Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Trip Planning Forums > Disney Restaurants > Disney Dining Plan
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 04-15-2013, 04:42 PM   #1
kiwi2013
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 176

How to get the most out of dining plan

The closer my trip gets the more confusing the dining plan becomes...we are staying at Pop Century....can someone please explain to me how to get the most out of your quick service meals....people are telling me you can get enough food to do for your breakfast the next day...even drinks....HELP ME PLEASE!!!.....Examples would be great

Thanks
kiwi2013 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2013, 05:23 PM   #2
sharonabe
DIS Veteran
 
sharonabe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,256

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi2013 View Post
The closer my trip gets the more confusing the dining plan becomes...we are staying at Pop Century....can someone please explain to me how to get the most out of your quick service meals....people are telling me you can get enough food to do for your breakfast the next day...even drinks....HELP ME PLEASE!!!.....Examples would be great

Thanks
Use your snack credit for breakfast at your resort along with your refillable mug. OR keep one of your QS desserts for breakfast the next day.

Depending on the makeup of your family, you can get a "bounty platter" breakfast and share, then share a larger QS lunch or dinner later.
sharonabe is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 04-15-2013, 05:28 PM   #3
homerjay316
Unofficial OWACA Unpaid Intern
 
homerjay316's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: North Aurora, IL
Posts: 89

Hi. Just some thoughts here. First, I am assuming you are doing the standard dining plan (1 table service, 1 counter service, 1 snack per night of your stay + refillable resort mug).

The drink mug can be refilled at POP's food court with hot and cold beverages for the entire length of your stay. Anytime you are at the hotel and the food court is open, you can get tea, coffee, soda... The only draw back is you have to walk from your room to the food court.

Table service meals require advanced reservations. If you haven't made these, you really need to. Unused Table Credits are the fastest way to lose money on the dining plan. At the restaurant you get an entree and a desert. Dinner entrees are typically more expensive and elaborate than lunch entrees. To 'maximize' your value, you might want dinner ressies. Personally, I don't care if I get lunch or dinner. I would rather go to a restaurant I want for lunch than a second choice for dinner to get a more expensive entree.
Some people feel a need to always get the most expensive entree to 'get more.' I discourage you from doing this. Get what you want. If you find yourself always ordering the cheap entrees, then maybe the dining plan wasn't right for you. My point is just not to let the meal plan dictate what you order.
Last thought on table services; if you have kids character meals are a great way to meet characters while you eat. This could save you an hour or more in the park later that day if its something the kids want to do. Character meals are fun for adults, too. My wife and I did Garden Grill last year.

I don't have much advice on Counter Services. Look at the menus on these boards and find ones that you think you will enjoy, or just look at the park map that day and find one the family will enjoy.

Snacks. Use your snack credits carefully. A snack can be ice cream, a bottle of water, or a piece of fresh fruit. If you will be buying a lot of these items, use your credits for the expensive ones and pay the cheap ones out of pocket. If after a few days you see you are not using these credits, just start redeeming them at the food court for apples, bananas, or muffins. Bring them back to the room and set them on a table. Somebody will snack on them or eat them for a light breakfast. Just do not leave the credits unused. That's how you lose value.

One last thing about the meal plan. You get one of each credit per night, but you are not restricted to using one of each every day. You can use 2 snack credits in the same day, or ALL your snack credits in one day. Likewise you can do 2 counter service meals one day, and 2 table service meals another instead of 1 counter/1 table each day. This can give you more flexibility when getting reservations.

Have a nice trip.
__________________


Donald is my favorite, sorry Mickey.
homerjay316 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2013, 05:20 PM   #4
howard01
vacation countdown watcher
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Toronto ON, Canada
Posts: 3

Our Family of Five went last year using the Basic Dining plan which was 2 quick service meals and a snack. Our youngest is a teen. (basically 5 adult appetites). There was plenty of food for each. Actually each of us had an extra snack. (arrived in the early evening, and left just after breakfast). We got a great cast member (cashier) who suggest that we get bottled water at dinner and keep it for the parks next day, use the mug to quench our dinner time thirst. (saves using a credit to buy a drink in the park.) The next morning, another CM suggested using a snack credit for breakfast if your family are not big breakfast eaters. That way we could have a counter service lunch in the parks and have a good rest while eating lunch. Our departure day, we used our last counter service for a breakfast and grabbed some snacks for the long plane and bus ride home. (2 planes + bus from BUF to toronto.) Note. All of the credits for the family will show up on your keys to the kingdom cards. This will allow you to track everyone's usage and you will only need to use one card when you get all of your meal at the time. At each of the restaurants, the menus will have the "D" (dining) logo to indicate snacks item that are included in the DDP. I don't remember if there was a logo at Counter service locations for entrees or not. Most are usually included, but you can ask the CMs to confirm. (I don't remember any entree that was not included.) Hope this helps. The DDP is geared to your stay at the resort, not the park ticket. (We were there for 7 nights & 8 days, but only got 6 day park tickets and we got 7 "days" worth of DDP credits.)

Btw. We stayed across the way from Pop @ AoA. It's worth the walk across the bridge to walk around the resort. The big pool (largest resort pool) has keyed access, but we found that anyone can enter as AoA guests enter or let you in. They have a very good food court and worth it to have a dinner there. (My fave is the grilled salmon done when ordered. The 'kids' loved the "make" (Choose) your own pasta counter. AoA allowed use to get dessert after we finished entries, so dessert (aka ice cream / soft serve yogurt) did not melt. They make fresh NAAN bread in the tandoori ovens. The chefs are very approachable if you have food or allergy concerns.

Don't worry too much about how the credits work. The CMs will explain it to you on check in and some might give you some more tips. (and it becomes 2nd nature after a day or so. :-)

Just Enjoy, your are on vacation!
howard01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2013, 04:47 PM   #5
kiwi2013
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 176

Thanks for the suggestions.....my biggest misunderstanding with the counter service at the resort is I'm told dessert comes with each meal....are there dessert choices which can be used for breakfast the next day??...or are chips/popcorn things like that the only option??
I know I may be sounding cheap but I am trying to get the most out of the meals and have room for choices in the park if family gets hungry....the sharing a bounty breakfast sounds like a good idea as that seems like a lot of food!!!
kiwi2013 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2013, 08:12 PM   #6
sharonabe
DIS Veteran
 
sharonabe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,256

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi2013 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions.....my biggest misunderstanding with the counter service at the resort is I'm told dessert comes with each meal....are there dessert choices which can be used for breakfast the next day??...or are chips/popcorn things like that the only option??
I know I may be sounding cheap but I am trying to get the most out of the meals and have room for choices in the park if family gets hungry....the sharing a bounty breakfast sounds like a good idea as that seems like a lot of food!!!
Most of the resort QS places have a bakery case where you can get your dessert with your lunch/dinner meal. Many of these can be used for breakfast. The same could be said for the desserts that come with the QS in the parks as most of them are prepackaged cakes or cookies that could be kept for breakfast the next morning. Take some ziplock type bags with you to the park to put things in your bag that may not be prepackaged.
sharonabe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2013, 10:27 PM   #7
evabraniff
Mouseketeer
 
evabraniff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 172

Another thing, you cannot buy the dining plan for kids under 3, but in most cases, you get enough food to share! We love steaks and expensive foods, so we do the standard dining plan and get our money's worth! Last year, we ate at the whispering canyon at the WL and we left so full we could barely walk. :-)
__________________
Past Trips to WDW ... Home away from Home!

May 2012 : Coronado Springs
May 2013 : Caribbean Beach Resort
evabraniff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2013, 08:46 AM   #8
brymolmom
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 3,777

Some thoughts for you:

First of all - We always bring 1 - 2 boxes of cereal in our luggage. That plus a shared snack credit (muffins, bagels) is breakfast most mornings. Some people use dessert from the CS meals as breakfasts - often times because it's vacation they don't mind having chocolate cake but you can also get things like fruit for a dessert at some locations.

When we're at the resort - since we have the refillable mugs, we use those for our meals - then we'll get as our drink a bottle of water, orange juice and/or milk. We save these in our frig for the next morning and use them for breakfast (the oj and milk for cereal) and then bring the water bottle with us to the parks. We'll also refill the water bottle at lunchtime by asking for a large cup of ice water at lunch from our CS place.

How many in your family? In some families - it is easy to share CS meals. We do this a lot (2 adults and 2 kids in the family) - CS meals are large and we can split 3 of them - sometimes with an extra side using a snack credit. We also use the large pizza at resort food court option once or twice on a trip. You get large pizza, 2 drinks and 2 desserts for 2 CS credits. It feeds our whole family for 2 credits.

Besides tips, we never spend more than $10 - $20 extra on food or drinks when we're on the dining plan (for the whole week)- and that's usually only when dh wants a beer at a meal. So it's doable.
brymolmom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2013, 04:59 PM   #9
kiwi2013
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 176

All suggestions sound good and really helpful.....Thanks so much
kiwi2013 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2013, 09:14 PM   #10
howard01
vacation countdown watcher
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Toronto ON, Canada
Posts: 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharonabe View Post
Most of the resort QS places have a bakery case where you can get your dessert with your lunch/dinner meal. Many of these can be used for breakfast. The same could be said for the desserts that come with the QS in the parks as most of them are prepackaged cakes or cookies that could be kept for breakfast the next morning. Take some ziplock type bags with you to the park to put things in your bag that may not be prepackaged.
sharonabe & Kiwi2013 If you buy something from the bakery at breakfast, it will count as a snack item AND IS NOT included.
Quoted from Disney's web page regarding Quick service Dining Plan -- Each quick-service meal includes: For Breakfast

  • 1 entrée or 1 complete combo meal
  • 1 single-serving, non-alcoholic beverage
Dessert is only included with Lunch or Dinner meals. Don't forget, you are free to choose which meals to use your credits. You are also not limited to using just 2 meal credits each day. You are free to use them as you see fit until the your credits are depleted.


Enjoy.
howard01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2013, 09:37 PM   #11
howard01
vacation countdown watcher
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Toronto ON, Canada
Posts: 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by brymolmom View Post
Some thoughts for you:
...
How many in your family? In some families - it is easy to share CS meals. We do this a lot (2 adults and 2 kids in the family) - CS meals are large and we can split 3 of them - sometimes with an extra side using a snack credit. We also use the large pizza at resort food court option once or twice on a trip. You get large pizza, 2 drinks and 2 desserts for 2 CS credits. It feeds our whole family for 2 credits.
All the credits for your family are 'lumped' together. Disney only knows the basic info of the purchase but, not who consumed the food purchased using the credit. My teens basically used several of my snack credits.

Don't forget, each member of the family's "keys to the kingdom" card has the ability to be used to purchase items on the plan or be charged to your room account. You can also disable charging on any card when you check in.

Enjoy.
howard01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2013, 11:52 AM   #12
ItsNotMuchofaTail
but I'm sort of attached to it
 
ItsNotMuchofaTail's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: PA
Posts: 222

Ok, at the resort, a QS meal consists of an entree, beverage and dessert. You will get a refillable mug as part of the DP. When eating at the resort, I always got a bottled drink for my beverage, and a muffin or other "heartier" bakery item for dessert. My food court at POR had cookie bars, which were giant and yummy. So, my meal might have been oj, entree, and a cookie bar. I used my mug for a soda, ate the entree. That left the oj and cookie bar for breakfast the next day.

Super healthy breakfast? No, but it was vacation. We also took some protein-rich granola bars to supplement our "leftovers." And I drank the in room coffee or made a trip to the food court to refill my mug for breakfast.

My DD and I ate like this often: breakfast in the room of leftovers/granola bars early(no credits used), late breakfast or early lunch at TS (TS credit used), afternoon snack (snack credit used), and CS for dinner (CS credit used). Some days the CS and TS were switched.
__________________
Amy DD(10)

Previous trips:
Off Site: Visiting the grandparents in the 80s - June 2000 - Honeymoon (POFQ) - June 2007 - DD's 1st trip (ASM)June 2010 - We're getting divorced and going anyway (CBR)

November 2012 - Just DD and me (POR-Royal Room)
ItsNotMuchofaTail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2013, 12:28 PM   #13
sharonabe
DIS Veteran
 
sharonabe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,256

Quote:
Originally Posted by howard01 View Post
sharonabe & Kiwi2013 If you buy something from the bakery at breakfast, it will count as a snack item AND IS NOT included.
Quoted from Disney's web page regarding Quick service Dining Plan -- Each quick-service meal includes: For Breakfast

  • 1 entrée or 1 complete combo meal
  • 1 single-serving, non-alcoholic beverage
Dessert is only included with Lunch or Dinner meals. Don't forget, you are free to choose which meals to use your credits. You are also not limited to using just 2 meal credits each day. You are free to use them as you see fit until the your credits are depleted.


Enjoy.
And that is why I specifically stated get dessert with your LUNCH/DINNER and save for breakfast.
sharonabe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:35 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.