As a long time Walt Disney World annual passholder and a DVC member, I admit to feelings of jealousy when fellow travelers gobbled up offers of free dining at Walt Disney World. With minimum ticket purchases and minimum night stays, this great way to save money at Walt Disney World always left a bad taste in my mouth. But for those of us who come with tickets and accommodatios already covered, there is an alternative. Tables in Wonderland has been helping to make Disney dining affordable for those of us who aren’t eligible for the free dining promotion.
Tables in Wonderland is only available to Florida residents, annual passholders, and Disney Vacation Club members. “Boasting a buffet of benefits”, the card offers a discount of 20% on meals at participating Walt Disney World restaurants. The list of restaurants is extensive, featuring resort dining, theme park dining, and even locations in Downtown Disney. Primarily accepted at table service dining locations, you will find a handful of counter service meals available, especially where there isn’t a table service option (value resort food courts, for example, are participants).
The card costs $125 for Florida residents, $100 for DVC members and annual passholders, so it doesn’t take many table service meals to hit the break even point. With my family of five (plus one), one really nice meal at a place like California Grill can make the card worth the purchase. You get a full year of benefits, and the perks include complimentary valet parking at resorts and complimentary theme park parking (before 5 PM, there is a three hour maximum). Even better, Tables in Wonderland offers the discount on your entire meal – including alcoholic beverages! Many of the resort hotel lounges are covered under the plan.
So if you are looking for ways to make Disney dining more affordable on your next visit, consider making the Tables in Wonderland purchase. Enjoy the cuisine you’ve come to love while keeping a little cabbage in your pocket!
The time has come for the most difficult task of your wedding. You have to approach the people you love the most and ask them to spend hundreds of dollars on your wedding, with the biggest chunk going to a dress they will likely Never. Wear. Again. You want your bridesmaids to be beautiful, but your idea of beautiful might be their idea of breaking the budget. How do you have beautiful and happy bridesmaids in your wedding? Keep an eye on a realistic budget for EVERY member of your bridal party and consider borrowing (or renting) your bridesmaid dresses.
Renting formal wear has always been an option for men, but is becoming increasingly popular for women as well. Many women are familiar with Rent the Runway which rents out designer gowns for a fraction of their purchase price. The shop carries bridesmaid appropriate gowns and dresses, and you’ll find Monique Lhullier, Halston, and Badgley Mischka among the available designers. An $850 Badgley Mischka rents for about $100 on the site.
Weddington Way is another bridesmaid dress rental option. They keep things simple, offering only six different styles in six different colors, but a dress that normally retails for $150 can be rented for half that price and returned after the wedding. It won’t even take up precious room in your closet.
Another option to keep your bridesmaid budget in mind is to choose a color instead of a gown. If you tell your bridesmaids your color is navy blue, they can then purchase a dress that suits your wedding vision, their body type, and their budget. It allows them to shop at the mall or look for discounts that might not be available at your local bridal salon.
Also consider the re-wearability factor of the bridesmaid dresses you choose. Someone who just can’t rationalize spending $200 or $300 on a gown for one day might be able to see the value in paying that same price for a dress that they can wear out to a club, on a cruise, or to another nice affair. Choose something in a practical fabric without a lot of embellishment that can be dressed up or down for another function.
It’s such an honor to be asked to be in someone’s wedding. It means that you cherish them in your life and want them to be a big part of one of the most important days of your life. Make sure the experience doesn’t cause them any unnecessary stress. Beauty on a budget is possible – even for a bridesmaid.