We’ve used the Disney Dining plan several times on our past vacations, but we’ve always had the regular plan which includes a Table Service meal, a Quick Service meal and a snack each day. On our recent trip, the timing worked out so we got the free dining promotion, where the meal plan was included with our vacation package. Since we weren’t staying at a moderate resort, the free option available for guests at the value resorts was the Quick Service plan which include 2 Quick Service meals and a snack per day.
I am always pleasantly surprised by the portion size of quick serve meals – I never leave hungry! And since the dining plan includes a dessert with every meal, there’s no way to feel deprived regardless of which Disney Dining plan you choose.
In addition to the free meals, refillable drink mugs were included with the plan. I was a little nervous about the new “Rapid Refill” system after reading some reviews, but I didn’t notice any difference from when we’ve used the mugs in the past (other than I couldn’t bring my mug from home.) Here’s where our quick serve dining took us over the course of our trip:
Magic Kingdom (Lunch): Golden Oak Outpost
We were heading to Pecos Bill’s but the line was out the door so we kept walking and found the Golden Oak Outpost, which was a food kiosk around the back of Pecos Bill’s. Hint: there are two lines on the right and left – everyone was lined up on one side because people didn’t realize there were two lines. The spicy chicken sandwich was delicious!
Golden Oak Outpost (View from seating area) – Magic Kingdom
Epcot (Dinner): Yorkshire Country Fish Shop (U.K.)
MMM… fish and chips!
As we get ready to take our last Disney vacation with someone in the 3-9 age bracket, I started to think about what will change when she’s officially an adult according to Disney ticketing and dining standards.
Other than the price increase, the big difference will be the bigger meals. For this trip we are using the Disney Dining plan (Quick Service version) and I started to get a little worried that my daughter might just starve based on the kids meals in the parks.
Note – the meals I’m referring to in this post are the quick service meals, but my pictures are table service meals – apparently in my thousands of Disney pictures I haven’t taken any of a kid’s quick serve meal!
Cinderella’s Royal Table – age 4
Just looking at the age range that is considered a kids meal – from preschool to 4th grade – there’s no way that a one-size-(meal)-fits-all. Continue reading
One of the best things about Disney vacations is that something unexpected and magical seems to happen on every trip. Last November, my husband and I went to Disney World to celebrate our 10 year anniversary and we definitely experienced some unexpected magic!
Christmas Mickey and Minnie
We planned our trip the week following Thanksgiving, knowing that we would beat the holiday crowds that grow as Christmas break approaches. Upon arriving at Magic Kingdom, we saw some commotion and a stage set up in the Main Street square, not to mention people lined up along Main Street wearing Santa hats and Christmas-themed attire. It didn’t take too long to realize something was going on and we soon found out they were setting up to tape the Christmas Day parade that airs on TV Christmas morning — and we were going to be there to witness it!
The timing of the parade happened shortly after the news of Disney taking over Lucasfilm, so there were tons of storm troopers lined up to march in the parade, lead by Darth Vader.
Star Wars Christmas Parade on Main Street
It was so cool to see the behind-the-scenes instructions given to Vader by the director and it only took a few takes to get the scene right.
Darth Vader in the Christmas Parade at Magic Kingdom
Storm Trooper Parade at Magic Kingdom
After the parade was over, we made our way up Main Street towards Cinderella Castle. Once we got there, it was obvious there was going to be a show. Continue reading
In a place as well known for being expensive as it is for Mickey Mouse, it’s easy to spend a fortune on souvenirs at Disney World. I’ve read lots of articles on strategies for saving money on souvenirs, such as buying items outside of the parks, giving each child (or adult) an allowance that they can spend however they want, and waiting until the last day to purchase all souvenirs so that the items don’t add up to a huge expense a little at a time over the course of the week.
After visiting the parks many times, it’s easier for us to cut back on souvenirs, but even so we probably spent $75 on the last trip. My husband got a new visor and (several) Minnie’s Bakeshop cookies to bring home and I got a scarf plus a few antenna toppers. My daughter’s tastes are a little less expensive. We gave her a $50 gift card to spend however she liked and it was split between pins for her pin trading and Goofy’s cherry sour balls (those are addictive!)