When you return from most vacations, one of the things that you are likely to remember is the food. You will either remember how lacking the choices were, or you will long for some of the wonderful dishes that you enjoyed while on vacation. The excellence of Disney World restaurants assure that the latter will be the case when you return home from the most magical, and most delicious, place on earth.
There are a variety of dining options in Disney World Resorts. You will find everything from quick service dining, casual table service, and world class fine dining at one of Disney’s Signature restaurants. No matter what type of restaurant that you choose, you can be sure that the service and quality that you find in every aspect of a Disney vacation will be present in the food as well.
Disney World offers a surprising array of restaurants and dining experiences.
Schedule Your Dining Experiences
Some people make the mistake of treating their vacation dining as a sort of afterthought. When they get hungry, they look for the closest or cheapest place to eat. But if you are vacationing somewhere where the food can be a part of the experience, such as is the case at Disney World Resort, then you should take a bit more thought when planning your meals.
Making Reservations (which will be discussed in the next section) is an absolute must. This is especially important if you want to visit some of Disney’s Signature or fine dining restaurants or if you are visiting during the busiest times of the year.
You do not have to plan out every single meal, but you should pick a few of the restaurants that you know you want to try and schedule those lunches or dinners into your vacation.
Failing to make reservations has led to disappointment for some Disney diners. Don’t put off making your reservations, and do so as soon as you know when you’ll be visiting. Some of the more popular Disney World restaurants actually book up months in advance. Waiting until you arrive at the resort to make your reservations can be a mistake.
Guests who are staying on the property are able to make reservations in Disney World restaurants 180 days in advance. If, at the time that you call, the Disney World restaurant(s) that you want are booked, try calling back in a few weeks. Sometimes, reservations are canceled and that would open up a spot for you.
Tips for Saving
If you are vacationing on a budget – and who isn’t these days? – then you need to find ways to trim the cost of eating while at Disney World Resort. Happily, that does not necessarily mean that you must forego the best restaurants, it just means finding creative ways to keep the costs as low as possible. Here are three simple tips to help you save.
- Disney Dining Plan – The Disney Dining Plan is one of the best tools to help you when budgeting for your meals. This plan is discussed in detail in the next section.
- In-Room Meals – Choose a room with a full kitchen or a kitchenette. This will allow you to eat some of your meals in your room. If you eat one meal per day in your room, such as a quick and easy breakfast, a family of four could easily save hundreds over the course of their stay.
- Breakfast Buffets – Choosing to eat at a breakfast buffet really can save you money. Instead of eating first thing in the morning, meet friends at a buffet style breakfast about an hour before the buffet is to end. This will serve as more of a brunch than breakfast, and will likely leave you satisfied until dinner time, effectively eliminating the need to eat lunch. Fortunately, there are plenty of buffet locations where you can enjoy the most important meal of the day. Just keep a small bite, such as piece of fruit, in your bag in case you need a snack.
Disney Dining Plan
As mentioned above, the Disney Dining Plan is one of the best tools to help you budget your meals while on vacation. There are three plan options, so be sure to learn the details of each so that you can choose the one that is best for you.
Type of Plans
- Quick Service Dining Plan – This option allow for two meals per day for any of the resorts quick dining establishments. Two snacks per day are also included (those delicious ice cream bars covered in dark chocolate and shaped like Mickey Mouse are a great choice!) . This is the least expensive option. It’s a great choice if you are on a budget, or if you are perfectly content with burgers, chicken, and simply but delicious theme park fair.
- Disney Dining Plan – The Disney Dining Plan allows for one quick service meal and one table service meal per day. One snack is also included. Having one table service meal per day allows you to enjoy sit down lunches and dinners as well as quick service options.
- Disney Deluxe Dining Plan – The Deluxe plan includes 3 meals per day that can be taken either at table service or quick service establishments. An appetizer is also included at table service restaurants. Three snacks per day are also provided. Each guest is also given a refillable mug which can be used without charge throughout your stay. And given the Florida heat, you can be sure that you will take full advantage of all those beverage stops.
Of course, the cost of the available plans change each season, so you will have to check for current rates when booking your vacation.
Special Needs and Requests
Many guests have special dietary needs or requests. Disney World restaurants will do everything in their power to meet such requests. In fact, some restaurants have special menu items intended to meet some of those needs. Still, if you have special dietary needs always make that known at the time that you are making your reservation. This will allow the restaurant to have ample time to prepare a great dining experience that will suit your special needs.
Also, if you are vegetarian or vegan, you should make that known as well. While many of the Disney World restaurants will have many vegetarian options, it is best to make your special requests known in advance to avoid any chance of disappointment.
A Very Special Dinner
Even if you are vacationing on a very strict budget, plan for at least one very special dinner. After all, you are on vacation! Whether it is taking in the Spirit of Aloha dinner show at the Polynesian Resort or enjoying a gourmet meal at Victoria and Albert’s, plan your special night out.
If you are using the Disney Dining Plan or the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan, you can do this by simply using two of your meal options at one of Disney’s fine dining restaurants.
Happily, you will be able to read all about Disney’s dining options on the internet, so you can do much of your research about where you’d like to eat in advance.
Making the most of your Disney World Resort vacation includes enjoying some of the fine Disney World restaurants. Many of these restaurants really are part of the Disney Magic!