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Disney World Dining for Non-Planners: Easy Lunch and Dinner Reservations at the Resorts and Disney Springs

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Disney World Dining reservations open 60 days out, but sometimes you don’t want to think that far in advance. If you’re not into committing your schedule well in advance, this list of Disney World eateries is for you. These resort and Disney Springs restaurants all have wide availability, enough that you can plan to make a last-minute plan without having to commit in advance.

Of course, you could just do a dining search and pick anything that shows up off the list, but there are some lesser-rated spots that show up in every search. If you don’t see a restaurant that you found on this list, that doesn’t mean it’s definitely a bad pick. It could be a great pick that didn’t show up often enough to make it “easy to get”. But the ones on this list should be safe choices: we picked them because they scored a thumbs up in 85% or more of our survey responses, and more usually 90% or above.

What Does It Mean To Be “Easy to Get”?

With tools like the Walk-Up Waitlist and 10-day dining search, finding a last-minute table while you’re on vacation has never been easier. That said, last-minute dining reservations demand a little flexibility. You may need to take a table time that’s outside of peak meal hours, and if you have your heart set on a particular spot you might need to be flexible about the date.

We collected our data by searching for party-of-four reservations same-day, 1-day, and 2-days out from our target date over two “typically busy” weeks in February. Our list contains mostly restaurants and meal periods that came back in every single one of our searches, and with at least 10 table times in each search. But keep in mind that many restaurants serve for hours over a single meal period; there can be 10 different table times and still not one during the peak hours of that meal.

Typical crowd levels during the weeks we searched

You’ll want to remember that a restaurant that is easy to reserve in August may not have the same availability during Spring Break, and that a party of 10 will not find tables as easily as a party of 4. Character dining may be more in demand when school is not in session, and if you’re visiting during Free Dining that will make a difference too. But everything is relative: for your party size and the time of your visit, the spots on this list should be some of the easiest places to find a table.

Onwards to the list, but first, a shout-out to our amazing research team that manually collected all the reservation data. They deserve to be recognized, although they didn’t want to be called out by name.

Easy Disney World Reservations at the Resorts

On the Monorail

If you’re staying at a monorail resort, it’s convenient and easy to get to the other monorail resorts … and their restaurants. But it’s also easy to head over from the Magic Kingdom for dinner, or even to take a break and grab lunch away from the crowds.

Steakhouse 71 replaced the Wave of American Flavors on the first floor of the Contemporary, and its 93% rating needs to come with a serious asterisk. Only lunch was an easy score, available in all of our searches. But breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all completely different menus, and the survey only asks about the restaurant for the rating, not about which meal you ate. The lunch menu (see it here) is focused on sandwiches and salads, with options ranging from $17 to $26, although some of the $11 salads are big enough to make a meal of. If you’re using the Disney Dining Plan (DDP), Steakhouse 71 lunch is a 1-credit meal.

Steakhouse 71 has a sandwich-focused menu at lunch, but at dinner steak is the name of the game

⭐ The Grand Floridian Cafe was available in every search for both lunch and dinner, and also made our breakfast list. That’s worth mentioning because the Grand Floridian Cafe is one of two restaurants here that serves the same menu (see it here) for breakfast and lunch; they call it “B’lunch”. So if you are in the mood for a very late breakfast, this might be the spot for you; B’lunch entrees range from $16 to $26 and the fare is fairly standard. There is a little bit of overlap with the dinner menu (see it here), which covers a fairly random selection of “American classics”. Dinner entrees range from $25 to $36, and the restaurant is a 1-credit DDP meal no matter which one you eat. Survey respondents give it an 88% .

Whispering Canyon Cafe at the Wilderness Lodge is technically not on the monorail, but has been included here anyway due to its ease of access by boat from the Magic Kingdom. Like the Grand Floridian Cafe, Whispering Canyon serves the same menu for breakfast and lunch (see it here) and a different menu for dinner (see the dinner menu). Whispering Canyon is known for two things: its All-You-Care-to-Enjoy skillets, and its audience-participatory atmosphere. Lunch entrees range from $11 to the $26 skillets, and dinner entrees run from $24 to the $40 skillets. On the DDP, Whispering Canyon is a 1-credit meal. On surveys, Whispering Canyon scores 89% , and we found at least 10 table times every time we searched.

Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Village Resort serves American-Asian fusion cuisine, with a selection of sushi rolls. The menu is different for lunch and dinner (see the lunch menu | dinner menu), but with some appetizers and much of the sushi the same. Lunch entrees range from $19-31, with dinner slightly more at $19-40, and Kona is one credit on the DDP. Survey respondents give it a 90% , and this is another restaurant that we found in 100% of searches.

Citricos at the Grand Floridian is the outlier on this list: it’s Signature Dining, it’s only open for dinner, and only came back in 90% of our searches, instead of 100%. But if you’re looking for a great meal in a Victorian-inspired setting, you can find it here. The cuisine is nominally “Florida with Mediterranean flavors”, but menu changes happen frequently (see it here) and you’d be hard-pressed to pin down more of a theme than “good food, quality ingredients”. Entrees range from $36-59, or you’ll need two credits if using the DDP. Survey respondents give Citricos a 91% of the time.

At Crescent Lake

With easy access from any of the Skyliner resorts in addition to the EPCOT resorts themselves, the restaurants around Crescent Lake and on the Skyliner are some of the easiest to access from other resorts. But very few serve lunch, so popping out of the park for a meal the way you might at Magic Kingdom isn’t really an option.

Ale & Compass at the Yacht Club is the lone entry here that serves lunch, and we found it 100% of the time for both lunch and dinner. There is nothing here that will totally knock your socks off, but survey respondents give it a 90% and you’ll leave happy and satisfied. The fare is American with a bit of a New England bent, and the menu is different at lunch and dinner. (See the lunch menu | dinner menu). Lunch entrees will run you $15-24, dinner plates are $22-36, and either meal is one credit on the Disney Dining Plan.

Sebastian’s Bistro at Caribbean Beach Resort offers an All-You-Care-to-Enjoy Caribbean-inspired lineup. Opinions are divided on this meal; some find it ho-hum, many think it’s a sleeper pick, survey respondents give it a 90% , and I personally think that a lot of that variation depends on what you expected when you sat at the table and an appreciation for the $38 price tag ($20 for kids), plus tax and gratuity of course. The meal is one credit on the DDP, and you can take a gander at the menu here. Sebastian’s Bistro was available 100% of the time in our searches.

Cape May Cafe at the Beach Club is another all-inclusive meal; this time a seafood-oriented buffet. It scores a 92% on surveys, but a few commenters note that although there are non-seafood options, it smells so strongly of fish that they can’t bring themselves to eat there. However, we don’t think that’s the reason we found it available in every search. Like many Disney World Buffets, the menu (see it here) is partial or has non-descript listings (or both!), but it’s good enough to give you an idea what to expect. When it included all-you-could-eat snow crab legs, this was one of the most expensive buffets at Disney World; now that the crab legs are a separate charge of $29 per lb., the buffet itself is $47 per adult and $27 per child, plus tax and gratuity. Or, if you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, it’s a one-credit meal.

Amare at the Swan Reserve appeared 100% of the time when we searched for dinner. We never saw it at lunch because reservations are not available for the lunch service. This relatively new restaurant (the Swan Reserve is only just under three years old) serves Mediterranean cuisine with a notable Greek bent, and survey scores are quite favorable, with 94% . Entrees at dinner run from $27-67 (see the menu here), and Amare does not accept the Disney Dining Plan.

Flying Fish on the Boardwalk is one of the best places on property to get seafood; surveys agree with a 92% . We found tables at Flying Fish – usually with a good selection of times – about 90% of the time. Entrees run from $38 to $59 (see the menu here) or you’ll need two credits if using the DDP.

Trattoria al Forno is right next door to Flying Fish, and as you might guess the menu features Italian. Quality across the dishes is a little uneven, though none are poor, and diners generally approve as it also scores a 92% on surveys. You can choose from Italian standards or have pizza for dinner (see the menu); dishes run from $20-$39, or one credit if you’re paying with the Disney Dining Plan. We found a good selection of table times here about 95% of the time.

Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera is fittingly located at the Riviera resort, and if you know the name and you’re surprised to see it on this list, we were too. Topolino’s Terrace appeared in our searches about 90% of the time (!), but the choice of table times was more limited. Still, this restaurant scores an exceptional 95% on surveys, which is good enough to take 4th place out of all the restaurants at Disney World. The prices are in line with its Signature status, ranging from $37 to $59, and you’ll need two credits to use the Disney Dining Plan. See the menu here.

Other Resorts

Outside of Crescent Lake and the monorail loop, resort dining requires some effort to get to unless that happens to be your resort. Three of the four options below are in Animal Kingdom Lodge, so if you’re making a trek to get over there, leave a little extra time to spend visiting the lodge’s savanna overlooks and hanging with the animals.

Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood is on the top floor of Disney’s Coronado Springs resort, and I’m going to be up front here, it only scores a 79% on surveys. But I’m calling an audible and including it anyway, because it’s Michelin-recommended and my personal experience is that most of the food is absolutely fantastic, so I feel like something is not adding up. There are a couple of dishes here and there that are a little uneven in quality, but my guess is that the poor ratings are about a mismatch between expectations and experience. The Spanish-inspired menu ranges from $30-$55 (see it here), or one credit on the Disney Dining Plan.

Toledo’s interior makes an impression, and so does the Michelin-recommended food

⭐ Boma is the first of three restaurants at Animal Kingdom Lodge to make this list; many believe it’s the best buffet on property and it’s not close. When I say “many” I mean that it scores a 95% of the time on surveys, propelling it into third place out of all restaurants at Disney World. The African-inspired flavors are some of the most adventurous food on property, while still feeling approachable and non-threatening to diners. As usual for buffets, the menu is a partial listing (see it here); it’s priced at $56 for adults and $33 for kids, or one credit on the Disney Dining Plan. If it weren’t for the fact that Animal Kingdom Lodge requires some effort to get to, it would probably be more difficult to grab a reservation here, but as it is we found Boma available in 100% of our searches.

⭐ Jiko is located directly across from Boma at Jambo House, and offers a fine dining take on the African fusion cuisine concept. The menu changes with some frequency (see it here), but the restaurant has been consistently good for a long time. Entrees range from $38-$59, and as a Signature restaurant Jiko is 2 credits if using the DDP. Survey respondents give it a 93% of the time, and we found it in searches about 95% of the time.

⭐ Sanaa is the third member of the Animal Kingdom trio, just down the road from Jambo House at Kidani Village. The fusion cuisine at Sanaa is tilted a little more toward Indian and Asian flavors, and its bread service is rightly famous. Sanaa is another restaurant that cracks the top 10 in survey results, holding down the #6 spot with a 95% .  The menu is the same at lunch and dinner (see it here), and the entree range of  $20-33 makes it one of the most affordable table service options at Disney World. Should you choose to use the Disney Dining Plan, Sanaa is a 1-credit restaurant. We found Sanaa in searches about 95% of the time, with fewer choices in table times at dinner than at lunch.

Easy Disney World Reservations at Disney Springs.

There is a lot of great dining at Disney Springs. A lot. Enough that we mostly limited ourselves to restaurants that get 90% or more favorable ratings on surveys in the list below. But there are so many options that I’m also going to call out the two with the lowest scores on surveys as places to avoid. Where you probably shouldn’t eat? That’s Planet Hollywood (65%), Paradiso 37: Taste of the Americas (69%). Everywhere else scores 70% or above.

Two more things to are good to know about last-minute dining in Disney Springs. First, many of the restaurants can also be found on Open Table and may have different reservation times there. Also, they do walk-up waiting the old fashioned way; the Walk-Up Waitlist in the Disney World app doesn’t work for Disney Springs restaurants.

⭐ Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is a Disney Springs institution, having stood in the same spot since the area was called Downtown Disney. On surveys, it’s currently the #1 ranked restaurant in all of Disney World. The key to its success is not just the food, which is excellent but perhaps not exceptional, but the toe-tapping live entertainment that comes with your meal. Lunch and dinner are the same menu (see it here), with entrees ranging from $22-$39, or you can pay a single credit on the Disney Dining Plan. Despite its high standing, we found Raglan Road in every search.

⭐ Jaleo by José Andrés serves tapas and though there are a few larger plates, you should expect to make a meal of variety. It will be yummy though; Jaleo is rated on our surveys 94% of the time. The menu is similar at lunch and dinner (see it here) and items rotate on and off frequently. Individual tapas range from $8 to $30; some are way more filling than others. You can eat a great meal relatively cheaply if that’s your goal, or run up a big bill in a hurry if you simply order anything that looks good. You can use the Disney Dining Plan at Jaleo; it will cost two credits and you will have some choices but you won’t have full run of the menu. We found Jaleo available in 100% of searches, but dinner times tended to be on the early side.

Morimoto Asia’s ribs are a must-try, and are also available at the adjacent Quick Service

⭐ Morimoto Asia sees an 89% rating, which is a little surprising for a restaurant that is Michelin recommended. Our personal experiences there have been stellar, but two things are true. First, diners who expect to get something close to their familiar Asian takeout experience might be disappointed; my kids famously complained that the Orange Chicken actually tasted like oranges. Second, it does come with a heftier price tag than your local Asian – although one well in line with the level of dining that’s actually served up – and some may be put off by that. If you’re using the dining plan, Morimoto Asia is a 2-credit meal, but paying out of pocket you’ll find that entrees range from $30-62. We found Morimoto Asia in almost every search. Lunch (menu) and dinner (menu) are slightly different lineups, but both have a lot to offer.

⭐ Wine Bar George is highly rated (93% on surveys), relatively affordable (lunch entrees start at $19), and somehow always available? Maybe it’s because guests don’t expect such great food from a Wine Bar, or maybe it’s because it doesn’t accept the Disney Dining Plan. Maybe we shouldn’t question it too much and just revel in the fact that it’s easy to grab a last-minute table. Lunch (menu) is less expensive than dinner (menu) if you’re going for a full entree, but the shareables and charcuterie boards are similar in both lineups.

⭐ Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill Like Wine Bar George, Wolfgang Puck is Disney-affordable, with several entrees in the $20-25 range. Its survey ratings are sky high at 96% , putting it in the top 10 restaurants at Disney World based on those survey results. Also like Wine Bar George, it doesn’t accept the Dining Plan, so maybe that’s the secret sauce that brings up tables in almost every search? Both the lunch (menu) and dinner (menu) lineups feature a selection of pasta, salads, and wood-fired pizzas, but the lunch menu leans towards sandwiches and burgers in the entree section where the dinner menu is a little fancier.

What’s your favorite restaurant for a last-minute table? Let us know in the comments!

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Jennifer Heymont

Jennifer has a background in math and biology, so she ended up in Data Science where she gets to do both. She lives just north of Boston with her husband, kids, and assorted animal members of the family. Although it took three visits for the Disney bug to "take", she now really wishes she lived a lot closer to the Parks.

2 thoughts on “Disney World Dining for Non-Planners: Easy Lunch and Dinner Reservations at the Resorts and Disney Springs

  • What are the thoughts on Olivia’s???

    • Good question. We tried to mostly stick to locations that had 90% or above on surveys. We did make some exceptions, but aside from Toledo, which is explained, we kept that as a hard line for the “Other Resorts” category because it is definitely harder to get there for your meal, so “it better be worth it”. Olivia’s *was* available all the time for dinner, and our view is that brunch is better than dinner — it did make the list for breakfast here: https://touringplans.com/blog/disney-world-dining-easy-reservations-for-non-planners-breakfast/


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