Tables in Wonderland dining membership program at Walt Disney World: Should you get it?
Hello. By way of quick introduction, my name is Kat. I own and write at DrinkingDisney.com, a site about, well, drinking at Disney. While I love a good cocktail at Walt Disney World, they are certainly not the only reason I return several times a year, and I am delighted that OrlandoInformer.com has given me the opportunity to explore all that the Walt Disney World Resort has to offer in a series of articles called “Around the World.” My plan is to cover just about anything you can think of, from the theme parks, to the hotels, to the restaurants, and everything in between. Also, don’t be surprised to see me pop in with a Halloween Horror Nights post or two this fall…it’s my favorite time of the year and my favorite event of the year!
Tables in Wonderland – what is it and should you get it?
Tables in Wonderland is a membership program for the Walt Disney World Resort which provides 20% off the price of food and beverages (including alcohol) for the cardholder and up to nine guests at 99 restaurants and lounges. The card is available to Annual Passholders (for the price of $75.00) and Florida Residents (for the price of $100.00) who are 21 and over, and it is good for one year. (It actually works out to be good for closer to 13 months, but the official description states it is good for one year.)
The price of the Tables in Wonderland card may seem a little high, and I would agree that it is probably not going to be worth it for someone who visits the Walt Disney World Resort only once or twice a year, doesn’t drink, and isn’t interested in dining at the various Disney table service restaurants. But if you are a frequent visitor, someone who enjoys having a few cocktails, and would like to have a nice meal at least a couple times during your trips, the savings can really add up.
I live in Florida, so most of my trips to Orlando tend to be weekend ones, usually two or three nights in duration. My husband and I purchased the Tables in Wonderland card over the 4th of July weekend last year, and after three weekend trips, we had recouped the cost of it. (Our vacation activities generally include a table service meal or two, drinks with dinner, and a couple of lounge visits over the course of a weekend.) After that, we started to keep a running total of how much we had saved, and so far it has been a little over $100.00. My card does not expire until the end of August, and I still have three or four trips planned before then. I have no doubt we will save another $50.00 to $100.00 (maybe even more) before it expires. Also, since the discount is good for the cardholder and up to nine others, it’s been a nice to be able to share that with friends.
Beyond the discount on food and beverages, there are other benefits included in your Tables in Wonderland membership:
- Complimentary valet parking at the resorts when you dine there. When you leave, show your dining receipt and Tables in Wonderland card and your valet parking fee will be waived.
- Free parking at the Disney parks after 5:00 p.m. While that’s not really a benefit for those who have annual passes and already receive free parking, for locals who do not have an annual pass or have one of the Florida Resident passes that do not include parking benefits, this could prove to be a fairly significant money saver.
- Access to special members-only events, such as dinners and wine tastings, throughout the year. Some truly are “special” events, like the dinner they held in the Great Movie Ride a couple years ago. The number of events per month varies, but there is usually at least one per month.
- Occasional discounts are provided on other things as well, such as the 25% off tickets to Cirque Du Soleil currently being offered through May 11, 2012.
If you decide to purchase Tables in Wonderland, there are a couple things to keep in mind. The card is not valid on holidays including Mothers Day, Easter Sunday, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. (However, we learned last year it does not hurt to ask. We were able to use it at a couple of lounge locations on Christmas Eve last year with no problem.) It also has an auto-gratuity of 18% on all food and drinks (20% at Victoria and Albert’s), but that amount is pretty standard for tipping these days anyway.
One additional thing worth noting is that, while the Tables in Wonderland discount is not valid at all of the Disney food courts, it is at the food courts of Pop Century, All Star Music, All Star Movies, All Star Sports, and Port Orleans French Quarter, because they do not have a table service restaurant. There is no gratuity added to your bill when the discount is used at one of the food courts.
Although Tables in Wonderland may not be worth the cost for everyone, if you visit Walt Disney World often, chances are you’ll find it will be.
You can pick up a Tables in Wonderland card at any Disney Guest Services location or by calling 407-566-5858.
Official Tables in Wonderland terms
For those interested in the program, here are the official terms as of the posting of this article:
- If you are a Disney Vacation Club Member, visit any Guest Relations location at a Walt Disney World® Theme park or Downtown Disney® to purchase your Tables in Wonderland membership. Please present your Photo ID and your DVC Membership Card.
- If you are a Florida Resident or Annual / Seasonal Passholder, visit any Guest Relations location at a Walt Disney World® Theme park or Downtown Disney® to purchase your Tables in Wonderland membership. Florida Residents and Annual / Seasonal Passholders may also purchase by mail or phone. Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery.
- Resort valet services are complimentary to members, for the sole purpose of dining. This privilege will only be extended to one vehicle per membership card. Present your membership card with a valid dining receipt at the Valet Stand upon retrieving your vehicle.
- Theme Park parking is complimentary to members, for the sole purpose of dining. Before 5:00pm, please pay for parking at the Toll Plaza. Visit Guest Relations on your way out of the Theme Park, and if it has been less than 3 hours, show your membership card and dining receipt for reimbursement for parking. After 5:00 p.m., members can show their membership card at the toll plaza to enter the parking lot. Theme park admission is required for dining in all Theme Park restaurant locations. On Block-Out dates, there will be a charge for parking and valet services.
- Block-out dates for the Tables in Wonderland are Mothers Day, Easter Sunday, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The Tables in Wonderland discount cannot be used in combination with any other discount and is not valid for Fantasmic Dinner Package, Food and Wine Festival dinners, Candlelight Packages, or any other special events / special dining experiences.
- A charge of 18% gratuity will be added to all transactions, regardless of party size.
- A charge of 20% gratuity will be added to all transactions, regardless of party size at
Victoria & Albert’s.
- For lost or stolen Tables in Wonderland cards, there is a $50 replacement fee.
- The Tables in Wonderland discount is good for up to 10 people, as long as everyone is on the same check, and the Tables in Wonderland member is paying the bill. If you have the Tables in Wonderland card, and your spouse has the Tables in Wonderland secondary card, together you may cover up to 20 people. Both members must live at the same address and be 21 years of age or older.
Official website http://tablesinwonderland.com
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