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Dining Decisions

elizzierose

New Member
Original Poster
Hi Everyone!

My husband and I will be taking our two children in March 2022 to Disney (6.5 years and 6 months by then). We have not been yet with our kids so this is a whole new trip planning experience!
We will have 4 park days when we visit, we have a 1 bedroom villa at Boulder Ridge, and we are trying to decide what is most practical for meals.
Below is our tentative plan:

Day 1 Arrive, groceries, QS dinner at Roaring Fork or QS along the monorail line
Day 2 Breakfast in room, Liberty Tree Tavern lunch, QS dinner
Day 3 Breakfast in room, Yak & Yeti lunch, dinner at pool QS weather pending or Roaring Fork
Day 4 Breakfast in room, Garden grill lunch, QS dinner
Day 5 Character breakfast at Crystal Palace, QS lunch, QS dinner
Day 6 Breakfast in room, flight home

Thoughts on this meal plan with kids? Our oldest does well with restaurant dining and I’m thinking one sit down a day is a nice way to slow down and regain some energy.
I appreciate any insight! Thanks!
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
I think your plans look good.

We've always enjoyed an average of 1 TS per day, and we have tended to find that lunch (or a late breakfast) is the best choice. You'll be able to rest up and get away from the heaviest crowds of the day with a relaxing meal, which will be especially welcome if you've been in the park since opening, but it won't pin you down for the rest of the day, and after that, you can go wherever you like (even if it's back to the hotel for a nap)! We planned some TS dinners on our first couple WDW trips, and felt afterwards that this was a mistake, as sometimes we found ourselves "done" earlier than expected with a particular park, and going back there for dinner became an inconvenience rather than a pleasure.

You also have a good variety in terms of restaurant theming and service style. Granted, there's a heavy emphasis on "American-style" cuisine (Liberty Tree Tavern and Garden Grill have very similar menus, and the current prix fixe menu at Crystal Palace isn't all that different, either, although who knows? By March 2022 it could be a buffet again...), but I assume you've chosen those places with your kids' palates in mind. If having more variety in the type of food you eat is important, I'd suggest considering some alternatives to Garden Grill (e.g., Coral Reef for seafood, Via Napoli for Neapolitan pizza, San Angel Inn for Mexican, Biergarten for German, etc.), but it's such a subjective thing you should follow your own instincts first and foremost.

BTW, we stayed at Fort Wilderness a few years ago. If Roaring Fork is even a fraction as good as it was then, it's well worth a visit on your arrival day. Unless you were already planning on doing a monorail tour anyway, going to a CS along the monorail line (which you'd have to get to by taking a bus or the boat to MK, or if you have a car, driving to MK or the TTC) might be a bit of a hassle.
 
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elizzierose

New Member
Original Poster
I think your plans look good.

We've always enjoyed an average of 1TS per day, and we have tended to find that lunch (or a late breakfast) is the best choice. You'll be able to rest up and get away from the heaviest crowds of the day with a relaxing meal, which will be especially welcome if you've been in the park since opening, but it won't pin you down for the rest of the day, and after that, you can go wherever you like (even if it's back to the hotel for a nap)! We planned some TS dinners on our first couple WDW trips, and felt afterwards that this was a mistake, as sometimes we found ourselves "done" earlier than expected with a particular park, and going back there for dinner became an inconvenience rather than a pleasure.

You also have a fairly good variety in terms of restaurant theming and service style. Granted, there's a heavy emphasis on "American-style" cuisine (Liberty Tree Tavern and Garden Grill have very similar menus, and the current prix fixe menu at Crystal Palace isn't all that different, either, although who knows? By March 2022 it could be a buffet again...), but I assume you've chosen those places with your kids' palates in mind. If having more variety in the type of food you eat is important, I'd suggest considering some alternatives to Garden Grill (e.g., Coral Reef for seafood, Via Napoli for Neapolitan pizza, San Angel Inn for Mexican, Biergarten for German, etc.)
Yes that’s exactly what we were thinking with lunch Instead of dinner! We need a day break rather than slowing down in the evening with a TS. This plan flows with our family dynamic and routines also.

That is a good point about food choice. We do love those thanksgiving type of meals so that works well for us and we also chose them based on level of noise and business as well as location in the parks. Good points though thank you!
 

plawren2

Active Member
Don't underestimate the time (and cost) of having sit down lunch and dinner each day, will depend a lot on your kids meal habits, how much they eat, could be that snacks (brought with you into park) during day may be just as filling and save time and money. For a five day trip lunches and dinners can take out lots of park time. Just some thoughts as a parent who took 2 kids to WDW and DL several times when they were under age of 14. You may view sit down lunches and dinners as 'breaks" but they often are not.
 

crawale

Well-Known Member
Hi Everyone!

My husband and I will be taking our two children in March 2022 to Disney (6.5 years and 6 months by then). We have not been yet with our kids so this is a whole new trip planning experience!
We will have 4 park days when we visit, we have a 1 bedroom villa at Boulder Ridge, and we are trying to decide what is most practical for meals.
Below is our tentative plan:

Day 1 Arrive, groceries, QS dinner at Roaring Fork or QS along the monorail line
Day 2 Breakfast in room, Liberty Tree Tavern lunch, QS dinner
Day 3 Breakfast in room, Yak & Yeti lunch, dinner at pool QS weather pending or Roaring Fork
Day 4 Breakfast in room, Garden grill lunch, QS dinner
Day 5 Character breakfast at Crystal Palace, QS lunch, QS dinner
Day 6 Breakfast in room, flight home

Thoughts on this meal plan with kids? Our oldest does well with restaurant dining and I’m thinking one sit down a day is a nice way to slow down and regain some energy.
I appreciate any insight! Thanks!
If Artist's Point is open with the Snow White Dinner that would be a 'must do'. I think before I would do your list I would have to have the characters back and the menus back to what they were before COVID. Disney may feel they can continue the increasingly poor food and no characters when things open up. If the 6.5 year old is a boy the Sci-Fi diner is great even now but it looks like you won't be at HS on your trip. I took my grandsons (2, 6 and 7) to Norway for the Princess dinner and it was great - everyone's favorite. The staff were the best with kids in any restaurant - again depend on what will be open.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
Don't underestimate the time (and cost) of having sit down lunch and dinner each day, will depend a lot on your kids meal habits, how much they eat, could be that snacks (brought with you into park) during day may be just as filling and save time and money. For a five day trip lunches and dinners can take out lots of park time. Just some thoughts as a parent who took 2 kids to WDW and DL several times when they were under age of 14. You may view sit down lunches and dinners as 'breaks" but they often are not.
Your advice is well taken, although I don't think the OP was planning on TS lunches and dinners. She's only planning on 1 TS meal per day, and not on her arrival or departure days.
 
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elizzierose

New Member
Original Poster
If Artist's Point is open with the Snow White Dinner that would be a 'must do'. I think before I would do your list I would have to have the characters back and the menus back to what they were before COVID. Disney may feel they can continue the increasingly poor food and no characters when things open up. If the 6.5 year old is a boy the Sci-Fi diner is great even now but it looks like you won't be at HS on your trip. I took my grandsons (2, 6 and 7) to Norway for the Princess dinner and it was great - everyone's favorite. The staff were the best with kids in any restaurant - again depend on what will be open.
Great points, thank you! He is a boy and he would love SciFi but as you noted we wont be visiting that park. We are looking at this as a starter trip for the kids, knowing we can’t and wont be doing all the things we would like to do and it’ll be much slower than were used to-and we are ok with that!
We did look at the Storybook Dining and while it looks so sweet and fun and its right at our resort, we are prioritizing the other two character meals and feel a third in a short trip is too much. Great thoughts for future trips!
 

MickeyLuv'r

Well-Known Member
If you feel up to it, a fun option is to take the free shuttle boat from your resort over to the Contemporary. The QS there is among the better ones at WDW. (though not as much a full food court as some of the other hotels). March weather is usually dry, but it can get a little chilly at night. Sometimes we wear long pants all day. Other times you can do shorts all day/night or just add layers in the evening. And do not trust the weather report one week out to be accurate! Many times the weather has taken a dramatic turn warmer or cooler than was forecast! Usually March is a great time of year, if a little busy. One option that's fun is the Flower Festival in Epcot. Eating just at booths can be slightly pricey, but also fun food that's QS. One of the best booths is often Japan. (Oh, Japan is also- IMO- by far the best gift shop. If you only visit one, go there.)

I second that WDW TS can be very slow, like 90 minutes for characters to come around. They will be fun, and the children will be happy, just for planning though, know they can take a while. Character meals are fun, but they can also be a bit hectic. You keep getting up to get food, and you go to eat, and the characters show up. Crystal Palace is one of the prettiest.


Ooh, the Norway Princess dinner was among the very worst WDW dining experiences we have ever had. Food was bad, princess interaction was bad, and the check was crazy high for what we had. I once had breakfast there that was a little better, but that was quite a few years ago. Crystal Palace and 1900 Park Fare were $$$, but consistently better.
 

Tinkerfan4ever

Well-Known Member
Our past trip, we had originally planned on a table service every day. Usually supper, quick service lunch and breakfast in the one bedroom similar to your plan. By about day 5 my kids were tired and wanted a quiet night back at the resort. We decided to order in pizza from a local company and rented a movie and it was so nice to take advantage of the kitchen and eating in the room. We spent some time at the pool before and checked out the resort before the pizza arrived. My kids still say it was one of the most fun and relaxing nights we have ever had at Disney. (PS the pizza was from Giordano's and it was delicious) So don't count out a nice night taking advantage of your 1 bedroom room!
 

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