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Old 12-07-2012, 11:33 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 309

Help me choose an approach to dining- thank you!!!

Okay I promise I will not make one more thread today- have not been on the boards in over a year and then I make 4 threads in one day- I promise no more!!! This one will be long though since I have a ton of thoughts and need some expert advice- and you guys are totally the experts.

Okay so I've done Disney a bunch of times all different ways (some with just regular dining, once with deluxe, sometimes without, etc.) and I've always enjoyed it- just trying to figure out the right set up for this trip! One of my best friends and I booked 7 nights in February/March at the CBR and we are really torn between two directions dining wise. I would love love some advice:

OPTION ONE: Regular Dining Plan + Frugal Out Of Pocket
(The plan costs us about 350.00 each and then we would have to spent another 40.00 per person or so to make this plan work for us not including drinks and tips. This would cost about 390.00)

For our 7 TS credits we would use them like this:
Artist Point- 2 credits
Jiko- 2 credits
Bistro de Paris- 2 credits
Random Other Epcot Restaurant- 1 credit

For our other meals we would do some of the better QS places (BOG, Earl of Sandwich, WGPE, Flame Tree, Sunshine Seasons, Fish & Chips Stand, etc.) and then also probably pay 2 or so restaurants out of pocket- and we would choose the cheaper restaurants (like The Plaza and Beaches And Cream).

Drawbacks to this plan:
1. We might feel we have to move around too much just to avoid too much typical fast food. Unique food is something we're passionate about so we would have a hard time wanting to settle for hot dogs- but might feel annoyed to have to always travel to better spots.
2. The savings are not that immense. The main perk would be a little more freedom in our schedule and not feeling guilty about not maximizing a deluxe plan.
3. No appetizers included- which IMO are usually the most creative. We could pay OOP for a few at the nice restaurants?

OPTION TWO: Regular Dining Plan + Less Frugal Out Of Pocket
(This plan would cost us about 500.00 or so each and would be almost identical to the above plan- but we would give ourselves a little more leeway with our of pocket spending for restaurants a little nicer than The Plaza and Beaches and Cream. What might be neat would be being able to do a few DTD restaurants not on the dining plan. Bongos? Paradiso 57? At this point though- does it seem stupid to be at 500.00 and not just doing the deluxe plan?)

OPTION THREE: Deluxe Dining Plan

(This plan would cost us about 623.00)

Here's where I struggle with this plan. I love the peace of mind of knowing it's all paid and you can just relax, enjoy, and order what you'd like- regardless of price. I love sitting down mid day for a nice meal on an adults only trip and relaxing. I love having waiters and waitressing amongst all the hubbub of the parks. Finally, I love that sit down restaurants usually have less junky options. We're not huge huge health nuts- but I know when I travel I prefer fresher, better prepared food. Here's the drawbacks though:

1. We would end up not using all the points. I know because I did it in 2011 and it's really hard to use all the points. I'm afraid we would feel a lot of guilt about this.
2. Would we end up eating more than we really should or could? Just to get money's worth?
3. Would it make the schedule too restricting?
4. More expensive- not a ton- but definitely more expensive. We're not super frugal but are mindful of spending when it makes sense to spend less.
5. Way more expensive tip wise.
6. Finally would we never get a chance to enjoy some great QS and 1 credit TS options because we would feel compelled to do all signature restaurants at night to use the 2 points? (We could never eat three meals a day). I did 7 signature restaurants in 2011 so I'm just worried it will be too much of repeats- and I don't want my best friend to feel like I've "been there, done that".

I know this is a super super crazy loaded question and probably most personal preference for what I want our touring to be like- but I guess I would really like a few more perspectives on what you would do in my situation.

I know I'm an over thinker and complete nut for the above analysis. Please forgive me- haha!! Thank you in advance!!!

1995- Caribbean Beach / 1998 x2- Boardwalk & Fort Wilderness / 2002- Sheraton Vistana
2006- Sheraton Vistana / 2006 to 2007- Grand Floridian Cast Member /
2011- Coronado Springs / 2013 Caribbean Beach & Polynesian Split-Stay
Booked for March 2014 for 6 nights at Coronado Springs!

Last edited by jude&jonah; 12-07-2012 at 11:41 PM.
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