|Beaches & Cream Soda Shop|
A few weeks after we closed on the house we took a much needed/deserved vacation to Walt Disney World! This was a vacation that we had been planning for well over 2 years (it was for Andrew's 16th Birthday and he was 17 when we actually went) but we had to put it on hold because of the house.
Now this was no ordinary vacation, this was a vacation of a lifetime (well we took a very similar vacation for Tyler's 16th birthday). It was a 7 day 6 night Walt Disney World vacation on the Deluxe Dining Plan! Now for those of you unfamiliar with the Disney Dining Plan basically you pay for your hotel, tickets (if you need them), and your food before you ever arrive at the parks. Then you only need to bring money for tips (if you eat at sit-down restaurants) and souvenirs.
The Deluxe Dining Plan (which the only one we have ever done) is 3 meals a day (based on how many nights you are staying) plus two snacks. So we had a total of 18 meals each and 12 snacks each. Or a grand total of 90 meals and 60 snacks! We also each got a refillable resort mug that we could use for unlimited beverages at our hotel.
When you are on the Deluxe Dining Plan you receive an appetizer, an entree, a dessert, and a non-alcoholic beverage at every meal. So our table had a total of 5 appetizers, 5 entrees, 5 desserts, and 5 beverages at every single meal we ate! That is some serious food! Now as I mentioned before we have done this dining plan once before and we learned some very valuable lessons on that first go round.
- Limit the amount of buffets (or just skip them all together). We did eat at a few buffets but we tried to limit them as much as possible.
- Go to restaurants that require 2 meal credits. This will help cut down on the number of meals that you are eating and also lets you try some really fantastic upper-scale Disney food!
- Make your dining reservations 180 days before your vacation so that you have the best chance of getting into the restaurants you want and at the times that you want/need.
- Space your meals out as much as possible. We found that if we skipped breakfast and ate an early lunch (between 11 and 12) we were usually ready for dinner any time after 6. And if you do get hungry believe me you have plenty of snacks to hold you over until it is time to eat again!
- Be adventurous! There is more than enough food at the table that if you do end up ordering something that you don't like you will not go hungry (as long as your table mates are the sharing kind)! My oldest son discovered on this vacation that he likes lamb and bison. My daughter and I discovered that we don't really care for cheese plates.
- And probably the most important thing to remember: DO NOT EAT ALL OF YOUR FOOD! No matter how good it is or how much you love it.
If you have any questions about the dining plan or places at Disney to eat I will do my very best to answer them. Just leave your question in the comments!