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There is a lot of information out there about dining at Disney. I’m going to share our experience with you. We chose the Basic Dining Plan but didn’t let it limit what we ate. I’ve been very interested to see if it was a good choice for our family. I kept some notes on what we ate during our trip and used information I found on WDWInfo to fill in prices. After tallying everything up it looks like the Dining Plan saved us over $70! Even with the mistake I made in using a table service credit at a quick service restaurant because I thought we were going to end up with extra table service credits since we pre-paid for some dinners. Even though our agent, Heidi with White Glove Destinations, clearly explained to me how our credits would be used. That’s what I get for calling an audible and trying to think after a day in the park. This comparison doesn’t include the drinks (coffee, tea, hot chocolate, soda) we got in our refillable mugs that are included with the dining plan for use at any resort, so we probably saved even more. We matched the color of our mug to the color of our MagicBand to keep track of whose was whose.
Here’s the breakdown if you’re curious.
One thing that was odd to me about the dining plan is that dessert is included with every adult quick serve and table dining meal, but not with the kids meals. Who do you think really wants to eat dessert, the kids! We usually gave or shared our dessert with B. At some restaurants you can substitute fruit for dessert. We brought some of the desserts, fruit and the grapes that come with the kids meals back to our room and stored them in the mini fridge for snacks.
There are some really delicious options for dining at Disney. We asked our friends for dining suggestions and our agent Heidi gave us suggestions as well. Here are some of our favorites.
We loved the Mickey Ice Cream, popcorn and Mickey Pretzels. I didn’t get a chance to get a Dole Whip but it’s on my list for next time. We love snacks and quickly used up all of our snack credits.
Le Cellier in Epcot was delicious. My husband and I both had the Filet with mushroom risotto. Their bread was also very good. Alcohol and other appetizers are extra on the meal plan. While this is a nicer restaurant most people dress in park attire since it’s in Epcot. We took a break at the hotel and freshened up before we headed back to Epcot for dinner.
Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show was fun and the food was really good. It’s served at your table, all you care to enjoy. Beer and wine are included and you can purchase other drinks. I suggest the Mai Tai!
Be Our Guest– We ate here for lunch. The food was delicious. I had the pork, Chad had the roast beef sandwich and B had grilled cheese. The restaurant was decorated perfectly but for all the fuss I wanted to see Mrs. Potts, Chip and the dishes dancing and meet the beast. I hear he’s at the dinner service.
California Grill was another delicious dinner and the views from the restaurant were amazing. I hear it has a great view of the fireworks at night. This is a nice restaurant and many people dress up to eat here. We didn’t feel like going back to the hotel so we went straight from the park. We felt a little under-dressed but still enjoyed our meal. It was also the day B got his face painted like a zombie pirate. Yeah, we were that table, but who cares it’s Disney.
Tusker House– Great Character Breakfast and yummy buffet. Loved the Mickey waffles, fruit and Jungle Juice. B loved dancing and getting pictures with the characters.
You can use your snack credits to get bottled water. Also, you can get bottled water with your meals to take with you or if you’re dining at your resort fill your refillable mug and grab a bottled water.
What are your favorite restaurants and things to eat at Disney?