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Going to Disney with the Free Dining Plan

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Old 05-07-2007, 07:11 PM   #1
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Hi All,
I just booked a vacation for DD and I to go to Disney in Florida this summer. They are having a special that gives free dining of a snack, counter service( basically a lunch) and a table service( an app. entree and dessert ) for EACH of us for each day we are there. From the people I talked to this is the best deal that Disney offers. Anyway, I am nervous because I don't know how good I'll be considering that this food will be free. No money or tipping needed So, the question....... Has anyone gone to Disney using this plan or even eating in Disney and have stayed on plan? I'm just curious. I know that we will be doing ALOT of walking. I've heard that the crocs are really comfortable, anybody have a pair? That's probably a question for another site Thanks
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:21 PM   #2
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Disney has gotten better with their dining options, and you can find out what each restaurant/counter has by going online. When you go to the disney site, click on each park you will be going to and you can find the dining options. Also (as an aside), a lot of the sit-down restaurants require reservations. Make sure to get them in early because some fill up months in advance, although most are available early in the day.

I took DD (she's now 14) to disney for the first time when she was 4. Took her by myself for the week and we had such a good time. It is a place of many food temptations, but my suggestion is to plan ahead which restaurants you will go to so that you can figure out which one is worth a splurge and which is better to behave.

Most of the counter-service places now have grilled chicken sandwiches and salads too.

(We used to have the Florida residents pass, but let it lapse when I got pregnant w/DS. He's 3 now and we're just waiting until he's a little closer to 4 to get the pass again.)

Have fun, and you will be doing a LOT of walking! And remember to bring a spray bottle with a fan with you, or a little personal fan because the heat can be brutal in the summer and it's crowded. (Another benefit of living here is we can go on weekends. You won't catch many Floridians there until September!) And utilize the Fast Pass! I'm surprised that so many people don't realize what it is. You can get a ticket to come back and ride a ride with a little line as opposed to over an hour wait.
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:30 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for the great tips. I will be sure to check out the restaurants and the menus. I'll make sure to make my reservations as soon as DD and I figure out where we want to eat. Are there any places that you liked and was happy with the food? I mean if you could splurge for the one meal where you would be able to eat the really great food DD and I are so excited that we can hardly stand it . I'll have to go to Wal-Mart and see about the fans as I'm sure they're a seasonal item, not sure though Any other info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much and for the info.
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:31 PM   #4
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You're going to have an amazing time. There's a reason it's our choice College Reunion spot every year.

Go to www.wdwinfo.com and www.allears.net They both have menus posted for almost all the resturants on property.

As for the Dining Plan, I don't do it because it's about 3 times the amount of food I would normally eat. What I would recommend is doing the TS (table service, I'm so used to typing in disboard language ) for lunch when the poritons are smaller. Often if you ask the waiter can bring out fruit for dessert. For the appetizers stick with the salad. As for the counter service meals, there's usually a salad option and the condiment bars are great for adding on veggies. There's fruit at most snack counters, though frankly by the time I go in October I will figure out how to work in a Mickey Mouse Rice Krispie Treat Daily.

What hotel are you staying at? The Moderates and Delux's all have fridges in the room now, so it's really easy to bring the leftovers back with you.
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:01 PM   #5
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Thanks Megan, I'll look at those sites. DD(13) and I are staying at the POP century resort. Have you stayed there before? I don't know if they have refrigerators in the rooms. I will check on that. The Dining Plan was free when I boked the room so all I am paying for is the room and the park hopper tickets as well as air. DH isn't going this time but he told me to book it as he thinks that I am getting a really great deal. I will definetly have to try one of those rice Krispies treats. DD loves them too, she would make them every week if I let her Anyway, we are on Keep the tips coming if anyone has any more.
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:13 PM   #6
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That's the hotel DD and I stayed at way back when! It had just opened. They have a food court instead of a restaurant on the property. That should work out well for you. They had a little convenience store-type counter that had cereal, yogurt, even sushi. A burger and sandwich counter, a pizza/italian counter and a "blue plate special" counter which had diner food. I actually picked that resort because of the food court and how picky DD is. No sense in going to a sit-down restaurant for a grilled cheese, ya know?
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:27 PM   #7
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well, I have never been to Disney......but I can tell you about Crocs. They are a lifesaver. I wear mine almost every day. I bought them when I moved into my current house. At the time we purchased it, it had ceramic tile throughout, and after about a month, my knees and feet were really hurting me. My mom bought me the Crocs, and ugly as they are.......I don't think I could live without them when walking on such unforgiving surfaces. Oh, and I have tried Airwalks and other brands..........don't waste your money. They are usually only a smidgen cheaper than Crocs, and then you end up buying Crocs anyway
Have a blast at Disney
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:45 PM   #8
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Thanks Nicole for the info on Crocs. My DD(13) really wants a pair but I wasn't sure about them. I did look @ the ones in Payless. I think I will most definetly spend the money and buy the reall Crocs and not the imitation. I think I might even get myself a pair I have to admit they are ugly But for comfort, I'll suffer
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:59 PM   #9
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We went last year and did the dining plan. I was full all day long!!! There are a lot of good choices and a lot of bad. But don't sell yourself too short because you will probably walk from morning until night. I was not as careful as I shoud of been and gained 5 lbs on that vacation!! All I can say is thank god for the hikes! I probably would of came back 15-20lbs heavier! Also, I am not sure when you are going but it is good to make reservations for your table services a month in advance. Le Cellier steakhouse is our favorite at Epcot.
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Old 05-07-2007, 09:03 PM   #10
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I agree with Nicole...Buy the Crocs brand, they are the most comfortable. I can't live without mine and wish I would wear them to work! LOL My mom is a nurse and she wears them all day at the hospital and swears by them as well.

I went to Disney last year and I was not OP but did try to make the best choices I possibly could. I managed to maintain and did not gain, which I thought was a HUGE victory given all the little cheats I had.

I hope you have a GREAT time! Say Hi to Micky and the gang for me!
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Old 05-07-2007, 09:04 PM   #11
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OOO Tracy I love Le Cellier...yummy cheese soup!
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Old 05-07-2007, 09:14 PM   #12
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I just got back a week ago from Disney. My family (husband 9 year old and me). We used the dining plan and it was great. There were lots of healthy choices for kids and adults for meals. I was as careful as I could have been but I did maintain my loss while there. Definitely check things out online and make reservations for dinners ahead of time. Also eat either a little earlier or later for lunch because line-ups can really be a problem. We had plenty to eat the whole vacation and actually ended up taking food to hotel room with us at night and using for small snack in the morning (things like grapes and cookies). We did take some small snacks with us but we didn't need them--mostly for the 9 year old.
I wore Crocs almost the whole time we were there (7days) one day I wore my runners and my feet ached for the whole morning!! You will have a wonderful and magical time. Go see Fantasmic too!! It was so worthwhile.
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Old 05-07-2007, 10:08 PM   #13
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Thanks gang for the advice DD and I will certainly be putting everything that was advised to good use. I think we will be heading to srores this weekend and buying those Crocs. Also, I'll be taking the snacks back to the room and eating them for breakfast. You all ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-07-2007, 11:15 PM   #14
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We're thinking of going back to Disney World next spring.. We went last year and my legs just about fell off.. Thank goodness this time around we're both going to be in better shape..

My favorite meal was the Japanese teppan grill in Epcot.. The most dangerous were the Character Breakfast Buffets... But if you can resist the bacon, you should be ok..

As for snacks.. Well... I don't have any advice there.. Maybe the snow cones... The popcorn, of course, is full of salt (what did you expect me to say? )...

As for the service counter meals, I'll echo the statement that there are plenty of salads and sandwiches, so you should be ok if you can resist the other bad stuff.. Don't forget, you can have pizza in a pinch as a carb craver, but try to ease off the heavy starches for the rest of the day...

The starches are the killer food there, so be careful.. Just have a blast, and don't kill yourself trying to watch every little thing.. Remember, this is a diet that allows you to "live", so if you go around fretting every little thing during a special occassion, you won't have near as much fun!!
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Old 05-08-2007, 12:53 PM   #15
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My family is also going to Disney in June with my DH's parents, so it's good to see all these tips. Not sure where we're staying as FIL is taking care of all that. He's actually going to be there for work and wanted us to all come down a few days early and do Disney. I've been four times, but I'm still excited!! Also, it's going to correspond with mine and DH's 10th anniversary, and guess where we went for our honeymoon? DISNEY!! Sounds like I need to get some Crocs. My legs always ache after a day of walking around the parks.
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