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View Full Version : CS + 4 kids + September heat? Am I asking for trouble?


3Minnies1Mickey
12-07-2010, 07:36 PM
With all these DxDP questions lately, I've considered going Deluxe over reg. DDP for our trip next September (at least for one of the weeks). Here are my reasonings:

1) Dealing with the new QS "rules", 4 kids, a double stroller and more trays than we have hands.

2) A/C

3) Sticking to a regular eating schedule (which we NEVER do in DLR and end up paying for it after a few days of irregular eating).

4) Not playing the "where do you want to eat?" game or the "are you hungry, do you want to grab something now or can you wait?" game

5) This is our one and only trip to WDW and will be there for 2 weeks so taking time to stop and eat isn't a huge issue, plus we aren't lingering diners. Plus we'd like to do character meals, CRT and HDDR. Probably won't do a signature, but considering maybe one over the 2 weeks for DHs birthday.

6) ODD will be almost 10 and DS will be almost 3 (not on plan). The extra apps can help fill the gap between DDs appetite and the amount of food in the kids meal, plus give us enough food so we don't have to pay OOP for food for DS.



Sooooo.........those of you that have actually dined in WDW can you critique my thinking? Am I off in any of these assumptions I've gotten from others comments? I still need to run numbers including filling the gap between what we get on the regular plan and what we'd have to pay OOP for DS and ODD, plus all the extra food we'd order from Garden Grocer.

catne
12-07-2010, 07:52 PM
I wouldn't factor in the new CS rules for a September trip...the new counter service rules are only applied during the MOST busy times of the year, and September is among the slowest times of the year, even with free dining. The reports of no availability just aren't so (except for the most popular character meals & most popular park restaurants...but there's actually lots of availability if you're flexible.)

We have been to Disney the last 3 Septembers including the holiday weekend and they were not using those rules. It's just not that busy during September (Labor Day weekend has to be about the slowest holiday weekend of the year, I would guess.) We've also been there during the Memorial weekend

I do agree with your other arguments...it is very hot in September (or pouring rain, either way good to get out of the weather.)

One thing to consider, though, with the Deluxe, you spend a lot of time getting to restaurants, and a lot of time with your meals. We averaged about 90 minutes after we were seated at signature places, just over an hour at table service (non-buffet) So that takes a lot of touring time out of your schedule...and September has shorter park hours, except for the actual Labor Day weekend. After that, though, you'll get either early EMH or late EMH at one park each day (not both early & late available on the same day.) And lots of 7:00 or earlier park closing times. So all that time in restaurants can eat up a lot of your time.

If you do decide to do the Deluxe, do not order anything from Garden Grocer...between the refillable mugs & a gazillion snack credits you will not need anything extra in the room, guaranteed. We're both adults (and large eaters, too) and we have never used all the snack credits while we are there...even on a 2 night stay we end up taking pastries home with the left-over snack credits. You just don't get hungry. You'll have plenty of food for all, including the child not on the plan & an extra-hungry almost 10 year old...remember, you and your hubby will each get an appetizer...so that's two adult-sized apps for the table to share. In addition, there's always bread or rolls, and vegs come with entrees, etc. The kids meals at the table service restaurants offer much more variety than the counter service meals, and tend to be a little more generous, too.

brockash
12-08-2010, 01:46 PM
I wouldn't factor in the new CS rules for a September trip...the new counter service rules are only applied during the MOST busy times of the year, and September is among the slowest times of the year, even with free dining. The reports of no availability just aren't so (except for the most popular character meals & most popular park restaurants...but there's actually lots of availability if you're flexible.)

We have been to Disney the last 3 Septembers including the holiday weekend and they were not using those rules. It's just not that busy during September (Labor Day weekend has to be about the slowest holiday weekend of the year, I would guess.) We've also been there during the Memorial weekend

I do agree with your other arguments...it is very hot in September (or pouring rain, either way good to get out of the weather.)

One thing to consider, though, with the Deluxe, you spend a lot of time getting to restaurants, and a lot of time with your meals. We averaged about 90 minutes after we were seated at signature places, just over an hour at table service (non-buffet) So that takes a lot of touring time out of your schedule...and September has shorter park hours, except for the actual Labor Day weekend. After that, though, you'll get either early EMH or late EMH at one park each day (not both early & late available on the same day.) And lots of 7:00 or earlier park closing times. So all that time in restaurants can eat up a lot of your time.

If you do decide to do the Deluxe, do not order anything from Garden Grocer...between the refillable mugs & a gazillion snack credits you will not need anything extra in the room, guaranteed. We're both adults (and large eaters, too) and we have never used all the snack credits while we are there...even on a 2 night stay we end up taking pastries home with the left-over snack credits. You just don't get hungry. You'll have plenty of food for all, including the child not on the plan & an extra-hungry almost 10 year old...remember, you and your hubby will each get an appetizer...so that's two adult-sized apps for the table to share. In addition, there's always bread or rolls, and vegs come with entrees, etc. The kids meals at the table service restaurants offer much more variety than the counter service meals, and tend to be a little more generous, too.

We've gone the last 3 Sept.'s as well, and they've never had those "rules" and I can't imagine they would start (I understand they do it during busy times, but Sept. is one of the slowest.)

Honestly, I wouldn't do the deluxe dining. I'd stick with the regular dining. I have 2 kids, and some of our most chaotic meals have been our TS ones, just because it's more formal/more sitting still ect. We've always done the regular dining plan, and I think it works pretty good with kids. We usually do our TS meals for a later lunch. It's a nice break, nice time to cool down when it's really warm outside. There are also plenty of CS places that are indoors with A/C. I'd save your money and just do the regular dining. You also will have more flexibility that way with your meals, instead of having them all scheduled.

3Minnies1Mickey
12-08-2010, 06:45 PM
I
One thing to consider, though, with the Deluxe, you spend a lot of time getting to restaurants, and a lot of time with your meals. We averaged about 90 minutes after we were seated at signature places, just over an hour at table service (non-buffet) So that takes a lot of touring time out of your schedule...and September has shorter park hours, except for the actual Labor Day weekend. After that, though, you'll get either early EMH or late EMH at one park each day (not both early & late available on the same day.) And lots of 7:00 or earlier park closing times. So all that time in restaurants can eat up a lot of your time.

If you do decide to do the Deluxe, do not order anything from Garden Grocer...between the refillable mugs & a gazillion snack credits you will not need anything extra in the room, guaranteed. We're both adults (and large eaters, too) and we have never used all the snack credits while we are there...even on a 2 night stay we end up taking pastries home with the left-over snack credits. You just don't get hungry. You'll have plenty of food for all, including the child not on the plan & an extra-hungry almost 10 year old...remember, you and your hubby will each get an appetizer...so that's two adult-sized apps for the table to share. In addition, there's always bread or rolls, and vegs come with entrees, etc. The kids meals at the table service restaurants offer much more variety than the counter service meals, and tend to be a little more generous, too.

We were hoping to use evening EMHs as much as possible since we are night owls, coming from the west coast, and we can spend the bulk of the hot afternoon at our resort. If we did do Deluxe I'd only get water from Costco...though I don't know if I can survive without Pepsi for 2 whole weeks!

We've gone the last 3 Sept.'s as well, and they've never had those "rules" and I can't imagine they would start (I understand they do it during busy times, but Sept. is one of the slowest.)

Honestly, I wouldn't do the deluxe dining. I'd stick with the regular dining. I have 2 kids, and some of our most chaotic meals have been our TS ones, just because it's more formal/more sitting still ect. We've always done the regular dining plan, and I think it works pretty good with kids. We usually do our TS meals for a later lunch. It's a nice break, nice time to cool down when it's really warm outside. There are also plenty of CS places that are indoors with A/C. I'd save your money and just do the regular dining. You also will have more flexibility that way with your meals, instead of having them all scheduled.

Thanks for the info about the "rules". I can't imagine having to wait in line with my kids while ordering CS. We will be heading back to our room for most afternoons except maybe on our AK day(s). Afternoon naps are a must for us. I was thinking of either doing (1) an early TS breakfast, CS lunch on the go for whomever is awake or at the resort to take back to the room, then a TS Dinner when we return to the park for EMHs....or (2) CS breakfast on the way to the resort, early TS lunch (or late brunch) before heading back to room, and a later TS dinner. We will be staying at the BC so we have a lot of TS options at our resort or nearby.

catne
12-08-2010, 07:15 PM
keep in mind those late EMH are not really very "late" in September due to the early park closing times...like the week we were there this September, the "late" EMH was like 5:00-8:00 PM at AK, and just 7-10 at Hollywood Studios.

If you're planning several 2 credit meals or shows & a lot of character meals, then deluxe might be the way to go (especially if you can get free dining & just pay for the upgrade instead of the full cost.) Character buffets would also be a great way to feed the under-3 and almost-10 yr olds.

Colleen27
12-08-2010, 07:41 PM
Personally I'd recommend the deluxe plan if only for the guarateed air conditioning. September is a slow season but with free dining the restaurants are usually still busy, which makes getting an indoor seat at the indoor/outdoor CS venues more difficult. As Catne said the CS rules probably won't be in effect, which is a double-edged sword. You won't have to keep your kids and husband in line with you, but you might have a harder time finding a table because of people lingering in the cool restaurant or even taking up a table without eating.

Staying at the BC is another reason to go deluxe in my opinion - the counter service options there are pretty sparse, but there are plenty of good table service locations in the BC/YC and Boardwalk area, several of which are either easy last-minute ADRs or don't take reservations at all. Not to mention the option of room service, which can be quite nice on a lazy morning or at the end of a long hot day.

We like the deluxe plan for your #6 - our oldest was almost 10 when we did it for the first time, our girls were 8 & 1.5 the second time, and they'll be 9 & 2 the third time. The DxDDP did a good job on all three trips of filling in the gaps, first between DS's appetite & tastes and the kids' choices, and now for both of the girls to have plenty of food and variety without paying for anything OOP. Once the girls hit 10 & 3 we might have to rethink the plan; DD9 is a light eater who wouldn't even make a dent in a three course adult meal, and I just can't see paying an adult rate for her. But with kids who are at the upper end of "child" pricing or the upper end of "free" it is nice to have the extra food to share around the table.

3Minnies1Mickey
12-08-2010, 08:09 PM
keep in mind those late EMH are not really very "late" in September due to the early park closing times...like the week we were there this September, the "late" EMH was like 5:00-8:00 PM at AK, and just 7-10 at Hollywood Studios.
If you're planning several 2 credit meals or shows & a lot of character meals, then deluxe might be the way to go (especially if you can get free dining & just pay for the upgrade instead of the full cost.) Character buffets would also be a great way to feed the under-3 and almost-10 yr olds.

Yes I was aware of the hours. We are night owls so worst case is eating dinner after a 7 pm regular DHS closing. We are are staying DVC, which means we could get food for the room, but I'm definitely NOT cooking! :rotfl2:

Personally I'd recommend the deluxe plan if only for the guarateed air conditioning. September is a slow season but with free dining the restaurants are usually still busy, which makes getting an indoor seat at the indoor/outdoor CS venues more difficult. As Catne said the CS rules probably won't be in effect, which is a double-edged sword. You won't have to keep your kids and husband in line with you, but you might have a harder time finding a table because of people lingering in the cool restaurant or even taking up a table without eating.

Staying at the BC is another reason to go deluxe in my opinion - the counter service options there are pretty sparse, but there are plenty of good table service locations in the BC/YC and Boardwalk area, several of which are either easy last-minute ADRs or don't take reservations at all. Not to mention the option of room service, which can be quite nice on a lazy morning or at the end of a long hot day.

We like the deluxe plan for your #6 - our oldest was almost 10 when we did it for the first time, our girls were 8 & 1.5 the second time, and they'll be 9 & 2 the third time. The DxDDP did a good job on all three trips of filling in the gaps, first between DS's appetite & tastes and the kids' choices, and now for both of the girls to have plenty of food and variety without paying for anything OOP. Once the girls hit 10 & 3 we might have to rethink the plan; DD9 is a light eater who wouldn't even make a dent in a three course adult meal, and I just can't see paying an adult rate for her. But with kids who are at the upper end of "child" pricing or the upper end of "free" it is nice to have the extra food to share around the table.

Thanks for the feedback. I may just do deluxe the first week and stick to regular the 2nd week when we are at OKW since we'd probably eat at DTD are down days and prefer Earl of Sandwich or WGP Express, and TS is less abundant there.

Colleen27
12-08-2010, 08:22 PM
Thanks for the feedback. I may just do deluxe the first week and stick to regular the 2nd week when we are at OKW since we'd probably eat at DTD are down days and prefer Earl of Sandwich or WGP Express, and TS is less abundant there.

That sounds like a smart plan for a split stay. If I were at OKW or SSR I'd probably stick to the basic DDP for that time too, because I'd want to spend the extra cash on a few off-plan meals at DTD with just a nice little boat ride away. :goodvibes