Hot Takes on Tables in Wonderland


Earning My Ears
May 15, 2019
I'm really interested in hearing about all the "great- it could be better- hard pass" opinions on Tables in Wonderland. I'm fairly close to be sold on it. Have a magical day!
My husband and I love it! But it's advantages will vary depending on where you eat, what you buy & how often you go. It makes sense for us because we enjoy having nice drinks on our vacations -- so that's the biggest advantage over just the AP discount for us. But if you have AP already and aren't a big drinker, it'll take you longer to break-even.
I experimented this year with a TIW card. Here's some high level thoughts:
Biggest pro: Auto-calculated tip. I don't have to do the math. We can just pay and go, I don't like to linger at the table.
Biggest con: Replacing the card costs $50. That seems a little obnoxious when the initial cost is so high. So don't lose it!
Honorable mention: Great if you're big on table service/signature dining and alcoholic drink. We're kind of a mix so it isn't as much of a knockout. Also I can't drink as much anymore so in the future I'll probably just use my DVC discount instead. But it was a good experiment since I'll be able to use it on our third trip coming up in a couple weeks.
We used to get it with the DVC discount whenever we'd have 2 or more trips planned within a year...then the cost of the card kept going up, DH quit drinking alcohol, and there are tons more restaurants that have a 10% discount for AP or DVC. Just not worth it for us anymore.

It is USUALLY just me and the wife on our trips but I was thinking about the experiment like Roxyfire. I feel fairly confident we can get it to pay for itself.

I agree that if you enjoy signature restaurants, cocktails/wine, and/or make multiple trips a year then TIW is a smart decision. Also, if you order it over the phone you will get a hard plastic card (instead of a paper card) and the expiration date is 13 months from the date of purchase.
If you are AP/DVC I think the break even amount is $1500. If you will spend more than that on food/drinks then it's worth it.

We do 2 to 3 trips a year. It's easy to spend $1500, so we get TIW.
I'm new to Tables in Wonderland, but I bought it with our Annual Passes on the first day of our 10 day trip last month. We're a family of 4 and we usually eat one table service meal/day. DH and I tend to have one or two drinks with dinner each night as well. Anyway, it has already paid for itself and we're now in the black by about $150.

We used it for the following restaurants over the course of the trip:
San Angel Inn
Liberty Tree Tavern
Skipper Canteen
Restaurant Marrakesh
Hollywood & Vine
Trattatoria al Forno
Cinderella's Royal Table

We have three more trips scheduled this year, so we're going to get our money's worth out of it.
If you are AP/DVC I think the break even amount is $1500. If you will spend more than that on food/drinks then it's worth it.

We do 2 to 3 trips a year. It's easy to spend $1500, so we get TIW.

Break even is less if alcohol is involved as that's not covered by other discounts. I've just purchased our 15th consecutive membership - it works well for us with 2/3 trips a year and lots of wine :)
I don't really think there's much to think about except whether or not you'll exceed the break even of the cost of the card.

If you have AP or DVC discounts, which already offer 10% discounts, you'd need to spend roughly twice as much to break even since you'd be getting a 10% "free" discount from those without TiW. (Although if you drink a lot, TiW also applies to alcohol so it's not apples to apples, just a rough estimate.) But again it all ties into break even.
I honestly have yet to figure out how this saves money over the Dining Plan.

The dining plan isn't discount based and isn't usable at the lounges. Unless one is planning a fair number of character meals, AYCE, and/or dining packages then it's easy to pay more for it than the cost of the food actually eaten. Some people can't use all of the credits or be in the black with it. It all depends on the group and individual preferences.
I wouldn't have ever saved money buying the DDP. OOP was always less and then we saved even more using TiW, AP, or Disney Visa discounts.

Edit - As to the original question, I think everyone has covered it. We tend to like to share small plates, while DH and I like adult beverages. We went to those kind of places with occasional QS, also frequently shared. We're 5 on most trips, or two adults, so it made a lot of sense when those trips were taken within a year timeframe.
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I honestly have yet to figure out how this saves money over the Dining Plan.

The dining plan doesn't really track how we eat, cover snacks which we typically don't eat, and doesn't cover drinks at lounges so TiW pays for itself quite quickly for us. The dining plan would end up costing us more because we'd have to pay a lot more OOP and would require us to pay for items we wouldn't use (e.g., refillable mug and snacks) so just isn't for us. Everyone is different and has to figure out what does and doesn't work for them. But really TiW and the DDP are apples to oranges - not the same thing at all.
I honestly have yet to figure out how this saves money over the Dining Plan.
The dining plans are all way too much food for us. Also, we don’t eat desserts or drink fountain drinks. The dining plan is not designed to save people money, although it can for some. TIW provides a 20% discount for the food and drinks (including alcohol) that we choose to order.
The biggest pro for me over the AP/DVC discounts is that it gives you the flexibility to use it at lounges and the inclusion of alcohol. Doing quick math before I bought I figured I'd recoup about 50-60% of the cost but after recalculating post trip I ended up only $15 from breaking even with 2 more trip while TIW is valid so I'll be saving a considerable amount and I'm not a huge eater and only have 1-2 drinks with dinner.


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