Dining at Walt Disney World: An Introduction

by Justine Fellows, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 2/5/2009

Photo illustrating Walt Disney World - Dining

If you think that you will be stuffing yourself with junk food at Walt Disney World, you're in for a very pleasant surprise!


Disney offers and incredible selection of snack, walk up, and sit down restaurant choices in both its parks and resorts. Before we get started on our dining journey let's learn the lingo.

Behind The Seeds Tour photo
Behind The Seeds Tour


Let's start with the type of dining -- there are a number of different dining options:

Snacks - Snack carts are located throughout the parks and offer anything from ice cream, popcorn, and cotton candy to fruit, smoothies, and even crepes. There are also stores within the parks and resorts that offer packaged snacks. And let's not forget the wonderful candy store on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom and the very famous giant, smoked turkey legs available in the parks. These suckers bring out the cannibal in anyone.

Disney refers to the next level of dining as counter or quick service. These are walk-up locations, also at both the resorts and parks, which usually offer seating nearby. They sell heartier meals ranging from traditional park fare such as hamburgers and hotdogs to more innovative items such as barbecue, ethnic cuisine, wraps, pizza, and more. Quick service locations often offer dessert selections, soups, salads and drink options.

Table service or sit down restaurants throughout Disney World have their own categories. Many have themes, entertainment, or something special that sets them apart from the restaurants that you can visit near home. Here's how I differentiate:

  1. Character restaurants - these sit-down establishments offer walk around visits by characters such as Winnie the Pooh, the Princesses, and of course, Mickey and Minnie. Hollywood Studios offers a Playhouse Disney-themed character meal, Epcot offers a rotating restaurant with Chip and Dale. There are many choices for character meals in both the parks and resorts.
  2. Other restaurants offer theming or entertainment such as belly dancers, science fiction films while eating in cars, and underwater views. There are many types of food to choose from, from African to Mexican, German to Japanese.
  3. The last type is dinner shows such as a full Hawaiian Luau, Mickey's Backyard Barbecue and my family's personal, cheesy favorite, The Hoop Dee Doo Revue.
Many of the sit down restaurants are buffet style where you serve yourself, or family style, where they bring the buffet to you. Disney is excellent at helping you with special dietary needs or picky eaters so don't be afraid to ask.

There are over 200 dining choices at Disney World. Choosing your dining can be an exciting, as well as an essential part of planning. Since the inception of the dining plan, restaurants book quickly. You can now make reservations for table service restaurants 90 days in advance by calling 407-WDW-DINE.



Behind The Seeds Tour photo
Behind The Seeds Tour





About the Author:
Justine, the author of PassPorter's Disney Speed Planner: The Easy Ten-Step Program, works in education in Connecticut. She is also the host of Travel Girl's(TM) Tips for Disney World podcasts.


Recent Walt Disney World Articles:

The Star Wars Launch Bay at Hollywood Studios

The Star Wars Launch Bay at Hollywood Studios

A Walt Disney World Attraction Review

Premium Events at the Magic Kingdom

Premium Events at the Magic Kingdom

A Walt Disney World Event Review

Walt Disney World in a Wheelchair

Walt Disney World in a Wheelchair

A Walt Disney World Special Needs Article

Visiting Walt Disney World While Pregnant

7 Essential Lessons for Pregnant Moms at Disney World

A Walt Disney World Planning Article

The Family Magic Tour at the Magic Kingdom

The Family Magic Tour at the Magic Kingdom

A Walt Disney World Backstage Tour Review

More Related Links:
 
Aulani Character Breakfast in Ko Olina

Aulani Character Breakfast in Ko Olina

An Aulani Dining Review

Skipper Canteen

Skipper Canteen

A Walt Disney World Dining Review

Club 33 at Disneyland - Part 3

Club 33 at Disneyland - Part 3

A Disneyland Dining Review

Club 33 at Disneyland - Part 2

Club 33 at Disneyland - Part 2

A Disneyland Dining Review





Reader Comments:

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)


PassPorter ~ 1998-2016 ~ 18 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.

PassPorter in the News