Walt Disney World is hailed as the “Most Magical Place on Earth,” but when it comes to dining, not all restaurants are created equal, especially for adults in Disney without kids. While there are plenty of magical dining experiences at Disney parks, we want to focus on the table service restaurants that adults should avoid. These sit-down dining options may not be the best fit for adults seeking a more refined and peaceful dining experience.
Before we dive into the list, we want to clarify that we’re focusing on Disney’s table service restaurants. Table-service restaurants are Disney lingo for a sit-down dining experience. They typically require reservations and have a higher price tag – and therefore, more to lose if it’s not what you’re looking for out of an adults-only Disney World vacation! We’ll save quick-service dining for another day! Let’s begin our journey through the 12 worst sit-down restaurants for adults visiting Walt Disney World!
1. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in EPCOT
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall may sound like a regal affair, but this restaurant can leave adults feeling less enchanted. The food quality doesn’t match the steep prices. While the chance to meet Disney princesses might sound appealing to some, it mostly leads to awkward encounters for adults without kids. Because of all of the excited little ones eager to chat with Belle or Ariel, the restaurant is quite loud and chaotic. It’s not the peaceful dining experience you might hope for to finish off your long day at the park.
2. The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom
The Crystal Palace is a buffet restaurant in Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, U.S.A. It is known for its all-you-can-eat character dining experience, where guests can meet characters from Disney’s Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. However, the food is average at best, and the price is high for a buffet. Because the adorable characters reasonably attract very young toddlers and children, the restaurant tends to be very crowded with noise levels which can be unbearable, especially if you’re looking for a calm, quiet meal.
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3. Rainforest Cafe in Animal Kingdom & Disney Springs
Why sit inside a jungle-themed chain restaurant like Rainforest Cafe you can find in most major malls in America when you can dine at any of Disney’s better and more original restaurants with similar yet more original and clever theming? The food here is average and overpriced, and the restaurant is often crowded and noisy from both the kids and the randomized thunderstorms, which happen periodically throughout your meal…inside.
4. T-REX in Disney Springs
Like the Rainforest Cafe, T-REX also offers a themed dining experience, taking guests on a journey through prehistoric times. While kids might be fascinated by the giant dinosaurs, we found the noise level overwhelming and the atmosphere more suitable for families. Additionally, the menu is okay at best, making it a less appealing choice for adults seeking a better dining experience for their buck.
5. Story Book Dining at Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Story Book Dining promises an enchanting dining experience with Snow White and other fairy tale characters…which are specifically tailored to the kiddos. While kids may be thrilled, adults without children might not feel the same magic. The loud and busy atmosphere can make relaxing and enjoying the meal challenging. Additionally, the food quality has mixed reviews, making it a less attractive choice for adults seeking a memorable dinner.
6. Garden Grill Restaurant in EPCOT
Garden Grill is a rotating restaurant with views of the Living with the Land attraction that offers character dining with Mickey Mouse & friends. While the novelty of a rotating restaurant is cool, the food is lacking and gives cafeteria vibes. Additionally, the character dining aspect can be off-putting for adults, especially if they have no interest in personally interacting with Chip’ n’ Dale or other Disney characters.
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7. Hollywood & Vine in Hollywood Studios
While the other character dining options might seem more enjoyable to adults visiting Disney, we’re sure the characters found at Hollywood & Vine for breakfast are not on your list to meet. Every morning, Disney Junior characters like Doc McStuffins and Vampirina roam around the restaurant. So unless you want to eat overpriced, subpar breakfast food with a purple toddler vampire trying to interact with you, we’d highly recommend eating just about anywhere else for breakfast.
8. Topolino’s Terrace at Disney’s Riviera Resort
Why is it so hard to get breakfast reservations for Topolino’s Terrace? Because it’s where almost every family on Disney property wants to be. We get it. It’s a beautiful resort with amazing views, a good breakfast, and where you can find the Fab 5 characters (not the guys from Queer Eye – at Disney, Fab 5 refers to Mickey & his best pals). But while the views are undoubtedly beautiful, the character aspect and the number of families itching to get into this restaurant make the experience less than stellar for adults visiting Disney without kids.
9. Biergarten Restaurant in EPCOT
Biergarten Restaurant is a German restaurant located in Epcot’s Germany Pavilion. It is known for its family-friendly atmosphere and its all-you-can-eat buffet of German cuisine in an Oktoberfest-esque atmosphere. However, the communal seating can lead to uncomfortable casual dinners, especially for adults looking for a more intimate dining experience. The noise level from live entertainment and large groups can make conversation challenging, and the food is often lackluster and greasy compared to other EPCOT options.
10. Cape May Cafe at Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Cape May Cafe’s character breakfast with Minnie Mouse and friends may be a hit with families staying at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, but adults without kids might want to think twice. The character experience is a lot for the morning, especially if adults are not interested in interacting with Goofy or Donald. The decor feels quite dated, and the buffet breakfast doesn’t exactly live up to the quality and variety expected for the price.
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11. Cinderella’s Royal Table in Magic Kingdom
Unless dining inside Cinderella’s Castle is on your bucket list (which we totally get if it is, no shame!) Cinderella’s Royal Table‘s pricey dining experience is skippable unless you want to eat mediocre steak with a hefty price tag as you try to make pleasant conversation with Princess Jasmine as 80 other little girls are squealing that they want to meet with Cinderella. And because of the number of families and kiddos dining with you that tend to have more urgent and vocal requests, the service for adults eating without kids is a bit inconsistent. Sounds serene and totally worth it, right?
12. Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Chef Mickey’s is another popular choice for character dining, which means the same thing we’ve noted in many of these anti-recommendations – too many kids, too loud, long waits, and often overpriced. The buffet-style dining isn’t the best experience, and the food is simply average. Additionally, the openness of the space within the Contemporary Resort also makes the restaurant so incredibly noisy that it’s hard to enjoy your meal or have a conversation.