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Disney Dining Tips and Tricks

Theme park dining has come a long way over the last few years. Once confined to fast food options and casual dining experiences, today’s theme parks are all about fabulous food that even foodies can enjoy. But you can still find laid-back fare and casual seating with the character experiences you love.

There are a dizzying amount of Disney dining options to choose from, including buffet-style, grab-and-go, and table-service restaurants. While you can grab a fun snack or Mickey-ear ice cream for a quick fix in between rides without giving it much thought, Disney’s sit-down restaurants usually require reservations and a little advanced planning.

Want to make sure you eat at the best Disney sit-down restaurants and snag the best dining plan? Here’s our insider’s perspective on Disney dining and tips for Disney dining plans.

Dining Plan Tips

Disney offers two dining plans that you can add on to your Disney Resort Hotel package which includes park tickets.

Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan - Two Quick-Service Meals, one snack or nonalcoholic beverage, and one resort-refillable mug per person.

Disney Dining Plan - One table service meal, one quick-service meal, one snack or nonalcoholic beverage, and one resort-refillable mug per person.

Disney dining plans can potentially save 10-25% on dining throughout Walt Disney World and can also save valuable time. Instead of trying to price out different restaurants to score the best bang for your buck, you can just opt to use your dining plan instead. Just swipe your MagicBand at the restaurant, and Disney sorts out the rest.

It’s important to know that advanced reservations are encouraged and sometimes required at Disney’s table-seating restaurants. Each Disney dining plan also allows different credits to specific restaurants. The credits work similarly to a voucher, and you may need more credits to eat at your top picks. Pro tip: Some restaurants don’t accept dining plans but are still worth the splurge.

Not sure where to start? Here are some of my Disney dining favorites.

California Grill

Located at the Contemporary Resort, the California Grill specializes in fish, sushi, and fireworks. Although the food is superb, guests are treated to a bird's eye view of the Magic Kingdom's nightly firework presentation. You can still order up kid favorites like macaroni and cheese and hand-formed provolone cheese pizza if the pint-sized sushi combination doesn't suit.

The California Grill costs two table service credits on the Disney Dining.

Tusker House

For a mix of African cuisine and American fare, stop by Tusker House at Animal Kingdom for a top-notch character dining experience. You’ll feel like you stepped into Africa at this open-air eatery where your favorite Disney characters gather. Choose from corn dog nuggets, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, deli meats and cheeses, and banana bread pudding among other kid-friendly favorites. For adults, Tusker serves up curries, Peri Peri whole salmon, spit-roasted chicken, and vegetarian options among other delicious options.

Tusker House costs two table service credits on the Disney Dining.

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’

Take a break from the rides and head over to Disney Springs for shopping, live shows, and delicious comfort food. Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' features farm-to-fork cuisine with fresh flavors. An award-winning celebrity chef created a varied menu where the main attraction is unbelievable fried chicken. Pair with the Church Lady Deviled Eggs and Shrimp and Grits for a magical meal.

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ costs one credit on the Disney Dining.

Biergarten Restaurant

Stepping into Biergarten Restaurant at Epcot is like celebrating Oktoberfest all year long complete with polka and live entertainment. Visitors share authentic German cuisine over communal tables with a selection of bratwurst, rotisserie chicken schnitzel, strudel, and kid-friendly selections. It’s table seating with a laid-back vibe and German flair.

Biergarten Restaurant costs one credit on the Disney Dining plan.

Victoria and Albert's

If you're a discerning Disney traveler, you'll know the parks aren’t just for kids anymore. Victoria and Albert's is so exclusive that children under ten aren't allowed in the dining area. Situated at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Victoria & Albert’s features upscale food and flawless service. Choose from dishes like Texas wild boar, Glacier 51 tooth-fish, and Alaskan king crab. Prices are high, and a dress code of dinner jackets for men with dress pants or slacks and dresses or pantsuits for women are required.

Victoria & Albert's is a AAA 5-Diamond award-winning restaurant and doesn't participate in the Disney Dining plan.

Ready to book your Disney vacation and explore whether or not you should add on a Disney dining plan? Fill out a Vacation Request Form, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Call or Text Dream Travel Consulting at 208-297-3237 or


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