50's Diner vs. Sci Fi ;Steakhouse 71 vs. GF Cafe ;Topolino's Character vs. Tusker House Character; Space 220 vs. Boathouse?

Love that so many here have such deep experience with WDW dining !

Any thoughts on pro’s vs. con’s on choosing between these restaurants, understanding that a few of these are super tricky to get, unless you use overlapping leading reservations.

Lunch 50’s Diner or Lunch Sci Fi or hold space for Round Up Rodeo?: We are traveling with my 76 yr old Mom (plus DS14 and DS8), which is why I thought 50’s Diner would be a hoot for her, but Sci Fi seems to get a ton of energy from folks.I could also wait and see on Round Up Rodeo too.

Dinner Steakhouse 71 or Dinner GF Cafe?: We will (hopefully) be staying at BLT, so Steakhouse 71 would be super convenient, but GF Cafe gives us a reason to hop on the monorail and see another resort, and maybe catch the boat to back to MK from there for evening FW’s and/or ETPH, depending on whether ETPH is still a thing in Mar, 2023.

Breafkast Topolino’s Character Meal vs. Lunch Tusker House Character Meal: I had assumed I would do Topolino’s no question (if I could snag an ADR) on our expected BWV check out day, but when I looked at their breakfast menu it was really limited. The steak seemed like the only entree worth the price fix price and I could see my 14 year old eating mickey waffles ($55) and calling it.

Perhaps I am missing something?. Do you choose a la carte at Topolino’s, or do those items just come out to your table? Tusker House works well on our AKL day, and the food is a bit more up our alley, but Topolino’s seems to be the ‘it’ character meal these days so want to give it a good look as we’ve only ever done ONE character meal ever (in DLR) and this is likely the only additional one we will ever do. Plus, the views would be very cool. Even if we skipped the meal, we’d likely still ride the skyliner round trip just for fun on our BWV check out morning.

Space 220 vs. Boathouse: We’d be staying (hopefully) at BWV, and returning to Epcot ETPH (if it’s still a think next year). Space is breathtakingly expensive but the theming seems so unique and special. I’ve heard that lounge reservations might be an option, but with kids under 21, not sure how that works.Boathouse seemed like a cool alternative but I think that is in Disney Springs, so not as convenient.

For context, this trip we are generally eating breakfast in our villa and planning one QS and one ADR a day. Here are the other places I am landing on at this stage in planning (skip if TMI)!

  • Arrival/EP evening from IG Gate: Yorkshire (on way to FW)
  • HS RD to 4pm Day: Docking Bay (lunch), Beaches and Cream (dinner) (Friendship Boat to BCV)
  • EP RD Day (Rhemy/Frozen) + World Showcase: Les Halles or Regal Eagle or Tangerine Cafe or Katsura or …? Game time decision.
  • EP ETPH evening: Space or Boathouse (dinner)
  • BWV Check out Day: Topolino’s Character Breakfast, or wait for Tusker House?
  • BLT Check in Day/MK afternoon/evening: Skippers (dinner)
  • MK RD Day with midday break: Columbia Harbor (lunch)
  • MK Return for ETPH & FW’s Evening: Steakhouse 71 or GF Cafe (dinner before heading back to MK)
  • No Park Day: Kona Cafe (breakfast), Saana (dinner)
  • AKL Day: Tusker House Character (if no Topolino’s), Satuli (dinner)
  • HS RD Day with midday break: 50’s Diner or Sci Fi or (Round Up Rodeo?) (lunch)
  • HS Return to Evening F!: Contempo Cafe (dinner before heading back to HS)
  • BLT Departure Day: Breakfast at Kona (if didn’t go already), or GF Cafe

I’ve done the math. Currently budgeting $1,600…we’ll see if I bail/balk as I get closer to reduce costs.

I love Sci Fi for the atmosphere but 50’s is fun too. Family did not like Tusker House but it does get a lot of love.

50s, S71, Topolinos, and Space220. All are superior to the others except for maybe Sp220 vs Boathouse, but it would suck up a ton of time to go to DS and back.


Ditto. I actually think Space 220 is on par food wise with Boathouse but Boathouse is cheaper. TT is my fave WDW restaurant. 50s is better food but I don’t like the mom thing. And I’d 100% choose S71 over GFC based on reviews and pics but i haven’t eaten at either.

*Disney BBQ is not good. I’ll prolly try Woodys cuz I do everything but I live in a BBQ state and city and I just normally can’t do Disney BBQ. It’s just not good ever or anywhere.

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I think Sci-Fi is better for your group than 50’s - it’s such a unique setting, the boys - and your mother - might get a kick out of the old sci-fi movie trailers and short cartoons, and the fake night setting feels good as a midday break. I’ve not yet done 50’s Prime Time Cafe (I will someday) but the menu and the roleplay nagging don’t appeal to me as much - yet many others do like the food. I don’t hold out much hope for Round Up Rodeo as something better (food and theming) than either Sci-Fi or 50’s.

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For food, 50’s, for atmosphere, Sci Fi;

Topolino’s gets really great reviews. I’ve never seen a negative one, although there’s got to be one out there.

I can’t wait to try SH71 for dinner.

For food I’d go Boathouse, for atmosphere and because I’ve never been there, I’d go to Space 220.

But more importantly, I’d choose the restaurants that fit my schedule best (depending upon where I’m staying and my daily plans.)

I like to cut down on transportation time when I’m in WDW as much as possible.

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But seriously, I think the BBQ food at Disney is perfectly good. Not great, but if you enjoy BBQ flavors, it hits the spot. I just don’t think you can go there expecting the same caliber as what you might find elsewhere.

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I know you asked about one versus the other, but with respect to GF C and SH 71 we’d go to both. Not one over the other. We’ve been to both on several different trips in the past (granted it was the Wave then), and thoroughly enjoyed each one. My wife has made it very clear that if we ever go back again, she’d want to schedule both restaurants if that was possible.

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Arthur Bryant’s rules! #BBQ
Or…we ate at Jack Stack’s recently on The Plaza in KC.
I’ve yet to try Regal Eagle in EP. It gets good reviews.


Yup! ;-). It’s just hard when right down the street I can get something life altering or my hubby can cook it. Smoking meats is a very time consuming process. I watch my hubby stay up all night babying the grill getting it to just the right temp for 17 hours or however long depending on the size of the meat!

Yeah it does but hubby wouldn’t let me do it. Lol. He’s makes an amazing brisket among other things and follows some of Franklins instructions. What is KC (I thought you meant KY!?! Lol). Kansas City?

So helpful! And I get the subjectiveness of restaurant choices! I looked into Topolino’s more closely given feedback, and I’ve decided to do that over Tusker House as suggested. I feel better knowing we can order more than one entree’. I.e I couldn’t imagine not having a fruit plate at a $42 brunch, but that certainly would not be my main meal! I am resting happier knowing we could get a fruit plate to share, and maybe even waffles to share, alongside our order (steak for me for sure as I’ve NEVER been a breakfast person).

And, since I replaced Tusker House on our AKL day with likely Flame Tree, I’ll have that ‘supsect…go in with your eyes wide open’ BBQ covered!! As such, I will likely go with 50’s Diner and not have FOMO on the Round Up Rodeo front. Plus, I really think 50’s will make great conversation with my kiddos and their grandma. I grew up eating Pot Roast weekly, and yet my kidoos haven’t seen a Pot Roast their whole lives :). Really and truly.

It will also bring in their Dad to our vacation a bit (in a good way), as he is an ABSOLUTE stickler for table manners with the kids. He won’t be there (kids don’t know yet and won’t know for a few months, but we are sadly separating after 22 years of marriage (27 years together). Having this trip lined up is just one of the ways to show the kids that everything is going to be all right. Vacations will still happen with each parent, special grandparents will still be part of their lives etc.

Adding Flame Tree to the mix will also make our Epcot choice easier as we will likely skip Regal Eagle as an option in favor of Kasura or Les Halles on our World Showcase day.

I also moved Skippers to a different day to provide more space between table service restaurants (Space 220, Topolino’s and Skippers would have been stacked across 24 hours).

And then I will of course wait for WDW to change all the Extra Theme Park Hours days, throwing my curated plan into dissaay. Ha!

At least now, I can close out planning, and put my DVC point rental request in at 11 months and wait to see if that plane lands. I will need two Preferred View Studios at BWV for 3 nights, and either a 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom lake view at BLT for five nights. Not even sure how doable/likely that might be to get given all the chatter on how hard DVC rooms are to secure these days.


Sci-Fi because 50’s rests on the server. I grew up going to the drive-in, so I might be biased.
While I love Tusker House, breakfast items at Topollino’s were outstanding.
Boathouse is lovely and the food is good, but it’s loud and not unique as S220.

I haven’t eaten at all the places you listed, but I’ll give you two I would choose. SciFi and Topilinos. We like 50’s for the atmosphere and milkshakes. The burgers are decent as well. It’s a great place to escape from an amusement park for a little while.

We have had both Topolinos and lunch at TH. Topolinos breakfast was hands down the best meal we had at WDW 2 months ago. I don’t always agree with everyone on food choices on these boards, but that food was just awesome. The characters were cute and the view was spectacular. The cost of the meal is the same no matter which dish you choose, you have several options. Your meals are brought to your table. It does include a non alcoholic drink and pastries (yum). Our server also brought out the fruit dish as an appetizer. We all chose the waffle dish. The kids waffle meal is super cute. We did not leave hungry.

We have eaten at SH71, but not the Cafe. SH71 is good, but it’s not a must do for us.

Ditto these choices from me!

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