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Old 02-15-2013, 08:42 AM   #1
MrRomance
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Booking After Free Dining Ends

I've seen a few posts including one on the DIBB suggesting that booking after free dining ends makes the cost of your trip cheaper and I'm concerned that people may follow this advice blindly without doing their own due diligence.

The information being shared is that the prices on Disney resorts drops dramatically if you book after the free dining promotion ends. While I can not say if this is the case in some instances, I can say that it is absolutely not the case in my experience and I would advise people do their homework for themselves.

My Oct/Nov '13 trip was booked in June 2012. The deal I got was as follows:

2 weeks at Saratoga Springs Resort
14 for the price of 7 Ultimate Tickets
Free Regular Dining Plan
$200 Spending Money Gift Card

2 Adults 1 Child (9) was £2784

To book the same trip today without the Free Dining Plan & Gift Card £2772, if I added the DP and paid for it, the total would be £4059.

So, essentially, by booking early, I have saved £1287 for a like for like (minus the free gift card) trip. Add to that the value of the $200 gift card which will pay our tips for TS meals, and you can see that the advice isn't correct in all cases. I know others have done the same comparisons (I actually check the price on my trips periodically to make sure I get the best deal!) and they have found the same thing.

Please everyone, do your homework and do not assume that information is accurate in all cases.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:14 AM   #2
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Ours is the same:

16 nights 1 bed OKW July
7 day Premium Tickets
DDP
$200 gift card

£4095.20

Priced today with no gift card included - £4083.20 without DDP or £5554.72 with the DDP! And the £12 difference on the no DP price is due to the ticket price having decreased!
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:46 AM   #3
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Mine was nearly 1.5k more when I checked and note, I actually booked late so only got free QS not free regular dining. Even paying to upgrade to the regular plan I was in pocket by booking earlier.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:11 PM   #4
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Booked late (feb 4th)

21 nights POR preferred
Free QSDP upgraded to DDP (£672)
21 days tickets
$100 gift card
2 adults 1 child.

£3937 with the deal that just ended

Dummy booking today, with the 30% off accomodation deal

total cost without Dining plan : £2675.35
total cost with QSDP : 3934.75
total cost, today, with DDP : £4606.72

despite the fact that there is a 30% off accomodation today, I still saved £669 and have a $100 gift card as a bonus, like for like.

If I took the QSDP only and booked now, I would pay the same price I have paid, but with only a QSDP where I got a DDP by booking before the end of the free dining deal (+ the gift card)

So in my experience, the OP is absolutely right.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:02 PM   #5
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Thank you to all of the posters that have responded with their own comparisons!

I just get really concerned when these comments get circulated because people assume the information is accurate and lose out.

The best deal is almost always the earliest deal and I would hate for people to wait to book their trip thinking they'll get a better deal if they wait only to lose out.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:29 PM   #6
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personally im confused.

youve seen bad advice given on another site but think you should tell everyone here, about the bad advice given on that site.

I know the two sites are regarding the same thing but Ive never seen anyone give the advice that you mention, on this site.
If you had seen the same advice on this site.......then I would understand.

Is it just me thats confused?


Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRomance View Post
I just get really concerned when these comments get circulated because people assume the information is accurate and lose out.
plus your last message, doesnt mention that its incorrect advice given by another site.
some people do not read the whole topic, so if they saw this. they would get the wrong impression of this site.


A lot of advice from the members on here is research resarch research!
youre spending thousands on a holiday, so you need to check all deals that are offered. Before my first ever trip I checked out the prices for the year before and checked each week. Even when I dont have a trip planned, Im constantly checking the prices.
More recent topics on here have asked- whens the best time to book?
the advice been given has been as early as you can.

Like I said, I was confused as the bad advice wasnt from this site.

that being said... with it looking like free dining is being phased out, it wont be an issue anymore.
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:24 PM   #7
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Nobody on here is wrong - but everyone seems to be overlooking one key factor: the number of people in the room and the cost of the resort you have chosen (value/mod/deluxe)

I know this because the Disney US promotions work this way with many of the free dining periods where you have the option of getting free dining for a full price room or no free dining and getting a room discount.

If you stay at a value resort, your room discount of 30% is going to shave less off your accommodation costs at a moderate than it will for deluxe.

The cost of the dining plans are fixed regardless of what level of resort you choose to stay at. Now factor in how many guests you have in your room.

Say you go for the room discount for a 14 night stay and save £1000 off your moderate resort. You have 2 adults in a room and go for QSDP at approximately £400 per person per week. Put 2 adults in the room and you pay for QSDP and it costs an additional £800 for dining. SO you have saved a total of £200 overall. Add 2 kids under 10 and the price goes up marginally and brings it to a break -even. Add 2 adults to put 4 adults in the room and you are better off with the free dining deal.

Now take the same day and say (just using round figures for sake of example - these are not actual or even approximate for room costs) that you save £2000 for the stay with 30% off. Add the same DDP for 2 people and you have saved £1400. Put 4 adults in the room and you still save £400.

The higher the cost of the room, the higher the saving on a room discount. The more people in your room (especially more adults, with the kids DDP being significantly cheaper) the more your dining costs.

You have to do the math as what works as a good saving for one may not be a good saving for the next family, depending on the size and ages of your party and the cost of the resort you select
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darthtatty View Post
personally im confused.

youve seen bad advice given on another site but think you should tell everyone here, about the bad advice given on that site.

I know the two sites are regarding the same thing but Ive never seen anyone give the advice that you mention, on this site.
If you had seen the same advice on this site.......then I would understand.

Is it just me thats confused?




plus your last message, doesnt mention that its incorrect advice given by another site.
some people do not read the whole topic, so if they saw this. they would get the wrong impression of this site.


A lot of advice from the members on here is research resarch research!
youre spending thousands on a holiday, so you need to check all deals that are offered. Before my first ever trip I checked out the prices for the year before and checked each week. Even when I dont have a trip planned, Im constantly checking the prices.
More recent topics on here have asked- whens the best time to book?
the advice been given has been as early as you can.

Like I said, I was confused as the bad advice wasnt from this site.

that being said... with it looking like free dining is being phased out, it wont be an issue anymore.
First and foremost, most people from the UK frequent both sites and therefore, they could take the advice being given as read.

The important thing (and the main purpose of forums) is to share information. The information being shared is flawed and as someone who is here to help others, I feel it is important to share with others that they need to do their own due diligence. There are people who take what they read as fact and may miss out.

It concerns me that my post is being viewed as confusing when it is simply information that people SHOULD consider when booking their trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Tiggies View Post
Nobody on here is wrong - but everyone seems to be overlooking one key factor: the number of people in the room and the cost of the resort you have chosen (value/mod/deluxe)

I know this because the Disney US promotions work this way with many of the free dining periods where you have the option of getting free dining for a full price room or no free dining and getting a room discount.

If you stay at a value resort, your room discount of 30% is going to shave less off your accommodation costs at a moderate than it will for deluxe.

The cost of the dining plans are fixed regardless of what level of resort you choose to stay at. Now factor in how many guests you have in your room.

Say you go for the room discount for a 14 night stay and save £1000 off your moderate resort. You have 2 adults in a room and go for QSDP at approximately £400 per person per week. Put 2 adults in the room and you pay for QSDP and it costs an additional £800 for dining. SO you have saved a total of £200 overall. Add 2 kids under 10 and the price goes up marginally and brings it to a break -even. Add 2 adults to put 4 adults in the room and you are better off with the free dining deal.

Now take the same day and say (just using round figures for sake of example - these are not actual or even approximate for room costs) that you save £2000 for the stay with 30% off. Add the same DDP for 2 people and you have saved £1400. Put 4 adults in the room and you still save £400.

The higher the cost of the room, the higher the saving on a room discount. The more people in your room (especially more adults, with the kids DDP being significantly cheaper) the more your dining costs.

You have to do the math as what works as a good saving for one may not be a good saving for the next family, depending on the size and ages of your party and the cost of the resort you select
The US deals and the UK deals are very different things. I know this because my wife is from MI and we lived in the US for 5 years. Free dining in the UK is not attached to paying rack rates which is often the case in the US. If you look at the figures, there is virtually no difference between the room rate. It's actually a £12 difference in my case.

What applies to US guests and their bookings does not apply to UK guests and their bookings. However you cut it, booking out of the free dining period does not save you money. My booking includes free regular dining plan and a $200 gift card, for an additional cost of £12. If you added more people in the room, you'd only save more money by booking early and getting free dining.

The important thing here is that UK bookers will lose out if they leave their booking until after free dining ends.
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:48 PM   #9
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My WL stay is now £900 cheaper than when I booked with full ddp. I was happy with this price, but was unaware that prices might drop, haven't noticed it in other years.
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRomance View Post
First and foremost, most people from the UK frequent both sites and therefore, they could take the advice being given as read.

The important thing (and the main purpose of forums) is to share information. The information being shared is flawed and as someone who is here to help others, I feel it is important to share with others that they need to do their own due diligence. There are people who take what they read as fact and may miss out.

It concerns me that my post is being viewed as confusing when it is simply information that people SHOULD consider when booking their trip.



The US deals and the UK deals are very different things. I know this because my wife is from MI and we lived in the US for 5 years. Free dining in the UK is not attached to paying rack rates which is often the case in the US. If you look at the figures, there is virtually no difference between the room rate. It's actually a £12 difference in my case.

What applies to US guests and their bookings does not apply to UK guests and their bookings. However you cut it, booking out of the free dining period does not save you money. My booking includes free regular dining plan and a $200 gift card, for an additional cost of £12. If you added more people in the room, you'd only save more money by booking early and getting free dining.

The important thing here is that UK bookers will lose out if they leave their booking until after free dining ends.
I don't dispute that the US and UK bookings are completely different so you won't get an argument from me on that. What I was pointing out is that the UK site does not give the option of forfeiting free dining in exchange for a resort discount (if available) as is often the case with the US offers. I probably explained it badly so I can understand why you read it the way you did. However the with FD for 2013 now at an end, they have an offer on for resort discounts.

While I disagree that ALL UK guests will lose out by not booking free dining, I do accept that the 'average family' most probably will.

I priced up a booking yesterday on the UK site when I saw that they had put the free dining had ended the there is now a % discount. I have been doing regular quotes for a few weeks now and noting them down so I picked on I did last week for June with FD, putting in the same dates, same resort, QSDP and tickets, etc. Because I only had 2 guests in the room over 16 nights the savings on the resort were substantial and even paying for QSDP knocked a couple of hundred quid off the total. Had I added another adult into the room we would have lost out. All I was pointing out is that everyone needs to crunch the numbers.

I don't dispute at all what you say about booking early for the best deals and aside from the one minor point based on what I posted above, I am with you on the info in your first post.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:12 PM   #11
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You know the weird thing I priced up a 2014 holiday using VH on the same dates as we did our 2012 holiday (also with VH). The price of the 2014 holiday for PE Virgin flights, Yacht Club for 9 nights and 14 day premium tix was actually £500 cheaper for the same deal in 2012.

The only part that was missing, and for us it's the deal breaker, was the free DDP and of course the $200 gift card. We worked out the the free DDP for us saved us about £1000. Now if I booked with VH again I would get a 10% discount as a VFF so maybe it would work out for us not to wait for the free DDP ...... now there's a thought
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRomance View Post
First and foremost, most people from the UK frequent both sites and therefore, they could take the advice being given as read.

The important thing (and the main purpose of forums) is to share information. The information being shared is flawed and as someone who is here to help others, I feel it is important to share with others that they need to do their own due diligence. There are people who take what they read as fact and may miss out.

It concerns me that my post is being viewed as confusing when it is simply information that people SHOULD consider when booking their trip.

again I must point out, it is information from the other site that is flawed not here
I use many dieting sites, 2 are very similar and I use both daily. They are used by the same people. If I saw incorrect information on one site, I would correct the information on that site. Not go to the other site and moan about the incorrect information.
Its why im confused. Ive never ever seen the advice you mentioned on here, so cant understand why you think its such a big issue here.


As I already said, free dining is being phased out-so its not even an issue anymore
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:47 AM   #13
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WE're staying in a 1 bedroom villa for 21 nights. When we booked the cost for the booking was £4,568, this is for accommodation, 21 day ticket, free DDP and gift cards. I've just priced the same booking and if I were to book this today it would cost us £5,467 without DDP and gift card and if we booked it with DDP it would cost us £8,826!!
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willeve View Post
My WL stay is now £900 cheaper than when I booked with full ddp. I was happy with this price, but was unaware that prices might drop, haven't noticed it in other years.
This is the first year I have seen Disney UK drop prices after the free DDP has ended.

Every holiday has to be checked, I doubt there is a blanket rule for every holiday.
I just checked a couple of weeks at POR for which I got a quote for a few weeks back, now free DDP has ended price has dropped £31/nt, down from £1848 with QSDDP to £1414 now without DDP.
Personally if there were only 2 of us in the room I would rather book now, save £31/nt and dine offsite.

I also checked other dates (April) and the current discount is not being applied so could be down to dates or the amount of people in a room that determines if its better value now or while free DDP was running.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darthtatty View Post
again I must point out, it is information from the other site that is flawed not here
I use many dieting sites, 2 are very similar and I use both daily. They are used by the same people. If I saw incorrect information on one site, I would correct the information on that site. Not go to the other site and moan about the incorrect information.
Its why im confused. Ive never ever seen the advice you mentioned on here, so cant understand why you think its such a big issue here.


As I already said, free dining is being phased out-so its not even an issue anymore
Ok, so let me clarify exactly why it is relevant here. In the last week or so, there have been a number of threads asking when the best time to book is. Those people are looking for information. Those same people may be like my DW and I, she regularly contributes on there and I have the account on here. They may see that information and end up losing out if there is no discussion about it here. There is no reason why you can not transfer relevant information from one site to another, in fact, that is what happens on most threads here. Information is pooled, discussed and debated. The purpose is to offer information that will help others. Quite why anyone would find that confusing is beyond me.

A good example is the recent debates and discussions over IDP's. People transferred and pooled information across a number of sites and forums in order to share information that is important to UK visitors. It seems very strange to me that you would be so perturbed by information that is being debated elsewhere (and relevant here in the UK section of the DIS) be raised here.
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