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10 Things You MUST Know About Walt Disney World Restaurants

Dining at Walt Disney World is a huge part of the Disney vacation experience.  Disney restaurants aren’t like other restaurants.  Here are the top 10 things that you must know about restaurants at Walt Disney World:

10. Know the restaurant types at Walt Disney World.

There are table service restaurants where you actually sit down and have a server take your order.  These meals are range in how expensive they are and what type of food is offered.  There are also quick service restaurants where guests can walk up to the counter or use Mobile Order via My Disney Experience to place their order and then find a table in the available area to sit and eat.  You will also find a variety of walk-up snack locations and kiosks around the parks, too.

9. Ask for available discounts.

Many of the restaurants offer discounts for Walt Disney World Annual Passholders, DVC Members, Tables in Wonderland, Disney Visa cardholder, etc. You just have to ask at the location what discounts there are accepting and provide proof of any of the available discounts that you qualify for.

8. Not all dining locations offer character dining.

Guests that are new to Walt Disney World may think that they will see Mickey Mouse and other characters at all of the dining experiences, and that isn’t the case.  If you are interested in the different character dining options, you will want to do your research and determine which restaurant best meets your needs to see the characters you want to see.

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7. Reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance.

Walt Disney World opens the dining reservations up to all guests at 180 days in advance.  For guests that are staying at Walt Disney World resort, they will be able to book their dining reservations for their entire stay (up to 10 days) starting at 180 days ahead of the date of arrival.  This allows them to book up their reservations a few days ahead of when all other guests are able to book.

6. Some restaurants book up all of their reservations extremely fast.

Some of the restaurants at Walt Disney World are extremely popular.  The reservations for locations like Be Our Guest or Cinderella’s Royal Table book up almost instantly.  You should definitely book your dining reservations as soon as you can so that you make sure to get the locations that you care the most about.  Don’t give up if you don’t get the location or time you wanted, guests often cancel their reservations and you could pick them up!

5. Guests with all special dietary needs can be accommodated.

Disney is fantastic about accommodating special dietary needs.  No matter what the need is, Disney will typically send a chef out to explain all of the options that you have so that you know you are getting something that is specially prepared and safe for you to eat.  They take extreme care when it comes to dietary needs and it is actually quite impressive.

4. The Disney Dining Plan is accepted at many of the locations.

The majority of the locations at Walt Disney World accept the Disney Dining Plan, making it a potentially great option for you and your family to pre-pay for your meals while you are there.  The dining plans are only available for guests that purchased a vacation package including a stay at a Disney resort and park tickets.  You will have to run the numbers and compare your family’s vacation dining habits to determine if the dining plan is a good value for your family.

3. Don’t forget about the resort restaurants.

There are fabulous places to eat within the theme parks, but don’t forget about all of the amazing locations at the resorts, too.  The resorts are home to amazing resorts and cuisines that you won’t find within the theme parks, so you don’t want to miss these.  They are also typically a little less crowded than the restaurants within the theme parks, too.

2. Cups of water are free.

If you are looking for a way to cut costs when dining, you can usually do so by skipping the sodas or specialty beverages.  If you are at a location where you can order a cup or glass of water (not bottled water), then that is free.  You can even find opportunities to get cups of water at some of the kiosks, too.  A good rule of thumb for quick service locations and kiosks is that if they serve fountain beverages, then they can likely give you a free cup of water!

1. Plan and do your research.

We always advise that you do research on the different dining locations and complete your dining planning in advance.  This way you can make your dining reservations in advance and won’t have to worry about it once you arrive.  You will go into your vacation knowing that you have a plan and will be able to get in at all of your desired locations.  All of the menus are available online, so you are able to check menus and make sure that the entire family will find something to eat at your selected locations.

About Christy Caby

I am a diehard Disney fanatic! I fell in love with all things Disney from an early age and that only increased once I first visited Walt Disney World! It led me to complete a yearlong Disney College Program working at merchandise locations within Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Disney-MGM Studios at that time) and I worked for Disney Parks & Resorts Technology in Project/Program Management. Now I get to write about Disney and help others plan their magical vacations! Disney holds a special place in the hearts of my entire family as my husband proposed there, we honeymooned there, took trips while pregnant with each of my boys and have visited with them many, many times from 8 weeks old through now. One of my favorite memories from each trip is always the look on my kids’ faces the first time they see the castle. I’d love to help you plan your magical vacation! Request a free quote at http://magicalvacationplanner.com/staff/christy-caby/ or look for me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/christy.caby. Have a magical day!