In less than 3 weeks I have to make ALL our dining reservations for when we will be at Disney World this fall. If you’ve never been to Disney World or taken advantage of table service while there let me give you a few tips. PLAN, that is the biggest tip I can give. If you are staying on Disney property one of the perks is being able to make your dining reservations 180 days from arrival plus up to 10 additional days. Most people don’t think about booking dinner reservations 6 months from the start of vacation but at Disney, it’s a must if you want some prime restaurants.
Peyton and I will be vacationing at Disney World for 9 wonderful days and 8 fabulous nights! I purchased the dining plan for our trip because for us it makes sense. Peyton is a big eater and she loves to do character meals. I like to eat at nicer restaurants once a day. With our preferences, I actually end up saving $150-$200 by purchasing the meal plan.
For some families, purchasing the meal plan is not beneficial. You need to look at your family and take into consideration their eating habits. Are they picky eaters? Do you like to eat on the go? Do you want to do character dining? And once you have an idea of your families eating style head over to the My Disney Experience site and start looking at menus. Decide where your family would most likely eat while at Disney and then head over to the Disney Dining Calculator.
When I input where we are planning on eating and time of day I have always come out a head by using the dining plan. This year I went to each menu and chose meals for us, I pretty much know what we are going to eat so this gave me a more accurate price estimate. Another tip I’ll share is the quick service credits are just one big amount. They are not separated into adult and child. What I like to do is order an adult meal and we split it. But this only works if your kid is willing to share and eats more than chicken nuggets and mac ‘n’ cheese. This way I can stretch the quick service credits for the whole stay. Plus the amount of food some locations give out is so large there is no way I can finish it on my own and I hate throwing out food.
Here are a few of the places I plan on making reservations for while we are at Disney World –
Whispering Canyon Cafe
Be Our Guest
Cinderellas Royal Table
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
Hollywood & Vine
Those are all our sit down meals for the trip. I may toss in Crystal Palace but for the time being these are the for sure places. Boma, Hollywood & Vine, Akershus and Cinderella’s Royal Table are all set price. But Coral Reef, Be Our Guest and Whispering Canyon Cafe can vary depending on what you order. For these, I went and looked at each menu and priced out what I thought Peyton and I would order. And to be honest we typically order steak so it’s one of the most expensive things on the menu. That is one of the reasons I like the dining plan.
On top of the table service locations, I also planned out where we would most likely stop at for quick service. I HIGHLY suggest you take the time to research the quick service locations before your vacation. Not every location is going to have the same kid menu options. If you have a picky eater you should plan and take a look at the quick service menus so you have an idea if there are options your family would enjoy.
For us, I plan on taking breaks at the following locations and enjoying lunch –
La Cantina de San Angel
Flame Tree BBQ
Be Our Guest
Earl of Sandwiches
We have a few more credits to use up but more likely than not we will use those at our hotel quick service location.
If you are thinking about the dining plan I highly suggest taking a look at where you feel your family would like to eat. Then with a little calculation and planning you can make an informed decision if the meal plan is right for you. Remember , kids 10 and older are considered adults at Disney and you would be paying for the adult price of the meal plan for them.
Have you ever used the dining plan while at Disney World?