Disney Entertainment Dining Packages -- Worth it?
Updated: Aug 25
Getting ready to make your Disney dining reservations? With so many restaurant choices, it can be a bit overwhelming. But there is one category of dining reservations that I recommend putting at the top of your priority list: Entertainment Dining Packages.
This is a special dining event where you enjoy a 3-course prix fixe meal at select restaurants and admission to a reserved viewing area for specific shows. After your meal your server will present you with a special ticket and instructions on where and when to go for your reserved viewing area.
You can book one of these dining experiences for Fantasmic! at Disneyland and Disney Hollywood Studios, World of Color at California Adventure Park, IllumiNations at Epcot, Rivers of Light at Animal Kingdom, and other parades and shows.
In my opinion it’s not necessary to spend the money to do this for the theater shows. But I HIGHLY recommend doing this for the big nighttime shows and special parades. And here are the reasons why:
The food! You must eat anyway, right?
Many of the restaurants that are included in these packages are on the higher end, so you will get fantastic service, high quality food and a fun experience. Need an excuse to justify the price of eating at the Blue Bayou in Disneyland? This is it!
The Disney Dining Plan and Disney Deluxe Dining Plans are accepted for these reservations at Disney World as well. Just be sure to check how many entitlements are required for the different restaurants you can chose from.
It will give you more ride time.
Instead of wasting your time grabbing your viewing spot an hour or more ahead of time, you can spend that time riding more rides knowing that your prime viewing spot is already reserved. And bonus, there will be shorter wait times because of all the people leaving the rides to grab their show seat.
My family once walked in and saw Mickey Mouse almost immediately using this exact strategy. Everyone was lining up for the Paint the Night Parade an hour before show time. Since we had our spot reserved, we ran and saw Mickey and checked out Toontown with plenty of time to get back to our front row seat for the parade before it started.
Same with Ghost Galaxy another time. And Jungle Cruise. There are only so many hours in a day at Disney, you need to make sure you spend them wisely.
You get to SIT DOWN front and center to watch the show.
You read that right, you will for sure sit down to watch the 15 – 20-minute shows. After a full day of walking miles and miles around Disney, this is HEAVENLY. My son even curled up on the ground and took a little nap while we were waiting for Fantasmic! to start.
Sometimes the restaurants at Disneyland give you seat cushions to use and keep. Being able to sit down on a comfy cushion to watch Fantasmic! sounds a lot better than standing up and being smashed into a viewing area with hundreds of other people, right?
You can use your FastPass+ at Disney World for something else.
It is hard enough to choose between which ride to get your FastPass+ for, make it easier on yourself and take these big shows out of the mix. Then you can FastPass Slinky Dog Dash, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Star Tours and still get prime viewing for Fantasmic!.
The shows are amazing. You want an amazing view to see them.
I may have cried a few times watching Fantasmic! it was that amazing. You might not be a big sap like me, but they are still fantastic shows with a lot going on. You will want to make sure you have a good view to see it all. And that means without the giant adult blocking you and your kid’s view.
One of my favorite memories at Disney is of my then 3-year old son getting absolutely star struck while watching his favorite Disney characters roll by right in front of him in the Paint the Night Parade. We had the perfect view for it because of our reserved seating and we had just come back from meeting Mickey without the typical long wait. It was the perfect ending, to the perfect day.
I am a travel agent with Magical Vacation Planner and can help you plan an unforgettable vacation with your family. Email me, head to my Facebook page, or set up time to chat if you’d like to start planning your magical vacation.
Or head here to download your copy of my free Disney Vacation planning worksheets.