Sushi in Disney World

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I’m sure that I can assign you into one of two categories… those who like sushi and those who think they don’t like sushi.  It’s actually remarkable how many people I’ve met who just assume they don’t like sushi without having ever tried it.  Most people believe that sushi is just raw fish.  However, some sushi rolls (called maki) are prepared with cooked fish.  If the thought of raw fish grosses you out then give cooked sushi a try.  Even if you think sushi is not for you, please keep reading.

Disney World has really come a long way in recent years to provide guests the opportunity to get sushi while on vacation.  There are numerous eateries that have some sort of sushi offered on the menu.  While the restaurant atmospheres and price ranges vary, most of us sushi lovers can agree that any sushi is better than no sushi at all.

Anyone desperate to find some quick “supermarket” sushi should be able to find something in all parks except for Animal Kingdom and Magic KingdomEpcot has two locations that are worth checking out.  Katsura Grill in the Japan pavilion of the World Showcase has a standard variety of sushi with choices like the California Roll and Spicy Tuna Roll.  There are also combos available that include a roll and Tsukemen Salad.  In the past, I’ve seen pre-packed sushi at Sunshine Seasons, as well, but I can’t say that it’s available all of the time.  At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, your only sushi option is Starring Rolls, where you can find pre-packaged basic rolls.  The selection does change from day to day at Starring Rolls, so keep that in mind.  A couple of quick service locations in Disney resorts on property have sushi available at times.  Pre-packaged sushi has been seen before at Caribbean Beach, Beach Club, Polynesian, and the Grand Floridian resorts.

If you’re wanting to get true fresh sushi you’ll have to check out actual sit-down restaurants.  Wolfgang Puck Cafe is a popular restaurant at Downtown Disney.  While it doesn’t specialize in sushi, there are many standard and unique rolls available, as well as nigiri and sashimi.  This is a great place to choose if your traveling companions don’t want sushi.  Same goes for Teppan Edo in Epcot.  While there are only a couple of standard rolls, sushi is available as an appetizer in your meal.  1900 Park Fare is a buffet at the Grand Floridian Resort, and typically there are a few rolls on the buffet.

There are a handful of restaurants on Disney property that specialize in amazing sushi.  The only one of these actually in a Disney World park is Tokyo Dining in Epcot.  Tokyo Dining is a beautiful restaurant that is an easy place to get into without an Advanced Dining Reservation.  If you schedule a reservation a bit before IllumiNations and ask for a table by the windows, you’ll get an excellent view of the fireworks show while you are enjoying your meal.  A popular item on Tokyo Dining’s menu is the Bento Box, which includes some cooked meat, vegetables, as well as a variety of sushi.

Kimonos, at the Swan Resort in between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, is Disney’s only restaurant that is all sushi all the time.  Come the evening, karaoke begins at Kimonos to liven everything up.  Kimonos definitely has my favorite sushi on Disney property.  The menu is huge, which means great variety.  You’re really getting great quality fish, but of course it’s going to come at a price.  I definitely think that Kimono’s miso soup is my favorite miso that I’ve tried anywhere.  There is a full service bar, as well, so you can enjoy an awesome saki bomb as you dine.  I definitely suggest trying the Jalapeño Roll!  It’s oh so good.

Many of you have dined at Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Resort before, but not enough of you have given Kona Island Sushi Bar next door a chance.  You don’t need a reservation to dine at the sushi bar, and your best bet to get a seat without a wait is to get there at 5:00 p.m. when it opens for sushi.  You can order off of the sushi menu or the standard Kona Cafe menu while dining at the bar, and vice versa.  The sushi menu isn’t huge, and the prices are a little steep, but if you want more than decent sushi it’s a great option.

Probably the most talked about restaurant that has a creative sushi menu is California Grill atop the Contemporary Resort.  I can flat out say that the sushi is expensive as all heck, but it’s definitely great quality and not something that you’re going to find anywhere else on Disney property.  The presentation is always top notch and the dining atmosphere cannot be beat.  If you’re just dying for a great view of Wishes, make a reservation before the show starts, and you’ll have the best spot anywhere.

Alright sushi lovers, what are your favorite restaurants in Disney World?  Let me know in the comment section below!

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Posted on March 1, 2012

13 Responses to “Sushi in Disney World”

  • We have always love the atmosphere at Tokyo Dining. We always look forward to an afternoon breather at a table by the window overlooking World Showcase. We have NEVER had a bad experience here and we’ve been eating there for nearly 20 years!

  • Kimonos is fantastic! Try the Kimono roll if you go. It tastes like it comes express shipped from Heaven!

  • They also carry pre-packaged sushi at Everything Pop in the Pop Century (or at least they did when we were there back in November). We love Kimonos too! You can’t go wrong with some miso soup, sushi, and a little karaoke!

  • Kimonos is quickly becoming my favorite WDW restaurant. As you say, it is very expensive, but oh so worth it! Keep an eye out for Restaurant.com gift certificates as well – occasionally the Swan & Dolphin hotels’ restaurants will participate.

  • At the risk of being a complete sourpuss, I have to respectfully disagree with the notion that “any sushi is better than no sushi at all.” The only thing that mediocre sushi or even good sushi does is make me wish I had awesome sushi. It’s not like pizza, when even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. Honestly, average sushi is just a colossal bummer when you know how ridiculously good it can be when it’s “on.” For that reason, I’ve never bothered to try it at Disney because, well, I didn’t expect it to be exceptional.

    That obviously sounds incredibly pompous, and I guess it is, but for what it’s worth, I find that to be a quirk of sushi, as I don’t feel that way about food in general. With most everything else, I can enjoy just about anything for what it is along the food spectrum, from fast food to haute cuisine. For sushi, though, if it isn’t uber-fresh and spectacular, I’d rather skip it until I can find somewhere that is uber-fresh spectacular.

    With all of that said, though, who knows, maybe I’ll break down and give it a whirl sometime. :)

    • You make a great point. A few weeks ago I was really craving sushi and the closest place for GOOD sushi is a half hour away. I ordered a couple of rolls from a local “Chinese-American” restaurant. One wasn’t too bad but the other had me gagging. Downright bad sushi does exist and you’re right, I’d rather eat nothing than vomit sushi.

      Pompous? Yes, maybe a little but you have the right to be when it comes to eating raw fish. I don’t think I’m a sushi expert but I can definitely tell the difference between bad, mediocre, and amazing. That being said, if you want amazing sushi then try Kimonos. It’s least likely to disappoint you.

  • Great article Stacy! We’ll have to try Kimono’s sometime.
    They also have basic pre- packaged maki rolls at the Poly in Captain Cooks if you’re desperate and the sushi bar isn’t open yet. We really love the Kona sushi bar- it really is great sushi and my husband fell in love with their Poke- try it if you like the raw fish type. This is not just crumby mall sushi.
    I got California rolls at the California Grill once. $22! :o But it was the best I’ve ever eaten- something about the rice in particular.
    We fell in love with Tokyo Dining last trip and it was everyone’s first pick for our next trip to WDW. My husband loved everything and I LOVED my Bento Box (even though I was scared of pork belly before I tried it). Incredible sushi and fantastic service. PS- I used to be in the “I don’t like sushi even thoough I havent tried it” camp!

    • Thanks for the input, Katherine! I love hearing about sushi converts! I still need to try the Poke at Kona! Next time! :)

      • by David Davies on March 2, 2012, at 5:46 pm EDT

        I believe the rolls at Captain Cook’s (and maybe Gasparilla Grill) state that they are prepared at the Kona Island Sushi Bar (or something to that effect). I know I saw some of the unique rolls from Kona Island at Captain Cook’s.

  • Thanks for all the information. We have never had sushi in all our 15 trips to WDW. Based on this review we are going to try Tokyo Dining on our next trip in 26 days! My daughter is not a fish eater, but I looked at the menu and think there are options for her. Our exchange daughter is from Japan and this, I hope, will be a real treat for her. Thanks again!

  • I remember reading last year that all pre-packaged sushi is actually made daily, on-property. I believe it is made at Tokyo Dining and then delivered to the different locations.

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