Have you ever dreamed of planning a very last minute trip to Disney? We have too! In this episode, we give you all the tips and tricks you need to know to plan a last minute trip to Disney that won’t have you frustrated!
Everyone knows that one of the most popular things to do at Disney is to have a character meal! Whether you want to meet Mickey and friends or Disney princesses, there is something for everyone when it comes to having a great meal with a fun character. Join us this week when we tell you which restaurants have your favorite Disney characters and what you can expect during that character dining experience!
Have you ever wished you could take your favorite parts of Disney and make them into one big Disney dream? Join us this week as we play a little Dr. Frankenstein and pull our favorite parts of the Walt Disney World resort and mash them together to make new restaurants, resorts, and menus in our own little Disney world!
One of the most popular activities you can do at Disney is to have a character meal! This is a great way to see your favorite characters without standing in line and while having a delicious meal. Join us as we talk all about the character meals you can find at Walt Disney World!
We make it a point to try new things at Disney each time we visit so we can report back to our readers and listeners about our findings. Join us this week as we talk about the most recent new experiences we’ve had for the first time while at Disney!
As a travel agent I get this question pretty frequently, and you may be surprised on what topics this question is asked. These are my opinions on whether something is worth doing at Walt Disney World. These are going to be my opinion but my opinion is also based on personal experience as well as data gathered from former clients.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: At least once, especially if you have a kid who is crazy about princesses. I would highly recommend if you are going to drop the cash you will want a reservation at Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom. The packages can be pretty pricey so to save, bring your own costume and accessories instead of purchasing the full package.
Pirates League: This is very much worth it! It is a great value and a fun experience for boys and girls. In fact unlike Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, adults can also get a makeover here too! They have pirate and mermaid choices and it is a really good value in comparison.
Getting Up Early: YES! I cannot say yes enough. The parks are least busy when they first open. You also get to see some neat stuff like the Welcome Show at the Magic Kingdom. How can you possibly be the family of the day if you are sleeping all morning? Some restaurants even offer early breakfast reservations inside the parks which means you have beat the crowds inside the parks. Go ahead and take that afternoon nap now, you deserve it.
To Try ______ Attraction: Well this is a no-brainer, yes! You should absolutely try any attraction, ride or show at least once unless you have a medical condition in which it is advised against. You may never know when you find your new favorite!
Park Hopper Tickets: In most cases, yes. This ticket makes your vacation so flexible. It can be a little work bouncing from park to park but if you are like a lot of people and find Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom to be half day parks this ticket option gives you the chance to save the rest of your day by hopping over to another park. If you are traveling with really young children it might not be worth the hassle. But if you are traveling with teens or adults only it is so worth the splurge. I have travelled with and without the Park Hopper and I will absolutely give up a character meal before I give up with Park Hopper!
Party Tickets: Yes, especially if you do not have park tickets for that day. You can enter the Magic Kingdom at 4pm on the party days even when the party doesn’t start until 7pm. You get special parades and firework shows, extra treats and character meet and greets. The parks are less crowded as well so you can get on your favorites rides with a minimal wait time!
Refillable Mugs: Yes, but you have to do the math! So as of 2016 the mugs are $17. Say you are staying 5 days it would be $3.40 per day, plus you keep the mug. For me this is very much worth it. I drink coffee or iced tea in the morning so I would fill up each morning before going to the parks. Then on an afternoon break I will fill up with Powerade, lemonade or more iced tea. Then in the evening before bed I’m loading up on more water or Powerade. Some quick math tells me that I am coming out ahead plus I have a cute souvenir cup to take home!
Cinderella’s Royal Table: Not really a good value. This restaurant located inside Cinderella Castle is a character meal that will run you about $60 a person or 2 Table Service credits. While you cannot beat the location or atmosphere there are other really great choices for princess character dining (Akershus, 1900 Park Fare) that won’t cost as much and the food is really good. If you were planning to do this as a special treat or celebration then it may be worth it to do once.
The Dining Plan: Yes, if used correctly! The dining plan can absolutely save you money if you plan your meals correctly to get the best value. If you split meals a lot or routinely order something that isn’t an entrée they no, it may not be worth it. If you like to go on vacation knowing it is all paid for then this is very helpful, no Disney food sticker shock either. So how do you figure out if it is worth getting? You will have to do a bit of work checking menu prices and then figuring out if what you would order for each meal plus 2 snacks and if you would use the refillable mug (drinks start at about $3) and then look at the cost per day of the dining plan.
Preferred Rooms: Yes, a thousand times yes! Want to save yourself some walking at the beginning and end of the day? How about saving yourself a long trip to the pool or food court? Taking kids to Walt Disney World? Then get a preferred room, it is worth the price difference from a standard, especially at the Value resorts.
Club Level: This is a it depends. If you are already on the dining plan it may not be worth it, but if you are looking for a way to plus up a vacation with a great room that has snacks provided a couple times a day plus free drinks? Then yeah you will want to look at it. The big seller is that it includes some beers and wine as well as bottled water. You could make breakfast out of the offerings. There are also midday snacks offered and hot appetizers in the evenings and desserts in the late evenings! This can be a fantastic value! Check out Tara’s Club Level series here for specific resort information.
T-Shirts, Misting Fans, Glowing Trinkets: Nope, save yourself a lot of big bucks and pick up these things prior to going on vacation. You can find misting fans and the cheap glowing, spinning toys at pretty much any dollar store, Walgreens, Walmart stores for about ¼ of the price. The same could be said for the shirts you can purchase at Walt Disney World. Your basic Tshirt will set you back about $25. Go ahead and check out with Disney Store online, Target, Walmart, Forever 21, Torrid, Hot Topic, H & M, and Etsy just to name a few.
Character dining is very popular and very much a part of most families trips to Disney. One of the most confusing things and hard to follow is which characters are where and if they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner or just breakfast, etc. Also, people are always asking me – which is the best and when they mean the best typically they are asking about who has the best character interaction and not the best bacon (though food is important) because these meals are not cheap but most are buffets and you can eat a lot of yummy food to get your value plus the pictures and smiles on your kids faces (or your adult faces) will be something priceless.
I am going to start also by saying that this information is correct as of today March 21, 2106 (I hope it is!) but the characters are always changing and this is who is typically there. Though no character is ever guaranteed so know that going in and do not be disappointed but enjoy the event! If you HAVE to meet one specific character you might need to fastpass that for a meet and greet. One more tip when you see a description like Luau Mickey or Safari Donald this describes the character theme at this meal. So, Safari Donald is dressed up like he is going on a safari for example!
Starting with character meals that require 1 Table Service Credit when using the Disney Dining Plan:
‘Ohana at Polynesian Resort –
Best Friends Breakfast – Breakfast Only
Lilo, Stitch, Luau Mickey, Luau Pluto
Garden Grill Epcot
Chip ‘n Dale’s Harvest Feast (all meals)
Chip & Dale, Farmer Mickey & Farmer Pluto
Chef Mickey’s at Contemporary Resort
Chef Mickey’s Fun Time Buffet (all meals)
Chef Mickey, Chef Donald, Chef Goofy, Chef Minnie & Chef Pluto
Tusker House at Animal Kingdom
Donald’s Safari Meal (all meals)
Safari Mickey, Safari Donald, Safari Goofy, & Safari Daisy
1900 Park Fare at Grand Floridian Resort
Supercalifragilistic Breakfast (breakfast only)
Alice, the Mad Hatter, Mary Poppins and Bert, Tigger & Pooh
1900 Park Fare at Grand Floridian Resort
Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner (dinner only)
Cinderella, Prince Charming, Cinderella’s Stepsisters (Anastasia and Drisella) and Wicked Stepmother (Lady Tremaine)
Hollywood & Vine at Hollywood Studios
Disney Junior Play n’ Dine (breakfast and lunch only)
Disney Junior Characters: Jake, Sofia, Doc McStuffins & Handy Manny
Hollywood & Vine at Hollywood Studios
Minnie’s Seasonal Dine (dinner only)
Minnie, Mickey, Donald, Daisy and Goofy
- January 4, 2016 – March 20, 2016
Minnie’s Silver Screen Dine
Celebrate Hollywood blockbusters at a banquet honoring the glitz and glamor of Tinseltown!
- March 21, 2016 – June 5, 2016
Minnie’s Springtime Dine
Shake off winter’s chill with a fabulous fête marking the bright and beautiful delights of spring!
- June 6, 2016 – September 11, 2016
Minnie’s Summertime Dine
Heat things up at a beach-inspired bash welcoming the excitement of the season!
- September 12, 2016 – November 6, 2016
Minnie’s Halloween Dine
Head to Minnie’s favorite haunt as all her pals gather for a frightfully festive Halloween feast!
- November 7, 2016 – January 6, 2017
Minnie’s Holiday Dine
Deck the halls at a dazzling dinner party filled with holiday cheer and the joy of the season!
Cape May’s at Beach Club Resort
Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast (Breakfast only)
Beach Minnie, Beach Donald and Beach Goofy
Akershus in Norway at Epcot
Princess Storybook Dining (all meals)
Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Ariel, Aurora, Snow White
The following are character meals that require 2 Table Service Credits when using the Disney Dining Plan:
Mickey’s Backyard Bar-B-Que at Fort Wilderness Resort
“Dinner Show” (dinner Only )
Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Chip and Dale
Cinderella’s Royal Table in Castle at Magic Kingdom
Fairytale Dining (all meals)
Cinderella, Jasmine, Ariel, Aurora, Snow White and sometimes Belle (cast of princesses will consistently vary)
Going to Disney World to celebrate a special event is already the icing on the cake in my opinion but Disney also gives you lots of options to kick it up a notch. So, is this anniversary super special or this birthday a BIG one. For any ages and events, there is something special to help. I wanted to talk about the Super Special Big Dollar Extras that can be provided to you from Disney Floral and Gifts.
There are lots of ways to do things and Disney Floral and Gifts is by no means the least expensive option but they do have the good, special stuff and the ways and means to get it done.
For example, I spent my 40th birthday at Disney with the best of friends and my husband and they surprised me on the day by decorating the living room of our Boardwalk Villa (awesome and budget friendly – the room decorating not Boardwalk haha do not think I am living under a rock!) and then kicked it up a notch by having a cake delivered that we ate for breakfast every day. It is Disney and I said “Let them eat cake” quite a bit that trip. Then the special extra happened and we came back from a park day and there was a beautiful glitter pink rose with a wonderful special bracelet and note.
It was awesome! And the best part (or maybe?) is it broke, that week at Disney (put my hand in my purse and the heart came off). I called Disney Floral and Gifts and without question sent me a new one and never even asked for the broken one, etc. That is the Disney difference.
So, here are a few of what I think are the craziest, most over the top, super special things!
Presenting Your Royal Princess – $435.00 – so you walk up to your room and on your door is a pink banner letting her know something is up! She then gets to open a big box filled with all princess must haves (tiaras and wands), there are balloons and personalized princess capes and so much more! It is a BIG deal.
Not in the mood for princess and pink? Go Big with Mickey and Pals Big Birthday Wish – coming in at a modest $395.00. You can have all the fun with Mickey and his pals and keep your inner child (or outer child happy!)
Need some Super, Special Romance? A Wish Come True – a Two Day Romantic Experience is ready for you at a mere $364.95 but you get two days full of romance. There are roses and crystals and champagne for two days. Sign me up!
Is your (or your kids) dream of meeting a princess or Mickey and Friends finally coming through? Have your child proclaimed a princess at Cinderella’s Royal Table or a princess meet and greet with the My Storybook Moment – Princess (143.95) or find out they are about to meet their best pal Mickey using a storybook moment with My Storybook Moment – Mickey Mouse (87.95)
Yes, going to Disney is SUPER special and no one needs the extras but if you have a few extra dollars and want to go as over the top as possible. These are a few ideas that are easy on you to make happen!