It might come as a surprise, but some of the best restaurants in Orlando can be found inside Walt Disney Resort. The cuisine at Disney World Florida ranges from fast-food joints to fine dining, classic American broils to elegant seafood restaurants. The entire Disney area is free to enter (it’s the individual theme parks that requires a ticket), so don’t be put off by the fact that you’re dining in a giant amusement resort.

    We've eaten our way through the resort to bring you this list of the best restaurants at Disney World Florida. Remember, these selections are the cream of the crop, so if you want to eat on a budget, it might be better to walk towards the nearest fast-food place instead.

    Bull & Bear Steakhouse at Waldorf Astoria is one of Orlando’s finest steakhouses. Overlooking the 5-star hotel’s namesake golf club – right on the border of the sprawling Walt Disney World – views out of the floor-to-ceiling windows are superb. The meticulous service and refined décor are similarly impressive, keeping things smart and sophisticated without ever feeling too stuffy. The pièce de résistance here has to be the 32-day dry-aged Tomahawk ribeye, big enough for 2 people to share.

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    Location: Waldorf Astoria Orlando, 14200 Bonnet Creek Resort Ln a, Orlando, FL 32821, USA

    Open: Daily from 6pm to 10pm

    Phone: +1 407-597-5500

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    Victoria & Albert's is located inside Walt Disney World Resort, at the luxurious Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. This fine-dining restaurant isn’t exactly the kind of place you can just rock up to any time of day in your shorts and T-shirt. Reservations are required with a smart dress code, meaning guys need to wear a jacket. On the 6-course tasting menu, you’ll find the likes of Masago-crusted Maine scallop, quail with cardamom and sunchokes, veal with black truffles and Sauce Périgord, and onion ash-crusted Niman Ranch lamb. Prices start from $150 per head, though that final bill at the end will be a lot higher once you add on drinks and service charge.

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    Location: Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, 4401 Floridian Way, Orlando, FL 32830, USA

    Open: Daily from 5.30pm to 7.30pm

    Phone: +1 407-939-3862

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    La Luce

    The Hilton’s signature La Luce serves a refined Italian menu of thin-crust pizzas, delectable pastas and an excellent Trattoria-style wine program. Only open for dinner, the restaurant's candlelit tables and lulling music make for a romantic setting, though the generously-sized potions and lively service make this good for the whole family. If you’re not into your wines, La Luce's creative Mediterranean-inspired cocktail list is well worth checking out, too.

    Location: Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, 14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Ln, Orlando, FL 32821, USA

    Open: Daily from 6pm to 11pm

    Phone: +1 407-597-3600

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    Wolfgang Puck Express

    For a chance to sample some of celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s signature creations in an informal setting, try heading to this modest and fast-paced restaurant at Disney Springs Marketplace. As an all-day restaurant, you can treat yourself to a gourmet breakfast, fancy (but still affordable) lunch or come for one of the dinner specials. Wolfgang Puck Express's menu of contemporary American and international dishes changes regularly.

    Location: Disney Springs Marketplace, 1780 East Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, USA

    Open: Daily from 9am to 11pm

    Phone: +1 407-828-0107

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    photo by JeffChristiansen (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

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    Flying Fish Café

    Fresh seafood (obviously) and prime cuts of steak are some of Flying Fish Café's specialties. This highly-rated spot on Disney’s Broadwalk is actually more of a restaurant than a café. High ceilings, funky light installations and high-energy service all make the dining experience complete at the Flying Fish Café, though do expect prices to be a little inflated.

    Location: Disney's BoardWalk, 2101 Epcot Resorts Blvd, Orlando, FL 32830, USA

    Open: Daily from 5pm to 9.30pm

    Phone: +1 407-939-2359

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    California Grill

    California Grill benefits from an elevated position at Disney’s Contemporary Resort (near the Magic Kingdom), offering some superb views over the park – especially good if you're dining when the firework display over Cinderella’s Castle takes place. The menu presents an eclectic mix of dishes from around the world, with sushi plates, Italian-style pasta and salads, as well as plenty of meat such as the bison striploin, oak-fired filet of beef, Bell & Evans chicken, and pork belly rillettes. Most of these mains come in at around the $50 mark, meaning an evening spent here with the whole family will be an expensive one – but one you won’t forget in a long time.

    Location: Disney's Contemporary Resort, 4660 World Dr, Orlando, FL 32836, USA

    Open: Daily from 5pm to 10pm

    Phone: +1 407-939-3463

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    Jiko - The Cooking Place

    Jiko - The Cooking Place is right in the heart of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Everything, from the vibrant décor, carved wooden seating and flavoursome dishes, takes inspiration from Africa. The impressive wine list which is exclusively imported from South Africa. They serve up the likes of Nigerian-spiced pork shank, garam masala-spiced sea scallops, maize-crusted grouper and Botswana-style Seswaa beef short rib. Most mains come in at around $30-50 while appetisers and desserts are around $10-20. This is definitely a family-friendly place, with a small and affordable selection of kids’ dishes available.

    Location: Disney's Animal Kingdom, 2901 W Osceola Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32830, USA

    Open: Daily from 5.30pm to 10pm

    Phone: +1 407-938-4733

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    For a unique dining experience, and one the kids will never forget, Cinderella’s Royal Table lets you dine with Disney Princesses in a grand banquet hall at the top of the building. After following the winding staircase, you’ll be greeted by a scene looking like something out of the movies, complete with colorful stained-glassed windows, towering stone archways overhead and medieval-style flags draped throughout.

    Food – which takes second place to all the grandeur that surrounds – is modern American cuisine, with plenty of choices to suit all tastes. The banquet hall is open for breakfast and lunch, though the true magic is best experienced during dinner. Don’t forget to dress up and plan for around $60 per head excluding drinks and service charge.

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    Location: Disney's Magic Kingdom, 1365 W Monorail Way, Orlando, FL 32836, USA

    Open: Sunday–Tuesday and Thursday from 8am to 8.45pm, Wednesday from 8am to 10pm, Friday–Saturday from 8am to 10.15pm

    Phone: +1 407-934-2927

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    ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill

    ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill at Disney World provides exactly what it says on the label: live sports streams and a meat-centric menu that’s cooked to order on the grill. The spacious diner has a genuine sports bar feel to it – almost as if you’ve left Micky Mouse and friends behind and headed into Downtown Orlando.

    The main room is spacious and bright, with sports memorabilia plastered on the walls in between the flat-screen TVs. Food is much more wallet-friendly here, too. Generously-sized hot and cold sandwiches, as well as sports-bar classics like nachos, hot dogs, pizzas, chicken nuggets and wings, come in at around $10.

    Location: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, 700 S Victory Way, Kissimmee, FL 34747, USA

    Open: Vary depending on events

    Phone: +1 407-939-3463

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    Ben Reeves | Compulsive Traveler

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