There are so many dining choices at Disney World it can be overwhelming. There is quick service, character meals, fine dining and more. A big part of your Disney World vacation will be choosing where you eat and what restaurants work best for your family. One of the main choices you will have to make is whether you will eat at quick service restaurants or at table service restaurants or a combination of both. Let’s explore some of the differences between quick service restaurants and table service restaurants at Disney World.
Quick service restaurants are what I like to call Disney’s version of fast food. Food is served cafeteria style at most quick service locations. In most parks you will wait in a line and order with a cashier and then move up to the counter and wait for your food to be handed to you. Of course in many locations you can find your normal burger and fries choices but most locations have several other choices that offer a lot of variety and there are also options for food allergies. At the resorts for quick service you will go to different stations to order your food and then pay after all of your food is on your tray at cashier at the front of the restaurant. For table service meals you will be seated and your food will either be buffet, family style or you will order with waitstaff.
Quick service meals you walk in and place your order, get your food and sit down. Table service meals take a little more planning. Reservations at Disney World can be booked 180 days in advance. Yes, that is 6 months. Many table service restaurants are in high demand and Disney advises to book early. You will go to a hostess desk for a table service meal and let them know your party is there. You will then get checked in and be taken to your seat.
At quick service meals there are no character interactions. Many of the table service meals are considered character dining. At these meals you not only get a meal but the characters slated for the restaurant come around to your table to meet you and take pictures. They will also sign autographs for you.
You can expect to move through a quick service meal pretty quickly. That is why they are called quick service. You grab your food and go so you can get back to doing what you were doing. Table service meals are a break from the hustle and the bustle. You can expect to be at your table service meal for at least one and a half hours especially if it is character dining.
Just remember if you have the dining plan that table service credit meals and quick service credit meals are different credits. Table service meals are much more expensive than quick service so you want to make sure you are using the right credits to get the most for your money. Quick service meal portions are quite large and can sometimes be shared to maximize savings. Buffet table service meals cannot be shared and everyone 3 and over gets charged a set price. You can share entrees at wait service locations for table service.
So, if you are a family on the go or on a tight budget you may opt to eat mostly quick service meals. If you are a family that likes a family sit down meal and some leisurely time with characters then character table service meals are a must. The choice is yours just remember to make your reservations for table service meals as soon as possible at that 180 day mark from your vacation