Disney Planning: Table Service

In the second part of our Disney dining series, I’m covering table service meal options.

Before I go any further, I suggest checking out the info I have on the Disney Dining Plan. It includes information on saving on Disney meals, what restaurants are included on the dining plan, and how to eat for free this fall.

Disney has two types of restaurants, Counter Service (also known as Quick Service) and Table Service. We’re finally covering the table service restaurant options. Keep in mind there are so many places to eat at Disney and to really know what is right for your family you should look at the menus in advance. I like to check both the menus at AllEars and Disney’s Dining Page. Menus change regularly so it’s nice to see seasonal changes on both pages. One reason you’ll want to plan ahead is because many table service locations require reservations. See below in the FAQs for more details in the reservation process.

Magic Kingdom

There are 5 table service restaurants in Magic Kingdom. 2 of those restaurants are character dining locations and I’ll be covering character dining in tomorrow’s post. The other three locations are Liberty Tree Tavern, The Plaza, and Tony’s Town Square.

Liberty Tree Tavern

Liberty Tree Tavern

This restaurant is set in the American colonial period. You can eat a la carte items at lunch or enjoy a family style Thanksgiving meal for dinner. You can enjoy the “Pilgrim’s Feast” for lunch in an individual portion with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and vegetables. The Colony salad, Tri-Corner (Roast Beef) Sandwich, and Pot Roast are all specialties here. See the children’s menu at Liberty Tree Tavern.

The Plaza Restaurant

The Plaza truly embodies the spirit of Main Street USA so it’s fitting that you can find it on Disney’s Main Street. The restaurant has the same menu for lunch and dinner and the Plaza Club is always a favorite. As for desserts, the ice cream here comes from Main Street Ice Cream Parlor next door so try a plaza sundae or banana split. See the children’s menu at The Plaza.

Tony’s Town Square Restaurant

Tony's Town Square Restaurant

Remember the Italian restaurant from Lady and the Tramp? Tony’s Town Square is stolen straight from the movie. It should be no surprise they serve Italian food here. You’ll want to try the spaghetti and meatballs here and kids can even order their own serving off the children’s menu. While this isn’t a character location a lot of characters do walk in and out of here to visit guests.

Epcot

Epcot has 16 table service locations. 2 are character meals so I’ll cover them in tomorrow’s post. The other added twist here is that some of these meals are signature dining locations, meaning they require 2 table service credits. Bistro de Paris is a French restaurant open only for dinner and required two credits. Le Cellier is a Canadian restaurant and is open for lunch as a regular table service location but for dinner all meals require 2 credits.

With such a large selection of table service locations, I’m only going to feature 3 of them. The other restaurants are The Garden Grill (American), La Hacienda de San Angel (Mexican), Les Chefs de France (French), Nine Dragons (Chinese), Restaurant Marrakesh (Moroccan), Rose & Crown (British), San Angel Inn (Mexican), Teppan Edo (Japanese), Tokyo Dining (Japanese), Tutto Italia (Italian- closed for renovation through April 28), and Via Napoli (Italian).

Le Cellier

Le Cellier Steak

Let’s start with the more complicated dining location first. Le Cellier is one of the most popular restaurants and the design is based around a Canadian wine cellar/steakhouse. At lunch for 1 credit you can try sandwiches, a smaller version of their signature dish–a mushroom filet mignon, or even their salmon and strip steaks. I like to go off the dining plan and order the Canadian cheddar cheese soup. For dinner expect the full portions of the most popular items and other dishes like braised short ribs. Even kids can get steak on the children’s menu.

Biergarten

Roll out the Barell...

This restaurant is German themed, a dinner show, and a buffet (served family style). You can watch Oktoberfest dancers and entertainers while you eat potato salad, roast chicken, schnitzel, saurkraut, roasted potatoes, mac & cheese and more. The dinner menu offers even more options and for dessert there’s plenty of fruit, pudding, and cakes to go around.

Coral Reef

The Chocolate Wave

The Coral Reef may be more known for its views than its seafood. The menu usually includes salmon, mahi mahi, chicken, and a steak but the restaurant varies the preparation seasonally. The chocolate wave is the most popular dessert here and just like the main dishes you might see your chocolate cake served with different adornments throughout the year. Right now it has gelato with it while mine came with fresh fruit. Kids won’t be stuck with just fish here if they aren’t seafood eaters yet.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

While Disney doesn’t shine at counter service for Hollywood Studios, they put their energy into their 5 table service restaurants. 1 of those spots, Hollywood & Vine, is a character meal for breakfast and lunch and one, The Hollywood Brown Derby, is a signature meal. I’m featuring my two favorite kid-friendly locations but the other options are Hollywood & Vine (American), Mama Melrose’s (Italian), and The Hollywood Brown Derby (American Gourmet).

50s Prime Time Cafe

Kids will love this restaurant even without having characters around. In a way, the workers are their own version of characters here. Set in the 50s (you’ll see old TV shows being played on black & white TVs), your order will be taken by some “cousin” or “aunt” or “uncle” and kids will constantly be warned their behavior will be reported to “mom and pop” so they’ll be sure to keep elbows off the table and eat their veggies. Kids can stick with the theming and try meatloaf or play it safe with hot dogs and chicken nuggets.

Fried Chicken at 50s Prime Time Cafe

Parents will like Dad’s Meatloaf, Mom’s Pot Roast, or Aunt Liz’s Fried Chicken. The drinks here are fun too. There is a cocktail bar in here or you can stick with the meal plan and have a root beer float with your meal. The desserts here fit with the theming too so try a s’more or ice cream sundae.

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

Take Me to the Drive-In (Explored)

This is another kid-friendly stop featuring tables that look like cars at a drive in while a show plays in the background. Kids get the standard meal options while adults can enjoy a milkshake or flavored soda with ribs, burgers, or sandwiches.

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom has only 3 table service locations. Tusker House mixes African and American foods for dinner but is a character meal for lunch and breakfast. Yak & Yeti focuses on Asian fusion, and the Rainforest Cafe sticks to its standard national-chain menu but does include breakfast. Tusker House is probably your best bet for a great meal but I’ll cover it in tomorrow’s character meals post.

Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney has a whopping 11 table service locations. Fulton’s Crab Shack is a signature location as is the second floor of Wolfgang Puck Cafe, known as The Dining Room. There’s also a Rainforest Cafe here but it does not serve breakfast. Many of the restaurants are best known for their nights as bars and clubs so for a more family-friendly environment I suggest Wolfgang Puck yet again.

DOWNTOWN DISNEY - WOLFGANG PUCK

Wolfgang Puck Cafe

Just like I praised Wolfgang Puck Express’s menu in my counter service post, I have good things to say about the cafe. You can try sushi, enjoy seafood, pasta, and pizzas, and enjoy key lime pie or chocolate for dessert.

FAQs

What’s Included? If you are on the dining plan you can redeem table service credits for any meal of the day and your meal includes an entree and drink for breakfast or an entree, drink, and dessert for lunch and dinner. You can also substitute one full buffet for either meal. If you are on the deluxe dining plan you’ll also get an appetizer. If you aren’t on the dining plan you can pick and choose between individual meals or combos without any rules or limitations besides what’s in your wallet.

How can I save without a dining plan? Eat your table service meals for lunch. You usually have the same options for lunch and dinner (with a few exceptions) but you’ll pay a premium to eat your biggest meal of the day at dinner time. Eat a big meal for lunch, then spend some time at the counter service locations for dinner and you might see some savings. Also, don’t cancel a reservation or you’ll pay a penalty fee.

Do I need reservations? If a restaurant choice is important to you, yes. If you’re traveling in a busy season, yes. If you are on the dining plan and want to use table service credits, yes. In general, you want to plan ahead and reserve a seat at Disney’s table service locations. You can do this online or over the phone.

Reservations can be made 180 days in advance of your check-in date. (Calculate the 180 day mark for your next trip) Prime spots can go fast so be flexible. Consider dining earlier or later than the usual meal times (noon-2 PM for lunch and 6-8 PM for dinner) to secure a seat. You might also want to consider which days you’ll be at which parks. If you have a park hopper ticket you have more flexibility but if you plan to see Fantasmic! at Hollywood Studios without a park hopper you’ll want to plan your table service to be at the same park that day.

What if I’m on a special diet? Disney is great about accommodating your needs. You can even speak to a cast member before your trip to help plan out your dining based on your dietary requests (or email [email protected]). They’ll help you get set up with appropriate forms, restaurants, and link it all to your reservation. At table service locations the cast member taking your order will usually start off your meal asking if you’re on the dining plan and if anyone has dietary needs. Usually this will bring out a chef to follow-up with your table and you’ll get a meal planned around your needs.

AllEars has a small list with regular menu items that are vegetarian or vegan but it may not include newer items. They also have advice for people with gluten intolerancefood allergiesKosher eatinglow-carb diets, or any other need from diabetes to post-weight loss surgery diets. Disney serves millions of people a year so they have a lot of experience with special diets.

Are there table service options at the resorts? What about at the water parks? Yes and No. Most resorts at the moderate level or above have a table service option but the water parks do not. It’s counter service or snacks all the way there.

At the resorts you might have tons of options. Check for the full list of table service restaurants here. Some have character meals while some have signature dining. You can even use credits for room service meals. One of my best meals during my last stay was at the Contemporary for a restaurant called The Wave. I had the most amazing beef tenderloin and because it was at a resort it wasn’t as full but it was still convenient because it was right on the monorail track.

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Author:julie

I'm Julie, I love to travel, I'm very hyper and I like to "hype" things and from that, TravelHyper was born. I'm a Missouri native and I cover St. Louis travel ideas as well as my own travels. I also like to focus on places I want to visit and budget travel ideas by creating trip plans. There's so much world out there and I hope you'll find that it's worth seeing and that vacation doesn't have to be out of reach to you.

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