Walt Disney World’s FREE Fall Dining = Save $400-$900 (September Only) + Hip Tips to Maximize the Value of Disney FREE Dining
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Thursday, May 9th, 2013 at 9:04 am.
Guest Post by Julie Harrington-Travel Planner
If you have ever stayed at a Walt Disney Resort and/or contemplated making reservations at one of these resorts, you may have discovered that on occasion, Walt Disney offers up a very special and limited-time promotion called FREE Dining. The FREE Dining promotion allows you and your room-mates to eat completely free with the purchase of select packages on select dates.
To take advantage of this FREE Dining, purchase a non-discounted Walt Disney World Resort and Ticket Package at select hotels during the following dates: September 2, 2013 – September 25, 2013. Your arrival date must fall within this date range above to qualify for FREE Dining.
* Select Disney Value Resorts will offer the FREE Quick Service Dining Plan and Select Disney Moderate, Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts will offer a FREE Disney Dining Plan. Excludes campsites, 3 bedroom Villas and Art of Animation – Little Mermaid Rooms. Excludes gratuity and alcoholic beverages.
Hip Tips to Maximize the Value of Disney FREE Dining
If you are lucky enough to score FREE Dining at Walt Disney World, then let’s make sure you are maximizing the value of the Disney Dining Plan. Here are some tips to get you a bigger bang for your dining credits.
When using a table service credit at a sit down pre fix menu restaurant, order the most expensive meal on the menu (obviously, be sure it is also something you would like to eat ). The best part of the dining plan is not having to worry about what you are ordering since all entrees on the menu are included when using the Disney Dining Plan.
Split quick service meals. Portion sizes at Disney are rather large so two children can easily share an adult entree at a counter service restaurant. This means you only have to use one of your credits for a meal, leaving you with another credit to use at another time. Sometimes even two adults can share a counter service meal.
Enjoy a light breakfast or lunch? Your daily snack credits can easily be used to purchase a snack that will satisfy you as a meal. For example: Egg Roll in Adventureland, French Onion Soup at Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom, Cheese Pesto Sticks at Landscape of Flavors. To spot snack items that qualify for the Dining Plan, just look for the special logo on the menu.
Upgrade your dining plan to the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan to have more dining credits to use for Dinner Shows, Signature Dining Experiences or a meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table. All require 2 table service credits each.
All quick service meal credits give you an entree, dessert and drink. If you are utilizing your resort refillable mug at your resort, then grab the large bottle of water for your drink with your dining plan credit and bring it to the park with you. Then there will be no need to worry about buying a bottle of water while in the park.
If you’re feeling full after your quick service entree and won’t be eating your dessert right away, bring it back to your resort and put it in the fridge to have when you are wanting a snack later. You can also do this for your table service meals (just ask the dining staff).
If you want to do more dining than what is included in your Dining Plan, you may have to pay out of pocket for a meal or two. I recommend that the meal you pay out of pocket for is a breakfast and preferably a quick service breakfast. Always make sure your dining credits are being used for your most expensive meals.
Does your child have a “must see” character that they want some one on one time with? Character dining is a great way to make sure you get that special moment for your child. Character dining at Disney World can be expensive. However, table service meal credits on the Disney Dining Plans allow you to dine with the characters for 1 table service meal (excluding Cinderella’s Royal Table).
Is your family filled with big eaters & picky eaters?! Consider dining at one of the buffets or family style buffets to give everyone in the family what they want. Your big eaters will have full access to as much food as they would like at the same meal credit that your picky eaters have. And your picky eaters can just grab what they enjoy and pass on the other items.
Having the Disney Dining Plan allows you to book certain dining that typically needs payment in full at the time of reservation, using just a credit card to hold the reservation. This can give you the extra time to save for the cost of the meal.
One of the most priceless values that the Disney Dining Plan offers you is convenience. Your vacation, including your meals, is budgeted ahead of time. There is no need to sit down at a meal and stress over what to order for fear of exceeding your family’s vacation budget.
Remember that even though you are getting FREE Dining, it is not always the best option for your family. To make sure you are getting the best deal for your vacation, use a Disney Travel Specialist who knows the in’s and out’s of Disney discounts.
(A BIG thanks to Julie Harrington-Travel Planner with Mousetales Travel for all these awesome tips! If you need help planning an upcoming Disney vacation, you can contact Julie via email email@example.com or follow her on Facebook.)
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 at 5:53 pm.
As I mentioned in my High and Low post from last week, this is a BIG week for me and my family! We are in the process of moving a few streets over to a home that has more space. And although we are only moving a few blocks, it is still not a fun process (but the end result will definitely be worth the stress!).
So, my low is simply the fact that my days and nights have been all-consumed with packing, unpacking, organizing, cleaning, re-organizing etc. (Thank goodness for my sidekicks who have been helping like crazy on Hip2Save!). If I never have to open another box, that will be fine by me!
However, my high has been my amazing mother, Susan. She arrived this morning (she lives about an hour from Boise) and is here to help me for the rest of this week. Besides the fact that she is offering up an extra pair of hands to help with the packing and unpacking, she also brings along an amazing sense of humor and an upbeat spirit (both of which I really need, especially today!). Aren’t moms just wonderful?!
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 at 6:38 pm.
Since there have been a ton of DiGiorno coupons available lately, I want to give you all a heads up that Nestlé USA announced a voluntary recall of specific production codes of 2 different DiGiorno pizza products and 2 different California Pizza Kitchen products. The reason for the recall is that the pizzas may contain fragments of clear plastic.
The following pizzas are included in the recall:
DiGiorno Crispy Flatbread Pizza Tuscan Style Chicken (UPC 71921 02663)
DiGiorno Pizzeria! Bianca/White Pizza (UPC 71921 91484)
California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) Crispy Thin Crust White (UPC 71921 98745)
California Pizza Kitchen® Limited Edition Grilled Chicken with Cabernet Sauce (UPC 71921 00781)
If you happen to have any of these currently in your freezer, simply contact them via phone at 800-456-4394 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go here for more details.
(Thanks, Melissa & Jennifer!)
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 at 4:54 pm.
I have a love and hate relationship with instant gratification.
Why is it so incredibly difficult to be patient, to give it time… to be OK with waiting? Why is it so easy to be impulsive when you sense that instant gratification is near?
Patience in life, in all of the struggles we face, in the decisions we make, and in the decisions we are waiting to hear from others… patience is so important. Every single day it seems that I learn over and over again why I need to be patient.
As lots of you have probably learned on your frugal journey, instant gratification is always calling your name. When you see a great deal but don’t necessarily need it, instant gratification thinks you do. When you want to purchase an item that will be free after coupon, instant gratification thinks you should buy as many as you can!
Instant gratification actually played a BIG part in the selling of our home. You see, we listed our house “For Sale By Owner” and just a few days after listing, we got an offer. We countered back and both parties verbally agreed on a price. There was nothing in writing and no contract in place when we made this verbal agreement. The couple was out-of-town and wouldn’t be returning until the following week.
We kept the house on the market as we knew they could back-out since there was nothing written in stone. Not even a few days later, we received 2 more offers. One offer was over the asking price. I was torn and very upset. We had given our word but now knew that by doing so, we had just lost ourselves a ton of money. My values are extremely important to me, so there was no question in my mind what the right thing to do was. We kept our word and honored the offer we had agreed upon over the phone.
After an emotional day yesterday, I woke up this morning feeling a littler wiser. OK, so I am totally not wise by any means and still have a lot to learn (just ask my hubby), but I did wake up feeling like I had learned a big life lesson.
Instant gratification always sounds so appealing, but once that impulsive feeling hits and you go for it, not giving the oh so important decision another thought – it is so unfulfilling. The satisfaction you think would be waiting for you on the other side is never there. I learned that yesterday.
If we had waited and not verbally agreed to anything… I mean the house had only been listed for a couple of days and the people who put in the offer were out-of-town. If I had been patient… if that instant gratification and impulsiveness didn’t take over….
But life is about learning, right? And I sure learned a lot from this experience.
“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect which make difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”
- John Quincy Adams
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 at 6:45 pm.
So… I have been keeping a secret! For the past month or so, my family has been preparing to sell our home so that we can move a few streets over to a home that has more space. As you can imagine, it has been quite chaotic in my household as many hours have been spent de-cluttering, sorting, donating, cleaning, and doing whatever necessary to get our house in tip-top condition to go on the market.
So my high today… we sold our home in only 5 days! We are so happy and relieved to be done with the oh-so-stressful selling process. I was becoming a maniac freaking out about shoes being worn in the house, crumbs being dropped on the floor, backpacks strewn about etc. So I am very excited to get back to the more relaxed version of myself.
My low today – can you guess?! Yep, now we have to start preparing to actually move. Yuck! So the next few weeks will be filled with packing boxes, hauling them over to the new house, and unpacking boxes all with 3 kiddos in tow. Wish me luck!
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 at 3:14 pm.
Can you believe that the 2012-2013 school year is nearing an end and Summer break is right around the corner!?! As you may already know, during the week of May 6th-12th many schools will be honoring their teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. With that being said, here are a few Teacher gift ideas I’ve received from Hip2Save readers over the years…
*For an end-of-year gift, change the note to say “Thank You for a reMARK(ER)able school year!”…and you have a cute but practical gift idea! (Thanks, Tera!)
*Use an empty spaghetti sauce jar with clearance jelly beans. Make a label and card to hang on the jar. The label could say “No beans about it (teacher’s name) RULES”. A cute (and inexpensive) thank you for teachers! (Thanks, Trudy!)
*Pick up an inexpensive movie and put a pack of popcorn and a $1 box of Movie Theater candy with it. Walmart and Target both have $5 movies and this makes a great teachers gift! (Thanks, Suzie!)
To get ya thinkin’, you may want to start off by printing these cute Thank You Notes and personalize them for each of your kiddos teachers. If you have any other creative, affordable, or meaningful teacher gift ideas, be sure to share them in the comment section below! And, if you’re a teacher, what gifts do YOU personally enjoy receiving?
To all of you teachers out there…. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! You are so valued and appreciated!
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 at 7:31 pm.
So my high today… I had a few moments to escape outside, sit on my deck and enjoy some time reading. The weather here in Boise has been absolutely beautiful and I am trying soak up as much of the sunshine as I can. And thanks to my mother (a past marriage and family therapist), I have a large array of self-help books to browse through when I am looking for something to read. So much fun!
My low today is simply the fact that I have not been diligent about planning out meals and cooking healthy dinners for my family. We have been eating lots of easy to prepare meals like sandwiches, so I am feeling quite guilty for not whipping up a big family dinner. Hopefully, I can make up for this over the next few nights but we are once again having sandwiches tonight. Do any of you have any quick, healthy and kid-friendly meals to recommend?
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Saturday, April 20th, 2013 at 8:12 am.
Here’s an easy way to plant a tree without ever having to leave your home! Head on over to the Treecycler Facebook page, “like” them, and click on the Plant a Tree tab to snag a unique code that will enable you to “plant” a tree in one of many reforestation projects around the globe. Since I am an Idahoan, I opted to plant a tree in the Idaho Department of Lands.
Note that you can also find Treecycler codes on mail, products and select locations online – use these codes to plant even more trees around the world!
* Treecycler is hoping to plant 10,000 trees by Earth Day…that’s 2 days away! So let’s help them out (and the earth too)!
Come back and let us know where you planted a tree!
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Wednesday, April 17th, 2013 at 8:52 pm.
As I mentioned yesterday, my hubby celebrated his birthday today. My high was taking him out to breakfast (just the 2 of us!) and getting a chance to relax and enjoy our time together. I also really enjoyed celebrating his big day with some yummy cheesecake – any excuse to have a sweet treat!
And my low… well, this afternoon, I discovered that my contact form on Hip2Save.com has not been working properly for the last few days. Although the contact form was allowing submissions, none of the submissions were actually reaching my inbox and so they were all essentially lost in space. I am so sorry about this. I truly value all of the emails that readers take the time to send. I am thankful, though, as my web guys were able to get the issue resolved this evening.
This Hip2Save.com Deal was hand-posted on Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 at 7:38 pm.
My high today, without a doubt, was watching my sweet little ones make homemade cards for their daddy’s birthday which is tomorrow. They each took the time to write special messages and draw pictures. My son, Ayden, even put his own cash (birthday money he had received only a week earlier) in a little section of the card he had created. He was beaming with excitement when he showed me the surprise he had inside…
I am so blessed to have 3 precious little people in my life that teach me life lessons every single day.
My low today continues to remain the same low that I experienced yesterday. It is so difficult to watch all the news surrounding the Boston Marathon bombings without getting teary-eyed and feeling immense pain and sadness for all those directly effected. I cannot even begin to imagine all the pain and suffering that these families are enduring right now and will continue to endure.