TMSM Explains: Disney Dining Questions Answered Part 1

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We tend to see the same questions about Disney Dining in the Nation and other Disney forums rather frequently. This occurs in part because though we love Disney, we also accept they aren’t always the most forth coming with information that makes planning a trip to the parks that easy. That being said tonight instead of addressing one in-depth topic, I want to instead answer those dining questions we see frequently.

I have an early breakfast at the park. Will I be able to use the buses?

Resort buses start running at 6:30 am.

What should I tip at table services?

Proper Etiquette states “10% usually means you aren’t totally happy, 15% usually means all was acceptable, 18-20% for excellent, over 20% for outstanding.

BUT some table services already have tips on the bill:

  • Parties of six or more. The 18% gratuity will be assessed regardless of the age of the guests (babies are included) and regardless of whether the bill is broken up into separate sub-checks.
  • Guests dining at prepaid restaurants and dinner shows including: Cinderella’s Royal Table, Hoop Dee Doo Review, Spirit of Aloha Luau, and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ.
  • Guests using the Tables in Wonderland discount card or Cast Member discount.What should I tip at table services?Proper Etiquette states “10% usually means you aren’t totally happy, 15% usually means all was acceptable, 18-20% for excellent, over 20% for outstanding.BUT some table services already have tips on the bill:
    • Parties of six or more. The 18% gratuity will be assessed regardless of the age of the guests (babies are included) and regardless of whether the bill is broken up into separate sub-checks.
    • Guests dining at prepaid restaurants and dinner shows including: Cinderella’s Royal Table, Hoop Dee Doo Review, Spirit of Aloha Luau, and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ.
    • Guests using the Tables in Wonderland discount card or Cast Member discount.

I am traveling with a child under the age of 3, how does that work when it comes to meals?

When ordering at a “standard” table service or counter/quick service location children under 3 are expected to share their parents meal. If you opt to order them a beverage, or children’s meal there will be a fee. At buffets and family-style locations children under three can have their own plate, and a drink will be provided at no additional cost.

How much is Disney’s Dining Plan (DDP) in 2016?
All plans include 1 resort refillable mug per person on the plan. This mug can be picked up at your resort’s quick service location. This mug is for resort, not park, use.

Basic/Counter:
$42.84 per night ages 10 and up
$17.47 per night age 3 to 9
(2 counters, 1 snack per person per night of stay)

Quick/Standard:
$61.84 per night per adult ages 10 and up
$20.96 per night per children ages 3-9
(1 counter, 1 table, 1 snack per person per night of stay)

Deluxe:
$111.73 per night ages 10 and up
$32.56 per night ages 3 to 9
(3 table, 2 snacks per person per night of stay)

Premium:
$208.08/adult per day ages 10 and up
$152.60/child per day ages 3 to 9
(3 table, 2 snacks per person per night of stay, plus unlimited use of select recreation including golf, tickets to the Cirque du Soleil show, La Nouba, and more. Signature (2 credit) meals also only count as 1 credit when on this plan)

Can I swap my desert on Disney Dining Plan for an appetizer/ Did they make changes to DDP?
No you can’t substitute desert for an appetizer. But, yes there were changes made to DDP in 2015 that allow for some substitutions.

Changes to Table Service Credits include:

  • You can substitute desert for a fruit plate, side salad or cup of soup.
  • You can now “share” take service credits. That doesn’t mean meals, but you can treats friends to dinner on your credits, just tell the wait staff when they come to ask if you are on Dining Plan.

Changes to Counter Service and Snack Credits include:

  • Substitute a soda/fountain beverage for a snack.
  • A counter service credit can now be converted into 3-snack credits, but the snacks must be purchased at the same time, at the same location.
  • Price no longer decides what is a snack, so make sure you look for those snack logos.
  • Snack credits can now be used on select single breakfast items.

What characters are at X character meal?

All character meal Characters are subject to change without notice. For a list of DDP credit information per location. But currently here is the list of character meals, and locations, except the new Minnie Mouse Holiday Dining at Hollywood Studios.

1900 Park Fare; Grand Floridian
Breakfast, Dinner   (Buffet)
Supercalifragilistic Breakfast: Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter and friends.
Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner: Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, and Anastasia and Drisella.

Cape May Cafe; Beach Club
Breakfast, Character (Buffet)
Beach Club Buffet Character Breakfast: Minnie, Goofy, and Donald

Chef Mickey’s Buffet; Contemporary
Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Character (Buffet)
Mickey, you may see Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and Donald.

Cinderella’s Royal Table; Magic Kingdom(2 Credits)
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Character
Joining Cinderella at all three meals will be her Disney princess friends. The Fairy Godmother is not present at these meals, but Cinderella will greet guests for photos as they enter dinner.

Crystal Palace; Magic Kingdom
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Character (Buffet)
Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet.

Donald’s Safari Breakfast/Tusker House; Animal Kingdom
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Character (Buffet)
Donald and friends

Garden Grill; EPCOT Future World
Dinner, CharacterBreakfast and Lunch Character dining to start 11/8/15
Farmers Chip and Dale and friends (usually Farmer Mickey and Pluto)

Garden Grove; Swan (No DDP)
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Character
“Disney character dining at dinner nightly and for breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays.”

Hollywood and Vine; Hollywood Studios
Breakfast, Lunch, Character (Buffet)
Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, Jake from Disney Junior’s “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”
Dinner, Character (Buffet)
As of Winter 2015 dinner at Hollywood and Vine is now a “Minnie Mouse Seasonal” character meal where Minnie, Mickey, Donald, and Daisy meet guests in their “seasonal” finery.  From March 21, 2016 – June 5, 2016 the theme is  Minnie’s Springtime Dine, June 6, 2016 – September 11, 2016 is  Minnie’s Summertime Dine, September 12, 2016 – November 6, 2016 is Minnie’s Halloween Dine and November 7, 2016 – January 6, 2017 is
Minnie’s Holiday Dine.

 

Mickey’s Backyard BBQ; Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground (2 Credits)
Dinner Show, Character (Buffet)
Mickey’s Backyard BBQ is a seasonal offering that takes place at the outdoor Pavilion located at the Settlement at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.

Ohana’s Best Friends Breakfast; Polynesian
Breakfast, Character (Family Style Buffet)
Lilo and Stitch, Mickey and Pluto.

Perfectly Princess Tea Party; Grand Floridian
Lunch, Character
Princesses ages 4 to 12 are invited to attend this tea party hosted by Princess Aurora

Princess Storybook Dining; Akershus Royal Banquet Hall EPCOT World Showcase
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Character
Hosted by Belle, various Princesses usually varies between Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, and Jasmine

Wonderland Tea Party; Grand Floridian
Lunch, Character
This tea party is for guests from 3 to 10 years of age and is usually hosted by the Mad Hatter & Alice.

 

4b79caa3-b4eb-405e-8476-c9e41c28210dFor more our our TMSM Explains Series visit our archives!

Michele
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Michele

Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 107.3 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

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