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View Full Version : Just back 6 days with TIW!


Tiger926
03-21-2010, 03:26 PM
This past week was absolute chaos in the parks - crowds, crowds and more crowds! As seasoned DVC members who've logged thousands of park hours, even we were a bit overwhelmed at times, so we were so glad we had all of TS meals to look forward to.

We've done DP and DxDP many times, as well as DDE/TIW, but this time, I finally convinced DH to go back to TIW, and we are so glad we did!

Here are our stats for 2 adults, 1 child and 1 toddler:

L - Plaza
D - 50's Primetime
B - Cape May
L - Rose & Crown
L - Mama Melrose
D - CRT (new Princess Dinner was fab and Wishes was spectacular from inside!)
L - Tusker House (got Nemo tix)
B - Kona Cafe
D - Crystal Palace
B - 1900 Park Fare
L - Akershus
B - Artist's Palette

Most of our meals were pretty good, and service was ok. As we've continued to notice, service is still declining, but we had no major problems (a few issues at Rose and Crown though with seriously undercooked food). We had a spectacular server at CRT though!

We also bought 13 snacks throughout our 6 nights/6 days and 3 CS meals.

Our total for 12 TS meals using TIW, including $37.50 for card (split with our July stay) was $ 745.61. Kids shared many adult meals (much better food), and only ordered a few kids meals for breakfast at Kona and at 50s as meatloaf platter was very filling for them. I must say that this didn't include many desserts, any appetizers, nor drinks, as we aren't big dessert or appetizer eaters, and we also brought in our own bottled water (don't drink alcohol). Also as a reminder, this total includes the mandatory 18% TIW gratuity.

All in all, we are very happy with how our week went - hardly any CS meals (can't stand CS), and less snacks then if on DP. We were in charge of the food we wanted to eat, and this felt great! We also ate at Rainforest Cafe, but it doesn't take TIW, so didn't include in list above.

For those who are contemplating the TIW vs. DP decision, we say go for it! We have done both many times, and like the freedom of the TIW, plus our kids have access to better food.

Hope this helps those trying to make their decision, Tiger :)

heaven2dc
03-21-2010, 06:04 PM
I'm going to ask a dumb question but what is TIW? There are so many abbreviations on the boards that sometimes it's hard to keep up for an old lady like me ;) (I thought it meant "things I wish" I could eat - just kidding!!)

Tiger926
03-21-2010, 06:34 PM
I'm going to ask a dumb question but what is TIW? There are so many abbreviations on the boards that sometimes it's hard to keep up for an old lady like me ;) (I thought it meant "things I wish" I could eat - just kidding!!)

It's Tables in Wonderland (formerly Disney Dining Experience aka DDE) - it allows for a 20% discount on most TS meals and beverages (alcohol included). If you have an Annual Pass or Florida Resident, then you are eligible to purchase the card for $75.00 or $100.00 per year.

Tiger :)

MinnieGirl33
03-21-2010, 08:09 PM
We are another family that prefers TIW over DDP.

Flexibility is key for us. You want an appetizer & dessert for dinner, no problem... cocktails or wine with dinner, here's your discount...

For us it just works out better than paying for 4 adults on the DDP. If there was a Junior price category then we might reevaluate but...

catne
03-21-2010, 08:23 PM
thanks for the stats...we have been using dining plans for years & like them, but now that we're annual passholders, we are seriously contemplating the TIW. Would really like the increased flexibility.

pixarmom
03-21-2010, 08:28 PM
Everyone should do their own math for this, but we just got TIW, too, and we LOVE it! We used to do CS lunch and TS dinner every day, and this time we added more TS lunches. Having lunch ADRs was a great break from the parks for us and for our 3 kids. Tried great new restaurants and loved the flexibility of ordering whatever we wanted, and always getting the 20% off!

njmeisje
03-21-2010, 08:28 PM
MinnieGirl33

The point you make about the DDP not having a Junior Category is the main reason we favor TIW too. Our daughters are 13 and 14 -- and they simply cannot (nor want to) eat enough to make the DDP worth paying Adult prices. Not having a JR category on the dining plan is a real gap in the program , IMHO. TIW gives us the flexibility to order to appetites....

Diane

a1tinkfans
03-21-2010, 08:50 PM
You mean you had just 3 dinners in 6 days vacation at a cost of 700+ dollars? Am I reading that correctly? 4 breakfasts and 5 lunches?

It is interesting to actually SEE the numbers as I have heard of it before but did not know how it worked.
I guess for us, I like the sit downs at Dinner which is where it really costs the most.... generally speaking, so I am not sure if it would work out better? :confused3 Then adding in a lunch everyday for counter (which I am fine with) I guess I am not really seeing a bang for my buck this way?:confused3:confused3
I am glad this worked for you...by flexibility, I guess you mean food types as you still require those darn ADR's right??? :lmao:

Tiger926
03-21-2010, 09:16 PM
You mean you had just 3 dinners in 6 days vacation at a cost of 700+ dollars? Am I reading that correctly? 4 breakfasts and 5 lunches?

It is interesting to actually SEE the numbers as I have heard of it before but did not know how it worked.
I guess for us, I like the sit downs at Dinner which is where it really costs the most.... generally speaking, so I am not sure if it would work out better? :confused3 Then adding in a lunch everyday for counter (which I am fine with) I guess I am not really seeing a bang for my buck this way?:confused3:confused3
I am glad this worked for you...by flexibility, I guess you mean food types as you still require those darn ADR's right??? :lmao:

Sorry let me clarify:

Arrival night - didn't arrive until 7:00 to Epcot, so we ate off-site.

Next 5 nights - we ate 4 TS meals (one of which was RFC, so I didn't list it as it doesn't take TIW), and the last day, we left at 6:00, so we had late lunch/early dinner at Akershus.

Not sure what you mean by adding in a counter service lunch? We ate at 2 TS meals per day, and only ate 3 CS meals (1 breakfast, 1 lunch and 1 dinner) the whole time, and we got our TIW discount on 1 breakfast at Artist's Palette.

In regards to flexibility, I mean that we aren't subject to all of Disney's DP rules: kids can eat any kind of food they want and we can order what we want to eat or drink, without food/beverage restrictions found on the DP. Also, if someone gets sick or doesn't feel like eating, there are no lost credits. Of course, you still need to make ADRs, but there is flexibility in that you as the guest have more freedom with your dining on TIW as opposed to DP. Many servers seemed to be relieved when we said we weren't on the DP.

HTH, Tiger :)

PixieNorth
03-21-2010, 11:17 PM
I had read a couple of things that make TIW worth your while. One is that you can drink water at a meal and not feel like you're getting ripped off since DDP comes with a pop. Another is that it gives you a chance to sample more of the menu, such as soup and appetizer, rather than a larger main course. One thing that helps save money is when you eat TS for lunch. Do you have any other advice?

aussietravellers
03-22-2010, 12:07 AM
Thanks for your post, its great to read this.

We have decided to go with TIW for the first time on our upcoming trip. We are going for 21 nights and are mainly TS eaters, so will have at least 2TS a day maybe even 3TS in a day. We have a DL AP, so will be upgrading that to the new premier pass so will buy our TIW on our first day. We have done the DDP in the past but with my DS being 10 this trip, I looked at TIW as my DS will just not eat the value of an adult DDP, on TIW he can order off the kids menu or even have an appertizer, so can the adults.

Tiger926
03-22-2010, 05:50 AM
Glad to be of help! Here are a few more things I forgot to mention:

Kids - Although there is a savings with DP if you have kids 3-9 years old, as it will cost you more for 1 character meal than the entire cost of the day's DP, plus you still have a CS credit and Snack credit to use. Problem for us is that the kids' meals are not that good. We do not eat fast food at all, so no chicken nuggets, hot dogs or peanut butter/jelly around here. They eat grilled chicken, fish, soups, rice and veggies. You can get these foods at buffets, or a few TS restaurants, but for the most part, the kids' meals are not good, so they shared adult TS meals and really enjoyed that. Better quality food, and it saved us money, as we would have had to buy our little guy food as he's only 2.5 years old.

Tips - Don't want to get into specifics as there is a tipping thread for that, but forgot to mention that TIW includes a mandatory 18% gratuity. Since it's on discount though, it works out to be approx. 15%. It's great, as no wasting time figuring out tip - just sign receipt and go!

Signatures - We don't feel that there are many Signatures worth 2 credits on the DP, so with TIW, this is another plus.

Extras - If you want extras such as alcohol, milkshakes (some TS places allow them, some do not as a beverage) or fancy kids' drinks, you get the discount as well.

Small details - If you want a soup or salad, as mentioned, you can get it without feeling like you wasted a credit. If you want to order a kids' meal or half orders, many places willl let you get that as well. Also, there is much less wastage on DP - so much food goes to waste as people order it all in order to maximize their plans. We are people who only ordered what we could eat, but sometimes, DH would get this bug in him, and overeat in order to maximize a credit. With TIW, there should be none of this as you eat how you want to eat!

Dining Plans - With DP, we don't find it's enough food, plus we don't like CS meals at all. We go for approx. 2 weeks each July (with an extra trip thrown in every few years, like last week), so eating 2 weeks of CS meals is killer. Plus, it's not enough food, so we have to supplement on regular DP. DxDP is enough food, but too many ADRs and time spent in restaurants (although in hot July sun, this is welcome) away from parks, not to mention too many snacks! You do get the refillable mug, but we don't drink pop or coffee, so it's a waste for us, except to bring home and use.

Value - With TIW discount, some of the cheaper TS meals are the same or even cheaper than a CS meal! This is a great savings as families can eat sandwiches or soups/salads, instead of yucky CS burgers or hot dogs. Places like The Plaza or ESPN Club have good food, with great prices. Almost all TS restaurants have very reasonably priced lunch menus with $9.00-$10.00 sandwiches that can be shared or eaten alone.

All in all, we loved the freedom not having the DP gave us as we ate what we want, when we wanted, and it came out to be cheaper than DP for us. Sure both DPs come with beverages and desserts, but we normally drink bottled water (which we bring with us into parks), and hardly ever get desserts anyway. So, when we remove these factors, plus the extra snacks that we wouldn't have used, it makes the TIW even more of a value for us!

Tiger :)

MinnieGirl33
03-22-2010, 07:53 AM
Tiger926 absolutely agree about signatures!

You really need to know how your family likes to eat & what you really spend on food.

Every trip we come home & I analyze all our food receipts because with all the people doing the DDP I swear I must be missing something :confused: but by the time you add the tip & all the extra OOP money we'd have to spend, for us it's a no brainer that TIW saves us a bundle over the course of a year(and almost paid for itself after 1 meal at California Grill).

Leota
03-22-2010, 10:24 AM
TIW works much better for us too. We like appetizers - often we make a meal out of just appetizers. We like to have wine or cocktails with lunch & dinner. We like to have mostly TS as well, we don't do many CS meals. Also, we mainly stay at the Swolphin, so switching to another resort to take advantage of DDP would have to be worth it & it's not for us.

We paid for our TIW & started saving money in one 8 day trip last Oct. This Oct. will be all savings.

PixieNorth
03-22-2010, 07:34 PM
Thanks for the advice. It really makes it clear that TIW is right for us. We like TS restaurants, we'd rather have soup/salad than a burger from a CS. I really appreciate the advice.