6 Best Places to Eat on a Last-Minute Disney Vacation
All is not lost just because you didn’t book dinner reservations six months in advance.
Airfares to Orlando are cheap, like really cheap, making it tempting to book a last-minute Walt Disney World vacation. Unfortunately, while discount fares are easy to find, it’s not quite as easy to book a meal in a sit-down restaurant at the last-minute. Many of the best restaurants at Walt Disney World, like California Grill in the Contemporary Resort and Be Our Guest Restaurant at Magic Kingdom, can book up solid, six months in advance. Yikes.
Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season
Mickeyâs Very Merry Christmas Party gives Walt Disney World Resort guests the chance to experience special holiday festivities, including the spectacular fireworks extravaganza, âHoliday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season.â This enchanting after-hours party also includes lively stage shows, a unique holiday parade, Disney characters in their holiday attire and snow flurries on Main Street, U.S.A. The special-ticket event takes place on select nights in November and December at Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Disney)
Photo Courtesy of Walt Disney World
Even in low season, it’s not possible to simply walk up and request a table. Fortunately, we’ve got what you need so you can book a last-minute Disney getaway and still eat well, or at the very least, not be relegated to eating every night at counter-service burger joints. Here are six go-to restaurants when you arrive at Walt Disney World without a single reservation.
Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen
This relatively new restaurant inside Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland is named after the popular Jungle Cruise attraction and is a must-go for cleverly named, yet flavorful dishes like "Tastes Like Chicken Because It Is." Jungle Skipper Canteen is known for its “world-famous jungle cuisine,” delightfully bold tastes from Asia, South America and Africa. Best of all, you can make same-day reservations here, making it far easier to score a last-minute table for lunch or dinner.
Spice Road Table
You’ll feel like you’re dining at an outdoor café set on the Mediterranean Sea at Spice Road Table in Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion. Enjoy small tapas-style plates of spicy garlic shrimp, hummus fries and rice-stuffed grape leaves. In the evening, you’ll have the perfect seats to enjoy the nightly IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth show that takes place on the World Showcase Lagoon. After dinner, make time to examine the tilework and tapestries inside Spice Road Table, then explore the colorful marketplace.
Geyser Point Bar and Grill
The Geyser Point Bar and Grill at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge boasts an outdoor-inspired menu of bison burgers, salmon BLTs and crispy fried oysters. Open all day, enjoy your meal on the outdoor deck to relax and take in the views at this scenic eatery. No reservations are required at this counter-service restaurant, which lacks the feel of a typically greasy counter-service restaurant. Even better, you’ll find yourself in a prime location for the nightly Electrical Water Pageant.
Another last-minute dining favorite at Epcot is Monsieur Paul in the France Pavilion. This upscale restaurant offers classic French architecture, sophisticated wines and culinary delights that inspire the senses, like roasted duck breast with caramelized kumquats, turnip puree and duck jus. Situated on the second floor, the views of the World Showcase during the dinner hours are especially breathtaking. Make a same-day reservation or get a text alert if cancellations are made on your desired day or night with MouseDining.com.
Chef Art Smith's Homecomin'
Generally speaking, it’s fairly easy to get a last-minute table at many of the restaurants outside the parks at Disney Springs. One favorite is Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’, which serves up comfort foods with delightful Florida flavors. Among the down-home faves are Art's Famous Fried Chicken and Shrimp & Grits. For Mexican fare, try Frontera Cocina or head to Paddlefish, the place to nosh on fan favorites like lobster rolls, crab fries and conch chowder.
Tutto Italia Ristorante
Situated in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot, Tutto Italia Ristorante boasts an authentic Italian menu featuring favorites like fried calamari, handmade spaghetti with meatballs and grilled salmon filet. For dessert, delicious pastries, including tiramisu and cannoli, speak for themselves. Yum. Sit on the outside patio or dine inside surrounded by colorful Roman murals and glittering chandeliers. Walk up or book a last-minute reservation for later in the evening as you’re taking a stroll around the World Showcase Lagoon.