Podcast Episode 114: Fall 2016 Disney News

Here at Dole Whipped, we like to keep you informed of all the Disney information available so this week we bring you Fall 2016 Disney news!  We hope this helps you better plan your upcoming Disney vacations!

Happy listening!

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How Parking Works at Walt Disney World

Whether you are taking your own vehicle or renting one once you get to Walt Disney World there are a few things you will want to know before you arrive.

Resorts
Self-parking at any of the Walt Disney World Resorts is complimentary if you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel.

Valet Parking is available at select deluxe resorts and is $25 per day. Should you go from one resort to another you do not have to pay an additional time, your valet parking will transfer to another resort.

Parks
At the 4 theme parks, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom guests will pay a single fee per day.

If you are a resort guest, Annual Passholders, Premium Passholders and Disney Premier Passport holder you do not have to pay for parking. You will show your MagicBand at the parking plaza.

As of March 2016 here are the prices:
Car or motorcycle- $20 per day
Shuttle, limo, camper, trailer or RV- $22 per day
Bus or tractor trailer- $25 per day

You can pay this fee with cash or credit/debit card.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations are available at Epcot. 4 ChargePoint charging stations are located in the Journey parking section, on a first come, first serve basis. You will need to use a credit card or chargepoint card to pay for the electricity. The cost is $.35 per kilowatt hour with a minimum service amount of $1.50.

One important parking note for Magic Kingdom is that parking is actually at the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) and from there a transfer must be taken by Ferry, boat or Monorail.

Water Parks
Self-parking is complimentary at both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach for all guests

Disney Springs
Self-parking is complimentary.

Valet parking is available for $20, payment will be collected at pick up.

ESPN Wide World of Sports
Self-parking is complimentary for all guests.

Guests with Disabilities
Designated parking areas are available to guests with a valid disability parking permit at each of the theme parks, resorts and Disney Springs.

Guest Blogger: Chris Gardiner’s Review of Tables in Wonderland

TIW

It surprises me how many Disney travelers that I meet that have never heard of Disney’s “Tables in Wonderland” program.  I truly find this to be one of WDW’s hidden discount perks and one that could save you a lot of money and convenience if it’s right for you.

For those who do not know, the “Tables in Wonderland” is a card you can purchase if you are a Florida Resident, Annual and/or Seasonal Passholder, or a DVC member.  The cost of the annual card is $125 for Florida Residents and $100 for Annual or Seasonal Passholders and DVC members.  There are some great benefits to having this card that I wanted to go over as well as some of my own experiences from using the card.

The main perk is that the card offers a 20% discount on food and beverages (including alcohol!) at over 100 participating restaurant at WDW.  This includes the parks, resort hotels and Downtown Disney locations.  Considering how much you spend on dining at WDW this can be a great savings!  I find that the majority of the restaurants accepting the card are table service restaurants, while there are a handful of quick-service restaurants are sprinkled in (however I am not complaining because the table service restaurants are the more costly).  Another great advantage of this is that the 20% discount applies to parties of up to 10 people (including yourself). I personally have had the chance to be able to use my card on several trips where I had gone with multiple parties and we all had the chance to dine together.  One time was for the Princess Breakfast at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in EPCOT for a party of 7 and the other time was at Be Our Guest at the Magic Kingdom for a party of 9.  Trust me, when I was able to save everyone 20% on their meal it was a ‘magical moment’!  Now you do have to keep in mind a couple of things.  According to their policy when you using the discount “everyone has to be on the same check” and “the Tables In Wonderland member has to pay the bill”.  Honestly I have seen the “member having to pay the bill” enforced sometimes and not at other times.  But my suggestions is just to have a quick conversation with everyone prior to the meal to figure out that if you do have to pay for the meal who gives you money, etc..  Another thing to keep in mind is that by using the card an 18% gratuity is automatically added to the bill.  I have never had an issue with this and actually find it convenient as there is not going back and forth on paying the bill.

Another perk that Tables In Wonderland offers is free valet and theme parking for dining purposes.  If you are renting or have your own car I find this to be a great perk as valet parking at the Disney resorts is $20!  On my last trip we used Tables in Wonderland and dined at 3 Disney Resorts (so in addition to saving 20% on the meal we saved $60 in valet parking fees!).

There are a couple of items that you want to make sure you are aware of with Tables in Wonderland.  The first is that there are blackout dates!  The card cannot be used on:  Mother’s Day, Easter Sunday, 4th of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve & Day, New Year’s Eve & Day.  In addition to these dates several of the very popular table service restaurants have some additional blackout dates so make sure you check out www.tablesinwonderland.com for these specifics.

The other very important thing I have learned is do not LOSE or FORGET your Tables In Wonderland card!  You have to have your card with you to use the discount (they will not look it up for you) and if you lose your card you have to pay $50 fee to get a replacement one.  I know this for a fact because prior to one of my last Disney trips I had put my Tables In Wonderland card in a very safe location in my house and then proceeded to leave it at my house while I was at WDW.  So $50 later I learned a valuable lesson (but it was still worth it to have the card!).

As long as I have my annual pass I will continue to get Tables in Wonderland – it’s a great hidden perk that if used the right way can save you big time on your dining at WDW.  Enjoy!