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Old 06-25-2013, 08:38 PM   #16
MinnieLovesMickey12
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I don't think free dining is scam either. The only time any kind of room discount is better than free dining is if it is only 2 ppl and you are staying in a deluxe room that is more than $300 a night and you get a 35% off room discount. Or if you are a person who hates the dining plan and couldn't care less how much it saves you. You don't want it and you will use a room discount every time.

When all 5 of us go and we get free dining with all 5 of us being considered adults it saves us a ton of money.

Both times we have stayed in a family suite at ASMu for around $240 a night. a 10% room discount (which is usually all you get at a value) would have saved us $24.

Getting free QSDP for 5 adults saved us $200 a day.

Even when we took the free QSDP and upgraded it to the DDP it still saved us a ton of money. There is never going to be any kind of room discount that beats that free dining savings.

Both of our trips we had booked with no discount. rack rate. because we had picked our dates and that is when we were going, discount or no discount. So when the free dining came out that applied to our dates of the trip we already had booked and paid for, it was a genuine free dining plan with plenty of free food that didn't cost us a dime more than what we already paid for our package.

Some ppl think it is a crime to pay rack rate for a room no matter how much free dining would save you. They would rather take $40 a day off their room and spend $200 a day paying for their food out of pocket. You will never convince those ppl that free dining is a better deal.

But I also know there are a ton of ppl who DO plan when they take their vacation around free dining dates. Most of those ppl will post on here and say they can't even go to Disney unless they get free dining. So those ppl will absolutely change around dates to make sure they get free dining.

But since they only allow so many rooms at each resort to be sold using the free dining promo I really don't think it will swell park crowds beyond what it would have already been. September is a slower month because it is heavy hurricane season with a lot of rain, high heat and humidity. So they need to lure ppl in during that month.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:52 PM   #17
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Color me scammed then. ...DDP, (Free or not), works very well for us. I realize that's not always the case for everyone, so each family should thoroughly crunch their numbers. Free is MUCH better of course, even if I hafta miss any AP or other room discounts. Family of five-eating NUMEROUS character meals-runs up a serious meal tab!
My best guess, for what it's worth, is that the crowds for this fall's promo will only increase a bit due to the promo. As PPs have said, The Diz limits room counts allocated for the free dining, plus so many of us that can't take the kids out of school for that many days.

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Old 06-25-2013, 10:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marionnette View Post
They only set aside a certain number. In fact, they may not include all resorts and may even exclude certain rooms within a participating resort (i.e. no LM rooms at AoA or no suites at the deluxe resorts).

They will also have different booking codes for the same offer but for different demographics. Disney Visa cardholders have access to a different block of rooms than the general public and people who got PIN codes have yet another block of rooms available to them. They could all be for free dining. Sometimes people will see rooms available at the rack rate but the same room is not available with free dining. It's because when Disney has discount offers, they limit the number of rooms available for the discount.
Thanks! I feel more grateful than ever that I managed to get in and to the exact resort I wanted! I think I booked a week after free dining was announced to the public. Knowing a bottom line price before we go is so reassuring to me that I'd probably do it without the free. But then again I'd probably go off site and be super frugal by taking in sandwiches and eating other meals in the room. Anyway, this is the best vacation option I could think of for my family.
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:20 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by darnheather View Post
It wasn't a scam for us. I did the math and we came out way far ahead with free dining.
I agree.

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Originally Posted by mom2AidanAndEli View Post
This "scam" works a whole lot better for a family of four Disney adults than a measly 5% or 10% room discount! Believe me....I'm a number crunching, bargain hunting, coupon clipping, penny pinching, dollar saving mom and I've done my homework...and then some!

It may be a "scam" for a couple staying at a deluxe resort who get a great room discount. But for us families struggling to give our kids a trip to Disney, staying at Values (or now Moderates), and wanting to do some of the special dinners, it's a HUGE savings!
Yup. For us (me, DW, DD16, DS13) getting free dining is a dream come true. My teenagers can flat out eat, and having free DDP means everyone can just eat and eat to their heart's desire. I have made the ADRs which we will all enjoy, but I imagine DW and I may even wind up deferring some of our QS credits or snacks so that the kids will be sure to have plenty.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:04 AM   #20
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We went in September a few years ago when Free Dining was offered (we stayed Off site).

Parks were really light. Hardly any lines. Very managable. Restaurants however were packed.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:58 AM   #21
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Free Dining was first used only during the slow periods to get more people to come and that is what it is going back to again seemingly.
I always went in Septmeber however never had FD as we own DVC. before free dining was offered I could eat wherever I wanted when I wanted and most rides had a short wait. With Free dining most rides have a short wait and even shorter at peak dining times I can still eat where I want just now eating TS for lunch and CS at night.
To answer you main question yes the parks will likely have more people but the DP takes a lot away from the lines as people try to maximize the DP and spent a lot of time eating.
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Old 06-29-2013, 02:21 PM   #22
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I am one of those people who is over joyed to be "scammed" into free dining, but it is because I really want to stay onsite in a value resort and don't enjoy having a bunch of ADR's that never seem to line up well with the ride line that I am in when it comes time to get to the restaurant I am supposed to eat at.

If Disney used Free Dining to fill a two week low booking period, I will be there during that two week period... crowd and all! Disney must like how easy it is to scam me.
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:36 PM   #23
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Yes I know exactly what they meant. And I still say it isn't a scam. We are military and still staying at a moderate with free dining package was the cheapest option for us. I don't like to worry about what I order on vacation and kids like character meals.
We still came out several hundred dollars cheaper using Disney's military discount on the room plus the military discount on the tickets, with the option to add a dining plan. I still can't decide if we will add it or pass on it. Like you, I like the ease of not worrying about the cost of dining, but I am betting I can get a better deal without the dining plan at all. :/
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:31 AM   #24
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We come out ahead with 2 adults. We stay moderate, get free DDP. We usually do 2 TS meals a day. So two would be OOP each day, this way 1 is free daily, we get a free snack, ANd we share or sometimes get our own CS meal if we're hungry of use it for a Snack like the drink and dessert, or drink and share a burger and fries, it's also free. So we're only paying OOP 1 TS Meal a day. If I can cut back this trip I will. Still trying to decide. I may cut it back s bit, but we enjoy our character meals, and TS restaurants.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:24 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by mom2AidanAndEli View Post
This "scam" works a whole lot better for a family of four Disney adults than a measly 5% or 10% room discount! Believe me....I'm a number crunching, bargain hunting, coupon clipping, penny pinching, dollar saving mom and I've done my homework...and then some!

It may be a "scam" for a couple staying at a deluxe resort who get a great room discount. But for us families struggling to give our kids a trip to Disney, staying at Values (or now Moderates), and wanting to do some of the special dinners, it's a HUGE savings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnieLovesMickey12 View Post
I don't think free dining is scam either. The only time any kind of room discount is better than free dining is if it is only 2 ppl and you are staying in a deluxe room that is more than $300 a night and you get a 35% off room discount. Or if you are a person who hates the dining plan and couldn't care less how much it saves you. You don't want it and you will use a room discount every time.

Some ppl think it is a crime to pay rack rate for a room no matter how much free dining would save you. They would rather take $40 a day off their room and spend $200 a day paying for their food out of pocket. You will never convince those ppl that free dining is a better deal.

September is a slower month because it is heavy hurricane season with a lot of rain, high heat and humidity. So they need to lure ppl in during that month.
As an AP holder I go to WDW several times a year. Sept and usually Dec are among those times (so times free dining is usually offered). I am not a fan of free dining. We prefer TS restaurants to CS and eat at very few CS restaurants anyway. The free CS DDP offered at the Values would never work for us and even on the DDP we would be paying OOP for more TS meals and then would have CS meals left over. We prefer a nice TS lunch, then go offsite for a nice, quiet dinner. Sometimes all we want are appetizers, so the DDP doesn't work. Frequently my Sept trips were solo and I'd be staying at a mod. For those trips an AP discount was always alot better than free dining. Some of those trips, my husband went with me. Even then though, the 35% off AP room discount (that they offered back then for moderate resorts) beat free dining for us. Now we choose to stay offsite at Wyndham Bonnet Creek. A nice one bedroom villa is cheaper than we could get even a tiny value resort room at WDW. We get a fully equipped kitchen, living room, two TVs, seperate bedroom with a king size bed, washer/dryer, a jacuzzi tub, walk in shower, dining table and chairs, etc at a Deluxe resort with nicer pools, hot tubs, two lazy rivers, and a free mini golf course, cheaper than even a discounted Value room through Disney. My trip this Sept is a solo trip. I ran the numbers using rack rate with free dining and the using the AP discount. My one bedroom villa at Bonnet Creek is still $900.00 cheaper than a Value room with free dining. I can buy all the food I want for that $900.00 price difference and stay in a much nicer resort with alot more space, while I'm doing it. I don't really need that much space, but at the same time can't see paying alot more to stay in a tiny room at a value resort. I would rent a car anyway, but with my AP, parking is still free and Bonnet Creek is inside the Disney gates, so closer to some of the parks than the onsite hotels. For my Sept trip I am paying $74.30 per night and for our Dec trip we are paying $60.00 per night for a one bedroom villa. No way free dining can touch any of those deals. With the money I am saving, I'll just buy Disney gift cards and my meals will still be prepaid. I can eat better than I would on the DDP for alot cheaper and eat exactly what I want, whether that be two appetizers, an appetizer, entree, dessert, or just an entree in one restaurant then grab dessert somewhere later. I don't have a single ADR booked for either my Sept or Dec trip, and have no intention of doing so. With the DDP you feel like you have to book ADRs and keep them. I love flying by the seat of my pants. When we were there in May the only ADR I had was BoG, yet we walked into Biergarten, Via Napoli, Yak & Yeti, Momma Melrose, House of Blues, and Olivias with less than a five minute wait. No way would I take a chance of doing that if I was on the DDP and stood a chance of losing credits I had prepaid for. Plus there are quite a few nice restaurants right outside WDW that have better food, for alot cheaper prices.

We hate free dining. I remember when most of the rides were walk ons in Sept and restaurants had better and more distinctive menus. Now more and more people are coming in Sept due to free dining. The parks and restaurants are more crowded and the food no where near as good. Now if we were a family of four or five, didn't have annual passes, so needed park tickets, actually liked more CS restaurants, and were willing to squeeze into a tiny Value room, free dining would be a decent deal.

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Old 07-09-2013, 08:05 PM   #26
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They meant free dinning is a scam, because its over prices for what most people would normally order if they didn't feel like if was "free". plus you give up discount on room price for "free dinning"
I, too, do not understand why this is a "scam"?

We are staying in POFQ in a pool view room. Even at an unheard of discount of 40% on a moderate... heck, lets step it up and say we managed to get a PIN for 50% off our moderate. It would only be a savings of about $1000. With the free dining we save $1455 for a family of 4.

We upgraded to the deluxe dining and used the calculator. Even not adding in dessert and sharing one app at dinner, we will still come out an extra $100-200 over that for the meals we have planned vs eating out of pocket. And that includes eating OOP for T-Rex the first night. We're just going to drink (not included on the DxDDP anyway) and have an appetizer. DS6 LOVES LOVES LOVES T-Rex, it is the only place he wants to go back to. So we will endure it (and pay oop because we aren't eating much) to save the credits for Cali Grill (if it opens in time), CRT, Fultons and HBD.

Even when we combine it with 1) free parking and transportation for staying on site, free transportation from the airport which would be $120 round trip... we are still ahead even if it's not free dining vs room rate and it's free dining vs offsite and no dining plan.

Stacy

ETA: fixed family of 5 back to 4 where it should be. Don't know where I got the extra kid from.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:15 PM   #27
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A nice one bedroom villa is cheaper than we could get even a tiny value resort room at WDW. We get a fully equipped kitchen, living room, two TVs, seperate bedroom with a king size bed, washer/dryer, a jacuzzi tub, walk in shower, dining table and chairs, etc at a Deluxe resort with nicer pools, hot tubs, two lazy rivers, and a free mini golf course, cheaper than even a discounted Value room through Disney. My trip this Sept is a solo trip. I ran the numbers using rack rate with free dining and the using the AP discount.

Where do you people get these things??? Every time I go to WBC the prices are the same as our moderate. I JUST went there and priced out 9 days starting 9/19 and the rate is $209 per night (which doesn't include the new $5 shuttle usage fee I've read about). Those fees bring that cost up to $240 a night for us.

We are only paying $230 for POFQ and that includes free parking ($15 per day) and free shuttle from the airport (works out to $12 per night). So that takes my $230 down to $203.

I would really like to see how you are getting WBC for less than $100 per night.

Stacy
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:18 PM   #28
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Aubriee, how did you get that great price in September? Are there discount codes someplace?? We are thinking of there for Sept 2014~ all booked for this September~ and
Good for you!
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:21 PM   #29
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@aubriee that's awesome that you found those deals. However, this is my girls' first trip to Disney Orlando and I wanted to make it extra special by staying on site, doing character meals, and not having to say no to snacks in the park. Therefor, the free dining was a wish come true for me. We couldn't have afforded the kind of vacation I wanted to have without it. We also probably won't go back anytime soon as we have lots of different vacations that we like to take and go to Europe every few years. If we went every year or twice a year I'd be looking for off site savings for sure, eating off site, and bringing snacks to the park. That's why Disney doesn't force people to stay on-site different options for different vacations.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:36 PM   #30
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Believer in the dinning plan. I love the fact that its all ready paid and I don't have a coronary when my child ask for a $4.99 ice cream.
Exactly

and even though the public FD is in September; not all of us are going then. My family received the rest of year PIN and we aren't going until November.

My girls get to eat what they want; dh doesn't complain; and I don't have to stress over the food bills. To us it's a win, win.

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