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  • The Biggest Story of 2014Revisit our coverage of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley
What to Do About an 'Empty Pockets' Policy on Theme Park Rides? The World's Best Theme Park Movie Attractions How to Save Money on a Theme Park Vacation The Biggest Story of 2014
Robert Niles
Editor

Weekly Top 10: The Best Restaurants at Walt Disney World

Published: January 26, 2015 at 10:35 AM

Where is your favorite place to eat at the Walt Disney World Resort? Theme Park Insider readers have been rating and reviewing the restaurants in the Disney World theme parks, and here are our top 10 highest-rated table-service restaurants in the parks. If you'd like to have your say for our weekly Top 10 lists, just visit our "Park Guides" section and click through to the parks you've visited recently to rate and review their rides, shows, restaurants, and hotels.

10. Restaurant Marrakesh
Epcot

Restaurant Marrakesh

Somewhat hidden in the back of the Moroccan pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Restaurant Marrakesh wins high marks from readers who like its north African cuisine and often easy-to-book tables. But if tagines, roast lamb, lemon chicken and the like aren't your favorites, you'll find more popular options on this list.

9. Chefs de France
Epcot

Chefs de France

The downstairs restaurant in World Showcase's France pavilion, Chefs de France offers a variety of French bistro fare, including a Croque Monsieur at lunch and duck, salmon and beef selections at dinner.

8. Via Napoli
Epcot

Via Napoli

Patina Group's pizza restaurant sits at the back of Epcot's Italy pavilion, baking its Neapolitan thin-crust, wood-fired pies in three ovens named for Italy's famous volcanoes: Etna, Stromboli, and Vesuvius.

7. Biergarten
Epcot

Biergarten

It is Oktoberfest every day at this buffet in World Showcase's Germany pavilion, with an oompah band and diners singing and dancing along with the performers.

6. Le Cellier Steakhouse
Epcot

Le Cellier Steakhouse

Themed the wine cellars of historic Canada hotels, Le Cellier's most popular dish might be its Cheddar Cheese Soup, available at lunch and dinner. You'll also find a selection of beef, venison, pork, chicken, salmon, and pasta.

5. Liberty Tree Tavern
Magic Kingdom

Liberty Tree Tavern

The first restaurant outside Epcot to make our list, the Magic Kingdom's Liberty Tree serves lunch to order, with pot roast, roast turkey, hamburgers, and salads, while dinner offers a fixed-price menu of roasted meats and sides, served family-style.

4. Teppan Edo
Epcot

Teppan Edo

And now, back to Epcot for this Japanese Teppanyaki-style restaurant, offering a variety of steak, chicken, shrimp and scallop combinations, as well as sushi and appetizers.

3. The Hollywood Brown Derby
Disney's Hollywood Studios

The Hollywood Brown Derby

A replica of the original (and now demolished) Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles, this table service restaurant is the Studios' top dining experience — and its most expensive. The Brown Derby's most famous dish was the Cobb salad (named for Bob Cobb, the original restaurant's owner), and you'll find it on the menu here as an appetizer or entree, served with the original Cobb dressing.

2. Be Our Guest
Magic Kingdom

Be Our Guest

The toughest table to book in the Disney theme parks, Be Our Guest offers three dining rooms depicted in or inspired by the Disney's Best Picture Academy Award-nominated animated classic, Beauty and the Beast. The French bistro-inspired menu includes steak, chicken, salmon, pork, and lamb at dinner and a selection of salads and sandwiches at lunch.

1. Monsieur Paul
Epcot

Monsieur Paul

Our readers' choice for the top restaurant in the Walt Disney World theme parks, Monsieur Paul is named for legendary French chef Paul Bocuse, whose family operates both of the France pavilion's table-service restaurants. The restaurant's signature dish might be its "Soupe aux truffes VGE." Created by Bocuse and named for former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (the VGE in the title), the soup offers beef broth and finely diced oxtail, carrots, onions and celery, with a larger dice of mushroom pate, flavored with generous slices of black winter truffle and crowned with puff pastry.

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Robert Niles
Editor

What Should Disney Do about the Measles Outbreak?

Published: January 25, 2015 at 9:32 PM

The measles outbreak that got its start at the Disneyland Resort has grown to more than 80 cases, with the latest involving a walk-on baseball coach at Santa Monica High School.

A reporter from a local public radio station interviewed me last week about the outbreak, asking what Disneyland should be doing about all of this. I replied that it was a unfair to be putting any responsibility for this on Disney. As "southern California'a family room," a place where tens of thousands of people congregate on any given day, Disneyland is one of the more likely places for an outbreak of a highly contagious disease to happen. People are calling this the "Disneyland outbreak" simply because that's where this one got its start, much as we name earthquakes for their epicenters and wildfires for the place where someone first saw the flames. But Disneyland's no more dangerous to visit today than any other public place in southern California or any other community to which the measles now have spread.

The Mighty Microscope
Maybe we need to go back through the Mighty Microscope again, this time to learn about vaccination.

As an employer, Disney has done what any responsible employer should do in this type of situation. It has seen that infected employees are treated, and that other employees at risk are isolated until they are immunized or the danger has passed.

Let's not forget, though, that this outbreak happened not because of some failure on Disney's part, but because of the failure of thousands of people across Southern California to get properly immunized and to immunize their children. Millions of Americans have chosen to ignore science on immunizations in favor of believing conspiracy theories and junk reports from talk shows and celebrities who haven't the slightest clue about medicine, biology, or anything other than getting themselves noticed. (You can imagine that this is where we cut to a shot of people over at SeaWorld nodding their heads in sympathetic frustration.)

The thing is, the Walt Disney Company used to be pretty darned good at not just educating people about things such as science, but getting people to buy in that they should get to know something about science. Before Disney's theme parks became solely focused on extending animation and comic book franchises, Disney's Imagineers did some pretty fun work with non-fiction themes. Attractions such as "Adventure Thru Inner Space" and "Body Wars" not only entertained us, they provided gentle lessons about chemistry, biology, and the human immune system. Seems like those are some lessons that we could use more public enthusiasm for these days.

Let's take a step into the Wayback Machine are revisit these now-closed Disney classics:

There have been more than 144,000 cases of preventable illness and more than 6,000 preventable deaths in the United States since 2007 due to people not getting immunized on schedule, according to one analysis of the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports. But I don't think that those numbers will motivate change from anyone who's already chosen to ignore the massive amount of data demonstrating the safety and efficacy of vaccines. Some people think they are, well, immune, from that sort of thing.

If we're going to get Americans vaccinated the way we once did in this country, we need to get people bought into science they way we once were. We need someone to do specifically for medical science what Neil deGrasse Tyson just tried to do with his reboot of Carl Sagan's Cosmos [affiliate link]. If cold statistics and physician lectures won't rekindle demand for better preventive medical care, perhaps we need a warmer, more entertaining approach.

Perhaps we need some Imagineering know-how right now. Disney doesn't have to do anything more than it has about this measles outbreak. But if Disney wants to show its civic mindfulness, what better time to charge its creative talent to come up with something that might inspire more Americans to do the right thing by themselves and their neighbors and to get vaccinated? As a Disney Legend once wrote, "one little spark of inspiration is at the heart of all creation."

Disney used to be great at creating those little sparks of inspiration. I'd betcha that, if it wanted to, Disney could start doing that again.

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Robert Niles
Editor

Vote of the Week: Do You Buy the No-Expiration Option on Disney World Tickets?

Published: January 23, 2015 at 8:42 PM

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Robert Niles
Editor

First Look at the Largest Disney Theme Park Castle in the World

Published: January 23, 2015 at 2:26 PM

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Robert Niles
Editor

Theme Park Tech: How Might Theme Parks Use Emerging Consumer Holographic Technology?

Published: January 22, 2015 at 4:20 PM

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Robert Niles
Editor

Theme Park Insider Member Daniel Etcheberry, 1972-2015

Published: January 22, 2015 at 10:43 AM

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Robert Niles
Editor

What to Do About an 'Empty Pockets' Policy on Theme Park Rides?

Published: January 21, 2015 at 3:04 PM

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Robert Niles
Editor

Five Disneyland Employees Diagnosed with Measles

Published: January 20, 2015 at 7:34 PM

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Robert Niles
Editor

Disneyland Prepares for its 60th Birthday with Refurbishments All Over the Place

Published: January 20, 2015 at 2:37 PM

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Robert Niles
Editor

Weekly Top 10: The World's Best Theme Park Movie Attractions

Published: January 19, 2015 at 12:10 PM

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