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Old 08-27-2012, 11:42 AM   #16
daneenm
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Originally Posted by disneyholic family View Post
actually the dining plan is more expensive than paying out of pocket - but the point is, you don't feel it.....
at least i'm that way...every time i have to pull out $4 for a frozen coke or $12 for a burger it drives me insane...
if on the other hand, it's just a 'credit', i don't are what the price is up on the menu...

last year i paid for the dining plan for all 6 of us and rest assured that was EXPENSIVE, but i know it was worth it because otherwise my vacation would have been ruined every time i paid out of pocket for something that i thought was way overpriced..

i'm not sure i'm explaining what i mean...
Totally agree with you, Beth! We would much rather pay for all up front and not have to worry about 'do we have cash' or 'what will our big bill be at the end.' For us, this is similar to the 'value of concierge,' yes it is more expensive but for us it has value in its convenience. Same goes for the dining plan, for our family.
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:39 PM   #17
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In the UK we can get discounted room rates (for selected resorts) AND free Dining for most of the year.

Maybe Disney took pity on us after seeing how much most airlines charge us to cross the Atlantic

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Old 08-27-2012, 04:19 PM   #18
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I'm curious. Another podcast recommends getting a room discount and buying a gift card for a certain amount, and using that instead of getting "free" dining. As I wrote, I'm curious. Has anyone done this? Was it an effective way of simulating the free feeling of free dining? Did it help to save money?
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:35 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by luke
In the UK we can get discounted room rates (for selected resorts) AND free Dining for most of the year.

Maybe Disney took pity on us after seeing how much most airlines charge us to cross the Atlantic

Unfortunately, while most if not all of Europe can buy the discounted disney UK packages, people in Israel can't
So that's not available to me!

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Old 08-27-2012, 08:42 PM   #20
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Hi all! I'm a new listener to the podcast and have been really enjoying it. I can't call in, but I had a thought about a food discussion.

The only way we are able to make another trip to Disney is because we are making this a budget trip (as was last years.) This means all quick service for us. Everybody gets very excited about different ts places and we keep wondering if we are really missing out. It would be possible to shift some money around in the budget and do ONE table service, of course there would be no pressure for it to be perfect or anything . At this point it would be tricky to get ADR's made, but my question is if you've never eaten table service and could just do one, which one would it be? And would it be worth bringing in pb&j lunches all week to go there? Or would we be better off just being selective about which qs places we pick?

As for the qs places getting more expensive, we do think they are expensive, but often I get a childs meal and my DH usually gets his hamburger (or salad etc.) without the sides, which is less $. So the difference between the 4 of us eating qs and ts would be significant.

Thanks for reading and for doing the podcasts it helps pass the time at work, even if I can't afford any of the cool trips you guys get to take! It's fun to hear about them.

Gina
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:37 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneyholic family View Post
actually the dining plan is more expensive than paying out of pocket - but the point is, you don't feel it.....
at least i'm that way...every time i have to pull out $4 for a frozen coke or $12 for a burger it drives me insane...
if on the other hand, it's just a 'credit', i don't are what the price is up on the menu...

last year i paid for the dining plan for all 6 of us and rest assured that was EXPENSIVE, but i know it was worth it because otherwise my vacation would have been ruined every time i paid out of pocket for something that i thought was way overpriced..

i'm not sure i'm explaining what i mean...
That's the problem. I wouldn't shell out $4 for the frozen Coke. I might buy the burger or choose something else, but I know going in what the prices are. It helps to check out menus ahead of time to gauge the prices. You can buy a gift card with the money you'd put on the DDP, and you'd probably still come out ahead if you don't buy dessert at every meal or the most expensive entrees at dinner.
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:05 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneyholic family View Post
actually the dining plan is more expensive than paying out of pocket - but the point is, you don't feel it.....
at least i'm that way...every time i have to pull out $4 for a frozen coke or $12 for a burger it drives me insane...
if on the other hand, it's just a 'credit', i don't are what the price is up on the menu...

last year i paid for the dining plan for all 6 of us and rest assured that was EXPENSIVE, but i know it was worth it because otherwise my vacation would have been ruined every time i paid out of pocket for something that i thought was way overpriced..

i'm not sure i'm explaining what i mean...
I know what you are saying. We get the Deluxe Dinning plan for 4 - currently its 2 adults and 2 children, next time it will be 3 adults and 1 child as DD turns 10 on this trip. But for us, food is a large part of our vacation - we are foodies and have very limited choices where we are, so we want to be able to order and not worry about cost. We don't get the most expensive items most times, but we do get what we want. Also, we would never get appetizers and desert both most times if paying out of pocket. But having it on the dining plan lets us try all those wonderful items we wouldn't allow ourselves if paying out of pocket, table side.

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Originally Posted by Tinkershelly View Post
I completely agree with you! There is something to be said for paying for the dining plan way in advance, long before you arrive at WDW. Then you are free to order what you want without looking at the prices and associating that with actual money. It's a mind trick but it does allow some kind of freedom while on vacation. And that is worth something!

We are on the free dining promotion for our trip next month. Even though we are paying rack rates for our room we still feel like we are making out like bandits. If we got a discounted room and paid out of pocket for meals we MIGHT save money but I wouldn't feel free to order whatever I wanted on the menu, I'd still order by price not by preference.
Yes! Exactly!
And I have found that it does save money if you had to pay at the table vs. on the dining plan for the exact same meal, sometimes by quite a bit. So far, we have managed to come out ahead at least $250 per trip by buying the plan, and we didn't have to stress having the funds or being so careful about food choices as it was prepaid.

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That's the problem. I wouldn't shell out $4 for the frozen Coke. I might buy the burger or choose something else, but I know going in what the prices are. It helps to check out menus ahead of time to gauge the prices. You can buy a gift card with the money you'd put on the DDP, and you'd probably still come out ahead if you don't buy dessert at every meal or the most expensive entrees at dinner.
For us though, that is the point, to be able to have dessert or the most expensive entrees, or just to have what we really want and not have to ponder our funds during our trip. We only get to go to WDW about every 2 years, and only because we have DVC. So when we go, we are usually there for 10 - 14 days. Trying to save up the money to have on hand for all that dining is more difficult for us than getting the dining plan and paying it all before hand.
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:11 AM   #23
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Trying to save up the money to have on hand for all that dining is more difficult for us than getting the dining plan and paying it all before hand.
You realize you said the same thing? Saving up the money to have on hand is the same as paying it all beforehand.

I had the dining plan for one week. I always ordered from the more expensive end of the menu, I would not do that at every meal if I was paying for each meal out of pocket. I felt forced to order dessert, something I would seldom do at counter service if I was paying out of pocket. Instead, I would just have a (more tasty) snack later in the day. and I certainly would not have had a soda at every meal if I was paying out of pocket.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:28 AM   #24
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I'm calling in! I hope I get through! Nobody else call, OK?
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:07 AM   #25
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I'm calling in! I hope I get through! Nobody else call, OK?
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:32 AM   #26
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You realize you said the same thing? Saving up the money to have on hand is the same as paying it all beforehand.

I had the dining plan for one week. I always ordered from the more expensive end of the menu, I would not do that at every meal if I was paying for each meal out of pocket. I felt forced to order dessert, something I would seldom do at counter service if I was paying out of pocket. Instead, I would just have a (more tasty) snack later in the day. and I certainly would not have had a soda at every meal if I was paying out of pocket.
Its not the same for us - We are those crazy people who plan our trip out on spreadsheets and have our days listed as to where we will eat and which park we will be in starting at 11 months out - as soon as we can book our DVC. Well, actually longer than that as I am also currently planning a trip for 2014 and 2016
So we have our dining plan funds all ready to go and pay for it at least 6 months before we will be going. But as we know, a lot can happen in that time before out trip. If we pay for the dining plan upfront when we have the funds - tax refund, sell stocks, what ever funding source we are using. Then its done and paid for. We don't have the money sitting there for months, possibly tapping into it if something comes up, thinking we will pay it back later before we leave. And find that we ended up spending a lot of our food money before we even left on our trip and not being able to eat at all the places we wanted to as we can't afford it now.
For us - the dining plan becomes a fixed cost. We know exactly how much it will be for our trip - x $ per day, period. As we tend to eat all meals as table service, it works well for us. We get different things and share all with everyone, so we get to try out most items we want at each location. We don't feel pressured to get the most expensive items or the least expensive. We get what we want. If we were paying out of non-fixed costs (i.e. out of pocket) we would have to watch what we chose to make sure we had enough funds to last our trip. For us this would make things stressful and not nearly as enjoyable.
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:24 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneyholic family View Post
actually the dining plan is more expensive than paying out of pocket - but the point is, you don't feel it.....
at least i'm that way...every time i have to pull out $4 for a frozen coke or $12 for a burger it drives me insane...
if on the other hand, it's just a 'credit', i don't are what the price is up on the menu...

last year i paid for the dining plan for all 6 of us and rest assured that was EXPENSIVE, but i know it was worth it because otherwise my vacation would have been ruined every time i paid out of pocket for something that i thought was way overpriced..

i'm not sure i'm explaining what i mean...
I understand completely! I feel the same way. We are heading down the first week in October and won't have the dining plan. I'm an annual passholder so I am going to get the TIW card but I'm sure I still feel a bit crazed everytime I have to shell out $$$ for meals.
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:30 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by kuzco-like View Post
I'm curious. Another podcast recommends getting a room discount and buying a gift card for a certain amount, and using that instead of getting "free" dining. As I wrote, I'm curious. Has anyone done this? Was it an effective way of simulating the free feeling of free dining? Did it help to save money?
I'm going to do this for our trip in October and test it out for myself. If anyone else has done this let me know how it worked out for you.
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:29 PM   #29
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Listened today

Loved the show with the callin questions about dining! I was surprised you didn't recommend character dining to the gentleman taking his 8 year old picky eater! Our daughter is 10 now, has always been a picky eater, but if we eat with characters she has a great time and we can usually find something at Chef Mickey's for her to eat. Not the best food in the world, but exciting for the kids to meet the characters.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:58 PM   #30
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Loved the show with the callin questions about dining! I was surprised you didn't recommend character dining to the gentleman taking his 8 year old picky eater! Our daughter is 10 now, has always been a picky eater, but if we eat with characters she has a great time and we can usually find something at Chef Mickey's for her to eat. Not the best food in the world, but exciting for the kids to meet the characters.
Agreed.
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