Let's be honest. Walt Disney World has become a reservations-required vacation. This is nothing new to Disney Vacation Club members who must navigate the 11 and 7-month DVC booking windows, 180-day Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR), and 60-day FastPass+ windows. If you're flying and renting a car add that to the list as well. Those of us who are super nerds have it all mapped out in a color-coded spreadsheet. As planners, most of us agree that all the planning, preparation and anticipation does pay off.
A FastPass for Dining? Wait? What?
Have you ever had a cast member share some Pixie Dust with you in the form of a bonus FastPass? Oh yeah! Planner Jackpot! What if I told you a reusable and never expires ADR (Advance Dining Reservation) version was also available? Truth! It works at all Landry's restaurants even the ones outside of Walt Disney World too. Allow me to introduce you to a restaurant loyalty program called the Landry's Select Club and the priority seating feature of the program. This program is my back pocket ADR! You can keep a wallet card in your pocket or an electronic version on your phone via the Landry app.
Here's the deal. You have to pay $25 to join the club as a one time fee. The first time you use the card, you get a $25 bill credit at Landry's. Every year in your birthday month you get another $25 bill credit too. Using the card also racks up loyalty rewards which can be used for more free food too. By being a Landry's Select Club member, present the card to the host or hostess when requesting a table and you get moved to the front of the walk-in line at all Landry's locations.
Our experience with the Landry's Select Club program at Walt Disney World
Last January, we were only about 50 days out when we planned a last minute trip. We found DVC availability at the Treehouses. January is a low point season and 3 nights was the perfect time to try out the Treehouses. We found airfare for less than $180 a person round trip. Our family's annual passes were still active. All of the pieces came together for a last-minute trip to Disney. Killer fast passes and ADR's aren't going to happen on a short notice trip. Since we were staying at the Treehouses, we knew Disney Springs was on the agenda. That's when my wife remembered the Landry's card and the fact our 5-year-old son has been asking to go to T-Rex. While the official rules on the Landry's Select Club website indicate priority seating is valid for parties up to 6, our party of 8 was seated rather quickly at T-Rex. All 8 were seated quickly at Yak and Yeti in Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park too. They did have us sit in 2 tables of four people. (The Rainforest Cafe at Animal Kingdom and Disney Springs also honor the card for discounts and priority seating.)
While I highly recommend the card for priority seatings, I'd encourage you to consider holding off on that $25 bill credit. Landry's is rather particular about discounts, bill credits, and the loyalty program. Let's look at the 3 possible programs. You can only use one of the four valid options below and not a combination of programs.
- Earn reward points towards another $25 bill credit. You earn 1 point for every $1 spent. After you get 250 points, you will get an additional $25 bill credit. In theory, this is a 10% discount if you maximize the program. However, there are a LOT of rules and regulations on this program.
- Spend your $25 bill credit(s). You initial credit, your birthday credit or your rewards credits.
- 10% Discount for DVC or Annual Passholders: MousePerks.com lists a 10% discount on up to 4 entries as a DVC or AP discount. This is entree only. No discounts for beverages or entrees above 4 per party.
- Disney Dining Plan – The Landry's locations accept DDP; however, you will not earn points while on DDP. You could ask about using a bill credit for anything not covered by DDP, but I doubt that would work based upon their stringent rules.
Tables in Wonderland:Unfortunately, the Disney Landry's locations do not participate in the TIW program.
We chose to earn rewards credits because the bill was over $250. The kids like going to Rainforest Cafe in Michigan. I have numerous Landry's restaurants near my work. Because you cannot use credits and earn rewards at the same time, you are better off spending your bill credits on a check just over $25. I can easily go to lunch for my birthday with a co-worker and spend just over $25.
Here's are two pro tips to get a discount while earning points. Landry's will not stack up a discount to further reduce your bill. However, you can earn points or use a discount and reduce costs by paying with a discounted gift card.
- Use a Landry's Gift Card. Sam's Club sells $120 Landry's gift cards for $99.98 online. They appear to be useable at 3 of the 4 WDW Landry's locations (Rainforest, Rainforest and Yak and Yeti). T-Rex is not listed but may work. However, these cards are also usable at many Landry's locations. You may have some near home, or you may want to venture to one of their restaurants off property. Please note Landry's gift cards are NOT Landry's Select Club cards. Gift cards and loyalty cards are two different programs.
- The 4 Landry's locations on Disney property accept all forms of Disney payment. Before every trip, I buy Disney Gift cards at a 10% or greater discount.