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View Full Version : To Dine or Not to Dine...


haleofafamily
05-31-2007, 11:18 AM
I have a few questions about the dining plan and would greatly appreciate any and all answers. Our party consists of 3 adults and 6 children (9,7,4,3,2,4 mons). Is the plan a good deal for us? (We usually eat counter service with just a couple of table service meals.)
Will there be long waits even if I make ADRs?
Does it take to much time away from touring? (We are going in Sept.)
Can I get free dining while using DVC points but not a member? Can DVC members get free dining?

illiniowl
05-31-2007, 12:13 PM
Hi - we are also staying at BCV in Sept. by renting points from a DVC member (we are a family of 4 with 2 kids ages 8 and 4). We asked our member to add the DDP to the reservation, and we will pay for it at checkin. My understanding is that free dining is available only with a package purchase (at minimum, room + some form of park admission).

The way I approached the decision to purchase DDP or not was this: DDP will cost us $100/night. Before DDP, on a weeklong trip we ate mostly counter-service + snacks and a couple of the lower-priced TS (Boma, Biergarten, San Angel Inn, Kona Cafe for breakfast). Including an offsite grocery store run for in-room breakfast foods and libations :drinking1 we still spent nearly $100/day! We would be happy to "do WDW" that way again (i.e., mostly CS) but now for the same amount of money (probably a little more since we will still have some OOP costs for the grocery store run, etc.) we will be able to eat TS meals at places we never would have tried because of their inflated prices, and on top of that we can order whatever we want off the menu. So that will be fun. I look at DDP for us not as a big money-saver but as a way to add, for no or minimal extra cost, an extra element of fun to our vacation.

As for your other questions... Does a TS every day take away too much time from touring? Obviously, that depends on your definition of too much. We do like to maximize our touring time so our general plan is to get an early start in the parks, stay away from sit-down/character breakfasts, eat early CS lunch to avoid the rush, take a mid-day break, use our TS at dinner, then stay out late in the parks. I see you have more and younger kids than us, so the stay-out-late plan might not work for you. The good thing about Sept. is that while the restaurants may be crowded, the parks shouldn't be, so efficient touring is possible.

Hopefully we will not lose a lot of time waiting past our ADRs to get seated. Reports are all over the map on that - some people report never having to wait, others report isolated instances of having to wait up to an hour. Since that is something we can't control or predict with any accuracy, we'll just hope for the best.

Good luck and have a great time!

ms.ojo
05-31-2007, 12:34 PM
I agree w/ a lot of what the prev poster said in terms of adding more value vs. saving money w/ the DDP. We are a family of 4 with children 7 and 4. The DDP was wonderful. We too tend to get to the parks early, (quick b'fast in the room) and enjoyed doing an early TS meal for our lunch. It was a great break and just to know we had a place to sit and cool a/c to refresh us was wonderful!!! Then, if we chose to return to the hotel later in the day, we didn't feel the need to cut things short and race back for a TS dinner. That worked well for us. :goodvibes Oh, it's nice to enjoy places like the char meals on the DDP too! Chef Mickey's for dinner is a must. And we do the Fantasmic dinner pkg on the DDP to make things easier on the kids as well.

archcrb
05-31-2007, 01:24 PM
I have 2 adults + 11dd, 12dd & 6dd. which means 4 adult plus 1 child, that's 170$ a day.
Now while I think if we were to buy apples to apples we'd probably make out pretty good on th ddp, BUT, (capitalized on purpose) we would have to need all that food. I know I'd get my money's worth, my wife and girls , except for the 6 yr old would definately not. They would love the occasional adult meal, but there are times when they eat very little. Also, if you do not eat at a TS restaurant you can't use those credits at a CS restaurant. I know we are going to the poly for the luau, and also eating at H & V, but I don't want to be tied down to reservations if all is going smooth. we are going to need breaks seeing that aug is hot, but how are we to know when that will be. I think the plan is great if you want to plan every last second of your trip, but if you want flexibility and aren't in it for the food (meaning everyone in your party) then I can't see using it. I'd love to just eat eat eat good stuff, but then, how am I supposed to walk all day/night while corraling 3 young kids and wife. Food is food, but Disney is THE experience isn't it.

jjohnson
05-31-2007, 02:27 PM
With the ages of the children. I would definitely puchase the plan. It'll be only $44 to feed 5 children (the 2yo is free) plus I'm sure they would love to do the character meals.

Cindy's Mom
05-31-2007, 03:03 PM
I have 2 adults + 11dd, 12dd & 6dd. which means 4 adult plus 1 child, that's 170$ a day.
Now while I think if we were to buy apples to apples we'd probably make out pretty good on th ddp, BUT, (capitalized on purpose) we would have to need all that food. I know I'd get my money's worth, my wife and girls , except for the 6 yr old would definately not. They would love the occasional adult meal, but there are times when they eat very little. Also, if you do not eat at a TS restaurant you can't use those credits at a CS restaurant. I know we are going to the poly for the luau, and also eating at H & V, but I don't want to be tied down to reservations if all is going smooth. we are going to need breaks seeing that aug is hot, but how are we to know when that will be. I think the plan is great if you want to plan every last second of your trip, but if you want flexibility and aren't in it for the food (meaning everyone in your party) then I can't see using it. I'd love to just eat eat eat good stuff, but then, how am I supposed to walk all day/night while corraling 3 young kids and wife. Food is food, but Disney is THE experience isn't it.

We go to WDW in the summer and our breaks from the July sun are from 3-5 when the sun is probably at its hottest and we are at our crabbiest. ;)

That is when we head back to the resort for a quick swim and shower, we have an ADR at 6p at the park we started off in (we don't hop).

The biggest misconception of the DDP is that you have to plan every last second of your trip. Nothing can be further from the truth. The only plan we have each day, that we have to stick to is our b-fast or dinner ADR. Some days we don't even have any TS's because we are using 2 for CRT of HDDR.

The DDP allows us to do more (or probably even all) character dining. Usually those buffets cost our family $120 by using the DDP we come out ahead each and every day. We don't over eat, we just use our snack and counter services wisely. Very rarely to do we end up paying OOP for any meal. We used 2 credits for b-fast platters, 2 credits for lunches.

The best part of the DDP is that it is pre-paid and then I have more cash to buy cool stuff with.