Sunday, 22 January 2012

245 days to go!

Brownies and Ice Cream @ The Plaza

In November 2011, my family and I decided to take advantage of the Disney Parks offer, booking a two-week stay in Animal Kingdom Lodge, with free Disney Dining Plan for September 2012! The majority of our past trips have come about because of the dining plan. It has saved us so much money over the years, enabling us to travel to WDW more than we expected. Not only that, but it has allowed us to eat at so many new restaurants that we would never have thought to try, for fear of wasting money on a bad meal (though you don’t get many of those!). It has also got us tables at some of the more costly eateries, e.g Cinderellas Royal Table, and with gratuity included in this particular location; it saved us all the more!

A trip to WDW is not all about the food, and from the way I’m talking above, it must sound like we do nothing but eat! That is far far from the truth, but it is a big part of the vacation. Though I still live at home with my parents, because of work and other commitments, it is not every night I get to sit down and have a meal with them. On holiday, I do, and that is one of the things I love about our trips. It really throws us together as a family for two whole weeks, constantly in each other’s company! It gives us a chance to find out what is going on in all our lives, a chance to catch up, and solidify our family bonds. So, I suppose in a way, the eating really does play a big part in the holiday.

Though we are nowhere near out 180 day window for making reservations at some of our favorite places (The Plaza, Crystal Palace and Boma to name a few!) it’s around about now that we start looking up menus and getting an idea about where we want to eat. We don’t have a meal booked for every day of the holiday before we go, but we like to have a few of our favorites and some brand new (Via Napoli!) restaurants booked and ready – after all, the planning of a WDW holiday is all part of the fun!

Steakwitch @ The plaza

We are on the regular Dining plan, so each day we get; 1 counter service, 1 table service and 1 snack service credit, and now, we also get our resort mug included too! Most counter service restaurants only require 1 credit per guest, but some, e.g Cinderellas Royal Table, Hoop de Doo review and the Fantasmic Dining package, require 2 table service credits each. If we are looking at doing any of these this trip, we have to make sure we allocate that extra credit! Those are also the meals that will have to be booked at the 180 day mark to ensure we get the reservation. As I have said, we do not book all our meals before we go, but some really have to be booked if we want a chance of dining there! There is little to no chance of getting a ‘walk up’ reservation at Cinderellas Royal Table no matter what time of year you go! Last trip, we did a ‘walk up’ to The Plaza in Magic Kingdom on our very last day. We must have waited close to 2 hours for that table! Although we love the food there, we could have done a lot in those final few hours before it was time to go home!

We’ve started to look at the menus, seeing what’s new, changed or gone (Rose & Crowns Surf an Turf keeps popping on and off the menu!) and getting an idea about where we want to eat. There are some places, like the Liberty Tree Tavern, that we haven’t been back to for a few trips, that we’d really like to eat at again – as long as they keep the mac and cheese off the table! We’re also really excited to try out Via Napoli and, fingers crossed, the new Be Our Guest restaurant in Magic Kingdom will be open which we’d love to try – as long as the menu isn’t too extravagant for the fussy eaters in our party! A breakfast at Boma in Animal Kingdom Lodge is a must, several times, on any trip! Staying at the lodge itself, we tend to just book this one at concierge the evening before and have never had a problem getting a table. The Plaza in Magic Kingdom has fast become a family favorite too!

With so many restaurants to choose from, we will never run out of options and dining adventures. As our plans become more finalized and we draw closer to the 180 marker for making reservations I’ll let you know our plans!

What reservations will you be making?

Until next time,

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