By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

(Dining Alternatives)

By Dave Shute

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How to Eat    Where to Eat    The Dining Plan   Guide to Disney Dining


If you can’t or won’t follow the meals recommended in this site’s itineraries (those in the basic itinerary are listed at bottom of this page), use one of two tools.

The thumbnail in the right (click to open; when open, click again to enlarge) rates the Walt Disney World table service options by both appeal to kids and appeal to adults.

The pages linked below have the same options ranked in order to help you pick your destinations.

Character Meals and Dinner Shows Ranked in Order

Table Service Meals at the Parks Ranked in Order

Table Service Meals at the Resorts Ranked in Order


Crystal PalaceMagic Kingdom:

  • Cinderella’s Royal Table (Character Meal)
  • Pecos Bill Café
  • Crystal Palace (Character Meal)
  • Dole Whip at Aloha Isle (Snack)

Hollywood Studios:

  • Backlot Express
  • Sci-Fi Diner (Snack)


  • Akershus Banquet (Character Meal)
  • Sunshine Season Food Fair
  • San Angel Inn
  • Boulangerie Patisserie (Snack)

Animal Kingdom:

  • Flame Tree Barbecue


  • Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue (Fort Wilderness, Dinner Show)
  • Chef Mickey'sChef Mickey’s (Contemporary, Character Meal)
  • Beaches and Cream (Beach Club, Snack)
  • Dole Whip at Captain Cook’s (Polynesian, Snack)
  • Plus your hotel’s counter service and your hotel room!

Downtown Disney:

  • House of Blues Gospel Brunch
  • Rainforest Café


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1 Tom { 06.26.12 at 4:51 pm }


I would add “Wolfgang Puck express”, especially if you’re on the Quick Service Dining Plan. Great and varied menu (pasta, chicken, pizza, meat, etc) plus a warm atmosphere.
And it is not quite expensive if you got to pay for it.
Another alternative is Earl of Sandwich

2 Dave { 06.27.12 at 6:32 am }

Good points Tom! This site is thin on Downtown Disney, because its itineraries (for first time visitors who may never return) don’t have people spending much time there–see e.g.

3 Tom { 06.27.12 at 9:19 am }

Both of them Dave, WP Express and Earl of Sandwich, are a good choice if you’re fed up of eating cheeseburgers and pepperoni pizza!
They were my “excuse” for going to Downtown Disney every night, apart from visiting the Lego store and building stuff with my kids!

4 Dave { 06.27.12 at 9:23 am }


5 Mel { 09.15.12 at 3:48 pm }

Do you have any quick service rankings? Or did I miss them…? Thanks!

6 Dave { 09.16.12 at 10:05 am }

Mel, I don’t!

7 anna schrul { 09.21.12 at 8:34 am }

we have already signed up for the quick service dining plan. we missed the free by going oct 5th. I am very nervous about knowing how to use it so I really wish you had included the quick service resturants that are included. Otherwise I just stumbled on this site and love it THANKS

8 Dave { 09.21.12 at 1:07 pm }

Hi Anna, thanks for the thought. You’ll be fine!

9 Shana { 08.27.13 at 6:31 am }

Dave, what are your thoughts on the Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party? I just saw it online. Is the view from there to see Wishes that great or would we be better off trying to enjoy Wishes closer to Cinderella’s castle? Thanks!

10 Dave { 08.27.13 at 8:08 am }

Shana, frankly I think it a waste. The best viewing spot for Wishes is on the Main Street axis view of the Castle, and the party is a bit–not a lot but a bit–off axis.

Was this even remotely helpful? Then mosey on over to the home page, and like it on Facebook or pin it on Pinterest!

11 Claire { 09.08.14 at 1:38 pm }

My family will be eating several buffets . However, I don’t do buffets. Is it possible for me to order a small appetizer for myself while the rest of the family ( we are 9 people) eats at the buffet table? We will be eating buffets at Boma, Chef Mickey and Ohana. Thank you. Claire

12 Dave { 09.09.14 at 6:37 am }

Hi Claire, I’m not sure what you are asking, so I’ll try two responses: 1. There is no separate appetizer menu from which you can order. 2. At a buffet, everyone at the table 3 or older pays, regardless of how much or how little they eat

13 Ziporah { 10.14.15 at 12:33 pm }

Do you have any reviews for Be our Guest?
Also could I substitute it for another place on the itinerary and if so which would you recommend swapping out? Thanks in advance!

14 Dave { 10.14.15 at 5:05 pm }

Ziporah I have a review of lunch there here. It’s outdated, as you now can-and should–reserve lunch there. Yes, you can swap lunch or dinner for any other Magic Kingdom meals!!

15 Mike { 10.03.17 at 11:09 pm }

Hi Dave Love the Site! My question is you can start making dinner reservations 6 months out. We are planning on going April 8th, on what day/time will I be able to start my reservation process. I just want to make sure I am able to secure Be our guest, which we love, and was thinking on trying the rivers of light dinner, any suggestions on that one. Thanks!

16 Dave { 10.04.17 at 7:18 am }

Hi Mike and thanks! You can make them (EST) 6a online, 7a over the phone, 180 days before your first dining date. If you are staying in a WDW hotel, on that day you’ll also be able to make dining reservations for your entire trip.

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