My Disney Top 5 - Dining Moments at Walt Disney World

by Chris Barry, contributing writer

Hey there everyone. Welcome back to another My Disney Top 5. Last month's column, The Top 5 Reasons That a Trip to Walt Disney World is a Bargain generated lots of responses. Thanks so much and please keep them coming. You guys are great and it’s a pleasure writing for you. This time we’re still in Orlando, only now let’s talk about something that drives us all when we’re vacationing in the “World," the food. How about for your main course today–my Top 5 Dining Moments in Walt Disney World.

Those of us in the know realize that Walt Disney World offers an amazing array of culinary treats from the simplest snacks to top of the line gourmet cuisine. It’s not what crosses everyone’s mind when they think of theme parks, but from the start Disney has gone out of their way to thrill guests on their plates as well as on their rides and attractions.

I won’t even attempt to claim that I’ve eaten everywhere in Walt Disney World. There are some very popular places that I still haven’t been to like Ohana and Le Cellier. The pleasure of dining at the pinnacle of Disney cuisine, Victoria and Albert’s, has so far eluded my budget and on top of that, I’ve never even had a giant turkey leg. I do feel that I’ve put away enough Mickey ice cream bars to qualify as knowledgeable. Dining out is an adventure, and no truer statement can be made about eating in the Happiest Place on Earth. The experience certainly extends beyond the menus. So, that said, here are my Top 5 Dining Moments at The Walt Disney World Resort.

5 – Jambalaya – Boatwright’s at Port Orleans Riverside

Boatwright’s is not a destination restaurant. People really don’t travel to the Port Orleans Resort to dine. I’m sure just about 100% of the patrons are guests of the resort. We have stayed at Riverside the most out of any other resort and this is always our first dinner upon arriving in the “World.” Reflecting back on Steve Russo’s recent article regarding when your Walt Disney World vacation officially begins, I can safely say that I know I’ve really arrived when the kids are coloring on their Boatwright’s menus and I’m polishing off what’s left of my rice, vegetables, Andouiile Sausage, spicy chicken and shrimp. Yum!

4 – Anything – San Angel Inn – Mexico, World Showcase

Maybe it’s the amazing theming. Maybe it’s the quiet lapping water of the boats going by and the lights strung across the square. Perhaps it’s the mariachi band. No matter what, I always love eating at the San Angel. The food is always excellent. The setting is remarkable and there’s a ride to go on before and after your meal! A margarita and the Tacos de Pato and I’m pretty darn happy when that first puff of Hidden Mickey smoke comes out of the volcano.

The wonderful San Angel Inn lays inside. MousePlanet File Photo.

3 – Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars!

I like a good sinful treat just like the next person. Let’s face it; The Happiest Place on Earth is frequently The Hottest Place on Earth. That said, there’s nothing like a Mickey shaped ice cream bar to refresh you after a long hot stroll through The Magic Kingdom. A strong warning though; they do tend to melt and fall apart rather quickly in the Orlando swelter. Depending on your outlook that can mean either a colossal mess or some seriously memorable photo ops of your kids.

When Mickey Premium Bars Go Wrong! Photo By Chris Barry.

2 – Dinner – California Grill – Contemporary Resort

The Triple Cheese Brick Oven Fired Flatbread, followed by the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli with a main course of the Oak-fired Filet of Beef and topped off with the Banana Crème Brulee all paired with hand picked wines by our waiter…do I really have to go any further? Oh yeah, how about being on the 15th floor of the Contemporary when they dim the restaurant lights so you can watch Wishes with the music piped in? Top 5 meals of my life.

The view from the California Grill. MousePlanet File Photo.

1 – Breakfast Lasagna – Crystal Palace – Magic Kingdom

First of all, I love the Crystal Palace. We eat here on the first and last mornings of every trip, so it’s special to us. We always book a late breakfast so we’re not rushed out and the kids get longer time with Pooh and his Pals. I think the food is great and the room, designed after the famed Crystal Palace from London’s Great Exhibition of 1851, is wonderful. My daughter loves to take pictures of the Pooh topiaries. It’s home to one of my favorite dishes anywhere, the truly decadent Breakfast Lasagna. It’s got waffles, bananas, blueberries, raspberries, pancakes and pound cake soaked in custard and then covered in pastry cream. I like it so much I got the recipe from an old Disney magazine in my collection and have made it several times. Mine’s pretty good, but the Disney chef’s version is outrageous.

So there you have it, my favorite dining experiences in one of my favorite places in the world. I'm sure I've left so many out, but that's where you come in.

That's My Disney Top 5 for today. What's yours? Click on the "Discuss this article on MousePad" link below and share your list!