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Disney World Tips & Info

Walt Disney World Table Service Restaurant Options

Disney World has a ton of Table Service Restaurant Options for you to choose from for your Disney vacation!  Click on the name of each restaurant for more information.  All restaurants use 1 Table Service Meal Credit on the Disney Dining Plan unless otherwise noted.  

ANIMAL KINGDOM

DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

EPCOT

MAGIC KINGDOM

DISNEY SPRINGS (formerly Downtown Disney)

RESORT OPTIONS:

ANIMAL KINGDOM LODGE

BEACH CLUB

BOARDWALK

CARIBBEAN BEACH

 

CONTEMPORARY

CORONADO SPRINGS

 DOLPHIN

FORT WILDERNESS

GRAND FLORIDIAN RESORT AND SPA

OLD KEY WEST

POLYNESIAN

PORT ORLEANS RESORT

SARATOGA SPRINGS

SWAN

WILDERNESS LODGE

YACHT CLUB

Make sure to check out my dining reviews!  

 As an Independent Travel Agent with Mouse Counselors, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani and all other destinations at no cost to you.  Message me today if I can help book a magical vacation for you.  

 

Disney FastPass Options

Magic Kingdom1

Barnstormer 35″

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 40″

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

Dumbo

Enchanted Tales with Belle

The Haunted Mansion

It’s a Small World

Jungle Cruise

Mad Tea Party (Tea Cups)

Magic Carpets of Aladdin

Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Meet Ariel in her Grotto

Meet Cinderella & Elena

Meet Rapunzel & Tiana

Meet Mickey Mouse

Meet Tinkerbell

Mickey’s Philharmagic

Monsters Inc Laugh Floor

Peter Pan’s Flight

Pirates of the Caribbean

**Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 38″

Space Mountain 44″

Splash Mountain 40″

Tomorrowland Speedway 38″

Little Mermaid:  Under the Sea

**Should be a priority – typically long waits

Epcot

Group A (Choose 1)

Test Track 40″

Illuminations 

Frozen Ever After

Soarin 40″

Character Spot

Group B (Choose 2)

Figment

Spaceship Earth

Seas with Nemo & Friends

Turtle Talk with Crush

Mission Space 40″

Living with the Land

Pixar Short Film 

Animal Kingdom

Group A (Choose 1)

Na’vi River Journey

**Avatar Flight of Passage 44″

Group B (Choose 2)

Expedition Everest 44″

Dinosaur 40″

Primeval Whirl 48″

Kali River Rapids 38″

Festival of the Lion King

Finding Nemo the Musical

It’s Tough to Be a Bug

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Meet Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost

Rivers of Light

Hollywood Studios

*NEW 2019*

Group A (Choose 1)

Alien Swirling Saucers 32″

Toy Story Mania

**Slinky Dog Dash 38″

Tower of Terror 40″

Rock ‘n Rollercoaster 48″

Group B (Choose 2)

Star Tours 40″

Disney Jr. Live on Stage

Frozen Sing Along

Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular

Muppet Vision 3D

Voyage of the Little Mermaid

Beauty and the Beast Live

Fantasmic

Once you use your first 3 fastpasses, you can then get additional fastpasses through the My Disney Experience app on your phone, or at kiosks stationed within the park.  The additional fastpasses can only be done one at a time (must be used before you can select another).  Popular rides are likely out of fastpasses, but sometimes you can get lucky with some openings!  

Typically shows like Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, Mickey’s Philharmagic, Beauty & the Beast Live, etc. do not require a fastpass.  The theaters are usually large enough that these attractions have low wait times, so I wouldn’t waste a fastpass on these attractions.  

As an Independent Travel Agent with Mouse Counselors, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani and all other destinations at no cost to you.  Message me today if I can help book a magical vacation for you.  

Review:  Passholder Play Time at Toy Story Land – BEST PARK DAY EVER!

My husband and I recently attended the Passholder Play Time event at Toy Story Land.  This was our first time ever passholder event and let me tell you – it did not disappoint!!! 

Our event time was scheduled from 7am – 8am, with entry to begin around 6:45am.  We got to our bus stop that morning right at 6:00am and a bus came up immediately (just like the sign says!):

disney bus times
These signs are stationed at the Disney resort bus stops to let you know how approximately how long you’ll have to wait. We always found them to be pretty accurate!
hollywood bus
We were the only ones on the bus!!

We were at the entrance by 6:20am and were greeted with the sight of all of the Cast Members awaiting our arrival:

hollywood studios opening

This was super cool; we were only the 3rd or 4th people to arrive.  We waited up front talking to a nice cast member until it was time to let us in.  The cast member told us that it was open to 300 passholders, but we weren’t sure if that was per hour, or for the entire 2 hours. 

park opening
First in line!

Once open, the cast members walked us over to Toy Story Land.  The sun was just beginning to rise, so it was still all lit up which was pretty cool. 

passholder play time passholder play time passholder play time

passholder play time

 

We headed straight for Slinky Dog Dash.  We did have to tap our magic bands (similar to a fastpass) but only had to do that the first time.  After that we went through a separate line. Pics of the empty queue:

passholder play time Slinky Dog Dash Queue Slinky Dog Dash Ride

Our first ride:

first slinky dog ride

Our 3rd ride:

Third ride

Our 5th ride:

5th ride

Our 7th (and final) ride:

7th ride passholder playtime

passholder play time passholder play time

By the time we finished our 7th ride (we thought about going for 10, but we were both feeling a little nauseous after the 7th time), it was only 7:30am.  We walked over to Alien Swirling Saucers for our first ride.  On the way over we stopped for some PhotoPass pics:

alien swirling photopass
The CLAW!!!

Slinky Dog Dash Ride

We walked right on to Alien Swirling Saucers.  This wasn’t our favorite ride and wasn’t something we wanted to ride a second time, even though we could have walked right back on. 

alien saucer passholder play time

alien saucer passholder play time

alien saucer passholder play time

We stopped for a bathroom break and then took some more pics:

passholder play time passholder play time passholder play time passholder play time

As you can see, the park was pretty empty – it was amazing!!

passholder play time passholder play time passholder play time

Afterwards we headed over to the Woody & Jessie meet and greet.  This would be our longest line of the day…..which was about 10 minutes total.  The characters are out in the sun with no shade cover, so they take breaks frequently.  We had some cute interaction with them and ended up with a shirt full of stickers:

Next we were off to meet Buzz and to get our Photopass picture by the entrance sign:

After meeting Buzz, we decided to head over to Woody’s Lunch Box for breakfast.  I have heard good things about this quick service meal, and it did not disappoint.  You can check out their menu here.  

woody's lunch box 1

Eddie ordered the Breakfast Bowl:

woody's lunch box breakfast bowl
Breakfast bowl with potato barrels, eggs, green onion, and smoked brisket country gravy

I ordered the Smoked Turkey breakfast sandwich on sourdough:

woody's lunch box smoked turkey
Smoked turkey, swiss cheese and egg on sourdough bread – yummy!

Everything was really good.  We decided to go ride Toy Story Mania next.  It was another walk on. 

passholder play time passholder play time passholder play time

toy story mania selfie

toy story mania score
Eddie beat me. Ugh!

We were hoping the cast member would let us stay on for a second ride (because some of the queue lines were empty), but there was someone at our number, so we had to get off and get back in line.  No worries though – we walked right back on again!  On our way out we took some more pics:

disney wall toy story land

disney wall toy story land

disney wall toy story land

Then ran into a Photopass photographer who offered to take our picture:

At this point it was around 9:00am so we decided to leave Toy Story Land now that the park had opened to everyone else and it was getting crowded.  As we walked out right at 9am, we saw that the line for Slinky Dog Dash was at a 60 minute wait! 

We walked towards Rock ‘n Rollercoaster and stopped for some Photopass pics since the streets were pretty empty:

We walked right on Rock ‘n Rollercoaster.  When I say walked right on – I mean it!  We didn’t even see the pre-show with Aerosmith!  That has never happened!! Check out this EMPTY queue!!  Now keep in mind – passholder play time had ended and the park was open to everyone!  I cannot stress the importance of early park arrival!!!

Next we walked over to Tower of Terror.  Another walk on, although we did see the pre-show Twilight Zone video. 

We finished up around 9:35am and decided to go into the shops to look at the Toy Story Land pins (my husband has a severe Disney pin addiction), along with anything else we might want, lol.  

We were out at the bus stop by 10:15am, and back at our resort (Port Orleans French Quarter) by 10:40am. 

Did I mention this was the BEST.PARK.DAY.EVER?!!   We were so lucky to be able to get tickets to experience this event – I wish we could experience all of the parks like this!  

Click here to read my other Trip Reports!

As an Independent Travel Agent with Mouse Counselors, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani and all other destinations at no cost to you.  Message me today if I can help book a magical vacation for you.  

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report – Day 3 (May 2018)

You can start from the beginning of this trip report here.

Disney World Adults Only Trip – Day 3, we had an early morning breakfast reservation at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom.  Our reservation was for bright and early at 8:00am (same time as park opening), so we were out at the bus stop by 7:30am. 

We were one of the first to check in at Tusker House and were called after about 5 minutes. 

disney adult only
Entrance to Tusker House (taken on our way out)

Some empty pics as we walked in:

disney adult only

disney adult only
Tusker House Buffet area

 

Tusker House is a character meal featuring Safari Donald, Mickey, Daisy & Goofy.  The breakfast buffet has a lot to offer, and the best of all – they have Jungle Juice!  I seriously love this stuff!  It’s a mixture of Orange Juice, Guava Juice and Passion Fruit Juice.  We went to grab some food from the buffet and the characters came by quickly.  You can see more pictures in my Tusker House Restaurant Review.

disney adults only

Breakfast went pretty quick and we were off to Kilimanjaro Safaris for an early morning ride.  The safari ride just gets better and better each time I go.  We had a great driver (funny & did a great job making sure we saw all the animals), and the animals were out and about this morning and some were up close!

disney adult only

disney adult only

disney adult only

disney adult only

disney adult only

See how close giraffe is??

 

Afterwards we walked over to Expedition Everest to use our Fastpass.  On the way we took some pics of Dinoland and the Rivers of Light stadium:

disney adult only
Path to Dinoland
Seating for Rivers of Light Show

We rode Expedition Everest once – another one of our favorites:

disney adult only

At this point it was around 10:00am and we wanted to head back to Animal Kingdom Lodge to lay out by the pool for a while.  On our way out, we stopped for some pics – we had to get some pics with our matching “Soul Mate” shirts of course! 

disney adult only

Once back at Animal Kingdom Lodge, we got our swimsuits on and headed outside.  We were able to get a couple hours in until the rain came.  At first we thought it may be a brief shower, so Eddie stayed in the pool while I stayed up under an umbrella:

disney adult only

After about 10 minutes and the rain only getting heavier, we decided to head back up to our room.  We stopped at the Mara first to grab a snack (neither of us was terribly hungry after our big breakfast at Tusker House).  

We weren’t scheduled for any more reservations until around 5:30 that evening, so what is the best thing to do while it’s raining?  Take a nap, of course!  So that’s exactly what I did.  I woke up around 3:00pm and had to process some final cruise payments for a couple of clients, then got ready to head back to Animal Kingdom.  We wanted to get there and do some shopping, eat dinner at Yak & Yeti and to use our Flight of Passage fastpass that I had scheduled for later that evening.    Some pics of the wet savannah outside our room before we left:

disney adult only
Lots of activity outside!

 

We got to the bus stop around 4:20pm and the rain was back….and didn’t look like it was going anywhere.  We were disappointed, but determined to make the best of it.  Thankfully we both had our rain jackets with us which were lifesavers.  Side note – as soon as we came back from this trip, we did order some nice ponchos that cover a good portion of our legs – we figure we will get plenty of use out of them on our Disney trips!    We waited under the bus shelter hoping that the rain would stop or at least lighten up, but it never did, so we headed toward the entrance. 

Our first stop was at the gift shop.  We spent about 30 minutes browsing around until our dinner reservation and found several things we wanted to come back and get, but thought it best to wait until we were ready to leave so we wouldn’t have to carry the items around with us. 

We arrived at Yak & Yeti right on time for our dinner reservation:

disney adult only

Click to read our Yak & Yeti Review

After dinner we walked towards Expedition Everest again knowing we could do the single rider line and get through quickly before our Flight of Passage Fastpass.  On the way we stopped for a couple of rainy pics:

disney adult only

 

Going through the single rider line, we were on within 5 minutes….Eddie found a new friend from England and they decided to do a goofy ride photo:

disney adult only

I had this guy, who apparently decided to do a goofy photo also, but didn’t coordinate with me, haha!

Next we were off to Pandora for Flight of Passage – love this ride!!  We had never ridden Na’vi River Journey and the app said the wait was only 30 minutes – so we decided we would wait.  The app was wrong, we ended up waiting 45 to 50 minutes.  I didn’t get any pics of the ride.  It is wonderfully themed, but it is just a slow boat ride (think Small World).  We both said that we wouldn’t wait in a long line to do it again.  We snapped this pic of Pandora at sunset:

disney adult only

Next we were off to the gift shop and then back to Animal Kingdom Lodge for the night!  Even with the rain, you can’t beat park time in the morning & night, along with naps and pool in the middle of the day! 

Up next:  Day 4 (Departure Day).

As an Independent Travel Agent with Mouse Counselors, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani and all other destinations at no cost to you.  Message me today if I can help book a magical vacation for you.  

 

 

Review: Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

 

Sanaa is a Table Service restaurant located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village.  This restaurant goes along with the theme of Animal Kingdom Lodge and takes you to South Africa where you can dine while watching animals walk by outside.  Recently my husband and I took an Adults Only Trip to Disney World where we dined at Sanaa for the first time. 

sanaa

We had a reservation for 7:00pm but we arrived a little early, so we decided to head over to the bar area to have a drink while we waited on a table.  I ordered the mango margarita which I had heard really good things about – and it did not disappoint!  This ranks as one of the best alcoholic drinks I have ever had!

sanaa review
Bar area
sanaa review
Mango margarita – yum!

We were only at the bar about 10 minutes before we received a text letting us know that our table was ready.  

sanaa review
Restaurant with big windows where you can see animals walk by

The menu is African food with Indian flavors, you can view the menu here.  

We started out first with the Indian Bread service with all 9 accompaniments.  This gave us three types of Naan bread (traditional, garlic-ginger and spiced) and 9 different sauces.  Our favorite sauces were Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Mango Chutney and Tamarind Chutney.  All three of the Naan breads were outstanding and we had to stop ourselves from filling up on this!

sanaa review
Indian Bread Service

For our entrees, we both got the Potjie Inspired Dish, with choice of meat and sides.   For my meal, I ordered the Butter Chicken, Chickpea Wat and Basmati Rice

sanaa review
Butter chicken was amazing!

Eddie ordered the Spicy Durban Shrimp, Basmati Rice and the Lentil Dhal.

sanaa review

Eddie said this was the best shrimp he’s ever had!  I’m not a huge shrimp fan, but I did taste it and oh my, it was delicious (however, it was also very spicy like it’s namesake).  The Butter Chicken I ate was so tender and flavorful, my fork would glide right through it.

When in Disney…eat!  That’s what we did.  We decided we’d get dessert as well, so we tried the Caramel N’dizi, which was Banana Financier with Caramelized Milk Chocolate Crémeux, Hazelnut Crunch, Banana-White Chocolate Chantilly, and Ginger Raspberries.  Although it sounded delicious, we didn’t love it.  

sanaa review

We were so full after the bread service and delicious meal, we should have just stopped, so maybe we should try it again when we are not so full?  

All in all, this has been our absolute favorite Disney restaurant.  It is the perfect setting for a date night, and the food was amazing….not only was it the best chicken and shrimp we’ve ever had at Disney, it was some of the best we’ve tried anywhere!  Even if you aren’t staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge, this restaurant is worth the trip.  It is definitely a hidden gem – reservations aren’t too hard to get here!   If you have picky eaters, there is a kids menu that offers items such as pizza, burgers & mac and cheese.  

Check out my other Disney restaurant reviews here!  

As an Independent Travel Agent with Mouse Counselors, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani and all other destinations at no cost to you.  Message me today if I can help book a magical vacation for you.  

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report – Day 2 (May 2018)

For our Disney World Adults Only Trip – Day 2, we slept in until around 8:00am.  I’ll be honest – this may be the latest I’ve ever slept when in Disney World!  I almost didn’t know what to do with myself not getting up at the crack of dawn and catching a bus to a park!   It was sunny outside and we were excited (forecast had been horrible with a tropical disturbance).  We got our bathing suits on and cover ups and went down to The Mara to get some breakfast before heading to the pool. 

We were surprised that the pool had as many people as it did, but I guess everyone doesn’t utilize early morning park hours like me!  We found us some seats and spent the next few hours here relaxing and enjoying the views:

Disney World Adults Only

Disney World Adults Only

Around 12:30pm, it started raining.  We debated waiting it out or just going on to get lunch.  We opted to go get lunch and see what the weather was like after we ate.  We split a turkey sandwich (no pic) and then I also got a Jambo Juice Slushie and some Zebra Domes!  Oh my, these are so good and just another reason Animal Kingdom Lodge is the BEST! 

 

After lunch we decided to go back up to the room to relax because it was still raining.  Eddie turned on the tv and I took a nap (I love vacation naps!).  We laid around until around 3:00pm when I got up and took a shower and got ready to go to Epcot for the evening. 

We arrived at Epcot around 4:00pm and stopped out front from some pics:

Disney World Adults Only

Next we headed over to the Disney Visa Meet & Greet spot.  If you have a Disney Visa card, there is a special character meet and greet in Epcot (Future World).  You never know what character you’ll see, but usually it is two characters, and it will certainly be the shortest character line you will have in the parks!  Ours today was Mickey & Goofy!  My favorite and Eddie’s!

Disney World Adults Only

We made our way over to the World Showcase since we had a dinner reservation at Via Napoli at 5:30pm.  We enjoyed looking at the topiaries from the Flower & Garden Festival on the way:

Disney World Adults Only

We also stopped for some more photopass pics:

Disney World Adults Only

Our favorite:

Disney World Adults Only

We stopped in Norway to ride the Frozen ride.  I had gotten a fastpass for this ride since Eddie had never rode this one.  We had planned to do the single rider line on Test Track, but when we walked over there, the ride was down.  The other Fastpass option was Soarin’ and although I enjoy the ride, Eddie doesn’t really care for it.  Frozen is a cute ride, very well themed, but definitely not worth waiting in a long line for, and normally not wasting a Fastpass on (over Soarin’ or Test Track) unless you have a little one who loves Anna & Elsa.  Our ride photo (Eddie being crazy like usual):

Disney World Adults Only

We stopped in France and did a wine tasting:

More World Showcase Photos on our way to Italy:

Disney World Adults Only

We arrived for our Via Napoli reservation right on time and were taken back after a few minutes. 

Disney World Adults Only

Pizza Ovens

One of us got Chicken Parmesan and the other got the Margarita pizza and we split them.  The food was pretty good, but it’s not a restaurant we would do every trip. 

Disney World Adults Only

Afterwards we walked more around the World Showcase on the walk over to Beaches & Cream for our dessert reservation!  It’s a cute throwback soda shop that serves a few hamburgers / sandwiches and tons of ice cream.  They have a “Kitchen Sink” ice cream that is huge and serves like 10 people.  It’s a very small place so very hard to get a reservation here:

Disney World Adults Only

 

I got the “No Way Jose” Sundae and Eddie got the banana split.  They were both delicious! 

Banana Split
Disney World Adults Only
No Way Jose Chocolate and Peanut Butter Goodness!

After our dessert, we made the long walk back to the front of Epcot to catch our bus back to Animal Kingdom Lodge – we needed the long walk after all we’d ate! 

Up next – Disney World Adults Only Trip Report – Day 3

How Far In Advance Should You Book Your Disney World Vacation?

As a Travel Agent specializing in Disney destinations, I often get asked “How far in advance should I book a Disney World vacation?”  My answer – as soon as possible.  Disney World requires a LOT of planning if you want to make the most out of your time there and really needs to be booked more than six months in advance.  Why, you ask?  Here are just a few reasons below:

  1. Availability. The earlier you book, the more options you will have as far as resorts and room choices.  Disney gets more popular every single day, and resorts can get booked up quickly, especially during peak times. 
  2. Dining. Did you know that dining reservations can be made 180 days in advance?  For popular restaurants (especially character meals), if you aren’t booking at 180 days – you may very well not get the reservation you want.  In some cases (such as when free dining has been offered), it is even difficult to get the popular reservations at the 180 day mark.  Don’t miss out on that special  meal with Mickey & friends because you waited too late to book your vacation!
  3. Discounts. When you book ahead six months or more, you are booking without any discounts.  However, once a discount is released, your travel agent will automatically apply the discount for you if applicable to your dates – or will let you know if modifying your dates or resort will give you a better discount.  Discounts such as Free Dining are becoming harder and harder to come by, and your best chance is to already have a reservation booked.
  4. Why Not Put Your Vacation on Lay-a-way? How many other vacation options allow you to put a small deposit ($200 per room) with final payment not due until 30 days prior to your trip?  Cancellation up to that point is completely refundable.  Even renting a condo at the beach usually requires 50% up front.  This is a great way to save up for a vacation you’ll always remember!   Payments can be made as often as you want in increments of at least $20. 

Bottom line – you have nothing to lose planning ahead and booking your vacation in advance.  Only $200 down reserves your package and gets you on track to have the best vacation ever! 

Should You Get the Disney Dining Plan?

should you get the disney dining plan

Disney currently offers three different dining plan choices:

Quick Service Dining Plan:  2 Quick Service meals, 2 Snack Credits per person per night of stay, 1 refillable souvenir drink mug per person

Plus Dining Plan (known as the Regular Dining Plan):  1 Quick Service meal, 1 Table Service, 2 Snack Credits per person per night of stay and 1 refillable souvenir drink mug per person

Deluxe Dining Plan:  3 Quick Service OR Table Service meals (any combination), 2 Snack Credits per person per night of stay and 1 refillable souvenir drink mug per person.

2018 Pricing:

Quick Service Dining Plan:  $52.49 per adult / $21.74 per child (ages 3-9)

Plus Dining Plan:  $75.49 per adult / $25.75 per child (ages 3-9)

Deluxe Dining Plan:  $116.25 per adult / $39.99 per child (ages 3-9)

*New with the 2018 Dining Plan* One alcoholic or specialty beverage (milkshake, smoothie, non-alcoholic specialties) is now included in the 2018 Dining Plan. 

To see a list of Disney Dining Plan Locations, click here: DDP Locations.  

*Your dining credits are deposited at check-in, so you can use any number of credits at any time.  All credits must be used by midnight of check-out day.*  

So is the dining plan right for you?  I never try to upsell my clients.  I listen to them and offer up my advice based on what they tell me.  Do you plan to do a lot of character meals?  Do you normally share meals or does each person like their own? 

When I recommend the dining plan:

For me personally, I always get the dining plan if we are taking the family.  When on vacation, I love convenience, and this is the #1 factor for me when purchasing the dining plan.  I do not want to have to worry about budgeting when I’m on vacation, so it’s nice to know that it’s already been paid for and you can order anything on the menu!  Plus we enjoy the nicer sit down restaurants or character meals every day as a little break from the parks and a break for our tired legs and feet!  These restaurants are pricey so if you plan to eat at one a day, I think the dining plan is a good option.  It’s not always a huge cost savings, maybe none at all in some cases…but again, I think the convenience is worth the cost…..and when you see that Chef Mickey receipt for over $250, it’s nice to know you’ve already paid for it!  

should you get the disney dining plan
My friend and her family at Chef Mickey (character meal with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto)

When I wouldn’t recommend the dining plan

 if you are not big eaters and typically share food, don’t want to spend time at a table service or character meal, or if you are staying club level then I probably wouldn’t recommend the dining plan.  Some people just don’t eat much (what is your secret??, lol).  Now, my husband and I will often share meals when we go out at home….however keep in mind all the walking you do on a Disney vacation – your appetite may be bigger than normal, plus most of us tend to splurge on vacation.  If you don’t care about taking the time to eat at sit down restaurants or character meals (some people don’t want to be tied to a reservation – and you MUST have a reservation for sit down meals) then the dining plan may not be for you.  If you are staying club level there is a constant stream of appetizers and snacks available at your resort in the concierge lounge, so I don’t think the dining plan would benefit you unless you just love to go crazy while on vacation – and hey, that’s okay too! 

Why I never really suggest the Deluxe Dining Plan:

The Deluxe Dining plan is just a WHOLE.LOT.OF.FOOD.  Too much food for this gal (and I love to eat).  Not only is it a lot of food, but if you are planning to make the most out of it and do 3 Table Service meals a day, you aren’t planning to spend too much time in the parks. 

Tell me about your experiences with the Dining plan and what works for your family!