Best Trip Tips: Pay Ahead Dining

There are a wide variety of Dining Experiences at Walt Disney World. There’s character dining, dinner shows, quick-service. All to meet the many needs of the guests visiting. Now some of these experiences you need to pay for ahead of time. Which can be a bit of a surprise when you’re making your reservations 180 days ahead of time. Unlike the dining plan where you can pay for it up to 2 days before your arrival date, these particular dining options need a payment upon reservation. Now for those using the dining plan you can still use meal credits for these particular dining experiences. When you arrive you tell the host you would like to use dining plan credits and they will change it on your reservation and you will see a refund come on your credit card statement. Which if you’re from the United States, that’s really no big deal. But for those of us travelling from outside of the country you can be dinged on currency exchange. You may be charged more when you make the reservation because the US dollar is high and then you may be refunded less because the US dollar is lower. With that 180 day window a lot can change. For this reason, when our family is going to be dinning at one of these restaurants I won’t use the dining plan for it. I’ll pay for it when we reserve and then use those meal credits for somewhere else. Go to a 2 meal credit restaurant one night or do 2 full-service restaurants in one day. Now this payment does include a tip so it’s nice to have that taken care of ahead of time.

Here are the list of dining experiences that you need to pay upon making a reservation:

Cinderella’s Royal Table.

The price of this varies depending on the meal you will be enjoying and the time of year. You only have to pay for those 3 and above, but this is a plated meal so you’ll have to share with your younger travellers. With the appetizers, main course and dessert this shouldn’t be much of a problem. For an adult you can expect to pay anywhere between $45.00 and $65.00 for breakfast and $65.00 to $80.00 for lunch and dinner. For a child (between the ages of 3-9) you will be charged $35.00 to $45.00 for breakfast and $45.00 to $65.00.

Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show.

Found at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort this dinner show involves audience participation and an all you care to enjoy style meal with alcohol for the adults in your party. There are three categories of seating so there are three prices ranges depending on the time of year. For Category 1 you’ve got $69-73 per adult and $35-39 per child, Category 2 is $64-68 for adults and $34-37 per child and lastly Category 3 is $60-64 per adult and $33-35 per child. Now if you plan on getting your money back by using dining plan credits you’ll have to book in Category 2 and Category 3.

Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.

Head to Fort Wilderness Lodge for a 2 hour show, with comedy, dancing and singing. Enjoy bbq style food at an all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet with unlimited draft, wine and sangria. Your upfront charge includes taxes and gratuity. You’ll have three sections to choose from and three different show times. In section1 adults are charged $72 and children are charged $43, in section 2 adults are charged $69 and children are charged $39 and lastly in sections 3 adults are charged $64 and children are charged $34. Those using the dining plan can only use reservations in section 2 and 3.

One of the good things about paying up front is there’s another section of your trip already paid for before you even get there. Making your money stretch during your vacation.

Happy Planning.

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