What are the worst restaurants at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando?
Amanda's review of Tony's Town Square Restaurant
at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom kicked off a spirited discussion about the worst theme park restaurants in Orlando, here on the Theme Park Insider website as well as on our Facebook page
Is this the worst theme park restaurant in Orlando?
Many fans asked for a summary of the results. Let's go one better: How about including the results from our on-going reader ratings of the restaurants at the Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando theme parks, too?
Our Facebook fans panned the food at Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano in Disney's Hollywood Studios and the Rainforest Cafe at Disney's Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney. Also in Downtown Disney, T-Rex earned several bad reviews from fans, as did the Hard Rock Cafe at Universal Orlando's CityWalk.
Several Facebook fans had unkind words for Epcot's Les Chefs de France, but that restaurant scores relatively well in our Theme Park Insider reader ratings, so we'll leave it up to you to debate in the comments if that restaurant deserves a place on any Disney visitor's "must avoid" list.
With that, let's go to the results of the Theme Park Insider reader ratings. Here are the five worst-rated table-service restaurants at the Orlando area theme parks, starting with the worst. (10 votes minimum. Also, TPI reader ratings include only restaurants located inside a park's gates — no hotel or CityWalk/Downtown Disney restaurants.)
Worst table-service restaurants
- Hollywood and Vine, Disney's Hollywood Studios
- Tony's Town Square Restaurant, Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
- Nine Dragons Restaurant, Epcot
- Coral Reef Restaurant, Epcot
- Tutto Italia, Epcot
And for those of you who don't bother with Priority Seating reservations anyway, here are the five worst counter-service restaurants at Disney and Universal, according to Theme Park Insider readers.
Worst counter-service restaurants
- ABC Commissary, Disney's Hollywood Studios
- Liberty Inn, Epcot
- Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoopendous, Universal's Islands of Adventure
- Pizza Planet Arcade, Disney's Hollywood Studios
- Backlot Express, Disney's Hollywood Studios
For what it's worth, no restaurants at SeaWorld Orlando made the cut for either list. You can follow the links above to add your rating and review for these restaurants, if you'd like to pile on with yet another negative review or challenge the conventional wisdom with a positive one.
And if this is too much negative talk for you, tomorrow we'll focus on your picks for the best theme park restaurants in Orlando. We've already started that discussion on our Facebook page, if you'd like to jump in there.
I had a very middling experience at Chefs de France -- though I realized I hadn't rated it yet, going to do so now. The service was mediocre and my wife and I felt rushed to get out of there so they could get on to the next tipping customer. This was in contrast to a very positive experience at Teppan Edo and the Brown Derby on the same trip.
I was very surprised on the results, but I guess its in the eye of the beholder. I shared the question on the DVC (unauthorized) group on Facebook and I thought they were going to burn me at the stake! For what its worth, here is what I think about the "top"
I can't really think of many bad food experiences at parks (I pretty much eat anything as long as the price is reasonable), but I do remember having pretty lousy service at Confisco Grill at IOA. My food was left under a heat lamp for at least 5 minutes and came back pretty dried out. As far as counter service is concerned, I can only remember having a bad meal at the Burger Digs in Jurassic Park.
This very much agrees with what I've experienced at DHS. Tough to find a place to eat there unless you want to greatly overpay at Brown Derby.
The mahi mahi that I ate at Coral Reef was very delicious. I don't understand why it's on the list.
My two cents:
I agree with the counter-service list. ABC Commissary and Backlot Express are very boring. So happy Backlot Express will be (presumably) turned into the Mos Eisley Cantina. And Pizza Planet could be so much more theme-wise. I really want a Pizza Planet that looks just like in the movie, entrance and all, even if the food stayed the same. Maybe they'll move it and redo it when they expand Pixar Place.
I have never had a bad experience at any WDW restaurant and I have been to WDW 21 times. I have never had a problem with Hollywood and Vine or Coral Reef Restaurant. Every time that we go to Disney's Hollywood Studios, I try to eat at least one meal at Hollywood and Vine. I like the atmosphere and I enjoy the food. At Coral Reef Restaurant, you can't beat the view and I think that the food is very good.
I always enjoy Hollywood and Vine and the Coral Reef Restaurant. Every time that we go to Disney's Hollywood Studios, I try to eat at Hollywood and Vine at least once. I like the atmosphere and enjoy the food. At the Coral Reef Restaurant, you can't beat the view and I like the food a lot. I have been to WDW 21 times and I can say that I have never had a bad experience at any WDW restaurant. They are all not perfect, but there aren't any that I would say are bad.
On quick service, Liberty Tree has to be the worst I have had. However, I do tend to avoid the burger places other than Pecos Bill. Overall, the quick service list bottom 5 matches mine. At least I can stand the Commissary because they do have some alternatives.
I think what drops a restaurant to the bottom of rankings such as these isn't being consistently bad -- it's being inconsistent.
I had a great experience at
This conversation is great! We are headed back east to WDW in early December and it seems that the views are pretty consistent for the most part. We don't seem to feel the need to get all of the Dining Reservations like many of you. We have not had much trouble getting in somewhere. I will be honest...we haven't been to a table service in about 3 years. We ate at Hollywood and Vine for the first time. It was overpriced and didn't have enough selections for me but the food was alright. Not horrible. Just...ok. It was funny however, because our 21 year old son was with us and the characters tried to get him to dance. He doesn't dance.
Hi, Im Carlos and im from Chile, i go to Orlando for 15 days, every year an i do ALL THE PARKS!!!
I agree mostly with the list. I had a terrible experience with my food at Coral Reef, one of the worst restaurants I have ver been to. Yuck.
We had a great experience at Les Chefs last fall, Sept 26. Our 5:15 reservation was perfect timing to escape the torrential downpour that lasted nearly an hour. Even with the masses huddled under the awning outside, we never were pushed to vacate our table. It was the most relaxed experience we had the entire trip, no rush, which was even better considering it seems like we are constantly rushing in the parks. It was a welcome break from the pace. Our server Joely was excellent, suggestive, and easily one of the most friendly servers we had the entire trip. The food excellent and was one of the only meals both my husband and I finished along with dessert. After roughly an hour and forty minutes, we were on our way. The time spent here seemed like no longer than we spend on a regular night out at home where we are in and out of a restaurant for dinner in less than an hour. I can't wait for our next trip.
Anthony.... Wing Yip at 26th & Wallace. Hole in the wall, surly, wooden and unpleasant woman behind the counter, but some of the best Chinese I have ever had.
I agree with Hollywood and Vine, but it hasn't always been that bad. It changed dramatically for the worse when it became character dining.
I have to say, I LOVE Nine Dragons. We make it a point to eat there once a trip. Universal doesnt really compare to Disney in terms of food. It doesnt bother me, but that may be because I dont expect such great meals and theaming from them. Now with universal expanding so much, who knows what is in the future!
I've never eaten at ABC Commissary but I hear it's really changed for the better since the menu change. I'd love to hear if people think that is true. However, I think everyone is afraid to go back (and will continue to give bad reviews as a result)
Circus McGurkus Cafe at Universal----Terrible! The team that designed that cluster (*&^%) should be ashamed of their self. We went there when it was not busy and took 15 plus minutes to get through the line. It was this most disorganized set-up to get your food and pay. I will never set food in there again!
I really don't think Pizza Planet is as bad as everyone says it is. I think that $10 for both a pizza/sandwich and a side salad isn't that bad as everyone thinks it is. The food itself is actually pretty good for theme park standards. My biggest gripe would have to be the decor which is looking very dated (considering it was built around the release of the first movie) and I think the whole warehouse vibe isn't what one thinks of when they think of the Pizza Planet in the movie.
When my wife and I were on our honeymoon in March 2013, we thought that the best overall restaurant experience was at Le Chefs de France in EPCOT. We have recommended it to everyone that says that they are going to WDW. The food was incredible and the atmosphere was terrific. Just don't tell the guy with the cart that you are the "health inspector." He is apt to not show you what is covered on his cart! :-) 5 STARS
The worst place we had lunch at was in Disney Studios at the Brown Derby. We had reservations for a 12:30 seating, but... we were seated at 1:15. It was half empty. It took the waitress 15 minutes to bring us our menus. It then took her another 20 minutes to take our order. 20 minutes later our Cobb salads came out. It was easy to see it was pre-packed and had been micro-waved since it was frozen. It tasted like warm mush, something you would feed to a pig. Another 45 minutes later our meals came out and they tasted bland, totally without taste. We then had to wait another half hour for our server to appear. We asked for the check and she stated that we hadn't had desert yet (since we were on the dining plan). We both told her we were done. We went back and got our check, which meant she wanted a tip for her service. I flat wrote down zero. She marched off to the manger who promptly came to our table and stated that a tip is expected. I told him that with this type of service and the quality of the food that the only tip I would give is to advise people not to come here.
Earlier this summer, my family went to WDW and had dinner at the Beast's castle/Be our guest deal. I seem to remember the food being good and the wait long, but the dining experience was the worst. It was so loud being an open room and people running around, it was not a relaxing enjoyable time. A huge bummer since it was the new thing. I cannot believe the imagineers didn't dampen the sound in that place. I would tell everyone to avoid it...
it wouldnt be a trip to Hollywood Studios if I didnt have the subpar pizza at Pizza Planet.
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