If you have ever done the dining plan at Disney World you may have noticed that many of the more exceptional restaurants eat into your entitlements. The best restaurants often require you to use two credits instead of only one, which keeps you from getting a better value for your money. However, that doesn’t apply to all Disney World restaurants. Many buffets and some of the better table service restaurants offer a better-than-average experience for only one meal credit. That is the key to getting the most value particularly if you are on the free Disney Dining Plan. Here are our picks for the top free Disney Dining restaurants.
5 Free Disney Dining Restaurants that Provide the Best Value
This is a big win for fans who want to meet the Disney Princesses but don’t want to pay the two credits to go to Cinderella Castle. This Norway Pavilion restaurant in Epcot offers a different castle setting with plenty of princesses to interact with. The menu is great for kids and inspired by traditional Norwegian cuisine. Without the plan, the cost per person is about $60, so this is a great value.
Liberty Tree Tavern
This is the best restaurant in the Magic Kingdom to use your dining credit on. Crystal Palace is a buffet, so price-wise it stacks up against the family-style all you care to enjoy Thanksgiving-inspired meal at Liberty Tree. However, the atmosphere and the value do not compare. Sometimes, Liberty Tree Tavern is unavailable, which is a shame; but even though the dollar value is less, I would recommend Skipper Canteen in that case.
Some restaurants in Disney World it is hard to believe are not signature dining. Granted, the Coral Reef aesthetic is a bit dated. However, the food and service are impeccable and the view of the enormous aquarium makes for some of the best ambiances of all of the Disney World restaurants. Coral Reef is a family-friendly restaurant within the Seas Pavilion at Epcot. It also makes a lovely restaurant for a romantic date.
The buffets tend to be the best value when you can get them for only one meal credit. All you can eat premise helps to make that possible and most of the buffets are pretty pricey on their own just because of that. With that in mind, guests on the free Disney Dining Plan should book as many as possible. Just remember how many credits you are allotted for your trip and how you plan to use them in other places. For example, you may fill up on a buffet and wind up with extra snack credits that you have not used, or you may eat too much at breakfast and ruin lunch. Just be careful.
That said, some buffets have more value than others just by the variety of food and the atmosphere. Boma has the benefit of being an Animal Kingdom lodge restaurant and some of the dishes from the neighboring restaurant Jiko find their way here. Boma is easily one of the best values you can get on the free Disney Dining Plan, it’s just a bit of a drive if you are not a guest at the resort.
Artist Point just opened its new Storybook Dining experience which features characters from Snow White along with a Snow White inspired Prix Fixe menu. This is a very new experience and there is no telling how long it will remain a single credit option, but for the time being it is an exceptional value. This restaurant is found in Wilderness Lodge and the dinner includes a specialty non-alcoholic drink. Since the Disney Dining Plan also includes alcohol, you can get a bonus beverage at no added cost!
There you have it the top 5 restaurants to use your free dining credits at Walt Disney World.
Are you taking advantage of the FREE Disney Dining Plan?
What Free Disney Dining Restaurants do you are you wanting to try?
Now, share with me in the comments.
Meredith Spidel says
The only one of these we have been to is the first, so I’m definitely checking the rest out for our upcoming trip! Thanks for all the recs, Janine!
Yay and let me know if you do try any of them out you thoughts 🙂
Sadly I’ve never been to any of those!
Dara, if you can get to any of them out of this list my favorite by far is Storybook Dining 😉
William D Holland says
Now you are talking about something I can relate to…free food! lol
As always, you are the Queen of Disney Information. Keep fighting the good fight, and Happy Thursday to you my friend.
Bill, me too with free food and just another thing we have in common, my friend!! Happy Thursday right back at you now 🙂
You are THE Disney guru! Dang I need to get to World some day!!
Pinned of course, for when I do 🙂
Aw, thanks, Jen and hope you get to go very soon now 🙂
Super informative! I love Akershus and LOVE Boma. I think Des would really get a kick out of the Coral Reef place. I don’t know a lot about the dining, at least not from experience, but it helps to read about the plans here.
Aw, thanks so much, Tamara and love sharing all about Disney dining when I cane, because it is one of my favorite parts of Disney ?
Gloria Spagnoli says
Won’t be long and you’ll be enjoying all the goodies at Disney! xxoo
Aw, thanks, Aunt Gloria and can’t wait!! Xoxo
Kristi Campbell says
I’m still pretty new to getting around Disney experiences and figuring out where to eat, stay, all that. You’re amazing – I didn’t even know this was an option! I think we’re going to Disneyland (Calif) in the spring – I’ll have to check out whether they have similar packages with credits (which I also didn’t know about). Thanks, Janine! You’re the Disney Queen!
Aw, happy to help with dining and food credits for you and your family, as well, Kristi!! 🙂
Christine Carter says
Janine, these posts you create about Disney are SO HELPFUL for those who are planning to take the trip. Thank you for sharing all your wisdom and tips with us!
Aw, thanks, Chris and happy to share my Disney tips with you, too 🙂