Scrooge or Splurge
Signature restaurants at Walt Disney World are scattered around the parks and resorts. These are restaurants considered to be at the peak of fine dining on Disney property and are always a safe bet for an unforgettable experience. While it can be tempting to add reservations to many of the restaurants onto your next visit, the signature restaurants do tend to come with a higher price tag than the average table service restaurant. It is, however, possible to find a balance between splurging on signature dining and saving at the restaurants while still enjoying the same experience.
GOING FOR THE SPLURGE…
When it comes to splurging on signature restaurants, there are several ways to expand on your dining experience. Wine lovers have many opportunities to try the extensive wine lists at all of the Disney signature restaurants, but there are a few splurges that are worth mentioning.
Over at the recently updated Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk Resort, there is a Chef's Tasting Wine Dinner, where a wine is paired with each of the 5 delicious courses prepared right in front of your eyes. A similar wine-pairing experience is available at the famous Victoria & Albert's at the Grand Floridian, where guests can elect to have a wine paired with each of the 7 to 10 courses, or they can select from the over 700 different wines kept in the cellar. Victoria & Albert's is also home to a chef's table where guests can dine right in the action of the cuisine being prepared. While chef's tables are available in multiple signature restaurants, Victoria & Albert's allows the only look into a AAA Five Diamond Award-winning kitchen available at Walt Disney World.
Other splurges for signature dining involve activities paired alongside your meals, extending the experience beyond the cuisine. At the BOATHOUSE in Disney Springs, you can follow up your meal with a tour of Lake Buena Vista aboard an Italian water taxi, a 19th century steamboat named the Lady Rose, or while riding in a vintage amphicar. Over at the Hollywood Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios guests can dine with an Imagineer, giving them an insight into the many different types of Imagineering that takes place behind the scenes in developing and maintaining all of the magic housed in Walt Disney World.
OR CUTTING BACK WITH THE SCROODGE…
On the saving side of the coin, there are ways to enjoy the same signature restaurants without breaking the bank. One of the easiest ways to save is by dining for lunch. Typically, lunch menus offer less expensive entrées that will still delight your palate. If you are looking for other ways to save on the menu, ordering appetizers, sharing plates and sides instead of an entrée can not only save you money, but allow you to experience a wider variety of items for the same cost or less. Places like Morimoto Asia are perfect for ordering around the entrées as it has a menu of starters, dim sum, sushi rolls, soups and salads, noodles and rice, and so many more items to mix and match to meet any budget.
If the ambience is what you're after, you can also consider popping into a signature restaurant later in the evening to order tea and coffee along with a delectable dessert to experience the atmosphere without committing to a full meal. If you're just looking to sample some of the food, some of the signature restaurants offer a menu of their items at a lounge close by. Places like Street Food at Morimoto Asia, the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge, the Cítricos Lounge, and the Nomad Lounge beside the brand new Tiffins at Animal Kingdom all offer a select menu within a relaxed atmosphere.
In each of the signature restaurants, there are ways to save on dining as well as splurge on the experience. Whether you splurge or save, you will always leave with a memory that will last a lifetime as the Disney magic finds its way into each and every culinary experience.