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View Full Version : More trouble than it's worth?


Miss Inga Depointe
05-17-2007, 05:24 AM
I'm just curious. I'm considering trying the dining plan but I've seen so much confusion with it in the parks. Interchanges that took way too long because of arguments and/or misunderstandings about what is allowed etc.

I really don't feel like hassles and would rather just skip it if it detracts from the magic.

If it doesn't, well great! I'll be sorry I haven't done it yet!

THERESA522
05-17-2007, 05:48 AM
We just returned last week and thought, that with kids, the dining plan was worth EVERY bit of planning (and every penny)!

We had hardly any problems planning or getting reservations, but we did make the reservations 6 months in advance. And there was not much confusion at all.

I have to say though, that if it was just DH and I, I don't know if I'd pay for it. There were plenty of time we went to dinner not hungry. The DDP gives you a lot of food. With kids that have to eat 3 meals a day, it was worth it.

DisneyJimbo
05-17-2007, 05:50 AM
I agree that there seems to be alot of confusion among guests about the plan. It sounds simple enough on the surface, but as they say...the devil is in the details . :headache:

My family and I decided to give it a try on our upcoming trip, though. It's going to allow us to eat at alot of restaurants we probably wouldn't have been able to afford otherwise. Plus we've thrown in a few character meals, which has my DD very excited. :banana:

I've done alot of reading about the plan (thanks DIS boards!!! :) ), so I think I have a pretty good understanding of how it works. I just hope all the CMs I encounter understand it as well as I do! :rotfl2:

I'd say give it a try once, become familiar with the details, and see how it works for you and your family.:thumbsup2

patsal
05-17-2007, 09:06 AM
Honestly, I don't really see what hte confusion would be about unless you were holding all restaurants to what one generous one may have given you. That said, if you go expecting your CS to be any combo or entree, a medium beverage and a dessert you'll be fine. If you go expecting an entree, side, large soda, and dessert you will be frustrated since some give this and others do not. Expect what is spelled out and be grateful if you get extras, do not expect it from everywhere. For TS some places let you have a smoothie or milkshake as your beverage, some will tell you it counts as dessert. At TS just ask, at CS you can ask before ordering to avoid any misunderstandings. Examples of confusion arise when you go to Casey's, some have reported that they were able to get hotdog, fries, soda and brownie while others said hotdog, soda, brownie only. FWIW it should be hotdog, soda, brownie since Casey's does not have combos so anyone who got fries scored a bonus. Best value of course not bt why pay OOP when you already paid for a plan if Casey's is what you want. As for snack plan on anything under $4.00 but know there may be exceptions. Overall it isn't really that hard and some like to make things mroe complicated than they really are!

girli565
05-17-2007, 09:17 AM
Honestly, I don't really see what hte confusion would be about unless you were holding all restaurants to what one generous one may have given you. That said, if you go expecting your CS to be any combo or entree, a medium beverage and a dessert you'll be fine. If you go expecting an entree, side, large soda, and dessert you will be frustrated since some give this and others do not. Expect what is spelled out and be grateful if you get extras, do not expect it from everywhere. For TS some places let you have a smoothie or milkshake as your beverage, some will tell you it counts as dessert. At TS just ask, at CS you can ask before ordering to avoid any misunderstandings. Examples of confusion arise when you go to Casey's, some have reported that they were able to get hotdog, fries, soda and brownie while others said hotdog, soda, brownie only. FWIW it should be hotdog, soda, brownie since Casey's does not have combos so anyone who got fries scored a bonus. Best value of course not bt why pay OOP when you already paid for a plan if Casey's is what you want. As for snack plan on anything under $4.00 but know there may be exceptions. Overall it isn't really that hard and some like to make things mroe complicated than they really are!

Love the way this is phrased! And it's very true. If you go in expecting something and you don't get it, you will be very disappointed.

On an OT kind of note... you've lost 71lbs?!! That's amazing!! How'd you do it?

KKB
05-17-2007, 09:50 AM
But Mom felt it to be a good value, and said it would be a LOT of hard work to spend less than that...and not nearly as much fun!

If you read these boards regularly (I have been since Jan. when I booked, and the restaurant thread religiously since deciding to do DDP), you will be well prepared for using the DDP!

I am also a planaholic, so this is pure joy for me!!!:lmao:

lustergirl
05-17-2007, 11:27 AM
Unfortunately sometimes all you hear is the "bad" about something and not enough "good" things. I would say go with the DDP and do your research, ask questions on these boards, etc. We have always enjoyed the dining plan and when it first came available I was confused as well but now I think it is a wonderful thing for a family to enjoy. I think the pros outweight the cons tremendously- some may disagree with me however, everone is entitled to their own opinion.

Willow16
05-17-2007, 11:43 AM
We went in April for the first time and used the DDP. The best suggestion I can offer, if you plan to get the DDP, is to ask before ordering CS/snack what is included. We did that most times even if we thought we understood as things could be different at different places. Overall, it was a great experience and I would get the DDP again.

pezpam
05-17-2007, 04:30 PM
Previous posters are right - read what you're supposed to get beforehand and ask if you have any questions and you'll be just fine. The only confusions I've seen involve people who didn't stop to understand the plan ahead of time, like the guy ahead of me who had loaded up various breakfast items at a food court and was insisting that since this is what his family ate for breakfast, it should count as their CS credit for breakfast - he had WAY more than what was allowed and no polite explanation from the CM would make him happy. If you get an extra somewhere, take it as a bit of pixie dust, not as what you should expect everywhere.

So, read, ask, and enjoy extras for what they are and you'll have a good DDP experience. :)

dandave
05-17-2007, 05:09 PM
Some people simply will not read the DDP brochure. I am one of those people. Sure, I glanced over it, but I never bothered to read it. Last September, I fully expected to get a free side with each CS meal, because that's what the old vouchers allowed. Some places gave us those expected sides and some didn't. I never argued with those that didn't, because it honestly wasn't that important. I read the brochure after I got home, and thanked goodness that I never argued for the sides.
Some people, on the other hand, are just dumber than rocks. I'm sorry, but that's the truth. We are surrounded by these people and, let's face it, many of them follow us to WDW. These people may read something like ( and this is totally per my imagination, mind you) : "you may exchange two (2) Table Service meal credits for either one Signature Dining Experience at one of WDW's finest restaurants, or for one Disney Dinner Show" and never grasp the fact that they could have also used those credits for two (2) separate one (1) Table Service reataurants.
Is this inability to comprehend the DP due to some failure on the part of WDW? I don't think so, but that's just me.
It reminds me of the warning on a certain hemorrhoid cream and why it was necessary to add it to the instructions: "Do not take orally."

LizinSTL
05-17-2007, 05:34 PM
:) I'm just curious. I'm considering trying the dining plan but I've seen so much confusion with it in the parks. Interchanges that took way too long because of arguments and/or misunderstandings about what is allowed etc.

I really don't feel like hassles and would rather just skip it if it detracts from the magic.

If it doesn't, well great! I'll be sorry I haven't done it yet!

The DDP is really very simple. If you read the brochure and/or take the time to read the details of it here on the dis before you go, you won't have any trouble at all. Unless you are a combative personality that likes to argue for the sake of trying to get "over on Disney" then you won't be wasting any time in the parks w/ that. CMs are very accommodating... Is this covered on the DDP as a CS credit? Yes- thank you :) No? Ok, please charge it to my room, thank you. :)

Sure, there's a slight learning curve as you get the hang of it but by the second day it's no problem.

Look, it isn't rocket science- For CS you get a drink, entree or combo, and a dessert at lunch or dinner. For a snack you get nearly anything under $4 and most of it has a DDP logo on the price. If it doesn't, ask. If they tell you no, then either pay for it or choose something else- no sense in arguing.
For table service you get a non-alcoholic beverage, appetizer, entree, dessert. Ask the server if you have any questions, they are more than happy to help you. Anyone who is arguing about it needs a vacation, imo :rotfl:

Miss Inga Depointe
05-18-2007, 06:35 AM
Thank you for all of your responses everyone!

I understand about when people complain about things being confusing but they haven't read the brochure. I tend to be one of those people! ;)

I'll read about it and see. Sounds like from reading other threads it could be more of a pain for people who aren't doing it (and have to get behind those people who don't understand it!)

The Sweetness
05-18-2007, 06:48 AM
Whether or not you use the DDp will only effect ((maybe)) how much you eat. If you plan on having TS daily, the plan may work to your bennefit from a budget standpoint, unless you are able to save a load on your resort. W/ the package that goes along w the DDP, you are also paying rack rate for your resort, and buying at least a 1 day park ticket pp. This isnt just the rules for the free DDp promo, thats just the way it is.

If you decde that you are better of without the package, and still plan on eating TS daily, you still need to make ADR (IMO) As early as 180 days before your trip. Popular places get booked 6 months ahead. No kidding. Wait untill later, or skip the ADR, and you may have a hard time getting into less popular places as well, esp at the most common ding times for dinner. I hear that lunch ADR are easier to snag:confused3

Whatever you choose, have a great trip:goodvibes

powellrj
05-18-2007, 08:15 AM
Its really easy once you take a deep breath and just go with the flow!!

Last year was the 1st year we used it and I wanted to make sure we got the most bang for our buck! I had us sharing meals and eating at places we didn't like just to maximize the plan. My DH finally stepped in and said there will be no meal sharing and he will NOT eat at TANGIERINE CAFE no matter how much of a better deal it was. He HATES Moroccan food and will not eat it just because its a better deal on the DDP.

Once we decided to just make 1 TS ADR everyday and just eat CS at the places we enjoy, it was really easy!! We had wonderful meals, saved a bundle and the kids still talk about all the new and different foods they tried. My DS discovered he LOVES mussels and my DD loves turkey legs (even though it was a poor use of a CS credit!!!)

If you have any questions, just ask. We learned that most kiosks don't take DDP for credits, you can order dessert samplers meant for 2 if 2 people share it, sometimes you can get a smoothie, sometimes you can't!

The main thing to remember is relax, your on vacation!! IF you forget, just give my DH a call and he will remind you, its just a vacation, its not rocket science!!

NMW
05-18-2007, 08:41 AM
The dining plan is not confusing at all! It's remarkably simple and any CM can help you. We did not encounter 1 CM in Oct thast was not very well versed in the DDP. :)

scoobndolliesmom
05-18-2007, 08:56 AM
The first time we used it was for free. We had a great experience with it. Now we are using it and would not do it any other way with our family. The cm were more than accommodating with any questions that we had.:cheer2:

dsnymomof4
05-18-2007, 09:09 AM
We 've used it on 3 trips now (one free) and have never had any problems at all. The servers now are very knowlegable about what's included and what's not. And at most of the CS places and snack carts, items that are included on the DP are clearly marked with a DP symbol. It's great! I would definitely recommend it.

solferino
05-18-2007, 09:24 AM
Last year my IL's and DH were hesitant to get it, but with some gentle encouragement we did it. And pretty much all my IL's have talked about since then was what a great deal it was and how easy it was to use. When we decided to go again MIL was "we are doing the meal plan again, right?! :thumbsup2

I think the hardest thing about it (for me) is deciding where to eat. But the planning is fun fun fun!

mommytothreeboys
05-18-2007, 09:36 AM
We used the DDP a few weeks ago for our family of 5 and loved it. I didn't find it confusing at all. All the CMs I encountered were willing to help and not at all put out by questions. I know it may not be for everyone, but unless the price changes drastically, we would not go without it. Just do your research and don't (like many others have said) expect to get more than the plan allows. It is a very generous plan in my opinion. Enjoy!

Tink10
05-18-2007, 10:18 AM
The DDP is wonderful & makes our vacations that much more easy.......The food is paid for & Disney states what's included.....No confusion whatsoever.

The confusion arises when people start micro-managing their use of the plan.

Is a smoothie included?
Are the add on lobster tails included?
Are the bottomless shakes included?

And the list goes on & on. My advice is order what you want & if it's not included, they'll tell you. It really is kind of crazy for people start planning every appetizer, entree, dessert & beverage for every family member at every meal. Now THAT would be confusing......

Tastes change, menus change & policies change and it's wise not to make definate plans based on what others may have experienced at WDW....

:thumbsup2

girli565
05-18-2007, 10:29 AM
I love it. The first time we used it was last month when I planned a trip for my parents. Now, my parents tend to not really understand things because when something contains too many rules they just blank. even my parents understood the DDP. I didn't have to explain anything to them! Not once. and we even had dinner at Cali Grill and used 2 TS credits and they even understood that!

It's really simple and all the CM's really help you out. Don't get discouraged, just do what's best financially fo ryou and your group and you'll be fine, whether that's using the DDP or not.

:)

budbeerlady
05-18-2007, 12:14 PM
We have done it 2x and love it! It isnt very hard, you get dessert with cs lunch or dinner, not with breakfast. A ts you get an appetizer, entree and dessert per person. A snack is just that, a snack.

The problem comes in when someone gets something special and everyone wants it! We have never been offered any sort of special drink (like a smoothie) with our plan. I dont expect, I wont argue for it and I dont even order it unless I am paying OOP for it.

For us the cost of the plan is our dinner per person, then the snack and cs are free! We dont eat to maximize our money saved. We eat where ever we want to eat.

patsal
05-18-2007, 02:04 PM
Love the way this is phrased! And it's very true. If you go in expecting something and you don't get it, you will be very disappointed.

On an OT kind of note... you've lost 71lbs?!! That's amazing!! How'd you do it?

Portion control and exercise, it's been one heck of a ride!

JesseDisney
05-18-2007, 09:57 PM
Do they give each member of the pary a DDP card or wut? wut do you use?

The Sweetness
05-19-2007, 05:30 AM
Wjhatever you do, enjoy your trip. I imagine CMs at TS and even CS will be willing to be at least a little flexible to help you keep your meals reasonable (we already know you can order a burger and 86 the bun, and also sub out fries for carrots, if you want ) Maybe you can borrow a few fries from someone else in your fam:laughing: