7 Facts And Secrets About Full Service Dining at Walt Disney World

Dining at Walt Disney World is a destination in and of itself! There are literally dozens of full service restaurants to choose from, and you’re sure to find a few family favorites! Here are seven facts and secrets about the table service restaurants at Walt Disney World!

7. Dining Plan

The standard Disney Dining Plan and the Deluxe Dining Plan both feature one or more table service dining credits. These credits entitle each person in your party to a table service meal that includes an entree, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage. The credits allotted to your party are based on the length of your stay, and kick in once you check-in to your resort, lasting until midnight of your last day. Kids aged 3-9 can get in at a lower price, while babies two years and younger don’t need to be on the plan.

6. Allergies

Walt Disney World is dedicated to making sure everyone can enjoy a magical vacation. Part of that dedication means ensuring that everyone can eat delicious food. I have several food allergies in my family, and can attest to the genuine commitment to keeping everyone happy and healthy. When making your Advanced Dining Reservations, either online or by phone, simply note your food allergy or other restrictions. A Cast Member will verify that note with you when you check in for your meal. To assuage any other concerns you may have, simply call (407)939-5277 and speak with a Cast Member.

5. Check Again for Reservations

So you didn’t make your Advanced Dining Reservations 180 days before your vacation, what should you do now? Keep checking online for openings. Plans change, and sometimes people need to adjust their vacation days, or even cancel them altogether. That means there’s always a possibility that something could open up. It’s a good idea to keep checking, either online or via the My Disney Experience app, to see if there are any available reservations at your must-do restaurants. It bears mentioning that you should be flexible with your meal times to give you a better chance at scoring a hard-to-get reservation at the most popular restaurants.

4. Firework Viewing

Several restaurants offer views of the nighttime spectaculars at Walt Disney World. Those situated around World Showcase Lagoon in Epcot give guests amazing views of Illuminations. My favorites have to be Rose and Crown and Spice Road Table. Simply make your reservations for about an hour before the show begins and request a table near a window or on the patio, and be willing to wait for that table. At the top of the Contemporary Resort is California Grill, with an astounding view of Magic Kingdom’s Wishes. Lucky guests can have a table next to the window to have a relaxing view. But even if you don’t get that coveted seat, bring your same-day receipt and you can watch Wishes from the balconies outside California Grill!

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3. Leave The Park

Sure, there are some great restaurants inside the parks (Epcot especially!) but you’ll find dozens of other amazing restaurants just outside the parks too! Head to the resorts for a new family favorite. My personal go-to resort restaurants are Kona Cafe (Polynesian Village), Sanaa (Animal Kingdom Lodge), and Whispering Canyon (Wilderness Lodge). Don’t forget about the new restaurants in Disney Springs too!

2. Meet Characters

Meeting beloved Disney characters is a must-do for most families. Knock a few characters off your list and eat a delicious meal at the same time with a character dining experience. There are tons of character experiences to choose from. Meet Lilo and Stitch at O’hana; princesses at Akershus; Disney Junior pals at Hollywood & Vine; Winnie the Pooh and friends at Crystal Palace; Alice and Mary Poppins in 1900 Park Fare, and so many more opportunities for character dining. Since Mickey and the rest of the Fab Five are so popular, there are lots of restaurants where you can meet them, like Chef Mickey’s (the obvious choice), Cape May Cafe, Garden Grill, and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. Use the Dining Experience filter on the Disney World website to find all the character dining experience.

1. Date Night

Walt Disney World is famous for family entertainment, but it’s also a popular honeymoon location! Many table service restaurants are perfect for a special night. Those outside the parks and sans characters are less likely to be filled with kids. But don’t discount a few in-park choices like Le Cellier or Hollywood Brown Derby. And if an adult only meal if your goal, remember that Victoria and Albert’s has a ten year age minimum. Want date night on vacation? Utilize the Kids Clubs at various Deluxe resorts to give yourself an evening away.

About Robin Swanson

Robin’s Disney journey began with Beauty and the Beast bedsheets, a Jasmine dress up set, and a purring Nala plush. As a child in the 1990s, the renaissance and classic animations alike captivated her imagination. In 2008, Robin visited Walt Disney World for the first time, and the obsession really took hold. Since then, Robin has enjoyed visiting the Happiest Place on Earth many more times. She lives in the Chicago suburbs where she is wrapping up a Masters in writing. When not at Disney World, Robin enjoys researching fairytales, eating ice cream, Netflix binging, reading and, of course, planning the next Walt Disney World vacation!