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View Poll Results: What would you do?
Take the free dining, IT'S FREE! 11 78.57%
Pay OOP for dining 3 21.43%
Voters: 14. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-19-2013, 11:06 AM   #1
Julie521
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DH is NO help, needs advice Dis community. WWYD?

So we are planning a trip for next September and I have been going back and forth about the dining plan. Last time we went was on our honeymoon and we were offered free dining, so we took advantage of it. It was nice not having to look at prices and just order what we wanted. However, we both are not huge dessert eaters when we go out to dinner, and mostly only ordered them because they were included. We would usually rather have an app. or a salad. Also, I like to have an adult beverage with a water rather than a soda with my meal (hubby not a big drinker, does the soda) My dilemma is what to do for our next trip. I don't think we will book with dining plan, but my debate is if free dining will be offered for our dates, should I take it?! I am booking through AAA and got a 30% room discount for CSR last trip and will do the same this time. So we will book package now, without dining.. but do i take the dining plan if its offered free? i feel like i am crazy paying oop if it is offered, but at the same time it doesn't match our dining habits! AHHHH What would you do?

**edit** a little about our plan: staying 10 nights from most likely august 31-sept. 10 at coronado springs booking business class. this would give us access to the cove where we would get free breakfast.. Plan on doing 1 universal day, 2 water park days, 1 pool/mini golf day, and get a 7 day park ticket with water park/more option. We will be driving and have our car so we can bring some snacks and drinks with us also
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:28 AM   #2
chocolateMinnie
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no brainer. We often don't use all our cs credits as we prefer a 'big' breakfast and dinner and no snacking during the day. We often don't use our cs dessert because in general (fruit is only sometimes swapped at cs depending on location) we don't like the desserts. In 2009 we did dxdp (paid oop) and brought back almost all of our snacks but as I work in a primary school the kids loved their Mickey rice krispie gifts!

It's hard not to get 'forced' into making full value of the freebie but we would take it, eat what we want even though 'wasting' some credits and paying oop for some things too.

Last year was our first trip on free ddp where we actually used all the credits and only paid for a tiny bit oop
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:04 PM   #3
csjordan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie521 View Post
So we are planning a trip for next September and I have been going back and forth about the dining plan. Last time we went was on our honeymoon and we were offered free dining, so we took advantage of it. It was nice not having to look at prices and just order what we wanted. However, we both are not huge dessert eaters when we go out to dinner, and mostly only ordered them because they were included. We would usually rather have an app. or a salad. Also, I like to have an adult beverage with a water rather than a soda with my meal (hubby not a big drinker, does the soda) My dilemma is what to do for our next trip. I don't think we will book with dining plan, but my debate is if free dining will be offered for our dates, should I take it?! I am booking through AAA and got a 30% room discount for CSR last trip and will do the same this time. So we will book package now, without dining.. but do i take the dining plan if its offered free? i feel like i am crazy paying oop if it is offered, but at the same time it doesn't match our dining habits! AHHHH What would you do?
I would take the free dining and pay OOP for alcohol, appetizers, etc... If you don't want dessert, I would not feel obligated. We were on the DDP last Spring and I did not eat my dessert most of the time. Paid off for us, as we could eat either a CS breakfast or lunch, and get some down-time with a TS for dinner. It's easier to do night-time in the parks when we have had some relaxation/glass of wine during dinner.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:12 PM   #4
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If it's actually FREE, I say take it. The only issue would be if you have to pay rack rate for your room in order to get "free" dining. If you lose a 30% AAA discount in order to get "free" dining, I don't consider it free. If that's the case, you'd have to work out the numbers and see if it pays off. Otherwise, I'd take the dining and eat what you want. If it covers your entree, that's a large part of your dining bill. Even if you want an alcoholic beverage or appetizer, what you're paying out of pocket still won't be as much as you would have spent for the drink, apps, and entree. If you don't want dessert, don't order it. Either way, have a great trip!

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Old 08-19-2013, 01:05 PM   #5
smiths02
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There is a calculator around here somewhere.

You would have to look at numbers. How much is the 30% room discount? How much does free dining save you from the components you would actually order anyhow (Don't calculate desserts, only calculate one soda, etc.)?

For instance, let's say your 30% saves you $75/night at CSR. Would you normally spend more $75/night for the two of you on DDP included components? If the answer is yes, then get the DDP free and don't worry about getting the FULL value, you only need to get a value at least equal to what you would have saved with your room only discount (so you can skip dessert, skip the nonalcoholic drink, etc.)
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:39 PM   #6
elaine amj
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If I remember previous calculations I have seen, a couple who have a 30% RO offer at CSR is likely better off taking the RO only and paying OOP than taking the free dining - especially given your dining habits.

For our family of 4 in a Value - NOTHING beats free dining. Not even offsite with YES tickets (in the days when YES tickets offered a significant discount).

BTW, I sympathize - my DH wants nothing to do with the DDP vs OOP debate other than "we saved soooo much money, honey!!"

I rarely discuss my obsessive Disney planning or the intense debates I have with myself - except on the Dis where folks understand DH and the kids want nothing to do with it. Although I will sit them down with some Youtube vids to see what rides/restaurants they prefer. Much easier when you tell me now that "I really really want to eat in the Castle" rather than the day of when no ressies are available!
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:14 PM   #7
LJSquishy
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Take the room discount if there is one, and if not, book under free dining. We had "free" DDP as 2 adults and tried to maximize the value of it...we wouldn't do it again because like you, we don't want a dessert at every meal and sometimes we just want water with our meals (plus we had to pay OOP for alcohol). We did use our snack credits for breakfasts like giant yogurt parfaits and didn't feel like snacking in between meals. It's just too much food for us.

I think you will save money by taking the 30% room discount and paying OOP for the food/beverages that you actually want. You can only eat so many steaks in a week! Sometimes a salad is what you really want.
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