Our next Disney vacation is just a little over six months away, which means it is time to stop daydreaming and start getting serious about our dining reservations! What? That’s right – did you know you can (and should!) book your dining reservations 180 days prior to your arrival to Walt Disney World?
While I haven’t added it yet, I am hoping to (crossing fingers for a great fall promotion!?!), and so I am going to plan our reservations as if we will have the Basic Dining Plan. The Basic Dining Plan includes 1 table service entitlement, 1 quick service entitlement, and 1 snack per day per guest. It also includes a refillable mug that can be used at the resort for the duration of your stay. These meals include beverages and dessert so it’s important to keep that in mind if you do not have big eaters in your family, although Disney is great about allowing substitutions with different part of the meal options, so be sure to ask if you’d rather not have dessert!
We are new to having a dining plan, so I have started thinking about which table services offerings my family would enjoy. Select experiences including dinner shows and signature restaurants require 2 table service credits. While that might seem like a waste, I am considering choosing at least 2 or 3 of these during our 8 night stay in order to free up some of our time and not have a table service meal each day of our trip. This is a great opportunity for guests to try some of the more expensive experiences without feeling the pain in your wallet. We are considering Hoop-De-Doo Musical Revue, Spirit of Aloha, and others. One of the 1-credit meals we are looking into include the new breakfast at Trattoria al Forno, located at the Boardwalk Resort, where guests will get to meet characters from The Little Mermaid and Tangled.
Finally, I am hoping to snag dinner reservations towards the end of our stay at Be Our Guest, located in Beast’s castle at Magic Kingdom. This is one that fills up quickly so I am hoping that if we plan to go there towards the end of our trip, there may be more availability.
Does anyone have any other tips or tricks to maximize dining? We have never utilized the dining plan before so if we do this time, it will be interesting and exciting to say the least!
Candice was raised in east Tennessee. While in college, her best friend dragged her to a Walt Disney World College Program recruiting session at the University of Tennessee and the rest is Disney history. In the Fall of 1999, Candice became a quick service food hostess for Sunset Ranch Market and Fantasmic at Disney-MGM Studios – or what is now known as Disney’s Hollywood Studios. While soaking up her time as a cast member, she met Ryan, a neighbor and a fellow college programmer who worked as a custodial host at Epcot. Four years later, Candice moved to the Midwest and married that boy from across the hall. They now live in Greenwood, Indiana with their two little boys. The Disney-loving foursome took their first family trip to The Happiest Place on Earth in 2013 and Candice is eagerly planning their return. Candice also works full-time at a community mental health center and enjoys taking photographs and blogging at Mommy in the Midwest.