Choosing where you are going to eat at Disney World can be hard. There are so many options and it’s hard to know which restaurants are worth the extra money.
I always decide ahead of time where we are going to eat, but I never make the advance reservation, because I don’t want to pay the fee if we don’t make it. With three kids, I just never know what our day is going to look like and I want to stay flexible.
Tips for planning your Disney World dining
1. Research ahead of time to get an idea of what dining options are available where you’ll be.
2. Pick out 2 or 3 restaurants where you would like to eat. That way, if your first choice is too long of a wait or they are already full with reservations you will already be ready with your 2nd choice.
- For example Be Our Guest can be difficult to get into for dinner, but is now open for lunch and breakfast. So, if you really wanted to eat here just go for lunch or breakfast instead.
3. Keep your budget in mind. Knowing your overall budget for your entire trip will help you narrow down where to eat.
- To save money split an entree.
- If you are participating in the Disney Dining Plan you can not share/split meals.
Upscale Dining at Disney World
Whenever we go to Disney World we want to have one or two nicer meals. By nice I mean somewhere I actually make the kids dress a little nicer and we sit down for a long meal. Here are places I recommend so far for this kind of experience.
California Grill – Nice meal and you can watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from their balcony.
Flying Fish Cafe – Currently my favorite place to eat at Disney World. The kids puzzle dessert is too cool.
Jiko – Inside the Animal Kingdom Lodge is Jiko a one of a kind African cuisine experience. It’s expensive.
Ohana – This is an amazing all you can eat place that charges per person. You can see the Electric Water Pageant and the Magic Kingdom fireworks from here.
Eating Cheap at Disney World
Did you know you can take your own food into Disney parks? It’s true. You can even take in a soft sided cooler. We do this sometimes, but other times we just eat at the cheaper places we’ve found at Disney World.
- There is a place in France called Boulangerie Patisserie where you can get a ham and cheese croissant for 3.25. These are so good and large. They will even heat it up if you like!
- Nine Dragons – Our family of five at this sit down Chinese restaurant in Epcot for under $100.
- At Cosmic Rays you can order a double cheeseburger and an extra bun. You can make two hamburgers. You can load it with as many extras as you want at the condiment bar. Their free condiment bar consists of lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, sauteed onions, and sauteed mushrooms.
- At Tortuga Tavern you can order a taco salad, burrito, or nachos and load them up at the free condiment bar. You can essentially make the meals much larger that way you order less meals.
- Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square has large waffle sandwiches that can be shared.
- At Backlot Express you can order a double cheese burger and an extra bun kit (bun, tomato, lettuce) for less than $2 and then make two hamburgers.
- There is a hot dog place, Fairfax Fair, near the Tower of Terror that’s fairly cheap and the hot dogs are huge and awesome.
- Flame Tree BBQ has a rib and chicken combo for $16 that is large enough to split!
Where is your favorite place to dine at when you are at Disney World? Tell us in the comments.