Have I been doing Disney all wrong?

In my previous trips to WDW I’ve planned my days at least in part based around restaurant selections. I’m old enough to remember when you booked ADRs at 180 days. And you got up nice and early to do so.

On the one time I had the deluxe DDP I discovered that three three course meals a day and two snacks was actually some kind of weird torture.

But recently I keep hearing people talking about snacks. Well, the perky lady from DFB. She’s very into snacks. Very.

And then I saw a post about just having the grapefruit cake at HBD and my eyes were suddenly opened to a whole new world.

Is that how I should be doing Disney? Snacking. Grazing like an animal.

I’m even wondering if I should have paid more attention during @Randall1028’s interminably long trip reports.

So ADRs are out and snacking is in?


Others might be more experienced than me with “grazing”, but here is what I would consider… If you are visiting when the weather is nice and/or there is a festival going on with food booths, grazing might be the better option. But, when the kids were in school, we were stuck going in the summer when the heat and humidity were oppressive. We so looked forward to our nice long relaxing breaks in TS restaurants during the afternoon hours, especially during thunderstorm season!


Ugh. That’s a good point. I forgot about that.


My future trip I want to do one ADR a day And graze rest of the meals. Agree snacks looks great I’d like to try some next time!


This could be dream scenario.

Or … have a late chilled-out dinner in a lounge, like Geyser Point or Three Bridges.


Grazing only seems like a realistic way to eat at EP to me.


I think leaving some grazing time opens up to lounge experiences. Some great walk up lounges I’ve never been to!


Example: the spring rolls at MK, followed by upsidedown cake and Dole Whip.


I am aware that you can buy food :joy: I just think I would rather be on rides and have one defined break to eat than be constantly buying more food. It would work for us at EP because we don’t ride much and I love walking round WS with a snack and a drink.


If there was a snacks-only DDP I would be all over that. We usually do one actual meal a day and then just grab a poptart or something from our room for breakfast and do snacks for our other “meals.”


Yes. I wouldn’t do it any other way. Especially if it’s festival time at EPCOT- but really, anytime.

FIrst, you save a ton of time not waiting around.

But also, it’s the quality of the food. At an ADR, you are going to be served a variety of dishes, including sides, that you may neither particularly like or want to pay for. The hallmark of a truly great restaurant is one that can prepare ALL of these dishes exquisitely. Well, you’re not going to get that at Disney.

But with snacks, each must stand on its own.

So you’re not really grazing, you’re eating a moveable feast.


The other reason I like snacking my way around WDW is that it lets us eat “lighter”. I definitely don’t mean as in calories, just that we don’t get weighed down by a big meal and feel like we need a nap.

OH, also my kid is super picky and I once paid $32 for her to eat a single pickle spear and one cube of cantaloupe at Tusker House. Not super into that.


Now that I think about it, we snackers really presaged the trendy concept of “small plates” that you see everywhere now. The concept is the same- gather a series of dishes that you really like, which are each well-prepared. No cheap filler food.

The break part is nice, I will admit. If we do have an ADR, it is always at lunch. I can’t remember the last time we had one for supper, though. So what we’re buying in that case is really not just the food, but the atmosphere.


Totally agree. I went to Food and Wine in 2019, and was super excited to do so, and will never do it again. I would much rather go to an airconditioned restaurant and sit down, cool off and relax. I did not enjoy having to stand in line at a festival booth outside in the sun to get small food, then try to find a place to eat it while also standing in the sun, and repeat multiple times.


We did this last trip. I had 2 weeks of lunch and dinner ADR’s, which we gave up 40% of.

We ditched all of the lunch reservations and only kept the dinner for the “break” we’d need before our nighttime EMH push of all the attractions. Mind, that’s with us usually not stepping into the parks before 2pm. People who RD to close may want to keep the double break.

We had the best time with the freedom of just wandering around, not being forced into one specific part of one specific park for one specific meal. My personal mood also lightened, once the pressure of keeping an appointment was off, I was able to be present in the moment and enjoy my family more instead of being in “soccer mom/taxi/alarmclock/naggy mom” mode.

This also ties in with my “Never say No” mentality I have at Disney. Ice Cream for breakfast? Yep. potstickers and pretzels for lunch? Sure. A lollipop the size of my hoop earrings in high school as we’re walking out of the park at midnight…obviously yes. If you have a strict diet, it may be harder to find “grazing food” to meet that requirement, but it can be done with some future planning…or an awesome trip report for your tummy!


I will add that when we went in the Spring a decade ago, I was all about grazing and was mad that I hadn’t booked as many ADR’s specifically because between the heat and the nonstop walking, it was taking a toll. Time of year and your personal preferences are obviously very important.

DS and I do not do well in humidity, to where DS goes semi lethargic. So instead of having to worry about it anymore, we only go in winter months.


Haha I feel that. My DD8 eats so little at TS meals unless it’s a place like B&C or breakfast food. She’s totally fine with a pretzel and frozen treat while in the parks.


I was coming to say this. TS restaurants are higher stakes.

Entrees are likely $30-50+ and if you get something you don’t like or are disappointed by (not bad necessarily, but after a few bites, you realize you’d wouldn’t have picked it for $40).

Snacks you’re only out $5-10, far less crushing when you’re disappointed.


we were stuck going in the summer when the heat and humidity were oppressive.

This is exactly my thinking for May/June trip (that I pushed out so daughter could go). I want at least one air conditioned meal a day and some parks don’t have a lot of those options. I love Woody’s in DHS but I’m not eating there this trip. We’re doing Sci-Fi and Mama Melrose’s for the guaranteed A/C break. The one place I’m willing to take the hit is Epcot for the food booths but even then I’m only going to aim to do lunches (and right at opening at 11am when the lines are shorter) since sunset is at 7:30pm-ish I’d rather do the dinners with A/C.


OH, also my kid is super picky and I once paid $32 for her to eat a single pickle spear and one cube of cantaloupe at Tusker House. Not super into that.

But you also paid to meet Donald Duck and Goofy right? I mean that’s worth it :wink:
I think that price is worth these photos

Goofy was very proud of himself.

Edit: Notice the lack of food in front of my picky eater and only the cell phone for lunch.