Walt Disney World is great and all, but the Orlando, Fla. resort is so huge that planning and booking a vacation at it can be a bit… shall we say, intimidating. The good news, though, is that all sorts of neat little booking tools exist that can help you plan the right Disney vacation for you — as long as you know where to look. There is, for example, a Disney World booking tool for foodies, if having the most spectacular and tasty dining experience possible is high on your list of priorities. It’s part of the “Explore Ticket Options For Your Disney World Visit” tool, which can be found right here. Because, I mean… you’re already planning on doing a Disney vacation. May as well do it right, yes?
It’s worth noting that “Explore Ticket Options” isn’t really an interactive tool; it won’t, for example, allow you to select different options and add up how much a ticket with those specifications would cost, or allow you to book specific hotels, sign up for certain experiences, or make reservation at particular restaurants. It does, however, provide some basic information that serves as a useful starting point for researching... well, everything else you want to get out of your Disney vacation. It lays out the starting prices for different tickets; it gives you by-the-numbers facts about each park; it lets you know approximately how much you can experience over a certain number of days; and it highlights different attractions, shows, and dining options that might be of worth checking out for you based on your interests.
That last point is one of the most notable aspects of the tool. If you scroll down the “Explore Ticket Options” page, you’ll see a section marked “There’s Something Fun For Everyone,” which includes a bunch of different tabs you can click on in order to take a look at all of the experiences you’ll have available to you at Disney World — whether you’re a Thrill Seeker (hi there, Tower of Terror) or whether you’ve got Little Ones in tow (prepare to listen to “It’s A Small World” on repeat).
What we’re going to focus on right now is the Food Lovers tab. Disney World has literally hundreds of places you can grab a bite to eat; indeed, if you head to the main dining page and take a look at top left corner of the menu, you can see that there are 415 dining options spread across the entire resort. That’s… uh… quiet a lot of food spots. How exactly should one whittle down the options, especially since not all of those are full-on restaurants (many are quick-service spots or snack carts) and not all of them are in the parks themselves (lots are at the themed hotels for which the resort is famous)?
That’s where the Explore Ticket Options tool comes in. If you click the tab marked Food Lovers in the “There’s Something Fun For Everyone” section, you can take a brief look at eight of Disney World’s most notable restaurants — which might, in turn, help you figure out where to focus the rest of your dining options search.
These eight restaurants represent the full Disney dining experience in a way that sets them head and shoulders above the rest. If you check out the restaurants’ individual pages, you’ll find that they’re largely catalogued under “Unique/Themed Dining,” “Fine/Signature Dining,” or both, with two options presented for each of the four main parks in cute little digital cards: Check out Be Our Guest and the Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom, the Hollywood Brown Derby and the Sci-Fi Dine-In in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Le Cellier and the Biergarten at Epcot, and Tiffins and Yak & Yeti at Animal Kingdom.
Clicking the cards flips them around, giving you a quick rundown on what the ambiance is like, what kind of food you can find there, and how much it usually costs per person.
If you’re interested in any of those eight restaurants, you can navigate to their individual pages either through the main Disney dining page here, or simply by Googling the restaurant name plus “Disney World.” There, you can read more about the restaurant, check out the full menu, and check for available reservations — and if you want to actually book an available reservation, you can do that either by clicking on an available tie and logging into your Disney account, or by calling Disney World’s dining reservations line.
But what if you’re interested in some of the elements of these restaurants, but aren’t necessarily sold on the restaurants themselves? Good news: Each little card contains the information you’ll need to find similar restaurants on the main Disney dining page. Looking for places that serve African food like Tiffins, but maybe aren’t quite as pricey? Head to the main dining page, select “African” from the “Cuisine” drop-down menu, and then check either the one or two dollar sign setting from the “Price Range (per person)” menu instead of the three dollar sign one. (Boma should fit the bill.) Interested in something wacky and themed like the Sci-Fi Dine-In, but want to make sure your 2018 Disney Dining Plan is accepted there? Select “Unique/Themed Dining” from the “Dining Experience” menu and “2018 Dining Plan” from the “Dining Plans Accepted” one. (The Sci-Fi Dine-In is A-OK for the Disney Dining Plan, by the way, as are both the ‘50s Prime Time Café and Be Our Guest.) You can even sort the results by park if you select “Location” from the “Sort By” menu.
Again, the Explore Ticket Options page won’t magically take care of making all your reservations for you; it is, however, a useful tool that will help you find the information you need to personalize your trip exactly to your liking. Head here to check it out.