Revoked annual passholder & dining plan credits at non-disney owned restaurants on property

My wife and I are Florida WDW Platinum Annual Pass Holders. On this past Fourth of July we decided to visit Epcot to get some pictures with the characters in their Patriotic outfits. We made an ADR for Via Napoli for the late afternoon. Our goals was to cool off and eat a meal then proceed to see the Voices of Liberty concert. Since we are Platinum pass holders, we have no block out dates for any holidays or during any peak season dates. I used my AP discount at a shop in the American Pavilion to buy a more patriotic shirt prior to our pictures with Pluto, Mickey and Goofy.

Imagine my surprise, when we were told at the front desk of the Via Napoli restaurant that they were not honoring any AP discounts on the fourth of July. The hostess at the podium went out of her way to explain that is was not just us with our AP discounts that were being disallowed, but even the Disney Dining plans and tables in Wonderland.

Just a side note to prospective diners at this restaurant. Whether or not you have an ADR or not, you wait on the same line as those guests trying to dine without a reservation. This usually results in an extra five to ten minute wait before you can let the hostess know you have arrived and have an ADR.

Too hot and hungry to argue with anybody, we proceeded to our table. As is the usual case, we were immediately asked by our server if we were on any dining plans or had any food allergies. Since she was asking I informed her that we would like to use our pass holder discount. The young lady promptly informed me that we could not use our discount. I then asked if that was because it was the Fourth of July holiday. She politely informed us that it was because the restaurant had changed its menu two weeks ago. Whoa, they must have lowered their prices. Yippee!!! No such luck. One of my favorite dished had been removed from the menu and Spaghetti and meatballs was now priced at $24.99. My wife ordered chicken parmesan and I ordered the spaghetti and veal meatballs. We were expecting to share the spaghetti and the potatoes that would come with the chicken dish. But alas, the chicken parma came with spaghetti and those delicious potatoes are now gone from the menu also.

We were disappointed in the meal and did not order desert. The service as usual was excellent. The next day my wife proceeded to call Disney to see if this lack of a discount was a new policy at Via Napoli or any other restaurants in WDW. The Disney staff member said she knew nothing about this new policy and even asked a supervisor about it. My wife was connected directly to the restaurant and spoke to a gentleman who identified himself as the manager of the entire restaurant. He said he was off on the Fourth of July. But explained that the restaurant was not owned by Disney. What that means is any restaurant not owned by Disney can refuse to accept any dining plans or discounts at anytime. Apparently, either the owners of the restaurant or the manager in charge on July 4th, made that decision.

Caveat Emptor is now in effect for AP pass holders and Disney dining plan participants. Your anticipated dining discounts can be refused at anytime by any non-Disney owned restaurant.
We were also informed that if we had decided to cancel our ADR at the podium, we would have been charged the appropriate cancellation fees.

I would like to see Disney let pass holders and Dining Plan participants know in advance that they are not guaranteed any dining discounts. Revocation is at the whim of the restaurant owners or mangers on duty at anytime and on any day.

If your were an AP pass holder who dined at the above or any other restaurant at Disney this past July fourth; and were denied either an AP discount or use of you dining plan credits please let us know here. Please let Disney know also. They seem dumb founded about this policy.

There are blackout days for dining discounts even though there isn’t for park entry. That goes for AP, DVC, and TIW. Those days are Mother’s Day, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas. I am aware of this as an AP because I read the benefits from front to back :). I am sorry you had do go through the menu changes, their food was overpriced to begin with but it always seem to be a Hot Spot.

Thank you for the info on the black out dates. As usual, we forgot to read the fine print. Our first guess was that the Fourth of July was a Holiday and thus the explanation of a blackout date. Instead of reading the complete benefits ourselves, we made the LAZY mistake of calling Disney. It has always amazed us how very limited the cast members swath of knowledge is.
Just curious. You mentioned the AP s and the DVC and TIW. Were there any dining plans in place on the fourth of July. I believe the plans are usually offered after the summer peak season and not during the winter Holidays. We are not particularly fond of Disney food and find it grossly over priced too! But in EPCOT, we only like two restaurants, Le Cellier and Via Napoli. So I guess we have to wait for the Brazilian Pavilion to open and hope for an Argentinian steak restaurant inside. Thanks again.

Dining plans are always sold… it’s just that they offer them for free at certain times of year. The restaurant doesn’t know whether you paid or not, but some restaurants that are not owned by Disney do not participate in dining plans, or participate only with higher-level plans (though this last part may have been axed along with premium and platinum plans) so it seems logical that they could choose not to participate on holidays.

Thanks for the info. We only used a dining plan once. It actually was too much food and we ended up trying to spend a lot of snack credits before boarding the plane to go home.