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Old 10-07-2013, 12:13 PM   #1
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More TS or CS for first trip?

I was pretty set on getting the DDP for our first family WDW trip, but now I'm starting to rethink that. I STILL haven't decided on a resort, although at the moment I'm leaning towards POR (I'm sure that will change in the next hour, lol). Planning on 5 nights, but possibly seeing if it could be in the budget to stretch it to 6 nights. I was really set on doing a ton of character meals, for my DDs who will be 5 and 6, but as I'm looking more into actually seeing what we'd do in the theme parks, I'm not sure I want to be tied down to so many ADRs. And when I asked DH if 4 character meals was too many, he quickly said yes! I have 3 ADRs I absolutely want to do - Akershus breakfast, Chef Mickey breakfast, and Ohana dinner - but beyond that, I really could care less. So I'm thinking of maybe doing the QSDP and paying OOP for those 3 ADRs, or just paying OOP. By my estimates, paying for the QSDP and paying OOP would be about a wash, so I "think" I would prefer the convenience of it, although I could make OOP cheaper. The DDP was definitely going to save us some money, but only because I was planning on doing a ton of character meals and buffets, and I'm just not sure about that now. Especially since I've read good things about the POR food court, and I'm thinking it would be nice to not worry about what time we leave the parks to make it to a dinner ADR, or coming back to the resort for a break and not wanting to take a bus or drive to somewhere for an ADR.

Do some of you actually prefer the flexibility of not having so many ADRs booked and eating more flexible CS meals? Or do you find having ADRs planned in your schedule more relaxing? Just trying to get some different perspectives, since this will be our first trip.
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:56 PM   #2
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While sometimes I question the value of the DDP, one thing I like about it is it "allows" me to book a TS each day. (Basically it helps me justify spending the money on TS, which I would have hesitated to do OOP). I like having that break in the middle of the day to sit down for 2 hours in A/C and relax and get away from the theme park feeling for a while...I think it makes a great built in break!

I know others feel the opposite, but that's just my thoughts on ADRs...
(Also, this next trip I am not doing the DDP, but have still booked a TS each day since now I know how I feel about them )

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Old 10-07-2013, 09:57 PM   #3
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If doing fewer TS means an extra day of vacation, then I'd definitely go that route!

But, we are more like you are currently planning anyway. 2-3 TS during the week is plenty for us. We have a lot of QS places we really enjoy and just don't see the lure of so many TS meals.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:42 AM   #4
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Skip the DDP and pay OOP. Do the 3 must do TS meals.

Your girls are 5 and 6 and could share an adult CS meal. The adult meals are way better than the kids meals. Even if it's just nuggets they are meatier and bigger.

We have done the DDP in the past and we did tons of TS meals. It worked out well at that time because that's how we liked to vacation.

Last time we went my kids kind of complained a few times when we had a TS meal because they would much rather grab a hot dog at Casey's and just stay in the park riding rides.

Next trip I'm doing OOP and booking 5 TS meals for our 9-10 nights (still undecided). Chef Mickey's, CRT, Ohana, BOG and either TH or CP. I plan on sharing some adult CS meals with 8 year old DD. She likes trying new foods, enjoys fruits and veggies and we both have about the same taste in food.
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:13 PM   #5
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I think your idea of 3 TS meals is perfect. You'll have the Fab 5, princesses and some fun at the Poly. Because it's your first trip, tying yourself down to meal reservations could be extremely stressful!

With the age of your kids, you may find the need to be flexible. And with the new reservation policy that charges you for no-shows, you could be setting yourself up for more expense or frustration.

When we used to go before we had kids, we loved eating at different restaurants. Now that we go with our kids, we find that we want to just take it as it comes. We'll schedule a couple of TS restaurants that we want to do each vacation but that's it.

You can get into overload by reading on here that you have to do everything on your first visit. You can't possibly do that, so don't even try
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:41 PM   #6
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Also, when you are calculating the cost of the TS versus CS - it really shouldn't be a wash if you are only doing three character meals. You have to remember that not only do you have to difference in price, but also remember that if you pay the extra - per person, per night, you also are losing CS credits.

So for example, if you had two adults for six nights - the difference between CS and upgrading to TS is $228. But if you would reasonable spend $20 (low estimate) on CS, you would have to add an additional $120. Now, obviously you don't HAVE to get the meals, but to do a fair comparison, unless you would spend over $348 on the TS meals, getting the CS and paying OOP for the TS ADR's would get you the most for your money
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Old 10-10-2013, 09:24 AM   #7
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Yeah, I read about the new cancellation policy for all TS restaurants. I never had any intention on making a bunch of ADRs and no-showing for them (I don't understand why someone would do that) but it does make me a little more nervous knowing I can't cancel a reservation the day of if we think we won't be able to make it. Which then makes me a little more nervous about getting the DDP.

I do think we want to go for 6 nights, so it's going to be even more important for me to figure out what is going to be the best plan. I think what I may do is book a room and ticket package with no dining plan, and once I know more about the ADRs I really want, then I can add one of the dining plans on if I think it will save me money. There is a part of me that really would rather go to Chef Mickey and Akershus for dinner, and if I did that then I'd want to go to Crystal Palace for breakfast, so with Ohana that's already 4 expensive TS meals, and the DDP may be a more worthwhile consideration. If I went that route, I would probably do TS lunches in HS and AK. And right now I don't know if a TS meal would be great to build in a break in the middle of the day or it will be more of a hassle. I can see both points.
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by minerva78 View Post
Do some of you actually prefer the flexibility of not having so many ADRs booked and eating more flexible CS meals? Or do you find having ADRs planned in your schedule more relaxing? Just trying to get some different perspectives, since this will be our first trip.
I like the flexibility of not being on the Dining Plan. I will still make ADR's for at least 1 meal a day, but will cancel as I see fit as the vacation progreses (although wiht WDW's new policies with CC for TS this will not be so easy). This way if we go more CS over TS, it's not a problem. If on the DP, just throwing money down the drain. Or get stuck having to eat TS meals when the flow of the vacation says we should be doing some CS's instead.

Using the DP locks you in to having to do TS meals.
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