How important is Sit Down Dining to your Vacation?


We have a 4 day trip coming up in 12 days and I do not have any ADR’s.
And as of right now, I am not planning on getting any either.
Is this even possible???

No. I am not crazy or boycotting WDW Dining.
We are just trying to keep down our expenses and since we are staying
in a DVC 1 Bedroom Villa at SSR we will have a full kitchen.
So the plan is eating in as much as possible and counter service the rest of the time.
I have to admitt it takes some of the excitement out of planning.
But money is tight and we have to be fiscally responsible.

Could you enjoy your vacation without Disney restaurants??


We Could, but my husband insists we go for Free Dining time only…but if we had to, I think we could limit to one time out…a character meal, maybe…we do love our Disney Dining!

You will have a Great time either way! Enjoy.


I’m sure we would still enjoy our vacation but it would take some of the fun out of it. I cook and clean up at home every day so it’s really nice to have a week off and eat out every day.

Eating is a big part of our vacation, as is the resort, but I’m sure we would still have fun, it would just be different. You’re still going to WDW and that’s what matters.


I agree with DT—I hate cooking to begin with so on my vacation I refuse to do it…

But if it came down to it and that was I HAD to do, I’d do it… just because I’d still be at Disney!!


Our visits are as much about dining as it is about the parks.
If I wanted to cook, I’d have to get a one bedroom DVC suite (which is overkill for two adults) so we’d have a full sized kitchen, and then of course, I would have to cook, as well as shop to bring in fresh food for the 5 days or so we’d be there. I might also wind up bringing some of my small appliances or cookware so I could properly cook meals. Let’s face it, if I wanted to do all of that, I’d just move to Orlando. In the end, I don’t see any real savings going this route.


For two adults there wouldn’t be much of a savings but for a family of 6 taking out sit down meals would e a huge savings.


You could absolutely do it but I think you’d be missing out on a piece of magic that Disney has to offer. Not only do we find some delicious food at the sit-down restaurants but we also have some of the best character interaction. Our favorites are Chef Mickey and Crystal Palace and although it can get pricey we just make sure to save enough to enjoy. I’m on vacation and I really don’t want to cook but you do what you have to do to make your vacation happen.


If I had a family of six, I’d do things very differently! To say the least.


So would I! It really doesn’t cost a lot to take my family of 3 out to eat. My 10 year old still doesn’t eat a lot so we don’t spend a lot.


One of the best trips we had was when my dd and I decided to go to WDW We had 5 days to plan and decided to only do counterservice. It was a really good decision. We tried just about every counterservice in the World Showcase. We’d find a really nice little corner to eat - the gardens of the UK when we had fish and chips. Sitting by the lake when we had baguettes and a cheese plate at France. (add a glass of wine from the kiosk!:happy:) It was wonderful - and it freed up so much time for us! We enjoy good restaurants - but NOT every night. Now we have the Disney Dining Experience Card and it’s much better for us. Like you, we always have a suite at a DVC property. We eat breakfast there. And a few dinners too.

My dh does not enjoy restaurant food (I’ve spoiled him) - and I get tired of it after a few days too. He’s always happy to help me make something for dinner and will clean up, so that’s not an issue for us.

Try it - you’ll find that you have a way more freedom!:happy:


Not real important to us for the following reasons:

  1. The cost factor. It’s the easiest way for us to keep our spending within our budget.

  2. We tend to not eat as much while on vacation because it, oddly enough, becomes less of a priority.

  3. We get too busy having fun and then go, “Oh yeah, we didn’t eat yet.” :blink::laugh: We’d rather be playing than eating!

  4. Counter service works perfectly for us.

  5. We ship down a box full of snacks and foods to help us save money and munch our way through the day.

That being said, we do try to do at least one table service per trip just for the experience. But we wouldn’t think our trip was missing something if we didn’t.



I wouldn’t want to cook all day. I do plan on making a quick breakfast (remember the egg wrap/sandwich maker thread). And we have a TS planned for half the days we are there. But I could easily eat at counter service the whole time. We hardly eat out at home, so even eating at CS would be a treat. No cooking and no clean up. If I were driving I might think of bringing pre-made frozen meals (lasagna, meatloaf, ect) Something I would just throw in the oven, while the kids are taking a nap or something.


When I am on vacation the last thing I want to do is cook and clean. It is also the last thing DH wants to do. Do we have to go to sit down restaurants. I guess we could cut them back if we wanted to. But I am a waitress and I love going on vacation and having someone wait on me and not have to worrry about it all. WDW does have some great counter service places though.


We did one nice sitdown when we went last trip and we cooked a lot to save money- we would make things like steak strips and chicken breast strips and a bag salad and bring it in a picnick sack to eat at the parks- We also had sandwiches and lunchmeat rolls and little snacky things instead of meals to make things easier and on the go- my biggest prob with cooking and not having a sitdown meal is that I dont like leaving the parks with all the kids just to go home and eat- I dont want to miss a thing!


We have only done counter service at Disney since we tend to rent a Villa during our stay. We have a quick and easy breakfast and one other easy meal such as sandwiches, hotdogs, pasta at the Villa. Last summer we had one counter service meal during the day or just got drinks, fries and icecream. One of our favorite meals were ham/cheese croissants and a pastry in France. The kids thought it was great and it didn’t break my wallet. We also asked for 3 extra small cups and shared two large sodas at our meals. It was plenty for our family of five (kids age 10, 11 & 13 at the time). We also always brought in waters and splurged on icy cokes at the few of the parks.
We were able to save a bundle on food and I never felt like I was slaving over the stove. Since I have a sensitive digestive system, I have never been one to eat out for a whole week. I would be miserable. However, next time we go I do plan to do at least one sit down dinner and pay out of pocket. So many of the places sound wonderful and I would like to give at least one a try.


Sit-down dinners are as important to us as the parks.
I have an aversion to self serve restaurants. I can put up with them if it’s the Tangerine in Epcot because the food is really, really good and the Columbia Harbor House, because of it’s location. But for the most part, we skip that sort of place.
It’s a vacation for us and food is a big part of it all around :wink:


As some have mentioned it is pretty pricey for the 6 of us to go to a sitdown restaurant. That is myself, DW, DD12, DD10, DS10 & DD4.
My twins just turned 10 and it is hard enough that my three oldest kids are now considered adults by Disney!!!

As for cooking and cleaning we don’t mind. Our meals will not be huge so there won’t be too many dishes.

Interesting opinions though…thanks.


I could do it and have done it when the kids were young and money was tight. But I have to say, the relaxed sit down meals are part of the whole Disney experience for me. I don’t consider it just food.


I know this off topic but how do you fit 6 in a 1 bedroom? I know you can get 5 in but I didn’t know you could book 6 in a 1 bedroom.


We stayed in a villa our first time at Disney and ate our breakfast and dinners there. It really was a great savings. We loaded up, headed out and brought powerbars and other snacks with us for during the day. We then would go back to the villa for a rest, an early supper and then head back out. We did do two character dinning, both at breakfast which fueled us for the entire day.

It can be done!