Planning a Walt Disney World vacation is stressful for even the most avid Disney fan. And one of the most stressful parts? Snagging the table service dining reservations you want. In fact, because table service dining is limited right now, getting specific reservations can be downright impossible.
Obviously, not getting a desired reservation can be extremely disappointing for those who were looking forward to a particular dining experience, but it really isn’t the end of the world. In fact, we’ve been on Disney vacations that didn’t include any table service dining at all, and in some ways, we actually prefer it.
Here are the top 7 reasons we think skipping Disney table service restaurants is the way to go in some cases.
There’s No Stress about Dining Reservations
As mentioned above, getting dining reservations at Disney World restaurants can be stressful. Since vacation is meant to be fun, it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to stress out about these kinds of things.
If snagging the reservations you want is causing you too much anxiety, just skip it. There are many more magical experiences available at Walt Disney World Resort, and we’re certain you’ll have a great time without dining at those specific locations.
You’ll Save Time
Another major perk of opting for quick service Disney dining during your Disney World vacation? Meals won’t take as long, leaving you more time to enjoy things like rides, cavalcades, and character interactions. You won’t be stuck trying to wrangle a toddler during a long table service meal, and if you use mobile ordering, you may not have to wait in a line or for your food at all.
Your Wallet Will Thank You
It’s a well known fact that Disney World is expensive. The hotels are expensive, the tickets are expensive, and-you guessed it-the restaurants are expensive. This is true of all Disney restaurants. However, the table service locations are much more expensive than the quick service locations.
It’s not uncommon to save more than $150 by choosing to feed a family of four at a counter service restaurant rather than a sit-down place. That’s a huge amount of money. In fact, it’s enough to buy a single day park ticket and almost enough for a custom lightsaber from Savi’s Workshop.
Eat Whenever You Like
One awesome thing about being on vacation is the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Feel like sleeping in? Nobody is going to stop you (except maybe the kids). Want another ice cream cone before dinner? You’re on vacation, go for it.
Unfortunately, dining reservations take away some of this freedom. While some people don’t mind this at all, others find that rushing to reservations can really take away from their overall experience. This is especially true for those who have young children who may not be able to wait for a reservation time to eat, or may not be inclined to leave a particular attraction just because a dining reservation is about to start.
The obvious solution is to dine at quick service restaurants. This gives you and your family complete freedom to build a schedule based on your whims.
Please the Whole Party by Visiting Multiple Locations
We all know how hard it can be to please everyone in your family when it comes to food. This becomes especially difficult if you’re feeding picky eaters or those with food allergies. Fortunately, choosing quick service dining can actually help with that too!
You see, when you eat at quick service locations, it’s super easy for the family to split up and pick up orders from different places. This means you can feed the kids who will only eat chicken nuggets while also taking care of lunch for the husband who wants a burger and the kids who cannot have gluten.
This doesn’t always happen at table service restaurant locations, and is a huge perk of eating counter service during your visit.
Magical Quick Service Experiences are Available
You might be wondering if skipping table service will mean skipping magical dining experiences entirely. The answer? Not necessarily. While you won’t find any quick service character dining, Disney World does have a few extra magical quick service dining options scattered around the parks.
One great example of this is Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Magic Kingdom theme park, where you can listen to an animatronic concert as you dine. Another magical quick service spot? Casey’s Corner, where a pianist plays live music throughout the day.
Seriously Good Quick-Service Food Can Be Found
Another thing you might be afraid to miss out on by not going to table service restaurants? Good food. We get it, it’s not like there are a whole lot of super delicious fast food restaurants in the real world. However, the real world isn’t Disney World, and Disney World has you covered when it comes to extra delicious quick service restaurant food.
Some of the best quick-service food on property can be found at the following locations:
- Sunshine Seasons in Epcot
- Flame Tree Barbecue in Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Regal Eagle Smokehouse in Epcot
- Katsura Grill in Epcot
- D-Luxe Burger in Disney Springs
- Four Rivers Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck in Disney Springs
- Polite Pig in Disney Springs
- Primo Piatto in The Riviera Disney Resort
- Satu’li Canteen in Disney’s Animal Kingdom
As you can see, there are plenty of excellent reasons to skip the table service food and eat only quick service during your next Disney World vacation. No you might not get a character meal or breakfast in the castle, but we feel the pros often outweigh the cons. Will you give it a try? Which Disney restaurant options will you try, and which perks will you like best?