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View Full Version : NEED MAJOR HELP- disney resort w/ free dining or Dolphin at 125 a night?


DonaldsGrl103
04-07-2007, 06:25 PM
Hey everyone,
My cousin booked the dolphin resort at 125 a night when the dis had that promotion going. However, now that free dining is coming out she is wondering what is the better savings for her. It is her, husband, 3, 5, 7, and her 9 year old son who is my godson and who was going to stay with me at BWV since I have the room in my studio. Now, that free dining is coming out she is wondering what she should do? She has never been to disney with her kids and cant afford to go every year so she wants it to be MAGICAL! Also, she says she needs a resort with a great pool and restaurants to impress her husband who is not such a big disney fan:cool1:
So, if she goes with free dining her options aint that big since there will be 6 of them, if she takes my godson with her. She could only do all star family suites or????
any advice is appreciated

hockey mom
04-07-2007, 06:29 PM
with kids her age I would do all star movies -2 rooms- free dining. Her kids will love the toy story section. Her husband will love the food and 2 bathrooms.

minnie61650
04-07-2007, 06:30 PM
Sorry, the family Suites were not included in free dining last year.

There is a rumor that the cabins at FW will not be included in free dining this year.

$125 a night at the Dolpin is a real bargin!

Have fun at Disney!

DonaldsGrl103
04-07-2007, 06:59 PM
Yeah but she aint sure if her husband will be impressed by the value resorts. When he looked at the dolphin he was like ok good at least it looks like something worthwhile to work for!! Also, she thinks her kids would be impressed with a slide at the pool. uhhh All these issues:goodvibes

Alicnwondrln
04-07-2007, 07:08 PM
Hey everyone,
My cousin booked the dolphin resort at 125 a night when the dis had that promotion going. However, now that free dining is coming out she is wondering what is the better savings for her. It is her, husband, 3, 5, 7, and her 9 year old son who is my godson and who was going to stay with me at BWV since I have the room in my studio. Now, that free dining is coming out she is wondering what she should do? She has never been to disney with her kids and cant afford to go every year so she wants it to be MAGICAL! Also, she says she needs a resort with a great pool and restaurants to impress her husband who is not such a big disney fan:cool1:
So, if she goes with free dining her options aint that big since there will be 6 of them, if she takes my godson with her. She could only do all star family suites or????
any advice is appreciated


One reason we skipped the swan last year was it wasnt included in the DDP plus we couldnt do DME with it
It is agreat resort though.

warriorboy648
04-07-2007, 07:28 PM
We had the same problem. We need 2 rooms and have 5 kids. (No one in my family would stay at a value resort and someone who isn't into Disney would probably hate it!!) Anyway I figured out the difference in the Swan/Dolphin price verses rack rate and found out that we could eat at least a CS and TS meal and come out even. So I figured that staying at the SWan/Dolphin is like getting free dining without "big brother " telling us what we can and can not eat. (Please DDP lovers, don't get mad!! My DH doesn't like to make plans.)

Good Luck!!

nutsforgolf
04-07-2007, 07:34 PM
please tell me how you got the $125 rate for the end of august?

chasgoose
04-07-2007, 07:46 PM
I wouldn't do it. The $125 rate at the Dolphin is better than any savings she could get from free dining. By the time she adds herr 9 year old to their group so he could get the free dining, the added cost in getting the extra rooms (not to mention the downgrades in hotel quality to the Moderate or Value level that would probably also have to happen since the Dolphin, in terms of hotel quality, is probably nicer than most of the Deluxes) would negate any savings the free dining might have given her. It's worth calling and pricing the free dining package out (check the price for two rooms or one room at an Epcot deluxe with her son not on free dining) and comparing it to her rate at the Dolphin with some sort of estimate of what dining would cost them there, but I can guarantee you that her current situation will give her the better deal.

minnie61650
04-07-2007, 07:58 PM
Remember in order to qualify for free dining she would have rack rate.

A value resort rack rate is $82 a night. 2 rooms needed = $164 a night.

There is no pool slide at a value.

Upgrade to a mod resort.

Mod resort rack rate $145 a night--2 rooms = $290 a night.

The Dolphin would be $165 a night less than 2 rooms at a mod.


The Dolphin is a real 4 star hotel.

Deluxe but not as expensive as Disney's deluxe resorts.



The heavenly beds are ...well heavenly.

The Grotto pool and hot tubs are fun and relaxing.

Plus Epcot and MGM are just a short boat ride or walk away!

From Epcot hop on the monorail and head on over to the MK!


http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a175/minnie61650/swan100.jpg

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a175/minnie61650/dolp2.jpg

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a175/minnie61650/dolp43.jpg

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a175/minnie61650/dolp5.jpg

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a175/minnie61650/dolph21.jpg

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a175/minnie61650/swan25.jpg

*note photos are from allearsnet

BTW
I am going through the same desion myself.

I booked a room for September at the $125 rate.

I told my friends about the great deal with free dining I got year and she wants to stay at All Star Music with us if they offer the free dining deal this year.

So if she really is serious I will book 2 rooms at Music but if she can't come for some reason I am keeping my ressies at the Swan and will pay for our dining.

Have fun at Disney wherever you choose to stay!:wizard:

Blondie
04-07-2007, 08:09 PM
If you are looking to impress, I wouldn't stay at the value resorts then.

The S/D are deluxe resorts in an excellent location. Some of the best views we've ever had were at the Swan and Dolphin. The only thing you won't get there is all Disney all the time. It's not plastered all over the place like it is at the other resorts. I don't need nor want Disney theming 24/7. I can get that at the parks. It's nice to return from the hustle and bustle of the parks to a nice quiet place where you can tune it out for a while.

I think free dining is an excellent marketing strategy Disney has come up with. Charge the people rack rates and make them think they are getting something for free, when in reality, you are not. You're paying for your food via the rack rate. I also think a lot of food gets wasted. There's no way I want to or can eat all that food every day while on vacation! Some days it's just too hot to eat big heavy meals (depending on the season ofcourse.)

rcraw45425
04-07-2007, 08:15 PM
We have never stayed at the Dolphin, but have stayed at the Swan and would not hesitate to stay there again if we had a great rate like $125. The Swan was very nice, quiet, rooms were decent sized. Plus, I have been reading that to get free dining you now have to book 5 nights. There's no way we could do that since our girls will start back to school on the 8th of AUgust. I also feel that the dining would be a waste of food for us, not to mention we would have one child that qualifies as an adult. We don't eat $130 a day, as we skip breakfast and eat CS for lunch, often sharing those and even dinner portions. DDE works better for us.

nutsforgolf
04-07-2007, 08:16 PM
Please tell me how to get that rate, I too would book the Swan over a value resort at that rate

cattroxx
04-07-2007, 08:33 PM
I totally agree with Blondie - the dining plan is just a marketing strategy to fill rooms at low vacancy times for Disney - the rack rates are not worth it when you got the best price that is ever offered for Swan/Dolphin...and those hotels are much better quality than a value resort, and dare I say, the moderates, in terms of hotel amenities and furnishings etc.

In my experience, kids are picky eaters and the Dining Plan is never a good idea when they're involved. You'll be free to be flexible with your eating and not pressured to 'use your points' like you are on the plan. So, enjoy - and the muchmuch better TV channel selection alone is a plus at the S/D. If anyone gets sick or it rains - this can be a lifesaver.

And your husband has to love the proximity to Disney restaurants and entertainment, EPCOT included! if he's a foodie, I recommend Bluezoo at the Dolphin and Flying Fish Cafe at Boardwalk.

hope we helped! have a great time - and S/D recently remodeled so should be extra nice!

Blondie
04-07-2007, 08:39 PM
Please tell me how to get that rate, I too would book the Swan over a value resort at that rate

The promotion is over I think. You had to book certain dates by a certain time.

dunnhorn
04-07-2007, 09:23 PM
Key question - are you fitting all of your family in one room at the Swan/Dolphin? If the answer is yes, then no brainer - stay there because it is right across from Boardwalk and closest to your friend.

A word about the DDP. Yes it is a fantastic deal, however IT IS A LOT OF FOOD. In order to get "your money's worth" you have to use your TS credit for dinner every night, and I consider that you get the counter service for free. So if you mainly eat counter service, or TS once every few days it won't be that big of a savings. So - lets say you *were* paying for it - the value is $38.99/day for adults - and in order to "eat" more than that you need to be eating at a sit-down place every night. It can get old.

The deal with DDP is that it is really a fantastic deal for the kids, because at $10.99 per kid per day - you will find that you will spend this on one sit-down meal alone. However unless that sit down meal is a buffet, you will find the SAME menu and after the 2nd meal your kids will be really tired of it. Counter service can be much more flexible.

So - my advice - is that if you were getting only 1 room for the family, then stick with your plans and lean towards eating at mainly counter service places or sit down restaurants on the lower end of the price scale (MGM has some fantastic ones.) If you do a buffet, go for the latest breakfast seating because then you'll get both breakfast and lunch offerings for less money.

If you are getting 2 rooms, then check out Port Orleans French Quarter - we think it is the best moderate for many reasons. Also - Port Orleans Riverside - some rooms have 2 double beds + trundle - but I think you still have one more kid than this and they probably won't let you put a whole fam in one room.

There are All Star Family Suites - not a great pool, but decent room with a kitchen.

dunnhorn
04-07-2007, 09:27 PM
Okay - I re-read the post, and I am thinking that they should evaluate room rate at Port Orleans Riverside with trundle (I can't quote that - maybe others here can) and that wil fit 2 adults, 3 kids. She'll get the DDP for everyone, and the 9 year old can eat on the 3 year old's plan (under the kids menu - although I have heard that the counter service ones don't really matter that much.) If they decide to stay at POR, get a second car pass for her so they can park at Boardwalk without question when they come visit you.

DonaldsGrl103
04-07-2007, 09:42 PM
Please tell me how to get that rate, I too would book the Swan over a value resort at that rate

It was a promotion here on the disboards for the swan and dolphin but you had to book by feb 15 I think!!
Sorry

DonaldsGrl103
04-07-2007, 09:44 PM
Thanks everyone for your helpful responses. I told my cousin that this was the best idea. How can you beat getting a deluxe resort for 125 a night?? Its unheard of especially in the boardwalk area!

NMAmy
04-07-2007, 09:48 PM
Thanks everyone for your helpful responses. I told my cousin that this was the best idea. How can you beat getting a deluxe resort for 125 a night?? Its unheard of especially in the boardwalk area!

I agree! I'd pick the Dolphin over the All Stars any day. I can eat a lot of food paying OOP with the savings.

Plus, I don't think I'll ever move away from the Epcot area again. Nothing beats being able to walk to Epcot for a meal or a margarita. ;)

DonaldsGrl103
04-07-2007, 09:50 PM
I guess dolphin wins!!:goodvibes

rie'smom
04-08-2007, 12:16 AM
They'll love the Dolphin. We stayed there last Thanksgiving. It's beautiful.

IWISHFORDISNEY
04-08-2007, 07:08 AM
Stick with the Dolphin. Plus with children that age I dont know how many sit down meals your going to attend. Also if they are not sit down type people it might be a waste. The other thing is they could avoid the free dining crowds if they tweak it by a few days. The Dolfin is a very nice deluxe hotel as opposed to getting a value or mod.

OhioDisneyLover
04-08-2007, 10:41 AM
You will love the Dolphin. It's incredible. We've stayed there a few times and I actually enjoy it just as much as the other Disney Deluxe hotels. An added plus for us are the Sheraton points that we get for staying there. :cool1:

We got a rate of $179 at the Dolphin for September and I thought that was great! I'm jealous...wish I got the $125!!

nbodyhome
04-08-2007, 11:07 AM
In that case, I'd stay with the Dolphin - it is a great resort in a wonderful location with the best beds on property. :)