It may be sad to admit, but some of my favorite memories at Walt Disney World involve eating. Of course, if you have been to Disney World, you may understand why this is possible. Whether it is dining with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and company at a character meal, eating a Mickey Mouse Ice Cream or rice crispy treat while watching a parade, or getting a Dole Whip to share with your hubby on your honeymoon, each are special in their own way.
During one of our visits growing up, my parents decided to get the "Food & Fun" package. To say that we ate really well would be an understatement. Thanks to that plan, my brother, father and I not only got to go parasailing twice, but my brother had his first lobster dinner. Things have changed over the years with the plans. On our honeymoon, TechyDad and I did a dining plan as well. We had 2 meals a day that included appetizer, entree, dessert and beverage/shake/smoothie. We tried amazing items that we never would have and probably never will have again. We kept track of what our bills would have been and know we saved hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
In May when we went to Disney with the boys, we opted to get the Disney Dining Plan again. In 2009, the daily cost was $40 per adult and about $11 for a child 3-11 (I think it was 11). For each night that we stayed at the resort we received the following:
- 1 snack – could include a soda, ice cream treat, slice of Tie-Dye cheesecake or a number of other items. –> We used these for bagels and cream cheese or other breakfast items most days.
- 1 Quick Service (QS) meal that includes a meal, dessert and beverage. –> We used these for lunches and most of our meals rang up for $30-40 for 2 adults and a child. Our 2 year old ate from all of us since there was plenty to go around.
- 1 Table Service (TS) meal that included an entree, dessert and beverage (could also be smoothie/milk shake if available) –> This is where the money savings racked up for us. The two buffets that we went to were priced at $35 for each adult and $15 for our 5 year old son. That alone made our son’s breakfast and lunch bonus for what we had paid.
When we went in May, we planned out what restaurants we wanted for our TS meals. At the 90 day mark, I got up extra early and called the reservation line at Disney Dining (now 180 day and can be done online). I knew to start with the toughest reservation and was lucky to get the one and only slot left to Le Cellier during our stay. These are the restaurants we ate at in May:
- Chef Mickey – Character meal at Contemporary Resort
- 50’s Prime Time Cafe – Fun restaurant at Disney Hollywood Studios
- Boma – Buffet featuring African cuisine at Animal Kingdom Lodge
- The Wave – Newer restaurant at Contemporary Resort
- The Crystal Palace – Character meal in the Magic Kingdom that we had our son’s 2nd Birthday dinner at
- Le Cellier – Restaurant in Canada at EPCOT. Happens to be one of the hardest reservations to score
- Coral Reef – Restaurant at EPCOT where you dine "under the sea" looking at the aquarium from the Nemo ride
This time around, we had just about a month to plan things out. We knew that we wanted the Disney Dining plan for the extended part of our Social Media Moms Celebration. I was a little worried that we would not be able to get an Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs). Much to my surprise, we were able to get some that were not too shabby. This time around we are going to try some breakfast character meals, the dinner ones were all booked by the time we were planning. Here are the places this time around:
- Boma – Going back since we loved this last time. So friendly for vegetarians like my hubby
- Donald Safari – Animal Kingdom character breakfast
- Kona Cafe – Restaurant at Polynesian Resort where we had the infamous Tonga Toast on our honeymoon. This time we are trying dinner there
- Tony’s – Lady & The Tramp themed Italian restaurant at the Magic Kingdom. We ate here on our honeymoon and thought it would be fun for the kids
- Cape May Cafe – Character breakfast at the Beach Club Resort. Hubby and I had breakfast here on our honeymoon where Goofy was hilarious.
These should keep us filled and busy during our time. We like being able to sit down at least once a day while at Disney to regroup, relax and get ready to walk many more miles.
If you have been to Disney World, what is your favorite place to eat? Where would you love to try?
Remember to bring an appetite to Disney, eat things you have never tried before and remember it is vacation – so live a little. I ate really well last time, did not turn down cheesecake and other goodies and still lost 5 pounds thanks to all of the walking.
Some great Disney restaurant/dining resources are The Disney Food Blog (we will be taking photos for AJ while there this time) and Disney Every Day (love Amanda’s Boma breakfast tour that she did recently).
For more on Disney click on my Disney category. I have written about some of our meals, along with other items about our trip planning and Magical Disney World vacation.