Dining in Disney

So many times I’ve gone to amusement parks and found the food less than tasty and extremely expensive. In Disney, some say the food is expensive. I believe you get a lot of food for your Disney Dollar. Several years ago Disney came up with a promotion for a Disney Dining Plan.
This plan allowed guests who stay at Disney Resorts and had a vacation package booked, the opportunity pay one price per person per day and receive credits for one table service meal (at a restaurant on Disney property), one counter service meal and one snack credit. Each year since the Dining Plan began, Disney has offered free dining for certain dates in August and spilling over into September. When we learned of the free dining offer for our August 2006 trip, we called and booked it. When you book the dining plan, it’s recommended you make advance reservations with the Disney restaurant before your trip. Some restaurants are hard to get into because they’re so popular. You can begin making your reservations 180 days before the day you plan to eat at that restaurant. Though making a reservation doesn’t mean a table is reserved for you, it means when you arrive, you will get the first available table. We never waited more than 10 or 15 minutes. The dining plan is a great way to try many of the wonderful restaurants on Disney property. I would say however, it is definitely too much food. A table service credit allowed us to get an appetizer (this has since been deleted from the table service credit), an entree a dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage. On our free dining trip, we kept receipts and tallied what our freebies totaled over a week and for 4 of us, we had $1,200 in food reciepts. Last year, we added the dining plan to our 10 day trip for $37.99 a person (per day) plus tax.
Then it included tax and tip. In 2008 that was changed and the price now no longer includes tax and tip. If you keep an eye on the Walt Disney World website, sometimes they offer dining discounts. Recently I saw a 30 percent discount on dining. I would definitely recommend trying it if you’re going during the free dining period (now *rumored* to begin Aug. 24, 2008). The promotion previously began being offered in April and could be offered beginning next week. As usual with Disney, they only offer the discount (with a code!) for a certain number of rooms in each resort so you need to act fairly quickly to take advantage, because everyone wants free dining. Depending on the number of people traveling with you, it could save you as much as the cost of your resort stay and park tickets!


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