The Cost of Quick Service vs. Table Service Restaurants
There are 2 main types of restaurants at Walt Disney World: Quick Service and Table Service.
What Are Quick Service Restaurants?
- Casual atmosphere
- Self-service (order at a counter and then seat yourself)
- Less expensive than Table Service
- Advanced Dining Reservations are NOT required
The Average Cost of Quick Service Meals at Disney World
Walt Disney World is home to 0ver 100 Quick Service dining locations throughout the park. They are located in Disney Springs, Disney’s resort hotels, and at Disney’s water parks and theme parks.
The menu at a Quick Service restaurant usually focuses on standard American fares like hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, pizza, salads, and at least one vegetarian/vegan option. Some have an international theme with international cuisine.
Burgers with fries usually run in the $11 – $13 range, individual-sized pizza can be $10 – $11, and something like a Pork Carnitas Rice Bowl costs around $12.
An adult should expect to pay roughly $12 per Quick Service entree and about $7 per kids’ meal.
The main dish does NOT include a beverage, so plan on an additional $3 – $4 for a fountain drink or non-alcoholic bottled beverage.
A side dish adds another $4 or $5 on average, and desserts would tack on another $4 – $6.
Total Cost of Quick Service Meals
When you combine 2 adult entrees and 2 kids’ meals – plus four fountain drinks – it will cost a family of four about $50 – $60 to eat at a Disney Quick Service restaurant. The cost jumps to $60 if two people order desserts.
Quick Service restaurant the less expensive option and totally adequate for most families on the go. If you don’t mind spending more for a sit-down meal, or if you want a few high-quality and memorable meals at Disney, then you should focus on Table Service restaurants.
What Are Table Service Restaurants?
- The atmosphere varies from casual to fancy, depending on the restaurant
- Not self-service (you are seated by a host/hostess and a server takes your order, brings your food/drinks, and you are expected to pay gratuity)
- More expensive than Quick Service
- Advanced Dining Reservations ARE usually required
The Average Cost of Table Service Meals at Disney World
Disney’s Table Service restaurants are full-service and typically have an elaborate theme. They can be family-oriented, fun, kitschy, exotic, or upscale and classy.
You can count on fantastic customer service and delicious food and drinks at Disney’s Table Service restaurants.
There’s also a huge range of prices amongst Table Service restaurants but they always cost more than Quick Services restaurants. We think it’s worth splurging while you’re on vacation but you certainly don’t need Table Service for every meal.
Cost of Regular Table Service Restaurants
Let’s look at 50’s Prime Time Cafe (in Disney’s Hollywood Studios) as an example of what you might expect from a casual table-service location. It’s open for lunch and dinner and serves classic American fare like fried chicken, pot roast, salmon, meatloaf, and other hearty items.
Entrees at 50’s Prime Time Cafe (and similar Table Service restaurants) vary from $15 – $30 for both lunch and dinner. Kid’s menu items include grilled chicken and mac ‘n cheese and range from $10 -$13.
Cost of Family Style Table Service Restaurants
Some Table Service restaurants offer “all-you-care-to-eat” family-style meals. With this option, you pay a set price and have the freedom to sample all kinds of different foods.
As an example, Liberty Tree Tavern (in Disney’s Magic Kingdom) is a family-style dining location serving both lunch and dinner for $39 (adults)/$21 (kids ages 3-9). You receive three courses: a mixed salad to start, the main course is a Patriot’s Platter with roasted turkey breast, pot roast, and oven-roasted pork with mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, herb stuffing, and house-made macaroni and cheese, and Oooey Gooey Toffee Cake for dessert.
Cost of Disney Character Dining Meals
Disney’s “Signature Dining” restaurants are Disney’s top-of-the-line dining locations…and destinations unto themselves. They offer creative cuisine and memorable experiences in a fine dining environment.
There are Signature Dining locations at most Disney Deluxe Resorts and at least one at each theme park.
Victoria & Albert’s, located in Disney’s Grand Floridian, is a AAA Five Diamond Award-winning restaurant.
Magic Kingdom has Cinderella’s Royal Table; EPCOT has Le Cellier (Canada Pavilion), Monsieur Paul (France Pavilion), and Takumi-Tei (Japan Pavilion); Disney’s Hollywood Studios has Hollywood Brown Derby; Disney’s Animal Kingdom has Tiffins.
Tiffins, for example, serves dishes like Whole-fried Sustainable Fish and Tamarind-braised Short Ribs. Signature Dining entrees tend to be in the $30 – $50 range.
Appetizers at Table Service restaurants typically cost $11 -$15 and desserts average in the $10 – $16 range.
Count on about $8 for a beer and $18 for a glass of wine or cocktail.
You can see how a Signature Dining experience for 2 adults can cost $150, and upwards of $200 when you include two kids.
Total Cost of Table Service Dining
It will cost a family of four (two adults, two kids) anywhere from $75 to $200 on average to eat at a Disney Table Service restaurant. The total cost depends on what you order and the type of Table Service restaurant you choose.
The most informal and cheapest way to get food at Disney World are:
- Most carts sell drinks and snack item popcorn and frozen treats
- They don’t sell entire meals but some sell egg rolls, meat on a stick, or turkey legs
- Some Disney Springs carts just sell alcoholic beverages
- You’ll find these are Epcot during their festivals like the Epcot Food& Wine Festival
- Kiosks serve small-sized portions. They are great for sampling a variety of different types of food and beverages
Cost of Beverages:
- The average cost of fountain drinks is about $4.00
- The average cost of a canned beer is about $8.00
- The average cost of an alcoholic cocktail drink is about $10 at Quick Service restaurants and $12.00 at Table Service restaurants
- Other types of specialty drinks (without alcohol) cost about $5 each
Estimating the Cost of Food based on the Disney Dining Plan
Normally, anyone going to Disney would have a choice between 1. purchasing one of the three Disney Dining Plans or 2. just paying out-of-pocket as you go.
Disney’s Dining Plans are currently unavailable due to pandemic restrictions. Will they return later this year? Disney hasn’t announced anything yet but hopefully, they will reinstate it sooner or later.
Even though the Disney Dining Plan is not an option, we can use Disney Dining Plan pricing to get an estimate of what Disney thinks the average cost for meals and snacks is.
Coming up with some cost averaging, we can guess the following:
- ~ $5 – $6 per Snack
- ~ $19 per Quick Service meal for adults and ~ $11.00 per child (ages 3-9)
- ~ $42 per Table Service meal for adults and ~ $25.00 per child (ages 3-9)
These numbers are not exactly in line with the numbers we mentioned before but they are still pretty close.
To estimate your total food budget, determine how many days you’ll stay at Disney World and determine how many snacks and Quick Service and/or Table Service meals you will eat each day.
Add your meals together, and then multiply that total by the number of days you are staying. Remember to include a tip amount in your total. Now do this for every member of your party.
Final Thoughts – How Much Does Food Cost at Disney World?
How much should you budget for food at Disney?
When you consider all of the various ways you can eat at Disney World, a family of four should expect to spend roughly $200 – $250 per day on dining. This estimate is based on one Quick Service meal, one Table Service meal, and one purchase of snacks and drinks for all four people.
Our estimate does not factor in breakfast, alcohol, or gratuity at table-service locations as these can be a large factor or a non-factor depending on your dining plans. A Starbucks or Kiosk type of breakfast could add an additional $20 – $30 but a full breakfast meal could add another $50 – $70 or so. Two beers per day would add about $16 while two glasses of wine would add $$25 – $40.
Like we said: there are a lot of variables and a family of four could certainly keep costs under $200 per day or easily exceed $300 per day.
If you’re looking to cut back on some of your dining costs, be aware that Disney World DOES allow guests to bring their own food into the parks. Coolers cannot be larger than 24″ long by 15″ wide and 18″ high. Coolers with loose ice aren’t allowed but ice packs are.
Alcohol and glass bottles are prohibited.
Food is permitted but you will not be able to heat your food inside the parks.
Ready to Book your Trip?
Dining is a large part of the Walt Disney World experience. Plan ahead, make your reservations as soon as you’re able to, and savor the flavors!
If you need help budgeting for food at Disney World, feel free to reach out to the Disney Travel Agents at The Vacationeer. They can help you will planning and booking your vacation to Disney World. They can even set up a Disney World payment plan!