Last Minute Dining Options

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Most of the trips I take to Walt Disney World are last minute.  While I am always super excited to go, I am often left with few choices for dining options. I am sometimes envious of the person planning 90 days out who has a plethora of Disney Dining choices.  I don’t let this get me down because there are a few places that generally have last minute availability and have turned out to be some of my favorites:

Beaches and Cream: located at the Beach Club near the pool.  Sad to say, I am familiar with most everything on the menu.  I like it all.  We love the burgers, fries, and ice cream.  I even enjoyed the veggie burger.  Go around 11 am and you should have no trouble being seated.  ( Accepts Tables In Wonderland)

Kona Cafe:  located at the Polynesian on the 2nd floor.  We love this place.  We have eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner here.  Now please don’t tell your friends about Kona Cafe, let’s keep this our secret.  If we had to chose our favorite meal, it would probably be breakfast — but we love them all.  The Tonga Toast for which Kona Cafe is famous for is quite a treat.   Someone in my family orders it every time.  Served on the side is a tiny pitcher of strawberry puree and it is fabulous. (Disney Dining Plan. Accepts Advanced Dining Reservations. Accepts Tables In Wonderland.)

Whispering Canyon Cafe: located at the Wilderness Lodge on the first floor.  I have only eaten lunch here.  I think overall the quality of the food is good: all you can eat ribs, chicken etc or you can order off the menu which is what I always do.  You also get a performance from the waiters that adds to the atmosphere.  This is a fun place. (Disney Dining Plan.  Accepts Advanced Dining Reservations. Accepts Tables In Wonderland. )

Flying Fish: located on the Boardwalk.  This is a little hidden treasure at Walt Disney World.  I love this restaurant.  The food is always excellent.  The waiters are helpful with wine and food recommendations.  This fine dining Disney establishment is always a treat.  While expensive, I do believe it is worth it.    (Disney Dining Plan: 2 Table Service Credits.  Accepts Advanced Dining Reservations. Accepts Tables In Wonderland. )

California Grill: located on the top of the Contemporary.  Disclaimer: it is extremely rare to find last minute availability.  That is OK because you can eat in the bar.  You can order off the menu, enjoy the view and if you are there — enjoy the fireworks too.  90% of the time this is what we do.  I also love, love, love the California Grill.  I don’t love the price.  It has gotten so expensive over the years.  They obviously have a very high opinion of themselves.  Like the Flying Fish, the food quality is outstanding and the waiters are extremely helpful with food and wine recommendations.  (Disney Dining Plan: 2 Table Service Credits.  Accepts Advanced Dining Reservations. Accepts Tables In Wonderland.)

So, if you find yourself headed to Walt Disney World at the last minute, there are some dining options available in all price ranges.     Bon Appetit!

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Caroline Baggerly

Caroline has a love of Disney that her family and friends don't quite get. Always ready for a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth or to do research for "The Unofficial Guide".

5 thoughts on “Last Minute Dining Options

  • May 20, 2009 at 11:13 am

    I had to laugh when I saw Whispering Canyon Cafe. In June 2008, we had an ADR there for dinner at 8:30pm. Arrived at 8:00pm, and were seated at 9:40! I can’t even imagine trying to get in there without an ADR. Maybe lunch is easier because everyone in theory would be at a park. Don’t count on it for dinner!

  • May 21, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Note that Beaches and Cream IS a table service option under the Disney Dining Plan. Of course, since the food is not very expensive by Disney standards, this may not be the best use of the Plan.

    • May 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm

      Hi David,
      Thank you for letting me know about Beaches and Cream. Yes, it is part of the Dining Plan.
      Totally agree, save the credits for more expensive food.
      Thanks again,

  • May 21, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    We usually stay at the Boardwalk. Beaches and Cream is one of our favorite spots to return to. It’s usually our lunch spot on the day we fly in. Dittos on the Flying Fish. The best meal I’ve ever had anywhere was at the Flying Fish. The staff and menu do a great job pairing wines with the entres.

    • May 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm

      Hi Todd,
      We’ll have to keep our love for the Flying Fish quiet. I want to continue to get “last minute” reservations.
      The desserts are awesome too.
      Happy Eating,


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