TouringPlans gets thousands of user surveys each year from Disney guests. In recent posts, we shared the best restaurants at Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, Epcot and the best restaurants at the resorts. Today we’re talking about the best Disney Springs table service restaurants. Disney Springs has definitely seen the most new restaurant openings in recent history, but how do they fare?
To note, Fulton’s closed in 2016 and reopened as Paddlefish in 2017. Planet Hollywood was closed the entire year and reopened in February as Planet Hollywood Observatory. Homecomin’, BOATHOUSE, Morimoto, Frontera Concina, and STK are all part of the “new” Disney Springs. BOATHOUSE opened April 2015, Morimoto October 2015, the others in the last year. Paddlefish has not had enough responses to make the list yet.
In this chart, restaurants shown in green did significantly better the average Walt Disney World restaurant, while those in red did significantly worse.
Best Disney Springs Table Service Restaurants
|Restaurant||Number of Surveys||Thumbs-Up %|
|Splitsville Dining Room||150||95.3|
|Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar||229||91.3|
|Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’||114||91.2|
|Crossroads at House of Blues||121||89.3|
|Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe (downstairs)||92||81.5|
|Fulton’s Crab House (closed – now Paddlefish)||63||77.8|
|Wolfgang Puck Dining Room (upstairs)||39||76.9|
|Rainforest Cafe (Disney Springs)||281||76.2|
|Portobello (closing for refurb April 23)||129||69.8|
|For all Walt Disney World restaurants – Mean = 89.7, sdev=6.1|
So what can we learn from this?
Familiar often does better with our readers
If you read Disney social media, you probably know that BOATHOUSE and Homecomin’ are favorites with frequent visitors. Yet, Splitsville topped the list. Splitsville has a less ambitious menu than many of the other Disney Springs restaurants. This may explain how House of Blues ended up above Morimoto Asia.
Readers are more generous with counter service restaurants
When you look at the list of all restaurants at Disney Springs (a topic for another article), the highest table service doesn’t come up until 8th place, preceded by Haagen Dazs and Ghiradelli, both Starbucks, Goofy’s Candy Company, and Wolfgang Puck Express. The only non-chain, non-candy shop in the top 7 is The Daily Poutine, which has a menu of four items plus beverages. It also has a 98% thumbs up rating, which is still just 4th place over all.
The new openings are overshadowing many older restaurants at Disney Springs
The bottom of this list is filled with restaurants that have been open for years. Many of them are getting pretty long in the tooth in both food and decor. One of these, Portobello, has just announced that it will close for refurbishment April 23 and reopen in the fall with a “more authentic dining experience.”
They also are taking valuable real estate right on the water at Disney Springs. Disney will definitely see these as opportunities for more profitable partnerships if things don’t turn around.
People really don’t like STK
Whether it’s the cost or that it’s not family-friendly, STK is tanking with readers. They have already stopped serving lunch. Look for some major adjustments from STK as they try to improve their performance with guests
What say you? Do you agree with the readers? Any unjust rankings here? Are you among the 6 in 10 diners who give STK a thumbs up?
More Disney Springs restaurants reading
As a reminder, we survey tens of thousands of Disney visitors each year after their vacations. Want to share your trip with us? Brew some tea and settle in with our exhaustive user survey.