Scrooge or Splurge

SIG­NA­TURE RESTAU­RANTS

WDW Magazine - - Content - BY RYAN MILLER

Sig­na­ture restau­rants at Walt Dis­ney World are scat­tered around the parks and re­sorts. These are restau­rants con­sid­ered to be at the peak of fine din­ing on Dis­ney prop­erty and are al­ways a safe bet for an un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence. While it can be tempt­ing to add reser­va­tions to many of the restau­rants onto your next visit, the sig­na­ture restau­rants do tend to come with a higher price tag than the av­er­age ta­ble ser­vice restau­rant. It is, how­ever, pos­si­ble to find a bal­ance be­tween splurg­ing on sig­na­ture din­ing and sav­ing at the restau­rants while still en­joy­ing the same ex­pe­ri­ence.

GO­ING FOR THE SPLURGE…

When it comes to splurg­ing on sig­na­ture restau­rants, there are sev­eral ways to ex­pand on your din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Wine lovers have many op­por­tu­ni­ties to try the ex­ten­sive wine lists at all of the Dis­ney sig­na­ture restau­rants, but there are a few splurges that are worth men­tion­ing.

Over at the re­cently up­dated Fly­ing Fish at Dis­ney's Board­walk Re­sort, there is a Chef's Tast­ing Wine Din­ner, where a wine is paired with each of the 5 de­li­cious cour­ses pre­pared right in front of your eyes. A sim­i­lar wine-pair­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is avail­able at the fa­mous Vic­to­ria & Al­bert's at the Grand Florid­ian, where guests can elect to have a wine paired with each of the 7 to 10 cour­ses, or they can se­lect from the over 700 dif­fer­ent wines kept in the cel­lar. Vic­to­ria & Al­bert's is also home to a chef's ta­ble where guests can dine right in the ac­tion of the cui­sine be­ing pre­pared. While chef's ta­bles are avail­able in mul­ti­ple sig­na­ture restau­rants, Vic­to­ria & Al­bert's al­lows the only look into a AAA Five Di­a­mond Award-win­ning kitchen avail­able at Walt Dis­ney World.

Other splurges for sig­na­ture din­ing in­volve ac­tiv­i­ties paired along­side your meals, ex­tend­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence be­yond the cui­sine. At the BOATHOUSE in Dis­ney Springs, you can fol­low up your meal with a tour of Lake Buena Vista aboard an Ital­ian water taxi, a 19th cen­tury steam­boat named the Lady Rose, or while rid­ing in a vin­tage am­phicar. Over at the Hol­ly­wood Brown Derby in Hol­ly­wood Stu­dios guests can dine with an Imag­i­neer, giv­ing them an in­sight into the many dif­fer­ent types of Imag­i­neer­ing that takes place be­hind the scenes in de­vel­op­ing and main­tain­ing all of the magic housed in Walt Dis­ney World.

OR CUT­TING BACK WITH THE SCROODGE…

On the sav­ing side of the coin, there are ways to en­joy the same sig­na­ture restau­rants with­out break­ing the bank. One of the eas­i­est ways to save is by din­ing for lunch. Typ­i­cally, lunch menus of­fer less ex­pen­sive en­trées that will still de­light your palate. If you are look­ing for other ways to save on the menu, or­der­ing ap­pe­tiz­ers, shar­ing plates and sides in­stead of an en­trée can not only save you money, but al­low you to ex­pe­ri­ence a wider va­ri­ety of items for the same cost or less. Places like Mo­ri­moto Asia are per­fect for or­der­ing around the en­trées as it has a menu of starters, dim sum, sushi rolls, soups and sal­ads, noo­dles and rice, and so many more items to mix and match to meet any bud­get.

If the am­bi­ence is what you're af­ter, you can also consider pop­ping into a sig­na­ture restau­rant later in the evening to or­der tea and cof­fee along with a de­lec­ta­ble dessert to ex­pe­ri­ence the at­mos­phere with­out com­mit­ting to a full meal. If you're just look­ing to sam­ple some of the food, some of the sig­na­ture restau­rants of­fer a menu of their items at a lounge close by. Places like Street Food at Mo­ri­moto Asia, the Hol­ly­wood Brown Derby Lounge, the Cítri­cos Lounge, and the No­mad Lounge be­side the brand new Tiffins at An­i­mal Kingdom all of­fer a se­lect menu within a re­laxed at­mos­phere.

In each of the sig­na­ture restau­rants, there are ways to save on din­ing as well as splurge on the ex­pe­ri­ence. Whether you splurge or save, you will al­ways leave with a mem­ory that will last a life­time as the Dis­ney magic finds its way into each and ev­ery culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ence.

Photo by Ashley Mize Trent

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