View Full Version : First Timers’ Experience on DDP & Free Server Tips & other DDP/Free Food Info

12-14-2010, 08:36 PM
We still have 3 days of our WDW stay left, but I'm ready to offer our info. I'm on the old fashioned dial-up service at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, so we'll see how this service works at getting this posted!

Pre-trip we received such great help from you generous Disboarders & we thank you very much. Hope some of our info helps someone. We learned a lot while on our first Disney Dining Plan, first use of our WDW Rewards Card from our Chase VISA credit card, first restaurant.com coupon (info courtesy of Disboarders), Rain Forest membership (though not our first use), & other coupons. During our 25 nite stay in the Disney area, we only paid out of pocket for 1 meal & only that one server‘s tip, & that was our choice because we wanted to try the $10.95 whole Maine 1 ¼ lb. lobster at Miller‘s Ale House (yum, yum!) as discussed on Disboards. Here’s what we used to get free food & servers’ tips.

1. DDP - 18 nites of our 25 nite stay in the Disney area; POFQ, Carib Beach, Country Inn & Suites
2. Rewards Card - used for DDP table service tips; used for non-DDP food & tips in DTD & Disney resorts & parks.
3. $25 gift card from Disney Timeshare - pre-trip we received email offer to call & discuss on phone for $25; did so & received gift card before leaving home. Used for DDP server tips.
4. $50 gift card from Disney Timeshare - at POFQ checkin, received offer to take a tour for a $50 gift card. Did so & received gift card on the spot. Tour takes 1-1 ½ hours, but we took 2 hours because we were genuinely interested & asked lots of questions. But anyone interested in buying should buy a resale, not from Disney. Resales are much cheaper. No pressure to buy was applied by the DVC salesman. At Saratoga Springs, they have full size models of the Bay Towers studio & one bedroom units; was interesting to see.
5. $25 restaurant.com certificate for House of Blues. Required $35 purchase + 18% auto tip; no problem for us. Paid $2 for cert. Paid for food balance & server’s tip with Rewards card.
6. $10 coupon, no strings attached for Rain Forest Café. We are members & received this email for Don’s birthday. RF accepts Rewards card; used for food bill balance & server‘s tip.
7. As a Rain Forest member benefit, a free appetizer is given every time a member dines at a RF restaurant. The appetizer & splitting one entrée is enough for us, unless we want different entrees.
8. $10 coupon, no strings attached for House of Blues. Signed up at their website. Received in email before we left. Rewards card used for remaining food bill & server’s tip.
9. $15 Planet Hollywood coupon with our Disney packet mailed to us before we left home. PH accepts Rewards card; used for remaining food bill & server’s tip.
10. $15 Planet Hollywood coupon at our 2nd Disney checkin - although we have 3 days left to go, we doubt that we will use this coupon - we have too many DDP credits left.

I'll post this & then continue in another post.


12-14-2010, 08:42 PM
wow...awesome use of coupons & freebies. Thanks for this report:thumbsup2

12-14-2010, 08:43 PM
A little about us - Since WDW opened, hubby Don & I have been too many times to count - with our young children, with our adult children & grandkids, & now as retirees. However, this was our first DDP! Thanks to Disboards, in August of this year, I saw the “Free Dining” offer & we decided to give it a try. Our 1st resort choice was available, so we booked Port Orleans French Quarter. Our first choice for visiting WDW has always been the time between Thanksgiving & Christmas. So, we scheduled checkin on Sat. 11/27 & checkout on Tues 12/7 = 10 nites. We included park passes for every day = 10 days (ended up wasting 6-8 days; not sure). For this trip, our WDW checkin & checkout dates were determined by “Free Dining” - after Thanksgiving, must begin no earlier than 11/27 & 10 nites was the maximum allowed.

We stayed 4 nites pre-POFQ at the Country Inn & Suites, LBV. We planned to return to CI&S after our POFQ stay. However, Don said, let’s book a 2nd Disney Free Dining stay, & we did. Caribbean Beach (POFQ not available) checkin 12/10 for 8 nites, checkout 12/18, with “Free Dining”, which could not begin before 12/10. On 12/18, we drove home to Indiana.

Here are some of our thoughts on DDP -

Is it really “FREE” dining? Well, being the skeptic that I am (or at least a wise purchaser), I compared the price of the “Special Resort Offer” discount with the “Free Dining Offer”. Actually, Disney fudged a little - for our first 10 nite stay, the “Free Dining” was about $300 above the “discounted resort offer“. We decided to take the free dining because we knew that we would spend more than $300 in our 10 nites stay, & boy did we - on Disney’s dollar, of course!

But would we only be eating DDP hamburgers? Before making the free dining resort reservation, I made advance dining reservations. I did not want to risk paying the extra $300 for junk food. I did not get all of the reservations that we wanted, but we were satisfied with the results. However, I did constantly peruse Disney’s website for LeCellier (no luck) & other dining changes. In the past, we have eaten at many of the Disney restaurants, so this time we ate mostly at restaurants that were new experiences for us - Boma (breakfast & dinner), Yachtsman (dinner), Cape May (dinner), Whispering Canyon Café (dinner), Boatwrights (dinner). However, we liked some so well, that we ate at them several times. We did not eat at any character meals.
NOTE: We checked at the podiums of many of the restaurants we tried & all said walk-ups (those w/o reservations) are always accepted if show up when restaurant opens; later times, usually accepted.

Pre-trip Planning of Quick Service & Snack Credits - A waste of time for us! “What we wanted when” could not be anticipated. We just went with the flow - what we felt like at the moment. But, one part of the advance planning was very useful. Pre-trip, I created a Word Doc, printed it, & took it with me. This doc listed what I thought would be our favorite QS & Snack foods & their locations - based on foods mentioned on Disboards’ posts, & based on the online menus. I carried this list with us each day, & when we were ready for a QS or Snack, I checked it for help in making our decisions. For easy searching of the list, I listed the places by park location & then by the different resorts.

I'll post this part & continue in a new post.


12-14-2010, 08:53 PM
Not Enough Food! - SO WRONG! - We thought that our QS & Snack credits would need to be “stretched” in order to have “free” food on the days we sacrificed table service in order to dine at Signature restaurants (takes 2 TS credits per person instead of 1). As DDP newbies & as very, very (did I say “very”?) frugal folks, we started panicking in our first days! We could not use the QS & snack credits fast enough - we were WAY behind. I realize that we all have different eating patterns, but we were just too full of food. The DDP was a stomach shock for us. We were not concerned with gaining weight or eating in an unhealthy way - in our opinion & for us, that‘s silly. We feel that if one exercises & eats properly for the rest of the year, then weight gain on trips & holidays should not be a concern - unless one does not want to do the work to get rid of all the consequences! Of course, Disney does not “force-feed” any of its guests - a point I had to make to Don after the “Skillet“ attacked him at WCC on our very first DDP TS! One does not have to eat what one does not want, or cannot stuff into one‘s stomach! However, beyond our frugality is our inbred (or implanted?) cost vs. value brain function. We can NOT waste money, food, or products. Our brain does not allow it. It was quite a dilemma for the first couple of days & then we just relaxed & enjoyed.

On our last day of our first reservation, we used our leftover Snack credits to stock up on junk that we normally do not allow ourselves to eat! We still have that food & it's going back to Indiana with us! We used the excess QS credits for food to take to our off property hotel between our two Disney reservations. It lasted us the 3 nites, plus we left some for the housekeeper!

Right now, we have 3 days left on our 2nd DDP reservation before we drive home. We have 14 snacks left, 7 QS, & 3 TS. For the TS credits, we plan dinner at WCC tomorrow night, Cape May dinner on Thursday nite, Boma breakfast on Friday morning (checkout Sat a.m.). For our QS, we plan to split 3 on the next 3 days, & use the last 4 for sandwiches on the road home (in a cooler) - 2 for lunch & 2 for dinner. For our snacks, we'll use them on candy & bakery items to take home. We'll be eating this stuff for months!

Planning for DDP Sick Leave! - During the pre-trip planning stage, we were concerned about using too many of our TS credits for Signature restaurants. We shouldn’t have been. Don got sick on the 6th day of our first 10 day DDP. Luckily he recovered in time for us to use all of our TS credits (the horror of not using all TS credits!), but only because we had twice dined at the Yachtsman, & in pre-planning had saved our non-TS days for the end of our stay. So, I was able to reschedule our TS credits around his “poopyness”, bless his heart. When DDPing, it's good to pre-plan in case of illness.

I'll post this & then go to another.


12-14-2010, 08:55 PM
Cool Trip Report! My husband, myself and our son will be trying Deluxe Dining this trip and are pretty excited about taking it easy and stopping to enjoy meals.

I didn't know you were able to use a gift card for tips...that's great news! I've been purchasing a card weekly since we decided to go, so that would be great if we could use those as payment!:cheer2:

12-14-2010, 09:00 PM
Free Server Tips - Yay! We love free! Our Rewards card paid for all of our DDP & non-DDP tips, & we tipped at least 20% (couple of times a little more). Without exception, our dining service was great. Free tipping exception - at Coronado Springs food court, we left cash on the table for tips, but those tips at 10% were only about $2-$3 per meal since we always split the QS meals there.

Free Non-DDP Food - Yay! We love more free! Before our first Disney reservation, while staying off-property, our wonderful little Rewards card paid for our non-DDP meals & server tips. Even Ghirardelli took our Rewards card.

What! Pay for Food? - Thanks to Disboarders, we wanted to try Miller’s Ale House on I Drive on a Wednesday for the $10.95, 1¼ lb. whole Maine lobster meal. We decided not to share; we each wanted our own lobster! The serving size was perfect for us - not too much food, but enough to satisfy. If you like lobster, it’s a good deal at a nice place. So, we didn’t mind “paying” for this meal.

DDP Paper Work -
(1) Pre-trip I developed a pc spreadsheet for our TS reservations, printed it, & took it with us. I listed the days/dates across the top row, & the restaurant names down the first column. Then entered the reservation times in the appropriate grid. It really helped. One look each morning reminded me of our dinner plans & the # of credits remaining. I don’t think I could have kept track of our TS credits & reservations without this chart, especially since I kept changing our reservation places & times, even during our stay!
(2) In my small travel purse (or Don‘s pocket if I didn‘t carry my purse), I kept the most recent DDP receipt for each type of credit - TS, QS, Snack. The cash register receipts list the type of credit used, the # of credits used, & the most importantly - the balance.
(3) In all financial areas of our lives, we naturally monitor transactions. The spreadsheet took care of the TS. So, placed in my purse with the above mentioned DDP receipts, I had a small piece of paper for the QS & Snacks. As each day ended, I wrote the day/date, # & types of credits used, and the remaining balance. It was so quick & easy, but more importantly, it was so helpful each morning in reminding me of our QS & Snack beginning balance. Also, at the cash register with each food purchase, a quick peek at my tally allowed me to ensure that the cash register receipt was accurate.
(4) As mentioned above, I developed a Word Doc which listed what I thought would be our favorite QS & snack foods & locations.
(5) Before leaving home, I printed my final dining reservations list from the Disney website. The reservation #s were given, & are speed the process when cancelling or rescheduling reservations while at Disney - which I did a lot.

I'll post this & then start another.


12-14-2010, 09:12 PM
DDP Payment at a TS - The bill will be brought to you at the end of your meal. It is in a folder & lists each food item & price, total food bill with taxes, & suggested amount for an 18% tip & a 20% tip. You place your Disney card (and Rewards Card, if using one) into the folder. However, you also need to write in the tip amount of your choice at the bottom of the bill - so different than entering the tip just before leaving the table. The server picks up the folder (I always advise him/her to use the Rewards Card for the tip). The server brings back the folder with your cards & a whole lot of paperwork - the original price by food item bill (yours if you want it), a final bill for you with your remaining DDP credits & Rewards Card amount, a copy for you of the tip amount applied to your card. Then there are usually 2 bills for the restaurant - you sign both copies & leave them in the folder - however, on each copy be sure to once again write in the tip amount just so it is there with your signature. Also be sure to compare the Rewards Card amount & the DDP credits with your records to be sure the info is correct before you leave the restaurant.

DDP Discoveries - Just like a treasure hunt!
1. Some Cast Members bend the rules; some will not; some read the rules differently; so always ask when you want something your way.
2. At Animal Kingdom, we got some Chicken Fried Rice at the Yak & Yeti counter = a snack credit & took it back to our room fridge. Then, one evening when we did not have a TS ressie, we purchased 2 gumbos at POFQ food court (2 snack credits), used the POFQ food court microwave to heat up our Y&Y rice, & combined our rice & gumbo = yummy, according to us! No wonder we couldn’t use all of our QS & Snack credits! BTW, get the gumbo at POFQ without rice - get twice the gumbo amount.
3. Sorry but we do not share the glee for the cinnamon rolls at MK Main Street Bakery - not enough icing. We like LOTS of icing on our cinnamon rolls. These have drizzles; we like big slathers! At our request more was put on, but it wasn’t enough for us, & they were very busy & we didn‘t want to be a bother.
4. At POFQ for breakfast we ordered the Bounty Platter. We asked the CM to put some sausage gravy on the biscuit & potatoes, & he did.
5. Each QS breakfast allows for 2 drinks, which we did not want. At Publix we bought our own soft drinks (didn’t want to keep running to the food court for a soft drink, especially when we were in our jammies!) & using the hotel ice & our own mega cups, we took these with us to the food courts. So for our food court QS breakfast drinks we got bottles of V-8 (we didn’t like their other juices) & will take the V-8 home (probably make some yummy stew with all of it!).
6. At POFQ we wanted a QS sandwich, a drink, & instead of dessert, we wanted gumbo. The CM allowed us to substitute the gumbo for the dessert.
7. At POFQ we could not get a shake as a drink with our QS credit = dessert only with a Snack credit or as the dessert on QS credit.
8. At Pop Century food court, the big 3 dip sundae can be obtained as a Snack credit or as the dessert on a QS credit. This is a great bargain & the best hand dipped ice cream sundae we found (Coronado Springs’ sundae was pitiful!). There are 4 syrup toppings - chocolate, hot fudge, strawberry, & caramel - pick one or ALL four. The 3 dips of ice cream can be different flavors. Then it is all topped with lots of whipped cream, & if desired, sprinkles, nuts, cherries. My, my!
9. The desserts given with a QS are great for breakfast the next day……well, not ice cream, of course! Most of our QS & TS desserts went to our room fridge for breakfast. However, right now in our room fridge we have 1 blueberry muffin, 2 banana muffins, 1 triple chocolate cake, 2 pieces of pecan pie, 1 piece of Bananas Foster cake, 1 piece of lemon merignue pie - we are so far behind!!! This doesn't count all of the candy from our first reservation snack credits - will take those home!
10. We think the maximum use of DDP QS & Snack credits is to stay 2-3 days longer in a hotel that provides access to a fridge & microwave & no DDP. Leftover QS & Snack credits can be spent on the last DDP day, & then the food taken to the non-Disney hotel, extending the free food days. Or, take the extra free food on the drive home. Publix on 192 between Camping World & Sam’s Club has styraform (sp?) coolers for $4 & $8. Before leaving WDW, fill with ice at hotel & along the way at Flying Js or Pilots.

Ok, more to come.


12-14-2010, 09:20 PM
Our Favorite DDP Spots - In a separate thread on the Restaurant Board, I will list the DDP restaurants where we dined, along with our opinions. Here I’ll just mention our favorites:
TABLE SERVICE - #1 Yachtsmans for the Porterhouse steak; also Cape May for the all you care to eat Crab Legs, & Boma for breakfast (did not like Boma for dinner - that's in my other report mentioned above).
QUICK SERVICE - #1 Coronado Springs food court for the Nachos - so yummy; also Pecos Bills in Magic Kingdom for the Taco Salad that just keeps on giving (share one & keep going back to the works bar for everything but the meat!), POFQ for the BBQ Pork Po’boy & Gumbo, Pop Century for the hand dipped ice cream sundae.
SNACKS - #1 three way tie = (1)hand dipped ice cream sundae at Pop Century; (2) hand dipped ice cream shakes at POFQ, (3)the 7 layer cookie bar at POR. Honorable mentions = triple chocolate cake (in little round plastic containers - what a chocolate fix!) available at lots of places, & the Pleasure Island Candy Cauldron for nut clusters & fudge (available elsewhere also) in order to use the leftover snack credits. I think MK Pineapple Whip Float would be here, but we never got to try one - always too full or it was too cold to go to the parks!

Spending our Remaining Credits on the Last DDP Day! - As mentioned before, we had leftover QS & Snack credits. We don’t like breaking the rules & buying food for others, so on checkout day for our first WDW ressie, we stocked up on food to take to our Country Inn & Suites room, which had a fridge & microwave. During this 3 day stay, we did not need to dine out since we had so much free/leftover DDP food, & still we could not eat it all & left some in the hotel fridge that we could not eat (hope the housekeeper took it home for dinner!). CI&S did provide free breakfasts. I must note that this “spending our leftover QS & snacks credits” was so funny to us - we laughed so much. It was late on our last DDP day, we were tired, & we were trying to hurry, & we scurried around like little mice on a food hunt! First we went to POR & got a muffaletta & a made to order pasta (chicken & alfredo sauce) = 2 QS; got those yummy cookie bars as dessert. Then we drove to Coronado Springs with 3 QS credits to go. We got a made to order pasta (Italian sausage & marinara sauce), an order of nachos, & an order of stir fried chicken; got 3 muffins as dessert. We had to carry all of the food out in a big bag! We felt like (& were) oink-oink piggies! Then we scurried to DTD Candy Cauldron to spend our snacks (thanks for the idea Disboarders!). We got 2 pecan clusters, 2 cashew clusters, & 4 pieces of fudge. We were so proud & exhausted - it was so much work to buy “free” food! I had mentioned to the CM what we were doing & when he rang up our purchase, he said, “You still have 2 snack credits left”. I exclaimed, “Oh No! Those little boogers are mating & multiplying in there!” He thought that was hysterical. So, we threw in 2 more clusters.

One more to go - our final decision on whether to DDP or not.


12-14-2010, 09:31 PM
TO DDP or NOT TO DDP? That is the Question - We’ve discovered that this issue is definitely “different strokes for different folks”, and a lot of factors need to be considered. Also, don't want to call anyone else's baby ugly or bust anyone else's balloon (especially if it is Mickey shaped!) Pre-trip we were so excited about being first-time DDPers! After our first gluttony experience at WCC, we said not again - too much food. About the 3rd day into our DDP, after we relaxed & didn’t eat so much, we said let’s do this again. It’s like a land cruise of food without the seasickness!

However, just for us, the end result is we will not DDP on our next trip, which is scheduled for February, & probably will not DDP on future trips. Our decision was based on our reality:
1. We prefer to eat about ½ or less of what DDP provides. Obviously, one could still do that on DDP. But, with the higher cost of Disney lodging, eating less on DDP still costs more than paying for our normal food consumption while staying in our favorite lower costing off-property hotel.
2. We enjoy eating at non-Disney spots that we ignored this time because we had too much DDP food to eat.
3. Our off-property hotel that we really like is much cheaper than POFQ, POR, & CBR (don’t want to stay in a Disney Value Resort). It also provides a larger room, king bed, free hot breakfast, free hi-speed internet, fridge & microwave, & lots of good TV channels including 2 HBO channels. These extra amenities are important for us because as retirees & refugees from the North winds/cold, we stay several weeks & spend more time in our room than the average visitor. Staying on-property or off-property does not matter to us; we love this area either way. We always have a car (drive or rent), so Disney transportation is not important to us.
4. We usually stay at least 3 weeks, but only go to the parks a few times, & sometimes, don‘t go at all. So, parking costs are not an issue.

Another issue that we discovered when Don got sick during our DDP stay is losing some, most, or all of the “free” food due to sickness. That would result in higher lodging costs without the DDP benefit. Since “Free DDP” is “free”, then we’re assuming it is not refundable if not used due to illness. For that same reason, it seems it could not be claimed on travel insurance - “free” equals no monetary loss.

I want to add though that it is so very much fun to DDP! We had lots of laughs at ourselves (& our expanding bodies!) & our efforts to reap the DDP rewards (that's code for eating too much!).

So, whatever your DDP choice, hope you enjoy your trip as much as we did! And if you DDP, watch out for attacking food around every Disney corner!

Hmm, is it time to eat AGAIN? :rotfl2:


12-14-2010, 09:37 PM
Your welcome, Cathy. I learned so much on here. I sure hope my info helps others.

AmandaNied, looks like your gift cards have put you on the path to true free dining by paying for the tips. The tips really add up fast. I'd hate to have to "pay" OOP for them. Just be sure to advise the server to use the gift card for the tip, otherwise he/she will put the tip on the room card - of course, you can use the gift card to pay your room bill, which would be the same. Have a great time.


12-14-2010, 09:42 PM
Loving this thread! Lots of great info. :thumbsup2

TDC Nala
12-14-2010, 10:40 PM
Please, no discussion of how much to tip or how to pay tips. This information is limited to the Tipping Information Thread on the main Restaurant board, due to the policy of the Restaurant boards. Leaving in what I have seen so far as it does not seem to be a discussion of personal tipping habits.

12-15-2010, 08:40 AM
Oops, sorry Nala. I typed from my notes & didn't even think about the tipping part except as an indication of how pleased we were with the service. Thank you for not switching my thread to tipping. I'm really hoping my info helps folks like I was helped. Of course, I wouldn't have a problem & understand if you decide to blank out the tipping part.

Well, we're off to the Studios today. Sure hope the weather is warmer - 57 degrees high (32 degrees right now!) - burrrrr!


12-18-2010, 07:16 PM
Thanks, Julie for all this info and tips (no pun intended) :D
As soon to be First-Timers to DDP, I really found all these details
SO helpful.
Can't wait to read more.
Enjoy the rest of your trip!!
Hugs, Marilyn

12-18-2010, 10:00 PM
Thanks for all the info. I am trying to decide between the DDP and the DxDP and have worried that we would not have enough food for my bottomless pit ,aka my 14 yr old son. Love the idea of not carrying cash for anything though.

12-19-2010, 11:16 PM
:goodvibesI love this thread=some very helpful information. I just wanted to clarify are you on the DDP or the DxDDP? We are also in Indiana :goodvibes I hope it warms up for you. Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

12-20-2010, 05:28 AM
nice report...tho I disagree on some of your faves vs. mine....;) I also agree with the 'food cruise minus the seasickness'....it was fun for us, normally very frugal(cheap) people to eat a LOT...and make sure we used every single credit well! I used my ;)final snack credit right before I got in line for the airport bus....:banana:
I also don't know if we'll do it again,as we could have eaten 1/2 the food and still been satisfied.....
my boys eat a lot,and the regular DDP was enough for everyone,7 nights,used over 8 days worked out well!

12-20-2010, 02:00 PM
Thanks everyone for the nice comments. That was my objective - hoping our info would help others. Well, we are home now - yuck - what a culture shock!

Sinderelly, even with all of that food, we were on the regular DDP, not the deluxe. I can't imagine what we would have done with all the extra food of the deluxe plan!

Anyway, we are home now & Indiana was NOT very kind to us - yesterday we shoveled snow out of our driveway & off sidewalks! And this a.m. I waited for my bed to be made, but so far, the housekeeper has not shown up - & no Disney soap left for me!

We are still DDPing! Still eating some of the leftover food - unbelievable what we brought home!

Our last day was Friday, 12/17 & we had 6 QS & 13 Snack credits left from our 2nd DDP reservation at Caribbean Beach for 8 nites = 16 TS, 16 QS, & 16 Snacks.

TS - We used them all -would never leave those unused. Our last 3 days ended up totally different than we thought it would.
Wed - We had scheduled WCC for dinner & neither one of us could face so much food (& chaos)! So, we cancelled & went to Big River Grille for lunch & strickly for the home comfort food of meatloaf (that's what Don wanted & I didn't care). Have never tried their meatloaf & still haven't - they took it off of the menu for lunch on this day. So, we asked for more time to study the menu, & didn't really see anything we wanted - didn't want more hamburgers or steaks. Just after we were seated, a family of 4 was seated right next to us & I do mean "right next" - within 1 arm length or less. From the time they sat down the about 6yo banged his knife on the table without stop. At one time he almost threw it at me, & his mother caught him in time. Then he went back to banging. Neither parent attempted to stop him. So, we apologized to our server & left. We went to ESPN & thoroughly enjoyed. I had the rueben & it was delicious. Don had the ribs & loved the rub & raved about them. So all ended well. We took the Bananas Foster & Lemon Pie back to our room. Before we left WDW, Don ate the Bananas Foster for breakfast one morning & said it was so, so very good. I tried to eat the Lemon Pie but I thought it was awful. Don doesn't like Lemon Pie, & since I had picked at it, I threw it away rather than leaving it for the housekeeper.

Thu - Again we were not hungry enough for our dinner reservation at Cape May (buffet), so we cancelled & I checked online for a 50's Prime Time ressie - none available. Don still wanted comfort food, so we went to the Studios & arrived at 50's about 30 minutes before opening. We waited in line for a few minutes & got accepted to be seated when they opened. We were seated at a 4 seater table with its own TV - great! Sadly, the food was not so great. We were surprised; the food used to be so good. The meatloaf & pot roast were dry; the southern greens were not good at all. We did very much enjoy the chocolate malt we were allowed to get as the drink portion of a DDP lunch. So much for comfort food! We left with our 2 apple cobbler desserts (w/o ice cream), which were not really cobblers - no crust - just apples in a thickened cobbler sauce with oatmeal cooked on top - yuk! I don't like cooked apples, but Don does. But he did not like these. He threw away the one he picked at & left the other for the housekeeper.

Fri - Don wanted a repeat of the ESPN ribs. So we cancelled our ressie for a Boma breakfast. At lunch, only a half a rack of ribs are on the menu. The full rack is only on the dinner menu. Since we had purchased TWO foam coolers to take home our leftover food loot, we decided to go for the full rack & take some home. As it ended up, we ate some of our french fries, all of our slaw, an ear of corn each, 1-2 bones of ribs, & took home so many ribs! I've never seen so many ribs served as a full rack - each plate looked like a full rack with another full rack stacked on top - like 4 full racks on our 2 plates! So, we left the restaurant with almost all of the ribs, a Bananas Foster dessert, & a chocolate cake. The amount of food served at WDW is unbelievable - I think I already said that!

The Fridge Leftover Food - In our room fridge on Fri evening, our last day, we had 1 Bananas Foster, 1 Chocolate Cake, 1 Pecan Pie, 1 Cheesecake Brownie (from Boardwalk Bakery & be careful - many of their items are not on the DDP Snack plan), 3 Banana Muffins (from Coronado Springs), a Red Velvet Cupcake (from Studios Starring Rolls), & 2 Magic Cookie Bars (from POR; huge 7 layer cookies).

AND......we had 6 QS & 13 Snack credits to spend!!

I'll post this & finish with the leftover QS & Snack credits.


12-20-2010, 02:32 PM
I forgot - in our fridge was also all of the fudge & nut clusters we got from DTD Candy Cauldron when using up our Snack credits of our 1st DDP reservation at POFQ.

Also, for all of our leftover QS meals, & for our QS breakfasts (get 2 drinks) we got bottled water or bottled V8 juice to take home - we had lots.

Friday, 12/17, our last day at WDW -
6 QS leftover - We got everything "to go" - POR - 2 Muffalettas w/on-site made potato chips, & 2 Magic Cookie Bars; Studios Starring Rolls - 4 Ham Sandwiches, 4 bags of chips, & 4 Red Velvet Cupcakes (those are sooo good!).

13 Snack leftover - 2 extra Red Velvet Cupcakes, & 11 Magic Cookie Bars! We wiped out the cookie bars - she had exactly 11 left! I'm sure there were more in the back, but she was surprised by our order.

The Food Mobile! - Saturday morning at 4:30am, Don filled the 2 coolers about 1/2 full each with ice from the Disney ice machine in our building. I packed most of the food items in gallon baggies (bought them at Publix). For messy items like the Bananas Foster, choc cake, etc., I left them in the small to-go containers & placed the containers in a gallon baggie. I didn't want the water from the melting ice to ruin the food items. The ribs took 2 bags! The meat items I placed down into the ice; pastries on top of the ice.

We left at 5:30am; arrived at home (to snow in all around!) about 10:30pm. We planned to replenish the ice along the way, but it was not necessary. We placed the coolers in the middle of the back seat to keep the sun off of them, & placed our warm weather gear over them. Very little of the ice melted. Of course, it was not hot when we left Fla, cool in GA, cold in TN, & we froze in KY & IN! We made sure not to put the car heater on high.

For lunch along the way, we each ate a ham sandwich & a cupcake & a bag of chips. For dinner we weren't that hungry, so while Don was driving, I got out a Magic cookie & shared - I feed Don his bites (I tried not to cheat & eat more than my share!).

At home, we put all of the food into the fridge, bathed, & flopped into bed.

Sun (yesterday) we split a ham sandwich, split a cupcake, added some cottage cheese. For dinner we split a muffaletta, chips, & cupcake. Today for lunch we split the same.

Right now, in the crock pot I have finished cooking some potatoes, celery, baby carrots, mushrooms, & the ribs - the smell is unbelievable! We may eat a little of it for dinner, or wait until tomorrow's lunch. I plan to freeze individual size portions for future delight.

So, our DDP is ongoing & may last us for months - depending on when we finish eating the individual portions of ribs. I highly recommend bringing a BIG cooler to Disney (if driving), or buying 1 or 2 cheap ones at Publix. Certainly maximizes the DDP!

Hope everyone has a great time on their WDW trip, & enjoys the food, whether DDPing or not.


12-21-2010, 07:17 PM
Sorry I must have missed it which rewards card are you speaking of? Is it the Disney Visa or something else?


12-22-2010, 04:47 PM
do you have a copy of the spreadsheet you made for the counter service meals? We are going in Jan, with my, DH, my dad and our 6 children- I'd love to have as much "planned" as possible.

Mrs D
12-22-2010, 10:17 PM
Julie - this is an fantastic report! You are a true DISer!

Thanks for sharing your experience and strategies.

12-23-2010, 10:31 AM
Very good and detailed run-down! Thanks for sharing. I didn't know there were muffalettas available on property; now I will have to get one next time I'm down!

12-23-2010, 02:33 PM
Somehow I lost my post. I hope this is not a duplicate!

Anyway, Mrs. D, thanks.

Tina, it was a Rewards card loaded with our points from our Chase WDW VISA.

larryz, hope you enjoy the WDW muffalettas, but don't expect anything like those from the Central Grocery in New Orleans (WOW!)! We did enjoy them, & they are big enough to split. IMO, they need more olive relish. So, you might ask for more on the side since the sandwiches are already made.

AA, I didn't do a QS spreadsheet. However, pre-trip I did read as many menus and Dis-food posts/reviews as possible. I created a Word doc, & as I researched, I listed QS locations I felt we would like, based on the food info I was gathering. I arranged the locations by parks, resorts, & DTD. For each location, I listed the items I thought we would like, based on my research. This worked very well for us since we did not have a day-to-day planned schedule; we go with the flow of our minute to minute moods! At WDW, when we got hungry, I just pulled out the list for wherever we were, we looked it over, & then decided what we wanted & where to eat. Sometimes the mood would strike us & we would leave where we were & go elsewhere!

I did the same as above (on separate sheet of note paper) for our Snack credits.

Pre-trip I did a spreadsheet for our TS. It was simple also. Opened a spreadsheet program, listed the reserved restaurant names down the 1st column, listed the days/dates of the trip across the top line. Then entered the time of the reservation in the appropriate cell - such as, Yachtsman at 5:00pm on Tues 12/8. Located Yachtsman in the 1st column, follow the line to Tues 12/8 & in that cell, type in 5:00pm. Once finalized, I printed it, took it with us, & carried it in my purse in case we changed our minds while not in our room. Very simple & so convenient to use once in WDW.

However, a couple of other notes about TS -
1. I wish I had taken extra copies of the TS spreadsheet without any restaurant names & times entries. While in WDW, we kept changing our minds & our reservations. My original spreadsheet soon became so altered that it became too difficult to read. So I had to do one (& then another!) by hand; we were on DDP for 18 days. I had taken a lined paper tablet with me, so I drew in the spreadsheet lines & columns by hand.

2. Last day pre-trip I printed out a copy of "My Reservations" from the Disney dining website. This gave me the #s of my reservations in case I wanted to cancel - which I did.

3. At WDW, each time I cancelled a TS ressie, I drew a line thru the reservation time that was listed on the spreadsheet, & wrote "cancelled" above the crossed out time. Made it so much easier to know at one glance that I had not failed to cancel.

4. I'd think such a simple spreadsheet would work for QS also, if one's WDW time is going to be structured rather than "mood of the moment". But I liked my QS Word doc better - gave so much more info than a spreadsheet would.


12-24-2010, 11:55 AM
Great information, thanks for sharing it!! 25 days in Disney/Orlando sounds like Heaven!!

12-23-2012, 10:20 AM
I've never heard that a person could use coupons or gift cards as a tip. This really has me concerned as I'm considering going this direction, but would a server have the heart to say, "we can't use that to tip?"