When on the Dining Plans,
look for this logo to help guide
Disney Dining Plans can be a little bit confusing if you've never used one before. If used wisely, the Dining Plans are a fantastic way to save a little or a lot on your trip, depending on what you eat or how much you drink, letting you add even more magic to your vacation!
Here's a basic overview about the Disney Dining Plan for 2017 to help you decide if the plan is right for you.
Disney World offers three dining plans for guests staying on property. The Quick Service Dining Plan, the Dining Plan, and the Deluxe Dining Plan. Each plan comes with a refillable souvenir mug that can be used at any resort during the length of your stay. Each restaurant will have a different theme, so it's often fun to try a new place each time.
The Quick Service Dining Plan is our favorite right now since we have small kids who don't want to sit still at a sit down restaurant for very long. This plan includes 2 meals per day, consisting of an entree and it's included side(s) (think half chicken, green beans and mashed potatoes, or sandwich and fries) and non alcoholic beverage, as well as 2 snack credits which can be used on a variety of things from soups or salads, drinks, desserts or packaged snacks. My favorite thing to use a snack credit on are the themed cupcakes. Gigantic works of art and delicious! We have never felt like we've sacrificed food choices with this plan. Quick Service doesn't mean you are stuck with just burgers and fries. There are yummy salads, seafood, fajitas, and so much more. Mr. Disney Magic loves going to Animal Kingdom and having lunch at Flame Tree BBQ so he can order the Ribs, chicken and pulled pork plate that includes baked beans, coleslaw and jalapeno cornbread. With Quick Service meals, no gratuities are charged and you do not need reservations.
The Dining Plan is the standard meal plan with Disney World and it includes 1 Quick Service meal, 1 Table Service meal and 2 snacks. You get everything as above with the Quick Service plan, but the Table Service meal can be a buffet or a sit down restaurant, and includes a dessert. This is a popular plan because it's the best of both worlds. You can have a quick lunch if you want and a leisurely dinner to unwind after a day at the Parks. There are a few Table Service restaurants that even offer special seating for nighttime shows, or Character Meals including breakfasts, however some of those might require the use of two meal credits. Gratuity will be added on additionally for Table Service restaurants just like if you went to a sit down restaurant at home. Reservations are usually required, and may be reserved up to 180 days before your trip.
The Deluxe Dining Plan is the most expensive plan because you get a lot more. This plan includes 3 meals, your choice of Quick Service or Table Service. If you choose the Table Service, in addition to the above entitlements, you also get to choose an appetizer. Gratuity will be added on additionally for Table Service restaurants just like if you went to a sit down restaurant at home. Reservations are usually required, and may be reserved up to 180 days before your trip.
The prices for the 2017 Disney Dining Plans are as follows:
Quick Service - Per night Ages 10 and up $48.19 Ages 9 and under $20.99
Dining Plan – Per night Ages 10 and up $69.36 Ages 9 and under $24.94
Deluxe Dining Plan – Per night Ages 10 and up $106.68 Ages 9 and under $38.74
There are some legitimate reasons as to why, or why not this plan might be good for you. If you love the idea of having all meals paid for in advance and if you like to have Table Service meals and don't mind planning n advance this plan may be perfect for you. If you just like to snack in the park, or want to bring in part of your own food and just eat one meal in the park, you might not get as much benefit from this.
An incredibly easy way to see if you will come out ahead or not if you buy this plan is to use this fabulous dining plan calculator. DisTripPlanner.com has put a lot of work into making your decision as easy as can be. Just make sure that you do add in the refillable mug in step 2, in order to get the most accurate result. Just click here to see the calculator.
A few things to remember.
I hope this guide has been helpful for you in explaining the Disney Dining Plan! If you have any questions I might be able to help with, please email, or comment below!
Take a peek at what Sunshine Season's Quick Service has to offer at Epcot!
If you noticed I left something out, please let me know! Which dining plan do you prefer to get, or are you a snacker and a packer? Whichever you choose, any meal or snack at Disney is a good one!
I was not paid or reimbursed to make this post. I saw it on Jansport.com and wanted to share with you other Disney Lovers!
Disney and JanSport. This might be a match made in heaven. Kids get all the cute backpacks, you know? And when an adult tries to carry around that kid's backpack, you look just like that. An adult, carrying around a kid's backpack. There are some awesome Disney backpacks in the park for sale, but now you can get your park backpack before you get to Disney!
If you go to JanSport right now, you can sign up to get a sneak peek at the new backpacks.It's super easy, just put your email info in the box that pops up. That means on May 31st, the early birds get first dibs on the new JanSport Disney line and can buy their bags 24 hours before anyone else. Follow my link right to JanSport. Just click right here!
Disney Magic Mommy will be buying one, (and holding back from at least a half dozen more, I'm sure!) the only problem is I don't know which one to get! I'll be doing a review once it comes in, and hopefully it's the stuff Disney dreams are made of! Wouldn't it be super if it came in before our upcoming trip? I'm not sure if can get here that fast, but i'm hoping!
Are you excited about the collaboration between Disney and JanSport? Would you wear a backpack in the park, or do you prefer to go bagless?
One of the hardest parts of any trip is the wait. Disney or not, eventually, you just get so excited and ready to go you can hardly stand it. It's not always enough to just mentally count down the days or look on a calendar. Sometimes you need a visual countdown. The best part of counting down a Disney vacation is that it adds a little extra magic to your day while you count down!
Countdowns don't have to be for kids only! There's something just plain fun about doing on!
Maybe some of these fun ways will inspire you and your family to count down Disney Magic style! Just click a picture and a new window will pop open with a direct link.
Disney has created this really fun printable!
Print it, and if you laminate it, you could use it
for years to come!
There are fantastic instructions on how to make your own paper Mickey Chain countdown here. She cites her original location, but made some changes to make it her own, and it turned out really cute!
This is just a simple print and check off, (or you could color it in!) but that doesn't make it any less cute!
I have no idea where this one came from, if you know, please leave a comment or email so that I can give credit where credit is due. How adorable, and absolutely amazing is this?! I'd love to do this with my kids, I'm just not sure if I could make the house! I am not an artist. I imagine some double sized tape is holding the balloons on?
A princess version of the countdown chain! How precious is that?
Another printable, but I love the simplicity, and the fact you can reuse this, because you are just writing on the glass and wiping off.
How do you count down to your Disney trip, or another important event? Have you tried any of these?
Packing without over packing. It's sure a lot harder than it sounds. Is there even such a thing? I'm one of those that needs a new outfit each day at Disney, since we go in summer and it's hot and sticky. I don't want to spend a minute of Disney time doing laundry, we don't go often enough for that, so I pack extra because inevitably someone is going to wipe their hands off on me, chocolate ice cream and all, and walking around the park with icky clothes is just not magical at all.
It's not just my stuff I have to pack though, and that's where the over packing comes in. When we go somewhere, I make sure my boys each have a backpack full of surprises. This year they are getting new backpacks with BB 8 on them that I got for a dollar each in November. Between the surprises I'd packed, things Grandma had given, DVDs and some old travel favorites the backpacks were getting hard to zip. I had also planned a new pillow pal (big stuffed animal sort of thing) and a bag of snacks and drinks to be in the back with them. "Where are we going to sit?" I could just hear them saying as they got into the back of the van.
With accident prone and allergy kiddos, I also pack a medicine for everything imaginable. If someone's got a headache, I’ve got Advil, Tylenol, Excedrin. Upset stomach? I've got the anti diarrhea pills right there. Allergic reaction? I've got Benedryl in both kid and adult form. Sutafed, Zyrtec, itch sticks, first aid kit with bandaids, ointments, Dermablast, gauze, tape... I'm ready for anything from skinned knees as you board the bus (My youngest, last time) or catching a cold. No need to pause our vacation for more than a minute and keep on going!
See all this? This Disney Mommy is READY!
You'd think we'd be set by this point, but we pack our own breakfast snacks, and drinks, so there's a cooler full of waters and juice boxes, extras in the suitcases and then some in a small cooler for easy reaching while driving. We also have a cooler backpack for the parks, and our regular park backpack with stuff like sunscreen, ponchos, Disney pins, camera, etc.
Add our clothes, shoes, tablets, chargers, directions, guidebooks, touring plans, loom knitting and yarn to keep me busy while Mr. Disney Magic drives, and it's starting to really add up. This trip I was getting a little bit worried.
When you have a problem, I think there's only one thing to do. Look on Google. If you can't find it there then there's probably no hope. Luckily for me, there were a ton of people talking about how to pack, AND how to trim down what you bring. Since I wasn't going to trim down my clothes, I'd need to trim down other things I had planned to bring.
It seems the first step is to remind yourself that if you run out of something, you can always find a place to get more. Sure, it might cost more at a gift shop, but then again, you might not need to do that. With that in mind, I took a long look at those bursting bags and started to edit. I forgot to take a before picture, but the clothes were folded, then squished, shoved and jammed into every single space I could find. That's pretty much how it looked.
Starting with the kids backpacks, I eliminated the “old favorites” because honestly, it's about 13 hours each way, and they'll be watching DVDs most of that. They aren't going to need endless toys. The pillow pals are staying behind, too unless they really want them, and to be honest, I doubt they will. That was just me wanting more Disney in the car.
The medicines I ended up taking out of their original containers, and putting into ziplock bags. I'm just taking kids Advil, not Tylenol too, same for adults. I'm leaving behind the kids benedryl, because honestly, the chances are pretty slim of a weird allergic reaction to something. If I need it, I can get help at the first aid station, or an on call doctor service. You can see how I saved a ton of space!
The kids clothes were grouped each day's outfit in a ziploc bag and marked who and what it was for, making it easier for the boys to find what they needed. To further save on space, I pushed all of the air out of the bags, hugging them as tightly as I could. It actually made a difference, and I was able to get a 10 pack of Fruit Shoots in there. That's worked so well, I may stick the previous day's dirty clothes in the bag too on the way back.
Looks messy, but really it's all organized!
For my suitcase, I decided to try the rolling method. That worked so well, I hope I never forget about it. Not only was I able to fit everything into my suitcase, I was also able to fit in an extra pair of sneakers Mr. Disney Magic was going to carry in his bag, plus I got a pair of my older son's sneakers in there as well. Since I wear capris, not shorts, it takes up a lot more room, so I was pretty surprised!
All ready with my cute hat! Who isn't getting sunburn on their head this time? Me! That's who!
I did a quick count on our drinks and didn't reduce those, but I did take out some of the snacks. I had about 12 granola bars for each of us for just 6 park mornings. I dropped that down to 8 each, so we still get variety, but we don't bring home a ton of extras. That space can be devoted to special Disney treats.
The end result was I learned a lot from Google, and hopefully that sticks with me.
Do you have some good packing tips? How do you keep from overpacking? It's obvious I need help in that department! How do you make it all fit? Are you a folder, a roller or a suitcase cube sort of person?
This blog post is on TheThriftyCouple.com weekly Link party!
(Michaels did not pay me to make this post. I just wanted to share my excitement with you! Any links you may click are not affiliate links. I didn't have my camera on hand when I was at the store so can't show my own photos.)
Michaels Craft Stores now have a kids Disney Craft line! They have some adorable things and all of them are priced really well, too. It's a huge aisle with a lot of variety, and featuring the characters from Finding Nemo/Finding Dorey, Frozen, Disney Princesses, The Lion Guard, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
From large and small felt shapes (I'm thinking Pin Boards with those Mickey heads!) felt boards, wind chimes, stickers,necklaces, craft boxes and sets and a whole lot more. Visiting that aisle sure got me in the Disney mood! I'm thinking about turning the Foam Mickey Heads into a countdown of some sort! I bought one of the felt castle silhouettes. It's really thick and would be nice to frame in a shadow box. Same with any of the big felt sheets. Our store only had 3 of the Mickey Heads, and I bought them all. Hopefully they restock because I would like a few more. They really would make fabulous mini pin boards, or to stick in a shadow box with a red background.
The best part about all of these are that Michael's usually has them on sale, and if not, you can use a 40% off coupon. Double win! Disney décor or crafts for you, and savings to put towards your trip! I would suggest stocking up now, because these are so cute, I'm sure a lot of other Disney Mommies are going to be snapping them up for summertime crafts!
I'm not sure what I loved the most, it's all just so cute! These are a few of my favorites! You can clink the link at the top to see all of them!
Which ones do you like best?