One of the most overwhelming parts of any trip can be deciding where to eat with the little ones. Walt Disney World is no exception as it is filled with many dining establishments and services. There’s an array of options such as quick service, snack carts, sit-down restaurants, and more. It can be difficult to decide which one is the best option for you and your family so that you are maximizing your time in the park, but also able to enjoy their delicious food.
I am here to explain the different dining options for your Walt Disney World trip to help you maximize your dining experience while also valuing your time in the park. I’ll break down what each service has to offer, suggest some top food picks, and give you some tips I have gathered from my experience dining at Walt Disney World with a little one.
Each park in Disney World contains many quick-service dining options because it is the perfect option when you and your family want to dedicate an hour or less to eating something quickly. Since it is intended for a grab & go meal style, not all quick-service dining offers cafeteria-style seating, but there are plenty that do. It is best to use this dining option around lunchtime when your family is hungry for a meal, and you need quick service.
Pros: Quick service, good for picky eaters, usually has a seated area
Cons: Not the most personalized experience, can be a higher price for a smaller portion
Here are some of my favorites:
Casey’s Corner (American)
Sleepy Hollow (American)
Columbia Harbor House (Seafood)
Satu’Li Canteen (global food)
Yak and Yeti Local Food Cafes (Asian)
Flame Tree Barbecue (BBQ)
Via Napoli Pizza Counter (Italian Pizza)
Regal Eagle Smokehouse (BBQ)
Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie (sandwiches & pastries)
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Woody’s Lunch Box (American)
Docking Bay 7 (Intergalactic)
Personally, I believe snack carts are ideal for a family because they are quick and the snacks are typically easy to carry around. You can eat the snacks while waiting in line which is likely to distract the kiddos from the long wait. The setting of Disney World is a lot to take in and sometimes people will be so excited they won’t even want to eat a full meal. This is when the snack carts come in handy.
There are several types of snack carts around each park and most of them sell similar snacks. The top-rated snacks from these carts are the Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bar, popcorn in a souvenir bucket, glazed almonds, a Mickey-shaped pretzel, and many more! These carts are also perfect for if you just need a quick refreshment!
Pros: Quick, can easily eat in line, can sometimes include a souvenir
Cons: May not be filling, expensive
Check out this blog post for 10 awesome snacks you can try: 10 Savory Snacks at Disney World
The table service options at Disney World will give your family a one-of-a-kind experience that feels more personalized and allows you to have a sit-down meal at a restaurant. Check out Character Dining to read more about restaurants that allow children to meet their favorite Disney characters while eating. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from so I will list some favorites for each park below!
You can also enjoy some incredible options at Disney Resorts (link to blog) and Disney Springs (link to blog)
All of these restaurants need reservations that can be made ahead of time on the Disney website. It is best to do one table reservation per day from 2-4 pm so that you can eat at a time when it is not super busy, and also maximize your family’s park time.
Pros: More personalized, character dining options, good service
Cons: Expensive, need reservations, can be time-consuming
Jungle Navigation Co. Skipper’s Canteen (International)
Plaza Restaurant (American)
Tusker House (African)
Yak & Yeti (Asian)
Biergarten Restaurant (German)
Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria (Italian)
La Hacienda de San Angel (Mexican)
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
50’s Prime Time Cafe (American)
Sci-fi Dine-in Theater Restaurant (global)
For a more elevated experience, make a reservation at any of Disney’s fine/signature dining restaurants. The find/signature dining will offer you gourmet meals made by highly rated chefs. For example, at the World Showcase in EPCOT, there is a restaurant called Monsieur Paul that has a Michellin Star Chef. Space 220 is another fine dining restaurant that is out of this world. You can check the Disney website to see if there is entertainment or a fireworks view from these top restaurants.
In Park – Be Our Guest and Hollywood Brown Derby
Resorts- Narcoossees and California Grill
Dinner Shows – Hoop De Doo Revue
Disney World has stopped offering its dining plan since the pandemic. It is rumored that it will return in January of 2023. Check out this article to learn more about the Disney Dining Plan Disney Dining
If you or anyone in your family has allergies or dietary restrictions, Disney World does a very good job of making sure you are accommodated. If you are making a reservation for fine dining you can include your allergy or restriction in the notes section. For quick service and snack carts, it is best to inform a cast member of your restrictions so they can help serve you best. You can also email [email protected] for more information and to ask them any questions.
Grabbing breakfast at a later time allows you to catch the shorter ride lines in the morning
You have to try Dole Whip from Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park
With the My Disney Experience App, you can mobile order for most quick service options
It’s best to make table restaurant reservations about 60 days in advance of your trip
Character dining is a great option for meeting specific characters
You can save money by skipping dessert at table service restaurants and getting a treat at the snack carts such as the Premium Mickey Ice Cream Bars
I understand how you’re feeling, I know all too well how easy it can be at the beginning to start researching online, just to find yourself 3 hours down the line more confused than when you started. But don’t panic! I can help you plan your dream Disney vacation without any of the stress of hassle – starting with the ‘A Disney Trip without Overwhelm, 5 Easy Steps’ Guide. These 5 steps will help keep you focused on organizing the best trip ever, while giving you peace of mind that everything will be done, and nothing will be left out.
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