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View Full Version : I have to ask...why do so many like theses vouchers???


WisconsinDisneyGirl
06-23-2004, 06:10 PM
Why? It does not seem as if they really save you money. Do they save you money and why do so many people like them??? Just had to ask.

crisi
06-23-2004, 06:57 PM
For a certain type of person with certain habits (or willing to do certain things) they can save a lot of money. These are things like having a lunch with a side and dessert - maybe splitting that with your spouse and splitting another with the kids. Also - its hard to go wrong with some things (like Beaches and Cream or Pepper Market - hard not to spend $11.50 there - or the breakfast vouchers, which always save at least a buck or two per person over paying for the meal, tax and tip).

For us, we don't have the habits. I can't imagine going out of my way to Pepper Market, and while we've always had good intentions towards Beaches and Cream, it hasn't happened yet. Our big meals are sit down dinners, lunches don't include dessert and fries for us, so we don't save anything with the Q&C vouchers. We do one character meal, but joining Connections to save $10 for the family is a lot of hassle.

But plenty of people have reported a lot of savings by using vouchers - and if you were going to B&C and planning on getting that sundae anyway.......

disneyjunkie
06-23-2004, 07:10 PM
I used the vouchers on our last trip. Didn't get to Beaches n Cream or the Pepper Market. We only used them at the counter service places in the parks and Pop Century.

I like to prepay as many things as I can. By using the vouchers, most of our meals were taken care before we left home.

My son will be 13 on our next trip and may bring a friend with him. When we split up(which I'm sure they'll want to do) I can give them the vouchers. This way I know they'll eat some real food and not just junk.

Pooh Girl 71
06-23-2004, 09:11 PM
I've been using vouchers since 2002 and I love them. They are a great way to pre-pay some meals. We also always have a car with us so getting to Pepper Market and Beaches and Cream is never a hassle.

Also me and DD tend to split meals so this works out well for us.


You do have to do a bit of homework to know where to get the best deals but I love doing that so it's not a biggie.

briannesmom
06-23-2004, 10:04 PM
I haven't used mine yet but I will in less than 2 weeks:)
I bought them mostly for the prepayment factor. I checked out all of the menus and figured I will at least break even using them so I decided to give it a shot.


Amy

ripleysmom
06-23-2004, 10:17 PM
We've used them but to be honest they are a pain in the butt for us. I hated having to figure out where to eat to maximize our savings. While it did save money where we used them, I probably wound up spending (and eating) more than we would have if we were just wandering around.

I did like using them for Beaches & Cream because we like eating there and it wasn't a problem to pop over there for a meal.

We also used them at the Pepper Market at CSR but I thought the food was terrible so we probably will not do that again.

hulabird
06-23-2004, 10:49 PM
I only get them when I get them for free, which I do using mypoints; I use my points for web certificates and then buy the vouchers at hotwire savings club.

I agree they can be a pain, but we are staying at the BWI this year and will be going to B&C a few times, so we will use them there.

Last time we went, we used them at B&C, but then I felt an obligation to eat at certain places because I had to use the vouchers before we left.

If you can plan a few places you'd like to eat using the menus on wdwig.com, you will be able to see if the vouchers would be worth it for you.

mboromom24forWDW
06-24-2004, 12:28 AM
Why do so many like these vouchers.......long

I have not used vouchers yet and hadn't even considered using them until I had read all of the threads on this subject. I didn't make the decision until I researched the options. These are the factors:

Even though we will have our own vehicle and cheaper meals can be located offsite, I wanted to maximize our time in the parks and not waste it getting back and forth. Our hotel has continental breakfast, fridge & microwave but is also offsite (Family of 6 would mean two rooms, even at the Value resorts this was more than we wanted to pay)

So, I set about trying to feed us inexpensively in the parks but still experience some of the themed restaurants, a character breakfast, and go to a variety of locations, etc. I have my itinerary pretty much in place and know what days/times we plan on being at the parks. Our plan is to eat earlier or later than the busiest times while there. I read descriptions of the different restaurants and viewed the menus for all of the parks to see what would appeal to us. My kids would not appreciate fine cuisine (can you say chicken nuggets?) so that eliminated a lot of places. I considered the vouchers when looking at the menus to see how I could feed the family by splitting meals. I think the key to the value of the vouchers is the ability to split meals. Besides myself there is my DH, dd15, ds11, dd5, dd4 so it is doable for us.

Some days we will bring sandwiches, some days we might have a heavy snack at 11:00am and then an early dinner at a pre-determined park/resort restaurant, and on other days a restaurant lunch will be the main meal and we will prepare a quick/easy dinner in our hotel room upon our return. I will bring kid snacks into the parks everyday for those inbetween times. I think I have found a good balance between bought and prepared meals.

My budget for food is $925 for 9 days for 6 people. This includes all meals, snacks, groceries and road trip meals each way. This includes the following places:

Safari Coffee, Rainforest Cafe, Main St Bakery, Chef Mickeys Character Breakfast, Pepper Market, Liberty Inn for 5 (Fish & Chips for me), Beaches & Cream, Boulangerie Patisserie, Ohana's, Sunrise Ranch, Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre (Dessert only), Trails End Buffet.

I figured if I could feed two people well for $13-16 at WDW it was a good deal. IMHO you can get value out of the vouchers if you do your homework and have a meal plan.

Sorry so long but it was a long decision making process for me!
Hope it helps!

Sharon

calypso*a*go-go
06-24-2004, 01:08 AM
Plain and simple -- I like them because I am a cheapskate!!! I usually never splurge and get a drink and desset with a meal. By using the vouchers I feel like I'm getting extras without paying as much for them. I did learn some valuable lessons though: don't buy them from ebay (way over priced), and don't get them to use everyday. Just do some research and find three or four places to use them that are a real savings and only buy enough for those meals.

vhoffman
06-24-2004, 02:01 AM
I used the vouchers last trip and probably won't use them again. True, you do get some eating bargains, but they control too much of your decisions. I found myself planning our activities to coincide with meals at restaurants that would have the best meal deals. Once I dragged my family all the way from The Swan to Beaches & Cream only to be disappointed to find it was just a little snack bar, not the restaurant I had expected. I'd read so much about what a wonderful bargain was to be had using the vouchers at B&C I felt we had to go there. Well, it would have been a good deal for the prime rib sandwich, however, when we got there they were sold out of prime rib and everything else on the menu was less than or just about equal to what we paid for the vouchers. I had a few for a full meal (whatever its called), not the quick and casual which is essentially counter service, but I found out that wasn't the way to go, either. We used our vouchers at the RainForest Cafe in Animal Kingdom and got a fantastic meal for about 1/3 of the actual cost. So what was the problem? They were only good for lunch, which is when we wanted to be in the parks. Especially in Janruary, when the parks close early. So there my poor kids sit, eating an elaborate (and very good) meal, burning over 1 1/2 hours, when all they wanted was a hot dog and back to the parks. IMHO, the vouchers control you too much. You plan your day around how to maximize them. You're not at Disney to save a buck, you're there for a good time. Of course, we all want to save money, but not at the expense of comprimising the trip. My suggestions to keep the food budget down: Take along or buy breakfast items to eat in your room. Use an ice chest and have milk, cereal, juice, breakfast bars, bagels and cream cheese, peanut butter, you get the idea. This saves you a bundle on breakfast and gets you going earlier in the morning. Try for a late lunch rather than an early dinner, when the prices are lower. Consider splitting an entree and dessert--the portions are huge at Disney. Drink water rather than soft drinks with meals, that can save you about $10 per meal. I got so tired of the vouchers running the show I finally gave up and ate where I wanted. I came home with several unused. So I actually wasted money with them.

maggiew
06-24-2004, 07:56 AM
We are a family that loves the vouchers. Here is how we use them.

1. I think the breakfast vouchers are guaranteed to save you a few dollars each meal if you plan character meals. We used the breakfast vouchers at Cinderellas breakfast and the Princess Breakfast. These breakfasts cost $19.99 for the adults. The vouchers cost $17.50 (although now I think they are $18.25 or something) PLUS they include tax and tip. So I figure we saved $5 per adult for each meal. That's $20 savings just for those 2 meals. They are also a little bit of a savings for the other character breakfasts, even at $16.99 because of the tax and the tip. When you go to several character breakfasts each trip (as we do), this little bit of money adds up. These are breakfasts we would do anyway, so no planning our park days around the vouchers.

2. We look at where we would like to eat (counter service) and I look at the menus and figure out what we would probably order (my family is very predictable) and then I buy vouchers ONLY for those places where we would save money. Even a dollar or two. Why not?? It's not much more work as I would have thought about where we would like to eat anyway.

3. We do make sure that we use at least 2 vouchers at B&C and Pepper Market. Beaches and Cream is a nice lunch while at EPCOT. It is only minutes from the World Showcase entrance. Our family enjoys the food (I love the prime rib sub. The kids LOVE the sundaes.) We ususally try to go once towards the beginning of our trip and once towards the end. We also try to go to Pepper Market. One time we went there on our arrival night when we weren't going to the park and we had "free" time to resort hop. Another time we stayed at CSR so it was easy. This trip, we are staying at Pop Century. But we are planning on going to Pepper Market on the day we are going to the water park that is near by. We love the Pepper Market and think it is worth the trip regardless. I usually get the ribeye steak, baked or mashed potatoes and grilled veggies. Plus drink and dessert!! How can you beat that for $11.50??? There are also lots of other choices there that are a great deal. On our last trip, DH and I SHARED the steak dinner and we still had some left over. My girls ate the pie ala mode for dessert (one DD had the ice cream and one DD had the pie!).

4. I do NOT buy one Q&C voucher per person per meal! It usually ends up we use one per day. Me and one of the girls might share a meal from the voucher and my DH would order just a meal or just a sandwich (depending on how hungry he is) and we might order another kids meal.

5. This is how we usually eat at Disney. We have a snack in the room before leaving (pop tart, nutrigrain, etc.) We have a late character breakfast - as late as they go. Some places that is 10:20 or so, some places like Chef Mickeys is more like 11:20. This serves as our lunch. We usually have vouchers for these breakfasts. Then we have an early dinner - mostly at a counter service place. As I said above, we usally use one Q&C voucher for this. If we are hungry later in the parks, we may get a snack during the fireworks or shows.

6. This trip we are alternating days with character breakfasts and a sit down lunch. I plan to use the Vacation Kingdom Lunch vouchers for the lunches. This will be our first time using these. I plan to use them at Rainforest Cafe (where we usually eat at AK anyway) and at alfredos.

7. I also do mypoints bonus program and get webcertificates as my bonus. Then I use the webcertificates to buy vouchers. This trip so far I have about $100 in webcertificates and will be using them to buy the vouchers. So really, most of the time the vouchers are "free" for me. Although this time I may be actually "buying" some too.

I hope this helps explain how we use them. We don't plan our trip AROUND the vouchers. But I do plan what we will probably eat and then order vouchers accordingly. I also think that a $2 or $3 dollar savings for each voucher over a week vacation add up. Then throw in the really good deal uses and it makes it very worth it.

Maggie

DMRick
06-24-2004, 08:41 AM
when we got there they were sold out of prime rib and everything else on the menu was less than or just about equal to what we paid for the vouchers.


Gosh, even if we just get the double hamburger and split it we do great at Beaches. The dessert alone (banan split) is $8.99 I believe. Add to that the actual meal, drink and tax and tip we do very well. The voucher was about $11.50.


They were only good for lunch, which is when we wanted to be in the parks
Because RF has the same menu for lunch or dinner, you can use your cert after AK closes at RF-AK. Although we often want a break during the day, if you don't you can use it when AK closes.

poohnpiglet3
06-24-2004, 09:21 AM
5. This is how we usually eat at Disney. We have a snack in the room before leaving (pop tart, nutrigrain, etc.) We have a late character breakfast - as late as they go. Some places that is 10:20 or so, some places like Chef Mickeys is more like 11:20. This serves as our lunch. We usually have vouchers for these breakfasts. Then we have an early dinner - mostly at a counter service place. As I said above, we usally use one Q&C voucher for this. If we are hungry later in the parks, we may get a snack during the fireworks or shows.

Maggie, what a great plan. Thanks for the idea! That will be a good itinerary for us to follow as well in the future. :)

Sherri

Doodlebug939
06-24-2004, 09:29 AM
Last year we went to Disney for the first time and I used the vouchers after I had read extensively about them on these boards.

Some of the reasons why I used them.

1. I like to be able to splurge when we eat on vacation because the rest of the year we dont tend to eat out and this is our "reward"
2. I have two children under 6 (5 last year) and we needed to have some scheduled breaks.
3. I am also able to sit down and relax while making sure that my kids eat "real" meals because I am sure that if we were on the run the kids would always get the chicken so to speak.
4. I love character breakfast!!! We love to get the earliest one possible and dive in. It is a great way to start the day. And the vouchers do save us some money because I would do them with or without the vouchers.
5. We do the Vacation Kingdom Lunch Vouchers (the $30 ish ones) to eat at the Rainforest Cafe and the Le Cellier. (Last trip anyway) So since I knew that we were going to eat there anyway why not save. We are able to buy 2 adult vouchers and have plenty of food.
6. As for the Quick and Casual Vouchers we only bought 4 on our last trip. We went to Peco Bills and Beaches and Cream and I felt that with both we got our moneys worth. My family of 4 was able to share 2 vouchers at each place and we all walked away stuffed.
7. I am one of those people who like to know where I am going to visit that day and eat at.
8. With the vouchers we ate late big lunches (about 2:30 Disney time but that is 3:30 our time) and dinner was easy and quick because none of us were really that hungry so that saved us a Bunch of money.

So in the end I would say that if you are the type of person that doesnt like to schedule your meals then I wouldnt pick up a lot of them but maybe a few to try them out. But if you have scheduled your meals or even just know what park you are going to on what day then it is worth it to save a little if you can.

MrsPete
06-24-2004, 12:30 PM
We used them on our last trip. They DID save lots of money at Beaches and Cream (didn't visit Pepper Market), but at the other places we pretty much broke even or saved less than a dollar -- while ordering a dessert that we wouldn't have bought (or missed) otherwise.

Honestly, I think most people like them because it's a way to PRE-PAY meals, not to save money. For people whose money tends to "burn a hole in the pocket", prepaying is a way to make sure they don't have to eat PB&J sandwiches on their Disney trip.

Bella the Ball 360
06-24-2004, 12:58 PM
I have to say this thread convinced me not to buy vouchers. I had ignored the fact that they would cause me to eat more. Even if they are a good deal for me I like the limits put on me by not having a voucher. I would need to think long and hard about a side dish or a dessert whereas if I knew I had paid for it I would definately make sure I got it. I am glad I read it. I actually had let the thought of overeating pass through my head and they tried to ignore it but once I read it in print ...well ... now it is staring me in the face. Thanks for helping me with my descision.

MEM
06-24-2004, 01:30 PM
I don't know if I'm a "voucher person" yet because I just bought a bunch for our upcoming trip in August 2004. However, I believe I am. We are staying at CSR and our touring style has always been to return to our resort for lunch and a swim and/or nap. Our plan is to use 2 Q&C vouchers at the Pepper Market to feed 2 adults and 2 children. I bought 14 total so I figure using them for 7 lunches or light dinners will not cramp our style. We also plan to use a few at Tangierine Cafe in Morocco. We learned the hard way to share meals after so much wasted food in the past. I believe we WILL save money and at the same time eat a more varied menu because we won't be so worried about price. I also bought 4 of the breakfast vouchers to justify a character breakfast at either 1900 Park Faire or Cape May Cafe. Finally, I like the idea of prepaying as much as possible.

I am also going to try the trick of buying 4 children's meal vouchers at DAK to maximize our day there. This was suggested in another thread.

disneyboundapril2005
06-24-2004, 03:59 PM
Where do you find these vouchers and information regarding them?

Pooh Girl 71
06-24-2004, 08:37 PM
The info is a sticky at the top of the page.

mboromom24forWDW
06-25-2004, 12:48 AM
AsYou're not at Disney to save a buck, you're there for a good time. Of course, we all want to save money, but not at the expense of comprimising the trip


If my only goal was to save money we would have the continental breakfast at the hotel, PB & J's in the parks, and microwave hot dogs back in the hotel for 7 days.........not the route I wanted to go for this long awaited trip. Nor are we eating 3 meals a day at the parks/resorts. I also do not want to end up standing in the middle of a park with 6 indecisive hungry people, not knowing which way to go to find reasonably priced meals. IMO this would be compromising our trip.

We are not going to WDW for the restaurants. Our itinerary is not controlled by these planned meals but I would like the family to be able to see a little of WDW beyond the parks. If I had not checked out the voucher threads I sincerely doubt we would experience anything beyond counter service in the parks. This is a first trip for the whole family ( I have been once & to Disneyland 20+ times)

I budget at home and away. It would totally go against my nature if I didn't plan for our anticpated expenses, whatever the source. We will be implementing several of the suggested strategies in the guide books and from these boards.

Because I am aware of the shortened hours for October, I realize that we need to optimize the time in the park. Therefore, we will not be spending 1 1/2 hours for a sit down meal on those days unless it is a late dinner after park closing. Meals at the resorts are being done on non-park days so there will be no time lost going in and out of the parks. RFC and Trails End will be welcome "breaks" on two longer park days (AK/MNSSHP-Sun and MK-Sat afternoon/evening). Even with our car, returning to our hotel (offsite) for a break is not really worth it considering the shorter park hours.

I realize I have gone way OT regarding the vouchers but I guess it's an individual choice and I didn't make my choice blindly. For us we will be using them for maximum value ie; feeding 6 (myself, DH, DD15, DS11, DD5, DD4) on 3 vouchers. I've viewed the menus and given my family's eating habits know how this is possible. Using the vouchers is giving us the option of spreading our wings a liitle around the resort that we probably would not have done otherwise and doing it a a price I can live with. There is still flexibility with our plan and a splurge planned or unplanned is still a splurge in my kids eyes.

Sharon

DisneyMomOK
06-25-2004, 08:49 AM
11111111111

zippehsmom
06-25-2004, 09:11 AM
I loved using these vouchers when we went in 2002.

This what I discovered in using our vouchers:

1) This was a way for us to keep our budget in check. We ordered the meal vouchers about a month prior to our trip and we used them for Character Breakfasts, a VKL and quite a few Q &C.

2) We did not feel that the vouchers dictated or controlled where we ate. When it was time for a meal in the parks, most counter services accepted these. In addition, we usually had a rough itinerary so I knew in advance where we wanted to eat.

3) We were always flexible with our schedule. For example, one hot day at MK we just did not feel like going back to Peco Bill's and we were passing by Casey's. So we just grabbed a bite there. Yes, we ended up loosing $3 (total $1 per voucher). Well that was one of the best meals we had. Just to add we more than made up for that $3 by eating at Beaches & Cream.

4) We found that we bought less snacks because often the desert we got constituted as a nice snack. We usually only schedule 2 meals a day. Breakfast is usually done in room, and on days where we have a character Breakfast scheduled we usually do a early dinner.

5) We stayed at BWV, and will be again, so Beaches & Cream on off days work perfect for us.

I think each person has to determine what works best for their family. My family loved the vouchers. I know what we tend to order off the menu. DH and DS are big eaters (never gains a pound, wish it was like that for me:rolleyes: ) so getting a desert works out great for them. They each get their own voucher, and DD's (18 months & 4) will share a voucher.

zippehsmom:D

crisi
06-25-2004, 10:00 AM
Different people will make different decisions. I'm not picking on mboromom24forWDW, but I'll use her why's as whys they don't work for us.

If our goal was to save money, we wouldn't go to WDW at all. Saving $50 or even $100 over the course of the trip isn't that big a deal in our overall expenses - if we saved that much - which given our habits would be questionable.

We do go for the restaurants - at least, restaurant meals are one of the Disney attractions I look forward to. Meals are an important part of our vacation. As such, we eat a big sit down meal once a day. We've done it other ways - and once upon a time I was happy with lots of counter service and maybe one or two "treat" meals, but I discovered that now (either due to my age or traveling with children, or the ability to afford it) I really want to sit down and enjoy a leisurely meal once a day or I get cranky. Chicken finger fatigue is part of it, but even the more exotic fast food offerings are lacking in their ability to provide me with an hour off my feet. Because we eat sit down for dinner, our counter service meals are light.

Unlike mboromom24forWDW, our family has been several times and will go again. We also travel in October. But knowing we will be back means no one feels guilty over taking an hour and a half to eat. And we've discovered that counter service doesn't necessarily save time - we've been in a 40 minute line at Pecos Bills and Tusker House to get food - yes, in October (I can't imagine trying to get food at one of these places in the summer). Both times we were running "late" on our schedule - we usually like to eat counter service as soon as they start serving when the crowds are light - not at noon.

We also do a lot of preplanning - having one PS a day. But counter service is more casual for us. We are DVC members and our home resort (BWVs) doesn't have good fast food - although B&C isn't far to walk to. My husband is a creature of habit and will walk halfway across the MK for Cosmic Rays, because he's been there before.

Diabetes runs in my family - so I watch our sugar and carb intake - particularly mine, but I try to teach the kids not to drink a lot of pop or eat a lot of french fries. Disney can be a difficult place to do this - and I don't need extra fries, onion rings, ice cream or brownies and an extra large soda - and I really don't need the temptation of it being "free." We bring our own water into the parks (paying for water has always bothered me - paying Disney prices particularly so). I have a horrible sweet tooth - my husband and I split dessert at our sit down meals to satisfy it without risking blood sugar.

I have my concerns about Connections/Hotwire - which I believe my state's Attorney General has a complaint against. The reputable broker recommended by Mousesavers has their vouchers for a lot more money ($17.50 vs. $11.50), making it much less likely we'd break even. http://www.mousesavers.com/mealvouchers.html

The "deal" with the VKL vouchers is Rainforest Cafe. We eat there far too often here in the Twin Cities (Camp Snoopy and Rainforest Cafe trips are a regular treat for my kids when they've been good), so it isn't a restaurant we go to at Disney.

dgaston
06-25-2004, 10:34 AM
I continue to use vouchers for many of the reasons previously posted.

1) I like to prepay expenses.

2) I feel better handing DS15 a voucher than $20. He has probably eaten his weight over at Pizza Planet!

3) DH and I split meals and one Q & C voucher easily satisfies us. We've eaten at Rosies American Cafe in MGM, Pecos Bills, and Cosmic Rays, and always walked away full. And then there's Beaches and Cream--love the No Way Jose' Sundae. On our next trip we will again head to the Pepper Market, not sure if it'll be rib eye or the wet burrito.

4) We've had great meals at dinner time at the AK RFC. Our server always helped us maximize our VKL voucher there. In April we had a lovely meal at the Brown Derby, and in August we'll use lunch vouchers at Le Cellier and 50s Primetime Cafe.

5) It's Cape May Buffet for the next trip's character breakfast. I always use adult breakfast vouchers for CRT, Boma, Donald's Breakfastosaurus (but pay for children if we have any in our party).

HTH

DisneyMomOK
06-25-2004, 02:46 PM
1111111111111

marymrg
06-25-2004, 03:16 PM
Since we always eat one meal at Beaches and Cream, I buy the vouchers to use there. I also bought breakfast vouchers for Easter Brunch at Chef Mickey's because we were treating our extended family and it was just easier on me. I probably saved about $20-$30 but it was really more for convenience and to ward off any "let us pay the tip" discussions since it was all taken care of.

jgates
06-25-2004, 08:28 PM
Well, I have had intentions of buying a few, however, have yet to even join Hotwire.

If I do this, I will probably just purchase 4 of the Q & C and maybe a couple of the VKL vouchers.

Why?
1. Only my 11 year old DD & myself are going
2. I am a diabetic and really don't need the temptation of a desert at every meal.
3. I am also on Curves and 64 ounces plus of water is mandatory for both that diet AND to keep myself from getting dehydrated (I did that in Epcot last time).
4. DD & I can NEVER agree on the same food so sharing isn't an option. (Yeah - can you say chicken nuggets for sure!)

My aunt is coming down for 3 3/4 days. I'm thinking a nice B & C meal would be a good way to do one of the Q & C's.