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View Full Version : Any other Swan/Dolphin people feeling left out of free dining offer?


LuluLovesDisney
04-01-2006, 12:05 PM
I booked at the 129/night for Swan/Dolphin and I thought it was a decent deal. Now, with the free dining, I'm feeling really upset at the thought of going to WDW and being one of the only "suckers" there at the same time of free dining and actually paying real cash for it. :guilty:

maui2k5
04-01-2006, 12:07 PM
I am trying to figure out what to do... My wife and I got married on March 13th and part of the deal was that Disney gave us free annual passes. Since we can go to the Disney again without buying park passes, we booked a deal at the Dolphin from Sept 22-30 for $129 for a Lake View room. A pretty good deal I think.

However, with the free dining option now up again, I am debating if there is any benefit in us looking into it or would there be no financial benefit to getting the free dining option staying at say the Wilderness Lodge? I think it is not worth it for us, but was wondering for those of us that have annual passes, is there any way this deal could help save us money? Especially when I have a deal for $129 at the Dolphin?

scanmom
04-01-2006, 12:18 PM
you could always buy a package with free dining, and just get a 1 day base ticket with the package. Use the AP's for park entry, and save the 1 day tickets for another trip.... thay never expire! Later you can use them for park entry, or apply them to a longer length pass. And if I were you, I would stay at a moderate, to save money. The value of free dining is much better with a value/moderate hotel package. For newlyweds, I personally would book POFQ... It is beautiful and romantic, small and great bus service to the parks!!! :wizard:

stoudt6
04-01-2006, 12:31 PM
My wife and I are staying the last week of September at the Dolphin and aren't going to miss not being able to do Free dining. We also got the $129 rate had they not run that special the cheapest we would have gotten was $174 and that rate would have been good for only 5 of the 8 nights($224 would have been rate other 3 nights) so on average we saved around $65 a night . the dining plan is $95 a night (abviously free during promotion). To stay at a moderate with free dining at least $30 more then the rate you got at the Dolphin. And I can tell you this I have stayed at moderate ,and they are nice, but the Dolphin will BLOW YOU AWAY, from the beds to the service/transportation, to the proximity. I will never go back to a value-- Rooms too small and very noisey. Buses always packed.. So while i may end -up paying a few more dollars to eat i don't mind. Also remember ALCOHOLIC DRINKS are not on dining plan -they are extra and We like to have beer/wine/drink with some meals. Also if you notice the offer came out today- April 1 .Hopefully you did like I did and made all your ADR's at 180 days out and got what you wanted. when I called to some the more popular places there were few times to eat lleft, so all thse people doing dining plan aren't going to get to eat where they want, or will have to at really odd times. they only way I would have considered cancelling and doing the plan is if I had a family of 4 or more then you can make out. When i'm on vacation I want a little luxury and don't minfd paying for it. so just relax and don't worry about it . you made a good choice! :grouphug:

Leota
04-01-2006, 12:31 PM
you could always buy a package with free dining, and just get a 1 day base ticket with the package. Use the AP's for park entry, and save the 1 day tickets for another trip.... thay never expire! Later you can use them for park entry, or apply them to a longer length pass. And if I were you, I would stay at a moderate, to save money. The value of free dining is much better with a value/moderate hotel package. For newlyweds, I personally would book POFQ... It is beautiful and romantic, small and great bus service to the parks!!! :wizard:


That's exactly what we did last August for the free dining. I was all set to go at the Dolphin with a great rate. I had to weigh it carefully & since I was taking a 17 yo eating machine, the free dining was worth the switch to POFQ. I really missed the Sw/olphin tho. It was torture to see the resorts from the bus or from the Epcot area, knowing that I would be going elsewhere to go "home".

MagneticxBoy
04-01-2006, 01:14 PM
Yes I do feel left out!

I first had Riverside booked, then I changed to Dolphin for $139 a night...

But now with this free dining we would save MORE money switching back to Riverside (or any other mod) and getting the free dining... :( sigh lol

princess pooh
04-01-2006, 01:23 PM
I also booked the $139 deal and I'm feeling a bit left out, but I'm not sure it's cost effective for us. This is our honeymoon so I would definately want to stay at a deluxe, plus we're grazers more than meal eaters. I'll price things out and see what works better for us.

ETA I just realized that free dining doesn't coincide with our travel dates. Now I can enjoy the heavenly bed without feeling like I'm missing out on anything.

hercamore
04-01-2006, 02:14 PM
Annual passholder can purchase a DDE card and get20% off meals.


herc.

jwfla422
04-01-2006, 02:51 PM
:confused3 I don't feel left out, it is ACTUALLY WDW corporate's decision on what they programs/perks they will allow the S/D to participate in. I know for a fact they weren't even offered to participate in ME and this is true with some of the other WDW promotions that the S/D doesn't have.

We have a DDE card which we use at the WDW resort & park restaurants and we're Starwood Gold members which allows my dd to eat free at some of the S/D restaurants.

My advice is if you're staying enough days, get an AP and get the DDE card. Even thought the S/D restaurants don't accept the card, most of the WDW restaurants do. There are plenty within walking distance of the S/D that you can use the card at plus the restaurants in the parks.

But, feeling left out, left out of what?? I wouldn't be using the DDP even if I was staying at a WDW resort.

maui2k5
04-01-2006, 04:23 PM
I am sticking with my plan for the Dolphin for 8 nights at $129 plus I have the Disney Dining Experience which gets me an additional 20% off plus I earn Starwood points. The only way it would save me any money is if I downgraded to a moderate resort and would have to give up the great location of the Dolphin. That alone is enough of a reason not to change what I have already. We stayed at the Swan last year and we liked it a lot - especially the proximity to Epcot and MGM. The beds at the Swan/Dolphin cannot be beat by a moderate or even the Disney Deluxe resorts (just stayed at Poly concierge)... The more I thought about it - being an annual pass holder, having the 20% discount on most table service restaraunts and paying only $129 a night for an upgraded room - I think we are going to have a great time with this plan. No changes here for the dining deal. I already have the dining reservations for the entire trip planned out at the exact times we wanted anyhow...

Braque
04-01-2006, 07:00 PM
Well, I feel left out . . . sometimes, being a S/D fan just might not be enough.

Sammie
04-01-2006, 07:17 PM
I booked at the 129/night for Swan/Dolphin and I thought it was a decent deal. Now, with the free dining, I'm feeling really upset at the thought of going to WDW and being one of the only "suckers" there at the same time of free dining and actually paying real cash for it. :guilty:

I am sorry you feel this way, but you won't be the only ones there at that time not getting free Dining. Annual Pass holders will probably not take advantage of it. Disney Vacation Club members can't get free dining, and many will not want it due to paying rack rates for rooms and the ticket limitations.

You also have the choice of cancelling your Swan/Dolphin and getting the package. :)

LuluLovesDisney
04-01-2006, 08:14 PM
My wife and I are staying the last week of September at the Dolphin and aren't going to miss not being able to do Free dining. We also got the $129 rate had they not run that special the cheapest we would have gotten was $174 and that rate would have been good for only 5 of the 8 nights($224 would have been rate other 3 nights) so on average we saved around $65 a night . the dining plan is $95 a night (abviously free during promotion). To stay at a moderate with free dining at least $30 more then the rate you got at the Dolphin. And I can tell you this I have stayed at moderate ,and they are nice, but the Dolphin will BLOW YOU AWAY, from the beds to the service/transportation, to the proximity. I will never go back to a value-- Rooms too small and very noisey. Buses always packed.. So while i may end -up paying a few more dollars to eat i don't mind. Also remember ALCOHOLIC DRINKS are not on dining plan -they are extra and We like to have beer/wine/drink with some meals. Also if you notice the offer came out today- April 1 .Hopefully you did like I did and made all your ADR's at 180 days out and got what you wanted. when I called to some the more popular places there were few times to eat lleft, so all thse people doing dining plan aren't going to get to eat where they want, or will have to at really odd times. they only way I would have considered cancelling and doing the plan is if I had a family of 4 or more then you can make out. When i'm on vacation I want a little luxury and don't minfd paying for it. so just relax and don't worry about it . you made a good choice! :grouphug:

:cloud9: You made me feel a lot better about my trip again. I have a whole bunch of great ADR's and yes, I am looking forward to all of the Swan's amenities. We were also planning on getting annual passes because we're going again in November, so that's another reason why I should stick with what I've got.

paras4ri
04-01-2006, 08:33 PM
We're Starwood Gold members which allows my dd to eat free at some of the S/D restaurants.


I'd like to know more about this -first I've heard of it and we're also SPG Gold.

goofy 28
04-01-2006, 08:56 PM
To the people that feel like suckers, just cancel your room reservations you can do that up to 5 days from arrival with no penalty. Boy, it's just like disney to do this after seeing the deals that S/D are giving at that time of year. But it sounds like you should weigh the options to see what works out best, the S/D rate plus meals or disneys hgher rate with meals, and we all know how much it can cost to eat there.

I have not looked into this because i will be there much earlier.
what is free dining? are they going to provide breakfast,lunch,and dinner or just dinner? pluto:

Sammie
04-01-2006, 09:10 PM
To the people that feel like suckers, just cancel your room reservations you can do that up to 5 days from arrival with no penalty. Boy, it's just like disney to do this after seeing the deals that S/D are giving at that time of year. But it sounds like you should weigh the options to see what works out best, the S/D rate plus meals or disneys hgher rate with meals, and we all know how much it can cost to eat there.

I have not looked into this because i will be there much earlier.
what is free dining? are they going to provide breakfast,lunch,and dinner or just dinner? pluto:

The dining plan includes one table service, one counter service and one snack per person, per day.

goofy 28
04-01-2006, 09:55 PM
The dining plan includes one table service, one counter service and one snack per person, per day.

WOW! Thats sounds pretty good, and would also save quite a few $.
normally your food bill for a week can get pretty large. thanks Sammie.

DebbieB
04-02-2006, 08:46 AM
$129 for a deluxe hotel is a pretty great rate. Remember that the free dining plan is only for full price rooms. If you moved over to the Beach Club, you could get the free dining plan but you would be paying $305 a night for the room (standard view). Sure you could move to POR and save a lot, but you're downgrading your accomodations. It's not comparing apples to apples.

maui2k5
04-02-2006, 10:25 AM
To the people that feel like suckers, just cancel your room reservations you can do that up to 5 days from arrival with no penalty. Boy, it's just like disney to do this after seeing the deals that S/D are giving at that time of year. But it sounds like you should weigh the options to see what works out best, the S/D rate plus meals or disneys hgher rate with meals, and we all know how much it can cost to eat there.

I have not looked into this because i will be there much earlier.
what is free dining? are they going to provide breakfast,lunch,and dinner or just dinner? pluto:

It depends what resort you are ataying at to say the Free Dining with staying on Disney Property is cheaper than $129 per night at the Swan/Dolphin. If you move from the Swan/Dolphin to a Moderate or Value, then yes. However, I would not give up the location of the Swan/Dolphin just to save a few bucks. That or the heavenly bed. Also, if switch to another Deluxe resort, you will not be saving money and only possibly breaking just about even (at least for 2 adults) at the WL or AKL.

We are not moving. We stayed at the Swan last year and it was an excellent hotel and the options for walking to MGM or Epcot made it worth the money by far. And no doubt it is cheaper than the other BW, YC or Boardwalk even with free dining thrown in. Those resorts start at $305 Plus throw in the free dining vs. $129 plus pay for your dining at the S/D. For us the S/D is a better deal with our Disney Dining Experience 20% discount on most table service restaraunts.

Blondie
04-02-2006, 10:36 AM
I don't feel the least bit slighted by losing out on the dining plan. There's no way I can eat THAT much food, it would be such a waste. We have one big meal of the day and just graze for the rest.

For the rates I pay and the views I get at the Swan or Dolphin, I'd never give it up for a few free meals! It's not worth it in my book! I prefer walking distance to Epcot and MGM and views of Illuminations from our room over the free dining plan. And it's not really "free" anyway, it's all added in to the cost of your package.