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View Full Version : Am I wasting my TS meals *Character dining*


DisneyVirginBeNice
03-03-2006, 12:37 AM
I have booked 7 out of 9 days of our TS credits at Character dining places. I cannot help but feel like I am wasting my money...I mean these are buffet style right?

This trip is our FIRST and my oldest DS has heard great stories about Chef Mickey's and is really excited to go. This trip is for our KIDS of course and want them to have the best time possible. They are 7-5-2 *Turning 8-5 the week after we leave Disney... :banana: *

Here are our reservations for the 7 character meals so far...I leave soon so I need to decide if I need to cancel any very SOON lol

Thurs Crystal Palace lunch
Friday Garden Grill Dinner
Sat Chef Mickey's Dinner
Sun Liberty Tree Dinner
Mon Breakfastasauras breakfast of course
Tues OHANA dinner

Are there TS restaurants I am going to regret missing? If I cancel any Character meals which ones?

Thanks so much...

Tegra89
03-03-2006, 12:44 AM
We'll be eating at Le Cellier when we go so I can't tell you about it but I have read from a LOT of people here that it's WONDERFUL. Maybe someone can tell you for sure.

Cannot_Wait_4Disney
03-03-2006, 03:23 AM
I have booked 7 out of 9 days of our TS credits at Character dining places. I cannot help but feel like I am wasting my money...I mean these are buffet style right?

This trip is our FIRST and my oldest DS has heard great stories about Chef Mickey's and is really excited to go. This trip is for our KIDS of course and want them to have the best time possible. They are 7-5-2 *Turning 8-5 the week after we leave Disney... :banana: *

Here are our reservations for the 7 character meals so far...I leave soon so I need to decide if I need to cancel any very SOON lol

Thurs Crystal Palace lunch
Friday Garden Grill Dinner
Sat Chef Mickey's Dinner
Sun Liberty Tree Dinner
Mon Breakfastasauras breakfast of course
Tues OHANA dinner

Are there TS restaurants I am going to regret missing? If I cancel any Character meals which ones?

Thanks so much...


Not wasting it at all. Let's examine this more closely.
Adult price of Dp $38. That's sit down, plus snack plus counter.
Kid's price is $12 is it?

Now to these menu prices, be sure to add 6.5% tax and then add 15% tip. (they get 18 by agreement with Disney but if you were paying, most people average about 15.
Chef Mickey's. dinner
$28 for adults, 13 for kids.
Oh that's just under $34 for adults and just under $16 for kids with taxes and tip.
So you're just $4 under your day's price for the adults and already $4 over for the kids. And you have your counters and snacks yet to go!!!!

Crystal palace Lunch
21 for adults, 12 for kids
That's about $26 for adults and about $15 for the kids.
Well that's $12 under for the adults and $3 over for the kids.

Garden Grill is the same as Chef Mickey's.
So you're $4 under for the adults and $4 over for the kids.

Liberty tree is the same as chef Mickey's also
$4 under for the adults, $4 over for the kids.

Ohana dinner
Adults 26, kids 12.
that's about $32 and $15.
You're $6 under for the adults and $3 over for the kids.

Donald's Breakfastsaurus.
21 for adults and 11 for kids
A bit over $13 for the kids and a bit under $26 for the adults.
So the kids are $1 over and the adults are $12 under.

The lunch and the breakfast are slightly down in the adult price but the kids are over and it doesn't take all that much effort to get $12 out of a snack plus a counter anyway once drink and desert prices are added in.

I always suggest this. Once you're sure you're going to get your value out, don't just go chasing the highest food cost. The Buffets are in general cheaper than say an appetizer, tip, and desert at some a-la-carte places, but if you're going to enjoy character meals better, go for it.

I take it you have some ressies left to make? If so why not go out for a nice little change of pace one evening. I'd suggest Spoodles, or Le Cellier, or one of the other a-la-carte places you think you might like. Chef's De France is another one. Is the 5 year old a girl? If so consider 1900 park faire for dinner with cinderella.

bamagirl@hrt
03-03-2006, 09:54 AM
We usually do several character meals, as my kids love them. And if we're all having fun and enjoy our meal, then it's definitely not a waste of money. Sure, there are places where you can "milk" more dollar value from the dining plan, but the family experiences that make memories are the most valuable.

Also, from the meals you've listed, O'hana is not a character meal at dinner. It is an all-you-can-eat, family style meal with lots of activities for kids, but no characters. Lilo and Stitch are only for breakfast.

movtarget
03-03-2006, 10:27 AM
We're going to 'splurge' our TS credits and do Yachtsman Steakhouse on one of our non-park days (2 TS credits each). But just mom and dad. 2 kids (7 and 4) will be at the Sandcastle club nearby. We're going to hop over to Pleasure Island after dinner. The two kids get dinner as part of the $10/hr/kid, so not too bad.

My concern is that my wife and I will consume 2 TS credits each (4 total), and the kids 0, making eight of the eight we need for CRT as our last TS meal tagged as kids TS credits, when we'll need 4 and 4.

Moving Target in NC

Melynny
03-03-2006, 11:19 AM
Thank you so much for the breakdown... I had been thinking the exact same thing: That the Buffets are not a good choice for the Table Services... but now I see that they are still a value!

gigi1313
03-03-2006, 11:40 AM
not to mention, the meals you have listed are not all buffets... yes they are character meals, but not buffet meals...

Crystal Palace lunch BUFFET
Garden Grill Dinner ALL-YOU-CARE-TO-EAT platters served family style
Chef Mickey's Dinner BUFFET
Liberty Tree Dinner ALL-YOU-CARE-TO-EAT platters served family style
Breakfastasauras breakfast BUFFET
OHANA dinner ALL-YOU-CARE-TO-EAT platters served family style

so you really do have a nice variety of meals... each of the family style meals are very distinct and likely not to be "been there done that" type meals where you feel you are seeing the same food over and over and over like you eventually feel w/buffets...

i think you made some great choices... ENJOY! :)

disneymom3
03-03-2006, 11:45 AM
My only feedback for you is not on the value but on the experience. I enjoy character meals as do my kids, but they are not relaxing by any means. I personally would not want to do so many of my meals as character meals because sometimes I just like to sit and enjoy the meal itself. Disney is pretty intense and a nice quiet meal at somewhere like Kona serves as a good break for us.

To each his own obviously, but I personally would not want so many go go go type meals in one trip.

DisneyVirginBeNice
03-03-2006, 11:47 AM
Thanks Guys that breakdown was wonderful....

Do any of these nicer restaurants have dresscodes or anything?

Also your kidding Ohana dinner is NOT CHARACTER why didn't the girl tell me that she knew I was booking ALL Character meals, DS will be upset if he doesn't see Stitch :(

I guess I need to call and change that one I also think Breakfastasauras is on the chopping block just because I am worried about getting there in time from wl....or I need to make it a late brunch time...

Thanks so much :)

gigi1313
03-03-2006, 11:50 AM
i agree w/your point... which is why our family now loves the all-you-care-to-eat meals brought to you by a server... especially at garden grill 'cause you really are in your own little world in that booth... we used to do a lot more buffets, but you are right they're "stressful" sometimes (esp if you are the mommy and have little kids and have to help each one get their plates filled and by the time you sit down, someone needs to go to the bathroom... for years i never ate hot food at a buffet) now we go for the other character meals instead, which we consider the best of both worlds! :flower:

Ozymoe
03-03-2006, 12:13 PM
With children aged 8, 5 and 2 you have chosen a nice variety of meals where both you and they will feel comfortable. This trip is one that sets the tone...the next time they will have "must-sees" and "must-dos"....and the time after that they will be ready to try other venues than mostly characters (with 1 or 2 favorites).

Lol...oh, you say...next time?...and the time after that? Well, don't say I didn't warn you! These next 5-6 years are a window of prime "family Disney vacation" time. After this window, your children's ages will probably lean toward Universal, Seaworld, Busch Gardens etc...

Of course, there is always the chance that you'll be satisfied with just this one visit...or that you plan to show them other parts of America on future vacations. (That is what we planned on our first visit to Disney)...lol...many years later I can tell you we ended up taking several vacations hand-running to Disney when our kids were in the "window" I just described...and after they were 12-13, the vacations to other parts of the country that I had originally planned...with a few short visits to Orlando.

This coming fall and spring we will be doing a sabbatical at Disney and Washington DC (our 17 year old DDs and I (mom) have many interesting things planned. Our girls will then take a fifth year of high school before they enter college. Lol...we can't afford for us all to take six months touring Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia...but we can meet and interact with many young people from these countries in Epcot and learn about their customs and their foods.

daisyduck123
03-03-2006, 11:12 PM
In Jan. we went for 8 days on the Dining Plan.

We felt as you do...we are going for the kids & want them to have the best time...so we did a character dinner almost every night. One dinner that was not a character meal that we loved was at Whispering Canyon Cafe in the Wilderness Lodge. It is a great place for kids. You might want to do a search of the threads here. There have been some w/ pictures, reviews, etc.

We are going back in May & will include WCC.

All of your character meals sound great to me, although we have not been to the Garden Grill since they had the Character Ice Cream Social back in 2004.

kapica3
03-03-2006, 11:20 PM
I wouldn't miss it for the world!!!

There is nothing better than doing the character meals with little kids! They grow up so fast, and you will someday look back fondly on the days when they were thrilled with the Character meals. You'll have plenty of time when they are teens to do the more grown up restuarants. Go for it - nothing to regret, only to savor. :thumbsup2

torinsmom
03-04-2006, 07:42 AM
You could make your Breakfastosuarus later. I think last seating is at 10:30. Have a small breakfast snack and get to AK early to ride a few rides before. Thats what I'm doing in a few weeks. And definitely switch OHanas to breakfast if you want to see Lilo and Stitch. Thats the one my son is looking forward to the most.

Marsha