Munching on out-of-the-ordinary food is part of the fun when visiting Orlando’s theme parks. However, there is a lot of discovery and relaxation to be had when taking a break from the theme parks for a short bit to head to one of the nearby restaurants. You can enhance your day in the parks by heading out for a memorable lunch before heading back into the parks, or capping off your night with an unforgettable dinner.
Here are my picks for the best dining diversions.
- Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – There is no other restaurant on Disney property that offers a view like Sanaa. This Northeastern Africa themed restaurant sits on the savanna of Animal Kingdom Lodge, it is open for lunch and dinner. The food is unique and flavorful, offering a safari into Indian inspired cuisine, while large windows offer views of zebra, giraffe, and other African animals. It is decorated wonderfully. My favorite appetizers are the bread service (you pick three types of bread and three dips) as well as the tomato soup with paneer cheese. The subtainable fish of the day is always done delightfully and you can’t go wrong with the slow cooked sampler. Located right next to Animal Kingdom theme park, in the Kidani Village section of Animal Kingdom Lodge, it is very easy to get to while visiting Animal Kingdom (though it will require a short car or bus ride).
- The Wave at Disney’s Contemporary – Right next to Magic Kingdom, The Wave is a fantastic choice for an unforgettable lunch break while visiting the parks. With an inventive cocktail menu and impressive appetizers, it is also a great choice to cap off an evening after enjoying the fireworks at Magic Kingdom. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is served here, so any time is the right time to visit and enjoy fresh food made from locally sourced ingredients.
- Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville – This should come as no surprise to regular thisfloridalife readers. But really, how awesome is it that in the middle of riding all the exciting rides at Universal Orlando‘s theme parks you can walk on over to Margaritaville and slip away to the island life? The bartenders and staff are always top shelf. My picks for food are the peel and eat shrimp and, of course, the cheeseburger in paradise.
- Shula’s Steakhouse at the WDW Dolphin – A meal here is truly unforgettable and an exercise in real indulgence. This signature steakhouse is only open for dinner. If you or your wallet are not up for the full monty, then head over to Shula’s lounge. Have some fine wine and order the crab mac and cheese.
- A Very Happy Hour at Margaritaville (thisfloridalife.com)
- Walt Disney World Beyond the Theme Parks (stumbledownunder.com)
- The Remarkable Restaurant Row (thisfloridalife.com)