The two main Disney dining options are Quick Service and Table Service restaurants. You’ll find quick and table service dining locations throughout the Disney Parks, resorts, waterparks, and Disney Springs. The two styles differ in atmosphere, price, and reservation requirements.
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Quick Service Dining
Disney’s “quick service dining” (sometimes also referred to as “counter service”) describes dining locations where Guests order their food at a counter and take it to their table or eat it on the go. Quick-service dining is perfect for those who want a fast and efficient dining experience or are on a tight schedule. Many quick service restaurants now offer the “mobile order” feature, allowing you to order your food ahead through the Disney World app and pick it up at the counter once it’s ready.
Table Service Dining
Disney’s “table service dining” refers to dining locations where Guests are seated at a table and served by a Cast Member. Table service restaurants range from casual and relaxed dining experiences to formal and fine dining. Most table service restaurants offer a more immersive experience and may require you to have a reservation to dine.
The atmosphere and theme of quick service restaurants differ from the immersive experience often found at table service restaurants. Quick service restaurants, such as Sunshine Seasons in EPCOT or Satu’li Canteen in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, offer overall restaurant theming to help the location fit into its land. The atmosphere, however, is similar to a food court, allowing Guests to take their food to a table of their choosing throughout the restaurant space.
Table service restaurants provide more immersive theming and a dining experience with a more relaxed atmosphere. Some table service restaurants, like Cinderella’s Royal Table in Magic Kingdom or Chef Mickey’s in the Contemporary Resort, offer “character dining,” where characters interact with Guests during their meals.
The next distinction between quick and table-service dining is the price difference. Quick service menus have more affordable options, including ala carte options, snacks, and meals. Table service menus are more inclusive, with larger meals, appetizer choices, buffets, or family-style meals, depending on the location. These meals often have more unique menu choices and a higher price tag.
The mobile order dining feature is a new feature of several quick service locations. Quick-service restaurants like Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge or Columbia Harbour House in Magic Kingdom allows mobile ordering. The Mobile order feature lets you select a time slot through the Disney World app to pick up your order and order your food ahead through the app. You will be notified through the app when your order is ready to be picked up at the counter. Mobile order allows you more time to ride your favorite attractions instead of waiting in line for food.
Quick-service restaurants do not typically take reservations. Guests simply arrive at the restaurant, order from a counter or through mobile ordering, and find a table to enjoy their meal. However, quick-service restaurants may fill up during particularly busy times and have little available seating.
Table service reservations are highly recommended and, in some cases, required for popular restaurants, especially during peak seasons. Guests can reserve a table up to 60 days in advance; this is especially important for character dining experiences and fine dining restaurants. Guests can make reservations online on the Walt Disney World website, by phone, or through the My Disney Experience app.