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  1. #1

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    A few questions about the dining plan and character dining

    First of all, I apologize if this is in the wrong place :P Not sure where to put it, so I threw it here and you can move it if need be

    I woke up this morning and found that Disney is offering their free dining plan this fall, so I'm all pumped and trying to convince my husband to go. I've never done the dining plan before, so it's very new to me. I've read up on it, but still have a few questions.

    1.) You're able to use a table service meal as a character dining? I was surprised by this and wanted to double check.
    2.) What are some of the better character dining places? I've never done one before. My daughter is 2 and loves all things Disney.
    3.) Do you HAVE to use the table service meals or can you trade them for quick service meals? The idea of having to stop what we're doing to eat is a turnoff for me :P
    4.) What are some of the better table service restaurants?

    I would really love to hear any and all opinions relating to the dining plan. Thanks so much for your help!!!!

    Julie

  2. #2

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    Re: A few questions about the dining plan and character dining

    Quote Originally Posted by Serenity1207 View Post
    First of all, I apologize if this is in the wrong place :P Not sure where to put it, so I threw it here and you can move it if need be

    I woke up this morning and found that Disney is offering their free dining plan this fall, so I'm all pumped and trying to convince my husband to go. I've never done the dining plan before, so it's very new to me. I've read up on it, but still have a few questions.

    1.) You're able to use a table service meal as a character dining? I was surprised by this and wanted to double check.
    Yes, most take 1 some require 2, check the details in the brochure.

    2.) What are some of the better character dining places? I've never done one before. My daughter is 2 and loves all things Disney.
    Depends on what you like, there's a huge variety out there. Some of my Favorites are: Chef Mickey's, Donald's Safari breakfast, Cinderella's Royal table, Crystal Palace, Garden grill (land Pavilion at Epcot), The Princess breakfast in Norway, and 1900 Park Fare.

    3.) Do you HAVE to use the table service meals or can you trade them for quick service meals? The idea of having to stop what we're doing to eat is a turnoff for me :P
    You can use them for Quickservice once you used all of your Quickservice meals, normally it's a bad idea given the difference in price between Quickservice and Table Service meals but hey when it's free go for it if that's what you want.

    4.) What are some of the better table service restaurants?
    Wow that's a tough one, again it really depends on what kind of food you like and all. Each person will give you a different answer to that. Some of the better one's in my book for a variety of reasons are: Ohana's, The Wave, Kona cafe, Whispering Canyons, Artist Point, Boma's, Jinko's, Tepan Edo, Le Cellier, Raglan Road, and the 50's Prime time.

    I would really love to hear any and all opinions relating to the dining plan. Thanks so much for your help!!!!

    Julie
    There's an article on my web site on how to get the most of the plan, it also has the link to the DDP brocure. That's a good place to start, if you share what your dining/food preferences are I'm sure you'll get lots of sugessitions on here!
    Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...

  3. #3

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    Re: A few questions about the dining plan and character dining

    Only Character dining I've done is Crystal Palace. If she likes the Pooh characters she'll be in heaven.

    If you want to go the quickservice route, I like:

    MK:
    Pecos Bills
    Pinocchio Village Haus
    Columbia Harbor House

    EPCOT:
    Sunshine Seasons (I am a SLAVE to the turkey sammich)
    Cantina de San Angel (Mexico)

    Studios:
    Pizza Planet

    Never been to AK so can't help you there.

  4. #4

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    Re: A few questions about the dining plan and character dining

    For character dining...I highly recommend Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary Resort. If your daughter is two...I think she'd like the characters they have there. Mickey, Goofy, Minnie, the chipmunks. Plus, they sing and dance. VERY fun. Our daughter was 3 when we did it, and she loved it.




  5. #5

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    Re: A few questions about the dining plan and character dining

    We've done the free dining plant the last two years and LOVED it! We found it quite nice to be able to walk right in and be seated and be able to take an hour or so out of the sun.

    Per character meals, we've done Chef Mickey's and Donald's breakfast at Animal Kingdom. We did Chef Mickey's for dinner and I wasn't that impressed with the food. The characters were great and we've been told to try it at breakfast tho.

    For sit-down meals we enjoyed O'hana, Le Cellier, Sci-Fi Dine-In, Mama Melroses, Rose and Crown Pub. The only place we did not enjoy was Boma, but other people on here rave about it. It's all about what you like to eat.
    With great pride: Disney Store Cast Member August 2011-Present

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  6. #6

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    Re: A few questions about the dining plan and character dining

    Although my husband is very adventurous with his eating, my son and I are fairly picky eaters. My daughter is only 2, so we're still trying to expose her to different things, but she doesn't eat much. So, something easy and "familiar" would probably be best. Are there any places that offer different foods, but then also have your regular hamburger, sandwich, chicken type things?

    Also, I was wondering if the free dining plan runs out? Do they have a certain number they give out and then that's it? Or as long as you book for those dates before June 12 (or is it 21), then you get the plan?

    Thanks for all your help!!!! I've never done the dining plan before, so it's very new to me

  7. #7

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    Re: A few questions about the dining plan and character dining

    Just about all the restaurants have kid menus that have simple things like chicken nuggets and fries.

    You can view all the menus at allearsnet.com.

  8. #8

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    Re: A few questions about the dining plan and character dining

    Don't worry about the picky eaters. Me and my daughter are pretty picky too. Our family sounds like yours. Hubby will eat anything...me and the little one are a bit harder. We didn't have any problems using the dining plan...or finding things for both of us to eat. The wait staff is always SO helpful and friendly. They will answer tons of questions, make suggestions and work as hard as they can to help you.

    For hot dogs, hamburgers and the like...try Cosmo's Rays in Magic kingdom. My daughter gets a big kick out of this place...because of the animatronic they have in the dining area. He sings, and plays the piano. Did I mention he's an alien? Our daughter still calls him a "hippo". It's one of her favorite places.

    There's also Paco Bill's in the Magic Kingdom. They have hamburgers, taco salads...and a great fixin bar to jazz all that up.

    In Epcot, try the Electric Umbrella. It's a great place to grab some cheese fries and watch the crowd pass by.

    You'll find a pretty decent variety on all menus. And like Aimster said...the kid's menu really is designed for kids. They always have a grilled cheese, hot dog, or chicken nuggets on every single one. Plus, you can get great sides like grapes, or apple slices. So, the kiddos get their nutrition in too!




  9. #9

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    Re: A few questions about the dining plan and character dining

    Quote Originally Posted by Serenity1207 View Post
    Although my husband is very adventurous with his eating, my son and I are fairly picky eaters. My daughter is only 2, so we're still trying to expose her to different things, but she doesn't eat much. So, something easy and "familiar" would probably be best. Are there any places that offer different foods, but then also have your regular hamburger, sandwich, chicken type things?
    As others have said the Kid's menus in all of the WDW restaurants have the basics usually chicken nuggets, pizza, peanut butter & jelly etc. All Buffets have them in the Kid's section and adults quite often eat them as well. So no worries there.

    Most of the restaurants also have a steak or something similar on the menu as well so don't limit yourself too much.

    I would suggest trying one of the more conventional restaurants at Epcot like Tepan Edo (it's tapanaki style Japanese Steakhouse with steak, chicken, shrimp, etc cooked in front of you on the table) or Le cellier (in Canada) or Garden grill (Character Dinner family style flank steak, turkey, etc.)

    Any of the MK restaurants will be fine, Same with Disney Hollywood Studio's however I would recommend either the 50's prime time or Sci-Fi Diners for the atmosphere. Animal kingdom is a challenge, I would recommend eating outside of the park for a sit down meal while visiting there.

    If you make it to Downtown Disney I would recommend Raglan Road it's an upscale Irish pub atmosphere with a gourmet twist that is absolutely fabulous.

    I think you'll be fine no matter where you eat, but you will have no problem finding "comfort" foods wherever you go in WDW.


    Also, I was wondering if the free dining plan runs out? Do they have a certain number they give out and then that's it? Or as long as you book for those dates before June 12 (or is it 21), then you get the plan?

    Thanks for all your help!!!! I've never done the dining plan before, so it's very new to me
    Yes, they limit the number of rooms at each resort for a particular offer, once they are gone it's gone unless they decide to extend it.
    Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...

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