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View Full Version : VERY torn - should we DDP or not? Special diet needs....


sleepingbean
05-17-2007, 02:51 PM
Last time we went, we would have saved at least $300 if we would have done the dining plan BUT we also didn't eat on those restrictions. We would have Tableservice meals twice a day. We found counterservice to be nearly impossible with the two little girls, especially since one has food restrictions. We had to wait SO LONG to get food at counterservice over the lunch hour, and then we had to wait even LONGER because of her special dietary needs. It was the only unpleasant aspect of eating on our whole trip.
So, we love doing the character meals, and the Dining plan seems like a good option if you're going to do one of those each day, but I am not thrilled about feeling obligated to eat counterservice and a snack for the rest of the day. And finding snacks that my daughter can eat in DisneyWorld can be a challenge. It can be done, but life is so much easier with reservations and call ahead to the Chef?

So , in our shoes, would you recommend we do the dining plan and save the money, or eat Tableservice 2x a day, spend the extra and feel relaxed during all the meals?!

:confused3

dandave
05-17-2007, 03:02 PM
Should you "eat Tableservice 2x a day, spend the extra and feel relaxed during all the meals" ?
Absolutely. I never knowingly pay anything to be miserable and worried, but I pay a great deal to be relaxed and happy.

reeeoga
05-17-2007, 03:12 PM
Can you use the CS for Breakfast? Would that be easier? You could then get the DDP, use the TS for EVenings and OOP for a TS at lunch.

dzorn
05-17-2007, 03:18 PM
Depending on the age of the little ones I would still consider the dining plan. One character meal at dinner covers the cost of the plan for kids. You could then OOP for cheaper breakfast at a sit down.

Denise in MI

LizinSTL
05-17-2007, 04:22 PM
Last time we went, we would have saved at least $300 if we would have done the dining plan BUT we also didn't eat on those restrictions. We would have Tableservice meals twice a day. We found counterservice to be nearly impossible with the two little girls, especially since one has food restrictions. We had to wait SO LONG to get food at counterservice over the lunch hour, and then we had to wait even LONGER because of her special dietary needs. It was the only unpleasant aspect of eating on our whole trip.
So, we love doing the character meals, and the Dining plan seems like a good option if you're going to do one of those each day, but I am not thrilled about feeling obligated to eat counterservice and a snack for the rest of the day. And finding snacks that my daughter can eat in DisneyWorld can be a challenge. It can be done, but life is so much easier with reservations and call ahead to the Chef?

So , in our shoes, would you recommend we do the dining plan and save the money, or eat Tableservice 2x a day, spend the extra and feel relaxed during all the meals?!

:confused3


A friend visited WDW last year with a dd who has celiac disease. They stayed offsite and therefore were not eligible for the DDP but they did eat a lot of counter service meals on their trip. They had a contact w/ Disney dining that helped them plan their meals (even CS) based on the dietary needs. They just touched base the day before and they had appropriate foods available at that location (gluten free pizza or mac n cheese or chicken nuggets) for them to purchase when they went there for their meals. I know that Disney went out of their way to accommodate them. I'd think that the DDP would be more cost-effective and since they'll accommodate you, even at CS, it could be something to consider. Check on the disabilities board for the name/number of the contact for allergies/special dining needs and give her a call. See if they can work w/ you on the CS meals.

sleepingbean
05-17-2007, 09:11 PM
What is OOP?

Thanks Liz! I will look over at that forum (I didn't know there was one!)

LErin26
05-17-2007, 09:38 PM
OOP= Out Of Pocket

MBELSANTI
05-17-2007, 09:39 PM
What is OOP?

Thanks Liz! I will look over at that forum (I didn't know there was one!)

That means "out of pocket" as in paying out of pocket for certain meals.

sleepingbean
05-18-2007, 06:55 AM
Yes, on the days we eat breakfast CS at the hotel, it may work out okay if we just pay OOP (I learned a new acronym!) for the other days. I think we may still come out saving money, but I'll have to go crunch the numbers a bit better. I will be sure not to stress us all out by feeling like we HAVE to stick to the Dining Plan. We'll just be free to use it or OOP it. That will be much more relaxing
:thumbsup2

LuckyMamaInDE
05-18-2007, 07:55 AM
Our 12yo dd was diagnosed with multiple food allergies (soy which is in EVERYTHING, sesame, peanut, hazelnut) 30 days before our Easter trip. Brenda Bennett (the special dining contact---her email is on the other computer) was so helpful. She sent me several documents first, then emailed me ingredients lists for specific foods once dd and I had a chance to go through the information and the menus from allearsnet. The head chef for the Contemporary also emailed me and met me the first morning we were there.

We were on the dining plan (as in previous trips). I made sure that we hit counterservice places EARLY, like 11:15 for lunch or 5ish for dinner, so that we had time to check the ingredients binder and allow for extra prep time. For example, at Cosmic Ray's we had to wait 10 extra minutes for freshly steamed carrots (the dressing the carrots are tossed with had two of her allergens...)

Table service meals were more relaxed, though longer than in the past because of talking with the chef before ordering.

When we return we'll most likely purchase the ddp and supplement with oop meals, just as we did this trip.

sleepingbean
05-18-2007, 08:24 AM
LuckyMama, you're right about Brenda. She is great! We got some very helpful info from her before our last trip, but we didn't do the DDP last time, so we ended up doing TS twice a day, and CS once a day. We must eat a lot! LOL

But really, the only noon time CS we tried in the park was such a disaster in terms of it taking FOREVER!!! It was really stressful. Going early would be the way to go, but we just aren't hungry that early . Difficult decision! But CS for breakfast at Animal Kingdom Lodge worked out really well for us, and I imagine that would be the case at the other resorts too?

I'll have to post to see if I can get feedback on the CS at Coronado Springs and Wilderness Lodge (we're trying to decide between those two). The Mara at Animal Kingdom was so great for us, that I am tempted to go back to that resort again just for that convenience of feeding our diet restrictions downstairs. It was always pretty fast and just great for breakfast!

:)

LizinSTL
05-18-2007, 05:27 PM
LuckyMama, you're right about Brenda. She is great! We got some very helpful info from her before our last trip, but we didn't do the DDP last time, so we ended up doing TS twice a day, and CS once a day. We must eat a lot! LOL

But really, the only noon time CS we tried in the park was such a disaster in terms of it taking FOREVER!!! It was really stressful. Going early would be the way to go, but we just aren't hungry that early . Difficult decision! But CS for breakfast at Animal Kingdom Lodge worked out really well for us, and I imagine that would be the case at the other resorts too?

I'll have to post to see if I can get feedback on the CS at Coronado Springs and Wilderness Lodge (we're trying to decide between those two). The Mara at Animal Kingdom was so great for us, that I am tempted to go back to that resort again just for that convenience of feeding our diet restrictions downstairs. It was always pretty fast and just great for breakfast!

:)


I'd imagine you'd experience the same level of accomodations at any resort on the property from value to deluxe.

I know that my friend was able to let the chef she touched base with daily on their trip know that they'd be visiting the MK tomorrow and he'd suggest they dine at a particular location (like Cosmic Rays) , then he'd ask the child what she wanted and he made sure that it was available for her when they went to the restaurant- counter service or table service- it didn't matter. If she said- I would like PB&J- he made sure that there was a gluten free pb&j "uncrustable" style sandwich kids meal with her name on it ready to go so if her sister ordered the same meal- it looked very similar.