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View Full Version : Sharing entrees and stretching DDP


garnetandblack
09-25-2011, 09:55 AM
I want to maximize our DDP and not waste a bunch of food. I tend to be a very light eater. For example, Olive Garden – I get full on my salad and breadstick then eat 1 bite of my entrée, I bring it home and eat it for lunch the next day. This works out better for me than ordering the soup, salad and breadstick lunch, since the lunch entrée is only $2/3 more and I get 2 meals out of it. DH definitely eats more than me, but he’s not an over eater, either. He almost always has leftovers to bring to work for lunch the next day (unless it is a lunch portion). I planned to do 2 character buffets, 1 to start and 1 to end our trip, but after reading these boards I don’t think that’s the best option for us. We want to see Mickey and Eeyore – but if we could see them somewhere else and snag a quick picture all will be well ;) It will just be DH, myself and DS2. It also seems that you get free desserts if you are having a celebration, we will have 2 birthdays (DH and DS) and our anniversary while we are there. I’m a big fan of dessert – so if we share a meal and get 2 desserts (a free birthday one, lol) I will be in chocolate heaven (I know that I can’t count on this, but it would be a nice extra – I always have room for dessert). I’m also a water drinker and DH always wants sweet tea, so I don’t need to order a non-alcoholic drink for myself.

1. Do all of the TS meals come with bread or just the signature?

2. When you use 2 TS credits at a signature, do you get an app or is that only on the DxDDP? If we are able to order an app, then it seems like we could eat and share at a signature every night and be satisfied sharing a meal ;)

3. Are the TS portions big enough for 2 adults to share? Are they about the same size as other chain restaurants?

4. Is it a huge faux pas to bring a PB&J or turkey&cheese and raisins for my son to eat for dinner? We will be driving and I already plan to get some bread and sandwich stuff to keep in the room. DH and I like our steaks rare so he won’t be able to share a lot of our meals even if DH and I don’t share an entrée. Will we be stuck paying $8.99 for a kid’s meal at every TS meal where we order steak?

5. What are the best 1 credit TS restaurants to share entrées at?

6. What are the best Signature restaurants to share entrées at?

Any other tips you have are greatly appreciated!

I’m not as concerned with getting the most value for each of my dining credits – I’m more concerned with getting the best dining experiences. We like good food – I’m sure my Olive Garden analogy doesn’t portray that, but we tend to eat at smaller, locally owned restaurants with fresh, high quality food.

I want to stretch my dining credits as far as possible, but I don’t want to feel “stuck” or stressed about stretching them. Is it better to just pay OOP for a QS one night and eat 1 special meal at a signature restaurant?

I’m an (over) planner and I always like to have a plan for every situation. I will have spreadsheets with our days planned (although with a toddler, plans always change – he’s very scheduled, so the plans will go along with his eat/sleep schedule that already exists). I want the spreadsheets more to keep track of everything (and know what to expect, I don’t want to be overwhelmed when I go in the parks) than to be rigid, I’m a planner but not a Kate +8 meltdown if things don’t go to plan kind of girl, if you know what I mean.

Thanks in advance!!!

havoc315
09-25-2011, 10:55 AM
1. I know at least some 1 credit restaurants include bread, but I don't think all do.
2. Except for some prix fix menus, no apps included unless you are deluxe.
3. Depends on your perspective. Many American restaurants definitely serve over sized portions. Disney restaurant portions are definitely not small. But not ridiculously large in most cases. I'd say you can definitely share many of the meals.
4. I don't think that would be a problem. Afterall, the child isn't even on the meal plan.
5. I'd simply suggest you look at the menus on allears. Understanding that if you are light eaters, you can share almost anything. 1 really good cs share -- At Starring Rolls at DHS you can get a massive sandwich and a real dessert.
6. That's tougher. Like you, we prefer our locally owned restaurants, typically serving seasonal organic food. Most of the 1-credit restaurants have "chain restaurant" quality. They aren't bad but just "okay.". The signature restaurants are far better. But, with limited credits, it's harder to justify using 2 credits for a $45 meal, instead of 2 $35 meals. I'd probably suggest sharing at California Grill, as you can easily supplement your meal with an affordable filling appetizer. (in other words, get 1 real entree, and can add a flat bread pizza for $15, or a huge sushi roll for $22. ). Of course, the 1 entree alone may be enough. But if it's not, you have some affordable high quality add on items.

Gmouse
09-25-2011, 12:36 PM
1. I know at least some 1 credit restaurants include bread, but I don't think all do.
2. Except for some prix fix menus, no apps included unless you are deluxe.
3. Depends on your perspective. Many American restaurants definitely serve over sized portions. Disney restaurant portions are definitely not small. But not ridiculously large in most cases. I'd say you can definitely share many of the meals.
4. I don't think that would be a problem. Afterall, the child isn't even on the meal plan.
5. I'd simply suggest you look at the menus on allears. Understanding that if you are light eaters, you can share almost anything. 1 really good cs share -- At Starring Rolls at DHS you can get a massive sandwich and a real dessert.
6. That's tougher. Like you, we prefer our locally owned restaurants, typically serving seasonal organic food. Most of the 1-credit restaurants have "chain restaurant" quality. They aren't bad but just "okay.". The signature restaurants are far better. But, with limited credits, it's harder to justify using 2 credits for a $45 meal, instead of 2 $35 meals. I'd probably suggest sharing at California Grill, as you can easily supplement your meal with an affordable filling appetizer. (in other words, get 1 real entree, and can add a flat bread pizza for $15, or a huge sushi roll for $22. ). Of course, the 1 entree alone may be enough. But if it's not, you have some affordable high quality add on items.

I didn't realize sharing was allowed...except for children on the Adult or childs plan- sharing with an under 3 age child. Is this really so? If it is, that would be so much better for us. Our DS eats like a BIRD, but has to be on the adult plan. I can tell you right now that HALF of the food we order for him will still be on the plate when we are done. If my husband and I can share our dinner with him we can stretch these credits out more??? I don't want to get stuck in a restaurant that won't allow it after we've already sat down to order.

janabananas
09-25-2011, 12:42 PM
I don't think at a cs/qs it would matter? You go up and order a plate, while your SO stands aside. Then go find a table and eat. But I don't think that would be possible with TS though.

jcano
09-25-2011, 12:49 PM
Can I share meals with other guests on the Dining Plan staying on the same hotel reservation?
There is no clear answer to this. Consistently, guests seem to be allowed to share the meals ordered on the Dining Plan amongst the guests at their table, with the exception of fixed price meals, such as buffets or other all-you-can-eat options. However, this question has been asked directly to Disney via email, by a number of guests, and consistently, they have answered this question by saying specifically that, "sharing is not permitted." Despite several attempts to get clarification about that statement, no clarification appears to be forthcoming from Guest Communications, and nothing official has been released by Disney Dining to resolve the confusion. Ask your server.

I wouldn't count on sharing TS.

havoc315
09-25-2011, 12:50 PM
Most ts restaurants allow sharing. There are a couple non-Disney owned restaurants that require everyone to expend credits, most notably Via Napoli.
But reports suggest that plate sharing is almost always permitted in most other ts (non buffet) restaurants.

beansmom
09-25-2011, 01:35 PM
with the above noted exceptions--buffets, prix fixe--i always share with DH. I have had GB and cannot eat more than a few bites at a time. We have never had a problem sharing at DW.

Gmouse
09-25-2011, 01:43 PM
with the above noted exceptions--buffets, prix fixe--i always share with DH. I have had GB and cannot eat more than a few bites at a time. We have never had a problem sharing at DW.

and that's on a DP? we have ten days to plan and it's a headache doing it. it would be a huge disaster to get there and not be able to. it would help us tremendously with the way our sone eats. our 1 yr old eats more than he does! she doesn't eat alot of restaurant food, so sharing with her might not work. but hif he can share with us, that would be awesome:woohoo:

Gmouse
09-25-2011, 01:47 PM
and that's on a DP? we have ten days to plan and it's a headache doing it. it would be a huge disaster to get there and not be able to. it would help us tremendously with the way our sone eats. our 1 yr old eats more than he does! she doesn't eat alot of restaurant food, so sharing with her might not work. but hif he can share with us, that would be awesome:woohoo:

AND would we even HAVE to add him on the DP? it's so much $$$ for him only to be wasted. we certainly can't eat what he has left! we have food left on our plates and stuffed to the gills when we're done! lol

GAGirlInVA
09-25-2011, 01:55 PM
AND would we even HAVE to add him on the DP? it's so much $$$ for him only to be wasted. we certainly can't eat what he has left! we have food left on our plates and stuffed to the gills when we're done! lol

Everyone in your room, in your party has to order the Dining Plan or not. You can't pick and choose. In my research, there have been a few exceptions (like a child that is completely tube fed-- I was specifically looking for that instance because we were adopting a child that was tube fed) but in general no-- it is all or nothing.

DisneyLoverUSA
09-25-2011, 02:07 PM
EVERYTHING I have ever heard or read said if you are paying OUT OF POCKET you can share anything you want, but if you are using dining credits you cannot share TS meals. I wouldn't go planning on being able to share or it may mess up your whole plan or embarrass you if you try to share and they come back and tell you that you can't. Of course you can share at CS places because nobody pays attention.

havoc315
09-25-2011, 06:39 PM
Sharing at TS restaurants is very very common. The exceptions -- you can't share with someone who isn't on the dining plan. (at least not your entree. I doubt anybody would object to sharing a dessert)

It only seems to be a problem at a couple of non-Disney owned restaurants. And of course buffets and prix fix meals.

Deb & Bill
09-25-2011, 07:20 PM
I want to maximize our DDP and not waste a bunch of food. I tend to be a very light eater. For example, Olive Garden – I get full on my salad and breadstick then eat 1 bite of my entrée, I bring it home and eat it for lunch the next day. This works out better for me than ordering the soup, salad and breadstick lunch, since the lunch entrée is only $2/3 more and I get 2 meals out of it. DH definitely eats more than me, but he’s not an over eater, either. He almost always has leftovers to bring to work for lunch the next day (unless it is a lunch portion). I planned to do 2 character buffets, 1 to start and 1 to end our trip, but after reading these boards I don’t think that’s the best option for us. We want to see Mickey and Eeyore – but if we could see them somewhere else and snag a quick picture all will be well ;) It will just be DH, myself and DS2. It also seems that you get free desserts if you are having a celebration, we will have 2 birthdays (DH and DS) and our anniversary while we are there. I’m a big fan of dessert – so if we share a meal and get 2 desserts (a free birthday one, lol) I will be in chocolate heaven (I know that I can’t count on this, but it would be a nice extra – I always have room for dessert). I’m also a water drinker and DH always wants sweet tea, so I don’t need to order a non-alcoholic drink for myself.

1. Do all of the TS meals come with bread or just the signature?

2. When you use 2 TS credits at a signature, do you get an app or is that only on the DxDDP? If we are able to order an app, then it seems like we could eat and share at a signature every night and be satisfied sharing a meal ;)

3. Are the TS portions big enough for 2 adults to share? Are they about the same size as other chain restaurants?

4. Is it a huge faux pas to bring a PB&J or turkey&cheese and raisins for my son to eat for dinner? We will be driving and I already plan to get some bread and sandwich stuff to keep in the room. DH and I like our steaks rare so he won’t be able to share a lot of our meals even if DH and I don’t share an entrée. Will we be stuck paying $8.99 for a kid’s meal at every TS meal where we order steak?

5. What are the best 1 credit TS restaurants to share entrées at?

6. What are the best Signature restaurants to share entrées at?

Any other tips you have are greatly appreciated!

I’m not as concerned with getting the most value for each of my dining credits – I’m more concerned with getting the best dining experiences. We like good food – I’m sure my Olive Garden analogy doesn’t portray that, but we tend to eat at smaller, locally owned restaurants with fresh, high quality food.

I want to stretch my dining credits as far as possible, but I don’t want to feel “stuck” or stressed about stretching them. Is it better to just pay OOP for a QS one night and eat 1 special meal at a signature restaurant?

I’m an (over) planner and I always like to have a plan for every situation. I will have spreadsheets with our days planned (although with a toddler, plans always change – he’s very scheduled, so the plans will go along with his eat/sleep schedule that already exists). I want the spreadsheets more to keep track of everything (and know what to expect, I don’t want to be overwhelmed when I go in the parks) than to be rigid, I’m a planner but not a Kate +8 meltdown if things don’t go to plan kind of girl, if you know what I mean.

Thanks in advance!!!

Just a question, what would you save by sharing meals? You have x many nights in your reservation and the same number of table service and counter service meals. You wind up with extra credits at the end of your stay and can't use them.

You might be better off just paying out of pocket for your meals.

havoc315
09-25-2011, 07:43 PM
Just a question, what would you save by sharing meals? You have x many nights in your reservation and the same number of table service and counter service meals. You wind up with extra credits at the end of your stay and can't use them.

You might be better off just paying out of pocket for your meals.

Not true. If you plan on signature meals, then you wouldn't have enough credits. If you want more than 1 sit down meal per day, or want breakfast, lunch, dinner, then not enough credits. If doing 3 nights, but 4 full days, not enough credits.

Let's take a look at how a couple might share 2 nights worth of credits.
In total, 4 ts credits and 4 cs credits -- with sharing.

Day 1 - share cs breakfast. 3 cs left.
Share cs lunch - 2 cs left.
Share signature dinner - 2 ts left.
Day 2- 2 cs breakfasts. No cs left.
1 ts lunch shared, 1 ts left.
Share 1 ts dinner - no credits left.

Gmouse
09-25-2011, 08:19 PM
Everyone in your room, in your party has to order the Dining Plan or not. You can't pick and choose. In my research, there have been a few exceptions (like a child that is completely tube fed-- I was specifically looking for that instance because we were adopting a child that was tube fed) but in general no-- it is all or nothing.

was hoping for a diff answer! but that's what I tought....we had all of us on it last time but never questioned anything. he was on the kids plan at that time. was a HUGE difference in the total for the trip. if we can do this sharing thing we can stretch out the points, and not feel like we're wasting a ton of food. there are people out there that would love to have it............
i wish disney would give the option of buying adult or child plans no matter the age. just like a poster above said she can't eat that much. alot of women or even older people just can't and that would really benefit....and not waist food.

Mikey'swife
09-25-2011, 09:58 PM
Some places have bread

Tonys for example plus the signatures.

We have shared both on dxdp and oop. Never had a problem. We find the meals to be plenty large enough. Yachtsman for example has a 24oz porterhouse- who needs more then 12 oz of steak :confused3

As for kids meals- I think it would be ackward to bring food in, if it is even allowed. However, if our kids are sharing with us or with each other we usually can order an extra kids soup or salad which our kids love, especially if they are sharing dessert with you. Otherwise I would just get the meal if you do not have enough kids credits. I would make sure to use kids credits at buffets because they are expensive for kids compared to ts restaurants kid's meals.

Colleen27
09-25-2011, 11:02 PM
Most restaurants do allow sharing. The ones that seem to consistently refuse are Via Napoli and Beaches & Cream.

I don't know if all the one credit restaurants serve bread but most that I can think of do. Kona Cafe's bread is especially incredible, but I know on the last trip we also got bread at Chefs de France and Raglan Road and chips/salsa at La Hacienda.

I'd personally feel weird bringing sandwiches, but maybe packing something like Gerber's finger-foods ravioli in the diaper bag might be an idea to have on hand for the occasions where you order something your DS can't have. To me, bringing in that sort of baby/toddler food feels less awkward than packing a lunch for a meal out.

SnipsNSnails
09-26-2011, 09:30 AM
We had more than enough credits on our trip even with each of us using a TS each day. There is so much food. We had 6A and 1C and 1 under 3. Our original plan had everyone using a TS each day and then share 3 CS for breakfast and 4 A CS and 1 C CS at lunch each day and no CS the day we arrived and left (as we were going early). That was too much food. 1 morning we used no CS, just ate our desserts we brought home from TS the night before because we couldn't eat them. Most mornings we used 2 CS and a couple of snacks for some pastries or muffins. One night we used no CS just had snacks at MNSSHP. We also had plenty of CS to get everyone pastries and muffins for the morning we left. You can so easily share the CS meals. We also had 23 snacks left over at the end which we used to bring treats home. We ended up with one unused CS but really could have stretched them even further with little effort and no hunger on anyone's part! We've already discussed that it would not be hard to do a 2 TS meal one night and have plenty of CS to cover an additional dinner on one night instead of a TS.

garnetandblack
09-26-2011, 02:33 PM
Thanks everyone!

My mom, son and I went out to lunch today and I was shocked at the amount of food DS ate. He ate twice as much as me (but last night he ate 2 bites of dinner - toddlers :lmao:)! I tend to always have snacks with me for him and give him raisins, fruit, crackers, cheese sticks, etc when we go to restaurants. I will probably make my own version of a lunchable and bring it along for him to snack on. I know I will be giving him some of the food off of our plates. $9 just seems so expensive for a kids meal when he won't even be 2 years old, he doesn't need a dessert and he only drinks water or organic almond milk. If I can order a side of fruit or veggie by itself I will probably order something for him.

DH is a huge dinosaur fan (he still wants to be a paleontologist when he grows up) and I plan to surprise him with a meal at T-Rex on the day we arrive (since one of the many reasons we are going is his birthday - I made the reservation this morning). Since we can't use the DDP for that we will free up 2 to go to a signature for at least 1 meal. I also talked to my Mom today about her joining us since she only has to pay for her park tickets. She seems interested - so that will give us more credits to play around with :cool1: She's never been either and she got a little giddy when I told her it would only cost around $350 with food!

I've looked at the menus on allears and I'm going to keep stalking these boards. I think I might want to do a lunch at Le Cellier and split a meal - I was also thinking of sharing dinner at Le Chefs De France. We might be doing DH's birthday dinner at 'Ohana, so we wouldn't be able to share. Then maybe go to Yachtsman on our last night and share a meal. I already made reservations for Narcoossee's for our anniversary dinner (if mom doesn't join us on this trip we are hiring a sitter for 4 hours) and DH told me he's eating that enitre lobster and I needed to order my own meal :mad: Thanks, DH!

You guys give great Disney advice. I can't believe how much I've learned on these boards!

Dizneydaz
09-26-2011, 03:39 PM
We have used the std. DDP 6 times now and we have shared many TS meals on the plan. Both between 2 A (DM and myself) and also with DD (even when she was a K). When the plan first came out it inc. appetizers so by sharing we were able to make sure we could eat our dessert at the table and not have to take it back to the room. But even without it there are many times when we share. Now that DD is over 9 sharing 2 adult meals between the 3 of us is very doable. But we have only had std. DDP once since she turned 10.

We were able to maximize our TS usage really well by sharing. It's how we were able to experience some of the signature choices. We did opt to pay OOP for DD's kid's meals at some of the 2TS places since the kid's meals are pretty reasonable there and (to me) not worth using 2 TS for.

Seems to me that the meals are more shareable at the reg. TS choices, not so much at the 2TS. But maybe it's just me.


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Happy Dining!

catne
09-26-2011, 05:16 PM
we have been to about 50 of the Disney restaurants...virtually all of the "steakhouse" restaurants, including the 1 TS credit places, serve bread or rolls as a starter. This would include Kona, Grand Floridian Cafe, Turf Club, Le Cellier (lunch--you get those yummy breadsticks), and so on. Specialty restaurants like Yak & Yeti, Via Napoli do not serve bread at the start. San Angel and La Hacienda de San Angel (the Mexican table service places) both served chips & salsa as a starter.

You won't get salad unless you pay extra to get an appetizer...none of the restaurants automatically include salad as a starter so you can't count on getting full on salad & bread before your entree arrives.

You don't pay for your toddler on the dining plan...have to be 3 yrs old to get the dining plan. You can feed him off your plate (even at the buffets and family style this is allowed...so at 'Ohana he eats free with your paid 1 credit meals.)


I would keep the character buffets for several reasons...1) again, your toddler under 3 eats free at the buffet 2) you and hubby get your choice, including salad & other itmes considered appetizer type foods. and 3) most important...character buffets are the easiest and most efficient way to get those coveted character pictures...the characters come to every table & pose for pictures. If you try to catch them in the park you'll have to be lucky and wait in a long line to get the pictures. And that will depend on you being in the right part of the right park at the right time...not fun planning your days around waiting in line for pictures. What if your toddler freaks at characters? Then you wasted a lot of time waiting in line for nothing. At least at the character buffet if he freaks, you can wave the characters away from your table & still get a decent meal. Just my 2 Cents, of course.

You should be able to split a counter service breakfast (virtually every resort we've stayed at there had some sort of large breakfast platter available for one credit...example would be the Bounty Platter at Port Orleans French Quarter. For one credit you get scrambled eggs, bacon, breakfast potatoes and a small Mickey waffle. Easily enough for two. And same at lunch...many places have large platter-type meals that are plenty for two people. Example would be Cosmic Rays in Magic Kingdom...has a chicken & ribs platter that comes with mashed potatoes & green beans. Large servings on the meats, and adequate on the vegs--hubby and I have split that platter and actually couldn't finish all of it.

RE: extra desserts for celebrations...we've been there for my birthday, for my husband's birthday, son's birthday, our anniversary and our son's anniversary multiple times over the past 4 years...on regular or deluxe dining every time. Our experience has been that you RARELY get an extra dessert when on the dining plan. Instead, they stick a candle in the dessert you ordered (even ice cream, lol) or the chef writes "happy birthday" or "congratulations" in powdered sugar or cocoa on the plate of the dessert you ordered for dining plan. Only a couple of times was an extra dessert given...and in those cases, it was just a fairly plain cupcake with a candle in it. Not worth drooling over, for sure. But most places just sang Happy Birthday, or said Congratulations

Mikey'swife
09-26-2011, 09:15 PM
I would not recommend trying to share lunch at le cellier. The portions are pretty small. Yachtsman however has large portion but costs 2 credits.

I did not see that your child was under 3- Since he will not have credits just get a soup or share and snacks should be plenty. We never bought a full meal for our 2 year old. He just ate off our plates. My kids actually love medium rare steaks so he might learn to like it if you do not act like it is a big deal.