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Pixie Dust Central: 5 Hidden GEM Restaurants At Walt Disney World

Pixie Dust Central:
5 Hidden GEM Restaurants At Walt Disney World


Sometimes I hear that when people are planning a family vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort but they’re not making their hotel reservations until they’re able to secure their dining reservations.

Yup. You read that right. Sound crazy?

If you read last month’s Pixie Dust Central, you were given some of the scoop on dining reservations at Walt Disney World and how incredibly important it is to plan ahead…and I’m not just talking a couple of months ahead, I’m talking 6+ months ahead. Some folks have no idea just how popular some of these restaurants are.

You might have your heart set on dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table where you’ll be visited by various Disney Princesses throughout your meal. You might believe that you can absolutely not live for one second longer if you aren’t able to secure a reservation for your family at Be Our Guest Restaurant during your upcoming vacation.

Well, don’t despair!

This month, I thought I’d share some of my family’s favorite dining locations that we are typically able to book very last minute reservations for – like next weekend! There are so many absolutely wonderful restaurants at the Walt Disney World Resort and I recommend that if you don’t find exactly what you were looking for, try something new! You might just be pleasantly surprised!


1. Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano

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This is one restaurant that my family dines at often. If you're looking for tasty, homemade Italian dishes like the Chicken Parmigiana pictured above, this is the place for you. The menu has changed a little bit in the last couple of years and everyone in my family was real happy with what we had.

Another great benefit of dining here is that you may be able to get an Advanced Dining Reservation for the Fantasmic! Dining Package which will give you a time to dine as well as reserved seating in the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater later that evening for the Fantasmic! show saving you and your family lots of time waiting in line. Also, if you're using the Disney Dining Plan, this package is just one Table Service entitlement per person! Mama Melrose's is located on the Streets of America in Disney's Hollywood Studios.


  1. CherylG

    May 26, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Ohana at the Polynesian for dinner is a favorite. The food is good and they do a Congo line and fun activities for kids.

    I might suggest that you list the locations of each of the restaurants more clearly. Mama Melrose’s is at Hollywood Studios- we were there a few weeks ago & it is one of my new favorites! Whispering Canyon Cafe is at the Wilderness Lodge- we’ve had really bad service there- slow and wrong food delivered & the table next to us was waiting for their skillet “refills” for like an hour, but the atmospehere is fun & the hotel is pretty impressive.

  2. CherylG

    May 26, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Hoop Dee Doo Revue is also fun- it’s a dinner show and the food is served in buckets- chicken & ribs and is also all-you-can eat (and I think beer is included!). It’s at the Campsites at Fort Wilderness.

  3. Jackie Gailey

    May 27, 2015 at 6:26 am

    Thanks so much for that great suggestion, Cheryl!

  4. Mark

    May 27, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    I’ve eaten at all of the above restaurants with the exception of Whispering Canyon Cafe. Will have to try that one the next time we’re at Disney. One that wasn’t mentioned: the Tonga Toast at Kona Cafe in the Polynesian. Yes, it is that good!

    A true and funny story that my son will never let me forget!! He was 5 when we made our first family trip to WDW. My wife made reservations at Momma Melrose in Hollywood Studio. We had a long day at the parks and we were all hungry and thirsty. We each ordered a large, unsweetened ice tea.

    The server carried a tray full of teas; for our table and the next table. He sat one tea down in front of my wife, one tea down in front of my son. As he made his way toward me, he took a tea off of the tray and all of the sudden…CRASH!! the entire tray of tea fell into my lap!! I was drenched from head to toe in tea!! I had to wring my socks out; yes, that much tea!! The server apologized profusely. While he didn’t comp our meal (We were on the Disney dining plan) he did bring me a complimentary cappuccino. I had to sit through “Fantasmic” in wet, sticky clothing!! I couldn’t wait to get back to the room to change!!

  5. Maria

    May 28, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Tony’s Town Square in Magic Kingdom gets a bad rap, but we found it to be quite tasty and the portion sizes were huge. We had a reservation for near the time of the afternoon parade and hoped to see it come through the town square. However there was construction on Main St and the parade was rerouted right to the firestation instead of around the flagpole. oh well! The food was still great!

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