Monday, September 29, 2008

Walt Disney World Vacation 2008 Part 2

Finally I have a chance to sit down and finish my trip review of our latest Walt Disney World adventure. I wanted to finish up the review by discussing the dining portion of our trip. Dining is a big part of anyone's Disney vacation. We were fortunate to be able to go on this trip when Disney was offering the Basic Dining Plan free if you booked a package during as long as your travel dates met certain criteria. The dining plan gets you the following:

1 Table Service credit per person per number of nights of your stay
1 Counter Service credit per person per number of nights of your stay
1 Snack credit per person per number of nights of your stay

These credits can be used all at any time during your stay, but they cannot carry over past the dates of your trip. In other words...use them or lose them. Naturally since it was a free offer, we think the dining plan was worth it. Ha! But I also think it is worth it as an added paid option for others who travel to Walt Disney World at other times of the year when the free plan is not offered. A table service meal credit can be used at all participating Disney Resort and Parks restaurant where you would be seated for a meal. For example...Coral Reef Restaurant in Epcot is a table service option. The Yak and Yeti in Disney's Animal Kingdom is a table service option. A counter service credit can be used at most quick service restaurants through the Walt Disney Resort. Quick service denotes those restaurants where you look at menu with fewer selections, walk up and order and pay and then go and pick up your meal and find any available seating. For example...Pizza Planet in Disney's Hollywood Studios is a quick service restaurant. A snack credit can be used to purchase a bottle of water, a cookie, a ice cream bar etc at some of the snack kiosks and even inside some of the counter service restaurants.

With that is how we used our credits. We had 6 credits each since we stayed 6 nights. We made advanced reservations at the following table service restaurants:

Tutto Italia-Epcot
Yak and Yeti-Disney's Animal Kingdom
The Hollywood Brown Derby-Disney's Hollywood Studios
Hollywood and Vine-Disney's Hollywood Studios
Boma's-Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

We ate counter service meals in Epcot, The Magic Kingdom and back at our resort. Most of our counter service meals were used for breakfast at our resort. Snacks were mostly used for bottles of water within the parks.

The key to proper utilization of the dining plan is planning! Since most table service restaurants, those which are popular for various reasons, fill up as much as 6 months in advance of a given date. If someone were to purchase the plan and then wait too long to make their advance dining reservations, they could run a risk of not having any available table service options and therefore not be able to use all of their credits before the end of their trip. That would be a waste of money. So you must be able to sit down and plan out your meals well in advance if you plan on successfully using the dining plan.

To be continued...

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