Kilimanjaro Safaris; Animal Kingdom; AA
  • On Dec 8, 2013
    Carolynn from WV 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 staying outside the park. We would like guidance on where to eat. Are there meal plans we can purchase? We are first timers. Please help guide us. How does the eating in the park work for us? This is a vacation of a lifetime for my family.

    Hi, Carolynn!  I'll start with the cut and dry stuff.  There are no dining plans available to guests who are not staying at a Walt Disney World resort.  However, you can still make dining reservations - which I HIGHLY recommend!

    You haven't told me when you're visiting, but guests staying off site can begin making dining reservations 180 days in advance of their visit.  Some of the most popular meals - especially character meals - can book well in advance, with some dining experiences booking up entirely as soon as the 180 days window is open.  You'll want to secure any character dining experiences or the most popular ones (Be Our Guest, 'Ohana, Le Cellier) as far in advance as you can.

    Okay, so where to eat?  You can eat at any of the four theme parks or any of the resort hotels if you want to eat on Walt Disney World property, and the list of restaurants is incredible.  EPCOT features food from the four corners of the globe, with both counter and table service restaurants.  You can make reservations for Italian, French, Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, or even Middle Eastern cuisine; or, if you prefer, just walk up to any of the many counter service locations.  

    The Magic Kingdom has the crown jewel of character dining experiences, with Cinderella's Royal Table inside Cinderella Castle.  This one books early, but you can dine here for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Crystal Palace, where you can dine with characters, is a lovely buffet at all three meals.  

    You can find a comprehensive list of the restaurants available - both ones that accept reservations and those that don't by clicking .  Walt Disney World Dining.  You can make reservations right from that page.  

    Have a wonderful vacation!
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Meet the Panelist: Anna, New Jersey

My name is Anna and I am a retired teacher with a J.D., a proud Navy wife with 30+ years of experience, mom to three daughters and a son-in-law, and grandmom to three tiny Disney fans. I have planned vacations for all sorts of special occasions and celebrations, but I really enjoy DVC vacations, helping military families, and assisting those with special dietary needs.    Learn More About Anna

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