21. Make dining reservations ahead of time. It may be difficult to lock yourself into a time and place in advance of your Disney vacation, but unfortunately, it’s the only way you can be assured a table at the best restaurants. However, keep in mind that the top restaurants require a credit card to make a reservation, so don’t forget your dinner plans or you’ll literally pay!
22. The Disney Dining Plan is available for those who utilize a Magic Your Way vacation package. An abundance of information can be found on Disney’s own website and DisneyTouristBlog, but we’ll try to sum up the main pros and cons.
There are five Disney Dining Plans from which to choose. Follow the links below to read the details of each for 2014.
23. If you’re big eaters, the Dining Plan can save you money. You may also find that you’re more apt to select pricy things from the menu, since that $15 pasta primavera and $28 filet mignon count the same with the dining plan. On the other hand, you may also find that you’re overeating to take full advantage of the money you’ve already spent. For instance, even if you really feel like that $15 pasta primavera, you’ll end up getting the filet mignon just because it would’ve cost $28.
24. Don’t get the Disney Dining Plan just “to make things simpler” because it really isn’t that simple. There are many restrictions and rules (more so on the cheaper packages), so don’t expect it to transform Walt Disney World into the biggest all-inclusive resort on Earth. On the contrary, it’s actually simpler just to pay for things as you go.
25. Another food option, whether you get the Dining Plan or not, is to consider staying at a Disney Vacation Club resort. Studio rooms include a small fridge and microwave in their kitchenette, allowing you to prepare a simple breakfast (a boon for a cereal eater like my husband) or keep and heat up leftovers (a boon for light eaters like me). One-bedroom villas have a full kitchen. Either way, they’ll save you time, money and effort.
To stock those kitchens, there are a number of grocery stores in the area within easy reach by cab or rental car. Each resort also has its own small grocer, which is more convenient but also pricier.
26. Alright, enough of the dollars and sense, where should you actually eat? Well, if it were up to us, we’d heavily sample the restaurants in Epcot’s World Showcase. Not only is the food great, but you get to briefly move your honeymoon to an entirely different part of the globe. “We might have honeymooned in central Florida, but we dined in Morocco, Norway and Japan!”
27. Our top Epcot choice, however, is to eat at the San Angel Inn Restaurante in Mexico. It has romantic ambiance covered with a perpetual starry sky and the lapping waters of a tranquil lagoon. Plus, there’s truly authentic Mexican food (my favorite is the chicken mole) and you can get margaritas at La Cava de Tequila Cantina after. Just skip the pavilion’s adjacent El Rio del Tiempo ride – it’s an insult to Mexico … and ducks.
28. For dinner and a show, of sorts, the California Grill’s location on the 13th floor of the Contemporary Resort provides an unparalleled view of the Magic Kingdom’s nightly fireworks. It also happens to be one of the best restaurants at Disney World.
29. For an entirely different dining experience, get reservations at Jiko – A Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. With its creative, adventurous menu, you’re bound to try something new and exciting, while its constantly changing wall colors provides a suitably romantic mood. Just make sure to get there early so you can visit the giraffes and other animals at the Lodge’s savanna.
30. If you find yourself thirsty in Epcot’s Future World, make sure to head over to Coca-Cola’s Club Cool for unlimited free samples of Coke brands from around the world. We’re huge fans of China’s watermelon soda, while Italy’s Beverly drink is the epitome of “an acquired taste.”