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MALE*RN*777
07-24-2009, 06:20 PM
I made reservations for Oct 3rd for a week at the campground (Fort Wilderness) along with 6 days no expiration tickets for 4 using our Disney Visa Card. I saw the free dining offer and called back to find out that the free dining didn't count for those at Campsites. Then I had a question about paying off my balance on the Visa and found out that the 0% didn't apply because we only paid the deposit on the site (less than $100). Not really a big deal because we planned to pay off the balance anyway and we were just looking for the reward points. Then noticed today that Visa Card holders could get free dining from 9/09-12/09 but when I called again it was just for cabins or other resort reservations and not campsites. Aren't we just as good as those even staying at the Value Resorts. Just my rant... Thanks for listening...

I'mDownWithDisney
07-24-2009, 08:29 PM
Look at the cost per night of a cabin compared to a campsite. Of course, the cost of a value room is close to that of a campsite, but only 4 people are allowed in a room compared to 10 at a campsite.

John I Haggerty
07-25-2009, 06:43 AM
My concern is how it effects our ability to get meals. With the meal package others are getting, I suspect the food places will be busier than normal. Never been to Disney yet, but another thing than concerns me.

des1954
07-25-2009, 08:41 AM
Alas...the dining plans to my knowledge have never been available with the campsites due to the 10 person per site allowance.

I will say IMHO since the conception of the dining plan;

(a) the price for meals has noticably increased for non-dining plan guests

(b) the quality of the meals has sharply declined

(c) reservations to restaurants are very difficult to get

(d) for those using the dining plan your trip centers around eating and not enjoying yourself.

Personally, I wish they would eliminate the dining plans and go back to the way things were. We used to enjoy going to a WDW restaurant to enjoy a nice meal that was somewhat reasonably priced and being able to go on the spur of the moment. WDW restaurants used to be noted for being a notch above the outside restaurants because meals were cooked to order, but not any more. It's mostly mass-produced, pre-prepared & then nuked to heat crap now.

AND...for those who think they are getting something "free" with the dining plan, guess again. Disney does not do "free". You are paying for your meals in your vacation package. It's just not itemized as such. The only advantage to the vacation packages is that you know up front how much the entire trip will cost - inclusive of meals and snacks. It's cruise line pricing mentality.

auntie
07-25-2009, 08:45 AM
Honestly, it's probably a good idea to make reservations for a sit down restaurant, no matter when you go...whether it's during a promotion or not. Disney seems to be running one type of promotion or another all the time these days. Having an Advanced Dining Reservation will take any of that worry away. I always make a few for places we like..or a even some place new we want to try. Nothing is writen in stone. If you decide not to go...cancel it while you're there..it's not a big deal. As far as quick serve/counter service..you won't have any issues regardless. The food courts at the moderate resorts are very good. I recommend both the Caribbean Beach and the Port Orleans Food courts. Trails End at the Fort..not so much. At least not when we looked at the offerings. Too bad because I've heard it used to be very good.

auntie
07-25-2009, 09:05 AM
Alas...the dining plans to my knowledge have never been available with the campsites due to the 10 person per site allowance.

I will say IMHO since the conception of the dining plan;

(a) the price for meals has noticably increased for non-dining plan guests

(b) the quality of the meals has sharply declined

(c) reservations to restaurants are very difficult to get

(d) for those using the dining plan your trip centers around eating and not enjoying yourself.

Personally, I wish they would eliminate the dining plans and go back to the way things were. We used to enjoy going to a WDW restaurant to enjoy a nice meal that was somewhat reasonably priced and being able to go on the spur of the moment. WDW restaurants used to be noted for being a notch above the outside restaurants because meals were cooked to order, but not any more. It's mostly mass-produced, pre-prepared & then nuked to heat crap now.

AND...for those who think they are getting something "free" with the dining plan, guess again. Disney does not do "free". You are paying for your meals in your vacation package. It's just not itemized as such. The only advantage to the vacation packages is that you know up front how much the entire trip will cost - inclusive of meals and snacks. It's cruise line pricing mentality.

I suppose though if you are staying at one of the value hotels..the dining deal might be a better value then say..if you're staying at a Deluxe resort. Certainly paying full rack rate for the WL and getting free dining..isn't any kind of deal. I'd rather get a good room only discount, and pay for my food.
We did the dining plan for the first time three years ago. In all our years, of visiting we never used one. It was NOT free. We did however have a good rate on a room at the WL. One of those PIN offers..and it was some $160.00 a night Courtyard view...then we added, and paid for the dining plan. Which I have to tell you was a lot of fun. For less than $40.00 a day..my kids ate really well. With teenagers this was a good deal. We all enjoyed ordering appetizers (which we normally don't do..we usually share things) and we tried places that maybe we wouldn't have normally..because we would have wanted to be more careful with where we spent our dining $"s. My husband LOVED that he wasn't taking his wallet out of his pocket every other minute handing the kids money. We also didn't have to all eat together. If the kids were at the resort..and we were out at park, we could eat separately. It was a pleasure not having to worry about leaving money for the kids or how much they'd need for meals if we weren't together. It isn't unusual for us to do separate things and then meet up for dinner in one of the parks or back at the hotel. Our kids are older. We almost always have a least one sit down meal a day as a family..so there ya go, it worked.
All that being said..I don't think I'd do it again. Because the very thing that we enjoyed most was the convenience of the plan. That in itself was worth something to us. They have taken that away by not having the gratuity included and by removing the appetizers. That was part of the fun..and we know we're going to order a least a couple of appetizers to taste or share..so again, that takes away from the convenience of the plan. As far as I'm concerned they should have kept it the same, and raised the price rather than start to chip away at what was good about it.
You're also right..the restaurants also don't offer the same value as they did before either.
Last two visits I found using the Tables in Wonderland card a better value..with the 20 percent discount. Worked for us.

As far as not offering to the campground guests because you can have up to 10 people on a site. Given the increase in rates for the sites..of paying near or over $100.00...Disney might give some thought to offering it on a limited basis..say only offering it for up to a family of 4 on the site. Same as the resorts. The values only accomodate four people in a room. The campground could do the same. Offer it to four people in the party on a particular site.

ntsammy5
07-25-2009, 10:59 AM
(b) the quality of the meals has sharply declined


I would have said precipitously, but that's just me.......

BradyBz12
07-25-2009, 12:58 PM
Honestly, it's probably a good idea to make reservations for a sit down restaurant, no matter when you go...whether it's during a promotion or not.

Agreed! We usually go during slower times, and even without any promos going on it's extremely difficult at best and downright impossible at worst to get a walk up or same day TS dining at the most popular places.

We've had some luck calling in the a.m., but mostly only if we're not so picky about where we eat or when (seems you can get in a lot of places if you don't mind eating around 10pm!)

Helps if you eat at off hours, and in our case because there are only 2 of us, but we still make sure to make ADRs for places we know will be packed no matter what.

chartle
07-25-2009, 05:33 PM
If they allowed FD with campsites you would see a lot of empty campsites at the Fort during FD but it would be booked solid. Why you ask? :confused3

Locals could get together in groups of 10 at a time and book all the sites. For what $6 dollars a day each they can get food worth up to $50.

I think this happens now at the values but they can handle it because there's like 10,000(?) rooms.

ntsammy5
07-25-2009, 06:02 PM
Back in October 2006 we were ar Disney for a wedding during FD and we booked Debbie into our room too (AS Movies because that's where all our friends were). That meant we were able to get meals for lots of people, because they didn't track them as much then - and we had 30 meal entitlements for the 10 days. Our son and his GF were there too (on our dime) and we ate all the time. It was fun, and we did it again this last May and I can truthfully say, never again!

We already had tickets and APs so we ended up with 5 one day tickets that we finally used up last November.

dtum
07-26-2009, 06:53 AM
I've been dealing with the same dilemma. It's actually now cheaper for DH and I to stay at Value instead of FW when we factor in difference in sites (only $10 more for value vs. preminum FW) FW is a little cheaper, but then I figured gas (using truck it goes from 13 to 20 MPG) and Value wins hands down (DH says if we take his car (40 MPG) instead of truck we would actually double our gas difference!) That is w/o free dining. If we add free dining @ $40/day per person and we have no reason to stay at FW anymore. I know that's a touchy subject and we have never stayed any place but FW...I have to look at the bottom line now and last trip the fort was loosing some of it's glamour. After it rained we had to wade into our site. The standing water was there all week so we were cut off from getting to the sidewalk right behind our site (the poor people across from us had a tent up with their trailer and it was sitting in the water one morning). We had a "new" premium site and even though the cement was nice, the sites all site on such strange angles and feels very cramped. I think if you're going to lay out $100 night, Disney should offer the same discounts as value or more people will continue to leave the fort for a more affordable vacation...JMHO

DisCamper
07-26-2009, 08:51 AM
Disney has dropped the ball on food .The stuff they serve now is low-grade dog food. We brought food back from one of the restaurants and Shelby would not even eat it and she will eat baby diapers!

ntsammy5
07-26-2009, 09:59 AM
The stuff they serve now is low-grade dog food.!

I actually disagree with that - it's probably more like medium grade dog food. :lmao:


I find the QS meals can be better at times - I LOVE Kringla - the sandwiches are awesome - Cookes of Dublin, Earl of Sandwich, Harbor House, Tangerine, Pizzafari and the food courts at the resorts are all pretty darn good.

Just Beachy
07-26-2009, 10:41 AM
I guess because I don't go to Disney often, I really don't know much about how the quality of the food has declined. All I can tell you is, from someone who has to do the cooking every day, I'm usually pretty happy with any meal that gets cooked FOR me!! :goodvibes

mrsscooter
07-26-2009, 01:11 PM
I guess because I don't go to Disney often, I really don't know much about how the quality of the food has declined. All I can tell you is, from someone who has to do the cooking every day, I'm usually pretty happy with any meal that gets cooked FOR me!! :goodvibes

Yeah..........what she said! :thumbsup2

jinia
07-26-2009, 02:42 PM
I've been dealing with the same dilemma. It's actually now cheaper for DH and I to stay at Value instead of FW when we factor in difference in sites (only $10 more for value vs. preminum FW) FW is a little cheaper, but then I figured gas (using truck it goes from 13 to 20 MPG) and Value wins hands down (DH says if we take his car (40 MPG) instead of truck we would actually double our gas difference!) That is w/o free dining. If we add free dining @ $40/day per person and we have no reason to stay at FW anymore. I know that's a touchy subject and we have never stayed any place but FW...I have to look at the bottom line now and last trip the fort was loosing some of it's glamour. After it rained we had to wade into our site. The standing water was there all week so we were cut off from getting to the sidewalk right behind our site (the poor people across from us had a tent up with their trailer and it was sitting in the water one morning). We had a "new" premium site and even though the cement was nice, the sites all site on such strange angles and feels very cramped. I think if you're going to lay out $100 night, Disney should offer the same discounts as value or more people will continue to leave the fort for a more affordable vacation...JMHO

This is the huge debate going on here for the last couple of days! Took me a couple of months to convince DH to try FW in Oct. With bribe of a golf cart;) I finally got him to agree and now there is a possibility of free dining offered to general public we will have to make the decision all over again:eek:. Wish the cabins were more affordable!

dtum
07-26-2009, 03:04 PM
Yeah..........what she said! :thumbsup2

ditto for me also. And if it's free all the better. Had to cook for my whole family last trip...we all gathered at our camper and it was just a bit much. I'm all for free food that I don't have to cook and I don't think it's as bad as some say. I had a pretty good veggie burger at AK.

kc5grw
07-26-2009, 04:08 PM
Well, I can say that I never have to worry about free dining. They only offer during the times that we cannot go so it makes now difference to me. Even it it was only me and DW I'm still not sure I'd do the free dining. I really don't like hotel rooms and I don't like eating out all the time. My 5'er feels almost like home and I never feel like I'm living out of a suitcase.

dtum
07-26-2009, 04:46 PM
Well, I can say that I never have to worry about free dining. They only offer during the times that we cannot go so it makes now difference to me. Even it it was only me and DW I'm still not sure I'd do the free dining. I really don't like hotel rooms and I don't like eating out all the time. My 5'er feels almost like home and I never feel like I'm living out of a suitcase.

I agree, we love our 5r, but going to Disney has now become a financial choice and if leaving your baby (5r) at home and staying at value resort w/free dining saves $500-$700 vs. not going at all, we'll take the value resort anytime.

Taking the 5r will still be first choice for other places (we love Drummer Boy in Gettysburg and Cherry Hill RV resort near DC), but Disney has priced itself out of the market as far as we are concerned. It makes us sad because we've always done FW, but we'll adapt and enjoy ourselves because we get to go.

auntie
07-26-2009, 07:27 PM
From what I've read it does appear that the Fort is possibly pricing itself out for a good many people.
Certainly those that continue to visit FW ...especially during the free dining promo's, aren't doing it to save money, that's for sure. As usual RV'ing is a lifestyle choice..and I don't think many of us got into it to save money so much as to enjoy a particular way of vacationing.
However, I can sympathize and certainly relate that during these difficult economic times the bottom line is playing an important part in our decisions. While people are still willing to spend money for a vacation, they want more value for their hard earned dollars. It appears that even those who are inclined to camp aren't willing to throw money away. I think if Disney wanted to they could somehow manage to find a way to include the campers in some of the special promotions..especially given that they've increased the price of the sites.

jinia
07-26-2009, 07:34 PM
I have to say I would even go for costing the same - even though I would be tenting it. However, I can't justify about $290 more to tent it than to stay at POP with free dining.:rolleyes:

tlh0726
07-27-2009, 06:40 AM
The Table Service Dining plan would never work for our family, we are not ones to be tied down to a certain place at a certain time with ADRs

We are planning on going December of next year (getting ready to book the site this week:cool1:) however if the same offer comes out that Visa holders received this week (free CS Dining 9/27-12/17) we will be switching to a Value resort to take advantage of that offer.
This past March we switched from the Fort to the POP due to the buy 4 get 3free plus the $200 Gift Card. Even after paying for our meals (used the GC for most of it) we ended up paying less than what it would have cost us for the site and tickets.

I agree with a PP, Disney should give/offer the free dining (or whatever other offer there is) to up to 4 people per campsite, the remaining guests on your reservation would need to pay for that same dining plan or pay extra $$ for other offers.

We have a site booked for next April unless a better deal is available.

TheFlame
07-27-2009, 01:34 PM
Well, I can say that I never have to worry about free dining. They only offer during the times that we cannot go so it makes now difference to me. Even it it was only me and DW I'm still not sure I'd do the free dining. I really don't like hotel rooms and I don't like eating out all the time. My 5'er feels almost like home and I never feel like I'm living out of a suitcase.

:thumbsup2

BradyBz12
07-27-2009, 04:02 PM
For us FW still makes sense - even from a cost perspective, as we'd have to board all 3 of our dogs if we didn't bring our TT (which would be a major expense for a 3 week trip!)

But even if we didn't, we're not big into the DDP anymore anyway. We've done it a few times and enjoyed it well enough, but when they changed the plan to no longer include appetizer/gratuity, it just didn't work for us any longer. We were already getting tired of having to plan so many meals so far in advance, and having to schedule so rigidly to accommodate them. Plus now you have to budget for the out-of-pocket expense of gratuities - and since when we do eat at TS we enjoy going "all out," that adds up in a hurry for an extended stay.

And when it comes down to it, we'd much rather tweak our food budget to save some money and spend the time at FW in our TT with our dogs. But that's just us. :upsidedow

mdoc
07-28-2009, 05:02 PM
There's no question but that a Value would be cheaper for us than staying at FW. However, for many reasons I prefer the Fort, even if I can't have the free dining plan. I agree that the quality of the WDW restaurants has declined. We still like the quick service food at many places, but the table service food is nothing special and costs waaay more than it's worth, and it's hard to get ADRs at the times of year we visit (probably more so this year because of all the free dining offers). The net result will be that we for the most part will either eat in the RV or off-property. I'm thinking about T'giving dinner at Golden Corral!!

dtum
07-28-2009, 05:50 PM
Golden Corral :thumbsup2

figmentfan1
07-29-2009, 09:17 AM
I've had this delima all summer. I got the free dining pin back in June. We had been planning to camp at FW with my sister's family this Dec. It is really the only way they can travel (they have 5 kids ages 10 and under)- the cost of a premium site (all that is left) paying for dining and the cost of a moderate with free dining is a $40 difference. Insane. We want to camp and be with them but staying at a value would be even cheaper.

As a matter of fact I can't find ANY discount code for the campsites. Campers have to pay premium I guess. Stupid.:confused3

chinsmom1997
08-01-2009, 06:45 PM
My view on the Dining Plan and Disney Food.
We were at FW in June had a great time. Except for the fact that everywhere around us was water. Other then that we had a ball. On to the food we at breakfast at the Trails 2 mornings and dinner 1 night. We went to 1900 parkfare for dinner 1 night, and I have to say the food at the Trails was far better. I do believe Disney has downgraded their food quality a lot. I do believe it has a lot to do with the dining plan. I also believe from eating at both the Trails and 1900 in the past they have raised prices considerable. The dining plan is not worth the price anymore since they have taken the app and the gratuities away. I do believe they should redo the entire plan and instead of having so many different plans do something like Universal does and also allow campers to enjoy it as well. I do not buy into the whole because you can put 10 people on a site. Why do they care since everyone has to be listed on the res and be on the same type package. So all 10 people are going to have to pay for it. If that is their arguement then I would have to ask, "What about the guests that stay in the Grand Villas that can hold 12 people in them they get to enjoy the DP"?

TheFlame
08-03-2009, 11:45 AM
There's no question but that a Value would be cheaper for us than staying at FW. However, for many reasons I prefer the Fort, even if I can't have the free dining plan. I agree that the quality of the WDW restaurants has declined. We still like the quick service food at many places, but the table service food is nothing special and costs waaay more than it's worth, and it's hard to get ADRs at the times of year we visit (probably more so this year because of all the free dining offers). The net result will be that we for the most part will either eat in the RV or off-property. I'm thinking about T'giving dinner at Golden Corral!!

We had Thanksgiving at Cracker Barrell after trying to make a last minute ressie at a WDW rest. this past Nov. After hearing about all the bad food lately and knowing how much more we would have spent, I am really glad we chose CB! It was just like Thanksgiving dinner at home....well, almost!:thumbsup2

donatalie
08-04-2009, 09:11 PM
DH and I had this discussion (FW in our TT vs. Resort w/free dining). We weighed everything and one of the biggest factors was space. We figured out that we needed to stay Deluxe to get even close to the same living space that we have in our TT. We have two Queen sized beds (with OUR bedding and pillows), a full kitchen, a comfy couch and an 18'X10' screen room complete with lounge chairs. We eat CS lunches at the parks but are spending no more for food than we would at home (other than the FDP @ Mamma Melrose). Late night munchies and a cold beer before bed are covered as well. We figured it was a no-brainer for us!

LONE-STAR
08-04-2009, 10:17 PM
DH and I had this discussion (FW in our TT vs. Resort w/free dining). We weighed everything and one of the biggest factors was space. We figured out that we needed to stay Deluxe to get even close to the same living space that we have in our TT. We have two Queen sized beds (with OUR bedding and pillows), a full kitchen, a comfy couch and an 18'X10' screen room complete with lounge chairs. We eat CS lunches at the parks but are spending no more for food than we would at home (other than the FDP @ Mamma Melrose). Late night munchies and a cold beer before bed are covered as well. We figured it was a no-brainer for us!

Sounds about like us. Not to mention they would frown on me driving my cart all over a deluxe resort.(But that might be quite fun pirate:)

I'mDownWithDisney
08-04-2009, 11:37 PM
*snip*...I do not buy into the whole because you can put 10 people on a site. Why do they care since everyone has to be listed on the res and be on the same type package. So all 10 people are going to have to pay for it. If that is their arguement then I would have to ask, "What about the guests that stay in the Grand Villas that can hold 12 people in them they get to enjoy the DP"?

In regards to the free dining plan, look at what the Grand Villas cost per night compared to FW.

Sinclare
08-05-2009, 06:32 AM
If they allowed FD with campsites you would see a lot of empty campsites at the Fort during FD but it would be booked solid. Why you ask? :confused3

Locals could get together in groups of 10 at a time and book all the sites. For what $6 dollars a day each they can get food worth up to $50.

I think this happens now at the values but they can handle it because there's like 10,000(?) rooms.

We had a bad experience while trying to check in June 27th. We went back to pick out a camp site and found one that was both open and perfect (nice size pad in a good location). When we went back up front we were informed that the camp site was already rented out. The people had came in, picked up their room cards AND Dining Plan (the words of the CM at the front desk). The campsite stayed empty for the remaining 4 days that the CM said the people had rented it so I believe the statement was accurate.

It was one of those cases where someone staying off site hogs a site away from real campers for the benefits. Now, I don't know how they swung a dining plan with a partial hook-up site but they apparently did. By the look on the CM's face when she said it, it seemed to be one of those "oops, I shouldn't have told you that" moments.

MALE*RN*777
08-05-2009, 08:07 PM
Our is also a space thing also. The sister in law is going through a divorce and needs to curve the spending for now. It would cost more to split a larger place that the value resort to fit us all (9). So she is staying at the campsite with us and we are spliting the site cost of $450 ($225 x 2 is not bad at all). We are also spliting on the food and lucky for use we have a little one and we have a huge stroller with an under-carriage for a collapsible cooler for lunch and snacks to save money on meals at the park.

mousebrain
08-07-2009, 09:09 PM
You can get the DP if you pay for it, you just can't get the FREE DP with a campsite.... My family did it a couple of years. I can't tell you how hosed I felt when all of a sudden they start giving it away.... then they come back and tell the people who actually PAID FULL PRICE FOR IT that we have to pay for the tips because they are loosing their *** over the free dining. Obviously the upper crust at Disney does not have a clue.... yep stick it to the people who actually pay.... so no more for us! stick it right back to you. Why should I pay full price now the food is not the same quality......

Also paving over all the 1400 loop sites so we can't pitch tents.... double hosed....

No Disney this year for us....

:laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing:

Probably won't mean a thing.... but its all I can do!

MB:sad2:


Now, I don't know how they swung a dining plan with a partial hook-up site but they apparently did. By the look on the CM's face when she said it, it seemed to be one of those "oops, I shouldn't have told you that" moments.

MyHappyPlaceWDW
08-11-2009, 05:01 PM
Awesome!

Carrie Ellis
08-12-2009, 09:14 AM
In regards to the free dining plan, look at what the Grand Villas cost per night compared to FW.

Which villas are you referring to? And do you have a link directly to them? How much are these that hold 12?

Carrie

2goofycampers
08-12-2009, 09:52 AM
Which villas are you referring to? And do you have a link directly to them? How much are these that hold 12?

Carrie

Room rates


http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/disney-rates-deluxe-2009.htm

Carrie Ellis
08-12-2009, 11:14 AM
Room rates


http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/disney-rates-deluxe-2009.htm

so sorry! I just don't see anything for 12 people max! most I see is 10!

Just wondering because when we all go we usually do cabins w/ my parents and next year we might need 3.

When it is just us we take the RV!