Category Archives: Dining Plan

Is It Time to Retire Free Dining

For the last several years, Disney has offered a free dining promotion during what are “slower traffic months” for Walt Disney World.  Free Dining started in the early 2000’s when people were travelling a lot.  Free Dining was designed as way to get people to the parks.  My family took Disney up on the Free Dining offer in 2009 and we’ve made eight more trips since that first trip.  As years have gone on and more and more people have come to expect free dining in the fall, Disney has made the dates more restrictive, resort availability more restrictive, and increased the number of days or type of ticket that you need to qualify for free dining.

I have spent many years as avid Disney follower, one year as independent Disney blogger, nine months as an independent travel agent specializing in Disney vacations, and will be soon coming out with my first guide-book for Walt Disney World.  Nothing getting more people, in my opinion, excited about a Walt Disney World vacation than the prospect of Free Dining.

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Yesterday, I gave you a great tip on a free item at Walt Disney World which can help you save some snack credits.  Today, I’m going to help you spend some of those saved snack credits on some tasty Disney snacks.  Disney snacks come in all shapes and sizes.  I’m going to bring you some of my favorites and maybe some of my favorites are some yours as well.

So, let’s bring on those Disney snacks.

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Disney Dining Plan, Tables in Wonderland, or Out of Pocket

Today, we are going to look at one of the most difficult questions to answer about someone’s Walt Disney World vacation.  Do I get the Disney Dining Plan, purchase a Tables in Wonderland card, or do I just pay out-of-pocket.  The first thing we need to do is give a basic description of what each type of payment is.

Disney Dining Plan

The Disney Dining Plan is basically Disney’s “pre-paid” dining plan.  It allows guests to pay for their food up front as part of their vacation package.  For 2015, the Plus Dining Plan costs $60.04 per adult per night of stay and $19.23 per child (ages 3-9) per night of stay.  This package gives the guest 1 snack credit, 1 quick service credit, and 1 table service credit for each night of their stay.  The plan also gives each guest a refillable mug for use during their vacation.  A meal is considered an entree and non-alcoholic beverage for breakfast.  Lunch/dinner meals are considered an entree, a dessert, and a non-alcoholic beverage while buffets offer the full buffet and a non-alcoholic beverage.

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Be Our Guest Lunch ADR: The Best of Both Worlds?

It has been widely reported that starting on February 25th, Be Our Guest restaurant will be moving away from current FastPass-style of reservation to a more traditional Disney Advanced Dining Reservation-style of reservation.  My question today: Is this a good thing or a bad trend for Disney to be implementing at Be Our Guest.

Dessert Cart at Be Our Guest
Dessert Cart at Be Our Guest

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Maya Grill Dinner Review

Maya Grill #1

I just returned from Walt Disney World on Monday night.  It was only a short trip and my wife and I made the decision not to get the Disney Dining Plan.  As a result, we chose restaurants that were more “off the beaten path.”  These restaurants, for the most part, were at resorts not parks.  This kept crowds down and were very easy to get a reservation.  This review is on one of those restaurants – Maya Grill.

The Maya Grill is located at Coronado Springs which can make it difficult to get and from if you are not staying at Coronado Springs, not already in a theme park, or have your own car.  My wife and I briefly toured EPCOT upon our arrival to Yacht Club and worked our way to the front of the park.  From EPCOT, we took the bus to Coronado Springs.  Our return was bit more tricky but I’ll save that for the end of the review.

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