Making the Most of Your Disney World Tickets - Dining in the Park

When planning the perfect Walt Disney World vacation, one aspect many individuals and families don’t take into account is what and where they will be eating. Most vacations will allot a certain amount of money to food and souvenirs for their trip but are disappointed when they are either unable to eat at the restaurants they want or they did not take the necessary steps to guarantee all members of their party will be happy with the dining options chosen. Luckily with a little pre-planning a Walt Disney World vacation can include not only wonderful rides and entertainment but wonderful food as well. Disney even offers several options of money saving dining plans for park goers of all ages. This project will outline some ways to plan for wonderful dining experiences while saving money at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Planning in Advance
Whether you are traveling alone or with a group it is important to take the time to plan your meals ahead of time. The Walt Disney World Resort allows people to make reservations up to 180 days in advance of their vacation. It may seem like a long time but Disney restaurants fill up quickly so in order to guarantee your group is able to eat at your chosen restaurants it is best to make your reservations as soon as you are able. Always have a backup restaurant chosen as well in case your first choice is unavailable. Reservations can be made on the phone or online.

In addition to making reservations far enough in advance to eat in the restaurants of your choice, it is also important to decide how much money your party is willing to dedicate to dining. Disney has a variety of meal options for several budgets. Everything from affordable counter service options to fine dining options can be found in the parks and resort hotels.

Meals with Different Ages
Keep in mind when deciding where and when to eat the ages and tastes of the people you will be dining with. While some people may enjoy the more sophisticated or romantic dining experience, a group with several young children may prefer a meal that allows for a visit from their favorite Disney character. Some restaurants such as Epcot’s San Angel Inn are only dimly lit and the tables are close together, so if you are going to be dining with children scared of the dark or who don’t like to be too close to strangers this may not be the best option. Look online at pictures and review menus before choosing a meal to make sure that it is appropriate for all members of your party.

The Disney Meal Plan
Disney knows that the people who visit the parks want to take advantage of money saving opportunities when available. It is because of this that they developed the Disney Dining Plans. These meal plans allow for guests who are staying at a Disney Resort Hotel to pay one daily price per person for their meals for the day. There are several different meal plan options available. For vacationers who prefer to grab food and go and don’t want to spend time in a restaurant being waited on, the Quick Service dining package includes 2 quick service meals and 1 snack. Likewise the standard dining plan includes a quick service meal, a table service meal, and a snack. Other dining packages include the deluxe dining package, the premium dining package, and the platinum dining package.

Notable Restaurants
The theme parks and hotels on Walt Disney World property include over 100 restaurants so there are plenty of options for even the pickiest of diners. Of these restaurants a few stand out for theming, food, or both. Epcot’s Le Cellier Steakhouse, located in the Canada pavilion is one of the most popular and well-loved restaurants on Disney property. The restaurant is designed to look like a wine cellar and is one of the Signature dining options at Disney World with the steaks as the shining star. For more entertaining dining experience try 50’s Prime Time Café located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This restaurant is themed to look like a 50’s kitchen and you are served by cast members who refer to themselves as your Aunts and Uncles. The food at this restaurant includes “home cooked” specialties such as meatloaf and pot roast.

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