The Best Way To Dine In Disney World On A Budget.




Alrighty, guys, it's Ted with theme park fantasy. We're back at you again here to give you a little more information for your next trip to Disney. So today, we're going to talk about food and how you eat while you're at Disney. Obviously, food in the theme parks is not cheap, so there are some alternatives to try to make this a little more affordable for the family.

So first of all.



Let's talk about variety. There is everything from Italian to seafood to beef anything you can imagine, and depending on where you go, what resort the food levels vary by quantity and price.


Value Resort Food Courts

So first up Value Resorts. If you're staying at a Value Resort, Obviously there's a food court, and here in these food courts, you can get good food at a fair price.



This food is pretty much made to order for you. These food courts have everything from Italian meals to sandwiches to salads. Pretty much anything you would want. Keep in mind, though. These are food courts. While they are less expensive, they tend to be a little less in quality and portion size, although it's a good alternative for the best late night snack or maybe one or two meals on your vacation. You certainly don't want to make a week's worth of meals from this alternative.

Now, if you're not staying at a value resort, you certainly are welcome to go to any of these food courts. Some, I feel, are more impressive than others. I've always liked the one over at French Quarter at Riverside Resort. Also, the one at the Art of Animation Resort is very good and worth the trip. You know you can pick and choose. Another great choice is the counter service at Pop Century Resort.


These counter service locations are just a quick walk from the Skyliner located between these resorts. That makes getting to these locations even more comfortable while on your vacation.


Moderate Resort Dining

Now if you are staying in a moderate resort, your food offerings are a little different. Here you still have a food court option that will give you the same design as the value resorts, so you'll have meals that are prefabbed for your enjoyment and convenience. Here, they also offer you grab and go or pick and choose the food options you want.



The best option here is that you can share it with the family. You don't have to get five meals if you got five people. Grab a selection and share it with the family. Make a pot-luck dining option for everyone. Not only is this a fun way to eat, but it is also cost-effective.


You know you can make kind of a buffet at the table and go for it, but the other plus is the moderate resorts offer you a table service, you know. So this is a nice change over at the Caribbean Beach Resort, Coronado Resort, and the Riverside Resorts. Here at these table service locations within these resorts, you can dine on excellent table service meals from Pork to Chicken to Prime Rib. These locations will also be less expensive than in eating in the parks, deluxe resorts, and some even competing with eating in Disney Springs.



In the moderate resorts over at the Coronado, there's the Mayan Grill that's always a good alternative, and there's boatwrights over at Port Orleans, Riverside.


Eating at these table services a couple of times during the week will not only be cost-effective, but it will help to diversify your food options.


Deluxe Resort Dining

Another choice is if you're staying in a deluxe resort, you have a food court, a table service option, and a signature dining location.



For instance, at the Grand Floridian, you have the Grand Floridian Cafe, a table service. It's a lovely location. The decorations are beautiful, and The Grand is my favorite resort.


Another location is the Whispering Canyon Cafe, which is over at the Wilderness Lodge. That's more of a dining experience where if you ask for a bottle catch up, you're going to get 20 of them from everyone around you.


Then over it at the Polynesian Resort, there's O'hana, a family-style dining experience that is probably one of the best ones in Disney Pricewise. For what you get, it is an excellent deal. You get freshly skewered beef, chicken, and shrimp brought to your table with a whole bunch of other sides.


Even some of the moderate resorts offer bar and grills from these locations in the deluxe resorts, and they also offer lounges.


A final option at the Deluxe Resort is Signature Dining Locations. These restaurants are a step above the traditional table service at these deluxe resorts such as the Floridian. You can have an experience like Citrico's.



This location is a very nice sit-down table service business casual attire is required. You can then go a step beyond the above that and go to Victoria and Alberts, a 10-course dining experience. You can even go above that and sit at the chef's table at Victoria and Alberts and have the chef prepare your meal personally.

Other top locations in Disney include such locations as the California Grill, which is on top of the Contemporary Resort. That's a very popular location. It has beautiful views of the Magic Kingdom, and It's a fantastic location to view fireworks when they bring them back.


Also, in a lot of these resort locations, you will find a buffet. If you're a buffet type person where a lot of food Is essential to your being, you have the Contemporary as it offers chef Mickeys, and the Grand Floridian offers 1900 park fare.


My preference for these options is 1900 Park fare as it's my favorite buffet on Disney Property. You get to see all sorts of different characters from Mary Poppins too. Alice to Cinderella to the evil stepsisters. To the stepmother. It's a truly unique location that you need to visit during your Disney stay.



Bar and Grills/ Lounges for Dining

Now from there, you can hop over to the bar and grills. These locations are another alternative to try to spread your money out. We've always found it is cheaper to eat at a Bar and Grill, especially if you're going to have a drink. Most of these parent girls will usually offer you, you know, a burger, steak, fish, usually a salmon.



The top ones that we've had great times visiting are Gyser Point over at the Wilderness Lodge. That's a very nice outdoor location. It is covered and heated for the cooler weather. You have great views of Bay like the wave, a table service restaurant in the contemporary that has a lounge.


Another fantastic location is the Three Bridges and Grill, which is located over at the Coronado. That's another unique location. It sits out in the middle of the lake, so you have a great view of the entire resort.



There's the Tambu lounge over at O'HANA at the Polynesian Resort and Victoria Falls at Animal Kingdom Lodge. These locations all offer you quality appetizers, some have dinner items, but they do vary. Prices are affordable, and portion sizes, as well as quantity, is good.


You're sharing with everyone, so there's not that drive to eat everything on the plate and make sure you walk out of there stuffed. A lot of times you can get a good meal for a reasonable price. Have a drink or two, and you still feel good. You know you can hop out, go back to the parks if it's during the day. It's also a great way to wind down the evening.


Disney Springs Restaurant Dining

Another good alternative you want to try to spread your vacation up is a couple of nights down in Disney Springs. Here you're going to find some of the better restaurants in Disney. I mean, yes, the deluxe resorts do offer the top restaurants for Disney. However, You'll find the same thing down in Disney Springs. You know you have three celebrity chef locations.



Wolfgang Puck has a Bar and Grill. Iron Chef Morimoto. His location is in the middle of Disney Springs, and it is Asian food and very good.


Then there is Chef Art Smith, and his restaurant is Homecomings. And that's right across from Morimoto Asia. That is more Southern food, more Florida style food. Very homestyle. They have an extensive moonshine menu, so if moonshine is your thing, and it should be. It also an excellent location to try portion sizes.


Now also down in Disney Springs, we get off the celebrity chef path you can hit, you know unique locations that we've had great luck with. For instance, the House of Blues. You'll get live entertainment if you choose. You can eat in the dining room and on the patio you know they have a concert venue. They have a bar location.



But the food quality here, it's barbecue.

It's fantastic, and it's delicious. We have tried it several times, and it's consistent. It's flavorful. It's probably the best barbecue I found on Disney property. So if that is your thing. Ribs chicken brisket. That's where you want to be going.


The boathouse is located on the Landing. They not only offer you fantastic food, great drinks and finally, amphicars that will drive you around the lake. Their food is of a nautical theme to fit into this environment.


They are also owned or Co-owned with a steak house in Chicago, so the beef is genuinely fantastic. It's not cheap, but it is probably some of the best beef you will find on Disney property.


Then there is Raglan Road, which is right in the cluster with Homecomings and Morimoto Asia. This location is an Irish restaurant, and it's authentic Irish food.


Two gentlemen own it, and they split time between Ireland and the United States. They swap back and forth. The menu does change from time to time, but you will find it amazing. We've had the best scallops on Disney property at this location. We've also had a delicious shepherd's pie. We've had true Irish style meals that have always exceeded our expectations.


Disney Springs Bar and Grills/Lounges

Another alternative in Disney Springs, on the lower side of the budget, is the bar and grills. These are also a great option. You know locations like Jock Lindsay's Hangar Bar, they offer good appetizers and good drinks.



Wine bar George is another excellent option. They are known for their selection of wines. However, they do have some very impressive meals. Most people don't think of wine. Bar George is a dinner location, but they offer a massive steak for two to share. They also offer a couple of other items. It's not an extensive menu, but what is on that menu is truly amazing.


Another location is Paradisio 37. A lot of people tend to overlook that restaurant. It is, I would say, Mexican style.


Happy Hour there offers you $5 margaritas. I can't find $5 drinks in Disney that often. The food quality is good. The servers are friendly. There's live music, so this is another fantastic place to visit.


Disney Theme Park Dining

And finally, I would say your last choice to dine for the day is the parks. You can find some good food in the Parks. It is hard. I typically tell people to have their lunch in the Parks.

If you're in Magic Kingdom, take a trip over to cosmic Rays. Grab a chicken burger or hamburger, or veggie burger to get you through the day.



You know your best bet is to eat a good breakfast, eat a light lunch, and then have a fantastic dinner at some of these other locations. Those are the ways you know to try to keep things a little more affordable on these trips.


The quick-serve is over in Epcot, which is The Four Seasons in the land pavilion. And they have such a vast selection of options from Asian to chicken and beef and sandwiches and grinders. It's almost more like what you'd find in the value resort for the food court. Food quality and prices are reasonable, and to be honest with you, it's usually one of the slower food courts in all of Disney worlds. People tend to forget it because Epcot has several restaurants that people frequent, including World Showcase.



The final option is buffets. If you're a buffet person, you can also find these in the theme parks. Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom is a good one where you'll get decent quality food.

But when you're talking about theme park food, that's pretty much where you are paying in the $60 per person range.


Skipper Canteen is another neat location. It's a take-off of the jungle cruise, so that is an experience that will not only offer you quality food but a themed environment.



But these are just a few of the ways you know to try to spread out your day. You don't want to be eating all your hotel because You're just not going to enjoy it.


But yeah, we can't afford to eat at the deluxe resort restaurants every night for most of us. A place like Citricos for a party of two is going to be $150 to $200. It's quite a bit of money, but the food quality is higher than in most locations.


The other thing to consider is if you're staying at a moderate or a value resort. You are welcome to eat anywhere. Take a trip over to the Floridian. Take the boat from the Magic Kingdom and head over to the Polynesian or check out to Wilderness Lodge.


These locations are all something that the theming You need to see and offer value on these meals' price. You know, it's not just a trip, it can be an experience.


We have much more information on this over on our website at theme Park fantasy.com. If you want to head over there, we've broken this down with a little more detail and also provide you with reviews of many of the Disney Dining locations.


These tips will make it a little easier for you to pick and choose. I do have to say that no matter what you do in Disney, short of the food courts, make a reservation. Make a reservation; make a reservation. I'm repeating myself on purpose because in Disney World, Especially with the pandemic, reservations are tight and hard to get.


Sometimes if you try walking in, you're not going to get in, or they'll put you on a first-come, first-serve basis. So you could be an hour hour and a half two hours down the road before you get your table. Make your reservations ahead of time. It will undoubtedly give you a much better experience. You don't have to spend your time waiting around. You can spend it in the parks where you should.


You can then come back, have a great meal, unwind, and close out your day the way it should be. But again, this has been a tip from Theme Park Fantasy. Go over to our site at www.themeparkfantasy.com and see what other helpful information we have on our site.

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All