First Time To WDW


I am in the planning stages for my family of five to DisneyWorld. We are planning on going during the 2nd week of May for 7 days. Would the dining plan be recommended? We are on a pretty tight budget but want to have the family have a wonderful experience. My kids are 12, 10 and 7. Any recommendations would be appreciated.


Hello, And welcome to here. I recommend the DDP. We are a family of 7 and it helps us finance the meals. And it gives the children some flexibility should we split up. We have been able to provide our gang with some cool dinner which would normally be out of our price range.


How picky is your 10 year old? Your 10 and 12 year olds will be considered adults for the dining plan, and then can choose from the adult menus… However, they can also order off the child’s menu, but will get child portions. It depends on the kids, but you will know how much they will or will not eat. We found this time, that our 10 year old did not get enough off the dining plan as she has in years past.

Where are you staying? If you are on site, you can get the dining plan, but not if you are off site.
Also, I would recommend the regular dining plan at the most for your family. it is so much food, and you can get to some really great restaurants with one sit down meal per day. We found that it takes too much time to sit for more than one sit down meal per day…

For menus for restaurants, I would suggest that you look at They have great restaurants in each park, and the menus for each are listed there, as well as for the hotels. It may help you decide on the dining plan as well as the places that you choose to eat.

Have fun planning, and be sure to ask us lots of questions… we love to give advice!


Thanks for th info, as of now we will be staying onsite . Our kids are picky so they will eat just about anything on the menus. Looks like we will be staying at the Port Orleans, any inof on it?


By the way, I think that it does save money. And you get to sit down and rest one meal of the day. That is invaluable for tired little legs (of all ages)… Plus you can do character meals, and see characters without having to stand in line all day long…

At the MK, try Crystal Palace for Pooh characters, or Cinderella’s castle for the princesses.
At Epcot, there is another princess meal in Norway, or there are lots of sit down meals in the countries-yum!
In DHS, 50’s prime time Cafe and The sci fi are the most popular for kids, but there are other great ones too.
At AK, the Tusker House is a great restaurant for breakfast.
There are good places in DTD as well…

Of course, there are a ton of great restaurants to choose from that are not character meals, and there are great restaurants in the hotels as well… You can go to any hotel to eat at any restaurant. For instance Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary is great, and a short hop to the MK…


I would also recommend the Dining Plan. We have been lucky to have free dining every time we went with our kids and they would tell you that eating at Disneyworld is one of the best parts! Kona is awesome as well as Ohana, both at the Poly - great menus, great atmosphere and desserts. Also try Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge - what is nice is that the Animal Kingdom closes early and its nice to take the bus to the Lodge for dinner and watching the animals. There is so much food there, you won’t believe it! We would Never have spent the money on the food that we ate. though ours was free, the bills were racking up much higher than the price of the dining plan would have cost, if we had bought it. Really adds to the experience.

Have a great time!


Hi Welcome to MouseBuzz! You will learn a lot here about WDW I agree with the others the dining plan is the way to go…hanwill suggest going to allears to look at the menus and I could not agree more. May is a WONDERFUL time to go. Oh and you can make your dining reservations 180 days from your trip and that is a big plus.:happy:


Welcome to MB. If you have any ??? just ask away. Someone here will have an answer, if not many of us. And they will be different based on what we like to do in the World. We all have our favorites and it might get confusing if we start using Disney abreviations.
Tigger said to look at AllEars.Net - The Unofficial Disney Planning Guide for Walt Disney World, Disneyland and the Disney Cruise Line as a good place for information. I agree and also add - Disney Discount Source - Disney World Discounts, Disneyland Discounts, Disney Cruise Discounts as another site. Take some time to look at the different areas on the istes, and take get a notebook for taking notes from the sites before you start any park plans or make reservations.
There is a ton of stuff to do in the World. Please remember that you WILL NOT do it all in 7 days. Trust me, our family tried to do it all on our first trip w/ 3 kids. We needed a vacation after we got back since we did not schedule any down time. :blink: BIG mistake:laugh:


Welcome to the board.
As for saving money on a WDW trip. Have the kids help with things around the house for money unless you have allowance that you give and let them pick out the souvenirs with that money. One that my sister and I did was a Passport for the World showcase area of EPCOT. Good deal and fun to have as you bring to each area and have it stamped and get a little message put in it. Use the photopass people to get really great family pics, they can take your picture too.

I would second getting a dinning plan. We did the Grand Floridian(GF) 1900 Park Fare for dinner 1 night with 3 adult and 3 kids and that was $253 after tip which would have been covered by 1 table service meal ticket for each of us. The one downside to this is making the reservations and getting there in time. Since your kids are older that should be easier. For us though the counter service plan was good as we could eat at anytime and not wait to be seated.

Take full advantage of the EMHs and split up from time to time if some of the kids are not interested in the same rides. For example if only some of your family wants to watch the parades and shows that go on then that would be a good reason so split up for some of the day. Try to take a day off and go around to DTD and some of the different hotels…or go to the water parks if you have the Water Parks and more option. To tell you the truth I find that I cannot go more then 3 days in a row for the full day. It was not how we did it with my parents and with the late nights I get fried.

As for the PO my sister stayed at the French Quarter and LOVED it there. If there are 5 of you the Riverside is the area you would be in. I have not stayed there but I know some rooms have the bed on the floor. We have six in the family and just stayed at the ASMusic and had a family suite these, are just a little bit more then 1 room at the PO. They have 2 washrooms, the couch, chair and foot rest make into very nice beds, and there is a master bedroom and kitchenette. Though there are not all the bells and whistles of moderate they are very nice and have fun things going on from 2pm till 9pm. To me the price point cannot be beat for what you receive.


In other words- you will love the whole place :slight_smile: We do!



Our family favorite for a sit down meal is the 50s Prime Time Cafe at HS. We all get a kick out of the staff and the things that go on there. The food is good too. For Breakfast Buffet we like Chef Mickey’s. We also like the Crystal Palace Buffet for dinner.

Good luck with the planning!


Love that resort!

You will be able to use the facilities at both Riverside and French Quarter, so you double the fun! Be sure to try beignets at POFQ… and the pools are fabulous at both places. You chose a great spot, especially for your first trip.

We used to stay at Alligator Bayou section of Riverside all the time. Earlier this year, however, I stayed at Magnolia Bend, and it was awesome, so I can totally recommend either side!


Welcome to Mouse Buzz!

The Dining Plan is wonderful. We’ve done it both ways and using the Dining Plan was so much more of a “Vacation” than preparing our own meals. Besides saving the stress, I also feel that it’s a good deal because if you eat even one meal a day in the parks at full price you will spend more than you would on the plan.

I hope you have a wonderful time planning your trip! Planning really is a big part of the fun!