Tuesday, September 06, 2005

It's Fantasmic!

We are really looking forward to seeing Fantasmic! during our visit. We saw Fantasmic! at Disneyland last December for the very first time and want to see how it compares with WDW. One of the nice things about Fantasmic! at WDW is that the show is presented in it’s own outdoor theater with seating, so you don’t have to camp out and save a spot on the curb, like you do at DLR. Fantasmic! is very popular at WDW, as it is in California, so people begin lining up 1 to 1-1/2 hours before the show in order to get a seat.

I learned that WDW offers a dinner package that gives you preferred seating for Fantasmic!, eliminating the need to line up so far in advance of the show. It is still recommended that you arrive at the theater about 30 to 45 minutes before the show starts; however, you don’t need to wait in the long line outside, but instead can enter the theater right away and sit down. Three of the table service restaurants in the park offer the dinner package: Mama Melrose’s, Hollywood & Vine, and The Brown Derby. Each of them offers a fixed price meal that is roughly equal to what you would pay to eat there without the dinner package. The bonus is that you get the preferred seating. Also, the dinner package is not covered by the Dining Plan, so you would have to pay for this out of pocket.

Our original plan was to eat at The Brown Derby on Sunday evening without the dinner package and use two of our table service credits (since it is considered a signature restaurant). Then, we planned to purchase the dinner package at Hollywood & Vine for later in the week. The Hollywood & Vine dinner package was the least expensive of the three, around $23 compared to $37 at The Brown Derby. Our thought was to spend as little out of pocket as possible.

During my last call to Disney Dining to make ADR’s, the CSR that I was working with suggested that we book the dinner package at The Brown Derby and use the dining plan for Hollywood & Vine, which is only one table service credit. This would free up a table service credit to use elsewhere. Her reasoning was that the two table service credits used separately would be worth more than the $37 we would pay to do the dinner package at The Brown Derby. After discussing this with my son, we decided that it made sense to do that.

I called back and switched our Fantasmic! Dinner Package from Hollywood & Vine on Friday to The Brown Derby on Sunday evening. Since we had used up all of our table service credits, we had planned to just have dessert and beverages at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater restaurant. By freeing up the extra table service credit, we are now able to eat lunch there on Tuesday.


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