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Bang For Your Buck: 15 Best Table Service Restaurants for the Disney Dining Plan

Whether it’s Mickey waffles, Mickey ice cream bars, or those Mickey beignets we can’t get enough of, eating at Disney is a vacation highlight! If you’ve decided to go with the Disney Dining Plan (DDP), you’ll understand that finding value when using your DDP credits is super important. While some Disney restaurants require two table-service credits for a meal, we believe you can get the most bang for your buck by dining at one of the many one table-service credit restaurants. Read along with us as we share what we feel are the best table service restaurants when using the Disney Dining Plan. And yes, the 15 restaurants below are all one table-service credit. Great use of credits and simply magical food awaits!


15 – The Edison

First off, let’s head over to Disney Springs, where choosing a restaurant is as difficult as making Eeyore smile! In “The Landing” area of Disney Springs you’ll spot a large brick tower that serves as a beckon for The Edison restaurant. The gothic, 1920’s style décor gets more and more impressive as you make your way through what is meant to look like an “Old World” electric company (hence the name, “Edison”). The American cuisine has a unique and modern twist. From burgers to salmon, we have yet to taste something we don’t approve of. The size of the meals and the interesting atmosphere places this one on the list!

14 – Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’

Moving right along, we come to another Disney Springs restaurant located in “The Landing” where home-cooked goodness is born! Lunch and dinner at Chef Art’s accept the DDP and boy are we thankful for that! The food is the stuff your Grandma made on Sundays with fried chicken, deviled eggs, mac and cheese, biscuits, and more. Excellent service and that warm, full belly feeling when leave, will have you thankful you used your credits here.

13 – Whispering Canyon Café

There’s not much “whispering” happening in this Canyon Café! This is such a fun restaurant where servers throw out antics, games (such as riding around the restaurant on a wooden horse) are played, and the food just keeps coming! Whispering Canyon Café is located at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and boasts views of the stunning resort lobby. Order a skillet meal and be prepared to eat a hearty portion of rustic, American cuisine. Excellent location, fun environment, and yummy food… yep, on the list for sure!

Photo Credit: Disney

12 – Hollywood & Vine

Whether it’s the latest and most popular Disney Junior characters you are seeking for breakfast or Minnie and her pals for seasonal dining for lunch and dinner, Hollywood & Vine is a Hollywood Studios must-do when on the DDP. The value is here with the characters uniquely dressed to impress and ease of location within Hollywood Studios. Enjoy a vast buffet to get your fill while snapping photos with this popular crew of characters.

11 – The Crystal Palace

Pooh and his friends enjoy the DDP just as much as we do at The Crystal Palace restaurant. One of Magic Kingdom’s finest, The Crystal Palace, has views of the Cinderella Castle through the Victorian greenhouse-style windows. This bright and cheerful restaurant is a great place to get the most bang for your buck with characters and an endless buffet of American favorites. This one puts a little sunshine into your DDP!

10 – Chef Mickey’s

Dislike waiting in line for characters? Chef Mickey’s, in Disney’s Contemporary Resort, is the perfect “one-stop-shop” for a bountiful buffet of food and the most recognizable Disney characters around. Chef Mickey is the star, of course, but you can also expect a visit from his best girl, Minnie, and pals Pluto, Goofy, and Donald. While the food is a pretty standard American buffet, the value of using the DDP at Chef Mickey’s is in the characters, the Contemporary Resort atmosphere, and the perk of being in walking distance to Magic Kingdom.


9 – Sanaa

They may not be considered Disney characters, but out the windows of the beautiful Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can spot some of the most beautiful African animals right from your chair. The views aren’t the only highlight at Sanaa! The India-inspired flavors will leave your taste buds rejoicing with every bite. Sanaa can be a “wow, Mom, look!” spot for lunch or a romantic, hand-holding experience for dinner. An easy YES for this DDP list!

8 – ‘Ohana

Lilo, Stitch, and Mickey are at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, awaiting your arrival for this fantastic character breakfast. Breakfast here is outstanding, and the food just keeps coming with favorites like Mickey waffles! These characters take a break; however, for the dinner service, which is all-you-care-to-eat Hawaiian flavor heaven. Skewers of meat, perfectly grilled vegetables, delicious noodles, and of course, the famous bread pudding! Even though you’ll likely be willing to give two credits after eating here, it’s all covered under one.

7 – 1900 Park Fare

Head on over to Polynesian’s neighbor, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, where you’ll find deluxe at its finest! The restaurants here are nothing less than deluxe themselves, including the whimsical restaurant known as 1900 Park Fare. Breakfast and dinner are great values when using the DDP as the food is top-notch, as are the characters for each service. For breakfast, you can expect Mary Poppins, Alice, Madhatter, Tigger, and Pooh to drop by the table. Dinner is a whole new slew of characters, including Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, and her dreadful daughters – Anastasia and Drizella. Characters are subject to change, but the value of using the DDP here won’t!


6 – Tusker House

Moving right along, you won’t find any evil stepsisters here! Disney’s Animal Kingdom is filled with adventure and exploration, and the Tusker House restaurant is no different. Explore new African flavors or stick with American classics as you select from a vast buffet. This is a great place to enjoy a break in a busy Animal Kingdom day. Plus, you can expect big hugs from characters dressed in their safari best, including Donald, Mickey, Daisy, and Goofy.

5 – Story Book Dining at Artist Point

Oh no, we must give you a Villain warning for this one! Story Book Dining at Artist Point, located in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, is a popular restaurant for all the right reasons. Open for dinner only, the food here is “fit for royalty” with plated entrees including roast, chicken, fish, and more. Even better, while you dine, the sweet Snow White, silly Dopey, and disgruntled Grumpy, will drop by your table. After dinner… hold your breath… the Evil Queen awaits a photo op with you. A perfectly scary way to use your DDP credit!

4 – Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

Snow White is working double time! She is also available at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Epcot, along with several of her Princess friends such as Belle, Aurora, Cinderella, and Ariel. If you love Princesses or have a little one that does, Akershus is a no-brainer for the best value for your DDP credit! You’ll get to see multiple Princesses you’d otherwise have to wait in line for. Unlike the coveted Cinderella’s Royal Table restaurant at Magic Kingdom, Akershus only requires ONE table-service credit. Of course, the food here is wonderful with a Norwegian inspired cuisine served family-style.



3 – Cape May Café

Cape May Café at Disney’s Beach Club Resort is like two restaurants in one! Breakfast is a character dining experience with Minnie and pals such as Daisy, Goofy, and Donald. The buffet is huge and has a great variety of breakfast favorites, including all the classic breakfast items. Cape May then undergoes a full dinner transformation with a seafood dinner buffet. No characters are available for dinner, but the food is truly the focus at this time! Breakfast and dinner both fall under the one credit each for the DDP. Come hungry because you’re sure to get your fill.

2 – Garden Grill Restaurant

We’re back at Epcot with what might surprise some as our #2 pick for DDP bang for your buck! The Garden Grill Restaurant is known as the “rotating” restaurant, which yes, it does rotate while you dine, but at a very (like super-duper) slow pace. You won’t even notice you’ve moved until you look up from your plate of goodness. Farm-fresh is what this place is all about with some ingredients coming directly from the Living with the Land attraction below the restaurant. Every bite is fresh and filling. Finish what’s on your plate? No worries – your server will bring you more! Eat until your heart is content. And one of the most exciting parts… Chip and Dale are at Garden Grill, stirring up their usual trouble! You can expect a visit from characters such as Chip, Dale, Mickey (in his cute farmer overalls!), and Pluto. This one has the DDP value in food, atmosphere, and furry hugs.

1 – Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood

Finally… drum roll, please… our number one pick for the best bang for your buck on the DDP goes to Toledo! Some of you may be going, wait – what’s Toledo? It’s a newbie to the Disney dining scene! Located at the very top of the Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood, is deluxe all the way, but at a moderate resort! It’s genuinely a high-end restaurant with masterpiece entrées and drinks (both in appearance and taste) – all for only one table service credit. We could easily compare this restaurant to California Grill, which is a popular two credit restaurant. Toledo sits at the top of the tower and has expansive views of the Walt Disney World property, including views of each of the four theme parks, two water parks, and Disney Springs. Visit during the early dinner service to see it all in the daylight or come later in the evening to see fireworks in the distance while you dine. Best summed up – Toledo equals DDP value.

Make those dining reservations now so you can get the most bang for your buck at these wonderful restaurants!

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.


About Mike & Jamie Sylvester

We are Disney nerds. Two kids at heart who love the magic and the memories of Walt Disney World! We follow all things Disney and have great experiences with being Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and RunDisney participants. We enjoy the vacations, day trips, weekend getaways and geek out over the planning of such events. From lodging to dining to Fastpasses we have a spreadsheet for every occasion. Mike’s frivolous Disney goal is to acquire as many MagicBands as possible while Jamie’s goal is to experience as many Disney desserts as possible. Usually there isn’t a day that passes without some discussion of the master plan of our next trip to the happiest place on earth. Most people think we’re normal – until they travel to Disney with us. We have been married for 13 years and are blessed with two children - our 8-year-old daughter and soon to be 2-year-old son. As a family we thoroughly enjoy the magic and the memories at Walt Disney World and are here to help others experience the magic as well.