Eating is always a hot topic at Disney World and is a moving goal. The availability of the dining room location changes depending on attendance expectations or lack of staff. Menus are constantly changing things to deal with supply chain issues or to provide the next new shareable item that makes all bloggers go out of style. And the table service restaurants at Disney World are expensive places. You are leaving a lot of money to eat somewhere that you read about 6 months ago or that you enjoyed 6 years ago. And it could be totally different. We’ve tried to help you make good decisions, comparing satisfaction with the price or availability of the reservation, offering options similar to the things you already like, or suggesting places that might be of interest to specific party types. But now is the time for something different: something to help us adapt to the ever-changing gastronomic dynamics. How? Introducing the Disney World Table Service power ranking.
What are these power rankings? Well, deep down, these are numbers that allow us to compare all of Disney World’s table service restaurants in an accessible way. And they consider all the table service satisfaction scores we’ve received (over 275,000!), But the most recent results stand out. This means that they more accurately reflect what is happening lately, so you better know if a particular place has been better or worse than in the past and how it compares to any other location. You can then use our increasingly popular booking search engine to grab this dodgy reservation at the places you want to try.
Explain the math!
When you return from your WDW vacation (which you’ve probably booked with one of our amazing TouringPlans travel agents), you’re invited to fill out a post-visit survey. This is where we get all our satisfaction data to be able to do this type of analysis. Part of this survey is that you provide each dining place you have eaten with a “Thumb Up” or a “Thumb Down”. At the back, I can get all this data and group all the answers from each restaurant. Then I look at the percentage of responses that were “Thumbs up” and generally that’s how we calculate the overall satisfaction of this restaurant.
But this number does not emphasize recent reviews. A review from yesterday has a factor just like a review from nine years ago, if I don’t introduce any arbitrary cuts. In the world of Disney, even a review from two years ago shouldn’t matter as much as a review from yesterday. Therefore, for our table service power ratings we will introduce a weighted average. If you have already read our Resort Power Rankings, you already know the drill. If not, we’ll see what a weighted average is here.
For the Disney World Table Service power ratings, we want to keep the weighting fairly straightforward. We want recent reviews to maintain their full “weight” (and therefore impact the full score), but as we go further back in time, we want to eliminate “weight” so that older reviews have less impact. in the final score. For power ratings, we will reduce the total weight “window” to the last 3 months. Any review of this time period maintains its full weight. They count as a whole answer. But beyond that, we will implement the following weighting system:
- 3 to 6 months ago? 1/2 pes
- 6 to 9 months ago? 1/3 of weight
- 9 to 12 months ago? 1/4 weight
- 12 to 15 months ago? 1/5 weight
- 15 to 18 months ago? 1/6 weight
What do these numbers mean? Basically, reviews from the last three months are six times “heavier” (or more important) than reviews from 15-18 months ago, when we calculate the final score. This means that our table service power ratings don’t completely ignore the past, but recent reviews influence that. a lot month. When we review these rankings again in the winter, we can see what changes are happening compared to the fall and this will give us a lot of information about the recent changes in satisfaction. Today we will compare the power ratings with the all-time average to see what differences appear this way.
Which restaurants are in the top ranking of table services?
- From the beginning, we see that just because a restaurant is in the top 10 … unfortunately doesn’t mean you can eat there right now. As of this writing, Hoop-Dee-Doo and Jiko have yet to reopen after their pandemic closures.
- Also shown: if you want nearby dining options, the best resort for you this fall is Animal Kingdom Lodge. You have three of the top ten table service locations in your resort. I can’t get over that.
- Disney Springs also makes a strong presentation with Wine Bar George (our review team will be happy to explain why), Jaleo and Homecomin ‘. Of the top 10, Jaleo had the largest increase in power rating compared to the overall average. Jaleo has always been the 17th best table service restaurant. But it has been on a recent rise, reaching fifth place in the power rankings.
- If you’re looking for a great table service rate within a park, your best option this fall seems to be Teppan Edo, the only place within the park that gets the top 10 spots.
- As interesting to me as what the list does is what it doesn’t. Where is my family’s favorite character food, Topolino’s Terrace ?! Although it has the fourth highest global average, its recent reviews take it to 12th place in the energy ranking for the fall of 2021. We would not have known this without the weighted average. I will definitely keep my eyes on that one.
Which restaurants make positive moves in the table service power ratings?
- To get the highest list, a restaurant’s weighted average from the fall of 2021 had to raise it to at least 15 places compared to the all-time average. This means that compared to the rest of the table service spaces, your recent reviews have been much better compared to your all-time reviews. So these may not be the best restaurants, but you may want to take another chance if you haven’t enjoyed them in the past.
- Ale & Compass used to be a pretty big disappointment (you can read a 2017 review here), but it looks like it’s finding its post-pandemic foot with a lot more positive reviews. So, instead of ranking in the 71st historical position (ouch), it comes to a much more respectable place 41 this fall.
- Animal Kingdom Lodge is the ideal place to eat for the best table services. But Swan / Dolphin seems to be making some moves. Kimonos, bluezoo and Il Mulino improved 25 places compared to their historical averages. Kimonos is now almost in the top ten, moving from 39th to 14th in the Fall 2021 Power Rankings.
- When it comes to food in the park, Skipper Canteen (Magic Kingdom) and Hollywood Brown Derby (Hollywood Studios) have received more positive reviews recently and are rising in the Power Rankings.
Which restaurants make negative moves in the table service power ratings?
- Cape May Cafe reopened in May 2021 and has been quite disappointing ever since. Cape May without the characters is not impressive. You can read our most recent June review here. If you like to eat mediocre seafood, give it a try. Otherwise, maybe wait until the characters return.
- Narcoosee also saw a big drop. Reviews since its reopening seem to agree that all food is “okay,” but when it comes to the prices you pay to eat there, “okay” doesn’t really cut it.
- Be Our Guest started out as really popular and highly rated when it debuted. It is still a difficult reserve to achieve, but either the quality is suffering, or the concept has worn away with the masses.
- Toledo is quite similar in concept to Jaleo. But if you are staying in Coronado Springs (or perhaps another easily accessible Skyliner resort), Toledo is definitely easier to access. Chrissy recently had a good experience there, but overall Jaleo is still superior, and maybe Toledo has been suffering as a result.
What does this mean for you?
- Animal Kingdom Lodge is located in the place to eat reliably with excellent table service. You can’t have dinner at the Jiko right now, but wait your time in Boma or Sanaa and you won’t regret it. Plus it goes on @JikoYet at least to laugh while still closed.
- And while Animal Kingdom Lodge is the best, Swan / Dolphin is the startling winner for “most improved”. It may not yet be a dining destination, but it doesn’t count restaurants.
- If you visited Cape May Cafe, Narcoosee’s or Be Our Guest a couple of years ago and can’t wait to go back, get ready to manage your expectations. Things there may not be as fantastic as before.
Do you have an old favorite table service restaurant waiting at Disney World that recently disappointed you? Or a bad previous experience, followed by a surprisingly positive surprise? Were you surprised by any of the results or do you have predictions for the winter ranking? Let us know in the comments.