When you’re hungry, have time to spare, and can’t be bothered to skimp on anything, Disney World table-service dining is the way to go!
So, at Disney World, they’ve got table service restaurants all over the hotels and theme parks. Picture this: Over 100 spots where you can just kick back, take your time, and really enjoy your meal. These places are all about sitting back, soaking in the atmosphere, and savoring every bite. Today we’re spilling some secrets that you may not know to enhance your table service dining experiences at DisneyWorld!
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So, here are a few unspoken rules of dining at table service locations that you’ll want to keep in mind!
Keep an Eye Out for Discounts and Rewards From Non-Disney Owned Restaurants
You may not have known this, but some restaurants in Disney World are actually run by independent companies!
You’ll really notice this at Disney Springs, where it seems like all of the restaurants are from outside chefs and restaurant groups, but you can also find these kinds of restaurants in the parks! For example, Yak & Yeti in Animal Kingdom and La Cava del Tequila in EPCOT, actually, ALL the restaurants in Mexico, Italy, France, and more are places that are neither owned nor run by Disney.
What does this have to do with discounts or rewards? Well, some of these restaurants have membership rewards that can make dining in WDW cheaper and even easier for you. For example, there’s a membership program where you can receive discounts and promotions at Earl of Sandwich in Disney Springs. Also, if you’re a Landry’s Select Club member, you can receive priority seating and other perks at participating restaurants like Yak & Yeti and T-Rex Cafe.
Just make sure to ask your server when you receive your bill if there are any affiliate discounts available. Then make sure you’re using your membership to its full advantage!
Be Mindful of How Much Time You’re Taking in Restaurants
This one is all about common courtesy. So, as you know, some Disney World restaurants are harder to get reservations for than others, so if you do get a table, try not to take advantage of that and linger.
We’re just advising you to keep in mind how long you’re taking at those kinds of restaurants, but by no means are we telling you to rush. You work hard and you deserve to enjoy time in the restaurant of your choosing. Just try not to prevent others from experiencing the restaurant, too, by sitting there for hours on end.
Also, if you feel pressure to rush through your meal, don’t give in to that. It’s totally acceptable to enjoy yourself and go at your own (reasonable) pace without letting yourself be shoved out by the server. Again, enjoy the experience and be mindful of others.
If you want to give yourself a little more leeway, try eating at off-times. You might find an even more relaxed atmosphere.
Know the Dress Code
For this one, just make sure you know the dress code before you go to the restaurant. We recommend looking up each restaurant you plan to visit so that you know if any dress codes apply.
Most of the restaurants in the parks are casual, meaning the way you come into the park is completely acceptable. There are a couple of expectations to this rule, though. Monsieur Paul and Takumi Tei have dress codes, so you’ll have to plan accordingly if you’re going to eat there during your park day.
The same is true for some of the more upscale restaurants in the resorts like California Grill, Citricos, Flying Fish, Jiko, Narcoossee’s, and Yachtsman Steakhouse. Don’t get us started about Victoria & Albert’s, which will have you dressed in your nicest attire! Breedlove and Quincy went to Victoria & Albert’s, and you can watch their video about the experience right here!
Use Mobile Check-In When You Can For Your Reservation
So you’ve snagged your dining reservation, now what? Well, go ahead and streamline your dining experience by using mobile check-in whenever possible for your reservation.
This feature is going to allow you to bypass the host check-in at participating table service restaurants which will ultimately save you time and ensure a smoother arrival process.
If You’re Using the Dining Plan, Know That Tips Are Not Included
If you’re using the Disney Dining Plan, just keep in mind that gratuity is not automatically included for table-service meals.
Just remember to factor that in when thinking about your server’s excellent service.
Don’t Forget to Check Open Table
The My Disney Experience app is great, but despite what Disney claims, it’s not magic. Sometimes you just won’t find that reservation you’re looking for.
If you find yourself having trouble snagging that reservation you want, don’t worry. Check Open Table. You’ll find that a good number of restaurants are on there like spots at Disney Springs and the Swan & Dolphin.
Wear Your Celebration Button Loud and Proud
Are you celebrating a special occasion? Don’t forget to wear your birthday or celebration button proudly!
You might just be pleasantly surprised with a complimentary treat or dessert during your meal. We can’t guarantee that will happen every time, but it’s definitely worth trying out!
Well, those are all the unspoken rules we have for you at the moment. In the meantime, for more Disney World tips and news, keep following AllEars!
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