For years Disney has offered a dining discount program to Florida residents and (more recently) Annual Passholders dubbed the Disney Dining Experience. However acquiring the DDE card has often been one of the more cumbersome parts of planning a Disney vacation. That is about to change.
Beginning on Monday, November 12, 1007 guests will be able to purchase the Disney Dining Experience card at any of the Guest Relations windows at Walt Disney World theme parks or Downtown Disney. A temporary ID card will be issued at the time of purchase, with hard plastic IDs mailed to the member's home.
On November 9, Disney sent the following message to DDE participants summarizing the changes:
As 2008 quickly approaches, you will begin to see some exciting new developments for the Disney Dining Experience Membership Program. You asked and we listened! Effective November 11, 2007, you will no longer have to wait 3 – 6 weeks to receive your permanent membership card(s).
Guest Relations locations at Epcot®, MAGIC KINGDOM® Park, DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM® Theme Park, Disney-MGM Studios, DOWNTOWN DISNEY® West Side, and DOWNTOWN DISNEY® Marketplace will now be able to print permanent Disney Dining Experience membership cards for immediate use. This service is designed for existing and new members. Cards produced at the Guest Relations locations will be printed on paper stock similar to the annual pass tickets.
The Disney Dining Experience office will still be available to take applications for current and new members, via the phone, fax or mail for those who do not want to take advantage of the in-park service. Membership cards ordered through the Disney Dining Experience office will be received within 2 - 3 weeks of purchase.
All Guests who have ordered their Disney Dining Experience membership cards prior to November 11, 2007 date will have to pickup their temporary cards at the main entrance Epcot® Guest Relations. Your permanent card will be sent through the mail and arrive in 3-4 weeks from the date of purchase.
The Disney Dining Experience card grants cardholders a 20% discount on food and beverage purchases (including alchohol) for the cardholder and up to 10 guests. The card is accepted at most Table Service restaurants throughout Walt Disney World, as well as the Quick Service locations at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
The fee for the card is $85 per year for Florida residents, $70 for Florida resident renewals and $65 for Annual Passholders.
Previously non-resident guests were required to purchase their Annual Pass or AP Voucher before they could even acquire the Disney Dining Experience card. One the valid AP or voucher was in-hand, guests were required to contact the DDE office via phone or the Internet to order their discount card. Arrangements could be made to claim a temporary ID card at the front entrance to the Epcot theme park. These limitations served to diminish the value of an otherwise very beneficial program.