10 Q&As for Dining at Walt Disney World

Credit: DisneyPhotoSnapper

At Walt Disney World, dining isn’t just a way to fuel your body – it’s a magical experience unto itself!  There are countless dining adventures waiting for you in the parks, resorts and in Disney Springs.  But all of those options can be overwhelming, even if you’ve been to WDW before.  Here are ten common questions and answers to help you navigate dining at Walt Disney World like a pro!

1. What Are the Hardest Dining Reservations to Get?

It’s a good idea to make dining reservations for all table service restaurants in WDW.  But even if you’re sitting by your phone, waiting to make your advanced dining reservations as soon as you’re eligible (60-days in advance), there are still some super popular restaurants that are hard to snag spots for.  Consider yourself very lucky if you succeed in reserving dining times for Cinderella’s Royal Table, Be Our Guest, Oga’s Cantina, Homecomin’, The Boathouse, Teppan Edo, or Garden Grill.  But if at first you don’t succeed, try another day, or another time (try choosing a time in between typical meal times) – you might find your persistence pays off! 

2. Where Can I Eat Without an Advanced Dining Reservation?

Not everyone plans their meals out weeks or months in advance.  But that doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on great table service meals at Walt Disney World!  While it may be difficult for you to secure spots for the most popular restaurants on property, we have had luck with last minute reservations (try Olivia’s CafĂ©, Yak & Yeti, and Rainforest CafĂ©).  You can even add your name to the Mobile Dine Walk-up Waitlist offered by an ever-expanding list of WDW restaurants!

3. What Restaurants Are Perfect for Kids?

Children are allowed at nearly every restaurant on Disney property, so depending on how adventurous their palates are, they could enjoy quite a range of restaurants in WDW.  But there are certain restaurants that are more kid-friendly than others, because of their theming, opportunities to view Disney characters, or their kid-friendly meal choices.  Try Topolino’s Terrace or Chef Mickey’s to combine meal time with modified character dining, Be Our Guest Restaurant or T-REX for out-of-this-world theming, and Casey’s Corner or Cosmic Ray’s Starlight CafĂ© for quick service options with familiar comfort food.

Chef Mickey’s (Photo Credit: Disney)

4. What Are Some Amazing Restaurants for Adults?

Everyone knows that Walt Disney World isn’t just for kids (trust someone who has visited WDW a dozen times without little ones in tow!).  Where can you go to have a relaxing dinner with a partner or adult friends and family, away from the kids (if you brought any)?  Some of the best adult dining locations in WDW are Tiffins Restaurant, The Edison, The Boathouse, and Le Cellier Steakhouse.  All have fabulous food, excellent theming, and an atmosphere that exudes a level of sophistication that will appeal to the adults in your party.

5. Where Can I Eat While Watching Fireworks?

If you’re like most WDW guests, you’re thrilled that nighttime spectaculars have once again returned to the parks!  So, what if you want to enjoy a meal while taking in the fireworks?  Happily, there are several restaurants that offer at least partial views of the action.  If you can snag a table by the window at California Grill, ‘Ohana, or Cinderella’s Royal Table, you’ll enjoy fabulous views of Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom. La Hacienda de San Angel and Rose and Crown provide an excellent vantage point from which to watch Epcot Forever. Topolino’s Terrace, with its panoramic vista, is another great bet for fireworks dining!

California Grill (Credit: Disney)

6. What is Disney Check?

You may notice the Disney Check icon (Mickey’s head with a check mark) on menus for Walt Disney restaurants throughout the parks (and online).  Disney Check indicates that an item meets Disney nutritional guidelines, and is therefore a healthier choice for you and your family, while still tasting great.

7. Can I Order Food Ahead of Time?

A day at WDW is hectic at the best of times!  So if you need to save a little time, you can pre-order (and even customize) and pay for your meal at dozens of locations, using the My Disney Experience App.  Just click to let cast members know you’re at the restaurant, and then pick up your food at the “Mobile Order Pick-up” counter.  

8. Is There a Dress Code for WDW Restaurants?

If you’re dining anywhere within the Disney parks, informal dress is completely acceptable!  After all, Disney knows you’re dressing for a comfortable – and long! – day out.  If you’re eating at a Disney resort, check online before you go, as some restaurants have a business casual dress code.

9. How Expensive Are Meals at WDW?

It’s easy to spend a fortune on meals at WDW, especially if you eat only at table service restaurants, and routinely order expensive entrees and extras like alcoholic beverages and dessert.  But it’s also possible to balance more expensive meals with cheaper, quick-service meals to save money.  Lots of meals at WDW are big enough to share, which is easy on the wallet!  For breakfast, consider buying some cereal and milk at your resort, and keep it in your room fridge for a quick, cheap and easy start to the day.

Magic Kingdom’s Sleepy Hollow Quick-Service

10. Will WDW Accommodate My Dietary Requirements?

The short answer is: yes!!!  Whether you’re a vegan, can’t eat gluten, are watching your caloric intake, have food allergies or intolerances, or are simply a picky eater, Walt Disney World has you covered!  It’s easy to research menu items online before you travel, and there are more meal options now than ever before on property, including allergy-friendly menus.  If you still have questions, you can speak with a chef or special diets-trained cast member when you arrive at a restaurant; they will even prepare a custom meal that is safe (and delicious), just for you.

About Stacy Milford

Stacy has lived in 4 countries on 3 continents, and travels whenever humanly possible. Passionate about music theatre, dessert, and adventure in the great wide somewhere, she visits Walt Disney World every year, usually during Halloween! Stacy currently divides her time between writing and teaching English as a second language to children in China, and is pretty sure growing up is over-rated.