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Old 01-02-2013, 02:19 AM   #1
Marionnette
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Rumor: No Free Dining at Values this fall...

...and the free dining at the mods and deluxes will be the QSDP.

That's the latest on the Codes and Rates subforum of the Resorts Board. FWIW, Danny25 is usually right on the money with his advance info.
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3039016

So, how will this affect your vacation plans for next fall? Will you still go to Disney if there is no free dining at the Values? Is it worth it to you to pay rack rates at a moderate or deluxe resort if the free dining plan is just the QSDP?

For me, it makes no difference and in fact, it may make me more likely to travel to Disney in the fall if there are fewer "free diners" crowding the TS restaurants. I haven't thought that the dining plans were any kind of value since they did away with the gratuity and appetizers. Free DDP for my family of 5 never made up for paying rack rate at a deluxe. So the QSDP makes it even less appealing now that the kids are grown.

I'm just interested in hearing what other Dis-ers think.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:24 AM   #2
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We are staying deluxe room at Wilderness Lodge. Since you can never get any type of room discount on these rooms any free dining is worth it to us
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:33 AM   #3
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I hope they get rid of it forever and return the menus to what they were before "Free Dining".
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:18 AM   #4
Marionnette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy2twingles View Post
We are staying deluxe room at Wilderness Lodge. Since you can never get any type of room discount on these rooms any free dining is worth it to us
Thanks for your insight. I had never considered that there are certain room levels that are never discounted. Even GF club level rooms are usually included in the room-only offers but I never thought about the suites at the deluxes. When you're paying $700-$900 per night for those WL Junior Suites, I can understand why even free QSDP will help your budget.

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Originally Posted by jrmasm View Post
I hope they get rid of it forever and return the menus to what they were before "Free Dining".
I agree. The quality at the TS restaurants has declined and the prices have skyrocketed. But I don't think that ditching Free Dining will reverse that trend. As long as people like my brother continue to purchase the dining plan for the mere convenience of it, Disney dining quality will suffer.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:20 AM   #5
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Hmm. .. now I'm left wondering why Disney would do away with something so profitable. We've all run the numbers and from what I've seen posted by people, unless you're a family with bottomless pits known as teenagers, it's usually cheaper to just pay for the same meals and use a PIN, but we're a tiny sliver of the Disney population. I'm sure most people see "FREE" and just jump on it without doing all the math.

One wonders what this says for PINs. . .which in turn makes me wonder about the DVC rental market. . .
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:43 AM   #6
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It won't affect us at all. We don't use it and never have.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snarlingcoyote View Post
Hmm. .. now I'm left wondering why Disney would do away with something so profitable. We've all run the numbers and from what I've seen posted by people, unless you're a family with bottomless pits known as teenagers, it's usually cheaper to just pay for the same meals and use a PIN, but we're a tiny sliver of the Disney population. I'm sure most people see "FREE" and just jump on it without doing all the math.

One wonders what this says for PINs. . .which in turn makes me wonder about the DVC rental market. . .
You have a very valid point about people responding like Pavlov's dog to the word "free". But I also think that Free Dining has become less profitable at the Value resorts over the past few years. I don't think there's as big a profit margin at the Value level as there is at the Moderate and Deluxes, which is why they stopped offering free DDP at the Values and replaced it with just QSDP over the past couple of years. Perhaps, in an effort to keep the rack rate of the Values more affordable (not that I think they are a great value for what you get), they've shaved the profit margin too thin to be able to absorb the cost of the QSDP. I've also noticed that the room-only offers at the Values have a very low percentage off, too. The most recent ones have only been in the range of 15% off the rack rate.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:15 AM   #8
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Also remember a lot of people seem to like it for the convenience. Even if they don't save money it's prepaid (or free) and once at the world they don't worry about what they order.
I never understood that but I have heard that used as a reason many still purchase the ddp.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:51 AM   #9
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We have hit the "sweet" spots with FD the last 2 times we have booked it.

This past October, there were 2 adults and 2 teens (17) and we stayed 6 nights at POFQ, standard room, 6 day tickets, with dining plan for under $2300. I ran all the numbers and even when adding back in tips, it worked out great. We took my daughter's boyfriend with us and I knew it would be great for him, being able to order anything at mealtime and not worrying about the "cost." I ran the numbers all the way around and just could not get a better deal for our particular situation at that time.

In 2009, I had originally booked at All-Star Sports and then got a free upgrade to SSR 1-bedroom resort. That was when the values still got regular dining for free. That trip was wonderful because it was just 2 adults and the 1-bedroom was so much fun!!

While I have taken trips in between 2009 and 2012, they have actually been off-site for various reasons.

However, losing free dining doesn't bother me too much. My daughter will be starting college this fall and that means we are no longer locked into the school system for travel dates, plus we have already decided to do a little more traveling to the rest of the world.

I do understand though that it will be a pinch for some people...especially for those that fall right into the perfect situations for savings like I have in the past.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marionnette View Post
You have a very valid point about people responding like Pavlov's dog to the word "free". But I also think that Free Dining has become less profitable at the Value resorts over the past few years. I don't think there's as big a profit margin at the Value level as there is at the Moderate and Deluxes, which is why they stopped offering free DDP at the Values and replaced it with just QSDP over the past couple of years. Perhaps, in an effort to keep the rack rate of the Values more affordable (not that I think they are a great value for what you get), they've shaved the profit margin too thin to be able to absorb the cost of the QSDP. I've also noticed that the room-only offers at the Values have a very low percentage off, too. The most recent ones have only been in the range of 15% off the rack rate.
They are not losing money at the values by offering free dining. The price of a room at a value is well above what you would spend outside of Disney with more amenities. Our trip home we stopped at a very nice Day's Inn Hotel and Suites and stayed in a King Suite for less than one night would cost us at a value resort even in value seaon. We had a fridge,microwave, and coffee maker. They also included breakfast the next morning. They offered waffles, sausage, biscuits and gravy, cereal, coffee, juice, toast, bagels, donuts and fruit. Also for those that wanted it a free newspaper. Also the rooms at Pop are starting to show their age despite a renovation not that long ago. Our room had a musty smell to it and didn't seem to be kept as clean as in the past. Perhaps the musty smell was from something being spilt or even from the A/C vent or filter needing cleaned. All 6 trips we have stayed at Pop and I started noticing a decline in housekeeping on our trip last Oct. My inlaws were with us and also noticed a difference compared to their past trips. This year was better overall housekeeping wise than last year though.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:03 PM   #11
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Another thought- Maybe they are trying a new strategy. Maybe they are trying to fill up the Deluxe and Moderates first since they cost more before offering free dining to the values. Or perhaps they will not offer it to the values this year in the hopes that those that wanted free dining will upgrade and not want to go back to a value. Brilliant marketing if you think about it. Get people to fall in love with a moderate or deluxe so that they pay more for their future vacations.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:46 AM   #12
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I don't stay value and like you the ddp stop being of value once they got rid of the apps and gratuity.
Non issue for me.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:01 AM   #13
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It won't bother me. I find we do better with a room discount and paying for our own meals OOP.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:06 AM   #14
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We've never used free dining. We usually go with a room only code.

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Old 01-02-2013, 10:11 AM   #15
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We no longer go in the fall or stay at the values anymore, but I do purchase the dining plan and it is convenient. It was especially nice when DD's bff's family went down at the same time. The girls could go out together and use their own cards. A few of our favorite places would easily put us over the cost of the dining plan.
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