Top Five Reasons to Stay in the Disney Parks for Meals

Disney knows that food is an important part of the day, and they’ve worked hard to continue the Disney experience even in restaurants. By the end of this article, you’ll see that eating in the parks is the best way to go.

5. Enjoy the Scenery.

Cast Members work hard to continue the Disney Magic even at counter-service dining locations. Many restaurants have outdoor or second-floor seating (that few people know of) that allow you to rest your tired feet while enjoying the beautiful theming and scenery of Disney World. Savor the delicious food without feeling rushed, check My Disney Experience for wait times, and make a plan for the afternoon. If you like to people watch, this is a great way to do it.

4. Save time away from the parks for other things.

If you sprung for a moderate or deluxe resort, plan to spend a day enjoying the pool, arcade, and outdoor areas, but especially if you’re staying at a value resort, the time at your resort is best spent sleeping. Remember, there are kid’s play areas in the parks that are much better than the playgrounds at value resorts. This means you get park time and the kids won’t get bored even while waiting in a queue line.

3. Time away from Disney is less magical.

The Disney restaurants have fun theming and friendly cast members.
The Disney restaurants have fun theming and friendly Cast Members.

The local burger joint or even the international food chain don’t work as hard as Disney does to make your experience the best it can be. The employees may be poorly trained, disgruntled, and maybe even a little grumpy. This is definitely not a magical experience.

As I mentioned above, Disney invests a lot of time and money to make their restaurants as magical as the best attractions in the parks, and they do a good job. What’s more, Disney’s employees are often more mature, and have beat out hundreds if not thousands of other candidates to be working at Disney, especially if they are part of the college program. They value their job, and they’ll do anything they can to make sure you love your experience.

2. Leaving the park is a waste of time.

You’ve spent a lot of money and time planning the best vacation your family could think of. Leaving the park takes away from the time you spend in Disney and among the magic.

Just walking to the entrance of the park and finding your car is easily 20 minutes on a good day. Leave property, drive to the restaurant of your choice (hopefully everyone agrees on the same kind of food!), pay for the food, wait for your order, complain about mistakes with your order, eat your food, drive back to the parks (hopefully you can find a parking spot), walk back to the park, go through bag check, get back into the park and back to where you were in your attraction checklist. This is at least a two-hour journey, which means it’s two hours not spent in the parks and instead eating somewhere you probably eat in your everyday life.

Don't waste time traveling away from the parks for food.
Don’t waste time traveling away from the parks for food.

If your complaint is the lines, plan to grab a snack mid-morning and eat between 2pm and 4pm. Lines are not as long, and this tends to be either the hottest or wettest time of day in Central Florida. Since most restaurants are air-conditioned and you can easily find an umbrella or indoor table, you’ll be sheltered from the heat and the weather without spending the time to leave the park and more importantly re-enter the park.

1. Time is money.

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Time is one thing but money is another. Keep in mind that you can break down your vacation costs by hour. Even by a generous estimate, every hour in the park costs an individual about $7. Leaving the park for two hours costs each individual $14 or more, and a family of four over $50! Then you have to add in the money you’ll spend on food, gas, parking, etc. Even if you spend an extra $15 on food in Magic Kingdom, you’re still saving money and getting a better experience.

Do you eat your meals inside the Disney Parks?
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