Thursday, June 25, 2009

Disney Dining Options Explained

Dining at Walt Disney World is really broken down into 2 categories; Table Service (TS) and Counter Service (CS).
There are CS venues in every park and resort. Your Disney resort will have a very nice CS area where you can get breakfast, lunch, dinner and a variety of snacks. CS meals are also not to be confused with fast food. You will have a variety of eating choices at your resort from pancakes and omelets in the morning to chicken, pizza, fish etc in the evenings. The CS venues are the most budget friendly places to eat at inside of Walt Disney World and will run anywhere from $10 to $15 per person for all 3 meals. Those prices are consistent to what you will see at the different CS restaurants inside the 4 parks as well. In each park, there will be a place to get a cold sandwich, chicken, hamburger, pizza, fish etc. Plenty of CS choices.

Epcot has the best CS choices out of all the 4 parks. They have a place called Sunshine Seasons which will have everything from grilled chicken or salmon to Asian stir fry and is all made there fresh everyday and is our favorite lunch spot. Then for dinner, you can walk around the World Showcase and eat a CS meal in Mexico and have some authentic Mexican food, have fish and chips in England, enjoy some Chinese food in China etc.

But if you prefer to have a couple nicer meals while you are there, we need to look into finding you a TS restaurant to try. TS venues will most likely require what Disney calls an Advance Dining Reservation or ADR as they are called. Resort guests have the ability to make their ADR’s 90 days in advance of their trip. The most popular venues like Cinderella’s Round Table and Chef Mickey fill up quickly and are usually full at the 90 day mark. You can figure that a TS meal for 4 will cost close to $100 plus tip. Some will be a little more than that depending on if you get dessert etc.

Some of our favorites TS options are:

Yak & Yeti (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)
The Coral Reef (Epcot)
50’s Prime Time CafĂ© (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) *this will be one of the less expensive
Donald’s Safari Breakfast (Disney’s Animal Kingdom) *Character buffet breakfast

Last but not least...Disney will have snack vendors and areas. These are places where you can get the infamous Mickey Ice Cream Bar or the huge Turkey Leg that so many people rave about or just get a bottle of water or soda. You can expect to pay $3.00 for a bottle of water and just figure the same for soda. Our favorite snacks are the Dole Whips in the Magic Kingdom (in Adventureland) and the little French pastry shop in the back of France in Epcot (this is a must do).

This is meant to be a brief intro into the terms used at Disney for dining. Please add comments or suggestions of your own.

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