In general, dining at Disney World is relatively expensive. However, prices vary significantly depending on the type of dining experience and food you choose to eat. Comparatively inexpensive meals can be found at counter-service locations or cobbled together from snack carts, while table service restaurants run the gamut from mid-price family-style meals to exclusive prix fixe meals at select locations.
Snack Carts – Quick and Fun
The four Disney World theme parks and two water parks are dotted with snack carts or small kiosks serving fruit, ice cream bars, popcorn, churros, and similar items that can be eaten on the go. Snack carts are a boon to theme park guests who like to move at full speed, hitting as many attractions as possible during the day. They are also great for children who need a bit of extra mid-morning or mid-afternoon fuel during the day.
Counter Service – Full Meals, Less Cost
In addition to snack carts, the Disney World theme parks each feature a large number of counter-service restaurants where guests can grab a relatively quick meal. These restaurants are mostly fast food style, in which you order and pay at a register before finding a table among patio or cafeteria seating. Counter service locations usually feature a separate kid’s menu, but the regular menu is rarely exotic and the food should be familiar to most children.
Table Service – Bigger Meals
Finally, some restaurants around Disney World are table service restaurants with host seating and a wait staff. The majority of Walt Disney World’s table service restaurants can be found at the various Walt Disney World resort hotels. Apart from the value resorts, which each feature a food court with various counter service options, each of the resorts has at least one table service location for guests to enjoy. Since resort restaurants are open to both guests and non-guests, they give Disney World visitors a long list of dining options to choose from.
All the Disney World theme parks offer table service restaurants –
like the Yack & Yeti at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Most of the theme parks feature relatively few table service options. The exception is Epcot, and the dining extravaganza that is the World Showcase. Most of the World Showcase country pavilions feature at least one table service restaurant, as well as less formal dining options.
Some table service restaurants include entertainment such as character dining or dinner shows. The family-friendly experiences are mostly buffet-style, and usually require advance reservations due to their popularity. These experiences can also be lengthy as you wait for characters to visit your table or enjoy the live performances, so it is best to schedule a decent chunk of time into your day for these restaurants.