Dining on one of the three dining plans can make eating during your Disney World vacation so much easier. It’s saved us a lot of money in the past and has widened our selections of where to eat. When on the dining plan we don’t have to think about the cost of the restaurants we’re dining at, we get to just go and enjoy, knowing that the check has already been paid. To make sure that you are out ahead of your dining plan investment you’ll want to make sure that most of the restaurants you’re dining at are going to give you more value than what you paid. The restaurants with the highest ticket items are your safest bets, as well as buffet restaurants. That being said, here are the two best restaurants to dine at the Magic Kingdom when you’re on the Disney Dining Plan or the Deluxe Dining Plan.
Crystal Palace is a character dining experience found at the end of Main Street U.S.A., in the shadow of Cinderella’s Castle. This buffet restaurant hosts Winnie-The-Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger. The cost of a buffet meal at Crystal Palace will run an adult $59.99 during the peak season. This is the base cost, not including any alcoholic beverages purchased. The cost of the dining plan for one day for an adult is $78.01. So as long as you grab your two snacks for the day and consume a quick-service meal you’ll be above and beyond your day’s dining plan cost. Crystal Palace serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each of these meal is delicious. It’s one of our favourite buffet locations on property. Surpassing 1900 Park Fare, Boma-Flavors of Africa, Tusker House and Cape May Cafe. There’s a carving station, fish, soup, vegetables, potatoes and a variety of desserts, including a self-serve ice cream bar. Grab one of the first reservations here and get into the Magic Kingdom before the park even opens. When you’re dining here out of pocket the price tag can seem very steep. For a family of four you’re looking at spending close to $200 on a meal. Making it a great choice when you’re on the dining plan.
Located in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square, The Diamond Horseshoe is a saloon style restaurant serving the best meals in the West. Dinner is going to be your best dining plan value. At dinner time, guests get to enjoy all-you-care-to-enjoy skillets pilled high with beef brisket, sausage, chicken, pulled pork, potatoes, baked beans and seasonal vegetables. This skillet is also on the lunch menu but so are other sandwiches and salads. The dinner meal includes cornbread and salads to start, and a s’mores cake to finish off your meal. Similar to Crystal Palace, the cost here is high. Running you $55 per adult in peak season. Pretty steep for this kind of meal but you don’t think as much of it when you’ve already put the money down. It’s a fantastic place to bring kids. The restaurant is very open, rowdy and loud. Making it a great place for kids to run around and have fun. The Diamond Horseshoe is much more conducive to larger and louder crowds than say Skipper Canteen or Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. The Diamond Horseshoe is not as popular as some of the other Magic Kingdom restaurants so you can grab a last minute reservation.
Note that I did not include Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be Our Guest on this list because those require 2 dining plan meal credits. And if you’re on the Disney Dining Plan than that means taking a meal credit from another day which can then get tricky. I also didn’t include any quick-service restaurants because generally speaking they’re going to run similar costs. For more tips on using the dining plan and getting the best bang for your investment check out these previous posts: