Walt Disney World serves a lot of food, an awful lot of food. There are over 6,000 food items available at more than 475 different locations. Amazingly Walt Disney World would be the 45th largest food chain in the world if it became a food service company. The number of dining choices can be bewildering for the first time Walt Disney World Visitor. Our Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2023 contains helpful information to plan your Disney Dining Experiences.
Walt Disney World Dining Locations
Different types of restaurants at Walt Disney World suit a range of budgets. The following are the most common terms used to describe dining options:
Table Service Restaurants at Walt Disney World
At Table Service restaurants, you are seated at a table and have an allocated waiter. There is a wide variety of Table Service Restaurants, including a la carte, buffets, character meals, and family-style meals(food served on large platters to your table).
Tipping of staff at most table service restaurants is customary. For groups of 6 or more, tips will be automatically added.
Disney World Fine/Signature Dining
These are the most costly dining options at Walt Disney World. These restaurants serve the very best food in the most luxurious surroundings. Think Michelin Star Quality. If you wonder why none of these restaurants has a Michelin Star, The Michelin Guide does not cover Florida.
The majority of Signature Dining Restaurants outside of the theme parks have a dress code:
- Men: Khakis, slacks, jeans or dress shorts, and collared shirts. Sport coats are optional.
- Women: Capri pants, skirts, dresses, jeans, or dress shorts.
- Not permitted in Signature Dining Rooms: tank tops, swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, hats for gentlemen, cut-offs, torn clothing, and t-shirts with offensive language and graphics.
The best restaurant at Walt Disney World is the AAA Five Diamond Award recipient Victoria & Albert’s, located in the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
Quick Service Locations at Walt Disney World
Quick-service or Counter Service is Walt Disney World’s Fast Food locations. However, don’t think of just burgers and fries, as many different types of cuisine are available.
Meals are usually cheaper than at table service restaurants, and you order your food and typically collect it at a counter. Tipping is not required at Quick Service venues.
Dinner Shows at Walt Disney World
There is now only one Dinner Show at Walt Disney World:
- Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at the Fort Wilderness Camp Ground. The longest-running, and now only, show at Walt Disney World is full of audience participation.
Character Meals at Walt Disney World
The majority of the character meals at Walt Disney World have now reopened. These meals are very popular, and you should make your reservation soon.
Meeting a character while dining could be your worst nightmare or a fantastic treat. A selection of great Character Meals at Walt Disney World covers a range of budgets.
Character Meals are located throughout Disney World and are offered at each theme park and in several resorts. Whether it is Mickey Mouse, a Disney Princess, or Winnie the Pooh, there will likely be a character meal where you can meet your favorite character.
While they often don’t offer the best food, character meals are always great fun. Our guide to Walt Disney World Character Meals provides further information.
Dessert Parties have been popping up around Walt Disney World in recent years. These unique events provide premium viewing for parades or shows and a buffet of desserts and snacks. Some of the parties also offer alcoholic beverages.
Since Walt Disney World reopened, only the Magic Kingdom is currently offering Dessert Parties:
- Magic Kingdom Fireworks Dessert Parties: Pre-Party — $99 for adults, $59 for children
- Magic Kingdom Fireworks Dessert Parties: Seats & Sweets — $114 for adults, $69 for children
- Magic Kingdom Fireworks Dessert Parties: Post-Party — $99 for adults, $59 for children
The more expensive party lets you watch the fireworks from reserved seats in the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant. Other guests have a reserved area to stand in the Plaza Garden.
In addition, there is a firework dessert cruise available at the Magic Kingdom. Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise is available on select nights.
There is also an opportunity to book EPCOT and Hollywood Studios dining packages. You can watch EPCOT Forever as you dine in EPCOT, and in Hollywood Studios, you receive reserved seating for Fantasmic. Check My Disney Experience for the latest information.
Kiosks & Carts
Walt Disney World serves food everywhere.
Stalls and carts serve snacks and even small meals throughout the resort. The temporary kitchens also serve unique culinary treats if you visit Epcot during one of its festivals.
However, we have noticed that the selection of snacks available in Walt Disney World has reduced significantly in recent years.
The Disney Dining Plan
The Disney Dining Plan was a prepaid meal plan offered at Walt Disney World for guests booking a Disney Resort Package. Unfortunately, Disney is not currently offering the Disney Dining Plan and is uncertain when it will return.
Disney’s Advanced Dining Reservations
The most popular dining locations at Walt Disney World book up fast. Don’t expect to get a favorite dining location on the day.
All table service restaurants at Walt Disney World accept Advanced Dining Reservations. Guests can book reservations for Disney restaurants 60 days before their visit.
Guests of Disney Resort Hotels and the Disney Vacation Club have an extended window for making dining reservations. Starting 60 days in advance of your arrival date, you can book up to 10 days of reservations.
We have created a guide with more information about Disney’s Advanced Dining Reservations.
Walt Disney World & Food Allergies
Walt Disney World is one of the best places to visit if you have food allergies or intolerances. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is the recipient of a FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) Award. The award was given for their dedication to providing a safe and enjoyable dining experience.
Unfortunately, we have noticed a significant reduction in the number of allergy-friendly meals offered at Walt Disney World during our recent visits.
Our guide to visiting Walt Disney World with Dietary Conditions contains helpful further information.
Tables in Wonderland
Tables in Wonderland was exclusive to Florida Residents, Passholders, and Disney Vacation Club Members. The card gave a 20% discount on food and alcohol at over 100 restaurants. Currently, the scheme is suspended without indicating whether it will return.
Most Quick Service restaurants at Walt Disney World, and some snack locations, have started to allow you to order your food ahead of your visit.
The process is simple: via the My Disney Experience App, you can order your food, set your arrival time and prepay using various methods, including credit cards and Apple Pay. Once you get to your restaurant, hit the “I’m here” button, and you will be notified where to collect your order.
Visit our guide to learn more about Mobile Ordering at Walt Disney World.
Tipping at Walt Disney World
Tipping when visiting Walt Disney World can cause guests confusion, especially for guests visiting countries where tipping isn’t customary. However, tipping is expected in several situations, including most table-service restaurants, and should be budgeted for in your vacation planning.
Tipping is not expected at the majority of counter-service restaurants. However, at a few locations, your meal will be brought to your table; in this situation, staff will usually accept tips.
Read our Guide to Tipping at Walt Disney World for further information.
Walt Disney World Dining Tips & Tricks
- The most popular restaurants do get full quickly. However, cancellations often do happen. Keep regularly checking on My Disney Experience if you fail to get your booking.
- Some Disney Springs Restaurants also offer reservations through Open Table if you struggle to book a table.
- When you arrive at a restaurant, let them know you have arrived by using My Disney Experience.
- Obtaining reservations is usually more manageable if you are prepared to eat your main meal at lunch or outside peak periods.
- Lunches used to be cheaper at Walt Disney World than evening meals. This is now less common, but some venues offer cheaper lunch menus.
- Standby lines often exist, but there are no guarantees they will be available. You no longer walk up to the podium to join the waiting list but access via My Disney Experience.
- Meals at Walt Disney World are massive. If you do not have the biggest appetite consider sharing an entree. Quick Service Meals can easily be shared between several family members.
- Make sure the restaurant knows about any celebrations and birthdays.
- Remember you need a valid theme park ticket and Park Pass to enter a park restaurant. If your ticket isn’t valid, you cannot enter the park. Entering a park for a meal will count as a park admission.
- Before deciding where to book, read reviews on Walt Disney World Restaurants. Most Walt Disney World Restaurants are excellent, but the food served will not suit all tastes at every venue.
- If you follow special diets, check menus carefully, as some venues might have very limited options.
Our Guide to Walt Disney World for Beginners is a fantastic place for more information to help plan your Walt Disney World Vacation.