Thrifty Thursday: Meal Planning at Walt Disney World

DSCN0233Planning your trip to Walt Disney World can be both exciting and a little daunting at the same time. Gone are the years of deciding at the last moment – “Let’s go to Walt Disney World!” And off you go! These days the more planning you do ahead of time the better time will be had by all. Not only will things runs smoother with less surprises (of the bad kind) and there will be less standing in lines thanks for Fast Pass, and you won’t end the trip saying……….”I didn’t know about that or this!”

One thing that can be overwhelming to say the least is food! Where to eat, what to eat, when to eat, how to accommodate everyone in the group etc becomes a planning stage all in itself! I have friends that plan all their trips around when the Free Dining will be offered! I have other friends that get the Dining plan regardless of when they plan to go. I, on the other hand, prefer to plan one main meal a day and work that around our daily schedule. No matter what your style of eating/meals is, you need to plan ahead so you don’t get another one of those bad surprises!

When planning on one main meal a day, it can either be a counter service or a sit down meal. We try to plan it for mid-afternoon, so we aren’t too full to enjoy the evening. Likewise, we also don’t need a monstrous breakfast that puts us late getting to the park in the morning. Reservations are generally easier to come by if you plan a really early dinner or a really late lunch time. Not only that, but during the normal mealtime rushes, the busiest rides can be less crowded so you can get another ride on a favorite or missed attraction.

Another perk to eating mid-afternoon – this is the busiest time for the parks, so instead of heading to the hotel to take a break, why not a relaxing meal and cool beverage in one of the many restaurants Walt Disney World has to offer. One of our favorite is The ESPN Club at the Boardwalk Resort. Beware of this one though, if you plan to visit during finals or playoffs, whether is it baseball, basketball, football or soccer. Because of the multiple television sets throughout the restaurant, including the bathrooms, this location can become quite busy!

What is your plan of attack for meals when at Walt Disney World?

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Debbie and her husband live in Collegedale, TN where her youngest son is going to college. She is a huge Disney fan who dreams of someday retiring and working as a tour guide at Walt Disney World. She has enjoyed many trips to WDW with children, grandchildren and sometimes adults only. It is her ultimate goal to make sure everyone who visits WDW has the same magical time that she enjoys every time she visits.

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