Now that you’ve booked your 2012 Disney World vacation, it’s time to make your Advance Dining Reservations. Which restaurants are credit-worthy?
The vacation package add-on called the Disney Dining Plan is a meal plan with a set price in exchange for a certain number of credits. Many table-service meals in Disney World cost one credit, but are you getting the best value?
Stick to the one-credit restaurants, order the most expensive meal on the menu, and maximize your savings! Let’s get to my top picks for best value at “one table-service credit” Walt Disney World restaurants. I think some of them will surprise you!
When we looked at values, our main criteria was price. These restaurants offer a great bang for your buck when paying with the Disney Dining Plan.
We also looked at enjoyment level and food quality, but these criteria were secondary and tertiary to cost. Note that these aren’t necessarily our favorite restaurants, but they are good values for one Disney Dining Plan credit.
Tucked into the Italian pavilion at Epcot, Tutto Italia Ristorante boasts regional cuisines from Italy in an Old World setting. Table service is attentive, although the fine-dining atmosphere can lead to longer waits.
This restaurant serves up a Roasted Rack and Leg of Lamb ($34) as an entree. End your meal with Copetta Sotto Boscue, a dessert specialty comprised of berries, zabaglione cream, gelato, and chocolate sauce, which has an out-of-pocket price of $14. When both of these items are ordered, Tutto Italia becomes quite possibly your best one-credit table-service value in Walt Disney World.
There’s also a Veal Roast which would run you $31 out-of-pocket but… perfectly worth one dining credit!
Tutto Italia is closed for refurbishment until the end of April, 2012. When it re-opens, guests will find new carpet, lighting, furniture, and decor. Plus, there will be the new Gusto Wine Bar for your sipping pleasure!
Kouzzina by Cat Cora
Kouzzina, a Boardwalk Resort, specializes in Mediterranean-style cuisine by Celebrity Chef, Cat Cora. The lobby shelves are even filled with her family photos! Your table-service credit goes far here when you order the Wood-Grilled Steak with its $34 price tag. And the extremely welcoming staff makes the value even better!
For dessert, we’re recommending the Baklava — a walnut and cinnamon pastry accompanied by pistachio gelato ($9.49).
San Angel Inn Restaurante
Underneath twilight lighting inside the pyramid of Epcot’s Mexico pavilion, San Angel Inn provides a fun place to dine for a romantic meal or a family dinner.
Sample the cuisine by ordering the Traditional Mexican Dinner ($34), then savor a delicious dessert priced $7-8.
After your meal, try on a sombrero at the indoor village!
Photo Source: Scott Sanders
Les Chefs de France
Attentive service and delicious French cuisine can be found in a cozy corner of Epcot’s France pavilion at Les Chefs de France. We love the window tables for a true Parisian experience.
And if you time your visit just right, you’ll be entertained by the adorable Chef Remy.
On recent visits, the entrees have been consistently delectable and the desserts absolutely divine!
Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted with an oven-fresh baguette! Price-wise, dinner entrees run between $26-$35, and desserts all run over $7 each. You’ll get the best trade-in value with your dining plan credit when ordering the Grilled Tenderloin of Beef ($35).
The eats at this restaurant can really stretch your vacation budget. If you have kids that are begging to dine with the audio-animatronic animals, Rainforest Cafe is a great choice for your table-service dining credit.
Seafood lovers and landlubbers will find plenty of entree choices! Out-of-pockets guests will pay about $38 for the Primal Steak with Coconut Shrimp making this a great value for your table-service credit! With two locations (Downtown Disney Marketplace and Animal Kingdom), it’s easy to work this restaurant into your itinerary.
For dessert, try the Tribal Cheesecake (an $8 value)!
You’ll get a pricey entree and wonderful dessert for $40-41 when paying cash at these honorable mention restaurants at Walt Disney World:
What Do You Think?
What would your picks be for getting the most out of your DDP one-credit meals? Looking forward to hearing from you in the comments section below! You can see our 2011 picks here!
*For purposes of comparison, the standard dining plan will cost adults $51.54 per night per adult (ages 10 and up) and $15.02 per night per child (3-9) during value and regular seasons. The same plan will cost adults $53.54 per night, and kids $16.02 per night during peak season.