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Food at Disneyworld

  1. Aug 23, 2014 #1


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    I haven't been there since forever (1976) but next year is the 'big' vacation year. (4 adults and one 9yo child)

    Most things are easy to decide but we are stuck on one thing.

    Dining plan or no Dining Plan?
    http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/media/wdw_nextgen/CoreCatalog/WaltDisneyWorld/en_us/PDF/2015Dining.pdf [Broken]

    The selected hotel is in the park so we have easy access to just about everything so eating at resort restaurants won't be a problem. I say it's just better if you're a big eater to pay upfront and enjoy all the food but others disagree (they will share the cost).
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 26, 2014 #2
    I'll message ZapperZ. He's the expert on this :)
  4. Sep 1, 2014 #3


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    Greg "summoned" me to respond to this, so I will. :)

    If you know that you will be eating only the resort or Disney park, then getting the Disney Dining Plan (DDP) is worthwhile. However, also note that there are several different packages for the DDP. You need to figure out (i) how much you can eat and (ii) what type of dining you prefer.

    The one I would suggest is the one that has one table service, one quick service, and one snack per day. This package seems to strike a balance between too much food and not enough food. It gives you enough flexibility to try different dining areas and types.

    Now, the only drawback with the DDP is that, you need to make sure you get to USE it. This may sound rather odd, but depending on what time of the year you go there, you will have to do quite a bit of advanced planning to make sure you can use the table service points at the restaurant that you want. The advanced reservation opens 180 days before the date you plan to use it. And for very popular restaurants around WDW, they are often solidly booked as far ahead as that! Be Our Guest restaurant in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom is one such example right now.

    So if you and our fellow travelers do decided to do the DDP, you need to sit down together and plan where you want to eat for your table service, and try to book them very early. Otherwise, you may end up having your meal either at places you don't want to go, or taking chance on last-minute/walk-up availability.

    Even though I don't know enough about what you and others in your party prefer, I'll make a suggestion. For at least one dinner, combine two table service points and do one of the signature dining. These are restaurants that use 2 table service points instead of one. There are many excellent signature restaurants that I can recommend, so as if you need any. What this does is that it frees up one evening for you to either get a breather from having to have to use a table service point. That one evening you don't have to be anywhere that has been scheduled. I know of people who only do signature dining, so that they have every other evening "free" to do whatever they please and not have to keep up on a reservation.

    Depending on what that 9-year old likes, try to do at least one dinning with the characters. This is fun even for adults. Chef Mickey, Crystal Palace, etc.. etc.. are all fun places to dine. Crystal Palace, in my opinion, has the BEST buffet any WDW theme park (best buffet in all of WDW, to me, is still Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge).

    Don't limit yourself to dining only at the theme parks. Look for restaurants in various resorts and Downtown Disney. If you tell me where you might be staying, and if you will have your own vehicle or not, I can make recommendations on places that will be within easy reach.

    The most important advice that I can give you is that if you do buy the DDP, you need to do a bit of planning in advanced. Everyone needs to agree on what/where to dine. Again, depending on what people like or how adventurous they are, I can make plenty of recommendations to suit everyone's needs. So ask away!

    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  5. Sep 11, 2014 #4


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    Thank you, this motivated me to look at all the options and have completely redone the entire vacation due to my son reminding me I was eligible to stay at the DOD resort at Disney World Shades of Green, now my plans have changed for hotels and food. I still get the Extra Magic Hours Benefit plus full military discounts for rooms, tickets, food and still be within easy walking distance to the Polynesian and monorail.
    If you're eligible this is a great deal, Thanks for your help.

    Last edited: Sep 11, 2014
  6. Jan 22, 2015 #5


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    Just back from Disney World Shades of Green.
    I didn't have a dining plan but the food at Disney was very good and always fresh.
    The breakfast at SoG was great.

    A few of the places we had lunch or dinner. Advanced reservation are a must even in the off-season for the USA as it's the prime season for Southern hemisphere visitors and there were many large groups in the park from there during our visit to the park.
    Very Good: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...ews-The_Plaza_Restaurant-Orlando_Florida.html
    Good: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...s_Town_Square_Restaurant-Orlando_Florida.html
    Excellent: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...ws-Coral_Reef_Restaurant-Orlando_Florida.html

    The Coral Reef Restaurant was the highlight, it's hard to beat eating seafood while viewing a huge aquarium. We did have fresher seafood on the trip but that was while fishing in the Keys.

    While we were at Key West one of the Disney cruise ships was docked there.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
  7. Jan 22, 2015 #6
    Really? It seems he knows his stuff, so no disrespect intended, but does he just go a whole lot or has he worked for them or what?
  8. Jan 23, 2015 #7


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    The former (I'm an annual passholder and a Disney Vacation Club member). Unfortunately, Disney doesn't usually hire physicists, or that would have been the first place I would see employment! :)

    I also have several Cast Member friends and belong to several Disney discussion forums, so I get to know a lot about the going-ons with the company, good and bad.

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