What are the dining MUST DO's for first timers?

DH, DS 16, DD8, DS 7 first trip. 5 days plus one supper on first night in, staying at Beach Club. We are getting the dining plan- the middle one with one TS and CS meal per day. We for sure want to do one character meal, we were thinking maybe Ohana. What are the must do’s? We like mainly american food, NO strictly/mostly seafood places (not allergy, just major dislike from every single one of us.) However we are willing to try other types of food. What do you all recommend we for sure experience? (wanted to do BOG, but I’m betting all the ADR’s are gone as we’re only 55 days out.)

Chef Mickey’s, Crystal Palace and 1900 Park Fare would all fit your bill pretty well. You can check the menus here.

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I like 'Ohana a lot, but many people say the quality has slipped lately. I think @NeedaTurkeyLeg is right on with his suggestions. BOG is awesome, but many picky eaters are unhappy with the kid’s menu, from what I hear. As for ADRs, don’t let it being late in the game dissuade you. People cancel all of the time! If you can check even once a day, you stand a decent chance of finding something at the restaurant you’re interested in at some point in your trip.

If you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone a little, Teppan Edo is fun. It’s mostly a meat-and-veggies place, rice instead of potatoes to represent the carbohydrates. There are some more Asian flavors, but nothing too intimidating, and the show is great fun.


Actually, the 45 day mark is a pretty good time to pick some up. This is a good zone for ADR drops because 45 days is when a trip has to be paid off. People cancel trips and the ADRs they made. Do NOT give up on making your reservations.


Yes. Keep checking. Yesterday I was able to score a dinner ressie for BOG for March 28, which would have made it 45 days out at the time. So someone else must have canceled. It certainly doesn’t hurt to check. :smiley:

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I’m a big fan of Beaches and Cream, the food is awesome as is the ice cream, but honestly it’s so reasonably priced you might consider paying for that one out of pocket and using the extra credit to do a signature 2 credit meal like California Grill. Plus you’ll already be at Beach Club which is where it’s located.

As for character meals we only did one and that was breakfast at Crystal Palace, it was fun and the food was really good. I’m also a big fan of Boma for breakfast at the AKL.

And for BoG don’t worry if you really want it just wait until the day before/morning of. We booked one at our 180 day but it was really early and i was able to move it the day before to a much better time for us. There were several available when I went to move it. Have a backup just in case but there is a good chance of getting one when you get close to the day of as people cancel.

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Crystal Palace was my kids favorite (Dropped another ADR so we could lunch there twice after our first day). We also really enjoyed Garden Grill at Epcot and Tusker House at AK.


Personally, Tusker House is my favorite. The flavor aren’t over the top and there is a mix of American and more exotic. Give it a try.

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Especially since you are at the beach club, we love Cape May Cafe’s character breakfast. It’s been a family tradition since our first time in 1995.

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Thank you all so much! I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. … we had a few obstacles to clear before we could even book the trip, and now we will be booking hopefully on Monday! Wanted to book all at once, so I’m feeling much better now with these suggestions.

If you are a Pooh and Friends fan, Crystal Palace is a great Character Breakfast. If you make it before the park opens, you get to go in early. It is pretty neat to walk down an almost deserted Main Street first thing in the morning with the sun rising.

I give a big thumbs up to Trails End. Buffet great fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Take boat from Mk to FW and you’re there. No characters, but good food.

Garden Grill in Epcot is a good character meal, Mickey, Pluto, Chip and Dale.

Crystal Palace and 1900 Park Fair are also good.

I agree. I just got back from my trip 2 days ago and ate at both Beaches and Cream and breakfast at Boma. Boma was my favorite meal of the week. The food offerings are amazing. Everything from eggs and pancakes all the way to some traditional African inspired dishes. Ate there the same day as my day at AK, made it very convenient

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I cannot believe I forgot Trails End. We have done both the takeout counter for chicken that we took to Chip n Dale’s Campfire SingaLong (which kind of makes it a character dinner for cheap!!) and the sit down buffet. Both are excellent.

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If I were you I would push the envelope a little bit and try some things that you would normally not do, especially at EP World Showcase. Many of the restaurants there can give you a taste of what food is like in another country, but the menus are generally “dumbed down” enough to make them acceptable to less-adventurous palates.

I highly recommend La Hacienda for dinner - upscale Mexican food, definitely not Taco Bell. If you time your reservation out right, you may be able to get a table with a good view of Illuminations. The Biergarten as also a good choice, especially if you have to feed a hungry teenage boy - I’m nut sure how it works on the dining plan, but the lunch buffet is usually a better deal than the dinner buffet when paying out of pocket…

Also, take a good look at the menus of the places that you are considering eating at and figure out if the dining plan is going to be worth it for you. For many (most?) people it end up cheaper to pay out of pocket than to use the DDP.

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What about Biergarten?

What about it? :wink:

Is it a good choice for dining with kids?

Yes, it is a fun atmosphere for the whole family, with a lively oompah band providing entertainment. Check out the TP page about it http://touringplans.com/epcot/dining/biergarten

The seating in the Biergarten is an open seating plan, meaning you will sit at a table with other families. Not a bad thing but it is something you should know about.