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How to Strategically Plan Your Disney Dining

Happy Monday & Happy Mothers' Day! I hope you all enjoyed your weekend & spending time with your families. This week's post is about something I learned from my mom as she scheduled our Disney Dining growing up!

That's right, it's all about food!

Brycen enjoying his first Disneyland Turkey Leg!

This week I want to share our family's tips and tricks for "beginners" on strategically scheduling our Disney Dining! (And hopefully you "pros" will find something helpful here too!)

First things first: plan your meals around your days, not your days around your meals! If you plan to eat breakfast in California Adventure, a restaurant in Downtown Disney for lunch, and dinner in Disneyland, you are going to be extremely exhausted by the end of the day - and you won't have much time for rides in between! Follow these four simple steps below to get the most out of your Disney Dining.
  1. Write down all of the restaurants you want to eat at, and what meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) you want there. Some restaurants have different offerings and prices for each meal. Then mark all of the ones you will need reservations for. You can find menus & pricing for every restaurant on the Official Disneyland app!
  2. Start planning out your days, and decide which parks you plan to be in each day. If you know you want to be in California Adventure most of the day on day two, you probably don't want to schedule a lunch at the Blue Bayou. If you want to eat in Disneyland that day, a dinner plan would be a better option. I would suggest getting breakfast in California Adventure as early as possible on this day so you can get your early morning Fastpasses for Radiator Racers or Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout!
  3. Once you get an idea of what parks you want to be in each day, start thinking about shows you want to see. This can determine when and where you eat! For example, if you plan to stay late for a firework show or Fantasmic!, then you probably won't want to get up bright and early the next morning for an 8:00 breakfast reservation! Or if you want to see a show at the Golden Horseshoe, then you could plan to eat lunch while you're there.
  4. Once you have a basic outline for your days, you can start planning out your meals!! Look up menu items to plan out how large or small of meals you will be getting at each restaurant. If you know you are getting a buffet for breakfast, then you probably won't want to schedule an expensive lunch at the Blue Bayou for just a few hours later! We like to eat an early character breakfast, a light lunch, and then a nicer, heavier dinner. Then the next day we would do a light breakfast, lunch at the Blue Bayou, and then a late dinner that evening. Don't over-schedule your restaurant times or you will end up paying for more than you can eat!
An example of a scheduled out week could look like this:

A couple of helpful tips:
  • We don't like to schedule a late character breakfast. We get one for as early as we can! If you are doing the Minnie and Friends Character Breakfast at the Plaza Inn, remember that it usually opens about an hour or so before the park does. If you get an earlier reservation, you get early entry with a less crowded breakfast hall. By the time you are done eating, you are joining the first of the crowds just after the opening of the park! It's an easy way to make sure you don't miss out on any of the fun!!
    Minnie and Friends' Breakfast - Dale "proposed" and was
    waving goodbye to my husband in the picture on the right! 
  • If you are making a reservation for the Blue Bayou, schedule for as close to noon as you can. If you go for lunch you get the same menu as you do for dinner but you are paying WAY less!
    Lunch at the Blue Bayou!
  • If you are celebrating a special occasion such as a birthday, anniversary, or honeymoon, be sure to let them know at the time of reservation and when you check in! More than likely, they will help you celebrate in a special way! On our honeymoon we got a delicious Mickey-shaped chocolate cake as a surprise dessert! 
Celebration Cake from Blue Bayou!

What are your favorite dining tips? Leave us a comment below!

If you are interested in buying a copy of my Disneyland Guide, feel free to contact me at any time at enchantedpumpkinblog@gmail.com. I sell my guide for $10, or you can request a personalized one for $15 that I will customize entirely to your family’s needs!

As always, if you have any tips, tricks or questions you would like to submit to our blog feel free to send us an email at enchantedpumpkinblog@gmail.com! And don't forget to hit that blue follow button in the drop down menu at the top of the page!

-Lindsay Prout

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