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View Full Version : Back from WL...first time using the DDP!


auntie
05-27-2007, 10:48 PM
Just returned last night from a wonderful week at the WL. This was our first experience using the Disney Dining Plan. Have been to Disney many times and never used the dining plan. Although it has been four years since our last visit. I was somewhat apprehensive as I've read many conflicting posts regarding it's use. I am thrilled to report back that we LOVED it! My husband kept saying to me "This plan you got us is great!" (as if I invented it!) He especially like not having to open his wallet all the time! I was somewhat hesitant to add it to our reservation..but I'm so glad I did now. I've never been one to plan out 7 days of ADR's. Always just made a few and played the rest day by day. I realized after cancelling our trip scheduled for last Sept..during the "free dining"...that not planing ADR's whether using the plan or not, wasn't an option. I made our room reservation back in March..and had no trouble securing ADR's even during the next two months. That being said, I did see some unhappy people trying to get reservations for the same day, or as walk ups, and they were not acccomodated. I am also happy to report that we had NO mix ups of meals being charged to the rooms. I was somewhat concerned about this, as I had read several posts here on the boards regarding this. Given that we had two rooms with two different reservations numbers, I thought this might be more apt to happen. We had to present two cards each time we dined(as my older son accompanied us, and he had his own reservation). It was a non-issue. Very easily handled. When they asked for the card we instructed them as to four for one card..and one on the other. It is indicated on the cards themselves...and I always checked the receipts which indicated the number or credits still available to us. I am glad that I did read about those who had problems so as to be aware of any possible confusion..but luckily we experience none of that We tried many restaurants that we might not otherwise have eaten in. We ate in Mexico(which my daughter was looking forward to...and Canada. Everyone here on the Dis was correct. Le Cellier was GREAT! We ate there for lunch, and I thought I might be dissapointed as I wasn't able to secure a dinner reservation. The food was delicious. My husband loved his steak, and the cheese soup was delicious. I was a bit nervous with the plan at first and wanted to make sure we had enough credits..silly me...didn't realize how much food you actually ate. We still had snack credits on our last day..so we took some things to the airport! We inadvertantly missed our Lilo and Stich meal(which when I saw what I call the "screaming mimi factor" at Ohana's..I wasn't sorry we missed it. We were able to get right into Kona Cafe..and I enjoyed the Tonga toast. I was surprised when I walked over to the check in and they said we could have a table in 5 minutes. When I called the dining line the day before trying to book a table there was nothing. We figured on eating in Captain Cooks, but thought we check with the hostess at Kona first. No problem. Go figure. We paid out of pocket for this meal and used two table service credits to book a meal at Brown Derby..which was available on our last night at 7:20. Another place we would not have otherwise eaten in. While we enjoyed this meal...I don't think I'd eat dinner there again. Maybe a lunch..but I wouldn't use to TS credits on it. We also enjoyed the Liberty Tree tavern for dinner..and were actually quite surprised that we enjoyed the meal as much as we did. Our server, was not as attentive as we would have liked..and seemed surprised when we wanted seconds on the all you can eat meal. The cobbler for desert was enjoyed by all. We ate at Prime Time in MGM, and while we've done this before, it was nice to all have our own appetizers and deserts. Of course we all switch and share them anyway! My kids thought we were living like Royalty with all the food. My younger son definetly tried foods he wouldn't have ordered at home, not wanting to waste money on something he might not like. Everyone is already planing the restaurants they want to eat in for the next trip. I do hope the plan is still available and at such a reasonable price. Considering that we are feeding teenage and adult sized famiy of 5. $40.00 including the tip was a good deal for the amount of food.
I have to admit that I am glad that I did make the ADR's. Even if you are not on the meal plan...it does make sense to have them, so as not to risk being turned away or disspointed once at a restaurant. It really seemed so random..at Whispering Canyon..they wouldn't even take a walk up..and yet at Kona Kafe..we waited 5 minutes. Still, I wouldn't chance it either way. Counter service didn't seem an issue. One small quirk...regarding the counter service meals for lunch or dinner at the Roaring Forks in the WL. If you ordered a hot entree..they were accompanied by fries..then your beverage and desert. If you order one of the delicious sandwhiches...you didn't get a side of fries(or chips) or so much as a pickle..just the beverage and desert. Yet the next day..we would order a sandwhich and were able to take a soup or chilli as a side. It really depended on who was working the register as to what went with a sandwhich that day. We always asked. Honestly the sandwhich was big enough..but I thought it was odd how it varried from day to day. Especially given that we ordered the same meal at Saratoga Springs Artists Palate..and they served in with chips on the same plate. So go figure it varies day to day with in the same resort and then from resort to resort..the same meal can be accompanied by different sides.
All in all...everyone loved the DP and would hope to use it again. I think it was a tremendous value when traveling with an older family. I'm not so sure if it were just a trip with my husband and myself or with younger childen who might not eat as much if it would be quite as worth it, but for us it certainly was!:thumbsup2 Also the conveniece factor played heavily into our endorsement of the DP. Not worrying about price or tip...made meals especially enjoyable.

illiniowl
05-27-2007, 11:07 PM
Thanks for the report! Glad to hear you had a great time! Great info on the CS meals at WL and SSR, by the way...it teaches us all to just be a little flexible and prepared for minor variances and roll with it!

I'm just curious, though...if the DDP price remained the same but tip was NOT included next time you went, would you buy it? :stir:

auntie
05-27-2007, 11:20 PM
You know..we did discuss this a couple of times when we were away. My husband thought the plan was great...and we loved that it included the gratuity. The convenience factor..of not having to figure out a tip..or even keep the cash on hand for a tip would have me think twice about it. I'm not saying for sure that I wouldn't use it again...but I would be thinking twice about it. Being that we did already use it, and experienced most of the places we wanted to dine in already. We might just opt to go back to the restaurants we enjoyed or try a couple of new ones and not eat quite as much as the plan provides. We usually split appetizers anyway. Also..we didn't go off property to eat this trip. Which is unusual for us. We love Italian and don't care for the Disney offerings. So we go off property for that meal. This time with the plan it kept us on Disney soil pretty much the entire trip. If the plan weren't to include the convenience of the gratuity included..I think we might be apt to venture off property a couple of times..like we used to do, and also not be charged inflated Disney prices. I think I'd rather see them raise the price a few dollars..and still include the gratuity. Rather than having it be seperate from the plan. A big part of our endorsement of the DP was the convenice factor..and having to add the gratuity seperately takes that away.