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View Full Version : My "free Dining" comparison.


Anewman
04-03-2006, 04:27 AM
We are planning a trip in Aug(7 nights) but do not have exact dates yet, kids play high school sports and coaches are determining dead period dates. We should know dates by end of week. So there is a 50-50 chance we will go during "free" dining promo.

We do not have tickets or airfare yet, so I would need to purchase them no matter which route we decide to take. We loved the Dining package(not free) last summer and were planing on paying for it again this year.

We own 200 points at SSR and paid about $800 in dues this year.

I see three possible scenerios, and this will be the first "math" I do on the subject.

1. Stay at VWL lodge(123 points)
$1000 park tickets
$1000 air fare(last years price)
$1065 Dining plan
___________________
$3065 total out of pocket


2. Stay at VWL lodge(123 points)& pay for package @value(free dining).
$1000 park tickets
$1000 air fare(last years price)
$700 7 nights at value(but will stay at VWL)
$0000 FREE dining
___________________
$2700 total out of pocket


3. Rent out 123 points and stay at WL(standard).
$1435 7 nights WL standard
$1000 park tickets
$1000 airfare
$0000 FREE dining
$1230 Rent from points
_______________________
$2205 NET out of pocket


I am leaning towards option number 2, but I am not sure if a studio is worth $500 more for us. And it would be a bit of a hassle with checking in at value and extra set of cards with tickets on them.

I will have to consider this same comparison vs a 1 bedroom villa where the accomidations are much better, but also would rent out more points towards a deluxe stay.

I hope not to get flamed, but hoping others that have given this more thought could point out something that I could be missing.

LIFERBABE
04-03-2006, 11:36 AM
To me,
You are not accounting for the value of the 123 points you would be using for Option 2.

You paid at least dues, so if you add in the $500 in dues the 123 points cost you, Option 2 costs you $3200. So you are paying an extra $200 over option 1 to get the free dining.

I know you are focusing on OOP costs, but those 123 points have value when you are considering doubling up on accomodations. That's 123 points that could be used another time, banked, transferred etc.

I know that addition goes both ways, but because your scenario occupies twice as much space, I would have to add the dues costs in. That is just my hang up, but i would feel like I was wasting points if I were double booked and last year we did have a situation where we were double booked for one night and now I think of what I could have done with those 9 points!

WL standard, is a much smaller unit so that would be out for us. We do stay in studios, but we would not make it in anything smaller for more than a night or two.

The only way, I would do free dining, is if we stayed in a value resort. And 3 days would be max for us.

Have you considered splitting your stay between a value and VWL?

Slakk
04-03-2006, 05:25 PM
Seems like a ton of work to get the dining plan free..

canwegosoon
04-03-2006, 05:33 PM
First of all I want to commend you on your different strageties. :thumbsup2
To me...the biggest factor is the weather(hurricane season). I think I would also weigh it the possibility of cancellation/added costs there-including insurance. Eg. in seceniero 2 I think you might want insurance on both. In secnerio 3 you would only need 1(but might have a renter not show) etc...
Good luck with your decision. :goodvibes

Anewman
04-03-2006, 08:08 PM
To me,
You are not accounting for the value of the 123 points you would be using for Option 2.

You paid at least dues, so if you add in the $500 in dues the 123 points cost you, Option 2 costs you $3200. So you are paying an extra $200 over option 1 to get the free dining.

I know you are focusing on OOP costs, but those 123 points have value when you are considering doubling up on accomodations. That's 123 points that could be used another time, banked, transferred etc.


Why would expect me to factor in the value of 123 points in scenerio 2 but not scenerio 1(or 3)? points and their value would be used in either case
Same amount of points would be used in all three scenerios, so I figured they cancelled them selves out.

I understand the reluctance to double book(I also have it), but I am going to need TICKETS/AIRFARE/DINING PLAN. I will need to pay for it, packaged(with a value) or separate. Right now paying for it packaged with a value room(that will be unused) saves me $365, that could pay for some ticket upgrades(non expire) that I can use during winter break.

Anewman
04-03-2006, 08:11 PM
Seems like a ton of work to get the dining plan free..

It is not about getting it for "free", we are willing to pay for it(did last year). Just looking at our options on how to best puchase what we want.

gammieatwdw
04-04-2006, 09:11 AM
Where did you come up with $700 for the value for the week? Did you include tax into that price? Is it really worth staying at a value just to get this "free dining"? You are also going when it is unbearably hot, crowded and with great chance of having your trip wiped out due to storms. Why do a dining plan at all? Save a little money here and there by eating in a meal or two. Free dining is nothing more than a ploy to get summer business and to keep you on site, nothing more nothing less. Run numbers all you want, there is no scenario that makes sense when you are a DVC owner, even if it is at a value resort.

rigs32
04-04-2006, 09:39 AM
When I saw DVC folks upset that they couldn't get free dining, I immediately thought that, if I were in that position, I'd rent out my points I intended to use and apply that cash toward booking the free dining.

I wonder if people looking to rent out points during the free dining promotion are going to have fewer takers....

Anewman
04-04-2006, 12:46 PM
Where did you come up with $700 for the value for the week? Did you include tax into that price?

I "came up" with that price from DISNEYWORLD.com, posted rates during that period.
No taxes were included in any of the above estimates(air or tickets or room).

Is it really worth staying at a value just to get this "free dining"?
We would not be staying at a value in any of the 3 listed scenerios.

You are also going when it is unbearably hot, crowded and with great chance of having your trip wiped out due to storms.
It is either that or NO TRIP AT ALL. My girl plays Varsity Softball and Volleyball and goes to Nerd Camp(Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth program) for 3 weeks duing the summer. My Son(incoming freshman) plays year round tournament Baseball and is going to play football, baseball and is also going to wrestle in high school. Plus he also attends Nerd Camp during the summer.

In other words we will only have a 1-2 week period during the WHOLE YEAR that the entire family would be available for a family vacation, And that week is in AUG.

Why do a dining plan at all? Save a little money here and there by eating in a meal or two. Free dining is nothing more than a ploy to get summer business and to keep you on site, nothing more nothing less.
We did the Dining Plan last year and "we" loved it, I understand others may not. Thanks for the dieting tips though.

Run numbers all you want, there is no scenario that makes sense when you are a DVC owner, even if it is at a value resort.

??????

This part I do not understand.

Anewman
04-04-2006, 12:55 PM
When I saw DVC folks upset that they couldn't get free dining, I immediately thought that, if I were in that position, I'd rent out my points I intended to use and apply that cash toward booking the free dining.

I wonder if people looking to rent out points during the free dining promotion are going to have fewer takers....

Oh I am not upset, I would pay for the Dining plan if that was the only option. I feel it would be stupid not to think out all the options. I will know soon if we will even be available during that week, high school athletic director should give me exact dates by Friday.

And I would be renting points out to Family. I agree if other owners start doing some math and decide renting points out is a better option there maybe more points available to rent than there are renters.

mamatojon
04-04-2006, 01:34 PM
I would probably go with option 1, since #2 is saving you only $300. I would worry that housekeeping would come in the room (they come in even when you have the "do not disturb" out, trust me, LOL) and see the room vacant and mark it off as unoccupied - then you'd be checked out and not have the dining plan at all. Also, since we aren't going to rent a car I wouldn't want to spend precious time bussing back and forth on check-in/check-out days to all stars or pop. I didn't see car rental in your budget so you might want to consider how much your time is worth to you. If #2 were saving you more money, maybe $500? I might reconsider, although sometimes the convenience of doing things the easy way, especially on vacation, is worth a lot of money to me.

#3 really isn't even an option for me, since I would want a villa/kitchen/WD etc. That's worth tons and tons of $$$ to me. I bought DVC because I really like the luxury of the space, not really for the financial savings (even though that is definitely substantial). I think there is always some way to take vacations to WDW for less money than DVC if you just want a hotel room, even a deluxe room. With specials like this or AP rates or whatever else might come up in the future, if you are crafty and flexible enough you could probably always get something for a deal thats cashwise better than DVC.

I just realized that option #3 total includes $ from point rental - I thought at first it was just the package price. I would definitely not choose this option (for myself) since I have zero interest in renting out points. I don't have family that would want to rent them from me as you have said though, so that is a big factor for me. It sounds like renting out your points would be easier/less hassle for you though. Good luck and have a great trip! :-)

Anewman
04-04-2006, 01:49 PM
I would probably go with option 1, since #2 is saving you only $300. I would worry that housekeeping would come in the room (they come in even when you have the "do not disturb" out, trust me, LOL) and see the room vacant and mark it off as unoccupied - then you'd be checked out and not have the dining plan at all. Also, since we aren't going to rent a car I wouldn't want to spend precious time bussing back and forth on check-in/check-out days to all stars or pop. I didn't see car rental in your budget so you might want to consider how much your time is worth to you. If #2 were saving you more money, maybe $500? I might reconsider, although sometimes the convenience of doing things the easy way, especially on vacation, is worth a lot of money to me.

#3 really isn't even an option for me, since I would want a villa/kitchen/WD etc. That's worth tons and tons of $$$ to me. I bought DVC because I really like the luxury of the space, not really for the financial savings (even though that is definitely substantial). I think there is always some way to take vacations to WDW for less money than DVC if you just want a hotel room, even a deluxe room. With specials like this or AP rates or whatever else might come up in the future, if you are crafty and flexible enough you could probably always get something for a deal thats cashwise better than DVC.

I just realized that option #3 total includes $ from point rental - I thought at first it was just the package price. I would definitely not choose this option (for myself) since I have zero interest in renting out points. I don't have family that would want to rent them from me as you have said though, so that is a big factor for me. It sounds like renting out your points would be easier/less hassle for you though. Good luck and have a great trip! :-)

Thanks for the great feedback, I too am starting to edge away from option 2. Just way to much hassle. It was my favorite when I first thought about this.

Now the only question remains for us, is a Studio worth an extra $800(when comparing #1 with #3) over a WL standard?

gammieatwdw
04-04-2006, 02:21 PM
I "came up" with that price from DISNEYWORLD.com, posted rates during that period.
No taxes were included in any of the above estimates(air or tickets or room).


We would not be staying at a value in any of the 3 listed scenerios.


It is either that or NO TRIP AT ALL. My girl plays Varsity Softball and Volleyball and goes to Nerd Camp(Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth program) for 3 weeks duing the summer. My Son(incoming freshman) plays year round tournament Baseball and is going to play football, baseball and is also going to wrestle in high school. Plus he also attends Nerd Camp during the summer.

In other words we will only have a 1-2 week period during the WHOLE YEAR that the entire family would be available for a family vacation, And that week is in AUG.


We did the Dining Plan last year and "we" loved it, I understand others may not. Thanks for the dieting tips though.



??????

This part I do not understand.



Anewman,

Sorry for my confusion. The part that confused me is the section in #2 that reads $700 7 nights at value? What is that?

p.s. I never gave dieting tips. I sugested eating in a couple of meals as a money saving tip not dieting.

Boy this free dining thing is really working for Disney.

Anewman
04-04-2006, 03:07 PM
Anewman,

Sorry for my confusion. The part that confused me is the section in #2 that reads $700 7 nights at value? What is that?


In Option 2 I would PAY for a value but not STAY there. We would still stay in a VWL studio.

IF my family of 4 all over the age of 12 if were paying for the dining plan we would pay $152($38x4adults) per night for it.

My family of 4 could pay $99 per night for a value resort, which includes the free dining plan. This is just a way of paying less for the plan(not free IMO).

But I already counted option #2 out. Just too much work.


Boy this free dining thing is really working for Disney.

Last year it was NOT FREE for us, we paid $980 for it(last years price). And again I understand that the dining plan does not fit everyone.
But we will get and enjoy the plan, purchased seperatly or included in a package("free").

Yes that dining plan is really working for those that "get it."

mamatojon
04-04-2006, 04:23 PM
Now the only question remains for us, is a Studio worth an extra $800(when comparing #1 with #3) over a WL standard?

That is a great question. Is there really much difference in the rooms? The balcony may be a bit bigger in the studio... are there kitchenettes in the lodge rooms? I'm pretty sure they have refrigerators anyway. To be honest, if renting out weren't a big hassle (which for you it sounds like it isn't) then I just might go with option #3 if I were just going to stay in a studio through DVC, I have looked at pics of the standard rooms in the lodge and they look really pretty, more upscale/less rustic. I love the VWL rooms, but I think it would be nice to experience something a bit different. Of course, I've never stayed at the WL hotel, the only other place I've stayed other than VWL and SSR were the Fort Wilderness cabins, so my opinion is a bit skewed. Ideally, I would love to stay at all of the WDW hotels, just for the experience! Also, you would get that daily housekeeping if you like that sort of thing.

twinmomplus2new
04-04-2006, 04:55 PM
I was in the same scemnario last year and did utilize the free dining promotion. I do remember a few thought it was a bad idea to go from DVC to a value to maximize the dining plan.

The bottem line was this last year I was out of points so I did a value and it was fine. a differant type of vacation. I liked the Asmovies just fine. However there were a few differances. Number one I utilize the pools and the complex quite a bit, as in those are of importance to me. I found the pools to be so full of people it was a turn-off to me. we used the smaller pool over there one day. It was not appealing to me.
Last year with one day passes the trip with 2 rooms 6, people and free dining was somewhere around 2200. ( Keeping in mind that we had annuals)

This year I am booked at BWV, I have no passes as well and was planning on adding the dining plan.

When the free dining plan was announced I briefly tossed around renting my points and doing a value.
When I priced it out it came to around 3,000 for 6 people 2 rooms, passes for 5 days.
If I figure the points I am using in this case 88, I always figure the value of teh points.

So $880
Passes were $1300 7 day non expiring park hoppers.
And dining plan somewhere around 580 (5 people not 6)

Brings me to $2680.

Plus my dues for these 88 points which I figure at about$ 540 is about $3220.
It came down to for me the value of peace of mind I am looking for in my vacation. was it worth the little bit of extra money to get the promo?

Honestly for a little bit more to be in a one bderoom, washer, dryer Kitchen, for me no outside hallways which I hate,
The possibility of a hurricane. ( and having access to the customer service in the lobby is huge.)

Keep in mind this is a real possibillity in August. anyone here on the Board who has been in this situatiion I am sure can attesst to the virtue of being in a deluxe property, for the reasons mentioned above, and more,

Two summers ago during Hurricane Charlie? we were confined to our rooms. I at the Boardwalk, was able to take the kids to the lobby to do some crafts, even to just walk the hallways when they got a little restless. We had access to the minifridge, microwave, etc, we were fine. had dinner, micro pop, went to bed no worries.

At the same time My aunt at POR was also confined to the room and had a stash of uncrustables and was one unhappy camper.

somthing to consider besides the money issues. I hope you have a grea ttrip and NONE of us traveling this summer have to worry about Hurricanes! :wave:

k_k_100
04-04-2006, 04:59 PM
Option #3? - Have you thought of staying at a different resort for this trip? eg. Contemp. or AKL? (or even POFQ to save $) I don't know your "Disney history" but as a DVC member you will always have the chance to stay at the Wilderness - Might be a great excuse to try something different! :)

Your situation is interesting - putting a very high "value" on the "free dining" - needing to purchase 4 adult plans.

Anewman
04-04-2006, 07:29 PM
Option #3? - Have you thought of staying at a different resort for this trip? eg. Contemp. or AKL? (or even POFQ to save $) I don't know your "Disney history" but as a DVC member you will always have the chance to stay at the Wilderness - Might be a great excuse to try something different! :)

Your situation is interesting - putting a very high "value" on the "free dining" - needing to purchase 4 adult plans.


Yes AKL will be considered IF we decide to go with option 3. We are longtime Disneyland AP holders and took our first trip to the world last summer. We stayed at WL(standard) while my parents and older sister stayed at SSR, my kids loved WL. But Animal Kingdom was considered everyones LEAST favorite park, and we did not get a chance to visit the resort. I would love to try the famous tonga toast. The family is not interested in the Contemp or GF, Poly is nice but the price rules it out.

My girl will be 16 and my boy 14 by the time this trip comes around, so yes they are charged and EAT like adults. All of us are Steak/Prime Rib and Shrimp eaters. We always order dessert and share apps, it is not because of the plan that we eat that way. Burgers and chicken are fine for lunch but we need real dinners. So I think the plan fits us perfectly.

SleepyatDVC
04-05-2006, 01:07 PM
We own 200 points at SSR and paid about $800 in dues this year.

I see three possible scenerios, and this will be the first "math" I do on the subject.

1. Stay at VWL lodge(123 points)
$1000 park tickets
$1000 air fare(last years price)
$1065 Dining plan
___________________
$3065 total out of pocket


2. Stay at VWL lodge(123 points)& pay for package @value(free dining).
$1000 park tickets
$1000 air fare(last years price)
$700 7 nights at value(but will stay at VWL)
$0000 FREE dining
___________________
$2700 total out of pocket


3. Rent out 123 points and stay at WL(standard).
$1435 7 nights WL standard
$1000 park tickets
$1000 airfare
$0000 FREE dining
$1230 Rent from points
_______________________
$2205 NET out of pocket


I am leaning towards option number 2, but I am not sure if a studio is worth $500 more for us. And it would be a bit of a hassle with checking in at value and extra set of cards with tickets on them.

I will have to consider this same comparison vs a 1 bedroom villa where the accomidations are much better, but also would rent out more points towards a deluxe stay.

I hope not to get flamed, but hoping others that have given this more thought could point out something that I could be missing.

If it would hypothetically choose one of your options based purely on a financial perspective (if I had to do it the cheapest way possible or not be able to go at all), without having to go to the trouble of renting out points, I would choose #2 but decrease the number of paid nights to 5 and make the meals stretch over the length of the trip. But this is assuming that I had transportation to and from to check in/out as someome else pointed out.

Obviously the less expensive would be to rent out points and actually STAY at the cheapest WDW resort.

Something that I have been thinking about but haven't done the "math" on it yet, would be to spend a few days, maybe 3 at WL (in your case) preferably over the more expensive weekend with the "free" DP and then switching over to the VWL (probably a 1bedroom) w/o the DP.

It can be "fun" thinking of all the options when planning a Disney trip. Happy planning and good luck what whatever you decide!

Johnnyfairplay
04-05-2006, 01:45 PM
Very interesting scenarios and ideas Anewman. If you don't check into the value resort is that going to create a problem? Will they void the free dining because of that? A guest that doesn't show shouldn'tneed the free dining in there eyes. I know the airlines have cracked down on stuff like this. Booking round trip or multiple leg flights to get a cheaper flight and then not taking one of the legs. Anyone know because this isn't a bad idea for a large family that will be going in the summer. :confused3


johnny

Anewman
04-05-2006, 02:23 PM
If it would hypothetically choose one of your options based purely on a financial perspective (if I had to do it the cheapest way possible or not be able to go at all), without having to go to the trouble of renting out points, I would choose #2 but decrease the number of paid nights to 5 and make the meals stretch over the length of the trip. But this is assuming that I had transportation to and from to check in/out as someome else pointed out.
Obviously the less expensive would be to rent out points and actually STAY at the cheapest WDW resort.

Something that I have been thinking about but haven't done the "math" on it yet, would be to spend a few days, maybe 3 at WL (in your case) preferably over the more expensive weekend with the "free" DP and then switching over to the VWL (probably a 1bedroom) w/o the DP.



Thanks I had never given that any thought, but it may help. I mean we fly from the west coast so that means late arrival and early departure. Since we miss most of the first and last days, 6 nights of the Dining plan could still mean very FULL TUMMYS.

I had thought about staying the checking into that value on Friday and starting a DVC stay on Sunday night, it would save expensive weekend points but family is not interested in swapping. They could care less if I have to drive over to Pop and check in/out.


It can be "fun" thinking of all the options when planning a Disney trip. Happy planning and good luck what whatever you decide!

FINALLY somebody understands. It is FUN, I dont get why some feel insulted when persons decide to do some math instead of just blindly stating "this is better deal than that."

Anewman
04-05-2006, 02:35 PM
Very interesting scenarios and ideas Anewman. If you don't check into the value resort is that going to create a problem? Will they void the free dining because of that? A guest that doesn't show shouldn'tneed the free dining in there eyes. I know the airlines have cracked down on stuff like this. Booking round trip or multiple leg flights to get a cheaper flight and then not taking one of the legs. Anyone know because this isn't a bad idea for a large family that will be going in the summer. :confused3


johnny
You NEED to check in, Checking out is questionable. You get your room key at check in, The dining plan credits and Park tickets are attached to the room keys.

I got the idea from a fellow DVCer(not a DISer) that booked a VALUE during last years free dining when DVC did not even allow purchasing the Dining Plan. He did check in and instructed front desk to cancel mousekeeping, he undid beds and put Do not disturb sign on the door. He did go do an express check out but claims he did not need to. For his 5 night stay he had no issues. He actually paid more for the value than it would have cost if DVC sold us the plan, it was only he and his wife.

Johnnyfairplay
04-05-2006, 04:53 PM
You NEED to check in, Checking out is questionable. You get your room key at check in, The dining plan credits and Park tickets are attached to the room keys.

I got the idea from a fellow DVCer(not a DISer) that booked a VALUE during last years free dining when DVC did not even allow purchasing the Dining Plan. He did check in and instructed front desk to cancel mousekeeping, he undid beds and put Do not disturb sign on the door. He did go do an express check out but claims he did not need to. For his 5 night stay he had no issues. He actually paid more for the value than it would have cost if DVC sold us the plan, it was only he and his wife.



Thanks, that is what I was thinking, that you needed to check in. This is a good idea and one I'll run numbers from it in the future. You always need to run a variety of options to see which works the best. Your math :teacher: seems right on to me and the ideas are very good ones. I hope you have a great trip. :thumbsup2


johnny

mamatojon
04-05-2006, 07:39 PM
FINALLY somebody understands. It is FUN, I dont get why some feel insulted when persons decide to do some math instead of just blindly stating "this is better deal than that."

Hey, wait a minute, I understand! LOL. I am a compulsive planner. I even plan trips I am not intending to take, trips for other people, etc. I love options. :thumbsup2 Hope I didn't come across as dismissing, I really do "get" you. :goodvibes