View Full Version : downtown disney dining

09-08-2003, 03:38 PM
Hi. We'll be visiting Orlando in December for a conference for hubby. We were thinking of going to Downtown Disney the day we arrive and were wondering where would be a good place to have dinner there. We'll need fast service since we'll be traveling with an almost 2-yr old. Should we stick to the express places or should we try a sit-down place that'll require priority seating? Should we even attempt something like House of Blues or will it have to be more like Rainforest Cafe? Any other good tips for Disney with a 2-yr old? Thanks!

09-08-2003, 05:36 PM
I don't have personal experience with dinner @ DTD in Orlando (I've been to DTD in Anaheim), but here is a website that may help you:


There's another message board that deals strictly with Disney issues. You may want to post your question there and hopefully you'll get more answers:


Good luck.

09-09-2003, 02:21 PM
Thanks for the info. It looks like a great site!

09-09-2003, 07:45 PM
FYI, House of Blues can be VERY loud! So don't go when a band is playing if you go there. The Rainforest Cafe is always very busy and I don't think they take reservations.

Personally, I think you're better off finding a place to have dinner elsewhere in Orlando.

We'll be there in November with our 2 year old, so I'll let you know her favs when we get back. :) We also went when she was 14 months and she adored it!

FYI, if you haven't made Priority Seating reservations for a character meal when you're there, start calling! We just made all ours for November.


09-10-2003, 09:11 AM
Hmmm...good points.

Thanks for reminding me to call for Priority Seating. I called last week and was too early! :)

Have a great trip! I'd love to hear how it went.

09-16-2003, 12:27 PM
All of the big restaurants in Downtown Disney have looooong waits, and I was unimpressed with the service. There is a Wolfgang Puck's place that has an adjoining "express" cafe where you pick out what you want and eat it tables and chairs like at a deli. That might be your best bet. Unless you just want dinner at one of the candy/chocolate shops, where the lines might be better ;)

09-26-2003, 01:53 PM
I happen to love dining at Downtown Disney. If your not going the week of Christmas, you shouldn't experience a wait time to be seated.

I agree with Beth that House of Blues is LOUD. Very noisy even without a band playing. DH and I love Wolfgang Puck's restaurant. Actually, he has three there - The Upstairs Restaurant, The Downstairs Cafe and Express take out. We've always had a wonderful experience at the Downstairs Cafe. No wait.

Gloria Estefan's Bongos Cafe has amazing cuban food. (It's the big pineapple building) Again, never had a wait getting a table.

We've also eaten at the Portofino Italian Restaurant, but had a reservation for that meal.

I'd highly recommend Wolfgang's Downstairs Cafe or Bongos. We make an effort to dine at each during our annual visits. It wouldn't be a disney vacation with out them!

Amy IN Fl
10-01-2003, 06:54 PM
I live in Florida, worked at Disney for a few years, and now that I have my own little 3 year old, my husband and I purchase annual passes and spend a lot of time there. Here are a couple thoughts:
1) It really depends on the time of year as to how crowded DD and the restaurants are. If you are going the first couple of weeks of Dec, then it really shouldn't be bad at all. That is actually one of the least crowded times at Disney. However, if you are going the week of Christmas or after, up until New Year's, it will be extremely crowded. Crowded like you've never known before. If that is the case, then I would try to grab a reservation anywhere possible, and just arm yourself with as much patience as possible.
2) I would make an effort to spend some time there at DD. There is so much to see and experience, especially with all the seasonal decorations up. Toddlers love that sort of thing, the lights, the entertainment, the boats on the river, etc. Tons of things to see and hear, and aside from dinner, it's free! There's the Lego store, toy stores, chocolate making stores, tons of things to see and experience. And it still has that Disney feel to it. I just feel like most other things in Orlando are "cheapy," tacky, touristy, and not the same.
3)Most of these restaurants are loud, which is a good or bad thing depending on your kid. I loved the loudness because I didn't have to worry about my little one bothering nearby tables or anyone else with her noise or spills. It also gave her a lot to look at while we were waiting for our food. Remember, this is Disney, they are used to little kids, and young families are part of their business, so they are going to be prepared and ready for anything toddlers can give them.

As far as the parks go, remember your little one will need rests, WATER, and easy going parents. DONT do the Disney Commando thing where you try to get there the minute it opens, and do every single thing in the park. It's not that fun. Here's another website with great ideas as far as doing Disney w/ little kids, and what to see and what is ok to skip: www.mouseplanet.com. And the mousesavers site recommended earlier is a good one also. Please feel free to ask any other ?s, I can help you in any way possible!

Mom to Emma 3, and baby #2 EDD 12/11/03

Amy IN Fl
10-01-2003, 07:04 PM
OH! One other thing:

In the parks, take advantage of the Baby Care Centers!!! These centers rock for parents and young kids. There is one in each park, and it is a nice reprieve from the noise. They offer high chairs, a movie to watch and activities for the rest of the family waiting, diaper changing stations, and private rooms for nursing. They have a kitchen with a microwave, bottle warmers, etc., bowls, silverware, anything you need. They also have baby products you can purchase in case you forgot anything at home: diapers, bottles,formula, sunscreen, baby food, you name it.

Good luck!
Amy (again)

10-17-2003, 12:30 PM
Great advice already...

Another outstanding planning site is www.wdwig.com .

They have a complete list of all the places that serve food on property...even food carts!!... along with menus.

It's a great resource.



01-24-2005, 10:35 AM
this is my first post, I have lurked on seldom occasion, but wanted to answer your question.
We don't do sit-downs in this area, because the waits are ridiculous.
We did eat on the patio at Portabello Yacht Club one night when it was raining. I'm sure the rain kept guests from wanting the patio area, but it worked out nice. Great service and great food.
There's a sandwich shop across from guest relations that has great food, and the wait isn't long...even when the line looks terrible. There portions are very big, and prices are very reasonable compared to other Disney restaraunts. Hope this helps.