Disney World fans know that Dining at Disney can be as much of a magical experience as the characters and attractions; but with so many restaurants to choose from, dining plans to consider, menus, prices, and more, where do you start?
That’s what today’s post is all about, giving you that head start when tackling the Disney Dining world. So keep reading to learn the top 10 things you need to know about dining at WDW!
10. Use the Dining Plan-I’m a big believer in the Disney Dining Plan and never visit without it! First of all, it offers me an all inclusive vacation, which makes Disney less stressful. Secondly, I believe it does save you cash. Dining at Disney is pricey, and this applies to drinks and snacks; and trust us, you’re going to be stopping by those snack carts and restaurants pretty regularly, especially if you have kids. It’s a good possibility that you will go over your dining budget; and it’s no fun to haul around sandwiches and snacks in that heavy backpack on a hot, humid Florida afternoon. So with the Standard Dining Plan, you don’t have to count cash and you get to enjoy a nice, sit down meal every day, along with one counter service meal and snack credits. (This is the one that I always choose because I like to abuse it and dine at as many expensive restaurants as possible without paying the hefty bill!) Tip: The Dining Plan doesn’t include tips, so be sure to include this cost in your Disney budget! But if you would rather eat and run back to the rides, the Quick Service Dining Plan will definitely save you money.
9. Allow Time for Transportation-Did you book a character meal at the Polynesian for dinner, but you’re at Hollywood Studios today? In that case, you need to allow about an hour cushion for you to get from the park to the resort. Buses aren’t always as prompt as guests prefer, especially if you just left before you reached the bus stop; and you also have to account for the time it takes to leave the park and to walk through the resort to make it to your restaurant. Traveling by Monorail? The same rule applies! Monorails can get backed up and even stop on the tracks in certain situations. So don’t miss your reservation, plan ahead!
More after the jump…
Despite what you may think, there are things to do at Disney that don’t require park tickets. Believe it or not, you can have a fun day at Walt Disney World packed full of Disney magic without ever passing through a turnstile. How?
Check out my Top 5 Things To Do at Disney World Without Tickets to find out!
1. Downtown Disney-Downtown Disney offers LOTS of shopping and dining! I can easily spend hours here wanding through the World of Disney, Trend-D, and the Art of Disney Kids will also enjoy Once Upon a Toy store, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and the giant Lego store with lego statues representing Disney characters and even a family visiting Disney World! There’s also entertainment here at night which you can particpate in! Check out Guide to Downtown Disney – “Must-Sees’ for First Timers for more info!
2. Resort Hop-For a full, yet relaxing day, hop aboard the Monorail and visit some of Disney’s deluxe resorts to check out their magnificent lobbies, restaurants, shops, views, decor, and Hidden Mickeys! They are also a great place for photo ops! You can board a ferry and visit both Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge, or walk from Epcot to the Yacht and Beach Club and the Boardwalk for some beautiful views, seaside decor, and dining. Check out Chip’s series of Resort Hopping 101 here.
No matter how many times I go to Walt Disney World, certain sights, sounds, attractions, and experiences still elicit excitement and smiles from me as if it was my first trip! How Disney World makes me feel is one of the many reasons that keep me coming back year after year; and today, I’m sharing my favorite Disney feelings from the surge of adrenaline through my favorite thrill rides to the sweet taste of a classic Disney snack! Let’s see if any of these are your favorites too!
10. Flying over London on Peter Pan’s Flight-This original opening day attraction has been a favorite among guests for generations, and that’s because I get to experience what it’s like to fly out of Darling children’s nursery and over a tiny, glowing London while aboard a flying pirate ship! This part of the attraction really makes me feel like a kid again; and for just a moment, I believe!
9. Walking into your Disney Resort room for the first time-I’m a huge fan of the Disney resorts because they let the Disney magic continue even after I’ve left the parks; and one of my favorite Disney feelings is that anticipation of opening my resort room door, wondering what Disney touches I will find inside and what my new Disney home will be for the next few days! See, I’m getting excited just talking about it!
8. Biting into the ear of a Mickey Mouse Premium Bar-This Mickey shaped ice cream bar, covered in a layer of thin chocolate, is a Disney World classic and is somewhat of a rite of passage for anyone visiting WDW for the first time. Plus, in the humid, Florida heat, it’s one the best ways to cool off.
Chances are that if you are like myself and the other writers here at Chip and Co., you are a Disney Addict. We have yet to find a cure, but the symptoms of this condition are rather obvious. Most likely your own friends and family have pointed them out to you or questioned your sanity a time or two. Still not sure?
Check out my 10 Ways to Know If You’re an Disney Addict: Part 2! If you missed Part 1 check it out here.
1. You can navigate the Disney parks better than you can your own hometown.
2. You are known to randomly break into a Disney song without warning.
3. Visits to other theme parks are just disappointing.
Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Is it your first time? Don’t worry, we have your back! We know that planning your vacation and your days at the parks can seem like quite an undertaking considering the massive amount of things to do and see; but that’s part of what makes Disney World great because you will never get bored and there’s always a reason to come back!
But what do you do with all of those options? What should you not miss on your first trip? What if you miss out?
Stress no more! Just sit back and relax while I list the top 10 things Disney Rookies shouldn’t miss during their magical Disney Vacation!
10. Monorail-Disney World’s has its own unique transportation system, a sleek, elevated train that transports guests to and from select Disney Resorts to Epcot and the Magic Kingdom! This mode of transportation is so iconic, and even fun, that Disney fans sometimes ride it just for fun! For the complete Disney experience, and especially if you have kids, the monorail is a must for Disney Rookies! Try this Monorail Tour.
9. Deluxe Resorts-Disney’s most luxurious resorts are magical experiences within themselves and they can be enjoyed by guests who may be staying elsewhere! Each resort has its own theme and features restaurants, shops, hundreds of details, cool pools, and gorgeous views and landscaping. Visiting Disney resorts is actually called “resort hopping,” and it’s a relaxing way to take a break during the heat of the day or to avoid the crowds.
8. Unique Treats-Food at Disney is also an experience, especially when it comes to sweet treats! Disney World has become famous for a few of their yummy snacks; and with all of these options, Disney Rookies should definitely not settle for the generic theme park hot dogs and cotton candy. What kind of unique treats are we talking about? We recommend the iconic Mickey Premium Bar, Dole Whips, a variety of creative cupcakes, cultural sweets from Epcot, and more!
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