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Old 10-03-2012, 02:22 PM   #1
Phelia325
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FD v. Room Only Discount

What's the better deal? We typically stay at deluxe resorts and, in the past, I've always thought the room discount was a better deal than FD. Your thoughts?

Can you even combine them?
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phelia325 View Post
What's the better deal? We typically stay at deluxe resorts and, in the past, I've always thought the room discount was a better deal than FD. Your thoughts?

Can you even combine them?
You can not combine them. No.

In terms of what is a better deal -- it depends on the number in your party and the type of room you go for.

FREE Dining at a moderate with four people (2 adults and 2 kids) is a way better deal than a room discount.

However, Free dining at the Deluxe level with 2 adults in the room ... probably not be as good a discount as 35% off room..

So.. you gotta run the numbers.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:35 PM   #3
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I wrote up a summary of our visit in January, addressing this very topic. And I lost it somewhere.

Here was my bottom line, though (and this is a family of 4 Disney Adults (kids were 12 and 11, staying at CSR):

Did we spend less money on our vacation using Allegedly Free Dining than we would have without it? Definitely not. We spent probably a couple hundred dollars more than we otherwise would have, given the room discount we gave up to do the DP.

Did we spend less money than we would have HAD WE EATEN THE SAME FOOD AT THE SAME RESTAURANTS? Definitely yes. We saved up credits and went to Yachtsman's and Narcoossee's, which we never would have done without the plan.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:51 PM   #4
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Well I can say from experience that deluxe dining doesn't work for us. In May we did the deluxe plan and I ended up with a 700 room bill, which included the tips (which REALLY added up) and the souvenirs my then 2 year old wanted. Well we went back over Labor Day, with no dining plan, ate like "normal" people (i.e. no gorging ourselves with 3 meals a day complete with apps, entree and dessert) and our total room bill was 800, which included all of our meals, tips and souvenirs my 3 year old wanted.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:30 PM   #5
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You will have to run the numbers to see which discount is better for you as you cannot combine discounts. Staying at a deluxe does not necessarily mean a room discount is better over FD. We are a family of 4 (all adults) and only stay deluxe. Depending on when we go and the resort/room type we choose, FD can (and has) come out to be the bigger savings for us. Some people automatically assume that since the deluxe resorts are more expensive than the values and mods that they aren't a good deal when it comes to FD and that just isn't the case. There are more factors to figure in other than just the nightly rate of the resort (i.e., time of year, resort, room type, number of people in the room and their ages). Good luck.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:17 PM   #6
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It just really depends. Which resort, which room category, which season, how many people in your party, what is the discount percentage.

For example, we are booked at WL in January 2013. We are a family of 2 adults, 2 kids. Because it's value season and rates are at their lowest-- and WL is less expensive than other deluxes like the Poly -- even if a 35% off room discount comes out, we would still save more money with a free dining offer. If the room discount was only 20% (as they have been sometimes lately), the difference is even more significant in favor of free dining.

Last year we stayed at the Poly, again in value season. A 35% room discount came out and saved us a little more than our initial free dining booking. But if the discount had been less, it probably would have tipped back to free dining being better.

Now, if we were only 2 people in our party, or if we were traveling during a more expensive season, then the advantage would probably tilt back in favor of a room discount. The math is different every time depending in the details of our trip.
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