Hi, my name is Nicole and I LOVE food. I mean it’s almost an addiction. The sight of food, the smells of food, and even the sounds of food make me so happy! I know, I have a problem. So when it comes to vacationing, food is always at the top of my mind. Where am I going to eat? When am I going to eat? Is it time to eat yet? And when it comes to Disney World, these questions are even MORE at the forefront of my mind. I make sure that my meals are planned out in the best possible way. So here are some mistakes to avoid when it comes to dining at Disney World.
1. Making Breakfast Reservation
Now, hear me out. Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day!
For those who know me, know my obsession with Mickey Waffles. I even have a shirt and Minnie ears that are dedicated to my one true love. (see photo below). But I have a reason behind this-
Breakfast time is also prime park time. The first two hours at the parks are not that crowded and not that hot. You can possibly get on more rides in the first two hours of your day then the whole rest of the day. Now, that’s not to say that if you are there for a week, that you shouldn’t book breakfast once or twice, I just wouldn’t suggest booking breakfast every day.
Also, if you are on the dining plan, breakfast is usually the cheapest meal. So you won’t be getting the most ‘bang for your buck’.
Here is my final thought on the subject: go book one breakfast in your week and eat as much mickey waffles and bacon to your heart’s content.
2. Planning too Many Reservations: dining at Disney World
As I said in my first paragraph… I LOVE food! But, I never make more than one Table Service reservation in one day. Sometimes, I don’t even make a table service reservation and just stick with Quick Service restaurants. And why is that you ask? Yes, because of time! Table Service restaurants can take up to 2 hours! That really cuts into my Space Mountian riding time. So I prefer to keep my Table Services to one a day.
Another reason to keep it to once a day is that Disney often gives TONS of food at their table service restaurants. So sometimes two is just too much and then ends up becoming a waste.
3. Not Planning any Reservations at all: dining at Disney World
Now, this is basically the opposite of my second point. Lots of people do not realize how crazy the dining at Disney World planning process can be.
Reservations open 180 days in advance! A whole 6 months early! And some of the most popular restaurants (I am looking at you Cinderella’s Royal Table) can book up as soon as the 180 days hit! I highly advise booking your reservations as soon as you can (need to know when your 180 window opens up? Click here to try out our WDW Planning Calculator!)
For the most part, you will not be able to just walk up to a restaurant and eat. You will need a reservation.
4. Leaving the Park for Food
I get it, there are TONS of great restaurants at the resorts and Disney Springs. But I suggest not booking a reservation for them unless you are doing a resort day, pool day, or you plan to just have a half-day at the parks.
Although Disney transportation is great (and free), it can take a while to get from point A to point B. If you have a dining reservation down at Disney Springs for 6pm and you are at Magic Kingdom, you should leave the park by at least 5pm, if not earlier. Then give yourself 1.5-2 hours to eat, then another hour to get back to Magic Kingdom… you might not make it back to the park until 9pm! So when you are making dining reservations, consider location, location, location!
5. Being Afraid to Try New Things While Dining at Disney World
Disney World is FULL of amazing restaurants. And yet, sometimes people like to stick with what they know. And I get that. I almost always eat at Chef Mickeys or Tusker House every trip. Because it’s what I know and love. But, that doesn’t mean that we don’t try something different every time.
My son is an insanely picky eater (he doesn’t like Mac and Cheese!!!) and has food allergies. But even with those two obstacles, we have still found something he likes and is safe for him at every restaurant that we ever ate at. So don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and try something different!