Recommended Disney Dining Plan One-Credit Restaurant Values

We previously shared with you our picks for the Best Disney Dining Plan Value in Disney Signature Dining. Today, we continue our series exploring which Disney Restaurants offer the best value for your Disney Dining Plan credits!

Disney Dining Plan One Credit Recommendations

One of the biggest questions that we get here at DFB is whether or not the Disney Dining Plan is a good deal. To begin answering the question, we armed ourselves with calculators and menus and ran the numbers to see which spots had the most expensive average entrees.

But it’s more than that, isn’t it? I mean, no matter how much the average check runs, if the food or the atmosphere doesn’t appeal to you and yours, it won’t be a good value, no matter how you slice it.

With the calculations in mind, we were curious to determine which One-Credit Disney Table Service Restaurants offered the best deal or value price-wise — but also could be recommended by the experts here at DFB for atmosphere and food quality. All of the restaurants that we considered are One-Credit spots, meaning they’ll require just one credit to dine with the Disney Dining Plan.

Here are our picks for the restaurants that give you the best overall bang for your Disney Dining Plan buck when it comes to single credit table service spots.

Best Friends Character Breakfast at ‘Ohana

When we set out to determine which one-credit restaurants offered you the most in terms of sheer cost, one trend emerged immediately: you can’t go wrong by spending your credit on a Character Meal.

Mickey at 'Ohana

We Can’t Resist Eating with this Guy!

And with only one exception (Cinderella’s Royal Table), all Disney World character meals require only one DDP table service credit.

And while character meals are not one size fits all — you should definitely check out our tips before booking one — they’re for sure an experience everyone can enjoy with a little planning.

As for our favorite, this year we are really enjoying character meals that are served family-style like ‘Ohana’s breakfast. These include Garden Grill at Epcot, which you can now book for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

Chip

Chip n’ Dale Visit with You During Meals at Epcot’s Garden Grill

Or enjoy the Princesses at Akershus. You can still enjoy the koldtbord selections and all you care to eat, but meals come plated.

Princess Cinderella at Akershus in Epcot's Norway

Princess Cinderella at Akershus in Epcot’s Norway

But my favorite remains the Best Friends Character Breakfast at ‘Ohana. For a combination of cute characters (Mickey in a Hawaiian Shirt, and Lilo is awesome!) and delicious food, it just can’t be beat.

Mickey Waffles!

Mickey Waffles!

And while buffets are great for a bounty of offerings, sometimes it’s nice to sit back and let the food come to you — especially if there’s a baby or toddler along for the ride.

Boma

Hot on the heels of character meals though, you should probably also consider other buffets or all you care to enjoy service formats if you’re truly interested in “getting your money’s worth”.

Boma Buffet

Boma Buffet

Boma at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge doesn’t offer characters — but I don’t see that as a bad thing. The food here is  interesting and delicious. Don’t miss the Soups or the Carving Stations at Dinner! (Here’s the recipe for that killer Coconut Curry Chicken Stew!) Breakfast offers some great pastries and more.

Breakfast Pastries from one of our favorite buffets -- Boma in Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge!

Breakfast Pastries from one of our favorite buffets — Boma in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge!

Then of course, there’s the Zebra Domes. :-)

Zebra Dome

Zebra Dome Yum

The restaurant serves breakfast and dinner, and we’ve enjoyed both. And because Boma doesn’t feature characters, I find the ambiance to be a little more relaxing as a result.

But don’t forget spots that offer all you care to enjoy, but do the heavy lifting for you. If you wish that everyday was Thanksgiving Day (but without the clean up!), then make your advance dining reservation for Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom. Besides getting a hearty helping of history, you’ll also see endless platters of Turkey with all the trimmings.

The Full Spread!

The Full Dinner Spread at Liberty Tree Tavern!

And that is truly something to be thankful for.

Be Our Guest Dinner

But if you’re looking to spend those credits wisely, then don’t leave Magic Kingdom just yet. Because any Disney Food Bucket Lister will tell ya — you’ve gotta book dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant at least once.

Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom

Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom

For starters, this spot is truly magical. If you’ve ever wanted to tumble through a movie screen and join in the action, this is your chance to do it, as Beast’s Castle has been reproduced in painstaking detail.

Want to see the last petal drop at Be Our Guest Restaurant? Planning ahead is key!

The Enchanted Rose in the West Wing

But then, there are some pretty great reasons to eat here as well. Of course, the menu is French-inspired. We’ve tried pretty much everything, and give high marks to the Potato Leek Soup, the Pork Chop, and of course, the Grilled Strip Steak!

Grilled Strip Steak

Grilled Strip Steak

And if you enjoy a glass of wine or a beer with dinner, take advantage of ordering one here — the only spot in Magic Kingdom where you can enjoy this indulgence.

Chimay Blue at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Chimay Blue at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Choosing Dessert may be tough. We enjoyed most of the options, but the Master’s “Grey Stuff” dessert will be the most high-profile.

Les Chefs de France

What’s that? You’d like to go to the REAL France?

Well, I can’t deliver that to you at Disney, but I can get you pretty close to the real deal. If you travel over the Epcot, that is. When you get there, head to World Showcase for some of the best spots to spend those table service credits.

Front of Les Chefs de France at Night -- Isn't It Amazing??

Beautiful Les Chefs de France in Epcot’s France Pavilion

While many of the restaurants in this international village boast steep pricetags, we love some better than others. And in terms of beautiful atmosphere and consistently delicious food, Les Chefs de France gets a gold star from me.

I know, I know. Epcot international dining can be less than authentic. But all of the restaurants in the France Pavilion are owned by the Bocuse Group, and I’ve enjoyed lots of fare that reminded me of my time traveling as a student through France and Switzerland.

A la flamme Alsacienne

A la flamme Alsacienne

Service can be slow and reserved. But the restaurant offers a beautiful setting.

Teppan Edo

But as I mentioned, you aren’t limited merely to France in Epcot. There’s a whole world out there, of course. When it comes to fun and value, consider Teppan Edo.

Teppan Edo in Epcot's Japan Pavilion

Teppan Edo in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion

This Japanese Habachi-style experience is as much food theatre as it is eating. The chefs here are wonderful at all of the tricks that you might expect to see in a Japanese steakhouse. We especially like the fire-based ones. :-)

And the food is bountiful. While I’m partial to ordering the Steak, I also love the combos here. Steak and Chicken or Steak and Shrimp give you the opportunity to enjoy different textures and flavors.

Steak and Chicken at Teppan Edo

Steak and Chicken at Teppan Edo

And with bountiful sides, I guarantee you won’t leave the table hungry.

And there you have it! With so many varied experiences, flavors, and settings, it’s hard to go wrong with Disney Dining. But you won’t go wrong if you decide to try a few of our favorite one-credit options!

2016 book cover dfb guide

Ready for All of Our Best Tips?

We’ve got TONS of Disney World Dining Tips — including LOTS of restaurant suggestions for your every need — in our big, bold 2016 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining!

With more than 530 pagesThe DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining is full of tips and planning tools developed by Disney World experts over 20+ years of visits. We’ve done the research for you, so you’ll know just which spots will uniquely suit your family’s needs!

With sample dining itineraries, plus our “Disney Dining at a Glance” section, featuring “Where Can I Find?” options, you’ll have everything you need to plan your best vacation yet. Click here to get your copy of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining E-book — and use code HAPPYPLACE for an extra $4 discount for a limited time!

Now, I’d love to hear from all of you guys! What are your best picks for value when it comes to DDP one credit table service spots? Leave a comment with your favorites!

Disney Dining Details: Skipper Canteen Secret Passageway Bookshelves

Do you harbor a secret dream to become a member of the S.E.A. (Society of Explorers and Adventurers)?

If so, then maybe you’d like to do a little exploring with me today as we step back inside the Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland, the still-new restaurant based on the Jungle Cruise attraction.

We’ve already taken a full tour of of the Canteen, including its three dining rooms: the Crew Mess Hall, the Falls Family Parlor, and a once-hidden meeting room for the S.E.A. But now it’s time to check out a few more of those Disney details! And with many thanks to my friend Daniel Wanderman who recently dined there, we’ve got some more to share…

In order to enter the S.E.A. Room coming from the Mess Hall, you must pass through a hallway.

Bookcases lining the hallway from the Mess Hall

Bookcases lining the hallway from the Mess Hall

As you pass, you’ll notice the hallway is lined with bookcases. [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland Review: The New Cove Bar Expansion in Disney California Adventure

Disney California Adventure has removed the Donald Duck meet and greet gazebo on Paradise Pier for a very good reason; Cove Bar expansion! The new seating is adjacent to the existing bar. (If you are a Donald fan, don’t fret… Donald has been moved over to Buena Vista Street and he now has Daisy there as his companion.)

Welcome Back to Cove Bar!

Welcome Back to Cove Bar!

I’m sure your first thought is, “Awesome, more seats, less wait!” But alas, this is far from the truth. I recently when to check out the expansion and some new menu items.  It was a Friday just before noon and we still waited 45 minutes for a party of 2.  Personally I think the Cove Bar is worth the wait, but I also think that if they filled the whole pier with Cove Bar seating, there would still be a long wait.  It’s THAT good.  You can see that others agree with me.  This is the line we waited in.

[Read more…]

Top Meals Under $20 in Disneyland

We can all use a few tips when it comes to planning vacations at Disney. And of course, we think the food is just about the most important part of the trip!

Budgeting for all of the special meals that you’d like to enjoy is a big concern. And it may seem impossible to cut corners and save a little here and there while still enjoying yourself. But with a little creative planning, you can find some wonderful meals at some of the coolest places, all for less than you might think.

Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle

Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle

Previously, we shared our Top Picks at Walt Disney World for Meals Under $20. Today, we’re back to celebrate some fantastic meals that you can enjoy at Disneyland for around $20 or less. This is by no means exhaustive — there are lots more where these came from. But for now, come with us and check out some of the great options we have to share! [Read more…]

News: Light-Up Lotus Popcorn Bucket Coming to Animal Kingdom and Updated Anniversary Buckets in Disneyland

Like many of you, we here at the DFB are pretty big fans of the souvenir popcorn buckets that pop up all around Disney World and Disneyland, often commemorating classic or even new attractions (like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train bucket) or promoting the latest Disney film (such as the Cinderella Coach bucket which made an appearance when the live-action Cinderella film was released).

Disney just provided a glimpse of a new souvenir popcorn bucket on the way “later this year” to Disney’s Animal Kingdom: the Light-Up Lotus Popcorn Bucket. This unique bucket will light up, turning it into a luminary.

Lotus Popcorn Bucket coming to Animal Kingdom

Lotus Popcorn Bucket coming to Animal Kingdom

Though no release date was given for the new bucket, it certainly seems as though it is made to complement the upcoming Rivers of Light evening spectacular, slated to debut this spring. After all, we know that lanterns will play a huge part in the show, and some of the concept art for the spectacular features lotus blossoms as a major centerpiece element. [Read more…]

Our Favorite Disney’s Hollywood Studios Restaurants

Don’t you love Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Where else can you go for a dose of Old Hollywood glamour, a Star Wars fix, and a live action stunt show all in one place?

But in addition to all kinds of movie-inspired fun, the park hosts some great food as well. Today, we’re taking a closer look at our Favorite DHS Restaurants. See if you agree with us!

50s Prime Time Cafe

One of my favorite spots to dine at DHS — or in all of Walt Disney World really — is 50s Prime Time Cafe.

This spot has it all. It’s super-themed, so when you step into the front door one of two things will come to mind:

  • I am caught in a time warp, and my grandmother is going to bop into the room wearing a poodle skirt any minute.
  • I’ve succeeded in stepping right into the Dick Van Dyke Show.
One of the 50s Prime Time Cafe Dining Rooms

One of the 50s Prime Time Cafe Dining Rooms

And truly, the themeing is so utterly awesome here, it’s enough to keep me coming back again and again. But then, the food! It’s just like your mom made! Or grandmother. Or Aunt Gladys. Whatever. My point is, it’s really good and comforting and, well, swell. You know? The bee’s knees. [Read more…]

Review: Breakfast at Kona Cafe in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

We are kicking off this week right with one of my favorite breakfasts in all of the Disney Food Universe — Kona Cafe!

This mainstay of Walt Disney World flies under the radar quite a lot of the time. If you don’t know better, you’ll probably write it off as just a garden variety hotel lobby restaurant, good for grabbing a bite before you move onto bigger things.

For me — and for many Disney fans in the know — it’s a destination.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s take a look around, then dive right into the eats.

Atmosphere

If it’s been a while since your last visit to the Polynesian, then you’re in for a bit of a surprise. The hotel, one of Disney World’s original resorts, recently underwent a huge renovation.

The work not only added many new enhancements, like Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, and the Pineapple Lanai (your home for Dole Whip at the Poly). But it also transformed areas like the hotel’s lobby. While I miss the sound of the old waterfall, I think this assortment of glass float lights is a nice, new focal point.

Kona Cafe

Newly Renovated Polynesian Village Resort Lobby

Still, for better or for worse, Kona Cafe has remained largely unchanged. Located off of the second floor atrium, it still appears to be a rather ho-hum restaurant. [Read more…]

Our Favorite Magic Kingdom Restaurants

Magic Kingdom, how we love you. You are, for many of us, the source of our earliest Disney Memories. Heck, some of us remember when you were the ONLY Park. (Am I showing my age here?)

Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

But even though you’ve been around the longest, we’re no less fond of you. In fact, coming back to ride old favorites or experience new attractions always feels a bit like coming home. [Read more…]

Review: Dinner at Flo’s V-8 Café in Disney California Adventure’s Cars Land

ROAD TRIP, everybody!!! Today we are cruising over to Flo’s V-8 Cafe!

Cars Land Sign

Cars Land Sign

Located in Cars Land in Disney California Adventure, it’s the perfect place for a quick fuel up.

[Read more…]

Review: The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney World’s Fort Wilderness Campground

“Let’s raise the roof and have a HOOP-DEE-DOO! And let’s have a good time tonight — YES, SIR! — We’ll have a good time tonight!” 

That’s right, friends… we’re back at the one, the only HOOP-DEE-DOO MUSICAL REVUE!

In fact, a trip to Fort Wilderness Campgrounds to see the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue — one of Disney World’s three dinner shows — has been a must-do experience for many Disney World guests over the Revue’s 41-year run, as evidenced by the fact that year after year many families make a point to mosey on over to Pioneer Hall to enjoy this quintessential Disney World tradition.

Let’s find out why!

Atmosphere and Show

In 2014, The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue celebrated its 40th Anniversary. While that’s quite a milestone in and of itself, Hoop-Dee-Doo also has the distinction of being one of the longest running dinner shows in the United States. And its home is Pioneer Hall at Fort Wilderness, the Disney World campgrounds.

Pioneer Hall

Pioneer Hall

Just stepping into Pioneer Hall is a special experience. The rustic woods and high ceilings soar over the grand hall. Front and center is the vaudevillian-style stage, which sets the scene for the “Fine Singing! Fancy Dancing! and Fun for All!” you’re about to enjoy. [Read more…]