5 Dining Secrets at Disney – Disney Dining Plan

Powered by Mom’s 5 Dining Secrets at Disney That Everyone Should Know

You’ll want to check out the Disney Dining Plan along with our other tips

We’re sharing out top tips for eating a Disney which includes the Disney Dining plan. Disney can be expensive, it is expected but sometimes you can save yourself a little money by using some great secrets. Our tips include the advantages and disadvantages of the Disney Dining Plan and some dining secrets at Disney. All are to help you decide what is best for you whether it’s getting the full Disney dining experience or saving money but still having some filling meals. 

We also have some other tips for planning your Disneyland or Disneyworld vacation. Ways to save money, make the most of your day and just making the day at the park a little bit easier. Check out our Disney Family Vacation Tips

Disney Magic Kingdom Castle

One of the hot buttons when eating at Disney is the Dining Plan. It comes with three different options and will add a high price tag to your trip but I really think it is worth it. It brought us peace of mind knowing that most of our food was paid for.

The Disney Dining plan comes with three options:

  • Quick Service Dining- This includes 2 quick service meals, 2 snacks, and 1 refillable mug (as of 2017 it is $48.19 per day, per adult and $20.88 per day, per child.)
  • Regular Dining- 1 table service meal, 1 quick service meal, 2 snacks, and 1 refillable mug (as of 2017 it is $69.35 per day, per adult and $24.95 per day, per child.)
  • Deluxe Dining- 3 Meals (any combination of table or quick service), 2 snacks, 1 refillable mug. This plan is for families that like to eat 3 meals a day or want to do all the character dining options. (as of 2017 it is $106.88 per day, per adult and $38.75 per day, per child.)

We loved Goofy’s Kitchen!

Goofys-Kitchen-picture

Like I said, it can come with a high price tag but if you really want to experience all the food Disney has to offer, it is worth the price tag. Also, it is not just usable at Disney. There are some great dining experiences at Disney Springs that use the Disney Dining plan. If you are going to Disney for more than 5 days you really should take a break from the parks and check out Disney Springs. Not only does it have some great restaurants but it also has great shopping and entertainment.

Another thing to keep in mind when using the Disney Dining Plan is that some of the premiere restaurant’s, like Le Cellier, is 2 table credits. So if you have regular dining it will use 2 days of your table credits.

If you do not want to use the dining plan, I have some great secrets listed below to help you save money, time, and will help eat like a king (or mouse!).

Character Breakfast in Disney Springs, Florida

If you’re looking for options on where to stay near Disneyworld check out our review on the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs Resort. They are the only resort in Disney Springs that has a character breakfast, it’s with Pluto. My daughter was thrilled as Pluto is one of her absolute favourite Disney characters.

character breakfast Wyndham

5 Dining Secrets For Disney – The Disney Dining Plan & More

Make Dining Reservations

If you do nothing else, make sure to make dining reservations. You will be very disappointed if you have your heart set on eating somewhere like “Be Our Guest” and don’t make a reservation. You should plan on making reservations at least 180 days before your trip. They go very fast so before your 180 days pick out which character dining is most important and then reserve them first. If they are already full, don’t get upset. Sometimes people do cancel reservations the closer to your trip, so keep checking back.

Eat A Big Breakfast

This is mainly for people that don’t have the dining plan. To save money on food, eat a big breakfast later in the day. That way you are pretty full until later in the afternoon. That way you will be able to skip lunch. If you want something a little heartier than breakfast, find a quick service brunch option. Either way, you will save a little dough because you don’t have to buy an extra meal.

Disney Dining Plan

Disney Animal Kindom Lodge

Take A Restaurant Tour At Animal Kingdom Lodge

A lot of people don’t know about these but they are awesome. The Lodge offers culinary tours of it’s popular restaurants. You learn a lot about them and you get to try some amazing samples. You do need to be a little adventurous because some of the samples are of their more exotic fare, but you won’t leave hungry. Now, this is a little more pricey but the experience is definitely worth it!

Book Your Dinner and Entertainment Together

Places like the Hoop-Dee-Doo Review and The Spirit of Aloha offer entertainment as well as a great dinner and lunch. You won’t leave hungry and the shows are spectacular! This is a great way to rest, relax, and have some fun. Also, look for late dinner options during the fireworks. There is nothing more amazing than eating your meal and watching Disney’s INCREDIBLE firework shows. If you choose participating restaurants the music is piped right in, so you don’t miss a thing.

Don’t Be Afraid To Snack

Especially at Epcot. A lot of Epcot’s snack options can be full meals. Fare like fish and chips and spring rolls can be very filling. Snacks are also cheaper, so it is a great option for lunch or dinner. We like to do the character dining for lunch (cheaper) and then snack in the evening. It really does save money!

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - January 31st, 2006 - Spaceship Earth with the Mickey Mouse wand, added in 2000 and removed in 2007, at Epcot, Walt Disney World

ORLANDO, FLORIDA – January 31st, 2006 – Spaceship Earth with the Mickey Mouse wand, added in 2000 and removed in 2007, at Epcot, Walt Disney World

Bonus Tip

Eat a la carte! If you are trying to save money on food chances are you are skipping the high priced character meals and eating table service. A lot of table service is “meals” meaning you get an entree, side, drink, and dessert. If you don’t want the dessert or maybe the side, ask for the entree only. It will save you money. Also, at Epcot, a lot of items are available a la carte and are big enough to share. It is a great way to save money there because you can get two meals for the price of one!

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Comments

  1. ellen beck says:

    I have never been but I can imagine like many places it is crazy expensive. I can see splurging on maybe one truly nice Disney themed dinner, but to do it the whole time you would go broke quickly. I like the tips you gave and this is what we do when visiting a touristy type place too.

  2. ellen beck says:

    I have heard food is crazy expensive there. We have never been but I can imagine it would add up quickly. You would have to stay on a budget just to make it through the time there. Good tips.

  3. I saw a tv show on food network about the food at this place and it looked spectacular. Anyone would love to eat those desserts.

  4. Tara Torres says:

    Thanks! We are def. a Disney family!

  5. Lauryn R says:

    These are some great tips for dining at Disney, thanks for sharing! I hope to take my kids there someday very soon. 🙂

  6. Charity Cram says:

    Thank you for the tips! Although there are no plans to visit in the near future, I would love to go back!

  7. shannon fowler says:

    I always bring food. They don’t care if you bring in outside food, so it saves money and time. Of course a lot of the food at disney is an experience in itself though.

  8. Theresa says:

    I’ve never been to DisneyWorld only Disneyland but, I’m on the west coast. Great tips.Pinned & sharing Thanks for joining the Inspiration Spotlight party.

  9. We always rent a Florida Vacation home Saving time and money with private washer/dryer… ( no waiting) also kitchen you can buy groceries and Disneyland is just 20 minutes away!. TIP: If you want economy buy the night before from a grocery store the salad packages, and a rotisserie chicken then you prepare in small tupperware containers. Start your day with a homemade breakfast every morning, what you save from not ordering out will pleasantly surprise you! You are allowed to bring a small cooler bag onsite at DISNEY. So If you freeze 6 small bottles of water overnight as it thaws out it keeps your chicken salad cool and you can drink the cold bottles of water you bought at the grocery store the night before at 1/5 the price of Disney… . So for a little inconvenience try this 2 of 4 days a little effort planning – preparation and carrying the cooler bag you save everyone at Disney from waiting in lineups, time and money savings are win- win for Dad and family! The same can be done for cold meat sandwiches. ..

  10. Roseann Hampton says:

    Great tips! Pinning for my daughter who will be going next summer!

  11. Sounds like an expensive vacation. I eat once a day, or every couple days. I’m a cheap date as far as food goes.

  12. Peggy Nunn says:

    These are great suggestions. It has been so long since I have been there. We did not have those choices then.

  13. Such awesome tips and advice

  14. Thomas Gibson says:

    As a former employee of Disney, I didn’t even know this. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Great tips! But especially the reservations, reservations, reservations!! I’ve been going to Disney since day 1 (yikes!) and so much, of course has changed. I’ve learned the hard way and have been disappointed ~ we have yet to eat in Canada, and I’ve heard so many great things about their restaurant!

  16. Amber Cheras says:

    Great Disney tips thank you for sharing! I’ll be sure to use these the next time we go to Disney!

  17. Debbie Welchert says:

    Wow, I didn’t realize how expensive it would be eating at Disney would be. By the time you figure in the price of the trip, lodging, etc., it’s almost unaffordable.

  18. Love learning Disney secrets. Any way to save money there is a huge help!

  19. Terry Stevens says:

    Thank you for the information. I would love to be able to take the grandkids one of these days as they have never been.

  20. Disney is so expensive so any tips to help save wherever you can are always welcome!

  21. Wow…I had no idea you could purchase food plans for a day! Great idea and so much cheaper than doing it on your own.

  22. Jerry Marquardt says:

    I would love to go to Anaheim again soon. Disneyland is such a great day! Thanks for sharing the lovely photos.

  23. Ohhh I love Pluto! It’s my favorite character too 🙂

  24. I love the different options they have for meals and how they make things easy on families

  25. I didn’t know there was a meal plan!

  26. I’ve never been. I’ve heard that it is expensive but a fun family vacation spot.

  27. Sandy Cain says:

    Wish I knew all this when I was last at Disneyworld. Saving these tips for next time, thanks!!

  28. accontests6 says:

    Thank you for the article.

  29. Thank you for all the great tips! Hopefully, we will visit there soon!!

  30. Jeanine Carlson says:

    This is a great article. I am glad they offer packages but they don’t really tell you what the meals and snacks consist of. A snack can be very different from one person to another…

  31. Headed there this summer with my neice and cant wait to use these tricks. Thanks!

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