For the last five vacations we have used the Disney Dining Plan. We love the freedom it gives us when dining. Being able to choose whatever we want from the menu, being able to enjoy the character dining without feeling nauseous when I receive the bill. We have learned over these vacations to pay close attention to your meal credits to make sure they are deducted from your plan. To make sure you don’t run out before the end of your vacation and to ensure you use all your credits.
On our last vacation we were doing a multiple resort stay. Your dining plan is directly connected to your resort reservation, which is why the only people able to take advantage of the dining plan must be staying at a Walt Disney World resort. So we had two separate dining plans. One for our Wilderness Lodge stay and one for our Boardwalk stay. The minute we checked in to the Boardwalk all of our meal credits on our old dining plan would be gone, because we were using one set of Magicbands for the whole vacation. Because of this extra element we were very cautious with our dining plan. Checking the receipts every time we redeemed a credit to make sure the right amount were left. By doing this we ended up with a free table service meal for each of us.
On our day at the Magic Kingdom we dined at Jungle Navigation Co Ltd. Skipper Canteen. Eating here would require three table service meal credits. One for myself, one for my husband, and one for our daughter. Lincoln was still under three so he ate for free. With any of our other table service dining experiences there were two receipts at the end of the meal, one with the dollar total and another showing no amount and the amount of dining plan points redeemed. This time we only received one. Which seemed odd. We left cash for our tip, took a picture of the receipt and left. I honestly didn’t give it another thought until the following day.
We were enjoying a table service lunch at Disney Springs’ T-Rex. When we dealt with the bill our server said you have 6 Table Service meal credits remaining. We were only supposed to have 3. We had one more reservation at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall for the next day and that should have used up the remaining table service meal credits for our dining plan.
When we returned to the resort I went to the conceirge desk and asked them to look up our dining plan to see what remained and also what had been redeemed. The concierge/ front desk can print out a general overview of your dining plan with credits redeemed and credits remaining but it can also print out a detailed report with the exact locations each of the credits were used. There was nothing showing up from Skipper Canteen. Immediately I thought. Oh no! She charged it to our room. This has happened to us before. The server charging our room for our meal instead of redeeming the dining plan. The front desk is able to fix that no problem but it’s still something you have to tell them to do. They won’t do it on their own. But no it hadn’t been charged either.
The cast member told me it may have just been a glitch and to check back in later. I did just that, twice in the next couple of hours. Each time getting a print out. One cast member said, you should use those credits. I was like, really? She says, well yes. If you don’t use them you’ll lose them. At that moment I jumped on MyDisneyExperience to see what I could find for a breakfast reservation for Saturday morning. I figured another 48 hours would allow the glitch to fix itself and our credits from the night before to get redeemed or we could dine another meal without thinking we’d have to pay for it with cash.
I found three great option for that Saturday morning in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area: O’Hana, 1900 Park Fare and Chef Mickey’s. We had to choose a resort table service restaurant because we weren’t doing a park day on Saturday. I was thinking O’Hana but Jeff wanted to eat at Chef Mickey’s. Chef Mickey’s is at the Contemporary which is a simple boat ride away from the Wilderness Lodge giving us more time to get there. So, Chef Mickey’s it was! I made a reservation for 7:40am.
Friday, we checked a few times to see if the credits had been redeemed and nothing had changed. Saturday morning we get up bright and early. Pack our bags to move to the Boardwalk and head down to the lobby. Concierge was already lined up so we went and took the boat over to the Contemporary. The whole way I was so nervous. We tried not to talk it up to the kids just in case these credits had been fixed in the last 12 hours. We got the concierge desk at the Contemporary to check one more time before we went to breakfast. Our account still showed 3 table service meal credits available. So off we went to have our extra table service meal at Chef Mickey’s.
Friends, this meal would have cost $125. It cost us nothing. If you haven’t eaten here before it really is a must do. The food is really good and you get to meet 5 characters. Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and Donald are all there. We ate plentifully, I got some great pictures. The whole meal Jeff and I kept looking at each other like were bandits. We thought for sure when we received our bill and then tried to redeem our dining plan the jig would finally be up and we’d have to fork out the extra cash, but it didn’t happen.
The big take away from all of this is to pay attention. Don’t take the dining plan for granted. Watch and make sure that things are being redeemed from your account properly. If there’s a mistake you’re able to have it fixed when it happens or soon after. Instead of dealing with it the morning your checking out, or once you’ve arrived home and you realized you paid for a meal you were supposed to have used points for.
Walt Disney World has provided us so many incredible tools to make our vacations more relaxed, easy and indulgent. But we need to take responsibility of what happens with our charges. This scenario could have been the exact opposite. We could have had someone assume Lincoln was over 3 and charge for an extra meal and then be out a meal by the last day of our trip. There are many different scenarios where this could play out differently. So pay attention, sometimes something magically unexpected could happen on your vacation. Happy Planning, Friends.