Below I have listed my favorite Disney Dining Tips.
These tips will not suit everyone’s vacationing style, but most will save you either time, money, or frustration.
The most important thing I can say is plan ahead!
Following these tips will not only help your vacation dining go smoothly, it will also make you a look like a Disney Dining expert!
Your family (and their taste buds!) will thank you!
- Check the park hours for the time you are going. Also, be aware of any special events or extra magic hours. Once you know all of that, then you can select your dining times.
- Choose your dining experiences more than six months in advance.Yes – really!
- Decide if you want to use one of the Disney Dining Plans (either the basic plan or the deluxe plan), or none at all.
- Make table-service restaurant reservations six months in advance.
- Tour the parks early early in the day. Take a break in the afternoon for naps or rest, and then return to the parks for dinner.
- Have breakfast in your room. Read more about this idea and how it can benefit you (and your wallet!)
- If possible, pack some drinks and snacks.
- Have water delivered to Disney. Sounds completely nuts but this is a great money saving idea, especially if you are traveling during the warmer months.
- All Disney restaurants are non-smoking.
- Book a Character Meal, they really are a lot of fun (for both kids and adults!)
- Children under the age of 3 can eat free at table service and fixed-price buffet restaurants. However, they must share from your plate. You can always order menu items for the child but not that you will be charged for them.
- If you have any food allergies, special dietary restrictions or needs, have them noted when you make your reservation. You can also call and speak to the chef directly. Use the Disney Dining Directory to find the phones numbers you need.
- Check out the dining at the resorts. Some of the best and most entertaining restaurants are at the resort hotels.
- The restaurants and counter service locations are busiest between 11am and 2pm and again between 6pm and 8pm. Try to avoid these times if possible. You will have a more enjoyable experience with less crowds.
- Want to experience the table service restaurants but need to stick to a budget? Have lunch instead of dinner. Most of the restaurants offer the same menu but with much lower prices.
- Another way to watch your budget (and waistline!) is to only order an appetizer and dessert. Or you could always share an entree between two people. But don’t try to share if you are using a Disney Dining Plan or dining at a fixed-price or buffet-type facility!