Let’s preface this post by saying that I’m not here to engage in the Great Dining Plan Debate. You all have your opinions on that already. Instead, I’m going to show you some different discount options that we utilized on our recent WDW trip, so that you can see if they’d be beneficial tactics for you.
First was www.restaurant.com. I bought a $50.00 gift certificate to Downtown Disney’s House of Blues for $4.00. HoB wasn’t necessarily on my radar for dining, but $46.00 is $46.00. Our meal for seven people (including alcohol and an 18% gratuity) after the discount was $123.38. That’s $17.63 per person, with two in our party consuming alcoholic beverages. Not too shabby. That said, restaurant availability on www.restaurant.com does fluctuate, but it can’t hurt to check.
Next was Tables in Wonderland. This is available only to Florida residents and annual passholders. The cost was $75.00, but boy was it worth it! Here was a breakdown on our dining for the trip:
First Night: Seven people at ‘Ohana. All adult meals plus two alcoholic beverages before the discount was $248.68 (not including tax.) Our TiW discount was $49.74.
Second Night: Four people at Flying Fish Café. Adult meals plus a bottle of wine before tax, tip, and discount was $141.00. Our TiW discount was $28.20.*
Third Night: Eight people at Sanaa. Eight meals (including some appetizers, desserts, and drinks) came to a pre-tax total of $192.55. TiW discount was $38.43.
Fourth Night: Eight people at La Hacienda de San Angel. Again, with plenty of appetizers, drinks, and desserts, the pre-tax and discount total was $179.35. TiW discount was $35.87.
Fifth Night: Three people at Bistro de Paris (with some appetizers, wine and desserts – do you see a pattern yet?) had a subtotal of $142.00. Our TiW discount was $28.40.
*Bonus savings: We got free valet parking at the Boardwalk on Tuesday by showing our TiW card and Flying Fish receipt.
Quick summary: Tables in Wonderland Card was $75.00. Total savings on this trip was $180.64. To break it down further, we saved an average of $6.58 per person, per meal. That means that a family of four with similar eating habits would save about $157.92 over the course of six nights. And best of all, our Tables in Wonderland card will still be good when we go back next November!
I should add that in addition to the dining discounts and the free valet parking, there are some special events that are only available to Tables in Wonderland members. For more information, please call (407) 566-5858.
P.S. For those keeping track, our average sit-down meal cost per person (including alcohol, appetizers, etc.) came to $28.22. This includes eating at higher end/two table credit restaurants like Flying Fish and Bistro de Paris. Add that to an average counter-service lunch of $15.00 and you get $43.22. The cost of the Disney Dining Plan per day is a minimum of $51.54. I’m just saying. ;)