Dining at Walt Disney World is one of the most important parts of a Disney vacation. Here we explore all aspects of dining at Disney World, from the types of dining, to the Disney Dining Plan, restaurant lists, and tips for making the most of your Disney (food) vacation!
Let’s dig in…
Types of Walt Disney World Dining
Believe it or not, dining at Walt Disney World comes in a lot more forms than just walk-up burger joints. In fact, there are many types of dining, from quick service and snacks that get you on your way fast, to signature dining that invites you to linger over fine cuisine.
Here, we share everything you need to know about the many types of dining you can experience at Walt Disney World.
Disney World Table Service Dining
Table Service at Walt Disney World means diners are seated for the meal and waited on by servers. Table Service dining is one-credit* dining on the Disney Dining Plan (*see Signature Dining for the exceptions to this rule!) and can be enjoyed at every park, several Resort hotels, and in Disney Springs.
But that’s where the similarities end, because Table Service dining varies widely from place to place. There are formal and informal options, rambunctious and relaxed options — and plenty in between. Some Table Service spots offer elegant cuisine (like lunch at Morimoto Asia and dinner at Sanaa), while others offer comfort food or backyard bbq (like Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ and 50’s Prime Time Cafe).
Want dinner with a fireworks view? Or a meal and a show? There’s a Walt Disney World Table Service restaurant for that!
Check out our Disney World Restaurants Guide, which gives you a peek into the Table Service spots that’ll soon be vying for your affections. 🙂
Disney World Quick Service Dining
Quick Service dining — also called Counter Service dining — is Disney World’s version of fast food. Diners order at the counter (or use Mobile Order), then either wait for their food or are given a pager and find a seat. Quick Service is available all over Disney World.
But if you hear fast food and think burgers, fries, and chicken nuggets, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that Quick Service at Walt Disney World is a whole. lot. more. Diners can find spots serving smoked meats, fresh salads, inventive sandwiches, hearty plated dishes, and foods from around the world.
There’s virtually no end to the Quick Service options, and this is one time when “there’s something for everyone” totally applies!
Disney World Snacks
Snacks at Walt Disney World span the full continuum of eats. Guests can enjoy classics like Mickey Pretzels and DOLE Whip or go for something a little less traditional like Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese or Peanut Butter Cookie Pie.
Some Walt Disney World snacks are big enough to substitute for meals. Others are perfectly packaged to pack as a souvenir.
And if you love a cupcake (like yours truly!), Walt Disney World has no shortage of awesome cupcake options!
Disney World Signature Dining
Signature Dining is table service designed to provide the best service and highest quality eats on property. If using the Disney Dining Plan, Signature Dining requires two table service credits. Signature Dining can be found in a variety 0f locations, including in the parks and at the resorts.
Signature Dining covers a lot of flavor ground, from refined seasonal foods at California Grill and Citricos to adventurous eats at Jiko and Tiffins to a full steakhouse experience at Yachtsman Steakhouse and more.
And while Signature Dining restaurants are kid-friendly, often these make wonderful places for a grownups’ night out.
Disney World Character Dining
Character Dining is a fun way to interact with Disney characters while enjoying a filling meal. Character meals include all-you-care-to-enjoy family style (like EPCOT’s Garden Grill), and plated meals at spots like Story Book Dining at Artist Point (plus some that are a combination of styles!), and characters range from Disney princesses to Winnie-the-Pooh to the Fab Five and beyond!
Character meals can be a lot of fun for kids (and grown ups!) of all ages. And with several character meal options outside the parks, you don’t even have to buy a ticket to enjoy a (typically) delicious meal with some of your favorite friends. If you’re not sure what character meal is right for you, we’ve got some tips to help you make a decision.
Disney World Buffet Dining
Buffet dining at Walt Disney World is a good way to feed a crowd from picky eaters to adventurous eaters and from young to old. Some buffet dining features interesting flavors from around the world (like Biergarten and Boma), and all buffet dining includes theme park favorites like chicken nuggets and mac and cheese.
Walt Disney World’s Disney Dining Plan
The Disney Dining Plan (DDP) is a way for visitors to Walt Disney World to enjoy dining in the World without having to pull out a credit card. The DDP allots a certain number of entitlements (credits) per night booked at a Walt Disney World resort hotel, and guests can apply them however they wish.
Disney Dining Plan options vary to fit guest needs, so whether you prefer Quick Service all-they-way or dining at Table Service restaurants now and then, there’s a plan that might offer everything you’re looking for when it comes to dining in Disney World. Check out our links below to review Frequently Asked Questions, to see if the DDP is right for you, and to get some tips on how to maximize your credits!
Disney Dining Plan Frequently Asked Questions
Recommended Disney Dining Plan One Credit Restaurant Values
Best Disney Dining Plan Quick Service Credit Restaurants
How to Maximize Your Disney Dining Plan Credits
Walt Disney World Restaurant Lists and Restaurant Search Tool
Not sure where to eat at Walt Disney World? Here we provide full lists of restaurants in every park and in Disney Springs! And if these lists only complicate your decision-making, take a look at our Restaurant Search Tool to help you narrow down your options!
Walt Disney World Dining Tips
Whether you’ve been to Disney a hundred times or it’s your first, we’ve got tips to help you plan an awesome food vacation! See our comparison videos that consider everything from character meals to signature dining, learn more about dining with kids, and find tricks to save money on your Walt Disney World vacation!
Dining at Disney with Special Diets
Bringing Food Into the Disney Parks
First Time Visitors to Walt Disney World
Tips for Dining with Kids at Walt Disney World
Podcast: Dining at Disney with Kids
DFB Video: Best Sit Down Restaurants for Kids
Ideas for Successful Table Time with Kids at Disney Restaurants
The Fab Four of Kid Food at Disney World
DFB Guide Tip: Dining at Disney with a Picky Eater
Tips for Picky Eaters in Disney Parks
DFB Guide Tip: Where to Dine with Picky AND Adventurous Eaters
Best Disney World Restaurants for Large Groups
DFB Reader Question: How to Book a Reservation for a Large Group
DFB Video: Best Disney World Restaurants When You’re on a Budget
DFB Guide Tip: Top 5 Budget Friendly Table Service Restaurants at Disney World
DFB Guide Tip: Disney World Restaurant Money Saving Tip
DFB Guide Tip: Budgeting for Disney World Snacks
DFB Video: Five Days of Disney World Dining Under $35 Per Day
Saving Money in Walt Disney World
DFB Video: Which Disney World Dessert Party Should YOU Do?
DFB Video: Best to Worst: Every EPCOT Restaurants Ranked
DFB Video: Best to Worst: Every Magic Kingdom Restaurant Ranked
DFB Video: Worst to Best: Every Animal Kingdom Restaurant Ranked
DFB Video: Worst to Best: Every Hollywood Studios Restaurant Ranked
DFB Video: Chef Mickey’s vs. Crystal Palace
DFB Video: Cinderella’s Royal Table vs. Akershus Royal Banquet vs. Bon Voyage Adventure
DFB Video: Throwdown: The Polite Pig vs. D-Luxe Burger
DFB Video: Throwdown: Sci-Fi Dine In vs. 50s Prime Time Cafe
DFB Video: Cinderella’s Royal Table vs. Be Our Guest
DFB Video: The Worst Food in Disney World That You Should Still Eat
DFB Video: 20 Disney World Restaurant Reviews in 20 Minutes!
DFB Video: We’ve Eaten at EVERY Disney World Restaurant… And This is What We Learned
DFB Video: We Went to Every Disney World Character Meal (So You Don’t Have To!)