Florida Guide > Dining
No matter where you choose to stay on your visit to Orlando (or anywhere else in the world for that matter) one thing that everybody needs to do is EAT.
Holidaymakers who stay in hotels have the options of dining in the hotel they are staying in or ‘dining out’, whereas renters, and owners, of villas have the additional option of dining at home; even poolside if you are in a home with private pool!
Dining options therefore range from high-class ‘full service’ dining, down to budget dining, including self-service, and self-catering.
Looking around the Disney / Kissimmee area the permutations are boundless, and one thing that many first time visitors may not realise is that you do not have to be a resident to dine at a Disney Hotel restaurant.
If you want a special evening, and are prepared to dress formally (dinner jacket for gentleman, dress or pants ensemble for ladies), then Victoria & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian Hotel would be ideal for you. For a slightly less formal dinner, but with a dress code, which allows ‘smart casual’ clothing including tailored shorts, then two more restaurants at The Grand Floridian, Narcoosee’s and Citricos fit the bill.
Always good to take children to are restaurants that serve buffet style meals. If you want to fill up cheaply at breakfast time (or any other time! ) then give any of the many Sizzler, Ponderosa or Golden Corral buffets a try. For evening dining, Boma at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and The Villa de Flora at the Gaylord Palms both provide excellent buffets with a good variety of dishes. Advance booking especially for medium to large parties is recommended at both these restaurants.
Franchise chains such as International House of Pancakes (IHOP) and Denny’s provide value for money dining and some are open 24 hours a day.
If you want entertainment whilst you eat, the Orlando/Kissimmee area caters for every taste. Medieval Times, Arabian Nights, the Pirate’s Dinner Adventure and Capone’s Dinner & Show will make your evening an unforgettable experience. Polynesian Luau’s can be found at Disney’s Polynesian Hotel and at Sea World and if you are not daunted by the possibility of becoming part of the entertainment then give Disney’s Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at the Whispering Canyon Café, Wilderness Lodge a try.
If you are staying in a private villa and want to dine at home without too much preparation then why not nip down to Wal-Mart or Publix, buy a freshly roast chicken and some salad and dine al fresco at your own pool side. We generally make up some couscous instead of potatoes. Buy the dried couscous add some boiling water, remove the seeds from some tomatoes and cucumber. Dice the flesh and chop some spring onion. Mix the vegetables into the moist couscous and allow to stand for 10 to 20 minutes.
Like so many things variety is the spice of life so mix up your dining experiences and always be prepared to try something just a little bit different.
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Page added on: 18 January 2009
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