Is it almost time (or maybe it’s past time!) to be planning your 2019 Disney Park vacation!?
Not sure where to start?
I LOVE these guidebooks. Need to know who has the best food and portion sizes? Want to know if that ride is going to make your kid scared, or you dizzy? What about hotels? Everything you need to know! And it’s not just need to know stuff from the creators of the book, but also real people who are reviewing the places themselves. The book is always a bargain price, go grab it!
Now that you’ve started to figure out what you are going to do, here are a few links that might be helpful for you! Click to go to the article!
2019 Disney Dining Plan
Bringing in your own food to Disney
FREE Touring plans! Do ten attractions, including headliners at the Magic Kingdom in 3 hours! Links inside the article for the other parks as well!
Best stroller for Disney
Packing without overpacking
Prepping your car before you go
Prepping your house before you go
These blog articles should all get you headed in the right direction as you plan your awesome Disney vacation!
New year, new Disney Dining Plan!! There have been a few changes, and it’s up to YOU to decide if the Disney Dining Plan is still the best for your family or not.
The price has gone up compared to in 2018, however the price only went up for children's dining plans! Could this be because of the dramatic price hikes for beverages and snacks, this past fall? Keep reading to see the new prices!
Disney Dining Plans can be a little bit confusing if you've never used one before. If used wisely, the Dining Plans are a fantastic way to save a little or a lot on your trip, depending on what you eat or how much you drink, letting you add even more magic to your vacation!
Here's a basic overview about the Disney Dining Plan for 2019 to help you decide if the plan is right for you.
Disney World offers three dining plans for guests staying on property. The Quick Service Dining Plan, the Dining Plan, and the Deluxe Dining Plan. Each plan comes with a refillable souvenir mug that can be used at any resort during the length of your stay. Each restaurant will have a different theme, so it's often fun to try a new place each time.
The Quick Service Dining Plan is our favorite right now since we have small kids who don't want to sit still at a sit down restaurant for very long. This plan includes 2 meals per day, consisting of an entree and it's included side(s) (think half chicken, green beans and mashed potatoes, or sandwich and fries) and new in 2018, those under the age of 21 can choose to have soda, tea or coffee, a milkshake, smoothie or other specialty non alcoholic beverage. Those over the age of 21 with valid ID can choose to have a beer, cider, mixed drink or wine if available. This plan also includes 2 snack credits which can be used on a variety of things from soups or salads, drinks, desserts or packaged snacks. My favorite thing to use a snack credit on are the themed cupcakes. Gigantic works of art and delicious! We have never felt like we've sacrificed food choices with this plan. Quick Service doesn't mean you are stuck with just burgers and fries. There are yummy salads, seafood, fajitas, and so much more. Mr. Disney Magic loves going to Animal Kingdom and having lunch at Flame Tree BBQ so he can order the Ribs, chicken and pulled pork plate that includes baked beans, coleslaw and jalapeno cornbread. With Quick Service meals, no gratuities are charged and you do not need reservations.
The Dining Plan is the standard meal plan with Disney World and it includes 1 Quick Service meal, 1 Table Service meal and 2 snacks. You get everything as above with the Quick Service plan, but the Table Service meal can be a buffet or a sit down restaurant, and includes a dessert. This is a popular plan because it's the best of both worlds. You can have a quick lunch if you want and a leisurely dinner to unwind after a day at the Parks. There are a few Table Service restaurants that even offer special seating for nighttime shows, or Character Meals including breakfasts, however some of those might require the use of two meal credits. Gratuity will be added on additionally for Table Service restaurants just like if you went to a sit down restaurant at home. Reservations are usually required, and may be reserved up to 180 days before your trip.
The Deluxe Dining Plan is the most expensive plan because you get a lot more. This plan includes 3 meals, your choice of Quick Service or Table Service. If you choose the Table Service, in addition to the above entitlements, you also get to choose an appetizer. Gratuity will be added on additionally for Table Service restaurants just like if you went to a sit down restaurant at home. Reservations are usually required, and may be reserved up to 180 days before your trip.
The prices for the 2019 Disney Dining Plans are as follows:
Quick Service - Per night Ages 10 and up $52.50 Ages 9 and under $23.78
Dining Plan – Per night Ages 10 and up $75.49 Ages 9 and under $27.98
Deluxe Dining Plan – Per night Ages 10 and up $116.25 Ages 9 and under $43.49
There are some legitimate reasons as to why, or why not this plan might be good for you. If you love the idea of having all meals paid for in advance and if you like to have Table Service meals and don't mind planning in advance this plan may be perfect for you. If you just like to snack in the park, or want to bring in part of your own food and just eat one meal in the park, you might not get as much benefit from this.
An incredibly easy way to see if you will come out ahead or not if you buy this plan is to use this fabulous dining plan calculator. DisTripPlanner.com has put a lot of work into making your decision as easy as can be. Just make sure that you do add in the refillable mug in step 2, in order to get the most accurate result. Just click here to see the calculator.
A few things to remember.
Want to read more?
Click here for tips and tricks to maximize your Disney Dining plan credits
Click here to read about bringing your own food in at Disney
Click here to read about how to save HUNDREDS in just a few minutes at Disney
Want to save $400?
When I originally wrote this article back in 2017, we were saving a lot by bringing in our own drinks. Now that Disney has changed the price of bottled and fountain drinks by around a dollar each, you'll be saving even bigger by packing a few bottles of water, tea or soda in your suitcase. I've updated this article to reflect the current prices. Bottled sodas have gone up from $3.50 to $4.50, regular fountain drinks from $3.29 to $3.99 and bottles of water from $3.00 to $3.50. A Powerade is $5.00
How much can you save? I've broken it down for you! You'll be surprised!
I am not exaggerating when I say how easily you can save HUNDREDS when you go to Disney Park. Bring along a few bottled drinks or a refillable water bottle. It's easy, cheap and takes almost no effort to save hundreds!
If you like to go bag free, bring along a refillable bottle that collapses and hangs from a clip because at any counter, you can ask for a cup of ice water, for free.
What if you are like us though, and just don't like to taste of Florida water? Can you still save? Yes. Keep reading and get ready for a surprise.
How much does it save you? Is it enough to make it worth the hassle? I'm going to use my own family as an example and do the math for you!
Because it seems like no one is ever thirsty at the same time and we don't want to stop and stand in line repeatedly, we bring our own drinks for much of the day. The first few visits, we used a soft sided cooler, but now that our youngest may not need a stroller as much and Mr. Disney Magic would prefer to carry as little as possible, we bought a cooler backpack, and worked the numbers.
There are 2 adults and 2 kids in our party. The adults each typically drink 2 waters in the pre lunch hours, and 2 in the afternoon/evening. We do buy drinks at lunch and dinner, plus on afternoon breaks and during the evening at our resort, fill up our mugs. We make sure to drink a lot, because in Florida’s heat, not drinking is a recipe for disaster. That comes to bringing in to the park 4 drinks per adult, per park day.
The little people, we plan on 3-4 juice boxes or pouches for in the pre lunch hours, and 3-4 for the afternoon/evening. Of course, they take some of our water, get drinks at lunch and dinner, and the resort on breaks. That equals 8 juice boxes per kid, per park day. (Now when I say juice boxes, I don't specifically mean there is juice in them. Some are, but some are those mostly flavored water things, but for simplicity's sake, I'm calling them all "Juice" and using those numbers for our math.)
The last few weeks, our grocery store has had 24 packs of spring water regular priced for $3.99. That means it's approximately 16.6 cents per bottle of water. With sales, 8 packs of the larger Juicy Juice boxes were $3.00, making each juice box 37 cents per juice. To get a bottle of filtered, not spring water at Disney, it's going to be $3.50, and a bottle of juice is $3.29.
A full day for our family costs less than $7 for drinks, when we do this hybrid way of buying some, and bringing some, whereas if we stopped and bought 16 kids drinks, and 8 adult drinks, be it water, juice or whatever, it would be around $96. Five days in the parks equals a savings of $480 just for bringing in our own drinks. That's a LOT of Disney magic we could spend elsewhere. Our kids love flavored water too, so if we skipped the juice, and just some some water flavoring packets we would save even more! Seeing as a 6 pack of bottled soda is often on sale for $3.00 in our area, I'd say 50 cents for a bottled soda is a LOT fairer of a price that $4.50.
Yes, it can be a hassle sometimes to bring your own in the regard that you have to take a few minutes to plan ahead of time, but its not really too bad. We grab a few drinks in the backpack in the morning, restock in the afternoon, and save a lot of money! The good thing about carrying drinks in a backpack, is it's heaviest in the mornings when you have the most energy, and gets lighter as the day goes on. For us, having cold drinks any time we want it without having to wait in a line is worth it!
But how to bring the drinks with you?
There are three easy ways!
If you drive, load up the car before hand. We froze our waters beforehand, and they lasted for a week with just the occasional bucket of ice tossed in a cooler since the mini fridge never quite gets it cold enough.
If you drive but just don't have the room to make the haul with your drinks in tow, you can stop off at a nearby grocery or drug store before arriving at your resort.
If you fly, or even if you drive if you don't want to spend a second of time or space worrying about picking up the water, you can use a Grocery Delivery service, like Amazon Now, Amazon Prime, or Garden Grocer. They will take all of the worry out of it and bring your order right to you, (in Amazon Now's case, within 2 hours!) This is great not only for drinks, but also snacks or other food for your trip!
Does Disney mind you bringing in your own sodas, juice or water?
Not at all! Disney is very generous letting you bring in your own snacks but also your own non alcoholic beverages. It's perfect for you Pepsi or Dr. Pepper fans too, because with Disney's long time affiliation with Coca Cola, you won't be able to find Pepsi or Dr. pepper brand drinks in the parks or resorts.
While bringing in drinks may not work for everyone, it works pretty well for our family. Have you ever brought your own drinks or water bottles in? Does that work for your family?
Even though Toy Story Land has hardly been open at Disney World, there's already been menu changes! The Monte Cristo sandwich has been removed, Orlando Park News reports. Pretty sad, seeing as that looked like the best of the sandwiches on there!
Pictures that have been popping up from guests all over, and the sandwiches really seem pretty small, and the kids menu's only have half sandwiches! Mr. Disney Magic and I were both looking forward to this sandwich, so it's a little sad that it's no longer there. While supposedly, it's because guest demand was low, Mr. Disney Magic had the theory that it took too long to prepare to keep the line moving quick enough. Either way, it's farewell to a sandwich that didn't really get a very long trial period!
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 Service restaurant, most 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 Hollywood Studios, and why! We've even got a few suggestions for who this might, or might not, be appropriate for.
Located right near the stage for the Jedi Training Academy and Star Tours, Backlot is our must go to, every time. We love the menu, the ample indoor and outdoor seating, and the serve yourself drinks. You know free refills are a rarity at theme parks, so that's a small part of why we love to stop here!
While there is plenty of seating indoors, this seems to be a place where tours reserve, so often it gets crowded, and you might have to hover for a few minutes to get a spot, unless you are willing to eat outside. Outside seating is covered, but in the summer it can still be hot.
The menu is one of those something for everyone, but right now, the food is a little bit more Star Wars themed. Chicken and Dark Vader Waffles is my personal favorite, while my kids love the massive Star Wars cupcakes, and Mr. Disney Magic always gets the Royal Guard burger.
Portions are generous, and anyone can find something to eat here, picky eaters or adult palates alike.
ABC Commissary is another good option, but has a rotating menu. During lunch hours, you'll find your standard salads, burgers, (including vegan) options, but also a shrimp platter or ribs. At night, the menu switches to offer a dinner of things like ribs, salmon, and chimchurri steak. Dinner prices do cost more than the usual quick service dinners, but you can see from the menus, they are also a little more upscale.
This restaurant is pretty easy to pass up if you aren't looking for it, or already know where it is and that might be why whenever we've wandered past around mealtimes, it's never packed, not even in the pouring rain.
if you are looking for something a little nicer and a little different, this might be a great stop.
Picture by Disney
Taking over where the old Pizza Planet (Which wasn't really like Pizza Planet in Toy Story) Rizzo the Rat is serving up personal pizzas, salads and meatball subs. The pizza is about on par with Disney Pizza, but the fact that there's pizza, and that's such a kid and adult pleasing food can really make this place a lifesaver on a rainy, or hot day when you just want to sit down for a while. There is a ton of indoor seating, including on an upper level which makes it fun to people watch.
Desserts are cannelloni or tiramisu, so not a big selection, but fit in with the Italian theme, as does the rest of the decor.
Picture by Disney
While we have not eaten yet at Woody's Lunchbox, I'd be remiss not to mention the newest edition to Disney's Holloywood Studios quick service. If nothing else, the visual apeal of this retraunt, along with the location is going to make it a favorite for kids, though the crowd levels are going ot be high. We will update this with more information soon, but thus far, the menu is looking good! Brisket melt, monte cristo, and grilled cheeses, along with other tasty lunchbox favorites! We sure can't wait to sink out teeth into them and try! There will even be breakfast sandwiches, and soft serve ice cream.
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!
Did we miss your favorite? Which place do you love to go to?
Want to see our top quick service picks for Magic Kingdom? Click here!
Want to see our top quick service picks for Animal Kingdom? Click here!