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Restaurants for teens in the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

Updated on August 18, 2014

Good places to eat - outside the Disney Theme Parks - with older kids, tweens, and teens.

We've put together a series of articles with good Walt Disney World restaurant choices for families with older children and teens - kids who may have outgrown character meals. You aren’t limited to restaurants in the parks – Disney has several great choices at the various resort hotels and you don’t need a park ticket to access these locations.  Anyone is welcome to dine at these restaurants whether you’re staying at the resort or not.

Keep in mind that these articles don’t include every restaurant on Disney property; we’ve focused on the ones that are fun or a neat dining experience.  There are other restaurants that are simply good WDW restaurants; for example, your family may love a nice seafood meal when on vacation – we didn’t included Narcoosees on this list but that might be the best choice for you.  Narcoosees is upscale and very good; it just isn’t an obvious first choice when feeding teens.

Are you driving? You can park for free when you are dining at one of the resort restaurants - just let them know that's what you're doing when you arrive at the gatehouse at the entrance to the resort.   The driver will need to present a photo I.D. and they may issue a 3 hour parking pass or they may just wave you through.

We've included links below to the articles for Dining with Teens in the Disneyworld Theme Parks (Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Disney's Hollywood Studios) and at Downtown Disney (Orlando). 

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All photos are my own. (c)Stephen Johnson.

Good Restaurants for Teens in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area

These restaurants are near the Magic Kingdom theme park but do not require a theme park admission ticket

The Magic Kingdom theme park doesn't really have a lot of amazing restaurants for teens so you may want to consider dining at some of these restaurants that are found in the resort hotels near the Magic Kingdom theme park. These restaurants can also be good options after a day at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park because it closes early. After dinner, you can watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from "Monorail Loop" resorts. The "Monorail Loop" resort hotels are Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Polynesian Resort, and Disney's Grand Floridian Resort. Just take the resort monorail located just outside the Magic Kingdom to get to any of these hotels. Disney's Wilderness Lodge and Ft. Wilderness Resort and Campground are not accessible by monorail but you can get to theme easily by taking the resort launch (boat) located outside the Magic Kingdom.

Disney's Contemporary Resort ~ California Grill. This is an upscale choice with entrees ranging from $20 - $36. This is definitely a "special occasion" location and it has a "Resort Casual" dress code (no tank tops etc.). The California Grill is at the top of the Contemporary hotel and offers fantastic views of the Magic Kingdom. We list this on the "Dining for Teens" page because the restaurant has its own observation deck which makes dinner during the Magic Kingdom fireworks very special. This restaurant will take two Disney Dining Plan table-service credits per person.

Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground ~ Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue. I really debated about adding this location to the list because the Western themed dinner show will make many teens roll their eyes. Teens can have very strong opinions about their music but this is an incredibly popular dinner show that is a lot of fun. Use your best judgment about your own teen. This experience will take two Disney Meal Plan table-service credits per person.

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort ~ Garden View Tea Room. Tea is served from 2:00 - 6:00 p.m. and can be a memorable and elegant experience for girls who enjoy this type of experience. Tea & Scones will cost about $11 but other more elaborate options are available and you can spend up to $25.50 per person (plus tax & gratuity).

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort ~ Grand Floridian Café. Here's another location that almost did not make this list. However, this restaurant can be a great choice for girls who enjoy lovely settings. The hotel is beautiful and the restaurant is elegant without being pretentious. Taking the monorail over from the Magic Kingdom makes the arrival special too. This is a great choice for Grandmother / Granddaughter or Mother/Daughter lunches.

Disney's Polynesian Resort ~ 'Ohana. Dinner at 'Ohana is one of our family favorites. The meal has a fixed menu served family style. Pork, beef, and chicken are cooked over fires and brought to the table on long skewers. The food gets mixed reviews and some teens might be put off by the activities geared towards little kids (hula hoop contests, limbo contest) etc. This is one of those locations that you either love or hate, there doesn't seem to be much middle ground.

Disney's Polynesian Resort ~ Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at Luau Cove. The Disney Luau makes the list because it is very popular. In our opinion, you should skip this if you ever plan to go to Hawaii and do a luau there instead. But this dinner show is worth seeing if you don't know when you might get to Hawaii and if you think your teen will enjoy Hawaiian music and dance. This experience will take two Disney Dining Plan table-service credits per person.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge ~ Whispering Canyon Café. This is a rambunctious restaurant with a western theme that is always popular. The food is hearty and good and the waiters are obnoxiously fun. There will be hobby horse races for little kids but most older kids will have fun with the theme. We consider this an "Arrival Night" or Water Park Day option because the rowdy atmosphere can be overwhelming after a day at the theme parks.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge ~ Dinner with an Imagineer at Artist Point. This is similar to the "Lunch with an Imagineer" offered at Disney-Hollywood Studios. Like lunch, this is a very expensive experience and completely worth every penny. "Imagineers" are the men and women who innovate and invent all the wonders you see around you and the chance to have dinner with one and hear about how the parks and attractions were created is an amazing experience. Dinner is at the Artist Point restaurant which is very good. Dinner is only offered at 5:30, every other Thursday. Because there is room for up to eight guests per table, you might be seated with other parties. Young children aren't prohibited; in fact, this experience is really only recommended for ages 14 and up. It can only be booked 30 days in advance. The meal is $99 for guest aged 10 and older or $120 with wine parings for adults. Each guest will receive a special souvenir to commemorate the occasion. This experience is not included in the Disney World Meal Plans.

Good Epcot Resort Area Restaurants for families with teens and older kids.

These restaurants can be a little tricky to get to when using Disney transportation. They're located at the World Showcase / International Gateway side of Epcot. If you use Disney transportation, you will get dropped off at the front entrance to Epcot and you would need to use an admission ticket to walk through Epcot to get to the International Gateway area. Consider taking a taxi. If you're exiting one of the other theme parks, you can just catch the appropriate resort bus.

Disney's Beach Club Resort ~ Beaches & Cream. This is a tiny restaurant designed to resemble and old fashioned soda shop. They mostly serve burgers but the ice-cream desserts (Banana Splits, Sundaes, Milkshakes etc) are the selling point here. The whole family may want to dive into the Kitchen Sink (about $22) which has scoops of many different flavors of ice cream with every topping imaginable. It is served in a sink shaped bowl and has even been featured on the Travel Channel.

Disney's Boardwalk Hotel ~ ESPN Club. This is a sports bar type setting with soups, salads, and sandwiches on the menu. The décor and memorabilia will appeal to sports fans. No advance reservations available.

Animal Kingdom Lodge and Theme Park Area restaurants for Families with Older Kids.

Animal Kingdom Theme Park - The Rainforest Cafe has an entrance outside the theme park so you don't need a ticket to eat at this fun restaurant. These restaurants can be found at various locations throughout the U.S. and Canada and the rainforest theme is very well done. The food and service are okay but not amazing. Dinner entrees range in price from $13.99 - $26.99. They do not participate in the Disney Dining Plan. This restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge ~ Boma. This buffet features African influenced foods in a unique setting. We consider this restaurant the perfect way to end a day at the Animal Kingdom Theme Park because the hotel is so beautifully decorated and has its own Savannah area with animals. This restaurant serves breakfast and dinner.

More Great Walt Disney World Vacation Planning Information

The Imagineering Field Guide to Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World
The Imagineering Field Guide to Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World

These aren't guide books for touring the parks - rather, they're great books that give information about the special details that went into creating these great Disney theme parks.

 
Imagineering Field Guide to Epcot at Walt Disney World, The
Imagineering Field Guide to Epcot at Walt Disney World, The

These aren't guide books for touring the parks - rather, they're great books that give information about the special details that went into creating these great Disney theme parks.

 

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