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Vote of the week: Where's your dream fine-dining dinner at a Disney theme park?

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Published: April 5, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Who's hungry?

Let's talk about fancy dining for this week's Vote of the Week. Last week, my family and I got the chance to have dinner at Epcot's new Monsieur Paul restaurant, which last December replaced the multi-Theme Park Insider Award-winning Bistro de Paris. Disney's found a place for fine dining its theme park resorts around the world, and Monsieur Paul is clearly Walt Disney World's most ambitious in-park restaurant. But where does it rank among the best of the best of Disney's other top table-service restaurants around the world? That's what I'm putting up for a vote today.

I've selected what I believe to be the most ambitious fine-dining restaurant at each of Disney's multi-park theme park resorts: Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo Disney. To fill out the field with a fifth option, I've added a second restaurant from Tokyo DisneySea, which I believe to be on par with the other four for the highest levels of cuisine, ambiance and service.

Of course, very few of us have had the good fortune to eat at all of these restaurants, to make an in-person judgment about which is best. So let's make this an "aspirational" vote, if you will. Where would you most want to eat among these five restaurants, assuming you had the budget to go to its park and enjoy a meal at that restaurant? Let's assume that you're only having the meal at the park, so no picking a restaurant solely based on the park where it's located. So we've taken price and location out of the equation -- we're deciding solely on the basis of cuisine, menu and setting. Which is the restaurant that really gets you excited?

To help you learn more about these choices, I've linked my reviews and the Theme Park Insider reader reviews for each restaurant, in the order in which I dined at them:

S.S. Columbia Dining Room at Tokyo DisneySea

Baked Lobster Tail and Sauteed Scallops with Butter Sauce at S.S. Columbia Dining Room

Robert's review | Readers' reviews

Magellan's at Tokyo DisneySea

Scallops appetizer at Magellan's

Robert's review | Readers' reviews

Walt's at Disneyland Paris

Walt's Gourmet Burger at Walt's

Robert's review | Readers' reviews

Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure

Short Rib Raviolis at Carthay Circle Restaurant

Robert's review | Readers' reviews

Monsieur Paul at Epcot

Soupe aux truffes V.G.E. at Monsieur Paul

Robert's review | Readers' reviews


These five will be strong contenders for this year's Theme Park Insider Award for the world's best theme park restaurant, which we will announce this July 4. But other restaurants will contend for the award, which will go to the in-park table service restaurant with the highest average reader rating. So I'd like to make a pitch for you to click over and submit a rating for any of these restaurants where you've dined in the past year.

The ever-popular Mythos remains a candidate, of course, but we could use more votes for the Big Five restaurants linked above, as well as for these other top restaurants around the world:

Thank you, as always, for reading (and rating on) Theme Park Insider!

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Readers' Opinions

From Dominick D on April 5, 2013 at 10:19 AM
Carthay Circle looks the most delicious so I'm going with that.
From Dave Hart on April 5, 2013 at 1:06 PM
I am probably in the minority but I have no interest in any fine-dining when at a Disney theme park. We have annual passes and visit several times a year, staying for a week at a time. Not against it of course, but not interested in mixing the two experiences
From Amanda Jenkins on April 5, 2013 at 1:25 PM
I too think that Carthay Circle Restaurant looks and sounds the most appetizing. I hope to one day make it out west to visit Disneyland and would love to eat there. I look forward to at least one evening of fine dining at the parks.
From 95.210.210.147 on April 5, 2013 at 3:03 PM
The Walt's looks like the finest one.
From Daniel Etcheberry on April 5, 2013 at 3:18 PM
French cuisine is my favorite, so I have to go with Monsieur Paul. It has my favorite dessert = souffle :^p
From Bryce McGibeny on April 5, 2013 at 4:25 PM
Out of all of these, I've only eaten at Mythos and Lombard's. However, for this vote, I voted Carthay Circle. It looks PERFECT.
From Brandon Mendoza on April 5, 2013 at 6:58 PM
Carthay Circle is phenomenal. The best seats IMHO are the balcony ones facing Disneyland. They play the music from the balcony while the show is going on! Oh and of course the food and service is the best in the resort.

However, I voted for one of the Japanese ones as I'd love to visit there and experience another part of the world's service.

From Robert Niles on April 5, 2013 at 7:18 PM
I was going to jump in here with a comment because I felt so strongly about one of the five... but then, as I was writing, I talked myself into another one of the five.

Then I did that again... three more times.

So, yeah, I could debate myself on this one pretty much forever.

From Mark Kausch on April 7, 2013 at 7:10 AM
Although Carthay Circle is the only one I could even hope to eat at any time in the near future, I voted for St Magellan's. The picture [blush] looked not only the yummiest - love scallops - but the most filling.

Also, I don't have time for the reviews now. I *supposed* to be getting ready for church. [further blush]

From Mark Kausch on April 7, 2013 at 7:39 AM
OK, since I was catching up on the Flume I *did* come across your review of Msr Paul's. Between the two, I stick to my original choice.
From Eric G on April 8, 2013 at 9:18 AM
I don't know how you can classify "Walt's" as fine dining with that photo.
From Anon Mouse on April 8, 2013 at 11:09 AM
I vote for Carthay Circle Restaurant since I live in the area, but while the food look appetizing, I can't help feeling that you can get comparable food for much less if you know where to look for good restaurants that are not categorized as "fine dining." Often, you're paying for atmosphere and wait service. The food remains the same in some cases.

There seems to be many renown chefs that opened their own restaurants that offer cheaper priced fare. Many also opened casual dining style restaurants.

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