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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Disney Dining Plan Changes!





















Just this past Sunday, Walt Disney World implemented several changes to their Disney Dining Plan. These updates were not announced publicly but are a great benefit to their guests.

Snacks - First let's talk about the new changes to DDP snack credits. Disney Dining Plan snack credits usually covered most items under $5 at various carts, quick service counters, and stores. Now Disney considers any single serving size item a snack. How does that differ from the current plan, you ask? See the bullet points below:
  • Originally, you could order a pretzel or funnel cake with no extras. Now snack credits have a slightly higher value in that you may receive toppings or dip with your snack. Like a Mickey pretzel with cheese, or a funnel cake with fruit topping. That's a sweet bonus!
Images courtesy of My Sweet Creations and the Disney Food Blog
  • Any non-alcoholic beverage at any location, souvenir containers not allowed.
  • All hand scooped ice creams and sundaes may be up to two scoops and include toppings.
  • Soups and side items served at Quick Service locations my now be purchased with a snack credit.
  • During breakfast at Quick Service restaurants you may use a snack credit for any side item offered with an entree. You can now grab bacon, eggs, french toast sticks, biscuits and gravy and more for one snack credit each!
Quick Service - The DDP Quick Service plan entitlements allow for any entree, side, drink, and dessert or a combo meal with drink at any Disney Quick Service location. Here is what is changing:
  • Children may now order an adult meal when dining at a Quick Service restaurant. This is great news! We have been ordering like this for years in an effort to stretch our credits further by having our kids split an adult size portion. There never was a true distinction between kid and adult credits and it was rarely enforced. Now Disney is officially allowing it. Read my previous Disney Dining Plan post for how to maximize this new policy.
  • Desserts and drinks may be substituted for any eligible snack. So if you are tired of eating that delicious chocolate cake for the fifth day in a row, you may order a side of french fries or soup instead.
Triple Chocolate Cake - mmm, courtesy of the Disney Food Blog
  • Does you family always have Quick Service entitlements leftover at the end of your trip? And do you try and stuff your faces right before you check out to use them all up? Well now you may exchange a Quick Service credit for three snack entitlements in the same transaction. So finally, you can spend your extra Quick Service credits to grab Mickey rice crispy treats or Minne's bake shop cookies for the trip home instead of wasting several meals.
Table Service - There have been a few changes to the Table Service entitlement policies as well.
  • Guests on the DDP are no longer limited to the number of credits used for a single meal. Originally you could only use Table Service credits for your family that was listed on your reservation. Now you may bring your friends and use your Table Service entitlements for their meals too! This will work out great if you are traveling with a group not using the DDP but will eat together often.
  • Desserts can be substituted for a side salad, a cup of soup, or a fruit plate. If you are sick of sweets (I never am at WDW), you can order something else and pass on the sugar. Make sure you let your server know so this may be accommodated. Also, appetizers are still not allowed as a substitution. Check out my other DDP post to see one exception to this rule!
  • If you have the Disney Deluxe, Premium, or Platinum Dining Plan, children are no longer restricted to ordering from the kids menu. This only applies to the higher level plans and not the Standard Disney Dining plan (the on often included with Free Dining offers).
Overall these changes seem to be very positive for Disney guests. My family has been using the Disney Dining Plan for many years and I see us applying the new policies to our next vacation at WDW. This seems like a good step forward for Disney after several years of DDP restrictions and price hikes. I feel that future visitors may now get better use of there Disney Dining Plan.

If you liked this post I encourage you to read my original DDP post, I'm a Disney Dining Plan Expert, for additional information about getting the most out of your DDP.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mickey Balloon Tips

     Have you ever wanted to get a Mickey Balloon while at the Magic Kingdom but thought it wasn't worth the cost? Well think again. The current Mickey Balloons (colored mickey head with a clear bubble around it) cost around $12 and stay inflated for many days. This is one of the cheapest souvenirs you can get. You can carry it to all of the Parks except Animal Kingdom.


     Also, if your balloon ever pops you just need to return the pieces and the Mickey weights to the nearest balloon handler and they will give you a new one, no questions asked. So if your kids are into balloons, then buy one early during your trip and they can enjoy it the whole vacation. Tie it to your stroller to for easier identification. Leave it in your room to keep the motion sensor activated air conditioning running. Or just bring it along with you like another member of the family!


     I encourage you to buy your little pirate or princess a Mickey Balloon on your next Disney vacation, not to maximize your money or because it's free to replace. You should buy it because you'll never forget the look on their face when you hand it to them.

2015 Disney Free Dining Offer


Disney has their annual FREE DINING offer out for this coming Fall and Winter. This is one of the best discounts available for any WDW vacation. I can't say enough great things about the Disney Dining Plan, especially when it's free! You will receive a free Quick Service (for stays at Value Resorts) or Standard Dining plan (for stays at a moderate, deluxe, or deluxe villa resort) with a non-discounted room rate at a Disney Resort. This deal excludes the following resorts: Port Orleans Riverside, Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation, and all 3 bedroom villas.

Here are the dates available: 8/28-10/2/2015, 10/25-10/31/2015, 11/8-11/19/2015, and 12/15-12/21/2015.

The offer must be booked by July 10. This promotion is very popular and very limited in number of rooms available. Remember you only have to check in on one of the days shown above and you will recieve the dining plan your entire visit. We highly recommend the Disney Dining plan. We have traveled with the dining plan every visit since 2006. Please review my previous post about using the Disney Dining Plan. Book today!

See additional information in the link below.

Disney Visa Free Dining Offer