A September 2006 trip
to Orlando by C.Kowalczik
Quote: The Disney Dining Plan is almost like having an all inclusive package at Disney that includes the taxes and gratuities, yet saves you money!
Walt Disney World is a confusing vacation to plan and no matter how many times you have visited the resort, it is still a challenge. Disney executives realized this awhile back and they created the Magic Your Way packages to make a visit to the Walt Disney World Resort affordable for everyone. What’s that you say, booking your vacation and getting to the resort is only half the cost? You say that feeding a family of four can cost just as much as the vacation itself?Well you’re right, but guess what? Disney thought of that too and designed an add-on option called the Magic Your Way Package PLUS Dining option (and I am here to tell you just how it works).
The thought behind the dining plan is relatively simple; guests staying on Disney property can add the Plus Dining option to their Magic Your Way experience. The package basically then makes their Disney vacation all-inclusive, with access to more than 100 Walt Disney World restaurants. For each night of your stay the package includes:
So what’s all this cost? Believe it or not, adults (ages 10 and up) are only $38.99 a night and children (ages 3-9) are just $10.99. For those of us who have been to Disney at least one time, we know that there is no way you can eat all that food inside the parks for that amount of money. The plan literally pays for itself in just one Table Service Meal and you can add the dining plan option at any time up to three days before your Disney vacation begins. Simply put, a family of four (two adults and two children) can spend seven nights in a Disney-owned and -operated resort and add the dining plan option for only $699.72. That’s an average savings of 43%.When you’re ready, contact aTravel Consultant and tell them that you want to add the dining plan option to your Magic Your Way package.
Please review our other Walt Disney World journals:Walt Disney World Vacation - 2006 Walt Disney World's Character Dining Experiences Walt Disney World ResortsDining Guide - Inside Disney World
When you add the dining option to your Magic Your Way package each person in your party will receive a snack option, a quick service option, and a table service option.
What is a table service option you ask? Simply put you will dine at a full service restaurant. You will have a wait-staff available throughout your meal, just as you would if you were dining at any other full service restaurant around the world. Each individual seating of your Table Service options will include (1) one service of:
Juice (during breakfast)
Sounds pretty easy, right? It is. The key to the plan is to know how to utilize the options to your advantage and make the dining plan pay for itself in just one meal. However there are a couple twists to how you can use your table service options:
To wrap this all up, there are over one hundred different participating restaurants on the Disney Dining Plan, so attempting to list all of the table service locations would take forever. However the official 2007 Disney Dining Brochure will give you a complete list of all the different locations. I recommend using this list of restaurants and pairing that information with the menus from All Ears Net® and selecting the restaurants and menus which you will be able to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.
What set a quick service option aside from the table service is the fact you will be dining in a cafeteria style restaurant. This is a restaurant where you will give your order to the cashier while ordering from the menu board, just like at Wendy’s, Burger King or McDonald's. Each individual seating of your Quick Service options will include (1) one service of :
Dessert (during lunch & dinner)
Unlike the table service options, the quick service options are pretty straight forward and easy to use. Options can be used at any of the food courts eateries located inside the resorts and throughout the theme parks. They are, in my opinion best utilized for lunches or if you had a Character Dining Experience buffet of family style lunch, use one for a light dinner.
The best place that I found to utilize your counter service options is at the Pepper Market, located in Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. With the large selection and diversity of foods available at this quick service location you certainly feel as though you are eating a full service meal. The Pepper Market Menu offers gastronomical selections from the American Grill, Italian, Mexican and Oriental kitchens. The easiest way to get the most for your $38.99 and really take advantage of the savings of the dining plan is to order the rib-eye steak from the grille. This steak is prepared to order and comes with a potato and vegetables. If you were paying out of pocket the entrée would cost $18.99, but since you made the right choice and added the Disney Dining Plan, it’s included in your price.
To conclude my experiences with Disney’s Quick Service Meal options, I can tell you that there are over one hundred different participating restaurants on the Disney Dining Plan, so attempting to list all of the locations would take forever and wouldn’t be much use on line. However the official 2007 Disney Dining Brochure will give you a complete list of all the different locations. I recommend using this list of restaurants and pairing that information with the menus from All Ears Net® and selecting the restaurants and menus so you can ensure that you get the most bang for your buck while dining at Disney.
Unlike the table service and the quick service options, the snack options are exactly that, snacks. These options are extremely easy to use and are found inside many of the Disney resorts and throughout the theme parks. They are, in my opinion best saved and utilized while touring the International Food and Wine Festival, as these options can be used to taste the many different culinary treats that are found throughout the Market Place booths in the World Showcase in EPCOT.
However if you are not visiting Disney World in the fall season the most common places to utilize your snack options are inside the theme parks. Most of the vendor carts and merchandise locations selling frozen ice cream products or drinks will honor the Snack options.
What constitutes a snack option you ask? There are several different selections that are available to you. Some of these items are:
One of my personal favorites was found in the Pepper Market at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort; the rice crispy big block treat. This was not your average rice crispy treat; the thing was bigger than a building brick. Although it was so delicious I brought two of them home, what made this snack even better was the price, FREE! It was a single snack option on the Disney Dining Plan.
To wrap things up, the Snack options as well as the rest of the Disney Dining Plan is a great way to keep your hard earned money where it belongs; in your pocket instead of Mickey’s. For a list of all the different vendor cart locations that accommodate the Snack options, review the official 2007 Disney Dining Brochure.Please review our other Walt Disney World journals:Walt Disney World Vacation - 2006 Walt Disney World ResortsHow To Save Money at Disney WorldAn Orlando Vacation At Orange Lake.
Please review our other Disney World Dining journals:Dining Guide – Inside Walt Disney WorldWalt Disney World’s Character Dining Experiences
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