The noise, crowds, and abundance of children at the “Most Magical Place on Earth” don’t necessarily paint a picture of intimacy. But, Walt Disney World has a romantic side to it, as well.
Whether your love is new or a “tale as old as time”, here are 14 of Walt Disney World’s most romantic restaurants to spend some quality time together.
Walt Disney World Resort has over 100 restaurants to choose from. So, to be on this short list of 14, the restaurant has to offer some (or all) of the classic romantic qualities. By that, I mean atmosphere, service, and of course, good food. And while many of Disney’s restaurants offer a unique atmosphere, we don’t want that atmosphere to take away from quality time with your partner. So, no dinner shows on this list.
Remember, you can make Advanced Dining Reservations at nearly all Walt Disney World restaurants 180 days (6 months) ahead of time. The popular ones fill up quickly. Oh, and if you’ve got the kids with you, why not drop them off at one of the kids clubs or hire someone from Kids Nite Out to keep an eye on them while you sneak away for your romantic rendezvous?
We’ll start our list with those fine dining experiences you can find at the Walt Disney World Resort hotels. No park admission is needed for a romantic night at these spots.
1. Victoria & Albert’s
If your budget allows for it, Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is the ultimate dining experience at Walt Disney World Resort. Lisa and I had dinner here years ago and it’s still the best meal I’ve ever had in my life. The elegant atmosphere and impeccable service create a truly exquisite experience. Our keepsake personalized menus are stored away somewhere. I’ll have to find them to share a picture.
If the normal meal isn’t enough splurge for you, try the special Chef’s Table dining offered here. You can take an after-dinner stroll through the grounds of the gorgeous resort and perhaps catch the Happily Ever After Fireworks Spectacular from the beach or dock.
Dine on the water at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa with a view of Cinderella Castle. When Lisa and I ate at Narcoossee’s in 2014, we were surprised at how many families we saw. However, that didn’t detract from the experience at all. Our server made us feel like we were the only table she had that night. When the fireworks began, she watched over our table and belongings so we could step outside to enjoy the show. We returned to a special treat she had the kitchen prepare for our anniversary. (We hadn’t told her we were celebrating anything).
3. California Grill
From atop the Contemporary Resort, California Grill pairs its west coast cuisine with an amazing view of Magic Kingdom. This is probably the most sought-after reservations for those wanting to see the fireworks while having dinner. If you can’t score a reservation at fireworks time, you are welcome to dine and earlier or later and have access to the lounge or outdoor viewing area for the show.
4. Yachtsman Steakhouse
For some New England charm, try the Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Cub Resort. It’s widely regarded as the best place to get a steak on Disney property. The atmosphere is elegant. You’ll feel removed from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks. If you’re looking for a place to take your time and not feel rushed, all while having a great meal, this is a good option.
5. Jiko – The Cooking Place
Jiko – The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has something you won’t find anywhere else… an indoor sunset. The lighting of the restaurant subtly changes to simulate an African sunset. Oh, and the food is pretty good too. The menu is a blend of African, Mediterranean, and Indian cuisine. We can attest that the food is great, but when we ate here it was without a reservation and we were seated in the bar area. We didn’t get the full effect of the main dining room. That means we have to go back, of course.
Enjoy appetizers or drinks at the nearby Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar. Enjoy views of the animals from the Savanna Overlook or grab a rocking chair on one of the balconies.
6. Flying Fish
We literally stumbled into Flying Fish one night at Disney’s BoardWalk. We were just looking for someplace to eat, and they were able to seat us at their kitchen counter with a minimal wait. It turned out to be an unexpectedly amazing dinner. (The Chef’s Counter is now a unique 5-course prix fixe dining experience complete with wine pairings). We went back a few years later and it did not disappoint. They’ve since re-imagined the decor, and I can’t wait to go back again.
For pre-dinner drinks, try the AbracadaBar lounge. After dinner, take a leisurely stroll on the boardwalk around Crescent Lake. You could even go dancing at Atlantic Dance Hall, or enjoy dueling pianos at JellyRolls. If fireworks are your thing, a portion of both Epcot’s and Disney’s Hollywood Studios nighttime spectaculars can be seen from certain vantage points without actually entering those parks.
Despite being the scene of the infamous Bison-stuck-in-the-esophagus-incident, Sanaa has become a family favorite. Lisa loves this restaurant so much that I would have to consider it for any romantic night out at Walt Disney World. Located at The Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Kidani Village, Sanaa serves up African/Indian fused cuisine within a colorful and warm atmosphere. There are views of the resort’s savannah and its animals right outside the windows.
Disney Springs Restaurants
I wanted to make sure that Disney Springs was represented on this list by at least one of its many restaurants. With so many new places opened or re-imagined at Disney Springs recently, it’s hard for us to pick one based on experience. So this pick is where I would take Lisa if we were alone at Disney Springs. I narrowed down the options to these choices
- The Boathouse
- Morimoto Asia
- Paradiso 37
- STK Orlando
- Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe
These are all places we would love to try. After looking over the menus, I think I’d have to go with the one place on this list we’ve eaten before…
8. Morimoto Asia
Our previous experience at Morimoto Asia was similar to our first meal at Flying Fish. We walked up without a reservation and were seated in the bar area. I’m not sure if being seated near the bar was the reason for the less-than-stellar service we received, but the food was excellent. The style of the main dining area is best described as modern elegance. The hanging chandeliers are even more impressive in person. We had lunch, so I can only imagine that if feels more intimate once the sun sets. It’s definitely a place we’d like to try again.
There is no reason to avoid the theme parks if you’re looking for a romantic meal. Epcot, in particular, has many quality options. A lot of the romance at these restaurants is from being immersed in that country and treated to foods from that region. You can feel like you are in a different world. A romantic night in Epcot has to include a stroll around World Showcase, with a stop in one or more of its restaurants. Here are our picks.
9. Monsieur Paul
This is one of the few restaurants that is still not scratched off our bucket list. Located upstairs in the France pavilion, Monsieur Paul offers views of Epcot’s World Showcase as well as fine food. I imagine the views of IllumiNations are good if you can snag a window seat. The menu is described as “inventive twists on traditional French dinner.” Guests can stick to a Prix-Fixe selection or dine a la carte.
10. Le Cellier Steakhouse
Le Cellier Steakhouse is one of the most popular restaurants in Epcot. Nestled below the Canada pavilion, the atmosphere is warm and luxurious. Their famous Cheese Soup followed by a Filet Mignon is the ultimate comfort dish, in my book. The Victoria Gardens are one of most picturesque places in all of Walt Disney World.
11. San Angel Inn Restaurante
San Angel Inn Restaurante makes it on to this list by virtue of its ambiance. Located inside the Mexico pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase, you can dine any time of day and feel like it’s an amazing night along a river with the view of an ancient temple. It’s quite the setting.
12. Tutto Italia Ristorante
Epcot’s Italy pavilion boasts 3 restaurants. Of those, I think Tutto Italia Ristorante is the most romantic due to its old-world charm. Bonus points for dining al fresco on the open-air patio.
Not to be outdone, Walt Disney World’s original theme park has a couple of spots that have to be considered for your romantic night out. Both of our choices here take you into your very own romantic fairy tale.
13. Be Our Guest
One of Magic Kingdom’s newest restaurants, Be Our Guest Restaurant invites you into the world of the classic Disney tale, Beauty & the Beast. You can dine in one of three rooms. The Grand Ballroom is the largest, but I would opt for the more intimate Castle Gallery or even the dark and mysterious atmosphere of the West Wing.
To complete the experience, avoid the crowds and stay in that area to enjoy the fireworks, then linger and let everyone else leave the park before slowly making your way through an empty Magic Kingdom.
14. Cinderella’s Royal Table
Is there anything more magical than dining inside Cinderella Castle? Sure, Cinderella’s Royal Table is character dining and you have to share this experience with dozens of aspiring princes and princesses, but it’s still worth it. When I took Lisa to Walt Disney World for the first time, this was a must-do, even without kids.
Want to take your royal romance to the next level? Disney offers a number of add-on packages for celebrating that special someone inside Cinderella’s Royal Table. You could even pop the question with the help of the staff!
So there you have it! Our 14 most romantic restaurants at Walt Disney World. Did your favorite place for a romantic meal make our list? If not, tell us which one we missed and why in the comments below!