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jennifertempleton
10-28-2011, 01:49 PM
Hi~ We are about to book our trip for February. I am totally new to Disney planning and a bit overwhelmed. My question is, if we book a value hotel with the free dining plan, can we upgrade that Quick Service dining plan to the Basic one? And does anyone know how much that usually costs for a 7 night trip? I have two friends who said they did that but my travel agent said she doesn't think you can. (??)

Or, are we better off upgrading to a moderate hotel and just getting that Basic dining plan included? We are planning to stay at Pop Century at this point.

We are a family of 4 (2 girls, 8 and turning 6 on the day we leave for Disney :)).

The main reason we want to upgrade is to have the option to do some character meals ... for which I am hoping we will still be able to get reservations at this "late" date. (I'm not used to planning my meals 3-6 months ahead of time. ;-) Can I call and inquire about reservation availability before we have a confirmation # or do I need to wait?

I think once we get this question(s) answered, we'll be ready to book. Yay!!

vicki_c
10-28-2011, 01:51 PM
There is a sticky @ the top of the board with the upgrade costs!

You can look on line at any time to check availability for locations that you want (provided you are 180 days or less out). You don't need a reservation # to do that.

I would find out what's available before paying for a dining plan, or paying more for your hotel than you might have to in order to get free dining (sorry that is confusing - what I mean is - paying rack rate for your room to get free dining, when it's possible you could have used a room discount instead of free dining).

SarahD
10-28-2011, 02:21 PM
You can upgrade your dining at any point - and it's probably worth it if you're planning to do several character meals. We LOVE Pop Century (kids are now 9 & 12) - the theming is so much fun and the food court has so many options, so if I were in I'd stay at Pop and upgrade your dining. Others, however, prefer moderates - so it depends on your tastes & budget. Keep in mind that there are no sit down restaurants at Pop, only counter service (food court). So if you're planning to be at the resort for dinner, do your sit down meal at a park or another hotel at lunch.

Nadjalu
10-28-2011, 07:45 PM
Yes you can upgrade to either plan the reg or deluxe.
The reg is $11 per adult, per day/night, per person. Not sure about the children.

So what you can do is the math to see which would benefit you as to whether a mod stay would be equal or close enough to warrent changing over from the value.

Good luck, have fun and welcome!!!

amyr1
10-28-2011, 08:15 PM
yes you can upgrade. It's like $11 for each adult and, I think, like $2 for each kid PER DAY.

Don't forget to also factor in tips--this can run you $200 or so over the course of 6-7 TS meals.

Amy

havoc315
10-28-2011, 08:28 PM
The upgrade price is higher for 2012... More like $16.

sharonabe
10-28-2011, 11:26 PM
$16.50 per night per adult and $3.00 per night per child

For a 7 night stay that would be $273.

Depending on the number of character meals you want to do, you might be better keeping the free QSDP and paying OOP for the 1-2 meals you want to do. If you'd like to have the option of a TS every day, then paying to upgrade makes sense.

I don't think you can get the mod resort for 7 nights for $273 over a value, but I haven't priced that out.

Nohal
10-29-2011, 08:38 AM
We stayed in ASMo this year and upgraded to the DDP for $11 a night. It was worth having a nice sit down meal every night. We booked for next year at ASMo with the bounceback offer and again upgraded. Next year the cost is $16.55 but the mugs come with the meal plan. I look at it this way next year the mugs come with the meal so the first day is covered by the cost of buying mugs. We don't eat out that much during the year so this is something special for us on vacation.

thunderbird1
10-29-2011, 10:08 AM
First of all, :welcome: to the DIS!

Hi~ We are about to book our trip for February. I am totally new to Disney planning and a bit overwhelmed. My question is, if we book a value hotel with the free dining plan, can we upgrade that Quick Service dining plan to the Basic one? And does anyone know how much that usually costs for a 7 night trip? I have two friends who said they did that but my travel agent said she doesn't think you can. (??)!!

Yes, you can upgrade the free QSDDP to the basic DDP. The cost for 2 adults and 2 kids will be approximately $40/$46 per day, depending on when you're going in February (value or peak season).

Or, are we better off upgrading to a moderate hotel and just getting that Basic dining plan included? We are planning to stay at Pop Century at this point.

We are a family of 4 (2 girls, 8 and turning 6 on the day we leave for Disney :)).

The cost to upgrade to a moderate hotel is approximately $65-$75 per day, assuming you would book a similar room category at either hotel. If you go from a preferred pool view at Pop to a standard room at a moderate the difference will be less; if you go from a standard view at Pop to a themed, water view room at a moderate the difference will be more.

So you'd be paying around $20-$35 more per day for the moderate resort as compared to staying a value resort and upgrading the DDP. You'd have to decide whether the upgraded amenities of the moderate are worth the extra $$ to you. Some of the main advantages the moderates have are refrigerators and coffeemakers in the rooms, slides in the swimming pool, a TS restaurant at the resort and more recreational options at the resort.

The main reason we want to upgrade is to have the option to do some character meals ... for which I am hoping we will still be able to get reservations at this "late" date. (I'm not used to planning my meals 3-6 months ahead of time. ;-) Can I call and inquire about reservation availability before we have a confirmation # or do I need to wait?

I think once we get this question(s) answered, we'll be ready to book. Yay!!

You can call for dining reservations (or book them online) whether or not you have a resort package booked. I would go ahead and make your dining reservations before booking your trip to make sure you can get into the restaurants you want. If you want to do a few character meals, and plan on doing 1 TS meal per day I think it's a better deal to get the basic DDP instead of the QSDDP.

Hope that helps, and good luck!

jennifertempleton
11-01-2011, 08:46 AM
Thank you all very much for the input. I feel better now. :)

I'm thinking it will definitely be worth it for us to upgrade, as there seem to be quite a few character-type meals that appeal to us. I called yesterday and got reservations at 1900 Park Fare on the day we arrive, which is my daughter's bday, and Akershus for breakfast one morning.

Probably going to book today. Yay!

Now I need to see when all the good parades and shows are so we can plan our days.

Thank you again! Great board that I'm sure I'll be frequenting many times in the next 3 months!

julm26
11-01-2011, 08:49 AM
We are going in December during Free dining and are staying at POP. We upgraded to the basic dining plan from quick service.

PrincessTiffany
11-01-2011, 08:22 PM
Hi~ We are about to book our trip for February. I am totally new to Disney planning and a bit overwhelmed. My question is, if we book a value hotel with the free dining plan, can we upgrade that Quick Service dining plan to the Basic one? And does anyone know how much that usually costs for a 7 night trip? I have two friends who said they did that but my travel agent said she doesn't think you can. (??)

Or, are we better off upgrading to a moderate hotel and just getting that Basic dining plan included? We are planning to stay at Pop Century at this point.

We are a family of 4 (2 girls, 8 and turning 6 on the day we leave for Disney :)).

The main reason we want to upgrade is to have the option to do some character meals ... for which I am hoping we will still be able to get reservations at this "late" date. (I'm not used to planning my meals 3-6 months ahead of time. ;-) Can I call and inquire about reservation availability before we have a confirmation # or do I need to wait?

I think once we get this question(s) answered, we'll be ready to book. Yay!!
FREE DINING FACTS AND INFORMATION

The Free Dining Promo/Discount was first introduced in the fall of 2005 and up until the fall of 2009, was, basically, just offered during the timeframe of mid August to the first of October (height of hurricane season) and included the Basic/Plus Dining for all levels of WDW resort. Starting in the fall of 2009, they offered a second Free Dining Promo/Discount that covered dates between October 1st and the third week of December and they also started including the Quick Service DDP for Value resorts and the Basic/Plus DDP for Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. With the popularity of the Free Dining Promo, last year, for the first time, WDW offered multiple Free Dining discounts during this year that included many value season/low crowd weeks.

To take advantage of a Free Dining (FD) discount you must be booked at a Disney-owned resort and purchase a Magic Your Way Package that includes room, tickets and dining with a 2 day base ticket purchase. The FD promos have a 3 day booking minimum and a 14 day booking maximum. You can not include Annual Passes or previously purchased tickets for Disney or any other outside ticketing agent.

The current FD promos have included the Quick Service Dining Plan for Value Resorts and the Basic/Plus Dining Plan for Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. You can not downgrade to the Quick Service Dining if you are staying at a Moderate or Deluxe Resort - there have been reports that, once in the parks, guests have been able to trade/convert Table Service (TS) credits for Counter Service (CS) credits, but this is not advertised on the WDW website and should not be considered WDW "policy." You can however pay the monetary difference and upgrade to the Basic/Plus DDP or the Deluxe DDP if you are staying at a Value Resort and can upgrade to the Deluxe Plan if you are staying at a Moderate or Deluxe Resort. The Deluxe Dining Plan has never been included in any free dining promos. Here is a breakdown of FD upgrade costs for 2011:

2011 Upgrade from Quick Service DDP $34.99/$11.99 to Basic/Plus DDP $45.99/$11.99
$11.00 per adult 10+; $0.00 per child 3 - 9

2011 Upgrade from Quick Service DDP $34.99/$11.99 to Deluxe DDP $78.99/$21.99
$44.00 per adult 10+; $10.00 per child 3 - 9

2011 Upgrade from Basic/Plus DDP $45.99/$11.99 to Deluxe DDP $78.99/$21.00
$33.00 per adult 10+; $10.00 per child 3 - 9


2012 Upgrade from the Quick Service DDP $34.99/$11.99 to Basic/Plus DDP $51.54/$15.02
$16.65 per adult 10+; $3.03 per child 3 - 9

2012 Upgrade from Quick Service DDP $34.99/$11.99 to Deluxe DDP $85.52/$23.79
$50.53 per adult 10+; $11.50 per child 3 - 9

2012 Upgrade from Basic/Plus DDP $51.54/$15.02 to Deluxe DDP $85.52/$23.79
$33.98 per adult 10+; $8.77 per child 3 - 9

Your check in date must fall within the dates of the FD promo to apply the discount to your reservation. If your check in dates do not fall within the FD dates, you can not apply the discount - even if every single night of your vacation falls within the promo, except for your check in date, you can not take advantage of the FD promo.

If any of your vacation dates fall within a FD promo dates you can receive the FD discount for your entire vacation stay, up to 14 nights, even if you are checking in on the last day of a FD promo, you can still recieve the discount for up to 14 nights.

If your vacation starts a couple of days before a FD promo, it's possible to do a Split Stay - meaning, you can do a room only reservation for 1 to 3 nights at the beginning of your vacation, pay for your food out-of-pocket for those days, and be allowed to pick up your PACKAGE TICKETS up to 3 days early at guest relations at any of the four parks or at Downtown Disney (For further info on picking up tickets early, please see Diser, CheshireFigment's, Ticket Sticky on the top the Themeparks Board.)

If you already have an existing reservation that falls within the dates of a FD promo, you can call and have the FD code added to modify that reservation. You can not add the FD code on line, you will need to call WDW Reservations, 407-W-Disney. You do NOT have to rebook, your reservation number does not change and there is not a fee - if you are within your 45 day window, they can charge you a $50.00 change fee, but, most FD promos come out before the 45 day window, so this shouldn't be an issue. If you have already paid your package in full, WDW will refund you the monetary difference - this can take up to 2 billing cycles or about 2 months. Each resort is only allotted so many FD rooms, so if you call and your resort is sold out of FD promo rooms, you can change your resort and do not have to cancel or pay a fee and your reservation number stays the same. If your existing reservation is a room only reservation, then you would have to cancel and rebook under a Magic Your Way Package to receive the FD discount. If you booked with a Travel Agent, then the TA must call and add this discount to your existing reservation. The TA owns your reservation and Disney will not change the discount/code for without going through your TA.

Typically, in the past, other than last's August FD announcement, Disney Visa holders ere given the FD Promo Code three (3) days before it opens to the general public. In the past, all you had to do to get the Disney Visa FD discount was put $200.00 down with your card, the balance did not have to be put on the Disney Visa. If you are already booked with a Disney Visa, you will simply have to put another $200.00 deposit down to apply the code. If you have paid the trip in full with a DV, they will still refund the monetary difference and you will not have to re-apply any money.

If you already have Advance Dining Reservations (ADRs) changing or modifying a reservation does not effect or cancel your ADRs. You would have to go on-line or call WDW Dining to cancel ADRs, even if you completely cancel a vacation/reservation. Remember, anyone can make ADRs, even offsite guests and don't have to be linked to your reservation in any way. If you have already booked and paid for any restaurants and/or dinner shows, and then a FD promo/discount is released, you can contact Disney Dining once you modify your reservation to include the FD code and give them your reservation number, and they will credit you the amount you pre-paid. This type of refund also takes 2 billing cycles or about 2 months.

Hopefully this info will give everyone an overview of the current Free Dining Guidelines.

klm7926
11-01-2011, 08:52 PM
That last post of was VERY helpful! We are booking a moderate for the first week of March and was wondering if we should upgrade to the Deluxe plan b/c the basic (that free one that comes with moderates) does not include character meals as of 2012. The deluxe does.

I'm planning on booking tmrw night. We'll see what they say then! :flower3:

PrincessTiffany
11-01-2011, 08:55 PM
That last post of was VERY helpful! We are booking a moderate for the first week of March and was wondering if we should upgrade to the Deluxe plan b/c the basic (that free one that comes with moderates) does not include character meals as of 2012. The deluxe does.

I'm planning on booking tmrw night. We'll see what they say then! :flower3:
I'm sorry, but you have been given some incorrect information. Under the current 2012 Free Dining offer the WDW moderate resorts are given the Basic/Plus DDP, which includes 1 TS, 1 CS and 1 Snack per person per day and you TS credits can be used at any character meal. All character meals are 1 TS credit, with the exception of Cinderella's Royal Table, which is 2 TS credits per person.

klm7926
11-01-2011, 08:58 PM
Thank you all very much for the input. I feel better now. :)

I'm thinking it will definitely be worth it for us to upgrade, as there seem to be quite a few character-type meals that appeal to us. I called yesterday and got reservations at 1900 Park Fare on the day we arrive, which is my daughter's bday, and Akershus for breakfast one morning.



Please be aware that if you are staying in a value resort and you upgrade to the BASIC dining plan it DOES NOT include character meals as of 2012....I just found that out :mad: We are staying in a moderate resort and was hoping we could use our table service meals to dine with characters and now we can't :sad2:

PrincessTiffany
11-01-2011, 08:59 PM
Please be aware that if you are staying in a value resort and you upgrade to the BASIC dining plan it DOES NOT include character meals as of 2012....I just found that out :mad: We are staying in a moderate resort and was hoping we could use our table service meals to dine with characters and now we can't :sad2:
I'm sorry, but where did you get this info?

klm7926
11-01-2011, 09:02 PM
I'm sorry, but you have been given some incorrect information. Under the current 2012 Free Dining offer the WDW moderate resorts are given the Basic/Plus DDP, which includes 1 TS, 1 CS and 1 Snack per person per day and you TS credits can be used at any character meal. All character meals are 1 TS credit, with the exception of Cinderella's Royal Table, which is 2 TS credits per person.

Not according to the website when making reservations OR the file that I printed out of the new 2012 Disney Dining Plan. When making reservation for Chef Mickey's for the week of March 4-9 when you click on the View Participating Dining Plans link it shows you can only use a credit if you have the Deluxe, Premium or Platinum dining plan.

ETA: I hope you can tell me I'm wrong....LOL!!!!!

PrincessTiffany
11-01-2011, 09:09 PM
Not according to the website when making reservations OR the file that I printed out of the new 2012 Disney Dining Plan. When making reservation for Chef Mickey's for the week of March 4-9 when you click on the View Participating Dining Plans link it shows you can only use a credit if you have the Deluxe, Premium or Platinum dining plan.

ETA: I hope you can tell me I'm wrong....LOL!!!!!
Yes, you are incorrect. I don't know what kind of glitch is going on with the booking system, but you can most certainly book Chef Mickey's or any other character meals if you are on the Basic/Plus Disney Dining Plan. Many of the popular character meals and restuarants do now require a credit card hold - meaning you will not be charged anything unless you are a no show. If you are having trouble booking your ADRs online, just call Disney Dining Reservations and they will help you out. All character dining meals DO still accept the Basic/Plus Dining plan. A TS credit on the Basic plan is no different than a TS credit on the Deluxe plan.

klm7926
11-01-2011, 09:17 PM
Yes, you are incorrect. I don't know what kind of glitch is going on with the booking system, but you can most certainly book Chef Mickey's or any other character meals if you are on the Basic/Plus Disney Dining Plan. Many of the popular character meals and restuarants do now require a credit card hold - meaning you will not be charged anything unless you are a no show. If you are having trouble booking your ADRs online, just call Disney Dining Reservations and they will help you out. All character dining meals DO still accept the Basic/Plus Dining plan. A TS credit on the Basic plan is no different than a TS credit on the Deluxe plan.

Well PrincessTiffany you just made my night!!!!!!! :cheer2: I am calling tomorrow and hoping to get them same information you are giving me!!!!

I didn't have any trouble booking Chef Mickeys, I just clicked the link next to Dine Plan to see what it said. This box popped up:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v482/klm7926/Screenshot2011-11-01at101328PM.png

so I assumed that meant that you had to have the Deluxe Plan as of 2012.

PrincessTiffany
11-01-2011, 09:50 PM
Well PrincessTiffany you just made my night!!!!!!! :cheer2: I am calling tomorrow and hoping to get them same information you are giving me!!!!

I didn't have any trouble booking Chef Mickeys, I just clicked the link next to Dine Plan to see what it said. This box popped up:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v482/klm7926/Screenshot2011-11-01at101328PM.png

so I assumed that meant that you had to have the Deluxe Plan as of 2012.

I'm still assuming that is some sort of computer glitch because if it were true that they weren't allowing people to use TS credits at the character meals anymore, these boards (especially the Dining Boards) would be ON FIRE! :furious:

danielephant
11-02-2011, 01:28 PM
we upgraded and thought nothing of it...as we go to some of the most expensive sit downs like character meals...you can't get that at a CS and our DD and DS loved it last time so it was a no brainer for us this time :)