We’re due to arrive in Disney World for two weeks on 1st December. I’ve read all about how important it is to book dining reservations. We’re a family of 4 and our aim is to grab food to go for breakfast and lunch. For dinner, I wanted to find out if we could conceivably just get away with dining in Disney Springs without worrying about booking a table service restaurants? My kids’ palate is not refined to the point where they would appreciate table service but is there enough variety in Disney Springs and can we just turn up and eat without a resevation?
There are a number of quick service options there that are very good indeed (Earl of Sandwich, Polite Pig, Deluxe Burger to name a few). But if you’re wanting full service, best to try to book something ahead. You can try for walk-up at table service anywhere but will need to be incredibly flexible about when and where you dine if you take that approach.
And don’t forget, at least a handful of DS table service restaurants are available on Open Table as well.
Where will you be staying? You did not ask this, but Disney Springs is not the very easiest to get in and out of transportation wise. I would hesitate to plan to eat there every/most evenings unless I was staying preferred at Saratoga Springs. But perhaps your question just refers to one night in which case ignore me!
Agree. Re-reading the post it does sound like OP is considering dining there often, based on the question of variety.
Definitely not an ideal plan for nightly unless maybe at Saratoga
We stayed 6 nights at Saratoga and I had overly grand plans to get takeout from DS “most” nights. It was easily 1.5 hours for someone to walk or even drive over to pick up the food. So we ended up leveraging resort QS much more than we thought which was fine.
Hi, thanks for your response. We are staying at Port Orleans - Riverside. My question was actually for dinner for most nights, potentially.
I agree with the others…even with the boat to and from DS - that is going to take up a HUGE chunk of your night getting there - eating - and getting back.
Agree with others in the time commitment. You could get a Laundry’s card which gives you priority walk up seating. You can use that at TRex and Rainforest. It’s$25 to join but you get a $25 credit.
There are also decent QS in the parks and resorts so that’s an option.
I just took a look at my November photos - where I was staying at Port Orleans - Riverside. The one night we went to DS (had a reservation, so I know I was not waiting on a table) - we left the resort at 5:30pm and got back to the room at 8:30pm - no dilly-dallying in Disney Springs (other than it was a sit down dining experience) because I was running a race the next morning.
My last meal at the Riverside food court was 2018. However, it has been one of my favorite food courts over the years. There was a lot of variety, and plenty of seating. Riverside also had Boatwrights, a table service restaurant which we enjoyed, but have not been recently. If you’re thinking of an early supper a reservation might not be needed then.
Most restaurants have typical kids foods. If you’re going to Disney, the Magical Experience app should be on your phone. You will be able to look at menus, even counter (or quick) service.
If I were at Epcot at supper time, I’d try Biergarten about 5 pm for seating without a reservation. If Marrakesh is open at Morocco, that’s another place to try without a reservation. We’ve gotten spaghetti noodles with sauce on the side here. But kids like the kebobs also. In the front part of Epcot are some good food court/quick service choices.
At Animal Kingdom we’ve gotten the combo meal from Flametree Tree and shared it as there’s so much. Ribs, chicken, a couple of sides.
Many resorts near the parks have good quick serve choices. One memorable lunch time at Magic Kingdom was so noisy and some of our group so hangry, we left for the Contemporary Resort and a nearly deserted quick serve there. Quicker food and happier family.
Check the menus before you go. The app also shows restaurants with availability that day. Be aware that buffets are not inexpensive.
As has been said here, Disney Springs is a time sink. It’s not even a quick place to transfer from one resort bus to another. Epcot is so much better.
(There is no Disney bus service from resort to resort). Tho being at Riverside, you can walk or boat to French Quarter for beignets. Especially if you’re in the Mansion area.
Agree that the Riverside food court is pretty good and should be utilized most days instead of boating to DS just for food. Also French Quarter is any easy walk or boat and also has a top notch QS. They have a lot of New Orleans inspired dishes, but will have kids basics too. And as noted the beignets are the real highlight. You can also swim at FQ since you’re staying at Riverside so doing a swim/meal there might be a nice change of pace one day.
If you’re going to Disney Springs for Disney Springs, then great - lots of food options, but it is not a quick in/out for food. The boats from Riverside/French Quarter are probably a better way to commute than the bus option at other resorts, although note the boats shutdown in lightning/high winds…
Many of DS restaurants book on Open Table. You can look there last minute or book some options around 100 days. Usually there is no credit card guarantee and I would say it is almost always easier to cancel or double book.
This is very useful information, thank you very much. I’ll have to do some Googling to find out what a “beignet” is
I didn’t know the restaurants were available on Open Table. Will download the app and take a look.
Thanks for those pointers.
Wow, 3 hours??! My little ones just won’t have the patience for that.
Its like a donut.
Have you been to WDW before? I ask because until you’ve been it’s really difficult to appreciate how far apart things are and how much time can be eaten up in moving from place to place. I remember when I first went on my own in college my roommate and I thought we would walk from Epcot to Hoop Dee Doo Review. LOLZ at that now. It’s nothing against first time visitors - you just can’t possibly “get it” til you’re there. And if you’ve been to Disneyland well, it’s nothing like that. LOL
This will be my first time at Disney World. I’ve been to Disneyland Paris, if that’s any consolation? I hear what you’re saying about the vastness of it all, it’s something I’ve heard from many people. I’m hoping that two weeks will be enough for us to cover everything that we want to do.