There are 8 sit down, table service style restaurants in Magic Kingdom. All offer something a little bit different, so which should you book for your Magic Kingdom days?
Magic Kingdom Table Service Restaurants
The Plaza Restaurant, located on Mainstreet, is one that we often recommend to people - if they are not on the Dining Plan. It serves American, deli sandwich and burger style cuisine and it does it well. It has a reputation for reliable, good quality food, and yet is one of the cheaper restaurants on Magic Kingdom. And it is that latter point that means it is great if you are paying out of pocket, but won't be good bang-for-your-credits on the Dining Plan. It also usually possible to secure reservations here, sometimes even on the day, so can be a good option if you've left making your dinner reservations until close to your holiday.
Outside Plaza Restaurant
Located in Adventureland, Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen is one of the newest restaurants in Magic Kingdom and is themed around the Jungle Cruise ride. If you are not aware, the Jungle Cruise is known for the skippers' cringey Dad jokes (backside of water anyone?) and the skippers that wait on you are no exception. It serves Asian and African style cuisine - lots of fish, spices, rice dishes etc. Oh my, did we want to like this restaurant. The food is up our street and the theming is fun without being too 'in your face'. Unfortunately, we've given it three attempts now, and it just doesn't live up to expectations. As with the ride itself, the success of the skipper jokes depends on how good the cast member is delivering them, but that is to be expected, and the decor of the restaurant is fantastic. But ultimately what you are paying for is the food - and it has been poor to terrible each time; bland, poor quality and just 'meh', so sadly we can't recommend booking here.
Lady and the Tramp fans will recognise Tony's Town Square Restaurant as the Italian restaurant where the two pups share spaghetti in the famous scene from the film. The theming here is lovely and there is both indoor and patio seating. Time it right and you can see the parades come past (with restricted viewing due to crowds). Unfortunately the food itself doesn't have a great reputation. Our own meal here was fine - not outstanding, but the equivalent of an average Italian chain type restaurant. It wouldn't be my first choice of restaurant, but I'd happily eat here again.
Liberty Tree Tavern is olde-America themed, designed to represent a home from the 1700s. It has very traditional American food - think roast turkey, mashed potatoes etc. At lunch time it is a la carte, with an all you can eat option. Dinner is family-style meaning they bring everything to the table, and you request more of what you want as it runs out. This is a really popular restaurant among many Americans. It is not one we choose to visit, but that really is because the food isn't our cup of tea - if it is yours, then it has great reviews.
Diamond Horseshoe is located in Frontierland but is only open during high season. It is counter service at lunch time, and table service for dinner, serving family style American cuisine - corn bread, barbeque turkey, roast ham, seasonal vegetables etc. It is similar in fare to Liberty Tree Tavern, but without the excellent reputation to go with it. If you have the choice, we'd suggest sticking with the Tavern!
Magic Kingdom Restaurants: Character Dining
One of the most popular restaurants in Disney, reservations at Cinderella’s Royal Table are notoriously difficult to get. This is the restaurant located inside Cinderella Castle itself, and is a character meal - you meet Cinderella on the way in, and several other princesses during the course of the meal. For this you pay a premium - classed as a 'Signature' restaurant, it is an expensive meal, or requires 2 dining credits per person if using the Disney Dining Plan. The food is typically reported as average (although better than it used to be), but it is the experience, rather than the meal itself that you pay for. This one is for you if you want the Castle experience, or have a kids that do!
Cinderella’s Royal Table, in the iconic Cinderella Castle
Crystal Palace is the other proper character meal within Magic Kingdom. Located just off Mainstreet, this restaurant is modelled on the real life Crystal Palace right here in the UK. Meet Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore as they circulate the restaurant. The food is American cuisine, served as a buffet. Our personal experience of the food itself has not been great, however it is a great way to meet these characters without waiting. It also has a really good reputation, so we may have been unlucky - and is pretty popular so you'd need to book well in advance. Choose this restaurant if you want 'safe' food, (good for fussy kids) or an easy opportunity to meet Pooh and friends.
The only place you can meet Beast in Walt Disney World is after dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant, located in Beast's castle. It is slightly different than most character meals as there is only one character - Beast, and you meet him in his study on the way out, after the meal. Another extraordinarily popular restaurant, you need to book this as soon as reservations open, 180 days in advance. Dinner at Be Our Guest is another ' Signature' meal - expensive with a 3 course prix-fixe meal, or 2 credits on the dining plan.
We've been several times, and have always enjoyed it. The castle itself is incredible, with astounding detail from the original Disney movie. You can be seated in one of three rooms - the Rose Gallery, the West Wing and the Grand Ballroom. All are beautiful, but the Grand Ballroom is so big that if feels a little like a canteen, which detracts from the 'Signature' feel. We'd recommend visiting this restaurant if you can - but if you'd like to see inside the castle, and don't want to spend so much money, then make a reservation for either breakfast or lunch, during which time it runs as a counter service restaurant (although it still requires reservations and books up fast). Be aware that you can only meet Beast at dinner though. Whenever you go, make sure you "try the grey stuff, it's delicious", even if it is just so you can say you did!
In the West Wing, inside Be Our Guest Restaurant
So there you have it - if you're looking to book a meal in Magic Kingdom, I hope this has given you a little taste of your options (see what I did there?). As a final tip, you could also consider any of the restaurants in the hotels located near the Magic Kingdom - we personally do this far more often than eating in the park itself, as we have some favourites that are nearby, and it give us a break from the park. They do take longer to get to, but getting there and back again, for the night time entertainment for example, is more than possible. Our favourites include Ohana at Polynesian, Narcoossees at Grand Floridian and the Wave at the Contemporary, for breakfast.