Eating and dining is a big part of Disney. For some guests dining at Disney is what they look forward to most, that’s how magical Disney restaurants can be. Here are 11 tips on how to do Disney’s table-service restaurants like a pro, and have your best possible dining experience.
11. Check Out the Resorts
The parks aren’t the only places to find incredible restaurants. Disney resorts have some of the best dining around, especially at the deluxe resorts. The Grand Floridian has Victoria & Albert’s, which is fine dining, and the Contemporary has California Grill, which is on the 15th floor and has a gorgeous view of Magic Kingdom.
10. Look at the Menus
When deciding which restaurant to visit, check out the menus ahead of time. They are available for perusal on the Disney website and on the My Disney Experience app. This will help you make an informed choice that will have something for everyone in your party.
9. Tables in Wonderland
The Tables in Wonderland card is available to annual passholders, Florida residents and DVC members. It’s a card that will give guests 20% off food and alcohol at most table service restaurants at Disney World. If you visit frequently, or even just a few times a year, the Tables in Wonderland card could save you a good chunk of change over the year.
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8. Try Something New
We all have our favorite Disney restaurants and our favorite meals that we continue to order time and time again. But once in a while it’s good to try something new. Whether it’s ordering an appetizer you’ve never had, trying the new entrée on the menu, or trying an entirely new restaurant, it’s good to step out of your comfort zone at Disney. You just might find a new favorite!
7. Have I.D
If you want to have an alcoholic beverage with your meal, have your I.D with you. You might think you’re well beyond being asked for I.D, but Disney can be quite strict with checking I.D, even those well into their 30’s. If you’re an international guest, it’s good to have a copy or a photo of your passport with you as well.
6. Be Our Guest
Be Our Guest continues to be one of the more difficult reservations to obtain at Disney World. If you’re unable to secure a dinner reservation, consider looking for a breakfast or lunch reservation. These meals are not table service meals but quick service meals. During breakfast and lunch guests can find their own table. It’s nice to have the freedom to choose which room you’d like to sit in during breakfast and lunch.
5. Consider All Meals
Take a look at which restaurants offer which meals. Not every restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s important to consider which meal you want to have at a restaurant, and how it fits into your park plans. Breakfast is a good option if you want to get into the park before it officially opens. A late dinner at the Rose and Crown could mean a view of Illuminations from the restaurant, and lunch is a great way to break up your day at the park. The menu offerings throughout the day will may also change and that can be a deciding factor as well.
4. Know How Much to Order
It’s very easy to get caught up in all the delicious offerings at Disney. Indulging is definitely something to do at Disney, but there is a point where you have to know the right amount of food to order. When spending the whole day at the park, what do you do with leftovers? And ordering too much food can also leave you feeling very full and lethargic, which isn’t always the way you want to feel when you have FastPasses for Expedition Everest or Space Mountain after your meal. It’s good to keep these things in mind when you want to order an appetizer, main dish and dessert, plus drinks at the restaurant. Besides, there’s always more food at Disney if you get hungry again!
3. Dining Plan Credits
If you are on a Disney Dining Plan it’s important to know how many table service credits are required at each meal. Some Disney restaurants require two meal credits instead of just one. If you have a meal at a restaurant that requires two credits, and you haven’t planned for it, you will find yourself short on credits.
Disney pros know that restaurants can be some of the best places to meet characters. Guests can meet Mickey and friends, and even princesses at some of the restaurants at Disney World. Some of your best Disney memories can be made at character dining experiences.
1. Make a Reservation
The best tip we can give you when it comes to restaurants, is to make an advance dining reservation as close to 180 days in advance as you can, because you can’t have a great dining experience if you can’t get a table. The restaurants at Disney, especially the popular ones, fill up very quickly with people planning their vacations months in advance. It might sound like a lot of planning, but it will help you avoid wandering around the parks in search of a table, and you’ll have a wonderful dining experience to look forward to!