To give you an idea of location, Walt Disney World is located approximately 21 miles southwest of Downtown Orlando in Bay Lake, which is one of two Florida municipalities controlled by The Walt Disney Company, the other being Lake Buena Vista. On Hotel Plaza Blvd., you’ll find several hotels to accommodate you and your loved ones including DoubleTree Suites By Hilton Orlando, B Resort & Spa Orlando and Best Western Lake Buena Vista.

You’ll know where you are based on Mickey and Minnie welcoming you with a sign that reads:


5 Places to Eat Outside Disney in Orlando

Welcome to Disney World Sign Photo Courtesy Sabrina Pirillo


Just outside of that iconic sign are several family-friendly restaurants, which include wide booth space for large families, affordable pricing and take out options:

Breakfast: $

IHOP: 12400 S Apopka Vineland Rd, Orlando, FL 32836, USA

Waffles, pancakes and crepes, oh my! Three things you can guarantee when stepping into an IHOP (International House of Pancakes) Restaurant are: stacked pancakes, free-flowing coffee and a smile J Your extensive options include IHOP Signature dishes like T-Bone Steak & Eggs, Bacon Lovers Bacon Temptation Omelets, Breakfast Sampler (where two is the magic number: two eggs, two hickory-smoked bacon strips, two pork sausage links, two pieces of ham, two fluffy buttermilk pancakes and golden hash browns), Chicken & Waffles, burgers, sandwiches, and of course, pancakes, made with whole buttermilk and 100% real butter (are you salivating yet?)

As for the little ones, they get a designed menu just for them based on some of the same dishes as the grown-up menu. They can enjoy Jr. Chicken & Waffles, Jr. Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and the new Jr. Cupcake Pancake Combo.

Money saving tip: The Pancake Revolution! Join their e-club and instantly be rewarded with a FREE stack of Rooty Tooty Fresh N’ Fruity Pancakes! And the rewards don’t stop there, you’ll receive a fresh stack on the year of the anniversary of you joining and on your birthday!

So before heading out to see Mickey and friends, make sure to stack up (see what I did there) on a full breakfast at IHOP. With menu items starting at just $4.99 US, you can splurge on more important things, like a family set of Mickey ears.


Lunch: $$

UNO Pizzeria & Grill: 12553 FL-535, Orlando, FL 32836, USA

Welcome to UNO, a family-friendly chain serving Chicago-style pizza (like their popular Numero UNO deep-dish) alongside other delicious options like pasta, steak, burgers, and chicken. Their big booths offer comfortable seating for you and your family. Their kid’s menu starts at just $5.99 US, where your child can enjoy their own pizza, pasta, Mac & cheese or Chicken Pops (crispy chicken tenders on a stick). As for mom, dad, grandma and grandpa, the menu options tantalize your taste buds. Have you heard of UNO’s Baked Stuffed Spinoccoli? Chicken breast filled with feta, mozzarella, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, garlic and basil. Or how about creating your own flatbread? And when was the last time you got to choose whole-grain brown rice with dried cranberries or roasted Brussel sprouts with bacon as a side option?

5 Places to Eat Outside Disney in Orlando Pizza feels inadequate - Sabrina Pirillo

Photo Sabrina Pirillo


UNO also offers a gluten-free menu (including thin crust pizza on a Venice Bakery crust).

Want to know the best part? It’s been a long day, your kids are on their second wind and all you want to do is go back to your hotel room, slip into a robe and relax? Well, you can. Just order from UNO’s Deep Deals Takeout menu, where you can purchase one pizza and get the second of equal or lesser value for half off! Family meals start at $34.99US and offer a variety of options that best suit your family’s needs.

Dinner: $$

OLIVE GARDEN Italian Kitchen: 12361 FL-535, Orlando, FL 32836, USA

Ciao Italia! It not only smells like Italy as soon as you walk into the Olive Garden but then be prepared to be served as if you are in a real Italian household.

Money saving tip: Join Olive Garden’s e-club and get a FREE appetizer (with the purchase of two adult entrees) when you sign up!

You and your family will begin with a giant bowl of salad for the table alongside the soft, buttery, fresh from the oven breadsticks. Now, try to figure out what to order, as they have every option available from traditional spaghetti and meatball sauce, to the Tastes of The Mediterranean which features the likes of Linguine di Mare (pasta of the sea), shrimp scampi and chicken piccata, or why not create your own pasta bowl or create your own Tour of Italy, where you can choose three of nine favourite menu items.

And for the kiddies, they can enjoy their own bowls of pasta, pizza or chicken fingers and top their meal off with a Dolcini. Piccoli Dolci means “little dessert treats,” and they’re layered with cake, mousse, pastry creams and berries.

Because Olive Garden feeds you portions like my grandmother used to serve, there is a good chance you cannot finish your dinner in one sitting. You know what that means, Italian leftovers for breakfast! Make sure to ask for a mini fridge at your hotel so you can take your remaining portions home for later.

So there you have it, breakfast, lunch and dinner are served without breaking the bank because the last thing you want to be worrying about is coming home to credit card statements.

Go ahead, enjoy your vacation!