5 Stylish Dining Experiences At Walt Disney World
With the release of Disney’s Cruella, the public has been reintroduced to one of the all-time great fashion mavens. Despite her villainous ways, there’s no denying that Cruella is a fashion icon, standing alongside such giants as Giorgio Armani, Manolo Blahnik, and Edna Mode. It got us wondering: if Cruella decided to visit the Walt Disney World Parks what swank and stylish places would she visit?
As a side note, we’ve excluded locations like Club 33 and the Cinderella Castle Suite. While Cruella may not approve, we decided to focus on locations that any Walt Disney World Guest can experience.
1. The Edison
Located in Disney Springs, The Edison is a themed restaurant that embraces an industrial gothic style. Designed to resemble a 1920s electric company, The Edison has an undeniable aesthetic that perfectly matches the vibe of events like Dapper Day. It has 35 foot ceilings and a variety of themed rooms including The Ember Parlour, The Tesla Lounge, and the Waterfront Patio. In addition to a stunning menu, The Edison also features an utterly unique lineup of entertainment ranging from aerial performers to cabaret style dancers.
After 10:00, Guests must be 21 years or older and there is a dress code. According to The Edison’s official webpage Guests, “must wear venue-appropriate attire. Men may wear slacks, jeans or dress shorts. Jackets are optional. No ball caps, sleeveless shirts or flip-flops allowed.”
2. California Grill
Located atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, California Grill offers the ultimate in posh modern dining. From the restaurant, you have a gorgeous view of the Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom. Cocktails can be enjoyed at the California Grill Lounge, and the restaurant menu includes such delicacies as Oak-fired fillet beef and Sonoma goat cheese ravioli. The restaurant also serves a variety of hand rolled sushi, including the Spicy Kazan Roll, Yellowfin Tuna, and the plant-based Forbidden Roll. In addition, the restaurant has an extensive wine list, a variety of fine loose leaf teas, and non-alcoholic mocktails.
The restaurant’s official dress code states that, “Men must wear khakis, slacks or dress shorts and collared shirts. Jeans may be worn if in good condition. Sport coats are optional.
Women must wear Capri pants, skirts, dresses or dress shorts. Jeans may be worn if in good condition.
Not permitted are tank tops, flip-flops, swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, hats for gentlemen, cut-offs, torn clothing and t-shirts with offensive language and/or graphics.”
It’s hard to imagine a grander experience than dining in the legendary Explorer’s Club alongside such legendary explorers like Teddy Roosevelt, Buzz Aldrin, or Charles Lindbergh. Dining at Tiffins in Animal Kingdom may be the next best thing. There are three dining rooms honoring the cultures of Africa and Asia, and the decor of the restaurant includes paintings and sculptures inspired by the field notes of Imagineers. The menu features foods like spiced chickpea falafel, charred octopus, braised short ribs, and desserts like passion fruit tapioca creme.
For those looking to enjoy a few libations, just slip next door and have a drink at the Nomad Lounge to try one of their specialty drinks, wines, and beers, or any of the non-alcoholic beverages, which include mocktails, fresh ground coffee, and loose leaf teas.
The World Showcase in Epcot is a veritable garden of delights for those with a taste for sartorial grace and good food. Wandering from country to country lets you experience the jet set lifestyle and puts you within walking distance of a variety of culinary wonders. While you can’t go wrong with restaurants like Le Cellier in Canada, Restaurant Marrakesh in Morocco, and Monsieur Paul in France, we have to go with Takumi-Tei in Japan.
There are five rooms in the restaurant and each is themed after a natural element: water, wood, earth, stone or washi paper. In the Water Room, Guests can dine at the Chef’s Table. This features a nine course meal with an optional six course beverage pairing in an experience that lasts for three hours. The main menu includes a variety of sushi and sashimi, entrees like Wagyu tenderloin, marinated duck, and Misoyaki sea bass. You can also indulge in the Omakase Tasting Menu, a prix fixe meal that includes items specially selected by the chef, a tea ceremony and more.
5. Victoria & Albert’s
Victoria & Albert’s is the unequivocal top spot for fine dining at Walt Disney World. Located within the stunningly elegant Grand Floridian Hotel, the restaurant has been nominated for and received numerous awards. To date, it has received the AAA Five Diamond Award (2000 – 2018), Forbes Travel Guide Five Star (2018), Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence (2004 – 2017), and was ranked #9 in Gayot Top Hotel Restaurants of 2015. The restaurant has also been nominated for awards from the prestigious James Beard Foundation.
The food at Victoria & Albert’s is American cuisine crafted from the finest ingredients in the world. The restaurant’s official website boasts, “truffles from Italy, fresh herbs from Ohio, beef from Japan, poulet rouge from North Carolina, and the finest caviar from around the world.”
Only 14 tables are in the restaurant and there is only one seating each evening. Tables are dressed in, “Italian linens, handsome Bernardaud china and Sambonet silverware” and harpists provide a lovely soundtrack to the dining experience. The menu changes in relation to the seasonal ingredients available. Guests must be aged 10 years or older, and a dress code is enforced. The Victoria & Albert’s webpage states that, “A dinner jacket is required for men, along with a collared shirt, dress slacks and dress shoes (tie optional) and elegant evening attire, such as a dress or pants ensemble, is required for women. No jeans, t-shirts, shorts, capris, flip flops, sneakers or casual wear please.”