• On Jan 20, 2010
    Hope Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    We are planning only a two day stay at Disney while in Orlando. We are looking to find the best deal for dining options available to us. We are not staying at a Disney Resort. Are there dining plans we could sign up for during these two days?


    Unfortunately, the Disney Dining Plans are only available to guests who purchase a Magic Your Way Vacation package that includes staying at one of the resorts on property.

    However, don't let that keep you from enjoying the myriad of restaurants for all budgets while your visiting. Here are some of my tips for getting the most value out of dining at Disney:
    1. Combine breakfast and lunch into one.  Our family enjoys getting the latest seatings for breakfast that we can, especially for Character Meals.  Breakfast is less expensive than the other meals of the day, and when we eat a late brunch, we can get by with just two meals if we couple it with an early dinner. Chef Mickey's and Crystal Palace are my picks for this tip.
    2. Eat your big meal of the day at lunch.  Many restaurants offer the same entertainment and dining fare that they do at dinner for much less at lunch.  Biergarten and Teppan Edo fit the bill here.
    3. Choose combo meals at counter-service locations that provide a lot for your money. I prefer Sunshine Seasons' grill/blue-plate line, Flame-Tree BBQ and Cosmic Ray's for hefty portions that our family can share.
    4. Drinks can sink. For a family of four, adding drinks to your meal can be an additional $10. Consider enjoying iced water for just one meal a day and use your savings to treat the family and say 'yes' when the kids ask for that Mickey ice cream bar!
    5. Budget not big enough for a Character Meal? I recommend T-Rex or Rainforest Cafe. Yes, the animatronics aren't Mickey & Minnie, but the atmosphere is memorable and the menu is affordable. T-Rex's ravioli and flatbread were the best eats we had on our last vacation, too!
    Wishing y'all a magical vacation!
thumbnail image for Whitney

Meet the Panelist: Whitney, Mississippi

My family of 6 appreciates Disney's value! Although Ft. Wilderness is our second home, we've enjoyed the resorts for business, reunions and romantic getaways. For me, Disney also means dining: last count, I'd eaten at 55 restaurants around the World! Learn More About Whitney

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