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Old 02-25-2011, 10:17 PM   #1
PleasantOne
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Newb here: Booking room only vs a package?

Hi all,

I'm new here, and I'm a little befuddled by the forums - I just hope I"m posting in the right place.

My fiance and I are planning a trip to WDW in September or Oct, for our honeymoon. We were thinking of getting a package with a stay at the Coronado for 6 nights, but then I read there are better deals to be had?

So, I'd looked around, and saw AAA members get a discount on the hotels. I was thinking of booking just a room, and getting the park tickets when we get there. It sounds like there is more flexibility in canceling if you just book a room,. Also from what I understand, if you book a package, you have to pay for the ENTIRE thing 45 days before? I'm worried we wouldn't be able to do this.

I would just go with with the room, since it seems to make the most sense for us, but I wanted to do a dining plan, and not sure if you need a package to do this. Is it possible to add these on when you get there? I am so confused about this, and have not been able to find an answer anywhere. I was going to get the Plus Premium plan, with the three meals and two snacks

Anyhow, I would appreciate any advice. I was at Disney once, for one rainy day when I was about 5, and my fiance has never been, so we obviously have no idea what we are doing here

Thanks so much!
Ashley
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:51 PM   #2
disneysuncat
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I am sure someone more detailed than myself will answer this, but I'll give you some short info here.

Anything above a room only is a package, so if you are wanting the premium plan, that is a package, and would be subject to the 45 day window for payment. Dining can't be added at the resort, I think it can be added 3 days before arrival. (not sure it's 3 days, but positive it can't be added at the resort.)

The premium plan includes a lot of activity choices, such as parasailing, carriage rides, etc. Maybe with the three meals and two snacks, you are thinking of the deluxe dining plan? The deluxe plan includes three table credits and two snacks, plus a refillable mug.

Do you have your exact dates? There is a general public code out now for parts of September and October where you may save quite a bit.

Congratulations on the wedding!
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:31 PM   #3
Mrs D
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If you want any dining plan you will have to purchase tickets as well. Adding tickets (and a dining plan if you choose) makes it a package.

With any package you will pay a $200 deposit and the balance 45 days prior to arrival.

Sounds like you might be looking at the Deluxe Dining plan which allows you 3 credits per nights stay usable at either a table serve or counter serve. I find the regular/plus dining plan (1 table serve, 1 counter serve and 1 snack) is more than enough food for us. We use the snack for a muffin or pastry for breakfast plus some granola bars from home.
If it were me I would go with the dining plan ( and be sure to make all my advance dining reservations at 180 days prior to arrival) so your honeymoon has an all-inclusive feel and you will order whatever youd like on the menu instead of opting for the cheapest meal.
And you found the right place to stay on the know on discounts!
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:47 PM   #4
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when you book a disney package through their on line site go to the main heading on the right hand side "Tickets and Packages" and click on "Special Offers" and you can see the room discount they are currently offering for August - October. You can then add your park tickets and the Deluxe Dining Plan during that booking. They are advertising 30% off for a moderate resort - but they do have limited rooms at the special price. if you have flexibility play around with your dates to make sure you get all your nights at the discount rate. You have to book this by March 27.
Personally I like the Deluxe Dining Plan cause I am not very keen on counter service fast food (hamburgers, chicken etc). so I then to go to a character breakfast and then out for a nice table service dinner.

Oh - and if you meant to say that you wanted the Premium Plan (which includes the Deluxe dining of 3 meals + 2 snacks PLUS access to a lot of the tours and activities) you cannot get a room discount - you pay full price for the room and this plan.

And even if you book something now and pay your deposit now, you can still make any changes to your booking up to the 45 day mark and the Disney phone operators are very pleasant about it.
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Last edited by Sugarglider; 02-25-2011 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:34 PM   #5
PleasantOne
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Thanks so much, everyone! Yes it was the Deluxe plan I was looking at. I think that we would get the good out of it. I'm not big on the idea of the counter service too much, so I think it makes sense for us.

I'm a little startled by the idea that you need to make reservations THAT far out, though! Is that just if you want to eat at peak times... what if you had late or early meals?

If it's possible to add the dining later (but before we get there), what I'm thinking now is I could book a hotel *now*, but then call a few weeks out to add park tickets and a dining plan? Is this doable? If dining reservations have to be made that far in advance, I'm worried it would be a bad idea

I was wanting to do the wedding registry option Disney offers, where wedding guests can pay for parts of your trip, instead of brining gifts? But if I have to pay for the entire trip 45 days out, it seems like I would get all this money for the trip around the time of the wedding, and I would have already had to pay for the trip by then? Not to mention, I don;t really think I could afford to pay for the entire thing until the beginning of September or so, which would mean I'd have to go in mid to late October, when I was hoping for late September.

Thanks again so much for the help. I really appreciate it!

Ashley
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PleasantOne View Post
I'm a little startled by the idea that you need to make reservations THAT far out, though! Is that just if you want to eat at peak times... what if you had late or early meals?

If it's possible to add the dining later (but before we get there), what I'm thinking now is I could book a hotel *now*, but then call a few weeks out to add park tickets and a dining plan? Is this doable? If dining reservations have to be made that far in advance, I'm worried it would be a bad idea
well, since it is possible to book 180 days out people do! Esp. during free dining deal period. I have never organised a trip more than 3 or 4 months out before. At 3 months I found I could the restaurants I just had to be a bit flexible about dates and times. The very popular restaurants fill very quickly and it is very difficult to get a seating just walking in without a booking.

Restaurant bookings (Advance Dining Reservations ADR) are separate from your resort and dining plan reservation. You can book the restaurants without being a Disney resort guest and with or without the dining plan. So you can certainly book your room now with the discount, make your restaurant bookings whenever after 180 days out, and add your dining plan and tickets up to 3 days before your travel date (you will have to pay immediately if that late)
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PleasantOne View Post
I'm a little startled by the idea that you need to make reservations THAT far out, though! Is that just if you want to eat at peak times... what if you had late or early meals?
I would say that if you have flexibility regarding dining times that you will find ADRs, even close to the date. The first time we went to Disney, I booked 2 weeks before our trip, and we went during free dining, and we were able to eat at TS restaurants. You may not be able to get the super popular restaurants (think Ohana and LeCellier for dinner or Chef Mickey for breakfast), but since you will be on your honeymoon, I don't think you would want to eat at those anyways. The signature restaurants usually have more availability. I found that there were lots of late seating times (think after 8:00 pm), rather than earlier seating times (think 5:00 - 7:00 pm), probably because folks with kids (like myself) look for those earlier reservation times with kids (they tend to be all pooped out by early evening!). Also, lunch times seem to have way more availability than dinner times, probably because many shun the idea of taking a break in the middle of the day to eat (not us!).

If there is a place you have your heart set on, I would try to make ADRs as far in advance as possible. You don't have to even have a hotel reservation. As long as it's within 180 days, you can make ADRs.
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarglider View Post
when you book a disney package through their on line site go to the main heading on the right hand side "Tickets and Packages" and click on "Special Offers" and you can see the room discount they are currently offering for August - October. You can then add your park tickets and the Deluxe Dining Plan during that booking. They are advertising 30% off for a moderate resort - but they do have limited rooms at the special price. if you have flexibility play around with your dates to make sure you get all your nights at the discount rate. You have to book this by March 27.
If you book at this special price, and then receive a code for free dining, can you still use the pin? I'm sure this has been asked before but there is so much info on these boards it's hard to find.
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Old 02-27-2011, 01:24 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kbaugh23 View Post
If you book at this special price, and then receive a code for free dining, can you still use the pin? I'm sure this has been asked before but there is so much info on these boards it's hard to find.
You have to choose one special offer, that is you cannot combine multiple special offers, but if a better offer comes along, and there is availability for that special offer for your dates, you can call Disney and they will cancel your current reservation and rebook you into a new one.
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:09 PM   #10
PleasantOne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarglider View Post
Restaurant bookings (Advance Dining Reservations ADR) are separate from your resort and dining plan reservation. You can book the restaurants without being a Disney resort guest and with or without the dining plan. So you can certainly book your room now with the discount, make your restaurant bookings whenever after 180 days out, and add your dining plan and tickets up to 3 days before your travel date (you will have to pay immediately if that late)
This is GREAT news! Thanks to those who shared it ^_^ I actually do want to hit Chef Mickeys - it looks like so much fun! :D I'm feeling like a big kid getting ready for this

Ashley
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