Tables in Wonderland is a great money-saving card for regular Walt Disney World restaurant patrons who are Florida residents, Annual Passholders, or DVC members. This post reviews the discount, how it compares to the Disney Dining Plan, and offers info & tips. (Updated January 2, 2024.)
The Tables in Wonderland (TiW) card offers a 20% discount off all food and beverage (including alcohol) for up to 10 people at most table-service Walt Disney World restaurants. An 18% gratuity is added to all TiW table service transactions, most parties are tipping at or around 18% anyway, so it’s not merely a 2% discount.
Tables in Wonderland is valid for a year from the month of purchase (as opposed to being valid for a calendar year), and it actually expires on the last day of the month one year from the month during which it is purchased. This means it essentially could be valid for ~13 months if you time it right. However, Tables in Wonderland is currently unavailable–and may never return…
January 2, 2024 Update: Back when Walt Disney World closed, all Tables in Wonderland memberships–including those that expired while the parks & resorts were closed–were extended for an additional 4 months beyond the printed date of expiration. Upon reopening, new Tables in Wonderland cards were not sold and renewals were not offered.
The last Tables in Wonderland cards all expired a long time ago. There was a very small team that supported Tables in Wonderland, and their office remained closed long after Walt Disney World started reopening. My guess is that anyone who worked on Tables in Wonderland was reassigned.
For a while, Walt Disney World had a message on its official website stating: “New Tables in Wonderland memberships are not for sale at this time. Additional information regarding future sales of Tables in Wonderland memberships will be shared at a later date.”
That is no longer the case. The page for Tables in Wonderland has been deleted, and now redirects to the dining overview page. This is unlike a handful of other offerings that are still listed as “temporarily unavailable” on DisneyWorld.com.
This distinction is significant, as Walt Disney World purged pages of entertainment and other offerings that have been permanently retired, while retaining pages for things it intends to bring back at some point when staffing or other circumstances allow. That alone suggests that Walt Disney World has no intentions of bringing back Tables in Wonderland.
In response to that, several readers have asked about Tables in Wonderland. Officially, Walt Disney World has provided no updates on Tables in Wonderland in the last 4 years. When guests have inquired directly, Disney has given non-answers or redirected. A lot of Cast Members don’t even know what Tables in Wonderland even is.
We haven’t heard any rumors one way or the other about Tables in Wonderland. To be honest, I highly doubt this is the type of thing that would even be rumored. It’d just happen one day, out of the blue. The reason there are rumors about the Disney Dining Plan or other things is because large teams are involved both directly and indirectly. Tables in Wonderland is much smaller scale.
With that in mind, I could see the return of Tables in Wonderland going either way. One year ago, I thought it was probably gone for good. That it was such a small thing that it was probably lost to time–that most of the people who worked on it were gone and it was forgotten. So much has changed at Walt Disney World in the last few years, so that seemed likely.
Since then, Walt Disney World has been pulling liberally from the 2019 playbook of discounts, right down to deep cuts like bounceback offers and PIN codes. I’ve honestly been surprised by just how many things they’re doing for 2024 are directly lifted from 2019. It’s almost like there’s a literal playbook and not just a figurative one, because so much is almost exactly the same.
Tables in Wonderland is one of the very few exceptions to that at this point.
One thing to note is that the whole reason that Tables in Wonderland existed in the first place was to incentivize locals and Disney Vacation Club members to eat on-site at Walt Disney World and help those restaurants fill tables. For the last few years, that was unnecessary. ADRs were competitive due to reduced capacity resulting from staffing shortages, while consumers remained eager to make up for lost time with travel and meals out.
For the last ~8 months, Walt Disney World has seen pent-up demand fizzle out, and the supply vs. demand imbalance has largely been resolved. Walt Disney World has started to experience a slowdown, and bookings are softening as compared to the last two years.
All of this is precisely why Walt Disney World has brought the paid Disney Dining Plan and Free Dining for 2024, has increased other discounts, resumed Annual Pass sales, and more. These are levers the company is pulling to help increase demand and buoy bookings. It’s possible all of that will be enough. After all, Walt Disney World was doing record-setting numbers before and a slowdown from that was to be expected. The circumstances are far from dire–they’re just not as good as the last two years.
If I had to guess–and this is just that, a guess–I’d think that Walt Disney World will take a wait and see approach with the Disney Dining Plan and Free Dining to see what that does to ADR demand. Speculating a bit, I would imagine that the paid Disney Dining Plan still leaves plenty of bandwidth with ADR availability, but that there’s a shortage during Free Dining ‘season’ in July through September 2024. That’s what always used to happen.
So I could see one scenario where Disney does this assessment early in 2024 and decides to launch something. When that happens, our guess is that a “new” program comparable to Tables in Wonderland will be launched. Personally, I do not expect to see the “Tables in Wonderland” name used again. It didn’t have strong name recognition, and Walt Disney World will probably want to change up the program and rebrand as a result.
The alternative scenario is Walt Disney World realizing that Free Dining is going to spike ADR demand, so they don’t want to launch a new Tables in Wonderland successor program in Spring or Summer 2024 because that would only exacerbate ADR demand from July through the end of 2024.
It’s also possible that Walt Disney World will amp up AP and DVC discounts without any formal program. (The downside of that from their perspective is not being able to monetize the discounts!) The upside of this is being able to specifically target times that are slow, and not offer a better discount during busier times, whether that be due to Free Dining or it being peak season. We already saw this last year with V.I.Passholder Days.
A final possibility is that Walt Disney World will opt against reinventing the wheel, and will resurrect Tables in Wonderland. The point is that we don’t know which route the company will choose, nor do we know when it’ll happen–and no one does. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if a replacement for Tables in Wonderland is released as early as February 2024 or as “late” as never at all.
As such, we’re preserving the below historical Tables in Wonderland info for the sake of posterity–just don’t expect the dining discount card to return anytime soon…
Tables in Wonderland Pricing & Info
Tables in Wonderland costs $150 for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members, and $175 for Florida residents. Note that if you aren’t a Florida Resident, Annual Passholder, or Disney Vacation Club Member, the program unfortunately is not open to you. I guess that means it’s time for you to move to Florida?! 😉
One of the normal downsides of Tables in Wonderland is that a lot of newer restaurants don’t accept it immediately. So, if you’re a local or regular who likes to dine at the latest restaurants in the parks or at Disney Springs, that’s a bit of a bummer. However, currently there are no new restaurants that do not accept TiW.
At present, all new restaurants do now accept Tables in Wonderland (when they’re open). This includes Topolino’s Terrace, Enchanted Rose Lounge, Jaleo by José Andrés, Terralina Crafted Italian, Barcelona Lounge, Dahlia Lounge, Three Bridges Bar & Grill, and Toledo — Tapas, Steak & Seafood. We love Jaleo, Three Bridges, and Toledo, so we’re happy to see all of these added to the list.
Hopefully, at some point these restaurants are joined by other new and upcoming restaurants at Walt Disney World, including Topolino’s Terrace, Space 220 Restaurant, Takumi-Tei, Le Creperie de Paris, City Works Eatery & Pour House, Oga’s Cantina in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and Toy Story Land’s Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant.
Unfortunately, Victoria & Albert’s no longer accepts Tables in Wonderland. There are also general blockout dates for all Tables in Wonderland locations: Mother’s Day, Easter Sunday, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. On Tables in Wonderland block-out dates, there will be a charge for parking and valet services.
In addition to the 20% savings at Table Service restaurants, a Tables in Wonderland card entitles you to the following benefits:
complimentary valet (and standard) resort parking (if dining at the resort)
complimentary theme park parking after 5:00 pm (if dining at the park)
access to member-only special Food and Wine events, winemaker dinners, and celebrity chef dinners, and other events throughout the year
In addition to the above-mentioned blockout dates, it is also important to note that some Disney Springs restaurants don’t accept the card or only offer a 10% discount with it. Also, some Counter Service restaurants (Flame Tree BBQ, for the win!) offer a Tables in Wonderland discount.
As these restaurants change yearly based on the contracts signed with each restaurant, it’s best to refer to Disney’s Tables in Wonderland page before your trip to determine what discount you’ll receive at each restaurant you visit.
Before we get into the regular Tables in Wonderland review, we want to offer some thoughts on Annual Passholder and Disney Vacation Club discounts of 10% to 20% off at a some table service restaurants. There are not nearly as many restaurants offering 20% off AP/DVC discounts, but there are a decent number of restaurants.
The vast majority of table service restaurants that are offering AP or DVC discounts are only 10% off. Previously, many more were at 20%, which led us to not renew our Tables in Wonderland card a couple of years ago. However, those disappeared early last year, and have yet to return.
As such, we renewed our Tables in Wonderland card early last year, and will renew again soon if larger discounts do not appear. We dine at Walt Disney World table service restaurants with regularity, so that 10% difference is pretty significant for us.
You should do the math yourself to determine whether you’re better off with the “free” 10% off discount, or if it’s worth it to pay for the 20% off discount. Even with the AP and DVC discounts, if you’re a local and eat at Walt Disney World restaurants weekly, you still might want to get the Tables in Wonderland card.
Tables in Wonderland Card Review
Since you could find the above information in a multitude of places online, I’m assuming you’ve come here for our thoughts on whether the Tables in Wonderland card is worth the money.
In light of the price of the Tables in Wonderland card and the discount offered, the break-even point for a Florida resident breaks is $875 at Table Service restaurants, and an Annual Passholder’s break-even point is $750 spent at Table Service restaurants. (Assuming no alternative discounts are available–if there are, the math obviously changes.)
If you’ve ever paid for Table Service restaurants at Walt Disney World out of pocket, you know that you can probably break-even within only a few meals. As such, most frequent guests to Walt Disney World who regularly dine at table service restaurants will get a good amount of savings out of the Tables in Wonderland card.
Still, you might be wondering how the Tables in Wonderland card compares to the Disney Dining Plan for saving money. My biggest criticism of the Disney Dining Plan is that it offers too much food for most people and is unnecessarily complicated. Nothing is as simple as paying out-of-pocket for the food you want, when and where you want it. The Tables in Wonderland Card works well for this “strategy.”
However, if the Disney Dining Plan (1 Table Service meal consisting of an entree, dessert, and drink, 1 Counter Service meal consisting of a combo, drink, and dessert, and 1 Snack per day for the standard plan) matches your eating habits, that might very well be better for you. For us, Tables in Wonderland works better because it allows us to “eat as we please.”
We can order an appetizer if we want, skip dessert, get 3 snacks per day, etc. We don’t feel as confined to a specific eating pattern and schedule with Tables in Wonderland. Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer as to which is better for your party, so doing the numbers based on your specific dining style is a must.
You may find that even if you’re a frequent user of the Disney Dining Plan, there still may be value in purchasing the Tables in Wonderland card if you eat at Walt Disney World restaurants enough. This is because the card can be used on alcohol and appetizers.
If would order these items with your Disney Dining Plan meals, and you eat enough appetizers or drink enough alcohol, you can come out ahead. Just think of it as an booze “rewards” card for Disney! Plus, since it’s accepted at some restaurants where the Disney Dining Plan is not, you can benefit by using it in these locations.
Sarah and I actually first purchased Tables in Wonderland for a trip during which we’d be using the Disney Dining Plan! For our honeymoon, we wanted to experience Victoria & Albert’s and California Grill, in addition to using the Disney Dining Plan, but the former is not on the Dining Plan, and the latter offers poor value on the Dining Plan. Back then, Tables in Wonderland cost $75 (and this was not that long ago!) so it made complete sense to buy the card and use it a couple of days in lieu of the Dining Plan.
During those two days, we ate at Victoria & Albert’s, California Grill, and Beaches and Cream. The savings on our dinner at Victoria & Albert’s came close to paying for the card, with the savings at California Grill easily putting us “in the black” on Tables in Wonderland. We used the card again at Christmas, and again in May, and saved well over one-thousand dollars in those three trips by utilizing the card.
We have had it every year since, and seen the card gradually creep up in cost. Every year we have gotten enough value to justify the purchase (we do the math), but with the latest price increase making it cost $150 (for us as Disney Vacation Club members) after our last renewal, it’s going to be tough to justify buying it again. The break-even point is high, and as menu prices continue to rise to provide illusory value for the Disney Dining Plan, we find ourselves eating fewer and fewer table service meals.
Obviously, your mileage may vary on the Tables in Wonderland card, and you should really do the math to determine if it’s right for you. If you really love the table service restaurants at Walt Disney World, what’s better than an excuse to eat an extra meal at Flying Fish, Jiko, or Kona Cafe because you need to save more money?! 😉
What do you think of the Tables in Wonderland Card? Is it worth the money for your traveling party, or do you go for the Disney Dining Plan (or something else) instead? Share your thoughts in the comments!