Mom With Kids After Run
  • On Jan 30, 2012
    Liz from MI Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    First vacation 4/3-4/11/12. My MIL is coming with us but isnt planning to stay the entire time. We are wanting to get a family suite with dining plan but not sure how to book the package without losing all that money.

    Hi, Liz!

    This is a great question! 

    I am a fan of Disney's Dining Plan, so I'll fill you in on what I've learned over the years.

    Yes, you do have to purchase the Dining Plan for each guest staying on your reservation, for the duration of your stay.  There is one way around this, but It is tricky.  If you book two reservations, one for the days in which your MIL will be there, and one for the remaining days, you can pay for the Dining Plan for each reservation separately, including your MIL only on the reservation in which she'll be staying with you.  You can request that the reservations be linked to each other, too, but there is a possibility that you'll have to change rooms between the two reservations.  We've done this from time to time and have not had to change rooms too often.

    On the other hand, keep in mind that your meal entitlements are active upon check-in, and expire at midnight on the night of your check-out; you have a "pool" of entitlements right away, and can use them however and whenever you'd like.  Thus, if you have a late flight on your last day, any extra entitlements that your MIL was not able to use can be applied toward your meals that last day.  You could also do a special, TWO-entitlement dining experience, such as Magic Kingdom's Cinderella's Royal Table or Hollywood Studios' The Brown Derby because you might have a few extra table-service entitlements. 

    Add up how many entitlements you'll have if you book one continuous reservation, then calculate how many nights your MIL may not stay with you.  If you can see where / how you could use those entitlements elsewhere, then this may actually be useful to you, again, depending on your travel plans.

    Please send me additional questions you may have about this, or any other topic for your Walt Disney World vacation!  I love to help!
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Meet the Panelist: Andrea, Pennsylvania

I am a teacher, wife and mom who has been a member of the Disney Vacation Club since 2003. I love discovering a new favorite DVC resort, fantastic restaurant or hidden gem onboard a Disney ship! I'm a micro-planner who can help you capture your own magic! Learn More About Andrea

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