Some of Walt Disney World’s finest dining can be found in their “Signature” Restaurants. This also means that some of the most expensive dining is found in those same signature restaurants. To compensate for this price difference when using the Disney Dining Plan, you are charged for two table service meals at these locations. There are currently a dozen “Signature” restaurants at Walt Disney World:
Jiko, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (Dinner)
Flying Fish Café, Disney’s BoardWalk (Dinner)
California Grill, Disney’s Contemporary Resort (Dinner)
Citricos, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort (Dinner)
Narcoossee’s, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort (Dinner)
Artist Point, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (Dinner)
Yachtsman Steakhouse, Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts (Dinner)
Le Cellier Steakhouse, Epcot (Lunch & Dinner)
Monsieur Paul, Epcot (Dinner)
The Hollywood Brown Derby, Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Lunch & Dinner)
Fulton Crab House, Disney Springs (Lunch & Dinner)
The Dining Room at Wolfgang Puck Grand Café, Disney Springs (Dinner)
The BOATHOUSE Restaurant, Disney Springs (Lunch & Dinner)
Also requiring two table service credits, but not considered Signature Dining, is Fairytale Dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom for Breakfast for both Lunch and Dinner.
When considering which Disney Dining Plan is right for your vacation package, you want to think about the type of dining you prefer. If you are a “foodie” and wish to try several of the Signature locations the Deluxe Dining Plan is probably your best option. Right at $110 per adult per night ($109.53), the Deluxe Dining Plan offers you three meals per night of your resort stay. These are any three meals are of your choosing—counter service or table service. Each table service meal consists of an appetizer, entrée, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage—so you get the appetizer that you don’t get on the Plus Dining Plan. If you want to eat a Signature Meal using two table service credits every night of your trip, you will then have two meals each day covered by the Deluxe Dining Plan (plus your two snacks and refillable resort mug). This would easily take care of your dining for the day: a snack for breakfast using your included resort mug for your beverage, counter service for lunch, an afternoon snack, and a Signature Dining Experience for dinner.
But, how does that break down price-wise? Your two snacks are going to be around $3.50-$5.00 each, so a total of $7-$10 for the snacks (breakfast & your afternoon treat). You are saving around $3 by using your mug for your drink at breakfast. For lunch you choose Be Our Guest for counter service at the Magic Kingdom. The Braised Pork is $12.99, plus your non-alcoholic beverage at around $3, and your scrumptious Master’s Cupcake for $4.19 brings your lunch total to $20.18. For dinner you are going to Narcoossee’s where you try the Buttermilk-fried Soft-shell Crab ($21), Grilled Filet Mignon for your entrée ($49), Blueberry and Lemon Curt Tart for dessert ($11), and your beverage ($3). Your delectable dinner is $84. For this one day of culinary experiences your total, if you paid out of pocket, is $117.18 before tax. Most of Walt Disney World is in Orange County with a 6.5% tax rate, bringing your grand total to: $124.80. You saved a little over $15 with the Deluxe Dining Plan over paying out of pocket. Since the Deluxe Dining Plan does not include gratuities I did not include them on either end here for an apples to apples comparison.
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Your daily price can and will vary—some entrees are more expensive than others, but a quick look at most menus shows this to be a fairly median price. You could, however, choose to eat at a single credit Table Service restaurant for lunch and your value could be more substantial (as well as your time commitment to eating). And, if you use your resort mug more than once a day for a beverage you are saving more money there too.
Let’s take a quick look at that option. Your snack breakfast of a muffin is around $4.00, plus the savings of your beverage in the mug $3. For lunch you have a fun buffet with Pooh and the Gang at Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom. It is the regular season when you travel, so the price is $28.62 after tax. In the afternoon you grab an ice cream sandwich for $3.50 and head back to your resort where you fill up your mug to relax by the pool—a $3 savings. For dinner you visit the Yachtsman Steakhouse and order the Florida Soft Shell Crab $20, 16 ounce Prime Ribeye Steak for $54, a non-alcoholic beverage for $3, and for dessert you order the Chocolate-Peanut Cake for $11 because calories don’t count at Walt Disney World. Your grand total for this day of indulging is $136.72 (after tax)—a savings of about $27. If you are able to move after consuming all of that food you do a little dance for joy because you saved a few dollars and you didn’t have to worry about what you ordered or budgeting because you pre-paid for the Dining Plan as part of your package.
By choosing the Deluxe Dining Plan you have the advantage and convenience of having your entire trip pre-paid making you Walt Disney World Vacation an inclusive one without worrying about meal costs on your trip. To many this is worth the overage they may pay on some days, or the slight savings on others.
If you want to try some of Walt Disney World’s fabulous Signature Dining restaurants you will need to make a commitment of time and money to do so, but you will be rewarded with an unforgettable culinary experience with unique menus, incredible wine pairings, and beautiful settings, all from award-winning chefs. For many, Disney’s Deluxe Dining plan is the best route to try these Signature restaurants with a freedom to choose entrees that may be something new for them, or something more expensive than they might otherwise select.
What is your favorite Walt Disney World Signature Dining Location?