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Lou’s Email Inbox – Fine Dining in Walt Disney World

Editor’s Note:  Lou’s email inbox is often full to overflowing with questions from listeners.  As such, he has enlisted the WDW Radio Blog writers to assist him in answering some of your questions.

Hi Lou! I discovered your show last year and have been hooked ever since! I am 18 and from the UK, I love listening to your podcasts on the way to college in the morning, as a little Disney start to my day. I have been to Walt Disney World 9 times and this year will be my 10th! This year it is just me and my mum, and we are staying at the Art of Animation Resort. We are going for 10 days in late August/September, and I have been indepth-ly planning it out already! My mum does such a lot for me, so I’d like to do something for her, I’m thinking some kind of fine dining so my question really is which one? although nothing TOO adventurous… Also, I was just wondering whether you know how much a taxi to the Florida mall would be from Walt Disney World as we don’t have a car this year? Thanks for taking the time to read the email and I hope you get the time to reply! Thanks and keep up the great show! – Sincerely, Anna

Hi Anna,

My name is Felicia, and I am part of the WDW Blog writing team. My husband and I write have contributed a number of posts along with the “A Couple Things Disney” series. Lou passed along your email, and I’d love to answer this for you.

First, I have to say that going to WDW with your mom is really special. I love mother daughter trips, and, in fact, my mom is joining us on our trip in a few weeks, and this will be her first time.  I also love that you are staying at Disney’s Art of Animation. We stayed there on our honeymoon and had a fantastic time. I think it’s one of the best resorts on property.

Anyway, on to your dining questions. This is fabulous! There are so many options to choose from.

ohana - disneyMy favorite resort to go to for dining is Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. I highly recommend the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show. Not only do you get authentic Hawaiian cuisine (possibly something new for you both, but not too adventurous), but you also get a spectacular show full of hula dancing and flame dancing. It is a ticketed event, with prices ranging from $64-$76 US dollars per person, so if that’s out of your price range, ‘Ohana is your next best bet. More of the same authentic Hawaiian cuisine, it’s all-you-can-eat, and there is a ukulele player that comes around to each table and plays/sings to you. If you can time it right, try to be there for the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom as you can see them from the windows. Later, you can even go outside and catch the Electrical Water Pageant on the Seven Seas Lagoon.

hollywood brown derby - disneyMy second idea is Dining with an Imagineer. Reservations are a little hard to get as they go pretty fast, but it’s spectacular and really one of those special meals that you will never forget. You get taken to a back room at the Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with only 8-12 guests for a private meal with a real Disney Imagineer. It’s your chance to ask them any questions you like and they give you so much food you won’t be able to walk. If you can’t get a reservation, just try dining at the Hollywood Brown Derby. The food is incredible, especially the Grapefruit Cake, and it really makes you feel like you are in Hollywood, so much so that you feel like a celebrity is going to walk right through the door.

50’s Prime Time Café is another great option at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and a really different option if you want a slice of 1950’s Americana. You feel like you are transported into a 1950’s kitchen and the wait staff interact with you unlike any other restaurant. They tell you to eat your vegetables, put your napkin on your lap, take off your hat, no elbows in the table, etc. Really fun. Mom’s Favorite Recipes sampler entrée is amazing…a great representation of good ‘ole American comfort food. Make sure to save room for the Peanut Butter and Jelly Milk Shake.

tutto italia - disneyEpcot also has a number of great choices. Two of my favorite restaurants are Tutto Italia Ristorante (pictured right) in Italy and La Hacienda de San Angel in Mexico.  I was hesitant to go to both places at first because I knew that I can get Italian and Mexican food at home, but it is a totally different experience when you have the real, authentic cuisine, which is what you get at both places. At Tutto Italia, I highly recommend the spaghetti and meatballs. The sauce is unlike anything I’ve ever had at home, and tastes like something grandma would make. I love Mexican food, so for me, deciding what to order was the hard part at La Hacienda de San Angel. Even something as simple as chips and salsa gets taken to a whole new level. I don’t typically like salsa, but this tasted much different and much better. I could have eaten a whole bowl of it! If you time it right, you might be able to catch Illuminations while you are there.

Lastly, If you are looking for something a little different, I would try a Dessert Fireworks Cruise, or one of several new dining options at Disney Springs. Lou RAVES about Morimoto Asia, so I’m dying to try it. Now, this is not fine dining, but if you want a taste of an American Thanksgiving dinner, you have to check out Earl of Sandwichs Holiday Turkey Sandwich. It’s the best sandwich you will ever eat!

You can even do something totally unexpected and contact Disney Floral and Gifts to surprise your mom with flowers, chocolate or champagne, then do a girl’s trip to Senses Spa, for the real royal treatment.

We’d love to know what you end up doing.

To answer your taxi question. I called Art of Animation and they transferred me to Mears Taxi Service . It’ll cost you approximately $47-$49 (American dollars) to get to the mall from the resort. Just to put that into perspective, because you are looking at converting pounds to dollars, that’s about the same or maybe a little more than the price of a meal at any one of the places I mentioned.

Hope this helps! Let us know if you have any other questions, and thanks for listening to WDW Radio. Enjoy your trip! –Felicia “A Couple Things Disney”


Felicia and Sean“New Yorkas” Felicia and Sean are avid Disney fans.  Their first vacation as a couple was in Walt Disney World.  They were engaged there, and also honeymooned there.  After a combined 30 trips to the World, they are self-professed Disney travel agents and enjoy helping family and friends plan magical Disney vacations.