View Full Version : Nice restaurants that accomodate children

11-16-2003, 12:22 AM
I will be taking my five year old brother to Disney this Spring. I do not eat burgers, etc and though I can get that for him during lunch time, I would like to go out to a nice sit-down restaurant each night. I have been to Disney many times but have never looked at their children's menus. I was wondering what nice restaurants would be able to accomodate my little brother's tastes? Also, what ones might have good atmosphere for him?

Basically, from your own experience what ones have your children liked or dislike?

Mommy Poppins
11-16-2003, 04:16 AM
Disney is about kids and practically all of their restaurants are very kid-friendly. In 2000 we wents with my then 5 and 2 year olds and we ate at Chef Mickey's, Garden Grill, CRT, Beach Club, Le Cellier, Crystal Palace, Liberty Tree Tavern, Hoop Dee Doo, Hollywood & Vine and some I've missed. Most of those are buffets; however at menu restaurants, Disney will almost always have mac & cheese, chicken strips, hot dogs/cheeseburgers, etc. If what he wants is not served in that restaurant but is served in a nearby restaurant (in the resorts) they will most likely get what you ask for. I know this works at O'Hana's. They can get the kids food from Kona.

For our December trip we have added O'Hana's, 1900 Park Fare, Beirgarten, Askerhaus, Tony's Town Square, Teppanyaki and Whispering Canyon to name a few

11-16-2003, 06:19 AM
No kids myself, but have done most of the nicer restaurants over the years. With the possible exception of V&A, they all handle children very well. I can't remember an occasion where we've eaten at places like JIko, California Grill, Citrico's etc and there HAVEN't been children.

11-16-2003, 12:24 PM
All Disney restaurants are very kid friendly, with the possible exception of Victoria and Alberts and Bistro De France, neither of which have kids menus.

With that being said, there are places that I personally wouldn't take my children because I don't think they would appreciate the atmosphere, and because they are usually frequented by those who are child-free, or taking advantage of the kid's clubs for the night. Those are: Citricos, Flying Fish, California Grille, Palios, and Jiko.

There are so many wonderful restaurants on Disney property, I am sure you will have no problem at all!

11-16-2003, 01:32 PM
I keep my squirrely kids (4 &5) out of the "top tier" restaurants. (V&A's is right out, but also Flying Fish, Artist Point, Bistro de Paris, Jiko, Citricos, Yachtsman, Shulas, California Grill - I may be missing a few). I understand that Disney is pretty accomodating, but I'm just not comfortable in these places with my kids.

We took our kids to Narcoosee's this trip - which is a "no-tank top" restuarant. Good food, expensive. But the restaurant is fairly open and noisy - and there is a view of the castle. So we were more comfortable with out kids there than some of the quieter environments.

We also ate at Biergarten (buffet - we find them difficult with young kids, but noisy, appropriate, they enjoyed the floor show and the food was good, different enough, yet familiar enough for the kids). Marrakesh (the kids enjoy the belly dancer and they have a children's menu). Spoodles (comfortable for the kids. Great flatbreats.) Teppenyaki (the kids loved watching the chef - a great choice for the five to ten crowd - but parents with younger kids should be aware that the grill is hot and that the kids aren't that far off the grill - they seat kids down at the end where the grill is cooler, but I'd be nervous with a child beyond the high chair but not to the self control stage). Le Cellier (a great choice for the food, although the atmosphere is fairly quiet and it lacks the entertainment of some of the other options - the kids menu is pretty good and my kids LOVED the chocolate moose for dessert) and Boma (another buffet - my son ate like a champ, but my daughter had a hard time here. They do have "kids food" on the buffet, she was just zonked. There is the advantage of being able to check out the animals before dinner. Also keep in mind that unless you are staying at AKL or have a car, getting to and from this place can be a major undertaking).

Generally, we discovered with kids this age that ours are beyond napping, but by a 6:00pm dinner time were so zoned that they were more than willing to sit quietly and eat dinner without needing to be entertained (the exception was our Boma meltdown, which my husband brought on by insisting my daughter have some dinner before dessert - HE should have known better than to insist on such a thing to a tired stubborn prone to tantrums girl at the end of a long day - she won't die just because dinner was strawberries, grapes and zebra domes.)

11-16-2003, 02:04 PM
All WDW restaurants except Shula's, Bistro De Paris, and V&A's have a childrens menu.

When you say "nice sit-down", I think the question is "how nice"? Are you looking for an elegant, upscale dining experience, or are you looking for a good meal with good service in a more casual (but not fast food) environment. I get the impression that perhaps you are looking for the latter, and that's what I'd suggest.

You might want to check out Mama Meroses and 50's Prime Time in MGM. Both offer great food and service in a fun atmosphere.

The Kona Cafe at the Polynesian and Spoodles at the Boardwalk are both moderate restaurants with nice atmospheres and excellent food and service.

Beaches and Cream at the BC is a fun, casual restaurant with a family friendly menu. The same with the Plaza in the MK.

Boma at the AKL gets rave reviews, as does the Whispering Canyon at the WL. The Clambake at the Cape May Cafe at the BC is excellent, with tons of selections.

If you want a character meal, I'd suggest 1900 Park Fare at the GF or the Crystal Palace at the MK.

All of those as casaul but great places to dine.

For a change of pace you might want to think about booking the Hoop De Doo Review dinner show for one night.

If you want an upscale experience, then you might want to look at the California Grill at the CR or Narcooses at the GF.

Hope this helps.


11-16-2003, 10:41 PM
I'd have to say that the best places to take kids for atmosphere, that you will enjoy too, are

1.) O'hanas at the Polynesian... great food but the coconut races will give him something to do. They bring the food to you and it's an all you can eat affair. My kids loved the snow cones presented in sand pails complete with shovel. WE also scored a view of the MK Castle from our table.

2.) Whispering Canyon Cafe at the Wilderness Lodge. Very good food, too with "pony races" for the kids. He'll get a little souvenier certificate about being in the "pony express" that's a nice keepsake

3.) Chef Mickey's for dinner was great. It's a good buffet, with a nice dessert selection, including a and having the characters (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, CHip and Dale with Donald Duck as a greeter) was nice, too. We rode the monorail afterwards and scored a ride up front with the engineer, then observed the MK fireworks from the 15th floor observation deck.

4.) Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom also does charcater dinners, but I've never experienced it. I'm sure there are other character dinners and lunches as well... we did like the one at Epcot in the Land as the restaurant rotates.

5.) Sci-Fi Diner... just plain fun, esepcially for lunch because it's dark inside.

Have fun and bon appetite!

11-20-2003, 01:43 AM
Thanks to all who replied...you were very helpful :)

11-20-2003, 06:28 AM
Should note that even tho Shula's and Bistro don't have childrens menus, there were kids at both restaurants the evenings we dined there.

11-20-2003, 10:28 AM
I don't mean to butt in, but I would like to say a hearty "thank you" to those that refrain from bringing their children to some of the nicer restaurants - I believe eeyore0062 said this.

It's not that I'm 'anti-kid' at all...and I realize that you are AT disney and that there are children every where. However my husband and I had a horrible experience on our honeymoon at a restaurant due to kids and lack of parental control. It was NOT the restaurants fault (although - did they REALLY have to seat 5 kids under age 10 right next to us?) but the parents had no control over their children and it totally ruined our meal.

I don't mean to come off as a snob, and I'm totally willing to be flamed, but I just wanted to say thank you to those that understand that there are some child-free couples who like to enjoy quiet meals at Disney.

(But I do want to say, that sometimes watching a little baby in a highchair or a toddler attack his/her meal with gusto...well, it just puts a big smile on my face.)

11-20-2003, 10:49 AM
Here is another opinion, please no flaming just wanted to post another view.

We take our kids everywhere (they are now 9 and 6). My husband is a chef and my kids are used to eating "regular" food besides the normal kid offerings. Most of the time they order off the appetizer menu if the child menu doesn't have anything interesting.

Needless to say we do take them to the various kids clubs at least once during our trip so that we can have a dinner by ourselves and they get to play.

I understand that people like some of the restaurants to be more child free and to those people I suggest eating later rather then earlier. The latest we dine with our kids is 7pm, after that it gets too late for them.

Because we have taken them to nicer restaurants since they were infants, they are very used to sitting and behaving in that environment and I don't have any problems taking them to places like Citricos and such.

They both eat sushi and my daughter always orders escargot when we dine at Chefs de France, just to give you an idea.

11-20-2003, 03:24 PM
I agree with Josephine,

It also depends on the child and parents. I have been taking
DD to Disney since she was 4. We have eaten in most of the
very nice restraunts and many family oriented ones too.

I think Disney does a wonderful job of teaching children about
other ideas and foods at many of these restraunts. At Jiko's
the waiter explained the bird design on the wall to DD and the
children's menu came with it's own choice of appetizers etc.

The California Grill was a delight for us as well as Bistro of Paris.
Now usually one night per trip we do an adult only dinner but children that are well behaved are welcome in almost all Disney

We too try to dine early, 6:30 or 7:00 with DD, and always had a
good experience. Try restraunts your interested in too. That a great thing about Disney, there is something for all ages and all
taste. My DH and I love good food so Disney is the perfect place for us.

Have a great trip


11-20-2003, 04:40 PM
they are very used to sitting and behaving in that environment Josephine, this is all I need to know - they can seat my adults-only party next to your table any day. :)

11-20-2003, 05:17 PM
There are lots of nice restaurants in WDW that do accomodate children. We frequented several last week!

While I would not bring my children to Victoria & Albert's - that is probably the only restaurant on property that I wouldn't take them! My girls are not toddlers - but even when they were - they were excellent restaurant goers! If for any reason, they were being disruptive to other diners - I wouldn't hesitate to take them out to the lobby till they were ready to sit.

As things are - my 13 year old is NOT an adventurous eater. She prefers to go to the nicer sit downs, as they are very accomodating! I have never had a problem asking for a child's menu for her - she prefers mild, plain food with little seasoning. Many of the nicer restaurants have good, nutritious meals available on the children's menu, just with no fancy sauces and smaller portion sizes.

We visited Jiko this week - where they were superbly accomodating. They have children's menu's and crayons to start the kids off - my 7 year old and 14 year old ordered the salmon with mashed potatos - while my 13 year old had the broiled chicken. They also serve veggies as side orders - they got the carrots & celery w/Peanut butter, a fruit cup, and a salad. They also have an awesome kid's dessert - a white chocolate puzzle served with a mini banana split. The girls used their fancy restaurant manners, as their meals were served with ours, and were presented just as nicely as the adult meals. We got to enjoy the more adventurous spices and wines, and it was a truly delightful meal. We certainly did not bother any adult diners, although we were seated upstairs - near another family with several children - including a toddler and an infant. The infant was quite disturbed, and the Mom did not take it out to the lobby, which I did think was out of line for a restaurant of this style. I think you know what your kids can/can't handle.

We chose Jiko over Boma for this exact reason - at Boma - my 13 year old would have had her 15th serving of mac & cheese or chicken strips, instead of a healthy meal with veggies, and she would have paid over $25 to do this, instead of the $12 it cost at Jikos!!

We also had a lovely lunch at CRT.

11-21-2003, 03:32 PM
Originally posted by CRCrazy
My girls are not toddlers - but even when they were - they were excellent restaurant goers! If for any reason, they were being disruptive to other diners - I wouldn't hesitate to take them out to the lobby till they were ready to sit.

We certainly did not bother any adult diners, although we were seated upstairs - near another family with several children - including a toddler and an infant. The infant was quite disturbed, and the Mom did not take it out to the lobby, which I did think was out of line for a restaurant of this style. I think you know what your kids can/can't handle.

Thank you! It is a parent like you that i hope to become one day. My mother NEVER would have put up with me or my brother horsing around at ANY restaurant (which includes all the fast food ones as well.) And it really boggles my mind that some parents can just let their kids do whatever they want, just becuase they are in disney, and disrupt other people like that.

11-21-2003, 03:52 PM
Originally posted by MHopkins2
Josephine, this is all I need to know - they can seat my adults-only party next to your table any day. :)

:) :)

11-21-2003, 04:18 PM
We found Narcoosee's,Marrakesh and Spoodles appealed to all members of our family regardless of age. Also Crystal Palace,but that's a buffet and a bit noisier.

11-21-2003, 04:40 PM
On our last trip 2 years ago, both of my kids' favorite meal was at Teppanyaki in Japan. They both LOVED it and they ate very well. They shared a meal, which was plenty for both of them (they were 3 and 7 at the time). The dinner was so entertaining that we all finished our meals at the same time. It was just a very pleasant meal for all of us!

I'd like to try Biergarten when we go next Spring...I've been before, but never taken the kids. I think they'd like it!

11-21-2003, 06:14 PM
This is one issue I can TRULY understand both sides of. I am not going to begin to tell you that my 3 children are angels all the time by any means. One thing they do know is how to behave in public, no matter where we are. You know how they say as a parent you have to choose your battles and what is most important and for me rude and unruly behavior that bothers others while dining, shopping, seeing a movie, etc. is just unacceptable. Luckily my kids have rarely ever tried me on that and if they did they knew we'd be out of there so fast it would make your head spin. Therefore sometimes when I read about people getting angry that there are kids in sit down restaurants at WDW or anywhere else I get a little offended since I DO believe that some kids CAN behave properly and I am sure that those who do wince when they see kids in a restaurant have reason to because of other experiences. We would not take our kids to Bistro, V & A's etc. however we have taken them with no problem or dirty looks to the Yachtsman, lots of the WS sit downs, CA. Grill, Artist Point (although the menu there didn't appeal to them much) as well as other less "adult" places. So, bottom line is the personality of the kids. We have good friends who have 3 children as well and we went to eat at a sit down Mexican restaurant recently and their kids were getting up and walking around the table, throwing spit balls at each other and I barely could eat I was so embarrassed. It got so bad that since their parents weren't addressing them I (in the nicest tone I could use but still got my point across) told them to sit down since there was a table right behind us and there were people needing to walk by our table to get to the rest room. I'm a teacher and so I sometimes slip into my "teacher" mode and they understand it and (the parents) don't seem to mind it. I hate to have to speak to someone else's child but I also don't enjoy being embarrassed by their lack of manners. Am I wrong and a total witch for speaking up when it gets to that point??????

11-22-2003, 12:47 PM
Originally posted by Rafikifan
Am I wrong and a total witch for speaking up when it gets to that point??????

Not at all, and you were probably much nicer about it than I would have been.