Okay, that title is a pretty big claim. But it’s true! Maya Grill is the best Disney restaurant you’re not eating at. How do I know? Because the last time we were there, it was 6:30 pm, prime dinner time, and we were the only people in the joint. Let me repeat that a little bit louder. We were at a restaurant, at Walt Disney World, the busiest vacation spot in the world, during the FREE DINING promotion, and we had the place to ourselves.
What the what?
To be fair, if it hadn’t been for a turn of fate, we would also have never had dinner at the place Mr. B, a notorious food snob, calls “the best restaurant at Walt Disney World”.
Here’s how it went down. On Day 3 of the B Family 2017 trip, we had a huge breakfast at Cape May Cafe, and decided to skip lunch in favor of lounging by the pool. Have I told ya’ll how much I love Coronado’s main pool, the Dig Site? Check it out, if you haven’t. Also, have I told ya’ll how much I love Coronado Springs? I’m sure I have. Anyway, as we were lounging, Mr. B says, “What are the odds we can get a table service meal for dinner?” Ya’ll, I almost died laughing. Did he not remember the furious scramble for ADRs when we booked this last minute trip? He’s lucky we got any food, period. But being a kind and dutiful wife, I check the My Disney Experience App to see what there is to see. Maya Grill had a ton of openings in 30 minute increments, and bonus, it was at our resort, so easy in and easy out. Sold.
Look at those happy faces. Those are the faces of people who only had to walk three minutes to their dinner reservation.
Who: Maya Grill
What: Dinner Only
Where: Coronado Springs Resort
How: Cash, Credit, and the Dining Plan accepted.
When: Open daily, Dinner 5-10.
Disney says: Dine on traditional Mexican and American dishes at Maya Grill, serving dinner daily at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Here, the essence of ancient Mexico greets you in a majestic dining room accented by the welcoming Mayan motifs of fire, sun and water.
From traditional platters to our Chef’s specialties, choose from an enticing array of Tex-Mex creations. Follow your entrée with a sumptuous dessert, such as Coconut Flan, Chocolate Abuelita Panna Cotta, Lemon Sorbet, Mango Sorbet or a sampling of dessert shots.
At Maya Grill, there’s something savory or sweet to satisfy most every palate.
B Family Says: “Look! I got four crayons!”-The Little B Mermaid, age 4. “More bread!”-The Sweet B Apple, age 2. “This is literally the best restaurant at Disney World”-Mr. B, not given to exaggeration. “The Sweet Apple ate all the fancy bread. Do you think they’ll give us more bread?”-Kristen B, fan of bread
Maya Grill is located in the main building at Coronado Springs, a straight shot from the fountain in the main lobby, and past Pepper Market, the quick service area. With the sleek, cool ambient lighting and stylish but simple decor, Maya Grill gives off a definite upscale vibe. The service was excellent, and, because we were literally the only game in town, we were able to spend a few minutes chatting with our cast member about specials and Mr. B’s dietary needs.
We’re not big into adult beverages, but the menu was screaming things like “mango” and “wild berry” and “hibiscus” and I thought, why not? It’s vacation. I got the Blood Orange Margarita, a sweet-tart mix of orange juice, Tequila, orange liqueur topped with Wildberry Foam and served on the rocks with a hibiscus Himalayan salt rim. Ya’ll, it was so good. I could list typical reviewy adjectives like “cool”, “refreshing” and “invigorating” and it was all those things, but it also just tasted really good. Considering that the new dining plan offers one alcoholic beverage with dinner credits, it’s also a steal, because paying out of pocket will run for $12. We paid out of pocket for this, and for the record, every cent of those $12 was well spent.
Look at this drink. Isn’t it neat?
We went with the house Guacamole as a starter, and then were pleasantly surprised when our server also brought us a complimentary tower of assorted breads. There was flat, crispy bread, and jalapeño corn bread, which was so delicious that we asked for more. If you love the light sweetness of cornbread but always wished for just a teeny bit of flair, then you gotta try this bread. The jalapeño component is a mild spice with more of a lively flavor than a really hot one. Our little princesses gobbled it up and they don’t do too spicy. I’ve found some of the bread options at comparable restaurants to be lackluster, and was thrilled at these two very distinct flavor options. Pro-tip: that crispy flat bread with a little butter and guacamole is where it is AT.
There are several varieties of guac you can get, but we went with classic.
This bread cone has my heart.
You would think that would be enough for us, between my fancy drink and the piles of jalapeño cornbread, but you would be wrong because we still had the main course!
Mr. B went with Maya Grill’s Signature Fajita Skillet with steak, which he reported to be flavorful and perfectly cooked. The Little Mermaid and the Sweet Apple both got the kid’s Mac & Cheese, which came with rice and assorted vegetables. Let me tell you right now, these two could have shared one plate. The portions are really generous. My children have now eaten Mac & Cheese at almost every Disney restaurant where its available, and this was their favorite. I asked what made it so good, and the Little Mermaid reported, “So cheesey.”
Sizzling hot fajitas. Definitely tempted to sneak a bite or two.
I got the Red Snapper Veracruz, and I am not kidding when I tell ya’ll I still think about this meal. The perfectly crispy, flaky snapper is served in a sauce of roasted tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, olives, capers over a bed of cilantro white rice. After every third bite, I stopped what I was doing to tell the rest of the table, ‘this is so, so good.” Even afterI said it three times, I just kept saying it. I knew they knew, but I couldn’t stop because it was so, so good and I just needed everyone to know about it.
All my dreams. I will see you again, snapper.
After the plates were cleared, we were able to take in our surroundings a little more. Throughout dinner we had commented on how much we had enjoyed the music choices, Latinized versions of popular hits from the 90s. Turns out, what we thought was piped in music was a real live Mariachi singer! We realized this as he launched into a gorgeous cover of Bryan Adams’s “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman,” which was apparently dedicated to us. I mean, I assume it was decimated to us, because the singer said, “this is for you” and we were the only people in there. I love the 90s hits, so you know I sang along the whole time. The best part is, my girls are too small to be embarrassed by me, so they joined in with random “aaaaaahhhhs”. The B Family Band, ladies and gentlemen!
For dessert we shared the Ancho Chili Creme Brûlée, an ancho Chile infused custard and caramelized sugar with seasonal fruit. Now, our Creme Brûlée only came with one seasonal fruit (hello, little raspberry) but we did not care because the Brûlée itself was ah-maz-ing. The ancho Chile was just enough spice to go with all the sweetness of the custard and the caramelized sugar. Mr. B doesn’t often do desserts, because taking the extra insulin is a bit of a bear, but he did for this, and in his words: “worth it.”
The perfect end to a perfect meal.
As we rolled ourselves out of the restaurant, we ran into the manager, who we thanked for such a lovely dining experience, and he in turn thanked us for visiting them and wished us a joyful rest of our vacation. Does it get any better?
Things I Did Not Get to Eat This Trip, But Will be Eating on our 2018 Trip
- Queso Fundido
- Soft Shell Crab Causa
- Shrimp Tacos
- Yucatan Roasted Pork
- Chocolate Abuelita Panna Cotta
- Coconut Flan
Maya Grill seriously has it all. The attention to detail, the dedicated service from exemplary cast members, and unique, appetizing meal options found no where else on site. It is truly the best restaurant at Walt Disney World you’re not visiting.
Have you checked out Maya Grill? Do you love it as much as we did? Would you consider stopping in for some jalapeño corn bread? Let me know down below!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey three years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!