I’m not cooking dinner this week. Or breakfast or lunch.
It’s my favorite week of the whole year.
We’re on vacation in Disney World, so I wanted to share my Disney World meal plan this week.
One of my favorite things about visiting Disney World is that we can make all our dining plans ahead of time. Making all the decisions before the trip leads to a much more relaxing experience for all of us.
This is our third trip to Disney World as a family, so we’ve got the dining thing down. We like to try a few new restaurants each time, and we also enjoy a couple of old favorites.
Disney World Meal Plan
We decided against doing the Disney Dining Plan for this trip because it would actually cost us more than paying out of pocket for our meals. I know this because I went through all the menus and estimated our cost at each restaurant based on my guesses about what we would all order. It came out to $831, and the dining plan would cost my family $1000 for the week.
The dining plan is a good deal if you’re eating at the most expensive restaurants and choosing the most expensive menu items most of the time. That’s just not how we eat. We also don’t typically order soda and dessert, so those aspects of the Disney Dining Plan don’t make sense for us.
We’re staying at one of the monorail hotels, so I want to check out the quick service breakfasts at all the hotels in the area. We also have our biggest splurge meal on the breakfast agenda.
Some families bring a box of cereal or some homemade granola to Disney World so they can save on the cost of breakfast. That can be a good strategy for saving money, but my family likes to really fuel up at the beginning of each Disney day. I’ll probably have oatmeal or something simple and low-cost a few mornings, and I’ll fuel up with something heartier on the other days.
Chef Mickey’s is home to a character buffet at the Contemporary. This buffet will be our big splurge. It’s actually the most expensive meal we’ll be eating during our trip, but we decided it was worth it to try it this once.
Contempo Cafe is the quick service restaurant in the Contemporary Resort. They have lots of good breakfast options, including a Greek yogurt parfait, breakfast burrito, and other egg dishes. I’m guessing my husband will be happy with the “bounty platter.”
Captain Cook’s at the Polynesian has several egg dishes, plus the famously decadent Tonga Toast. This banana-stuffed, deep fried French toast is far from “real food,” but it’s a fun treat for those who can handle it.
Gasparilla Island Grill at the Grand Floridian has a slightly smaller breakfast menu. It does include a breakfast frittata on the kids’ menu, which sounds like a good option to start the day.
We like to get to the parks right when they open in the morning, and we power through until about 2:00 before returning to our hotel for an afternoon break. This puts us in the parks for lunchtime every day.
Some families pack lunches and bring them into the parks, and I applaud them. But honestly, we just don’t have the energy to pack up lunch food at home in Massachusetts to make sandwiches each morning. Fortunately, each park has at least one decent counter-service dining option with healthy-ish food.
Be Our Guest is the one restaurant we’ll visit on every trip if I can help it. They have lots of healthy choices, and the food is fantastic. It’s one of the only quick service restaurants at Disney World where you can make a reservation for lunch, and you can even order ahead of time so your lunch is ready for you when you get there.
Sunshine Seasons is a food court in Epcot’s Future World. They have a wide variety of options, including Asian entrees, fish tacos, and gourmet sandwiches.
The Epcot Flower & Garden Festival Kiosks serve snack-sized portions of foods from many of the countries around Epcot’s World Showcase. I’m looking forward to sampling the fruit sushi and other goodies as we make our way through this area.
Flame Tree Barbecue at Animal Kingdom has been highly recommended to us by friends who love their big portions and relatively smaller prices. Unfortunately, it may still be closed for refurbishments during our visit, but we’re hoping to try it.
Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafe offers lots of interesting Asian dishes. This is our plan B at Animal Kingdom if Flame Tree Barbecue doesn’t work out.
Backlot Express at Hollywood Studios has a grilled vegetable sandwich and a couple salads that look very good. They even offer the grilled vegetable sandwich on the children’s menu, and this is a healthier choice than you’ll find on most of the other children’s menus around the parks.
We typically do a sit-down meal at dinnertime. Epcot is my favorite park, so we’re heading to the world showcase on a couple of the evenings for dinner. I’m also excited to visit the Wave, one of the few Disney restaurants that has a true focus on locally sourced food.
Be Our Guest is so good, we’re going there twice! They have great healthy options for dinner, and we’ll be splurging on their famous cupcakes for dessert.
The Wave is located in the Contemporary, and it offers a seasonal menu featuring locally sourced food. I love being able to experience local food whenever I’m on vacation, so this is a great fit for us.
Biergarten in Epcot’s Germany was a highlight on our last trip, so we’re going there again. It’s especially fun for my husband, who lived in Germany as a child. The ambiance, live music, and buffet are all fantastic.
Chefs de France is a new restaurant for us. Several of my Facebook followers said it’s their favorite place to eat in Epcot, so we’re giving it a try. I studied French for many years, so this will be a fun one for me.
If you’re planning a Disney vacation, check out my post about eating healthy in Disney World. There are so many great options. You just need to know where to find them!
What are your favorite places to eat at Walt Disney World? Please share in the comments.
Linking to Menu Plan Monday.