Top 5 Disney Dining Plan Quick-Service Values for 2012

It’s time to re-visit our Top 5 Quick-Service 2012 Disney Dining Plan* Values! Last year, our choices were great bargains because they offered good portions and quality food — and they were less attractive when paying out-of-pocket!

Since then, prices and options have changed, so it’s time to re-evaluate for 2012!

Wolfgang Puck Express at Downtown Disney

While shopping at Downtown Disney, use your quick service credit at Wolfgang Puck Express! The Pennette Chicken Alfredo with peas, bacon and parmesan at $15 is very filling (an easy meal to split)!

Pennette Chicken Alfredo

Here are some other smart choices:
Spaghetti & Meatballs with tomato-basil-garlic sauce and fresh herbs $16; Oven Roasted Salmon served with fennel, tomatoes, arugula, roasted potatoes and horseradish cream $18; or the Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf accompanied by mashed potatoes, port wine sauce and crispy onion rings $15.

Quality and quantity make WPE the place at Downtown Disney to get the best value with your DDP credit!

Katsura Grill

We’re assuming that Katsura Grill, which opens TODAY at the Japan Pavilion in Epcot, is on the Dining Plan as a counter-service location. If we’re right, it will be a great value for a counter-service credit. (By the way, since it’s replacing the Yakitori House, we’re guessing that it will be on the Dining Plan; but we don’t know yet for sure!)

On the new menu the Sushi Combos, including the California Roll and the Spicy Tuna Roll, top out at $12.99, as does the Tonosama combo, with comes with teriyaki beef, chicken, and salmon. The Teriyaki Salmon is $11.99, while the Curry Chicken Cutlet and the Shogun combo (with teriyaki chicken and beef) both go for $10.99.

I’ll be dining here this weekend, so stay tuned for a full review! In the meantime, our good friend Mike S. ate here during a soft opening this week! Check out this yummy meal!

Katsura Grill Meal

Tangierine Cafe

This cafe in Epcot’s Morocco is always a guest favorite — the food is high-quality, the seating areas are interesting (head out to the front patio and watch the “World” go by!), and we love the variation of Tangierine Cafe!

Here, the great deals include the Shawarma Platters, which are served with Hummus, Tabouleh, a Tangierine Couscous Salad, and fresh bread. The Chicken and Lamb combo is $13.99, chicken alone is $11.99, and lamb alone is $12.99.

The Mediterranean Sliders Combo, which includes lamb, chicken, and falafel pita pockets served with lentils, hummus, and Tabouleh will cost you $14.99 out of pocket!

Shawarma Platters

Fairfax Fare and Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Fairfax Fare has a delicious meal of Chicken and Spareribs with baked beans and coleslaw at $14.19. A similar meal can be had at Magic Kingdom’s Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe for the same price (here, you’ll get mashed potatoes and a seasonal veggie on the side)!

Cosmic Ray's Ribs and Chicken

Stretch your credits by sharing this meal!

At Cosmic Ray’s and in the mood for a burger? Get the 1/3 lb. Deluxe Angus Pizza Burger for $10.19 and then head to the complimentary toppings bar!

Pepper Market at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

The Pepper Market is a “love it or hate it” type of place, but it really does offer a lot of value for your money when it comes to the Disney Dining Plan.

Over the next month, a buffet meal will be tested during breakfast and lunch hours, making this pick even more interesting.

At dinner, you can still get some great items for one counter-service credit including Steak Ranchero with rice, beans and seasonal vegetables for $13.75, Beef Tips Stroganoff for $13.50, Burrito for $10.50 and Pasta with Sausage at $14.99.


Now, that’s a hearty use of a DDP credit!

Honorable Mention: Flame Tree Barbecue

Outdoor dining, a fantastic view, and the aroma of flame-cooked barbecue! For a great use of your counter-service credit at Flame Tree BBQ, order the 1/2 Slab of St. Louis Ribs served with baked beans and corn muffin for $10.49.

Ribs with Beans and Barbecue Sauce

Take your meal down by the water and take advantage of one of the most beautiful seating areas in Walt Disney World!

And don’t forget, also in Animal Kingdom, the Anandapur Local Food Cafes offer an Orange Beef dish for $10.99. We like the Flame Tree seating better, but if Orange Beef is your pick over Barbecue, it’s actually a better dining plan deal price-wise.

Honorable Mention: La Cantina de San Angel

Here at this lago-side Cantina, you’ll pay dearly out-of-pocket for tacos! The Tacos de Carne served with Pico de Gallo and tortilla chips will set you back $11.95. Tacos de Pollo will cost $10.95. And the Empanadas de Queso and tortilla chips is $10.50.

Cantina de San Angel and Hacienda de San Angel

So those are our top choices to get your bang for your Disney Dining Plan counter-service buck in 2012!! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

Now it’s your turn! Where does your family get the best use of your quick-service Disney Dining Plan credits?

*Note that not all restaurants have been finalized for the 2012 Disney Dining Plan — the final list will be released in 2012. However, based on past years, we are relatively sure that all locations mentioned will be available for a counter-service credit next year.


  1. Eric says

    I couldn’t agree more with WPE and Flame Tree! They are must do’s for us each trip. And WPE is a great option for breakfast. I must respectfully disagree with Fairfax Fare. But we always seem to have problems finding quality options in HS.

  2. Keith says

    Starring rolls for lunch…delicious turkey or ham sandwich, chips, drink (we had iced moachas), and one of their famous cupcakes!

  3. says

    We love WPE. We’re not dining plan people, but it’s still worth our money when we pay cash.

    We’re headed to WDW this weekend too! Are you going to any of the meetups, or hosting a DFB one?

  4. marcellina says

    Can’t wait to hear your review of Katsura Grill! We are thinking of eating there in February using the dining plan… I love sushi and will definitely be ordering that!

  5. Alan says

    I’ve eaten at all these places or at least a previous incarnation of them. Puck’s marketplace location is easily number one. It’s a hybrid of table service and counter service that seems more like the former. After ordering at a counter the rest of the meal is all table. A great variety is on the menu with something to please everyone. This restaurant is better than many table restaurants at some of the resorts!

  6. JulFromMD says

    One I’d add to the list of honorable mentions…Kringla! The sandwich with soup, salad, or fruit and a dessert is a wonderful meal, especially given the great selection of desserts at the bakery.

  7. Catie says

    I agree with Keith. We ate at Starring Rolls and honestly, it’s more than one person should eat! The desserts are huge and the sandwich is very filling. I share it with my teenaged son, and it is more than enough for the two of us!

  8. Mrs. Farrell says

    I’ve got to throw in Boardwalk Bakery for lunch. On our most recent trip (Nov. 5-13, 2011), we wandered over there via Gateway Plaza to get away from the mad F&W crowds at EPCOT. Imagine our surprise, and utter delight, when we were able to enjoy a delicious – and HUGE sandwich, side of chips or salad, drink and one of their amazing desserts for a quick service credit. We really couldn’t believe our luck! Try it out!

  9. yensidfan says

    My family ALWAYS has to get our bbq at flametree! This past trip I went for the pulled pork sandwich instead of the ribs and I have to admit that it was one of the best ones I’ve ever had. And I live in the south where pulled pork is all over the place! Yummmmmy!

  10. Sara McCaslin says

    My husband and I always use a counter service meal option at Season’s located in the Land Pavilion in Epcot. We love the bone-on pork chop, rice and mashed potatoes meal AND crème brulee for dessert.

  11. Maryse says

    But I saw on the Dining Plan 2012 that Wolfgang Puck Express is not participating anymore… Did they change their mind or did you include it mistakenly in the list? (I’m asking because I’d like to go there next year but only if it’s part of the DDP…)

  12. says

    Maryse — Many of the restaurants do not finalize with Disney to be on the dining plan until later in the year. It’s possible that WPE will not finalize until the end of 2011 for 2012.

  13. says

    Eric — Thanks for your reviews and comments. DHS IS a tough one when it comes to counter service…

    Keith and Catie — Thanks for the suggestion! What’s the cost of that meal if you pay out of pocket, do you know? Would love to get the value on that, though the cupcake dessert alone is worth it! ;-)

    Beth — I’ll be at several of the All Ears Net and WDW Today Podcast meet-ups! :-)

    Marcellina — I’ll be there on Friday! Can’t wait to share!

    Alan — My thoughts exactly. I love the “service” part of WPE!

    Jul — I’ve never had a sandwich at Kringla!! Must do that!

    Mrs. Farrell — Ooh! What kinds of sandwiches do they have??

    yensidfan — I love the pulled pork sandwich at Flame Tree!

    Sara — I definitely considered putting Seasons on this list!!! Such a great quality spot!

  14. Heather says

    I think the best values at QS dining locations are at Tangerine Cafe, Sunshine Seasons and Columbia Harbor House!

  15. Jim Villanti says

    Although the meal plan might seem pricey, you get to pay for it along with your hotel reservation so you have time to build up funds to pay for it. Also you get to eat good food at many of the restaurants as opposed to dried out burgers. I found 2 meals and a snack each day is more than enough to eat. Park Faire buffet dining is really good food, The German restaurant in Epcot is really good and the oompah band really gets your young children and grandchildren up and dancing. If you’ve ever stayed at the All Star Resorts you know it’s a real zoo at breakfast time but you can eat at any resort on the property and having table service and eating like a human being is a great start to your day.Some of the better restaurants require advance reservations up six months in advance, such as Chef Mickey.

  16. says

    Ha ha! But George, Starring Rolls isn’t actually a “value” when it comes to the dining plan. It doesn’t cost that much, so you’re not getting bang for your buck by using a credit. Just pay out of pocket for that one. ;-D This list doesn’t include all of the BEST restaurants, just the restaurants that have great food, but are priced very high.

  17. Essie says

    WPE is the best, but I also love Earl of Sandwich, Columbia Harbour House and the Norwegian Bakery!

  18. Bethanne says

    If you are in Hollywood Studios which I missed it represented “Pizza Planet” is a great choice – pizza w/salad, beverage and dessert.

  19. says

    I agree about Starring Rolls being a great deal. I disagree with AJ that it is best to pay OOP, my most recent trip my lunch at Starring Rolls totalled at $19.71 (Ham Sandwich, Chips, Cupcake and Large Drink) which although not the best value, is definitely up there. It’s definitely enough food for two. I share it with my daughter giving us an extra credit!

  20. Randi says

    The build your own pasta station at Port Orleans Riverside is amazing. More than enough food for two, and paired with cheesecake for dessert, it’s a great use of a counter service credit. We also use our resort mugs ( included with the dining plan) for our drink and get bottled water as our drink that comes with the meal so we can take with us to the park. It’s like sneaking in an extra snack credit.

  21. Christy says

    My family’s favorite quick service meal is the fried shrimp, fries and cole slaw basket at the Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square in MK. The shrimp are big and so good! We generally eat this 2-3 times each visit. You can also find a great fried shrimp basket at the Refreshment Port located in the World Showcase in Epcot.

  22. C J W says

    I agree with most all of the above but Starring Rolls, Kringla, Sunshine Seasons, WPE, Flame Tree and Columbia Harbor House were our favorites of all for QS meals. We stayed at All Star Sports and ate several dinner meals and those weren’t bad at all if you chose something besides HB or sandwiches. The fixin’s bar provided lettuce and tomatoe for a small salad with lemon juice or mayo as a good side item and we also used our mugs for free beverage and took water or sports drinks that came with the meal in our backpacks into the park for later. QS meal plan was a winner for us and will be again, even with only one snack. We honestly had snack credits left over every day and took home Disney sweet treats for those left behind.

  23. jagdrury says

    I couldn’t agree more about Katsura Grill. Good food and lots of it with the sushi combo. It is awkwardly set up, but the food is worth it. It’s a must have for every WDW trip. I haven’t tried Wolfgang Puck’s but hope I get to after reading all the great comments about it.

  24. Barbara Bower says

    I love the Fish and Chips at the Yorkshire County Fish Shop in the United Kingdom at Epcot.We were at WDW in early October. I was there in 2006, and I decided I had to stop by the Fish Shop and have the Fish and Chips again. It did not disappoint me.

  25. Detronyx says

    THAT is at Cosmic Rays?! I had chicken nuggets and fries, and didn’t see any other things that sounded really good, short of a chicken sandwich or burgers. I was disappointed because those are the same nuggets California Adventure has, and I wanted food I had never had before or couldn’t get in DLR. Nuggets sounded safe, but they were the exact same in california. Had I known about that whole chicken and ribs, I SO would have done that instead!

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