For many folks visiting Walt Disney World, one of the best parts of their day is the special entertainment. Glittering fireworks taking to the skies over the theme parks each night, thrilling stage shows, live musical performances and more bring a little special something to an already enchanting Disney day. And, not to mention, they’re also the perfect excuse to slow down, catch your breath and, if you’re lucky, maybe even rest your park-weary feet for a while. However, if you’re hoping for a front-row seat to the magic, then chances are pretty good that you’re going to have to budget your time accordingly to make it happen.
That can mean dedicating an hour or more simply staking out a spot—or risk being stuck with the less-than-magical leftovers. You know the kind of view we’re talking about. The one with the super-tall person sitting in front of you with Mickey ears on (so cute but, in this case, so annoying) or the parent hoisting their toddler atop their shoulders so they can see. Of course, little ones should have a chance to see the show clearly, too. But that doesn’t make it any less difficult to see when they decide to turn themselves into a human booster seat directly in front of you, especially if you’re already a little height challenged to begin with. (Yes, I am speaking from personal experience, as a relatively short person myself.)
Unfortunately, securing an excellent viewing location can often be a time-consuming endeavor. So, what if you want the perks of a great seat without the lengthy time commitment that usually comes along with it? Believe it or not, you can have your cake and eat it, too. How, might you ask? Simple! All you need to do is book a Walt Disney World dining package. If that sounds right up your alley, then stick with us as we break down all there is to know about booking a dining package at Disney World, from cost and inclusions to which shows at the theme parks offer them.
Walt Disney World Dining Package Basics
For those of you who have checked out our Disney World guides before, then you know that we’ve often sung the praises of enjoying a dinner and a show. After all, what’s not to like about indulging in delicious food while also taking in some entertainment at the same time? And while you certainly can catch Walt Disney World’s very own dinner show, the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, you can also cobble together a similar experience by taking advantage of a dining package.
What are the perks of Disney World dining packages for nighttime spectaculars or special entertainment?
Now, don’t let the very similar-sounding name fool you. Disney World dining packages are not the same thing as the Disney dining plan. While the latter is a prepaid meal plan that, for all intents and purposes, covers all the eating that you’re going to be doing on any given day at the parks, a dining package is only available for select evening shows and special entertainment offerings and covers just one meal. However, while the Disney dining plan is all about the food, a dining package includes a full-course meal with a side of entertainment. Let’s take a look at the particulars.
What’s included with a dining package at Disney World?
Aside from the obvious (the food!), the biggest perk that comes with booking a Disney dining package is reserved viewing for a few of Walt Disney World’s most popular nighttime spectaculars and special entertainment offerings. In other words, this can be a great time-saving measure as you won’t need to take a bunch of time out of your already busy day to lock down a great view. And all you’re really doing is paying a little bit extra for something you would already do anyway: Eat!
As for the actual meal itself, dining packages come with a full-course meal no matter which of the participating restaurants you choose to eat at. What that specific meal looks like, however, varies from place to place, with everything from three-course prix fixe feasts to all-you-care-to-enjoy buffets and family-style spreads to a delightful array of tapas and desserts to share. The only thing you won’t get to indulge in is complimentary alcoholic beverages, though they are certainly available for purchase. Tax and gratuity are usually also additional.
What shows at Disney World have dining packages?
Currently, dining packages are only available all throughout the year for two entertainment offerings: the Epcot fireworks and Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Other dining packages are offered seasonally for the headlining shows during the various Epcot festivals. Walt Disney World dining packages for 2023 include:
Rose & Crown Fireworks Dining Package
Spice Road Table Fireworks Dining Package
DISNEY ON BROADWAY Concert Series Dining Package for the International Festival of the Arts
Garden Rocks Concert Series Dining Package for the International Flower & Garden Festival
Eat to the Beat Concert Series Dining Package for the International Food & Wine Festival
Candlelight Processional Dining Packages for the International Festival of the Holidays
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Fantasmic! Dining Package
Is there a Disney dining package available for the Magic Kingdom fireworks?
Unfortunately, no. However, while you can’t enjoy a delicious meal and secure a spot in the reserved viewing section, you can enjoy premium Magic Kingdom fireworks views by booking a fireworks dessert party. When you get down to the basics, the benefits are virtually the same. The only thing that differs is that you’re swapping out an appetizer, entrée and dessert for an entire spread of treats, making for a truly sweet finish to your day.
Can you have dinner and watch the show from your table at the same time?
Typically, no, although there are a couple of notable exceptions. For most dining packages, you will simply enjoy guaranteed seating or access to a special section, which tends to be centrally located with premium views. However, for a select few, namely the Rose & Crown and Spice Road Table dining packages for the Epcot fireworks, you can take in the show from right there at your dinner table. Talk about VIP seats!
How do you reserve entertainment dining packages at Disney World?
As you might imagine, these Disney World dining experiences can be incredibly popular, especially for certain restaurants and shows. So, if you know that this is something you want to take advantage of, then your best bet is to make a dining reservation as early as possible. Although there may be some same-day reservations, these are subject to availability and should not be relied upon. Otherwise, there’s a good chance that you will wind up disappointed. Disney dining package reservations can be made up to 60 days prior on the My Disney Experience app or the Walt Disney World website.
Are Disney World dining packages worth it?
That depends on a few factors, namely your plans for the day, vacation priorities and travel budget. Though there can be some affordable dining packages available, depending on the restaurant you choose and the entertainment offering attached, the vast majority aren’t what we’d call cheap by any means. For adults, a Disney dining package averages around $63.50 per person, while kids average out to around $32.50 each. Again, that doesn’t include tax or gratuity either. That said, there are options that go as low as $50 or so for adults and $20 for children and up to as much as $95 and $48. It all comes down to the restaurant you want to choose and the event you’re interested in.
That being said, with theme park ticket prices being what they are, time really is money at Disney World. So, while these aren’t exactly budget dining options, you are basically paying more to save some time in the long run. For some folks, freeing up a little extra time in their day is well worth the price tag. Those traveling on a budget, however, might be more inclined to set aside some time to hunt down seats if it means saving some more cash overall.
Year-Round and Seasonal Dining Packages at Disney World
Ready to book a dining package for your next Disney World vacation? If you want to secure reserved seating for the nightly fireworks show or a live concert, enjoy a delicious meal at one of the theme park restaurants and save a little bit of time while you’re at it, these Disney dining packages can make it happen.
Fantasmic! Dining Packages
Starring Mickey Mouse and a dastardly cast of Disney Villains as they face off in an epic battle of good versus evil, Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is one of Disney World’s most popular nighttime spectaculars. And with good reason! Between the thrilling scenes playing out on stage, dazzling projections on giant water screens, glittering fireworks, a soundtrack of beloved Disney tunes and a whole slew of Disney characters, you’re sure to be on the edge of your seat the entire time. It really is a can’t-miss entertainment experience.
As reserved seating for Fantasmic! Dining Packages is typically located in the two centermost parts of the amphitheater, guests who decide to splurge are treated to the best views of the show, smack dab in the middle. Regardless of which participating restaurant you choose, the Fantasmic Dining Package comes with either a two-course meal (including an entrée and an appetizer or dessert) or a buffet, a non-alcoholic beverage and a voucher that guarantees you access to the reserved seating section.
Restaurants that offer the Fantasmic! Dining package include:
50’s Prime Time Café – Old-fashioned American-style comfort food in a kitschy kitchen setting where the servers take on the role of uncles, aunts and cousins and give you a stern talking-to if you don’t finish your vegetables
$51 for adults, $22 for kids ages 9 and below
Hollywood & Vine – Character dining experience with Disney Junior Stars at breakfast and seasonally inspired get-togethers featuring Minnie Mouse and her pals for lunch and dinner with themed décor and costumes
$54 for breakfast and $71 for lunch and dinner for adults, $36 for breakfast and $47 for lunch and dinner for kids ages 9 and below
Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano – Casual Italian eatery with a Hollywood-inspired twist
$54 for adults, $22 for kids ages 9 and below
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant – Immersively themed restaurant styled after an old-school drive-in movie theater, complete with sci-fi movie clips, retro convertibles as dining tables and carhops for servers
$49 for adults, $22 for kids ages 9 and below
The Hollywood Brown Derby – Elegant signature restaurant inspired by a popular Los Angeles eatery from the Golden Age of Hollywood with elevated American cuisine
$73 for adults, $29 for kids ages 9 and below
Epcot Fireworks Dining Packages
Located out on World Showcase Lagoon, surrounded by the twinkle-light-festooned country pavilions, the nightly Epcot fireworks show makes for the perfect finale to a day filled with international culinary delights and drinking around the world. The current nighttime spectacular is called Epcot Forever and features a nostalgic set list of songs from throughout the park’s history.
Although you can snag some pretty spectacular views from all around World Showcase, nothing can compare to watching along the waterfront, enjoying a front-row seat to the Epcot fireworks as they flicker and flare over the lagoon. Best of all, with an Epcot Fireworks Dining Package, you can take in the sparkling scene from the comfort of your dinner table. Regardless of your chosen restaurant, diners savor a prix fixe meal that is every bit as delightful as the show in front of you.
The two participating restaurants include:
Rose & Crown Fireworks Dining Package – Located in the United Kingdom Pavilion, tuck into classic British fare from the restaurant’s outdoor patio
Three-course prix fixe menu with an appetizer, entrée, dessert and unlimited beverages
$89 for adults, $39 for kids ages 9 and below (includes tax and gratuity)
Spice Road Table Fireworks Dining Package – Located in the Morocco Pavilion, delight in Mediterranean-inspired small plates from a covered, outdoor dining area evocative of a Moroccan seaside café
Shareable prix fixe menu with a choice of two small plates, a share tagine, a dessert platter and unlimited beverages
$72 for adults, $29 for kids ages 9 and below (includes tax and gratuity)
Epcot Festival Dining Packages
Along with all the yummy things to eat and drink on offer at the many themed food booths, another highlight of the ever-popular Epcot festivals is the live musical entertainment. Held at America Gardens Theatre at The American Adventure Pavilion, these seasonal concerts can draw quite a crowd. And, since the space in the amphitheater is limited, it isn’t unheard of for seating for certain shows to fill up or for eager concertgoers to line up more than an hour or two before showtime. Luckily, with one of the Epcot festival dining packages, you can enjoy a guaranteed seat and even more delicious eats, this time from one of the participating restaurants.
Dining packages offered for the Epcot festivals include:
Participating restaurants can change from festival to festival and year to year, and depending on the dining venue, breakfast, lunch and dinner are available. Included dining can range from a three-course feast to a buffet or family-style spread to sharable small plates and desserts. Typically, prices range from $35 to $95 for adults and between $20 to $48 for children ages 3 to 9. Restaurants in the past have included:
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall – Character meal in the Norway Pavilion featuring the Disney Princesses and Norwegian-inspired cuisine
Biergarten Restaurant – Themed buffet restaurant in the Germany Pavilion designed to feel like a moonlit Bavarian town square with classic German fare
Coral Reef Restaurant – Seafood-heavy restaurant in The Living Seas with views of the aquariums
Garden Grill Restaurant – Character meal in The Land Pavilion with a revolving dining room overlooking the Living with the Land boat ride and seasonally inspired dishes crafted with ingredients grown in the pavilion’s greenhouses
Le Cellier Steakhouse – Cozy steakhouse in the Canada Pavilion
Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue – Quick-service restaurant in The American Adventure Pavilion serving regionally inspired BBQ
Rose and Crown Dining Room – British-style pub in the United Kingdom Pavilion
Spice Road Table – Mediterranean-style small-plates restaurant in the Morocco Pavilion
Well, that concludes our guide to Walt Disney World’s entertainment dining packages. Have you taken advantage of a Disney dining package? Do you think it’s worth it? Let us know in the comments! Then, find out how you can save some cash on your next Disney vacation with our discount theme park tickets.