Everyone likes to save money when planning a Walt Disney World vacation. But something you should never leave home without (when heading to Disney) is some sort of dining plan. And by plan I don’t mean “meet us at noon at Pecos Bills for lunch.”
I’m talking about a Disney Dining Plan. The kind you can only get if you stay on-site at a Disney resort.
There are several dining plan options to choose from, the most popular one includes a sit down restaurant meal, a quick service meal, and a snack for each night of stay. All of the meal plans include for each person in your party a resort refillable mug that has unlimited refills at your resort food court for the duration of your stay.
And did I mention you get dessert with lunch and dinner?
The only drawback I see to this particular plan is that you need to make advanced dining reservations for your table service meal which means you need to set up a time that you’re going to dine each day.
If you don’t want to commit to a sit down restaurant each day and you wait until you arrive for your vacation to make dining reservations, you will be very limited to what restaurants have available times as most people do make the dining reservations 6 months in advance.
If you want a meal plan without the restaurant reservation commitment, try the Quick Service Dining Plan. That plan gives each person 2 quick service meals and one snack per night of stay. And just because you choose the Quick Service Plan, doesn’t mean you have to live on hamburgers and hot dogs for the week. Disney does a fabulous job of offering many varieties of quick service meals including salads, wraps, spaghetti, and even roast chicken and mashed potatoes! (At Cosmic Rays in the Magic Kingdom…delicious!)
And if you want to dine at several Signature Dining restaurants which include some of the character dining that requires 2 table service credits, I recommend the Deluxe Dining Plan. With this plan you would get 3 meals and one snack for for each night of stay. And what makes this plan unique is that there is no distinction between Quick Service meals and restaurant sit down meals, so you can use those meals however you choose. Most people choose the Deluxe Dining in order to plan more character dining experiences during their stay.
The question I get asked most by families considering the dining
Plan: Is there a limited menu that you choose from. And the answer is no. While there are a few small restrictions, pretty much what you see on the menu you can order.
The biggest question: will a dining plan cost me more or save me money?
In my opinion it will save you money. If you keep the receipts of all your dining while on vacation and add them up, the total will be much higher than the cost of the meal plan. And who wants to worry about how much money to budget for meals on vacation?
Keep in mind that your dining plan must be added before you check in at your resort!
So make your vacation a true vacation and include a dining plan!
If you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World in January or February, be sure to check the weather forecast for Orlando before you go!
It’s currently 35 degrees in Walt Disney World and is forecast to only reach a high of 47 degrees today. And while this weather isn’t quite the norm, it can throw a monkey wrench into your vacation if you’re not prepared.
Fortunately for those in Disney this week, today’s chilly weather is short-lived and temperatures will be back up near 70 tomorrow.
But keep the weather in mind no matter when you plan to go to Disney!
I made a quick trip there over my birthday weekend in November and despite seeing “showers” in the forecast, I failed to take a raincoat. So when we had a full day of that light misty rain, I had no choice but to buy yet another Disney rain poncho…. For all four of us!
While the Key To The Kingdom card still exists in Walt Disney World, the Magic Band is eventually expected to take its place.
The rubber bracelet embedded with an RFID chip are currently being tested at some Walt Disney a World resorts and a full rollout to all resorts is expected by Spring 2014.
Once you book your Disney vacation you can go to http://www.mydisneyexperience.com, create an account, link your reservation, and if you have a vacation package that includes park passes, you will be able to customize your Magic Band by choosing a color and adding your name ( which will be on the inside of your Magic Band).
Once you complete the customization, Disney creates your Magic Band and then ships it to your home.
You can go back to the website My Disney Experience and set up Fast Passes for the parks you’ll be visiting. And don’t worry if your plans change and you’re in a different park, because you can change your Fast Passes.
You can set up the credit card you plan to use while on vacation that will allow you to use your Magic Band for charging in the parks and restaurants. And you can even designate charging privileges, including amounts, for those in your traveling party.
For security, each person creates a 4-digit PIN number that they must enter to complete a purchase when charging with the Magic Bands.
Remember to either wear your Magic Band on your arrival day in Disney or pack them in your carry on luggage as you will use them for your Magical Express Check in at Orlando International Airport. Once you check in with Magical Express, Disney will know you’ve arrived in Orlando.
Your Magic Band will serve as your room key, park pass, Fast Pass and it will contain your dining credits if you have a dining plan.
Disney’s PhotoPass can also be linked to your Magic Band.
Yesterday I was driving to work thinking about my birthday which is in 3 weeks. With no real plans for that day I got to thinking about how great it would be to spend the weekend in Disney!
I celebrated a milestone birthday there last year and loved being there on my birthday and seeing the parks decorated for Christmas.
So as I look at airfare options, it would appear that the flights are available and are less than $200!
That was the first “sign” that I should go! Disney resort still available with the room discount!
Another sign! And the fact that I share the same birthday as Mickey Mouse is the icing on the birthday cake of reasons to celebrate the weekend in Disney!
Now I just need to clear our work schedules for a couple days and we will be good to go!
If you’ve never celebrated a birthday in Walt Disney World, there’s a lot you can do to make that day special. First, you can let Disney know you are celebrating and they will have your birthday button ready for you at check in! Wear it in the parks and all kinds of Pixie Dust can happen!
I can’t tell you details or it wouldn’t be Pixie Dust!
Make a dinner reservation at a Restaurant on Disney property and you’ll likely receive a cupcake with a candle after your meal. And if you really want to go all out, you can arrange to have your room decorated (at an additional cost) through the Disney Florist or even have a custom birthday cake made and delivered to your room or the restaurant you’re celebrating at!
So, while getting another year older is mandatory, growing up is optional!
Disney is offering up a great way to start 2014 if you’re vacationing in the first 2 months of the year by offering it’s most popular promotion – Free Dining!
It is once again being offered at Walt Disney World for most dates between Jan. 5, 2014 and March 5, 2014. Vacation packages must be booked between now and Dec. 31st. My recommendation would be book as soon as possible because this is Disney’s best promotion and is very popular!
All you need to do is book a 6 day, 5 night stay at select resorts. Those staying at Deluxe and Moderate resorts will receive the Disney Dining Plan Free, which gives each person 1 table service, one quick service and one snack for each night of stay. If you stay at a Value resort, you will receive the Quick Service Dining Plan free. That plan gives each person 2 quick service meals and a snack for each night of stay. Both meal plans include a refillable mug that can be refilled at your resort food court.
There are only a few months out of the year that I haven’t been in Walt Disney World, and October is one of them. That’s going to change in about 10 days when I take my first “Land and Sea” trip where I will spend 2 nights at Disney’s Yacht Club resort and 3 nights on the Disney Dream sailing to the Bahamas.
So many changes have occurred in Walt Disney World since my visit last November!
One of the most exciting changes is the new Magic Bands, which I will be testing during my stay.
This is an adjustable plastic bracelet that will serve as my room key and park pass. It can also be used to charge items to my room, make dining and Fast Pass reservations! This will saves lot of time since I won’t have to keep getting the card out of my purse!
Other changes include the addition and recent opening of Princess Fairytale Hall in the Magic Kingdom, a meet and greet location for the Disney Princesses.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is making progress and I’m hoping it will be complete when I return in May!
I’m also looking forward to the re-imagined Test Track which opened just after we left last November. And I can’t forget another great fall highlight in Epcot, the International Food and Wine Festival! This is a must see event for everyone who is a foodie. More than 25 International Marketplaces where you can taste the culinary delights of countries from around the world. There are also special ticketed events for wine and food tastings.
So after squeezing all this into 2 days, I will be transported by Disney to Port Canaveral where I will board the Disney Dream, one of Disney’s newest and largest ships. High on my must do list there is the AquaDuck, a clear tube water slide on the ship. I’m also looking forward to great Disney entertainment and service that Disney is famous for!
I will be tweeting live from this trip and you can follow me on Twitter @WDW_Diva and on Instagram: SHARONSPOHN.
If you would like more information about how to plan your Walt Disney World vacation or Disney Cruise, please feel free to contact me (Sharon Spohn) via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 610-524-2930. As always, I guarantee the lowest price and will assist you with all of the personal planning details of your vacation!
What would you do if you found out you were going to Walt Disney World for just one day?
Go to just one park? Or maybe you’d be adventurous and try to get to all four!
While most people plan their Disney vacations for a week, sometimes an opportunity comes up to squeeze in just one day. For those of us who love all things Disney, we look at a trip to Florida for any reason, as an opening to fit in some Disney parks time.
It looks like I will have the opportunity to spend one day in Disney prior to sailing a 3 night Bahamas cruise on the Disney Dream this fall.
Being adventurous, I will want to visit all four parks into one day. The challenge will be narrowing down my favorite rides in each park! Fortunately, some rides have single rider lines that move faster than the regular line, and Disney’s Fast Pass allows you to pre-reserve a time to come back and get in a shorter and faster moving Fast Pass line.
I’m looking forward to this fun-filled busy day, even if I’ll spend more time planning it, than the time I will be there!