We get a lot of questions from readers here at DFB asking if the Disney Dining Plan is a good deal. One part of answering this question is doing the cut and dry calculations based upon a restaurant’s offerings. But the other part is determining if the restaurant is a good fit for your family. (For example, if Yachtsman Steakhouse offers a great bang for your buck when using the Dining Plan, but you’re a family of vegetarians, it probably isn’t the best choice! ;-D)
We were curious to determine which Disney Signature Restaurants offered the best deal or value pricewise — but also could be recommended by the experts here at DFB for atmosphere and food quality.
Here are our picks for the restaurants that offer the best value for your 2-credit Disney Dining Plan slots.
Cinderella’s Royal Table
When you think of fine dining at Walt Disney World, Cinderella’s Royal Table probably doesn’t spring to mind. But if you’re looking to maximize the value you get for your DDP table service credits, then you should probably give it some attention.
With an average dinner price of around $72 per adult and $44 per child, Cinderella’s Royal Table easily offers the most expensive meal in exchange for two of your DDP table service credits.
But there’s more going on here than just food, of course.
While the food quality has continued to improve in recent years as Disney chefs strive to find the balance between fine dining and something to please critics of all ages, the real draw is the location. You’re paying to spend time within the magical confines of Cinderella Castle.
Of course, there are royal guests to keep you company as you dine. Cinderella’s Princess Friends are the featured entertainment here.
Is it worth the steep price tag? Only you can be the judge. If you’re looking for 5-star quality food, then probably not. But if the prospect of eating decent food inside a childhood fantasy setting + visiting with princesses sounds like a good time to you and your family, then we do highly recommend it.
Narcoossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa tends to fly under the radar a bit. Most of the time, if guests are dining in an upscale fashion at the Grand, they tend to favor the ultra-expensive Victoria and Albert’s. But if you’re looking for a meal that’s both luxurious and on the Disney Dining Plan, you might want to give Narcoossee’s a try.
I think the top reason to visit Narcoossee’s is the incredible food. Looking for the priciest menu items? Be sure to go for one of the two entrees featuring Lobster.
Dessert offerings on the menu also include their cheese offering, which is normally a higher price point than many traditional desserts, even in signature restaurants.
Need another reason? This waterfront restaurant offers beautiful views of Seven Seas Lagoon, which means that you can enjoy Magic Kingdom’s Wishes fireworks while you indulge in that lobster and steak.
And because the menu features all kinds of pricey cuts of beef, you’ll find this upscale steakhouse occupying one of the top spots on our list. In fact, we find only two out of ten entrees on the current menu to be priced under the $40 mark.
When I dine here, I usually favor the 16-Ounce Ribeye.
But we also enjoy the popular New York Strip.
Desserts here also range between $10-12, so you can expect to get full value for that two-credit meal.
And as seasonal flavors are incorporated into sides, appetizers, and desserts, it’s a cut above the normal steakhouse experience in terms of innovation.
California Grill is a perennial favorite for guests who enjoy a Disney signature dining experience. To begin, the views are unparalleled. Seriously, if you haven’t been to the Top of the Contemporary, you must visit at least once.
But in terms of DDP value, it’s also a great spot to get the biggest bang for your credits.
While the range for entree price here is very tight — between $35 and $55 — that’s still a pretty price for all of the plates. If you’d like to maximize your credits, go for the Bison Strip Loin, one of the priciest meals here.
And with all of the desserts coming in at $13 or more, indulging in a sweet ending is another great way to feel like you’re getting your money’s worth.
But now that the waterfront restaurant has been around for a few months, the concern has died down a bit. And expensive meals have come WAY down. (Or disappeared altogether.)
Still, a meal here can set you back quite a bit, which makes it an ideal choice for DDP credit usage.
To make the most of your credits at BOATHOUSE, stick with the Steaks and Chops on the menu, which range from $29 to $62. Topping the list is the 12-ounce Filet Mignon, served Oscar Style with a topping of Jumbo Lump Crab. You can also get the smaller 8-ounce version of the steak.
Obviously, if you’re going to eat here, choose dinner for the more expensive eats.
Ask me where in Disney World I dine when I’m not “working,” and you’ll see a few restaurants rise to the top. One of my all-time favorite choices continues to be Le Cellier Steakhouse in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion.
I was just back here recently, and it’s still as good as ever. And while some of my favorite dishes, like the inspired takes on Poutine, aren’t really covered on the DDP, there’s still plenty here to keep you coming back for more.
Of course, if you’re a seasoned DFB reader, my top choice will come as no surprise. Not only will the Filet help you make the most of your credits, but it’s consistently just about the best thing on the menu. Don’t get me wrong; other steaks and offerings are delicious, too. But this one is the gold standard.
But nearly tied with the Filet is another fan favorite, the New York Strip Steak.
If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary, Bison is regularly offered here.
And with imaginative and delicious desserts like Chocolate Whisky Trifle, you can’t go wrong.
Desserts are always seasonally inspired, but you’ll often find at least one selection that highlights rich Kenyan Coffee.
And of course you can’t go wrong with their Cheese Plate.
And there you go! — Our top picks for the best signature spots to use two of your precious Disney Dining Credits, based upon the average price of meals at each of the restaurants. If getting the best possible value for your Disney Dining Plan is super important to you, then these are the places to choose.
Ready for All of Our Best Tips?
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But now, let’s hear from all of you! Which Disney Signature Restaurant is your favorite place to splurge with your Disney Dining Plan credits? Leave a comment and tell us what you think!
Please Note: Our rankings were based upon the average price of entrees and desserts in each of the signature restaurants. Please keep in mind that prices can fluctuate and menu items can and do change frequently at signature restaurants.