More detail here: (I still can’t post this as a thread!)
Link: New Disney World ticket, resort hotel, and dining package prices for 2010 released
The new Walt Disney World ticket, resort hotel, and dining packages for 2010 are more complicated than previous Disney travel packages have been. Moreover, annual and seasonal passholders appear to be getting the short end of the stick.
The 2010 rates for the Disney Dining Plan vary according to the season, similar to Disney’s resort hotel rates. This change makes it hard for guests to know exactly how much they are paying for the Disney Dining Plan, which ranges from $41.99 to $46.99 per day for an adult and $11.99 to $12.99 per day for a child between the ages of 3 and 9, for the Basic Plan. Specific information regarding the different Disney World ticket, resort hotel, and dining packages is available here.
When Disney World first offered ticket, resort hotel, and dining packages to guests a few years ago, it did not make them available to annual or seasonal passholders, who receive discounted rates at Disney’s resort hotels. Disney corrected this problem in recent years by allowing passholders to add the Disney Dining Plan when they reserved Disney resort hotel rooms.
Nonetheless, Disney passholders have not been able to take advantage of Disney’s free Disney Dining Plan promotion for guests staying 3-14 consecutive nights at Disney resort hotels. Passholders must choose between the discounted passholder room rate at Disney’s resort hotels or the free Disney Dining Plan for travel through December 17.
Florida residents and annual and seasonal passholders help fill Disney World’s restaurants and resort hotels throughout the year. Although Floridians and passholders receive discounted rates at Disney’s resort hotels, they do not receive discounts on the Disney Dining Plan. Florida residents, passholders, and Disney World cast members can join the Tables in Wonderland discounted dining program, which offers a 20% discount on food and beverages at select Walt Disney World table service locations, but the Disney Dining Plan is a better deal. With the Disney Dining Plan, all meals include free beverages and dessert. Moreover, guests who pay for the Disney Dining Plan have the freedom to select the most expensive items on the menu at Disney’s table service restaurants, whereas Tables in Wonderland members receive a flat 20% discount on food and beverages. Additionally, guests who use the Tables in Wonderland card have an automatic 18% gratuity added to their bill, whereas tipping is left to the discretion of the diner with the Disney Dining Plan.
Guests with the Disney Dining Plan also receive priority when making dining reservations. The moment guests reserve their hotel rooms, the reservation agent prompts them to make dining reservations as well. Reservations can be made as early as 90 days in advance of travel. Agents typically suggest some of the most popular restaurants to guests reserving their hotel rooms. Therefore passholders, Florida residents, and Disney World cast members with the Tables in Wonderland card (which costs $75 per year for passholders) find it increasingly difficult to make reservations at restaurants such as 'Ohana, the Crystal Palace, Chef Mickey’s, and other popular restaurants–especially character dining locations.
Coupled with the recent price increases for Disney World tickets, the increased rates for the Disney Dining Plan in 2010 deal Florida residents, passholders, and all who cherish Walt Disney World a double whammy.