Signature Dining; Is it Worth the Cost (Part 1)



Disney World is full of dining experiences; from character buffets to themed meals, from fine dining to dinner shows and more. It can be an incredibly daunting task to schedule meals for your trip. One question that I see asked a lot is if Signature Dining is worth the cost.

First of all let me define signature dining. These restaurants will be pricier and a bit more upscale than your normal Disney dining choices. They offer eclectic options spanning from bison at Artist Point to Guinea Hen at Jiko. These meals will cost a pretty penny out of pocket or two credits per person if using the dining plan. For this reason I am also going to group dinner shows such as Hoop-dee-doo Revue and Spirit of Aloha in this category. Another restaurant that will cost two credits per diner is Cinderella’s Royal Table which is housed in the Castle at the end of Main Street USA.

So, are these restaurants worth it? My answer is a resounding “sometimes.” I know, I’m not helping you, but I promise I will so bear with me.

The first thing you need to consider is who is in your party. If you are thinking about taking 4 toddlers and 2 adults to Cirtico’s I would maybe suggest looking into 1900 Park Fare instead. Fine Dining takes a bit longer. The service is great and so is the food, but young kids get bored quickly so you may want to skip this type of meal for your kids. Another thing in terms of kids, is that I think using two of their credits for a childs meal that costs roughly $13 when dessert is included is a bit of a waste. Especially since a normal buffet costing one credit would cost about $20 out of pocket for a kids meal. My suggestion is to leave the signature dining restaurants such as Citricos, Narcoossee’s, Artist Point, Jiko,  Le Cellier, Yachtsman’s Steakhouse, The Flying Fish, and The Hollywood Brown Derby to pre-teens,  teens and adults to experience.

Cinderella’s Royal Table is a unique restaurant in that it is a Character meal that will cost you two credits for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. The real thrill of this restaurant is eating with the most popular princess in the park inside her castle. If you have kids it’s worth doing once. The food here is only ok and in my humble opinion not worth the menu prices or two credits for the dining plan. If you are trying to stretch your dollar, go visit the princesses at Akershus in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot. This meal is more affordable and has better food!

Dinner shows are another way to use two dining credits on a meal. There are three dinner shows; Ho0p-Dee-Doo Revue, Spirit of Aloha, and Mickey’s Back  Yard BBQ. I think all of these shows are fun but here is my suggestion. Hoop-Dee-Doo is far superior to the other two options. The entire family will enjoy the food and the entertainment. This is a great value for both those on the dining plan and those paying out of pocket. It is all you care to enjoy chicken, ribs, potatoes, and cornbread plus beer and sangria is included as well. This is a wonderful way to feel good about using two meal credits. The other shows are fun too, but honestly, I would go to ‘Ohana over Spirit of Aloha and only use one dining credit. You get better food at ‘Ohana too and there is always live entertainment in the restaurant.

I will go into more detail in part two of this post! Thanks for reading!


Jess is a travel agent with Pixie Vacations. You can check out her other articles on, and on her facebook page!


Leave a Reply