When you’re traveling, it’s not always easy to determine when, where or even what time you’re going to have dinner. There may be a place you’re going to make it your business to visit (like when we went to Sedona specifically to eat at a particular restaurant) but if you’re anything like us, for the most part, you decide to eat on a spur of the moment basis. That’s all well and good, except for two things…
If the Walt Disney Company is anything, it’s protective of its many brands, to the point where, for some aspects of the company, they’re downright self-isolated (and don’t get me wrong – it’s with good reason). Case in point, for years, the only way you could make a reservation at Walt Disney World (WDW) restaurants was through their reservation system. At first that meant calling them, but eventually the convenience of online reservations also came into play. Either way, it was still directly through Disney.
However, in early 2018, we wrote a post about how, in a surprise move on Disney’s part, you could suddenly use a common worldwide restaurant reservation system to make meal reservations at select restaurants at WDW. What’s more, they weren’t only at the ones owned by third party companies like Levy Brothers (owners of Paddlefish) or House of Blues (self-owned), but even some Disney-owned restaurants, such as Grand Floridian Cafe, Sanaa and Olivia’s Cafe. But apparently, that’s not quite the case anymore…
OpenTable is an online restaurant reservation service company that started in San Francisco in the late 1990s and within a few years was available across the U.S. and in several countries around the globe.
Joe and I have been members of OpenTable since 2007. Being able to make a reservation without a phone call has been lovely for this woman who doesn’t like talking on the phone ;-), but we also like it because with most reservations you get either 100 or 1000 points that can be redeemed for money off at member restaurants. OpenTable has over 40,000 restaurants to choose from in nearly a dozen countries, so it’s a nice way to build up points even when you’re traveling. It’s also a cool way to make reservations at some restaurants on Walt Disney World property, even if they have no availability on Disney’s Advance Dining Reservation software.
Here’s how it works…
Happy Sunday, y’all and we hope you’re having a great weekend! Sharon and I have come across a lot of interesting travel-related articles this week – here are some of our favorites.
- I know what it feels like to make a mistake with a travel reservation but nothing I’ve ever done is like the story Emily shared on Million Mile Secrets this week. I love reading posts like this, and not because I like the feeling of schadenfreude (It means “Happiness at the misfortune of others.” It’s German.). These stories are cautionary tales, reminding us that even experienced travelers can make simple mistakes if they’re not careful.
- Cardholders of the discontinued IHG Rewards Club credit card received a bonus points offer in the mail with an offer if they converted their accounts to the new Chase IHG Premier card. Miles to Memories breaks down the offer and if it’s worth it.
- I was happy and proud to read that Walt Disney World and Orlando have won the bid to host the 2022 Special Olympics Summer Games.
- Credit cards have many benefits that come with being a cardholder. You might know about a free checked bag or lounge access but some of the other benefits can occasionally come to the rescue. If this situation happened to me, I have another card I would have used in such an emergency so I never even looked into this particular benefit of this card.
- We’ve never stayed at a hotel near Heathrow Airport so I had no idea the hotels near it can’t have their own airport shuttle buses (like almost every other airport do). Tiffany from One Mile at a Time shows how you can get to your hotel for free instead of having to pay £5.00 for Hotel Hoppa bus.
- What if the chip just stops working in your credit card? If you’re overseas, you need to get it replaced ASAP. Here’s a story from Loyalty Lobby about getting an American Express card replaced while visiting Thailand.
- Robert from Theme Park Insider wrote a very interesting post about how changing demographics are changing the theme park business.
- Andy’s Travel Blog always features great photography and the images of the Stockholm Metro stations from his recent trip are stunning.
- Not travel related – Doctor of Credit details the new deals that Amazon Prime members can get when shopping at Whole Foods Markets.
* Feature photo By Diliff – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2067974
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top (if you’re on your computer) or the bottom (if you’re on your phone/tablet) of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just two or three times a day). Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group, where we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
Are you a fan of Steel Magnolia? Are you a really big fan? Because if you are, the centerpiece of the film, the Steel Magnolia House, located in Natchitoches, Louisiana, is a bed and breakfast, and they have a room all ready for you!