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View Full Version : Anyone not done Half Board?


whittysmum
08-09-2009, 05:01 PM
OK I was all ready to book HB+ plans for us all when DH suggested it all sounds a bit expensive! He has now got me thinking, we are taking two teenage boys, who will probably be just as happy eating burgers for three days as they would be having a buffet meal!

Do you think we will save money by just using the CS restaurants - I would like to have more Euros to spend in the shops:rolleyes1?

I am really confused now and we leave in just over a week:confused3

DLPdaft
08-09-2009, 05:18 PM
Will a burger meal satisfy them, or will you have to buy snacks etc as well? If just the burger meals will do, then yes, you will be cheaper doing only counter service (as adult counter service meals in the parks are around 12 euros each). But if you will need to buy snacks etc too, thats all going to mount up.

Half board vouchers, which include full dinner buffets where you can all stuff yourselves ;), are from 16 per adult, 8 for under-12s (for the standard vouchers).

If you're driving to DLRP, and/or can pack lots of snacks in your luggage to take with you, you might be cheaper doing counter service.

jillrobinson
08-09-2009, 05:43 PM
Have you thought about just booking the standard HB vouchers?
We had these in March I have a 15 year old who eats more than the rest of the family put together although you'd never think it to look at him and a 10 year old, who also has a healthy appetite - the buffets were a godsend.
We particularly liked Rendezvous des stars in WDS and Agrabah Cafe in Adventureland, both covered by standard vouchers, both include a hot and cold drink, although the hot drink in the Agrabah Cafe was some exotic tea, which I meant to try and then forgot about. :)

Ware Bears
08-09-2009, 06:35 PM
Tracy, I see from your signature that you've been to WDW a few times ~ I would be quite happy to say you'd be OK to do just counter service there but IMO the counter service meals at DLRP aren't as filling so are really only a snack and I think you may end up spending more in the long run, unless as Elaine suggested you can take lots of snacks out with you.

Unless your DSs have small appetites then I'd recommend you go for the buffet meals so they can stuff themselves. :thumbsup2

milomummy
08-10-2009, 03:30 AM
We managed just fine without meal vouchers.
We stayed at the DCR and took weetabix with us, so had that for breakfast, used their wonderful 'breakfast' pack to make lunch and then only had to buy one meal a day for the 3 of us.
We did drive and took plenty of snacks along with us but ended up bringing most of them back home with us as we were more than satisfied with what we had.

Ms Poppins
08-10-2009, 04:55 AM
I suppose it depends if you'll be having a lunch and dinner, if so then burgers twice a day may get a bit tiresome....

We had late breakfasts, and just a snack in the afternoons before having our main meal in the evening using hp plus vouchers.

You're right, it was pricey, and we struggled for ages before booking as we didn't think we'd benefit from the 3 courses. But, by the time you pay for 2 CS meals, and possibly snacks in between, then you might break even. I'd also consider if you wanted to do a character meal, then the vouchers help with that. Remember that no matter where you eat at dlp, it is expensive. On our previous visits all I can remember was that nearly all our spending money went on food and drinks.

In the end, we liked having the vouchers. It gave us the opportunity to eat in some places i'd never have considered, and I felt much more relaxed knowing it was all paid for, instead of counting everything up before ordering....It also made meal times something to really look forward to, instead of just somewhere to stop off and eat. We'll book them again.

Take a look on the restaurant threads, there are up to date menus on most of them that will give you an idea of prices.

davewasbaloo
08-10-2009, 06:54 AM
We never do it, so that we have variety and choice on our side. There are too many restrictions on half board for my liking. That said, if you miss out on the table service restaurants, you are missing out on half of the DLP experience IMHO. And the HB option can work out cheaper.

DLP is very expensive, especially in the food department (and what ever you do, stay away from the burgers, they are rank there - BBQ, Mexican, African, Italian and Fish and Chips are all better counter service options). A coke is between 2.5 and 3 dependent on location.

Counter Service set menues range between 9 and 14 each. Table service ranges from 19 - 120 each.

Also, be prepared, counter service does not mean quick service, they can be very slow.

Once you are used to all of these things, you are likely to have a better time.

gemmybear83
08-10-2009, 07:01 AM
Like the others - I would suggest the lowest half board vouchers to save money. Also when getting counter service it may be work getting a combo meal - they are the same as WDW where you get something like burgers and fries, dessert and a soft drink. In DLRP they are called "Menu Mickey's"

cap'njack.
08-10-2009, 07:10 AM
Also, be prepared, counter service does not mean quick service, they can be very slow.

When my Dad was working on the Park in 1992 (pre-opening obviously) they used to have "Worker Sales" at the various CS resturants in the Disneyland Park whereby you could buy a Menu Mickey for at 75% off for one hour over lunchtime so that they could practice serving lots of people at the same time. They gave up after two months of trialing :rotfl:

davewasbaloo
08-10-2009, 07:21 AM
Lol, it is funny. I mean they can be quick in California and WDW, but forget it in France. I mean they are redoing the Backlot Express in WDSP because they think the themes put people off. What stopped us going was the menu was not great, and the couple of times we ate there the food was stone cold.

Oh, that reminds me for the OP, do not eat in Discoveryland unless it is a snack cart, the worst food in the park is served there, you have been warned.

cap'njack.
08-10-2009, 07:43 AM
Lol, it is funny. I mean they can be quick in California and WDW, but forget it in France. I mean they are redoing the Backlot Express in WDSP because they think the themes put people off. What stopped us going was the menu was not great, and the couple of times we ate there the food was stone cold.

It's usuall Disney stuff though isn't it, let's add some theming...people will pay anything for an overpriced burger as long as the theming is good.

Oh, that reminds me for the OP, do not eat in Discoveryland unless it is a snack cart, the worst food in the park is served there, you have been warned.

Other than the Pizza Burger at Pizza Plannet...man I love that :love:

Suzanne1979
08-10-2009, 07:44 AM
We (i mean: I) planned on doing some buffets on our trip, but my BF decided against it because of the costs. Instead, we did McDonalds twice, once pizzeria Bella Notte and once Annette's. McD was around 15 euros total for a filling dinner for the two of us:thumbsup2! Pizza meals were 24 euros total, so also very doable. Annette's came to 44 euros for 1-course meals & drinks (we were totally full, I must say). So if your boys like burgers - Annette's is not the budget option, :laughing:.

If you're not sure yet, why not just go and decide when you get there? You can always book with City Hall or your hotel (or just show up at a restaurant), and sure, you don't get your 15% off for HB-vouchers, but you have your options available. I personally would hate to be stuck with reservations made long before, but maybe that's just me.

What might come in handy for you are the park breakfasts (former GMFL breakfasts). They are a bit later on in the day, say 9.30am, so if your boys fill up there, they can "last all day" (with maybe a snack or two) until dinner (and thus skip lunch). We did this, and it worked really well for us.

Have a very nice trip :)

whittysmum
08-10-2009, 07:48 AM
Thanks soooo much for all the replies:) I am still torn between choices, if I thought that the boys would be happy with a big brekkie in the Sequoia Lodge and then just a buffet meal in the evening I could warrant the HB spend, but I know that as teenagers they are going to be "starving" as soon as we leave the hotel! That is why I thought just paying for two CS meals every day would still work out cheaper than paying for HB.

Oh dear, I just don't know what to do?:confused3 I think last time we just used CS restaurants for the stay, and remember it being expensive then!

davewasbaloo
08-10-2009, 07:48 AM
It's usuall Disney stuff though isn't it, let's add some theming...people will pay anything for an overpriced burger as long as the theming is good.



Other than the Pizza Burger at Pizza Plannet...man I love that :love:


Oh, ya, I love this DLP exclusive, the problem is the place is rarely open, and eating in that tent when it is windy can be very scary as the planets and lights sway.

davewasbaloo
08-10-2009, 07:52 AM
We have gone on a budget and we have gone where we have not thought about the money.

But for me, the very best value experience is a big breakfast, and then a 3 course table service meal at about 3pm (with maybe some popcorn, a waffle or hotdog in the evening). This way we have fun, it feels luxury, and it is cheaper than 2 CS meals. We've now been doing it this way for 10 years and it works.

I hate the buffets though - poor quality food, poor service, poor guest hygene = poor value to me. But the Silver Spur and Walt's, the Steakhouse, Annette's, King Ludwigs all offer great value IMHO.

cap'njack.
08-10-2009, 07:58 AM
Oh, ya, I love this DLP exclusive, the problem is the place is rarely open, and eating in that tent when it is windy can be very scary as the planets and lights sway.

It was far better when it was used for the Space Exhibition :goodvibes

Although it has been open everyday for the last few trips we have had...the only problem is dragging Kacee out of there as he loves watching Toy Story on the tv's.

scald
08-10-2009, 08:27 AM
We never ge the half board vouchers as I don't like being restricted. On the past two trips this turned out to be a wise decision as various factors like my daughter falling ill and the heat/exhaustion meant our dining plans changed drastically to what he intended.

this time we ate at Pizza Planet one day. Two Pizza burgers (HUGE), 1 mickey pizza, 3 fries, 1 salad, 1 garlic bread, 2 beers and two fizzy drinks came to 43 euro. We were all stuffed and to be honest it was the best counter service meal. It really depends on where you choose, Cowboy Cookout was a complete let down with small portions, wheras Bella Notte gets great reviews.

Remember, you can still have a table service meal at a good price by going somewhere like Cafe Mickey, where the pizzas are enormous and very filling for teenage boys. By booking this beforehand you get a set price, but generally its not that expensive to eat here. We had a meal for 4 recently including two alcoholic drinks, main courses, dessert and coffee and it came to less than 90 euros.

Also, we brought the kids into the train station every morning and stocked up on regular price chocolate and snacks and refilled our water bottles from the taps around the park.

Dianetigger
08-10-2009, 09:18 AM
In the end, we liked having the vouchers. It gave us the opportunity to eat in some places i'd never have considered, and I felt much more relaxed knowing it was all paid for, instead of counting everything up before ordering....It also made meal times something to really look forward to, instead of just somewhere to stop off and eat. We'll book them again.


Same here, we'd never used the half board plus vouchers before but knowing that our meals were paid for (unless we wanted to use them at face value) was a godsend for us. We enjoyed eating for the first time at Hunters Grill, Chuck Wagon (not as good as Hunters Grill), Walts, Restaurant des Stars (wouldn't eat here again though, buffet wasn't replenished enough at the end of the day and there wasn't as much choice as other buffets) and Inventions.
I'd certainly go down the half board route again.

thelittlemermaid83
08-10-2009, 09:38 AM
For my first 5 trips i didnt use HB vouchers and im not using them in my November trip either.

daiseyirl
08-10-2009, 10:55 AM
hi,

we havnt booked them b4 either, we hav thought about it but always decided against. my dds are 3+4 and wouldnt eat a massive dinner they usually share a kids meal between them and i give them some of my main cource, i dont hav a big appetite id only ever hav one cource and its rare id order a dessert. We usually make up a few rolls at brekfast and a few crosissants, fill the dds beakers with water or juice. The first night we go over to auchan supermarket and stock up on fruit/crackers/crisps/choclate ect. We always eat at cafe mickeys aleast 1 night and just order off d menu, always do 1 macdonalds. the last time we ate over in val'europe twice. It really depends if you are big eaters r not. Considering you hav teenagers maybe getting the standard h/b would be the best option.

pigby
08-10-2009, 02:02 PM
mmm...

Still unsure about this HB voucher business - we usually do a mix of CS and TS meals - plus we have the added problem of DD (for whom we pay adult price) is a veggie and sometimes on a buffet, there are very few things she will/can eat - at Inventions last time she ate absolutely nothing.

I like a few CS restaurants - Hakuna Matata (sp?) and Toad Hall stand out for us but there are still one or two we haven't tried. I suppose we still have time to get the half board vouchers but you really recommend to a fussy veggie?

Mind you, we said we were going to do all CS at WDW this May and ended up booking the Dining Plan - which worked just fine (with a lot of planning around restaurant choices)

howlongtillsummer?
08-10-2009, 03:26 PM
I didn't have them but wouldn't go back without them. Anything to save a bit from the very high prices! We used all our spending money on food and wouldn't buy anything else as it was sooooooooo overpriced.

Ware Bears
08-10-2009, 04:29 PM
When my Dad was working on the Park in 1992 (pre-opening obviously) they used to have "Worker Sales" at the various CS resturants in the Disneyland Park whereby you could buy a Menu Mickey for at 75% off for one hour over lunchtime so that they could practice serving lots of people at the same time. They gave up after two months of trialing :rotfl: :lmao: :lmao:

scottwb
08-10-2009, 04:37 PM
When my Dad was working on the Park in 1992 (pre-opening obviously) they used to have "Worker Sales" at the various CS resturants in the Disneyland Park whereby you could buy a Menu Mickey for at 75% off for one hour over lunchtime so that they could practice serving lots of people at the same time. They gave up after two months of trialing :rotfl:

Reminds me of the time I worked in a chocolate packing factory - we were told we could eat whatever we liked - I was sick of the stuff after two weeks :sick:

Ljay
08-11-2009, 06:27 PM
Everytime i have been with family or friends, ive never been HB. i never knew much about it since this year, i have booked it this time round when we go in dec.

Has everyone knows food is expensive there, i did find when i went with friends i had to always check my money that i would have enough, i always kept it seperate so i didnt dig in to food money:)
My friend liked to drink coffee quite a bit at the stands around the park and a muffin. i found that diggin into my money to.
We always had counter service food as well, and used Mac donalds alot aswell, but now im older and have my own family i dont really want to use mac donalds etc, if im on holiday i want to dine somewhere which is different to home.....where as usually you can walk around a corner in UK and always run into a mac donalds:lmao:
Even though i enjoyed the counter food (sandwich bar in village) i got a bit bored of it. so aprt from breakfast in Hotel we had a counter sevice lunch and dinner. that twice aday for 4 days was quite a bit of money. :eek:

this time round i will be taking snacks for during the day.we have halfboard plus for dec, so this time round i will have much more of a varity! buffets:yay:;)