Your Guide to Signature Dining at Walt Disney World

by | Mar 28, 2023 | Walt Disney World Food, WDW Blog

What exactly does it mean when a restaurant is categorized as a Walt Disney World signature dining spot? We’re breaking it down and sharing what you can expect when you make a reservation at a signature dining destination. 

ADRs, table service spots, quick service restaurants, signature dining – there’s a whole lot of fancy lingo around choosing a place to eat at Walt Disney World! If you’re confused by the different dining options and types of restaurants, we’ve got you covered. In particular, signature dining can be somewhat complex. So, we’re breaking down signature dining and explaining what, exactly, you can expect when you sit down to enjoy a meal at these particular types of restaurants, plus offering tips on how to book signature dining experiences if you’re interested in doing so.

What is Walt Disney World Signature Dining? 

Signature dining is a special Disney way of identifying fine dining establishments. Essentially, if you’re eating at a signature dining restaurant, you’re in for a particularly fancy meal – think the highest level of quality in terms of food, drinks, and wine lists. Signature dining at Walt Disney World is a step up from table service restaurants, which are sit-down meals where food is brought to the table (not picked up at a counter or window like quick service dining).

Many people can’t believe that Disney is home to “fine” dining establishments. But believe it or not, some of the signature dining restaurants found at Walt Disney World Resort have won pretty prestigious dining awards, such as the AAA Five Diamond Award and the Forbes Travel Guide Five Star, among other awards. 

Since these restaurants are more of a fine dining experience, they do come with more “rules” or expectations when you arrive for your meal. For example, Guests are expected to follow a certain dress code at signature dining spots. While a suit and tie aren’t required, you should wear a nice pair of pants and a polo or dresses and skirts. The best rule of thumb to remember here? Theme park attire is usually not permitted

Jiko Animal Kingdom Lodge

Photo by Rich Ramos

Are Children Welcome at Disney’s Signature Dining Spots?

Since signature dining is part of the Walt Disney World experience, we want to address bringing your kids. Are kids “allowed” at signature dining restaurants? Well, signature dining restaurants don’t have an age limit (with the exception of Victoria & Alberts), and they do offer children’s menus.

However, it’s important to keep your kids in mind when choosing a place to eat. Young kids are likely to be bored in a signature dining restaurant and feel like they aren’t a part of the meal since these restaurant tend to feature more formal meals. Do some research before you make a decision; you may find that signature dining isn’t the right fit for your little ones, especially if they need a bit more freedom (or like to really engage with their meals, such as during character meals). 

Making Signature Dining Reservations

Reservations are the name of the game at Walt Disney World, especially when it comes to dining at highly sought after spots – like signature dining restaurants. So, just like you should try to make advance dining reservations (ADRs) for table service restaurants, signature dining restaurants will also require advanced dining reservations.

And since some of the signature dining restaurants are extremely popular, ADRs are your best bet when trying to plan. Reservations for signature dining restaurants open at the same time as table service restaurants, which is 60 days in advance. Guests can book after this 60-day mark, but if you do so you should expect to have fewer reservation options and less flexibility available.

Obtaining a reservation can be done either online, in the MyDisney Experience App or by calling 407-WDW-DINE and having a cast member help out. If any of the signature dining restaurants you’d like to make an ADR at are located in Disney Springs, you can also check OpenTable for reservations. 

What’s on the Menu at Disney World’s Signature Dining Restaurants?

Topolino's Terrace at Riviera Resort

Photo by Alessandra Sferlazza

Signature dining is definitely different from table service restaurants in terms of menu items and prices you can expect. As Disney World’s answer to fine dining, you can expect signature dining restaurants to be the most expensive of the bunch, with menus that offer food that leans more towards adults’ preferences rather than kids’ picky palates. 

Across the board, Disney World’s signature dining restaurants feature menus based on the themes of the restaurant (or even the areas in which the restaurants are located). Guests can expect to try some unique and ornate meals when dining at signature dining restaurants. Sometimes, that’s even the goal of them – to try different things! For example, you might not immediately think of African cuisine when you’re considering fine dining options, but Jiko – The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is the perfect place to try something wholly new.

Plus, the meals in signature restaurants are often cooked to order and are customizable. These restaurants can also accommodate any allergies or food requests from guests.

In terms of pricing, Guests can expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $55 for a signature dining entree. However, the cost can sometimes climb even higher. And since these restaurants often offer specialty cocktails and wine lists, you can expect to spend quite a bit of money overall when dining if you pair your food with drinks and dessert. While it’s not something you will probably do everyday, Disney’s signature dining is a great choice for celebrations or splurge-worthy events such as birthdays, anniversaries, and even date nights. 

Where Are Signature Restaurants Located?

Monsieur Paul at EPCOT

Photo by Cliff Wang

If you’re wondering where to find the best signature dining restaurants, good news: They can be found all over Walt Disney World Resort! Whether you’re visiting a theme park such as Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom, staying at a resort like the Grand Floridian, or heading out for a night at Disney Springs, there are signature dining options available to you. 

There’s currently at least one signature dining option available at EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom theme parks. At EPCOT, Guests can find three signature restaurants located around the World Showcase, including Le Cellier in Canada, Monsieur Paul in France, and Takumi-Tei in Japan. 

But, as we mentioned, the parks aren’t the only place you can enjoy a signature dining restaurant. Most of the Deluxe resorts dotted throughout Walt Disney World feature at least one signature dining location, like the Walt Disney Swan and Dolphin Resorts. Plus, Disney Springs is home to a handful of options perfect for date night. 

Read more about Walt Disney World’s different dining options below:

Score a Disney Dining Promo Card Worth Up to $750 for Your Next Walt Disney World Vacation

The Best Walt Disney World Character Dining Breakfasts for Every Type of Disney Fan

Posts by Jenn Marrazzo

Jennifer Marrazzo is a writer and adjunct professor and knows way too many facts about Disney and cruises. She’s a DVC Member and WDW Annual Passholder and has a vast collection of Disney merchandise from Beauty and the Beast to Baby Yoda. Jennifer has her own blog, The Happiest Travels on Earth, where she offers reviews and tips for Disney and cruises!

Authored by
Jenn Marrazzo

Jennifer Marrazzo is a writer and adjunct professor and knows way too many facts about Disney and cruises. She’s a DVC Member and WDW Annual Passholder and has a vast collection of Disney merchandise from Beauty and the Beast to Baby Yoda. Jennifer has her own blog, The Happiest Travels on Earth, where she offers reviews and tips for Disney and cruises!
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