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Has The Disney Dining Plan And Le Cellier Ruined Dining Out With My Family Forever?

It has been a week since my family has returned home from a wonderful week of visiting the Walt Disney World Resort and 6 days of the Disney Dining Plan during the first week of the FREE Dining Promotion that Disney World is having.

We took full advantage of the Disney Dining Plan, and why not? We were on vacation. Each night we ate great Table Service restaurants including our favorite, Le Cellier, twice.

In hind sight it was probably overkill and it may have ruined dining out with my family for the foreseeable future.

My family is made up of myself, my wife, our 12 year old son, & our 10 year old daughter. Since she is now 10 this was her first Disney World trip to eat on the Dining Plan as an adult.

Being the good father I told the family to order whatever entrees they wanted, as long as they were going to eat them (we don't want to be wasteful). This of course undid years of training to focus the children's attention to the more reasonable part of the menu. But I threw caution to the wind and let them make their choices with little push back or discussion.

To their credit they both did a great job of eating what they picked and thoroughly enjoyed the dining experiences.

To those of you that haven't had the opportunity to try Le Cellier let me tell you a little bit about it.

Le Cellier is located in the Canadian Pavilion in Epcot. It is the best steakhouse on the Disney property that you can eat at for 1 Dining Plan Table Service credit. If you are paying cash the entrees run from $25 - $37 apiece.

The ambiance is quieter than most Disney World restaurants and the feeling is that you are in the cellar of an old castle. The dining area is not large and reservations can be very difficult to come by, especially during busy times of the year. We were fortunate that my wife called to make reservations on the morning of the beginning of our 90 day reservation window and got reservations for us at the beginning and end of our trip.

Le Cellier has been our family's favorite place to dine at Disney World for the last several years.

I can honestly say I was surprised when my 10 year old daughter, who currently has an affinity for steak, ordered the “Le Cellier” Mushroom Filet Mignon I didn't even flinch.

This is where the Disney Dining Plan is great and dangerous at the same time. How many of you actually let your 10 year old order an entree with a menu price of $34.99? She actually got to have this twice in one week and loved it!

Of course, the other Disney Dining plan feature of everyone getting dessert at every meal also creates habits that are difficult to break.

My children quickly got used to the concept of Lunch dessert and Dinner dessert. It was something that they wanted to vote to have the family adopt this as a new tradition to continue after our Disney World trip.

Maybe I am blowing things out of proportion, but I am already fearful of the day when I hear, "Why can't I order Filet Mignon? You know I love it?" or "Why can't we ALL order a separate dessert like we did at Disney World?"

The Disney Dining Plan and the Disney World Restaurants that we ate at were wonderful and created fantastic memories. I just hope they didn't create expectations that can't be lived up to in our "normal life".

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