After 10 years & 3-4 long vacations to the World every year, I've learned some of the secrets that will save you money, time & sanity.
  1. 1.
    Book all your sit down meals in advance as early as possible.
    You can do this right on Disney's site and as early as 180 days before your vacation. Don't wait until you get there & think you'll find a tables at last minute. Trust me, 99% of the time you won't, especially if you're going during one of the peak seasons.
  2. 2.
    Stay away from the Disney Dining Plan.
    You'll never eat all the food and it locks you in to eating a certain amount every day, even if you're not hungry. You don't get reimbursed for unused meals.
  3. 3.
    An alternate to #2; buy the Tables In Wonderland dining card.
    This saves you 20% on nearly every major restaurant around the WORLD and automatically adds 18% gratuity so you don't have to figure the math. EXCEPTION: this is only worth the cost of the card if you are going to eat at sit down restaurants every day & plan on staying for more than 6 days.
  4. 4.
    Book lunches for sit down meals instead of dinner.
    The menu is usually the same, the portions tend to be more reasonable, the atmosphere is quieter & price is better.
  5. 5.
    If you follow the advice in #4 (and you will or I'll get to say I told you so) make reservations at the beginning of the lunch hour or the very end.
    Lunch usually starts at 11:30 and lasts until 4pm at most restaurants. By booking close to start or end of the lunch window you can get in all the most popular rides in the morning with little wait & be back at the hotel during the busiest time of the day for a much needed rest.
  6. 6.
    Book sit down meals around the parks with magic hours. (Only applies if you stay at a Disney resort which you want to do. Trust me )
    Magic Hours let Disney resort guests into the park an hour early or stay up to 3hours after the park closes. This gives you extra time to get in rides before or after your meal depending on when you booked it. (see #5)
  7. 7.
    Book a sit down for every day you're there!!!
    You want to have something booked just in case. You can always cancel up to 24 hours before dining time. Better to have something than try to find a place to eat last minute.
  8. 8.
    Don't limit yourself to park dining.
    All restaurants throughout the world are available to you. There are incredible places you eat at some of the resorts. The Wave at the Contemporary is a favorite and you can park in the hotel lot if you have a car and walk to Magic Kingdom after eating.
  9. 9.
    EPCOT is the best place to find amazing quick service.
    For the authentic worldly goods alone you will never run out of choices.
  10. 10.
    Share a meal
    Don't be a pig; watch your portions, which are big no matter where you go. You can saved money by splitting the main course and buying a couple of sides; even at the quick service places.
  11. 11.
    Eat from the kids menu
    They say is for guests 9 & under but anyone can eat from here. Portions are just right, often healthier and more than 1/2 the cost of an adult meal.