Which WDW Park Has The Best Dining?

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We’re halfway through 2022, and that means a lot of things. First, it means – yay, we’re still here! Second, it means that a lot of dining locations have gotten back into more of a steady-state, so we can finally start to get a feel again for which spots are more likely to have reliably higher satisfaction than others. But before we get into all of the details, let’s start at a really high level. Which parks have the best dining options? And which aren’t great? For example – should I just plan on skipping table service when at Magic Kingdom? Must I seek out the awesome quick service at Hollywood Studios? Let’s spend some time defining what we mean by “best” and “worst” and then use that to make our call.

Before we even get started, I’m calling out Hollywood Studios for improving its quick service game. It went from a bunch of bland, boring, or bad food to adding Ronto Roasters, Docking Bay 7 and Woody’s Lunch Box. I’ll take it.

Explain the Math

What do we mean by “best” and “worst” anyway? We could define the answer to this question a lot of different ways. So let’s go over the 4 different ways that popped into my brain, and then we’ll calculate the answers each of those four ways.

1. Overall Average Satisfaction

This is what comes to mind for me immediately. If I look at all of the scores for all of the dining locations in each park, what is their overall combined average satisfaction? Highest average = best park, and lowest average = worst park. Easy peasy, simple math and hard to argue with, except …

2. Variety of Dining

Who cares if the park average is over 90% if there are only 4 table service restaurants and I can’t get reservations at any of them?! It’s not the best unless I have some locations to choose from. Highest number of locations = best park, and lowest number of attractions = worst park. But …

3. Number of High-Satisfaction Dining Locations

Just because I have a ton of options doesn’t mean that any of them are good. Maybe what I care about is the number (or percentage) of dining locations that score above 90%. Overall number tells me that I have many good dining locations to choose from, and high percentage means that no matter what I choose, I’m likely to get something highly satisfactory. On the other hand …

4. Satisfaction at Highest-Rated Dining Location

I’m a TouringPlans reader, so I obviously do my research. So I don’t care how many are great, or the overall average. I can figure out the very best and just go to that dining location. The park with the highest individual satisfaction score is the best.

Extra Credit

Have other ways you would determine “best” park for dining? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll see if I can pull the data for you!

Overall Average Satisfaction

Park-wide average satisfaction at table service dining locations so far in 2022

These look … pretty similar. But, you have to remember that we have thousands and thousands of dining reviews. So the differences between each pair of parks other than EPCOT<>Hollywood Studios are statistically significant. That means that we can say, statistically speaking, Animal Kingdom has the best overall Table Service dining and Magic Kingdom has the worst overall Table Service dining. What helps Animal Kingdom out? Three really good locations and only one really terrible one. What dooms Magic Kingdom? Almost everything.

Park-wide average satisfaction at quick service dining locations so far in 2022

Okay, but for real these look very similar now, other than one obvious outlier. And this time we’re correct about that. Magic Kingdom, EPCOT and Hollywood Studios are all statistically equivalent. The only very obvious winner here is Animal Kingdom. We can very easily see that Animal Kingdom has the best overall Quick Service dining. No easy-to-pick loser, although EPCOT technically has the lowest score so far this year.

Hmmmm … Animal Kingdom wins highest average satisfaction for both dining types? Who’s not surprised? Me. High quality food, and places to eat with views like this.

Variety of Dining

Park-wide count of table service dining locations

Hopefully no one reading this is surprised by these results. If you want a wide variety and large number of table service dining locations to choose from, you go to EPCOT. So. Many. Options. And Animal Kingdom has the fewest, although only by a bit. That means EPCOT has the best variety of Table Service dining options, and Animal Kingdom has the worst variety of Table Service dining options. Again, I don’t think we’re going to shock anyone by counting up restaurants. But we’ve got to be thorough!

Park-wide count of quick service dining locations

At least the results here aren’t quite as jarring. We once again don’t have a loser. We have a tie – Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom each have the least number of quick service locations. But EPCOT wins again. And this is without any festival booths, which also are almost-always found around the park, increasing your quick dining options even more.

Also not shocking? EPCOT having the biggest variety and number of locations to choose from. My family and I are taking advantage of this and eating at Teppan Edo on our next trip.

High-Satisfaction Dining Locations

Park-wide count of table service dining locations with average satisfaction over 90% so far this year.

Anyone getting tired of EPCOT winning yet? Another easy one. There are 10 different table service locations at EPCOT that have over 90% satisfaction so far this year. That’s an impressive number. So not only do you have a lot to choose from, almost all of them are very high quality. Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom once again bring up the rear here. Not surprising, since they only had 5 and 4 table service locations to begin with. EPCOT has the most high-satisfaction table service dining locations to choose from.

Park-wide count of quick service dining locations with average satisfaction over 90% so far this year.

Aha! My how the tables quickly turn. (See what I did there? Table? Quick? No …) Suddenly Animal Kingdom gives EPCOT some competition on high-quality quick service. And this is truly impressive, because EPCOT had the highest number of overall quick service dining locations, and Animal Kingdom had the least. But a lot of the ones it has are really high quality. You almost can’t go wrong with quick service at Animal Kingdom. Hollywood Studios on the other hand … pitiful. EPCOT and Animal Kingdom both have the most high-satisfaction quick service dining locations, and Hollywood Studios has the fewest high-satisfaction quick service dining locations.

Animal Kingdom Life Hack: Get lunch at Harambe Market, and then a cookie big enough for the whole family to share from Zuri’s.

Satisfaction at Highest-Rated Dining Location

The highest individual average satisfaction at a single table service dining location in each park so far this year

Perhaps not surprisingly, Magic Kingdom hasn’t had much going for it as far as dining is concerned so far this year. But at least in this single case, it comes out the winner. By a hair. Magic Kingdom has the highest-rated table service restaurant in any park. And that winner? Liberty Tree Tavern. Who knew?! The top-rated table service location at Hollywood Studios is the slacker here, since The Hollywood Brown Derby “only” scores 92%.

The highest individual average satisfaction at a single quick service dining location in each park so far this year

Score one more for Animal Kingdom! (barely – none of these are statistically significantly different). Animal Kingdom has the highest-rated quick service dining location in any park. That location is Satu’li Canteen. And for once, EPCOT falters on quick service. Its highest-rated location is Sommerfest, coming in at a paltry 94% so far this year.

What Does This Mean For You?

  1. How you define which park has the best food might be different than how I calculate it here. But we can average the results of each metric presented above (weighting statistically significant differences more than those that are statistically significant) to get overall “best” and “worst” parks for each type of dining location.
  2. Based on the metrics defined above, EPCOT has the best Table Service dining, and Hollywood Studios has the worst Table Service dining.
  3. Similarly, Animal Kingdom has the best Quick Service dining, and Hollywood Studios has the worst Quick Service dining.

Do you agree or disagree with any of the results? I know I do! Hollywood quick service for the win! How can anything be worse than Magic Kingdom quick service??? Start up some debate or discussion in the comments below!

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Becky Gandillon

Becky Gandillon was trained in biomedical engineering, but is now a full-time data and analytics nerd. She loves problem solving and travelling. She and her husband, Jeff, live in St. Louis with their two daughters and they have Disney family movie night every Saturday. You can follow her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-gandillon/ or instagram @raisingminniemes

3 thoughts on “Which WDW Park Has The Best Dining?

  • July 13, 2022 at 12:28 pm
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    Such a fun analysis. I love Liberty Tree Tavern as my go to full service at MK. The dessert alone is worth the price of admission. Satuli is no surprise for best quick service as well.

    I wonder if we can do a statistical analysis about best parks with bathrooms. Based on how many available stalls, how far they are from any given point. Average cleanliness ratings.

    Reply
  • July 15, 2022 at 2:50 pm
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    20 years ago, we loved Liberty Tree Tavern and went there every trip. We had fun ordering seconds and thirds, picking our favorites – you really couldn’t go wrong. It was one of our top do’s every year.
    About 5 years after that a funny thing happened. We’d still relish out reservation at LTT and we’d sit down, the waiter would welcomes us and we’d say we love the xxx here (maple butter, excellent mac and cheese, etc) and the waiter would look at us with a sad look and say “we don’t have that anymore”. Well, that’s OK, it was still pretty good. This went on for about 5 more years and then all of our favorite parts of the LTT meal were no more. And the service followed suit. So we followed suit – no more LTT.

    I went by myself a couple of years ago for old time’s sake and:
    1) got shoved to a side table and generally ignored
    2) Didn’t find anything comparable to what we originally liked – it was just all so very plain. I could’ve been anywhere. In fact sitting in an ignored corner I must have been elsewhere to the servers.
    3) Granted the dessert looked good, but by the time it came, my heart just wasn’t in it anymore. There really wasn’t much to distinguish it other than it being the best that the MK has to offer.

    So, in my opinion the mighty, sadly, has fallen and become genericized. And I head elsewhere to eat. Still wish that at least that maple butter was still there.

    Reply
  • July 17, 2022 at 9:36 am
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    Maybe it’s a matter of comparison? Anyone who eats a burger at Pecos Bill’s for lunch is bound to love LTT disproportionately and rate it higher than it merits?

    Reply

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