“Eat at EVERY Walt Disney World restaurant” is an item on my bucket list that will probably never get checked off because there are so many restaurants, more are added, and I tend to frequent favorites. Over the last couple of years, I’ve made it a point to try no less than two new restaurants every visit. The Wave of American Flavors, located inside Disney’s Contemporary Resort, has been on my “must try” list since our first stay at the resort back in 2010. This year, I finally walked in and truly enjoyed what I think is one of the more underrated restaurants on property.
On this visit, I traveled with my parents and uncle, all of whom let it be made known early that they would not be purchasing park tickets. All of my dining reservations had to be made for restaurants located inside the resorts or off property. (Garden Grill escapes my grasp for yet another trip.) After some thought, I happily chose The Wave because it is easily accessible (within walking distance from Magic Kingsom), last minute dining reservations are usually available.
The Wave really is a beautiful restaurant. The cuisine is American, featuring sustainable food items. They accept the Disney Dining Plan and give a 10% discount to passholders. From the moment you walk in, the decor sweeps you away into an ocean of relaxed ambiance. The service was on par with what I expect from Disney; not a single detail was missed.
Of course, I tasted a bit of everything that came to our table. That’s the good part about dining with family; I don’t feel guilty about grabbing a corner of my uncle’s steak. As an appetizer, my father ordered the Lump Crab and Florida Rock Shrimp Cakes. This was probably my favorite part of the meal. They were delicious. Paired with the rémoulade and citrus salad, I could have eaten an entree sized portion and left happy. Mom was quite pleased with the Roasted Chicken and grits; My uncle had the Grilled Rib-Eye with the Tillamook Mac and Cheese. He declared the steak among the best he’d eaten, because of the port reduction sauce. Dad ordered the Grilled Beef Tenderloin, and I had the Cioppino (fish, scallops, shrimp, and mussels in spiced tomato broth). The flavor was amazing, but I was disappointed with the portion size. I ordered dessert because I was still hungry. The mini-desserts, Apple Cobbler, Deconstructed Key Lime, Pumpkin Spice Panna Cotta Cranberry Compote and German Chocolate Cake, all came in cute little cube shaped cups. The best of the three was the Apple Cobbler.
Would I return to The Wave? Definitely! I prefer Table Service restaurants to Quick Service, but sometimes reservations to my favorites are hard to come by. The Wave could easily fill a gap in my dinner schedule as long as you don’t tell people how tasty it is. They do serve breakfast, so I’ll have to keep them on my “to-do” list if I need to eat breakfast near Magic Kingdom and not able to get reservations at Chef Mickey’s or Crystal Palace. I almost hate to keep referring to The Wave as a “back-up” if you can’t get the dining reservation you truly want. After a couple visits, I could see this becoming a regular dining spot for my family.
Have you been to The Wave? What are some of your favorite “stand-by” restaurants, or what are the restaurants you’ve been hoping to try that maybe have been missed?