Meal plan or no meal plan – that is the question. Here’s my opinion.
Buy a Meal Plan if: Your family always eats together and you have hungry teens or small children who can dine for free with you (the small children eat free, not teens). The meal plans only work if you all eat together. If you like knowing your entire vacation budget BEFORE you go, you can include the meal plan and your food costs are already accounted for.
Don’t Buy a Meal Plan if: You don’t eat all together and you are more of a “grab and go” type family. Also, if you are staying in a room with a kitchen, you can really cut back on food costs by making at least some of the meals in your room. Insider tip: You can take a taxi to a local grocery store and load up on staples for less than they would cost in the sundries shop at the hotel.
When I did the math, buying a meal plan wouldn’t save our family any money, but if you have kids under 11 they eat free with a paid adult plan, I would highly recommend it. Check out the Dining Plan FAQ’s to see if one is right for your family.
Our Favorite Restaurants
This is hands down our favorite spot to eat at Atlantis. Heads up, they only seat kids under six years old at 5:30 and 6:00pm so get your reservations. Insider tip: They generally have space at the sushi bar for walk ins, especially early in the evening. One night I told Macie and Keaton to “grab a bite” without me, they hit Nobu. My own fault for not saying “grab a quick cheap bite”.
This was our second favorite, it’s another fine dining option and worth getting a reservation for. If you plan to see a show one night book Chopstix the same night, it’s right next door to the theater. I recommend the lobster in chili sauce, so good.
Somehow I never realized that Marina Village was all part of Atlantis, you can use your hotel key to pay for meals and the restaurants are on the meal plan. I think we ended up here every night, we loved walking around in the marina, did a little shopping, gawked at the mega yachts and then got some Ben and Jerry’s. The restaurants aren’t Nobu, but they are good solid fare and I love the setting.
This is always our number one choice for food. I know, it’s crazy expensive but the kids and I love it. I hate wasting time sitting at a restaurant. Yes, I could have cooked breakfast, but I’m on vacation. We order the night before and room service is our wake up call, they eat while I get ready and we hit the water park before anyone else is even out of the restaurant. Insider tip: The restaurants are most full at around 10 am, get up earlier or eat in your room.
We did a video series for Atlantis to help families plan the ultimate getaway. Here’s our best tips for Dining at Atlantis. If you are planning your trip and know you want to eat at some of the fine dining restaurants, you can book as far as 90 days in advance.
We were hired by Atlantis to create a video series. The editorial on Luxury Travel Mom is not sponsored. Some of our food costs were covered, but not all. Nobu and room service were worth it.