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View Full Version : free dining in december, but not sure if it's worth it....


dj2
06-04-2010, 09:52 PM
long post - sorry.

okay, i need to preface this whole thing by saying that i feel really grateful and fortunate that we have a very wonderul vacation planned and are only trying to make it the best it can be. of all the problems that people can have, this one is really minor in the grand scheme of things.

i guess i'm trying to resolve two problems at the same time
--how do we get the most value for our dollar, and
--how do we get the most time on the rides and attractions.

i feel strange saying this, but i'm seriously considering dropping the free dining promotion we have and instead paying less for our room (since we won't have to pay rack rate anymore) and paying less for our admission tickets (since we won't have to buy from disney), then using those savings to pay OOP for all our food. i'm having trouble figuring out if this makes sense, so forgive me as i outline it all here, and maybe if will help me decide.

PLEASE help me with any suggestions you might have. Here's what's going on....

1. we have a 7 night reservation for 5, so 35 TS meals to use up. (i'm not worried about the CS meals at all, those will get used easily)

2. we're spending the first two days at universal, so it won't be convenient to use TS meals on those days. so we've got to use up 35 TS meals in 5 1/2 days.

3. i have so many food allergies that i usually just prefer to bring my own food on vacation, so the 35 meals will basically be split among only 4 people. that means almost two TS per day to use up, plus all the CS, too.

4. TS meals take so much time. what with spending 2 days at universal (harry potter, you know), we only have 5 days left for wdw, and that's really not enough! (sorry, i realize that sounds really spoiled :)) ---eating 2 TS meals each day seems like it could seriously cut into our touring time.

5. also, even though we were just going to universal for 2 days, the 7 day pass was cheaper, and then mapleleaf tickets gave us a free upgrade to 14 days (wow!), so we actually have access to the US/IOA for our entire stay, and we might decide to go back there during the week, too, cutting back on wdw time even more.

so what should we do?

--TS credits can no longer be used at CS, right? or can they?
--should we ask wdw if they would downgrade us to free QS dining? do you think they would do that?
--are there any TS restaurants which allow you to use TS credits for take-out meals? (that seems faster than sit-down and also less OOP $ for tips)
--we're at POR. does POR have pizza delivery and does it allow pizza delivery for TS credits? we could order when we get back at the end of the day and put the pizza in the fridge for the next day's breakfast, lol. i'm not sure how pizza delivery works....if i read it right, 4 TS credits would get us 2 pizzas, 4 beverages and 4 desserts. Not quite the same $ value as 4 adult meals at Chef Mickeys, but at least it wouldn't be wasted.

please help me figure this all out.
thanks very much,
dj

Cafeen
06-05-2010, 02:59 AM
long post - sorry.

okay, i need to preface this whole thing by saying that i feel really grateful and fortunate that we have a very wonderul vacation planned and are only trying to make it the best it can be. of all the problems that people can have, this one is really minor in the grand scheme of things.

i guess i'm trying to resolve two problems at the same time
--how do we get the most value for our dollar, and
--how do we get the most time on the rides and attractions.

i feel strange saying this, but i'm seriously considering dropping the free dining promotion we have and instead paying less for our room (since we won't have to pay rack rate anymore) and paying less for our admission tickets (since we won't have to buy from disney), then using those savings to pay OOP for all our food. i'm having trouble figuring out if this makes sense, so forgive me as i outline it all here, and maybe if will help me decide.

PLEASE help me with any suggestions you might have. Here's what's going on....

1. we have a 7 night reservation for 5, so 35 TS meals to use up. (i'm not worried about the CS meals at all, those will get used easily)

2. we're spending the first two days at universal, so it won't be convenient to use TS meals on those days. so we've got to use up 35 TS meals in 5 1/2 days.

3. i have so many food allergies that i usually just prefer to bring my own food on vacation, so the 35 meals will basically be split among only 4 people. that means almost two TS per day to use up, plus all the CS, too.

4. TS meals take so much time. what with spending 2 days at universal (harry potter, you know), we only have 5 days left for wdw, and that's really not enough! (sorry, i realize that sounds really spoiled :)) ---eating 2 TS meals each day seems like it could seriously cut into our touring time.

5. also, even though we were just going to universal for 2 days, the 7 day pass was cheaper, and then mapleleaf tickets gave us a free upgrade to 14 days (wow!), so we actually have access to the US/IOA for our entire stay, and we might decide to go back there during the week, too, cutting back on wdw time even more.

so what should we do?
First off, DON'T feel strange for asking this. Free dining is a great offer, but it doesn't work for everyone. Finding out what best fits your circumstances and saves you the most money is what is important!

Reading through your vacation plans, you are correct in that it does not seem to fit your itinerary. With 2 full days not at Disney parks, and your penchant for bringing your own food, and the concerns about time management, it just doesn't seem that any dining plan would fit very well.

Even on the QSDP, you're going to be ending up with several unused credits.

I would go with your gut on this one and switch over to a room discount promotion.

And pfft, you haven't seen long posts until you get some of my whoppers ;).

As far as your other questions...

1) --TS credits can no longer be used at CS, right? or can they?
2) --should we ask wdw if they would downgrade us to free QS dining? do you think they would do that?
3) --are there any TS restaurants which allow you to use TS credits for take-out meals? (that seems faster than sit-down and also less OOP $ for tips)
4) --we're at POR. does POR have pizza delivery and does it allow pizza delivery for TS credits? we could order when we get back at the end of the day and put the pizza in the fridge for the next day's breakfast, lol. i'm not sure how pizza delivery works....if i read it right, 4 TS credits would get us 2 pizzas, 4 beverages and 4 desserts. Not quite the same $ value as 4 adult meals at Chef Mickeys, but at least it wouldn't be wasted.

please help me figure this all out.
thanks very much,
dj
1) Typically no. Sometimes, especially during FD they will allow it, but that's the exception and not the norm and not something I would count on.

2) With the amount of time you're not at the Disney parks, I wouldn't think the QSDP would be worth it either. You're going to end up with several unused credits even on this plan.

3) No. Disney TS restaurants are not set up for To-Go orders.

4) I'm not sure about POR, but in general, pizza delivery is probably the worst use of credits from a pure value per credit standpoint. If you really want to order pizza, I'm sure there are local chains/mom&pop shops that will deliver to Disney resorts offering better food for less money.

In general, the Dining Plans work great at saving money, but only if you plan to dine the way they suggest. If you're not going to utilize their offerings, then it could quickly end up costing you more to be on a dining plan (whether "free" or not).

Have a great trip :).

julluvsdisney
06-05-2010, 03:53 AM
I agree with cafeen! I think you know in your gut what works best for you! Good luck! Ps just wondering how you got free dining in december? BB? I would love FD in december!!!!

Cafeen
06-05-2010, 05:17 AM
4) I'm not sure about POR, but in general, pizza delivery is probably the worst use of credits from a pure value per credit standpoint. If you really want to order pizza, I'm sure there are local chains/mom&pop shops that will deliver to Disney resorts offering better food for less money.
Ok, quoting myself here :p. Before someone yells at me for this, I should caveat it.

This is from a pure financial position. I understand that from an experience position, some people do enjoy doing this and that's fine. Just from a cost/value analysis, realize that it's not a good use of the cost of the credits ;).

And my guess is PIN (yes, there were some released) or Bounceback :).

ShellyLynn3630
06-05-2010, 09:41 AM
We got free dining last December, both with a pin code and the general public. I lovvvvvvveeeeeedddddd the first few days there, the temps were great. The last day it did get cold, did'nt care for it. But it did have to be one of the very best times to go, temp wise.

OrangeCat04
06-05-2010, 09:46 AM
I agree with the PP's. The room discount seems to be the best deal for your family. We have never used a free dining promo, but always use any kind of promo that gives us a discount on the room (Buy4get3free, etc.) We just don't eat dessert with every meal at all. We find the meal plans don't work for us, and find it cheaper to pay OOP for our food at the restaurants. To each his own... Have a great trip!!!

dj2
06-06-2010, 05:45 PM
thanks everyone. i'm still not sure what we'll do. but i'm going to make ADR's in a few days just in case.

squirrel
06-06-2010, 07:41 PM
What are the hours like at Universal/IOA? Is it possible to use TS credits for dinner or an early breakfast on those days? My neighbours did Universal and IOA for a few days during their Free Dining trip last year. They did have some extra CS meals and I think 1 TS meal each.

Consider going to HDDR or one of the other dinner shows. They take 2 TS credits and include the gratuity.

Disney is excellent with allergies. Note the items you are allergic to when you book your ADR's. Then go into the DisAbilities Board and there is a link to e-mail special diets. They will help you find CS places in each park where you can get food that is safe. You can also fill out an ADR form for all of your ADR's and they will let the chefs know ahead of time so they can be ready to prepare you something delicious.

If you are up early book some ADR's before the park opens. You can get some great photos with few people around. You will be finished just as the park is opening. Crystal Palace or CRT (2 TS credit) at MK, Donald's Safari Breakfast at AK, Akershus at Epcot, and Hollywood and Vine at DHS.

It looks like the booking online is at 190 days. You might be able to book now. If you get a room discount you can always cancel your ADR's.

let'sgo
06-06-2010, 07:49 PM
The Signature Dining also takes 2 TS credits. When DH and I went we saw that we weren't going to use all of our credits so I switched and put in some Signature Dining and DH loved it!