Fans Debate Controversial Disney World Restaurant Trend

in Walt Disney World

A skillet of breakfast food.

Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

A Walt Disney World restaurant trend is dividing fans.

Whether you have the Disney Dining Plan or self-pay, eating at the Disney Parks can get expensive. Families of four can spend $100 dining at Quick Service locations, with an even steeper bill at Table Service restaurants, buffets, and Character Dining experiences.

Guests are always looking to save money at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs, and Disney Resort hotels. But should that cut into the wages of Walt Disney World restaurant employees?

Cinderella meets young Guests at Cinderella's Royal Table, a Walt Disney World restaurant.
Credit: Disney

Some fans on Reddit suggest making a Disney Dining reservation but snacking beforehand and only ordering appetizers. This way, guests get the best restaurant experience for much less than a three-course meal would cost.

“Order however you like, enjoy your snacks/atmosphere, tip the appropriate amount, and then continue on enjoying your visit!” u/SnipesWL said.

“You can make a reservation for just drinks, if you wanted,” u/BenderGenocide wrote. “I’m sure the waitstaff would appreciate an easy table.”

A cast member handing a plate of food to a family while wearing a mask.
Credit: Disney

Most Disney Parks fans didn’t take issue with the trend but recommended tipping Disney Cast Members more to compensate for their lower spending.

“If you’re worried, just be sure to tip the amount you would if you ordered a full meal,” said u/mGreeneLantern. “The Mouse can certainly take the lower payday, the CM – maybe not.”

“Don’t tie up the table for the length of a meal, and leave a bigger tip,” u/buffofspades agreed. “Some people come in, stay for an hour, get a cheap something, then leave a 2 dollar tip. That’s rude AF, to me. It’s not really about how much you’re paying Disney; it’s how much you’re paying your server. Don’t waste their time and pay little.”

Family enjoying unique Na'vi cuisine at Disney World
Credit: Disney

Still, others felt taking a coveted Disney Dining reservation and not ordering a meal was inappropriate.

“If it’s a restaurant that’s always full, they might be a little ticked that you took a reservation that a customer wanting a full meal would have got,” u/MicCheck123 argued.

Of course, this is impossible at many Walt Disney World Resort dining locations. Some have prix fixe menus at a set cost, while others are family/buffet style, where each guest is charged equally. But it could be a way to cut corners on your next Disney Park vacation!

Should guests be able to only order appetizers at a Walt Disney World restaurant? Share your thoughts with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on personal Disney Parks Guest experiences. No two Guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.

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