Dining at Disney can get expensive. At this point in your planning stage, it is time to start considering if you would like to opt in to one of the amazing dining plans, or if going on your own would be better suited for you, your family, and your budget. Here are a few things to think about when deciding whether it is best to dine, or not to dine at Disney.
Taking a look at your budget can help you make a decision. Let’s see if we can take a little mystery out of the dining budget planning. Sure, it is Disney, a major tourist hot-spot, so prices are going to be high. But you do get what you pay for, which is the experience as well as the excellent food.
Many of the Disney sit-down meals, for a family of four, will probably run you close to $125 to $150. The quick meals are closer to $50, but do not usually come with all the pomp and circumstance. Your other option is to pay for food outside of the park, or even pack lunches and snacks.
What do you want to experience?
Think about what you want your Disney experience to be. Is this your first time and you want to make the most of it? Perhaps it is your 50th time and you never really enjoyed the character meals as much as other people. Depending on what you want out of your vacation, you can choose a dining plan to fit your needs. Whether you decide on the character dining, simple meal plan, or no meal plan, your Disney vacation can be tailor made for your budget and preference.
Dining in the park is part of the magic and experience, especially if you partake in the character dining or the Epcot epicurean world tour. If the all-out character dining experience is what you are going for, make sure you book your seating for meals well in advance so that you can ensure a reservation. The Epcot world tour is much more casual, with many fast, simple, and relatively affordable fares to choose; from fish and chips in England to curried delights in Morocco.
Time is important.
One important factor to consider is, for most of your day, you will be inside the park. If you are thinking it will be simple to leave the park and grab a bite to eat, think again. With the walk back to your car, then at least twenty to thirty minutes of driving to just get off of the Disney property, you will spend a majority of your time outside of Disney if you decided to eat outside the park.
It is highly recommended to eat inside the park each day if you want to get the most out of your time there. If you have the ability to pack a lunch for yourself, then by all means, feel free to do so as that will save both time and money. Many families pack snacks and drinks, then splurge on one special meal in the park.
Part of the adventure at Disney World is the food and the dining experience. Be sure to take a look at your budget and make room for this fun part of your vacation.