About a week or so before we head to Disney World, my husband and I go back and forth about whether or not to add the dining plan to our reservation. There are many pros and cons to the dining plan and everybody has their own reasons for loving or hating the dining plans, but one thing I love is that when I do add the dining plan to my reservation…I don’t have to think about money past the initial price of the plan and gratuity. If you are anything like me, adding the dining plan allows you to order the most expensive thing on the menu for every meal on vacation and just enjoy it! So, I decided to take this to the next level and find out WHERE to get the most expensive table service meals at Disney World. Each of these restaurants is one table service credit on the Disney dining plan, but well worth the credit! (I have figured the most expensive meals with an appetizer, entrée and dessert which is what you get on the Deluxe Plan, on the regular plan, you must omit the appetizer.) And don’t forget that the gratuity is not included in the dining plan so you will need to tip your server around 18%-20%.
10. The Rainforest Café (Disney Springs and Animal Kingdom) $57.97
Start off by ordering the Lava Nachos (crispy tri-color tortilla chips topped with seasoned ground beef, peppers, onions black beans, corn, and queso sauce. Garnished with cheddar cheese, sour cream and pico de gallo) at a whopping $16.99. For your entrée, go with the Primal Steak (center cut NY strip aged 21 days! Charbroiled to perfection, topped with steak butter and served with Napa vegetables) in at $32.99 and you can have a choice of 3 desserts, just make sure it is one of the selections at $7.99.
9. The Grand Floridian Café (The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa) $57.97
Just my opinion, I like this choice better than the Rainforest, but on the dining plan… you can go to both! Get your appetizer of Shrimp Cocktail (Fragrantly-poached Shrimp served with Locally-sourced Tomato-Avocado and fresh Verde Sauce) for $13.99. You love your entrée, Char-Crusted New York Strip Steak with herb roasted Potatoes, Broccollini, and Tomato-laced Bearnaise Sauce for $32.99 and end things right with a $10.99 Dessert Sampler of four seasonal selections. Yum!
8. Coral Reef (Epcot) $53.97
I have not had the pleasure of eating here yet, but I will certainly go knowing the value of this meal, plus I have been told it is delicious! Order the Crispy Rhode Island Calamari with roasted corn relish and tomatillo sauce for $11.99 and follow it up with Grilled New York Strip Steak served with Cheddar Mashed Potatoes, seasonal vegetables and bercy butter for 32.99. Finish dinner with The Chocolate Wave served with Raspberry Gelato for $8.99. I just reserved my table for our next visit!
7. Whispering Canyon Café (Wilderness Lodge) $54.47
The only way to make this a very expensive meal is to order the all you can eat dinner option, otherwise this delicious spot would not have made the top 10. Order the highly delicious Slow-smoked Pulled Pork Spring Rolls with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce for $12.49. Follow it up with the all you can eat family platter (they do allow you to order it solo if your family is not interested) and delight in ribs, chicken, steak, sausage and pulled pork. You also get salad, corn bread, mashed potatoes and green beans. This is the way to go for $33.99 (pricing varies by season) If you have room, you have 3 choices at $7.99. If not, get it to go!
6. The Wave of American Flavors (The Contemporary Resort) $55.97
This is another one of our favorites, so I am glad it is also an awesome value! Definitely start with Lump Crab-Florida Rock Shrimp Cakes with Southern Sweet Corn Salsa, Lemon-Tarragon Aioli, and Locally-sourced Organic Microgreens for $14.49. My crustacean allergic husband is swelling just thinking about it. For dinner, choose Herb-salt Seasoned Beef Tenderloin with Caramelized Crimini Mushrooms, Organic Green Beans, whipped Potato puree, and Sauce Bordelaise for $32.99 and have your choice of 3 desserts at $8.49.
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5. T-Rex (Disney Springs) $59.97
I reviewed lunch at T-Rex last week and had discussed how pricey I thought it was. If paying out of pocket, the prices would make me anxious, but on the dining plan I am excited to order! Start off with Colosso Nachos (Seasoned beef, pico de gallo, black beans, green onions, cheddar cheese, queso sauce and sour cream) for $16.99. Next, try the Neanderthal New York Strip – Charbroiled New York strip steak topped with steak butter and served with red skinned mashed potatoes and your choice of a side for $33.99 and complete your feast with Ice Age Indulgence for $8.99.
4. Via Napoli (Epcot’s Italy Pavilion) $58.00
Hubby was thrilled to learn that 2 Italian restaurants were on this list, can you guess the other one before you read on? Order Calamari Fritti (corn-crusted rings served with spicy tomato sauce) for $14.00. Make the choice of either Linguini alla Scoglio (shrimp, clams, mussels, and squid tossed in marinara picante) or Piatti alla Parmigiana – Vitello (veal – traditional preparation with tomato sauce, parmesan and mozzarella, served with roasted potatoes) for $30.00! End this delicious meal with Coppa dii Brutti Ma Buon! (Amarena cherry and vanilla gelato sundae) for $14.00.
3. Teppan Edo (Epcot’s Japan Pavilion) $48.85
Teppano Edo provides not only a delicious meal, but an entertaining dining experience with the hibachi grill and talented chefs. Start with your appetizer, Wafu Ribs – sake, soy sauce and ginger braised pork ribs for $9.95. For the most bang for your buck you should choose the Filet Mignon – beef tenderloin steak at $31.95 for your entrée (though the steak and shrimp is $30.95 if you want some seafood too). Then satisfy your sweet tooth with Chocolate Ginger Cake – a layered cake with ginger flavored filling and a rich chocolate icing for $6.95.
2. Chefs de France (Epcot’s France Pavilion) $59.97
I am so torn that there are only two spots left on my list because I only have 1 reservation spot open for my next vacation. Our last two spots are making my choice impossible! Appetizer selection should be Salade Nicoise – salad with ahi tuna, tomato, green beans, bell peppers, potatoes, hard boiled eggs, olives, anchovies, vinaigrette for $14.99. Delight yourself with Filet de boeuf grille, sauce au poivre vert Gratin Dauphinois et haricots verts (Grilled tenderloin of beef with green peppercorn sauce original potato gratin of Savoy and green beans) for $35.99. You can end this amazing meal with any dessert, they are all $8.99.
1. Tutto Italia (Epcot’s Italy Pavilion) $61.00
Holy pricey and Holy delicious! Begin this meal with one of three choices Fiori di Latte Calda (House-made whole milk mozzarella served with warm roasted pomodorini, extra virgin olive oil and focaccia), Insalata di Mare Trapanese (Shrimp, squid, octopus, celery, red onion, potato, capers, lemon, extra virgin olive oil) or Prosciutto Di Parma (Parma ham, Ricotta, dried figs) all for $18.00. Dinner will be either Filetto di Sogliola (Filet of sole, cream sauce, white asparagus, lemons, capers) or Bistecca del Macellaio (Grilled Butcher’s Steak, Rosemary Potatoes, Agrodolce Cipolline Onions) for $30. If this doesn’t have you drooling by now, for dessert order Torta di Nocciole “Cortemilia” (Polenta cake, hazelnuts, Nutella, mascarpone) for $13.00.
Happy eating, my friends!