/ Monday, June 13th, 2011

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Top Ten Restaurants in Walt Disney World with the Best Ambiance

Hello and welcome to The WDW Radio Show – Your Walt Disney World Information Station. I am your host, Lou Mongello, and this is show #226 for the week of June 12, 2011.

This week, we’re going to count down our list of Top Ten Restaurants in Walt Disney World with the Best Ambiance. Whether you’re looking for fun, romance, relaxation, theming, characters, or anything in between, there’s a place (and cuisine) for you in the parks and resorts.

I’ll then play some of your voicemails at the end of the show. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s episode of the WDW Radio Show

Thanks for listening! Be sure to tune in next week!

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15 thoughts on “Show # 226 – June 12, 2011”

  1. Andrew Johnson says:

    I’d LOVE to see a top ten on the best audio animatronics in the park. The Yeti would complicate things, obviously, but that’d just make it more interesting.

  2. Stephen Conti says:

    I love the ambience of Victoria Falls over at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and then down into the Jiko, Boma and Mara areas. Warm, inviting and very cozy.

  3. Candra Spirtoff says:

    IMy favorites for ambience are San Angel, Pecos Bill, Le Cellier, Sci Fi and most of all….. Jiko. @ Stephen Conti – there is just something about that area of AKL that is soothing and inviting! Can’t wait until Sept 10 and I’ll be in the middle of it all at AKL!

  4. Kristian says:

    I agree with all your choices, but what about eating in the Castle for ambience? Can’t believe you missed this one. It’s the Castle!!! 😉

  5. Elaine Mazzara says:

    San angel, hands down, for feeling like you are some where in Mexico sightseeing in a little village and eating a luscious dinner. Our 2nd fav is the Harbor House in Magic Kingdom – another transport to another time with really delicious and healthy quick food. Yak and Yeti is awesome. Dinner took us an hour longer than planned because we kept poking around and discovering the artifacts. Haven’t eaten in Liberty Tree Tavern since the 80s. That will be our first dining destination next time. Brunch at Boma in Animal Kingdom Lodge is fantastic and beautiful and just a hop skip and jump away from Animal Kingdom. We also enjoy the happy energy in the food court at the Caribbean Resort. Ah, nothing like Caribbean music to start your Disney Day. 😀

  6. Kevin says:

    I would have to say my Top Ten would be:

    10. Rainforest Cafe
    9. Liberty Tree
    8. Coral Reef Cafe
    7. Cinderella’s Royal Table
    6. Hollywood Brown Derby
    5. Tutto Italia
    4. Yak & Yeti
    3. Hoop-Dee-Doo
    2. `Ohana
    1. Le Cellier

  7. Delaney says:

    1. Flying Fish Cafe
    2. La Cava de Tequila
    3. Cape May Cafe

  8. Betsy says:

    I love the ambience in Tony’s Town Square Restaraunt…not only is it filled to the brim with a romantic but fun atmosphere but the whole turn of the century America theming and feel of the Main Street USA area as a whole is continued in there and is plused by the Lady and the Tramp memorabilia and theming (statue and even the little “window” in the where you can see the canine couple dining ‘outside’ ,etc and even the pawprints in the heart out front in the cement adds to it long before you sit at a table). Overall I love the atmosphere and the wonderful cast members who really set the light-hearted,fun, nostaglic, and even romantic tone in this place and the theming is as great as the food. To me, its the perfect combo of my 3 favorite things: 1. Lady and the Tramp (my favorite Disney movie), 2. Italian food (which I love), and 3. Disney Magic!

    I also love the ambience in Pinnochio’s village haus (Again another favorite place I like to go and eat at in WDW). It’s just the best place to eat in Fantasyland(And I’m not saying that cause I used to work there as a CP in 2004-I’ve always loved this place. The food is fantasti and the music really helps to add to the feeling that you are in this lil Alpine eatery in Italy…even though Small World is next door and you can see it through a window lol. The Pinnochio factor (and the characters therein-one in each room) just adds to the magic of this place and the whole place really tells the story of the lil puppet who becomes a real boy so well imo. Yeah we don’t have the Pinnochio attraction like Disneyland and some of the other parks worldwide do but this restaraunt is just as good.Another thing I love about this place is that the cast members (like at tonys and everywhere else at Disney) are so friendly and wonderful that they really add to the magic you feel upon entering.

  9. Kendall says:

    Another great Top 10! I’m so glad you featured Pecos Bill’s I have always loved the great atmosphere – and it’s a counter service location. I would love to see a DSI or a Celebrations article on all of the props and treasures in the restaurant. I have eaten at Pecos Bill’s almost every trip, and I often linger in the resturant to enjoy the air conditioning and the outdoor courtyard room, but I have never noticed all of those touches. I will definitely be looking for them on my next trip!

  10. John Grigas says:

    Great list, guys. I am in pretty close agreement. My list is this:
    1. California Grill, particularly at sunset
    2. San Angel Inn
    3. Flame Tree BBQ, particularly at some of the lower seating pavilions
    4. Saana
    5. Since I can’t always say Diamond Horseshoe due to it’s schedule, I’ll say Hoop De Doo Revue.

    And I remember Tim’s Epcot Pizza Place very well. I ate there once, and the pizza was quite forgettable. It was there before it became a coffee/muffin shop.

  11. Karen says:

    Agree, but I would add The Wave for its casual,yet elegant atmosphere.

  12. Scott says:

    Tim – I can’t believe you named my favorite closed Table Service and my favorite closed Counter Service restaurants in your Top 10 List!

    Concourse Steakhouse was a tradition. We would arrive at Disney World and (so we wouldn’t use tickets the first half day) we would go to the Concourse Steakhouse for dinner. It was the perfect way to start a vacation, with the monorail overhead and great food!

    Pasta Piazza was our favorite (until we moved into Full Service dining!) I always remember it for the Mickey Mouse shaped pizzas. I still remember our last visit to Pasta Piazza on New Year’s Eve 2000 during our hunnymoon. (I think it was on the doomed “seasonal” list at the time.) I think Lou doesn’t know what he missed!

    I always enjoy your Top 10 lists, but this one was especially good, since you mentioned some restaurants that hold a special place in my memories.

    Thanks for the great show!

  13. Elaine says:

    I just finished listening to podcast #226 and wanted to mention my husband and my most all time favorite restaurant. We honeymooned in WDW January 1979. At that time the Empress Lilly was a very special place to go for a very special meal. Victoria and Albert’s was on the top deck. We could not afford to go there for our Special Celebratory Dinner but we did go to the very fancy restaurant on the 2nd deck. We had a delicious dinner and we had service neither of us had experienced before. The atmosphere was that of a Victorian River Boat….fancy,fancy,fancy! Evey time we returned to WDW, we ate there. Boy were we disappointed when it was remodeled into the casual Fulton Crab House! 🙁 Oh well, we have wonderful memories of dining at the Empress Lilly.

  14. Casey Jo says:

    First of all, I loved that Pasta Piazza in future world at Epcot. Growing up, that’s where my dad preferred going and I loved how the pizza’s on the kids menu was Mickey shaped. (Though I’m sure a lot of Disney restaurants have the same thing) I just remember as a kid it was exciting. And just like the electric umbrella, that place just seemed to give the ambiance of Epcot cause you’d here the Epcot ambient music playing and it just kept me excited I was at Epcot Center.

    The October Fest restaurant has to be my top on my list mostly because my family has a German heritage and I remember how excited it made my grandparents to eat there. That atmosphere made the whole experience magical.

    However there is one restaurant I don’t remember there name, but it was my favorite as a kid. And it used to be located at MGM where playhouse Disney is now. It had the magic lamp which you could rub and the genie would come out. It had the ship from Pocahontas. It also had cool collectable cups. I guess it was themed 90’s Disney animated movies. But that is also at the top of my list just from the fact it made me the most excited to be there as a kid.

    Thanks for the podcast!

  15. Chuck Zitta says:

    Enjoyed Tim noodling you on Pecos Bills; and your reaction. Very entertaining. Nice plug on the Frontierland Audio Guide. Sounds like Tim did forget the name of the counter service Italian joint in Futureworld at EPCOT. LOL!!! Yes, Sci-Fi and the 50’s Prime Time Cafe are great. Germany and Mexico table service meals put you ‘in’ the environment/take transport you into another world. House of Blues, if there’s live music. I agree with ALL your choices. Don’t know what it is, but the Backlot Express has a ‘feeling’ to it; that I can’t describe. But, when we’re there, I know we’re at HWS/WDW. Pizza on the Boardwalk at the little carry-out joint (the Pizza Window). Grab a pizza, grab a table; then sit back and take in the sights and sounds of Crescent Lake, the views of the Boardwalk, the people walking around the lake or shopping at the Boardwalk stores, possibly fireworks at EPCOT, and the Beach and Yacht Club in the distance. Awesome little nook when you want to get out of the main, Disney parks, loop. Thanks again for another great show, Lou and Tim!!!