How Do I Use A Dining Plan?

  Dining plans can save you money and enhance your Disney experience all in one by allowing you to eat at fancy restaurants you might otherwise not have afforded. Disney Dining Plan (DDP) credits can be used in so many different ways making it a highly customizable experience. They take the guess work out of budgeting for food during your trip and open the doors to fun, food, and entertainment.

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My favorite Disney Dining Plan, the “Dining Plus Plan,” includes one counter service meal, one table service meal, and one snack per person per day. My family usually chooses to pay out of pocket for a quick breakfast at our hotel, because breakfast is typically the least expensive meal of the day. We usually choose to use our table service meal credits for a combination of character dining, like Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Hotel, and relaxed family dining at great spots in the parks, like Le Cellier Canadian Steakhouse, Via Napoli Pizzeria, or Teppan Edo Hibachi Tables in Epcot; or Mama Melroses Italian Ristorante and the Sci-Fi Dine In Theater in Hollywood Studios (A more comprehensive list of our favorite restaurants coming soon!)

The snack credits are available to use on hundreds, maybe thousands of items in the parks, candy shops, snack carts, and fast food eateries all throughout Disney. We usually choose to use them on higher priced or specialty items like a Dole Whip pineapple soft serve dessert in Magic Kingdom or creme brulee in the Patesserie in France, Epcot. Of course, the smell of freshly popped popcorn always gets someone in our party to fork over a snack credit for that salty crunchy goodness. We usually pay out of pocket for less pricey items like a soda or bottled water.

The number one thing you need to know about the Dining Plan is that you must make reservations to ensure a table at the best eateries. Although the restaurants may take walk-in, advanced dining reservations are strongly encouraged. The Disney Dining Plans have become quite popular, keeping the restaurants quite full! Advanced Dining Reservations may be booked up to 180 days prior to your arrival. You may book them online, by telephone, or better yet, by me! I specialize in creating dining itineraries for couples or families. Contact me and I’ll be sure to match you with the best restaurants for your budget and tastes!


Mission Accomplished: Happy Disney Family

I just love hearing from families after they return from their Plan For Disney vacations! The Carr family returned from a mid-summer Disney trip and sent me a fantastic letter telling me all about the fun they had.

“I wanted to say thanks for so perfectly planning our vacation. All of us had a wonderful time! My son told me while we were at a dinner you reserved for us that “Disney is perfect.” We enjoyed every single day of the trip, whether it was raining or extremely hot. Knowing where to go and what to do first at each park was so unbelievably helpful! … I’ll definitely ask you to do our planning again! It’s amazing how much better our vacation was because we were equipped with your knowledge!!!

And that’s why I love helping others plan for Disney! Mission Accomplished!


Disney Dining Plans

Disney Dining Plans are pre-paid meal plans usable at any participating restaurants (and there are many) within the Walt Disney World parks, resorts, and Downtown Disney. They  may provide a good amount of savings on your meals. They are my favorite way to “do” Disney. While it is possible to eat for less (sharing meals, bringing your own food/snacks),  the dining experience always enhances our trips, thus making it a valuable addition to our vacation.

My family has been able to make memories at character meals and enjoy exquisite foods at fine restaurants that we would not have otherwise afforded if we did not have a dining plan. Read on for details…

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FREE DINING = Big Savings

Walt Disney World has just released a fantastic deal for the general public. They are offering FREE DINING when you purchase a full price Magic Your Way vacation package that includes a stay at one of their resorts and park tickets. Here are the details:

The valid check in dates are as follows:

  • September 30, 2012 – October 4, 2012
  • October 19, 2012 – November 1, 2012
  • November 9, 2012 – November 15, 2012
  • November 23, 2012 – November 29, 2012
  • December 10, 2012 – December 13, 2012

If you stay at one of Disney’s Value Resorts you get a free Quick Service Dining Plan, valued at $34.99 per adult per day/ $11.99 per child per day.
If you stay at one of Disney’s Moderate or Deluxe Resorts you get a free Dining Plus Dining plan, valued at $51.54 per adult per day/$15.02 per child per day.

If you would like to upgrade your dining plan, you just have to pay the difference in price. For example, if you are getting the Quick Service Dining Plan for free but would like to upgrade to the Dining Plus Plan, you pay the difference of $16.55 adult/$3.03 child  per day .

For more info on Disney Dining Plans click here.

Fine print: Book by September 29, 2012.  Minimum 3 night stay, maximum 14 nights. Must purchase park tickets for each person in your party (under 3 is free), minimum 2 day ticket, maximum 10 day ticket. The free dining is valid for your entire stay as long as your check-in is within one of the valid dates, even if your trip extends beyond those dates.

Once you’ve booked your trip you are going to need to make dining reservations. Contact me to help you choose the best eateries Disney World has to offer!

5 Summertime Tips at Disney

Summertime is here and many families are anticipating a family vacation to Walt Disney World in Florida. PlanForDisney has a few tips to help out:

1.  Stay hydrated! FL is H-O-T but thankfully ice water is free. Stop by any permanent drink stand and request a cup of ice water.

2. Sunblock, Sunglasses, Swimsuits.  If you forget ’em, Disney sells ’em in the gift shops of all resorts.

Summertime is usually rainy in central Florida. The good news: Rain showers pass and the sun reappears.
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Spring Trips

Springtime is just around the corner and so many families are contacting Plan For Disney to   help them through planning for their Walt Disney World vacations. Our most popular service, the Park Guide and Itinerary, has helped many find their way through the crowds and will continue to help our Springtime clients keep the magic alive! We are excited for you who will be visiting Mickey! Tell ’em Plan For Disney sent ya!

Another Happy Family

The Burnette Family from Knoxville, TN recently returned from their Plan For Disney vacation.  This is what they had to say about their park guide itinerary:

“Our personal itinerary was like having a private tour guide in Disney. Our family’s Disney plan made it so easy to navigate the parks and hit all the popular attractions while saving us time and money along the way!”

Trip Planning: Choosing Your Travel Dates

A Disney Trip is always fun! Some families have the option to travel when ever they’d like to and others can only go when school is out. You may be able to score a better deal if you have flexible travel dates. Plan for Disney was able to help the Tolo family save a bunch of money by adjusting their trip by a few weeks to take advantage of lower rates. There are some really great times to visit that typically feature smaller crowds and lower prices.
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Which Resort Should I Choose?

Consider these 4 tips before choosing your Disney Resort:

Budget: How much do you plan to spend on your accommodations? To give you a very rough estimate, the value resorts start around $100 per night. The Moderates start around $160. The Deluxes start around $260. All rates vary throughout the year, depending on Disney’s “seasons”: value, regular, peak, holiday, and special events.

Time In Room: Consider how much time you plan on spending in your hotel. If you will be enjoying the accommodations, strolling to a fancy dinner, or relaxing at the pool and spas, then you may want to choose a hotel with amenities to suit your fancy. However, if you plan to dash off to the parks in the morning and return after a full day, you may choose to splurge elsewhere in your vacation budget and choose a value resort.
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Trip Planning: Where to Stay

Once you have settled on your dates of travel, you’ll need to make resort reservations. I always recommend staying at a Disney Resort. When you do, you get to experience the magic from your hotel room to the parks and in between. In addition to the great service and quality of the accommodations resort guests can also take advantage of some exclusive perks.

Disney Resorts offer free parking at the resort and theme parks, complimentary transportation all over Disney property, and complimentary transportation to and from the airport, courtesy of Disney’s Magical Express!

Resort guests can take advantage of Extra Magic Hours, when the theme parks are open exclusively to guests staying on Disney property. Additionally, when resort guests book a vacation package including park tickets and hotel room, they can also purchase the Disney Dining Plan, a prepaid meal plan that provides a significant savings and enhances your overall vacation experience.

Next: 20 + Disney Resorts!