Disney World guests staying at Disney World resorts can choose to add any of the 4 dining plans to their package. These plans require guests pay their meal plan upfront and then use dining plan meal credits throughout the course of their vacation at different restaurants. Now the cost of the dining plan changes according to which plan you buy, but the credits are credits. A meal credit for a table service restaurant can be used at table service and buffet restaurants, at Signature restaurants 2 credits are required. But when you are dining at any of these restaurants that have menus, you can choose any entree on the menu. That means you can choose the $36.99 Filet de Beouf grille at Chef France or the Spaghetti e Polpettine from Via Napoli Ristorant that costs $25.99. They are both one meal credit. So to make sure you are making the most out of your dining plan, it’s important to pick restaurants that have the highest meal ticket items. So today we are looking at the best restaurants to eat at Epcot when you’re on the dining plan.
Each dining plan table service meal credit on the Disney Dining Plan and the Disney Dining Plan Plus includes an entree, a beverage and a dessert. On the Deluxe Dining Plan an appetizer is also included. To figure out which restaurants were the best choices for the dining plan I looked at each of the menus of the 17 restaurants at Epcot. I knocked off the three Signature Restaurants, because in my opinion they are not the best use of your credits if you’re on the Disney Dining Plan or the Disney Dining Plan Plus. The top five were made up of restaurants whose highest priced items were around $36, when you add the cost of an alcoholic drink and a dessert, the cost of the meal per person reaches $60 or more. Here are the five restaurants that fit the criteria.
5. Chef de France
5th place is Chef de France from the France pavilion. Now this pavilion has two restaurants, so make sure you are booking the right restaurant. Chef de France is found at the very front of the pavilion and is a jam packed restaurant with a lively atmosphere. The menu item that puts Chef de France on this list is the Filet de Beouf Grille, the steak entree. It’s priced at $36. When you add a glass of wine and a dessert, each choice is $11, the total of your meal will be $61.
4. Tutto Itali Ristorante
This is one of two restaurants in the Italian pavilion, which are actually both on this list. We dined here during our Goofy race vacation, I loved it, Jeff thought we could find similar food at Italian restaurants at home. There are three menu items that place Tutto Itali Ristorante on this list of best restaurants for the Disney Dining Plan: Bistecca, Osso Bucco, Brassato di Manzo. What puts it below its counterpart at the Italy pavilion is its dessert menu. The most expensive dessert item is Bacio Al Ciocollato which is priced at $14. Bringing the cost of your meal with the most expensive items and an alcoholic beverage at $64. What this restaurant has that many of the others don’t on the list is variety. If you keep choosing the most expensive items on the menus of each of the Disney restaurants, you’ll be eating a lot of steak. Not a problem for some but I’m certainly not interested in eating the same thing each night. Here you can choose between veal, steak and short ribs. So even though it falls below Via Napoli, I would choose to eat here.
3. Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria
Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria is found in the Italian pavilion. What puts this restaurant above the others in cost is the steak entree on the menu. It’s one of the few things on the menu that isn’t pasta or pizza. With this item, a glass of wine and one of the desserts, your meal will be approximately $65. The cost of the desserts is another thing that adds this restaurant to our list. Many of the other restaurants at Epcot have inexpensive desserts which bring the cost of the meal down, further away from what you’ve already spent on the dining plan.
2. Garden Grill
One of the 3 buffet style restaurants at Epcot is Garden Grill. Garden Grill comes in as the second best restaurant to eat at Epcot when on the dining plan. The cost of this restaurant is $55 per adult, when you add an alcoholic beverage to that your total is going to come close to $70. Once you add a quick-service meal to your day you are well above your daily cost of the Disney Dining Plan, $78. Garden Grill is a character restaurant featuring Mickey Mouse, Chip’n’Dale and Pluto. Garden Grill is found in The Land and is a rotating restaurant. If you get an early reservation here you can get into the park an hour early.
For a full review of the restaurant click here.
1. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
The one coming out on top as the best choice when you’re on the dining plan is Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is a buffet meal and all-you-care-to-eat restaurant in the Norway pavilion. The cost of a dinner meal here is $63 per adult. Then add an alcoholic beverage on top of that and the total will come close to $80. For those on the Disney Dining Plan, where the cost is $78 per night of stay, that’s more than the daily cost. This will surely bring you out on top of your dining plan investment. Added bonus, this is a character meal. For a full review of the restaurant click here.
For more tips on which restaurants to choose during your Disney World vacation take a look at these previous posts:
Best Magic Kingdom Restaurant for the Disney Dining Plan