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Old 04-24-2013, 12:42 PM   #1
lcbiffle
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Need to makeup my mind soon

We are a family of 4, 2 kids -DS 8, DD 18 months (when we travel). Staying at OKW. Not getting park hopper tickets. We are doing the dining plan this time and I would like to get my money's worth. I am stressing about my reservations and my husband said he was tired if hearing me talk about it.

We are flying in on a Saturday, dinner @ CM (?? Not sure about this one bc I have read so many bad reviews, not sure where else to eat).

Sunday-HD-early dinner at MM, for dinner show tickets
Monday-MK-breakfast at Crystal Palace
Tuesday-MK-early dinner at BOG
Wednesday-EP- breakfast at Akershus (?? not sure about this one)
Thursday-AK-Donald's safari breakfast
Friday-MK-lunch at whispering canyon cafe
Saturday-MK-breakfast at 1900 Park Fare

Any suggestions would be appreciated!!!
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:04 PM   #2
jmcghee2024
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Go for Chef Mickeys! Character interaction is great and the food is good too.
Not a fan of Mama Melrose at all. Not sure when you are going but check out the new rumors of fastpass+ for Fantasmic.
Definitly do Akerhaus, I woud suggest lunch instead of breakfast, but that is because we are just not fans of the typical breakfast food esp. family style.
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:33 PM   #3
lcbiffle
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We are going in November. I wasn't too excited about MM either, only going there for the dinner package. I really wanted to eat at PTC instead.
Will look at the lunch menu for Akhersus. I would prefer to pay for breakfast's out of pocket at a CS if I can.
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:16 PM   #4
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1) If you are on the dining plan and doing the character buffets, I believe the best way to get your money's worth is to book the dinner character buffets. They cost more than the breakfast meals.

2) If dining at a TS (non-buffet) you have to order the most expensive items in order to maximize your "money's worth" on the dining plan. Certain restaurants are better for that than others. As adults on the DP, some restaurants will allow you milkshakes as a drink, just ask your CM, especially at Whispering Canyon - they have milkshakes there.


3) I have heard that a lot of people use their snack credits at breakfast time, to either get bagels, fruit cups, or other pastries as a breakfast snack. If you are at OKW, you can go to Goods to Go and fill your mugs with coffee, tea, etc, and redeem snack credits there and eat a light breakfast. Unlimited refills at OKW with your mugs will help get some "money's worth" out of them.


4) Don't use a snack credit on water bottles, or other cheap items. Use them for items that are closer to the $5 mark when possible.

5) Be sure to use all your entitlements, you've already pre-paid for them. If your TS meal comes with dessert and you are too full, take it with you. Put it in the fridge back in your room, eat it the next day. Be sure to use up all the snack credits.

We like Mama Melrose's, but maybe your family would enjoy 50s PT or Sci-fi diner better?

I noticed you have 4 x MK days. Be sure to check out the Storybook Circus area, they have a wonderful photo op tent with Donald, Goofy, Daisy, and Minnie.

I'd skip the Akershus, unless you all are into seeing princesses, if you and your DD of 18 months wants to go then keep it. I believe Chip and Dale are at Garden Grill in Epcot.
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:43 PM   #5
jadelane1
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Not a fan of MM either. My son now 10 still loves the Sci Fi. He loves sitting in the cars and watching the old shows. It's a must do for us. We also like Ashker house for the princesses and the photo with Belle or who ever happens to be there that night. Hope this helps!
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:16 PM   #6
Tiffany507s
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brertoad View Post
1) If you are on the dining plan and doing the character buffets, I believe the best way to get your money's worth is to book the dinner character buffets. They cost more than the breakfast meals.

2) If dining at a TS (non-buffet) you have to order the most expensive items in order to maximize your "money's worth" on the dining plan. Certain restaurants are better for that than others. As adults on the DP, some restaurants will allow you milkshakes as a drink, just ask your CM, especially at Whispering Canyon - they have milkshakes there.


3) I have heard that a lot of people use their snack credits at breakfast time, to either get bagels, fruit cups, or other pastries as a breakfast snack. If you are at OKW, you can go to Goods to Go and fill your mugs with coffee, tea, etc, and redeem snack credits there and eat a light breakfast. Unlimited refills at OKW with your mugs will help get some "money's worth" out of them.


4) Don't use a snack credit on water bottles, or other cheap items. Use them for items that are closer to the $5 mark when possible.

5) Be sure to use all your entitlements, you've already pre-paid for them. If your TS meal comes with dessert and you are too full, take it with you. Put it in the fridge back in your room, eat it the next day. Be sure to use up all the snack credits.

We like Mama Melrose's, but maybe your family would enjoy 50s PT or Sci-fi diner better?

I noticed you have 4 x MK days. Be sure to check out the Storybook Circus area, they have a wonderful photo op tent with Donald, Goofy, Daisy, and Minnie.

I'd skip the Akershus, unless you all are into seeing princesses, if you and your DD of 18 months wants to go then keep it. I believe Chip and Dale are at Garden Grill in Epcot.
I second the bolded portion...that's a lot of breakfasts and those are the cheapest meals of the day generally.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:30 AM   #7
lcbiffle
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I chose MM so we could do the fantasmic dinner package, hopefully saving us some time waiting in line.

Revised looks like this-
mK-dinner CM
HS- dinner MM
MK-breakfast CP
MK-dinner BOG
EP-dinner- le cellier
AK- breakfast-Donald's safari
MK-lunch-whispering canyon
MK-breakfast or dinner- 1900

I absolutely HATE having to make reservations so far in advance bc I over think everything and am always changing my mind.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:47 AM   #8
OhThePain
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I agree on not using your TS credits on character breakfasts. The only character breakfast that help you get the biggest bang for your buck are Chef Mickey's and Akershus. You have to figure that to get any value off of the dining plan, your TS meals need to cost over $30 per adult. Character breakfasts usually run anywhere from $23-$28 (besides the 2 I mentioned). If you want to do a character breakfast or 2, you are better off paying for them OOP and using your TS credit on dinner.

The other thing I will say is to try to avoid meals that require a credit card hold on your arrival day, even if you plan on landing early in the morning. There are 100 different variables that are out of your control when you fly that could cause your flight(s) to be delayed or cancelled. To be charged $10 per person for not being able to show up to your ADR when it is out of your control is not a good way to start your trip and will void out any chance you have on saving any money on the dining plan. If you want to do CM, might I suggest sticking with CS on your arrival day and try to book CM on the day that you have BoG or change one of your other ADRs to Chef Mickey's dinner and opt for something like LTT (or anything else that doesn't require a CC hold) on your arrival day.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:56 AM   #9
lcbiffle
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Great advice about arrival day! I didn't think of that. Will switch to kona cafe for dinner on arrival day.
My main reason for doing the dining plan is so I don't have to think about how much money we are spending on eating while at Disney.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:01 PM   #10
lcbiffle
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And I just realized that le cellier is 2ts credits, so maybe dinner at CM that night.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:18 PM   #11
lcbiffle
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After plugging the new resies into the Disney dining calculator I downloaded from seeyareelsoon.wix.com, it says out of pocket cost $1706.33 and estimated reg dining plan $1584.51.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:50 PM   #12
HHMcG
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Something else to keep in mind - your DD 18 months will not have a dining plan. At buffets and family style meals she will be able to eat free. At other resturants she will have to share with someone or order her own meal and you pay OOP. Might not be an issue depending on how big of an eater she is.
My 24 month old DS can outeat the rest of us on occasion so we are planning a good number of buffets/family style to avoid the OOP cost for his meals.
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:37 PM   #13
Wendy31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcbiffle View Post
We are a family of 4, 2 kids -DS 8, DD 18 months (when we travel). Staying at OKW. Not getting park hopper tickets. We are doing the dining plan this time and I would like to get my money's worth. I am stressing about my reservations and my husband said he was tired if hearing me talk about it.

We are flying in on a Saturday, dinner @ CM (?? Not sure about this one bc I have read so many bad reviews, not sure where else to eat).

Breakfast at Chef Mickey's is always a must for us! Fun, fun character meal! The Contemporary w/ the monorail is a fun, very Disney-ish kinda setting as well. We've never eaten dinner there due some of the reviews, but I think it would be probably be a very good "first night" meal. You'll meet all 5 of the Fab 5 Characters - Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, & Pluto. It's the only meal where you'll find all 5 of these characters.

If you're really concerned about dinner, though, you could do Chef Mickey's for breakfast on your last day instead of the 1900 Park Fare breakfast. Maybe do 1900 Park Fare for dinner on your 1st night...

'Ohana at the Poly would also be a good "first night" meal. The Poly's gorgeous, & dinner at 'Ohana is good too. It's one of my kids' favorites - there are fun things for kids like hula dancing & coconut races. After dinner, you could walk down to the Poly beach & watch Wishes.


Sunday-HD-early dinner at MM, for dinner show tickets

We always eat at MM for our Fantasmic Package, & we've really never had a bad meal there. We do the lunch package though instead of the dinner package because the times for the dinner package are normally a little earlier than what we prefer for dinner.

Monday-MK-breakfast at Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace is a great character meal! We normally do brunch/early lunch, but breakfast is good as well!

Tuesday-MK-early dinner at BOG

We're eating here for the 1st time on our upcoming trip! Very excited! Have you already made your ADRs? If not, when you make your reservations, be sure to make this one first - it's extremely hard to get!

Wednesday-EP- breakfast at Akershus (?? not sure about this one)

Years ago, we ate dinner at Akershus, & it was fine. The character interaction was really good, & the restaurant is just lovely - very "country castle" feeling.

Thursday-AK-Donald's safari breakfast

This always gets great reviews! (It's one of the only WDW meals that gets mostly positive reviews!)

Friday-MK-lunch at whispering canyon café

Our kids really enjoy WCC. However, if you're going for the "antics" (Ketchup calls, Hokey Pokey, etc.), it's not as fun at lunch. We went for lunch once, & there was no "fun stuff" at all.

Saturday-MK-breakfast at 1900 Park Fare

We've never been here, but it's on my list of places to try. Again, though, if you're worried about dinner at Chef Mickey's, you might try Chef Mickey's for breakfast on this day instead.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!!!
My comments are in red! Hope this helps some!
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:29 PM   #14
lcbiffle
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We have done 1900 park fare for breakfast and loved it. We also did cape may and ohana for breakfast. We like a big breakfast and I knew it would be one meal where everyone would be satisfied with the selection of food.
I have read lots of bad reviews about CM, especially for dinner, as well as many bad reviews for park fare for dinner.
Thank you for letting me know that we could do lunch at MM and still get the fantasmic dinner package. That would be better for my baby.
I have 16 days until I can make my ADR's.
I think I will take your advice and do whispering canyon dinner.

Do you all do the dining plan???
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:47 PM   #15
Happyjen27
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We were at WCC 5 months ago at lunch, and it was awesome. Antics and food to order off the menu. At dinner you're forced into the skillet as the only option. We paid OOP for this lunch, saving a credit for CRT which required 2. I think lunch for the 4 of us was only 50 bucks.

The advice to do character meals is good for "maximizing" your DDP, opting to pay so much for buffets otherwise is steep.

Make sure you specifically tell snack places that you'd like to use the DDP for the food part of your snack, and pay OOP for the drink, otherwise they will take 2 credits, one for the food (like a pretzel) and one for the drink.

In general, I would rather maximize my vacation and eat where/when is best for the kids than maximize my DDP and perhaps stretch the patience or endurance of the littles.

I did DDP for my first trip in Dec 2012. When we go back this year I won't bother with DDP. I just don't eat like that, with dessert every meal. I also don't want to lock my kids into sub-standard kids menu items. This is of particular consideration for your 8 year old, who may not fill up on the handful of chicken nuggets he will get for a kids meal. He cannot order an adult meal unless you pay OOP or use one of your adult credits.
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