I sure won't lie! One of my favorite things to do at Disney is to eat! Disney has so many great restaurants, but it's not just IN the parks that have good food, but outside too! Disney Springs, the Resorts, they are all known for having an incredible variety of unique and wonderfully delicious foods.
While that's great, what if you are at the park and want a quick bite? We've got suggestions for you! All of these places are included on the Quick Service Dining Plan, so they aren't going to cut into your budget, but they will provide a nice place to stop, rest and fill up your stomachs! Quick Service doesn't mean fast food! Your portions won't be small, and neither will the value for your meal if you go with one of these favorites!
At a Quick Servace restaurant, entrees will be $14.99 or less, but the average price for a burger and fries (or similar) is $10-12, same as at a fast casual place back home.
These are where we always suggest at Magic Kingdom, and why! We've even got a few suggestions for who this might, or might not, be appropriate for.
Be Our Guest
Be Our Guest is our ultimate favorite. Who wouldn't want to eat a meal in a castle? You can do breakfast or lunch as Quick Service, but we have only ever done breakfast. With food so amazing it makes your taste buds explode with every bite and a pastry platter for every table, this is always a once per trip for us.
Portions aren't overly large, but they are generous enough that with the pastry platter, and refills on beverages allowed, it's always been more than enough.
Why don't we go to lunch since we enjoy breakfast so much? The simple reason is the menu. Neither of our kids would be interested in the kids offerings. Breakfast is pretty standard, but the lunch is definitely on the fancier side, with things like meatloaf with broccoli and zucchini, shrimp with broccoli, pork with green beans and mashed potatoes. Just not stuff our kids would want. We also don't want to take the extra time of a longer sit down meal.
Stop by, (reservations is really the best way) and try at least once, you won't be disappointed at all in the incredible decor or the food, just make sure if you have kids you've looked at the menu ahead of time!
Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe
Our second favorite, and once we stop at often, is Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe. There's a fun, spaceport kind of feel here with tons of indoor, air conditioned seating, though the tables are quite small. We've never had a problem with finding a place to sit, even during the peak times of the day during summer.
The menu portions are quite large. and they offer food that everyone in the family will love. I always get the half chicken, with mashed potatoes and green beans, while Mr. Disney Magic usually gets a burger, beef or vegetarian. They've also got hot dogs, salads and chicken sandwiches. For the kids, there's a salad, mac and cheese, pbj or chicken nuggets, plus your choice of sides. Adults can sub out their sides too, and there's even a toppings bar, with all kinds of things to customize your sandwich.
This is a great place for lunch, or dinner, and we eat here multiple times per trip.
Tomorrowland Terrence goes last because while it's got amazing views with covered outdoor seating, and a menu with things you won't find elsewhere, it's only open seasonally, and even then, just at peak times so there's not really a way to plan if you can go there that day other than to walk past and hope. The Terrence is also host to the the special ticket firework desert parties, so you won't be able to snag a table if it gets too late in the day.
The portions are average, and the menu is small but nice. You've got your standard burgers and salads, but also banh mi sandwiches, and home made chips. The kids fare is standard too, nuggets, mac and cheese and pbj.
Of the multiple times we've gone past, they've only been opened once. Perhaps your luck will be better than ours!
Those are our favorite quick serves! As you can see, Quick Service isn't something like McDonalds, when you are at Disney. You still get the quality of a casual restaurant, with the convenience of a quick in and out so a meal doesn't take up half your day, or a ton of your budget!
At the start of the new year, everything seems to go up. Gas, groceries, the fries at Mcdonalds (really?! 30 cents more now for the large? Sheesh!) but those little increase don’t usually make the news the way an increase at Disney World does.
Before you let that worry you, or even stop you Disney vacation plans, we are here to tell you that it’s NOT a big deal. Really. Yes, we are all about saving money so we can get to Disney, but few dollar more in theme park admission shouldn’t scare you, because that hike isn’t aimed at YOU specifically.
Let me explain.
A few years back, Disney put their tickets into three tiers. Value, Regular and Peak days. Value would be the off peak times, for example, January, once the Christmas rush is over, or August and early September, when kids are back in school. Regular times are typically the early spring and fall, while Peak times start around spring Break, and go through Summer, and then the fall holidays. Dividing the year into tiers allowed Disney to charge different prices for each time. If you want to go at a slower time of year, you get to pay less. If you want to go (or can only go) during a more crowded time of year, you’ll pay more.
While this may not really sound fair, when you think that in an off peak time, fewer people are needed to, for example, clean the restrooms, or clean hotel rooms and less paper goods are used, of course, Disney’s costs will be lower. When it’s Peak time, and everyone’s sipping a drink, using a little TP in the restroom or requesting using tons of towels at the pool, expenses go up. (Think about it practically and it takes a little of the sting off. That’s what I tell myself anyway!!)
But when Disney does a price increase, people start cringing. They complain about how expensive it already is. Every year I see the people that say “That’s it! It’s too expensive, we have had our last trip!” If you are a Disney lover and have been before, you’ll already know how much value you get for those tickets, but if you don’t go often, or you’ve never been before, let me point out again. This is not really going to effect you much, if any.
This is why.
The price increase is greatest on one day tickets. Those prices are for the, “Hey, while we are in town, let’s stop off,” people. The, “You know, let’s go make a day of it,” gang. The, “Alright, fine. We will go one time,” folks. Not the “Woooo we have been saving now we are going to go live it up!! Lets book our vacations!” people, like you and me! We still get a price increase, but it’s not really going to be $100 plus a day for a ticket.
Look at this!
I’m going to just use regular day prices. It will be a few dollars less during value season, a few dollars more during peak, but day three, my friends, is where the magic starts to happen, and just look at day 5 and 6! It’s worth it to get the longer tickets, even if you just plan to go in, use your fast passes and leave for a pool day.
Day 1 $ 114 / $119 per day (Magic Kingdom single day tickets are $115)
Day 2 $209 ( $104.50 per day)
Day 3 $305 ($101.66 per day)
Day 4 $380 ($95 per day)
Day 5 $395 ($79 per day)
Day 6 $405 ($67.50 per day)
Day 7 $415 ($59.28 per day)
Day 8 $425 ($53.12 per day)
Day 9 $435 ($48.33 per day)
Day 10 $445 ($44.50 per day)
So how does this compare to last years prices? A typical 5 day pass in 2017 cost $370. In 2018 it now costs $395. An increase of $25, or, $5 a day. That’s not really too bad. Use a few of our great tips on the blog, and save that easily! I know I'll either be using my McDonalds app for the BOGO Large fries, or maybe start to cut them out so save a little more on my end!
If you have a few saving money tips we don’t, please share below!
I think everyone in our family loves this ride. It's gotten too much of a squeeze to ride together though as the kids have gotten bigger, but it's still a must do (several times) each trip. I wish the ride weren't so short! Look at the wonderful details in this ride! The ceiling, the center pole, the tea cups themselves!
A few fun little facts about this ride!
This is one of the original rides from when Disney World opened in 1971. It also, unlike it's Disneyland counterpart, has a roof, which not only provides shade in the hot summers, bur keeps it running, even in the rain! While rumors have it that the purple teacups are fastest at spinning, (and I'm not sure how that started) I've ridden in every color, and haven't noticed a difference, myself. Have you?
A few weeks back we talked about the new security measures at Disney's Resorts. We still stand by our views, but want to go a little more in depth about keeping your stuff, and yourself, safe at Disney, or any other place you go.
No one likes to think about the dark size of Disney once the Villians have left Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, or they’ve left the Haunted Mansion, but unfortunately, there is a dark side in the areas surrounding any Disney Park. Theft.
It’s so easy in any sort of vacation bubble, not just Disney’s, to get relaxed and comfortable. Maybe you are taking your stuff into the hotel room, and leave your car unlocked between trips. Maybe you leave out your jewelry that you decided not to wear. Maybe you forget your credit card or wallet or expensive camera are in the stroller pouch. Whatever is is, there could be someone watching, and chances are, there is.
While Disney security is second to none, and there are camera and eyes watching everywhere, if someone wants something, they are going to take it. Two talked about thefts from 2017 were a woman who stole a stroller (and you can read a little about that here, as well as stroller tips) and a mousekeeper who was stealing cash. The jury is still out on that one for me, I’m not sure if we ever got a conclusion as to what REALLY happened, did she think she was taking a tip, or was she really stealing? For employees, Disney takes theft very seriously, but when it’s another guest stealing? Or, a person from the area preying on tourists, that’s a little different and caution as well as common sense should come into play. Remember the leaving the car doors unlocked between trips to and from your hotel room? A Disney board I go to often had a woman very upset a few months back, they were doing just that, moving stuff into their hotel room, and leaving the car unlocked between trips. She finished, and assumed that her husband had brought in all of their bags from the outlet shopping they had done. He hadn’t. Several hundred dollars worth of shoes and clothes had been stolen, and the hotel had no security footage of it to help in the police report.
A side note here, she was not on Disney property. While that doesn’t mean that she was less safe, Disney does check people going in and unless you are at that resort, you aren’t allowed in the parking lot. Does that make it safer to leave your car unlocked? That’s up to you. I did have to do something totally stupid our last trip, when I assumed Mr. Disney Magic was at our van as we loaded up. He wasn’t, and I didn’t have my keys or phone, and I had barely gotten the 3 suitcases down there on my own, so I tucked them next to the car and dashed back to get my keys. Not the best idea, you know how big those resorts are, and it was several minutes before I got back, but luckily, all was well.
Twice we have had something stolen from a hotel room, though never at Disney. The first was in November, and it was the day after my Grandfather passed away while we were visiting. The day before, I had bought my oldest and I some Amish made peppermint bark, and we hadn’t gotten to try it yet but we were both looking forward to it. It was gone. Everything else was sitting out on the little hotel table where we left it, but that, the beautifully wrapped, special treat that we, of course, had no way to replace.
The other time was Mr. Disney Magic’s wedding band. He had taken it off while he was writing a lot so his finger wouldn’t swell, and someone came in the room to clean so he left and we had dinner, forgetting all about it. It was gone. We tore the room apart, the hotel staff shrugged and nothing was done. I called the hotel several times hoping someone had turned it in, they hadn’t.
Recently, some friends of ours were back to school shopping at the local mall. They set down their shopping bags loaded with their daughter’s new school clothes to help her try on shoes. They wandered down the aisle to look at other pairs and when they came back, some people were running away, the daughter’s new clothes with them.
It doesn’t matter WHAT it is, if someone wants it, they will take it. Isn’t that a shame? It’s lucky not everyone is like that, but some are! Why take chances if you can prevent it?
This isn’t meant to scare you, but just to remind you that in any place, but especially a tourist place, there are criminals keeping an eye out to see if you have something they think they can take. Why make it easy for them? A few seconds of your time is usually enough to make them move away.
Here’s a few tips for keeping your belongings where they belong...with you.
IN YOUR HOTEL
If there is a safe, and you plan to leave the room and not take your wallet, use the safe. Or, and this is what I prefer, bring a lock for your suitcase or bag and put anything valuable or important in there to you.
Don’t leave anything sitting out that has value, because if you are in a hurry to leave the room, that necklace of your grandmother’s might be the last thing you remember, and it’s easy to leave it behind when you go home, especially if it’s fallen on the ground and gotten kicked under a table, or, taken.
IN YOUR CAR
When you get out, lock your doors. Even if you are only going to be gone a moment to run in at a gas station and buy a soda, lock them. If you are buy yourself, and pumping gas, make sure all the doors except for your drivers door are locked, that way while you are distracted pushing buttons, no one can open the other door and slip out your purse or anything else.
Stopped for lunch? Lock them! Checking in at a hotel? Lock them! Bringing things in and out of your car to a hotel room? Lock them!
AT YOUR VACATION SPOT
Beach, theme parks, wherever… like I tell my oldest when he wants to bring something to school, you can bring it, as long as you are ok if something happens to it. Some places like the beach you leave your things for extended periods of time. If that’s you, anything that’s valuable, take with you, lock in your car, or at least hide, under a big pie of towels. Don’t leave your new camera sitting out for someone to walk past and take.
The same thing applies at theme parks with your stroller. Don’t leave your money, ID or cameras behind when you park the stroller, because while it doesn’t happen often, do you really want to be like that woman who on vacation had her ID, wallet and key stolen when someone swiped her stroller? What a nightmare that must have been!
ANYWHERE YOU GO
The most important thing is also to stay aware. Try and take notice as you are walking to your car or hotel who is hanging around, who is sitting in a car. Let them see you being observant! With iPhones almost attached to hands and ears from birth, it’s so easy to get distracted for a few seconds and either forget to lock up, or take something with you, or notice who is around. Keep your eyes open, and head off potential problems before they happen.
Tourists bring in a lot of money to local businesses where ever they go. Don’t add to the revenue of the local criminals, too. Be aware, and either lock it or bring it with you.
2018 is going to be chock full of wonderful Disney movies!! I have to admit, I want to see almost all of them!!
BuzzFeed did such a wonderful job on the list a while back, there's no way I could replicate it as well, so click over on the link above, take a peep, then tell me which one you are looking forward to! I started to tell you the ones I'm most excited about, then I realized, it was just about everything on the list!! It's going to be a great year for movies! Maybe I should go ahead and join the Disney Movie Club like I've been debating!