Eating at Walt Disney World

A Walt Disney World vacation is one of the most magical vacations you can take, but it also comes with its complications. In their ever expanding park ecosystem, Disney has also become more and more complex for first timers looking to visit. For today’s focus, we are going to talk about all things dining and what you need to know before arriving for your Disney World vacation. 

General Need to Know: 


Dining Reservations can be extremely hard to get. The window opens 60 days before day 1 of your vacation. If you are staying on property, you will be able to book dining for your entire stay on day one of your reservation. For example: 

Your trip is April 2nd-10th

You can start booking 60 days before April 2nd (For example, Feb. 1) at 6am and you can book dining for April 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 , and 10. As you can imagine. This is how people get those very difficult reservations. If you are staying off property, or have a ticket only reservation, you will have to book one day at a time (April 2nd can be booked Feb. 1, April 3rd can be booked Feb. 2 and so on).

If you miss your “dining day” you can continue to check to see if reservations open up, but those more popular ones will be very difficult to get. 

If you miss your dining reservation, you will be charged $10 per person. You can cancel up to 2 hours before so if you know you’re going to miss it- make sure to cancel! 

Make sure to check in when you arrive at the restaurant. I would suggest turning on “push notifications” for the app while you’re at Disney World so that you don’t miss dining reservations or lightening lanes, as the app will remind you. If you have the push notifications turned on, it should alert you to check in, which you can do on the app or in person at the restaurant.

A Breakdown of the Types of Restaurants in Disney World

Quick Service

A cafeteria style restaurant, you can order in person or through mobile order on your phone. Either way, you’ll order and pick up at a window and then find a seat on your own. These are the cheapest restaurants and are found all throughout the parks and resorts. It is about $7-10 for a kids meal and $12-17 for adult meals. Some adult meals are big enough to split! 

Things to Know about Quick Services: 
  • It can be difficult to find a seat at busier times (especially one inside or with shade). 
  • There are quick service restaurants at every single resort that sell breakfast, lunch and dinner. 
  • The quality varies greatly throughout the park. Some are really great and some are just theme park food! 


These are connected to signature restaurants and do not require reservations except Space 220 Lounge (sometimes they will use a virtual waiting list- especially Nomad Lounge). They feature some of the dishes a-la-carte of the signature restaurants, usually in smaller portions and for less money. They typically have robust cocktail programs that mirror the signature restaurant. 

Things to know about Lounges 
  • Can be a great option when you don’t have reservations but want a more laid back dining experience
  • They are almost all based on small plates, you won’t find many full sized entrees here 

Table Service 

A “sit-down” restaurant experience that almost all require advanced reservations (you’ll sometimes see these called ADR- advance dining reservations). They are typically themed around the area they are in (for example, Yak and Yeti is an asian fusion restaurant, located in the “Asia” section of Animal Kingdom). Moderate and Deluxe restaurants have Table Service restaurants (as well as quick service). Meals from from $10-15 for kids meals and $18-35 for adult meals. 

Things to know about Table Service:
  • They can take around 2 hours from start to finish so they take up a good amount of park time
  • The quality is usually pretty good, but there are definitely some fan favorites (will list below). 


Signature Restaurants 

The most expensive and exclusive tier of Disney Restaurants, these will all require dining reservations and most will book up at the 60 day mark. These include character dining, though I will list those below as a separate category. These are very nice restaurants and sometimes include a “dress code” though they don’t usually mind if you are coming to park clothes. Some have a stricter dress code (like Victoria and Alberts). 

Things to know about Signature Restaurants:
  • These are often times pre-fixed menus and set prices
  • Some of these experiences get extremely pricey (think $1200 dinner for two). 


Character Dining 


These are technically considered signature dining as well, but because they are specific to characters, I included them on their own. These restaurants have specific characters that walk around and do meet and greets throughout the meal. They are the highest priced meals in the park (beyond some of the special experiences like California Grill Brunch or Victoria and Alberts). Not every restaurant that does character dining has it for every meal. Be very careful to book it correctly so you aren’t disappointed. 


Things to know about Character Dining
  • The food is generally about the same quality as a regular table service (sometimes less). The restaurant is about the experience, not usually the food- with a few exceptions. 
  • Most of these are buffets or family style, there is no actual menu (except Toppolinos). 
  • These book up extremely quickly. Make sure to have these as a first choice on dining day. 

Favorites (Hardest to Score Reservations)


Quick Service (no reservation accepted)

Magic Kingdom: 

Casey’s Corner (hotdogs, corndogs, etc.)

Columbia Harbour House (New England Style seafood) 

Pecos Bill (tex-mex with large portions)


Hollywood Studios

ABC Commissary (burgers, chicken, etc.)

Docking Bay 7 (Star Wars themed chicken, meatloaf, etc) 

Ronto Roasters (Star Wars sausage pitas)



Connections Cafe (burgers, chicken, etc.) 

Yorkshire County Fish Shop (Fish and Chips)

Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie (French patisserie croissant sandwiches and deserts) 

**Eating around the World at the multiple food booths is my favorite choice in EPCOT**


Animal Kingdom

Satu’li Canteen (Rice Bowls with chicken and beef) 

Pizzafari (Pizza)

Flame Tree BBQ (BBQ)


Table Service (these will be the hardest to score reservations) 


Magic Kingdom

Cinderella’s Royal Table (prepaid dining experience)

Be Our Guest 


Hollywood Studios 

Oga’s Cantina (does not serve food so its not table service, but it does require a reservation and is difficult to get)

Sci-Fi Dining 

Woody’s BBQ Roundup (opening 2023)


Animal Kingdom 

Yak and Yeti

Tusker House (Character Dining)



Space 220 (and lounge)

Le’ Cellier 



Chef Mickey’s (Character Dining at the Contemporary)

Topolinos Terrance (Character Dining at Riviera Resort)

Hoop De Do Review (Dinner and a Show at Fort Wilderness) 

Storybook Dining (Character Dining at Fort Wilderness) 

Ohana (Character Dining at Polynesian)

Victoria and Alberts (Disney’s most exclusive dining experience at Grand Floridian) 

Of course- all dining reservations and dining planning is included in your vacation planning over at Magic Pass Travel Company (our very own Disney and Universal planning service), for free and personalized to you! Call us today and let’s make your vacation dreams come true!

Meet the Bargers

Bruce and Shelly are a 30-something couple always on the lookout for cheap eats, wildlife sightings and a good brewery. They started traveling together ten years ago and haven't looked back. They travel internationally at least three times a year and have been to 42 states, all while holding those pesky 9-5 jobs. They hope you can take these travel tips and live the life you've only dreamed about!

Popular Posts


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Get our Travel Budget Planner!

Join our mailing list to access our free Travel Budget Planner and receive the latest news and updates from our team. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!