Thursday, September 21, 2006

Trip report - Pre-trip - Part 3

Part 3 – The use of free dining

Like so many millions before, we jumped at the chance of the free dining. For those of you who may not be Disney nuts, I will explain. Disney sells vacation packages - room and park passes. But they also have upgrades. One of the most popular upgrades is a dining plan. For about $40/night, you get one sit down meal, one walk up counter type meal (like a fast food restaurant), and a snack (just about any tasty treat or drink under $4). Well Disney also runs promotions where you get the dining plan free. That's right - FREE! Free food! I love food. So when we knew we were going back to the World, we got right to the menus. Where, o where, shall we eat?

One problem really stood in the way of enjoying all of the great eats: #2S. He is not a finicky eater. He refuses to eat anything outside of his own approved menu. Which is only about 5 items long. And changes hourly. How picky is this kid, you may wonder? Pizza is a great example. He loves pizza; in a limited sort of way. In a 5 day time period, he ate a pizza, refused another kind of pizza, ate a different kind of pizza, then refused yet another kind. Both kinds he refused, he didn’t even take a bite. Just flat out , “I don’t like pizza”.

We start looking at restaurants that have kid’s menus. Anywhere that serves uncrustables/hot dogs/French fries were prime candidates. The last time we went to WDW, we did the plan where you use wishes for different things at the world. We used the heck out of wishes to eat at almost exclusively table service restaurants. I don’t think we ate at any counter service that trip. So we are looking at table service to figure out where we can eat.

We loved Sci-Fi Dine In just for atmosphere last time. The food was less than remarkable, but it says a lot about the atmosphere to completely cloud that fact. You walk into the building and it is designed as a drive-in theater. With big screen, cars to sit in, and a night sky. We also loved Whispering Canyon the main sit down restaurant at the Wilderness Lodge which was our home. We ate there like 3 times. We also love the Liberty Tree. It was one of the few places #1S came out of his shell and interacted with characters. It is a colonial setting with traditional Thanksgiving meal served family style all you care to eat. It is also a Character meal. That means the Disney characters come to your table and interact. They don't talk.

We are looking hard and trying to find the best places for all of us to enjoy, or at least find something to choke down together. Then one day, we hit upon a flash of inspiration: forget the kid.

“WHAT??!!?? “ You may say. “How could a parent not regard their children?”

We are regarding our children. We just came to the decision that this boy won’t eat anything we put before him. He will refuse. Stare you in the face and tell you no. Except Nanny (his grandma). But she will feed him whatever he wants. But we know there is no bargaining with him. There is no threatening him. It is not worth the hassle. So we are taking the advice of some fellow Maelstrommers and packing our own uncrusted pbj. Bring on the grocery delivery.

That gave us freedom to choose what we wanted. And we did.

Liberty Tree on Monday evening - the Thanksgiving meal again.

Playhouse Disney Meet and Eat at Hollywood and Vine on Tuesday morning - a b-fast buffet with characters from Disney Channel's Little Einsteins and JoJo's Circus.

Mama Melrose (temporarily) Tuesday afternoon - Italian.

La Cellier Wednesday afternoon - Canadian steak place.

Ohana Thursday evening - Polynesian all you care to eat buffet.

Chef Mickey’s Friday morning - b-fast buffet with classic Disney characters like Mickey and Goofy. All dressed up in chef outfits.

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