traditional fare, kids will love the Parker roll-wrapped hot dog ($7.29).

PLAN A VISIT Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Pandora - The World of Avatar

Sunshine Seasons, Epcot

If You're Heading To Disney, This List Will Help You Plan Kid-Friendly Meals (19)

Age recommendation: All

This bright and airy space is a welcome respite from the constant walking that is Epcot. The menu is similarly refreshing, with lighter items like oak-grilled rotisserie chicken ($12.80) and a Mediterranean vegetable sandwich ($10) stuffed with roasted red pepper, red onion, tomato, and hummus. Have a hankering for something sweet? Opt for treats like the Mini Chocolate Bundt Cake ($5.50) or Lemon Chiffon Cake ($5.50).

PLAN A VISIT Epcot, Future World

Space 220 Restaurant, Epcot

If You're Heading To Disney, This List Will Help You Plan Kid-Friendly Meals (20)

Age recommendation: 3 and up

The view from Space 220 is literally out of this world. Or is it? The sleek dining room of this galactic-themed eatery, which opened its doors in September 2021, is framed by giant "windows" that give the illusion of peering down on Planet Earth from beyond the stratosphere. This bit of Disney magic translates to the menu, which is packed with space-ified versions of kid classics like Spaceghetti (topped with chicken meatballs) and Cosmic Chicken (that's chicken tenders with honey mustard dip, folks). For the grown-ups, "Lift Off" dishes (which is Space 220 parlance for appetizers) include Neptune Tartare (yellowfin tuna splashed with yuzu-ginger miso and soy) and Galaxy Grain Salad (quinoa, Beluga lentils, roasted beets, oyster mushrooms, and cashew hummus), while mains include items like Steak Salad swathed in horseradish dressing and Galactic Salmon blanketed in a rich ginger-spiked beurre blanc sauce.

Fair warning, the restaurant menu is pre-fixe. For adults, lunch is two courses for $55, while dinner is three courses for $79. (For kids, both lunch and dinner are two courses for $29.) Want to blast off for less moolah? Guests can hit up the Space 220 Lounge for a la carte bites like tempura-fried Blue Moon Cauliflower and Astro Deviled Eggs crowned with maple-glazed bacon.

PLAN A VISIT Epcot, World Discovery

If You're Heading To Disney, This List Will Help You Plan Kid-Friendly Meals (2024)
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