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Old 07-29-2013, 11:08 AM   #1
Son of Gadsden
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New to Dining plan, and a bit nervous to try it

My parents got the dining plan when we went when I was a child, but I, myself have never tried one. DW and I go to Disney every 6 months or so (no kids), and we normally prefer to just take some cheaper food choices to save money for other things (Cassies, Cosmic Ray's, other quick service dining areas).

However, this time, we got a free dining pin. We are going Nov 30- December 7th or 8th.

Since it seems to be timing right, this time I was going to wait on the room discount, but with the pin, we decided to stay at All Star Music (Pop Century if I can catch a cancellation), rather than our preferred AoA LM room.

By my math, staying at such a low budget resort, the Quick Service Dining Plan being free should be a much more significant value than a 25% room discount.

Which leads me to my questions. I noticed the dining plan does not include 3 meals, just 2 and a snack. As I said before, we normally just do quick service anyway, and we do get breakfast 3 or 4 times on most vacations. DW also really wants to try the character breakfast at Park Fare, and we have reservations for 10:40 our first day for that. So I got to thinking, after paying for that, plus breakfast 4 times, I've pretty much paid for the upgrade to the regular dining plan, havent I? Do you think it would be worth it for us to just upgrade? Seems it should be about $150 for each of us.

A major part of it has to do with this question: I see the regular still only allows for 2 meals. Is a Table Service credit equal to a quick service credit? As in, can a table service credit be exchanged for two quick service credits?

Also, could one of us get the quick service dining plan and only one of us upgrade to Regular? Or would both have to?
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:59 AM   #2
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Whether it makes financial sense for you to upgrade depends on how many other TS meals you plan on paying for OOP. Also, if you've wanted to try a lunch or dinner instead of breakfast, it has the same credit cost on the meal plan regardless of the time of day.

As for the specifics - everyone on the reservation has to be on the same dining plan so you can't upgrade 1 person to Regular and leave the other on Quick Service. Also - when they do let people exchange credits, it's 1 TS for 1 CS, an even exchange so you're not getting extra meals by upgrading to the Regular. There are plenty of choices for use of a snack credit for something for breakfast (ie. parfait, bagel), check out the snack thread.
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:59 AM   #3
aaarcher86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Son of Gadsden View Post
My parents got the dining plan when we went when I was a child, but I, myself have never tried one. DW and I go to Disney every 6 months or so (no kids), and we normally prefer to just take some cheaper food choices to save money for other things (Cassies, Cosmic Ray's, other quick service dining areas).

However, this time, we got a free dining pin. We are going Nov 30- December 7th or 8th.

Since it seems to be timing right, this time I was going to wait on the room discount, but with the pin, we decided to stay at All Star Music (Pop Century if I can catch a cancellation), rather than our preferred AoA LM room.

By my math, staying at such a low budget resort, the Quick Service Dining Plan being free should be a much more significant value than a 25% room discount.

Which leads me to my questions. I noticed the dining plan does not include 3 meals, just 2 and a snack. As I said before, we normally just do quick service anyway, and we do get breakfast 3 or 4 times on most vacations. DW also really wants to try the character breakfast at Park Fare, and we have reservations for 10:40 our first day for that. So I got to thinking, after paying for that, plus breakfast 4 times, I've pretty much paid for the upgrade to the regular dining plan, havent I? Do you think it would be worth it for us to just upgrade? Seems it should be about $150 for each of us.

A major part of it has to do with this question: I see the regular still only allows for 2 meals. Is a Table Service credit equal to a quick service credit? As in, can a table service credit be exchanged for two quick service credits?

Also, could one of us get the quick service dining plan and only one of us upgrade to Regular? Or would both have to?
As far as upgrading from free dining - you're just paying the difference in between the 2 plans. I don't know how long you're staying, but the upgrade is pretty minimal.

1 TS credit can be used as 1 QS credit - not 2QS.

Everyone on the reservation will need to be on the same dining plan.

I'd run the numbers and see where you come out - typically free dining is a better discount than a RO at values and often moderates... but if you wouldn't be adding the dining plan regardless you might want to just go OOP again and save some money.
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:33 PM   #4
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With all the food you get on the DDP, I don't know HOW a person can do 3 meals a day, anyway :D Plant some buffets in there too - some CMs actually encouraged us to take away some fruit and cookies.

We did Ohana one day for breakfast, and some days we just used our snack credits for breakfast.

You won't starve, I promise :D
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:50 PM   #5
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Just remember that with the dining plan (whichever you choose) you will still need to pay OOP for tax and tip. Some character meals/buffets include the tax.

We are staying 11/30 - 12/7 and we have the free dining pin. I did a spreadsheet of each meal, both QS and CS plus the extra meal cause we eat 3 meals a day and one of our meals takes 2 credits so we have to pay OOP....and even with free dining I still need close to 700.00!!! you figure, if you have sit down meal that costs 150.00 you are paying 30.00 in tip plus the tax so round it out to 40.00. And if you have the dining plan where you get a sit down, you will pay for an appetizer if you get one. We are appetizer people.

Now having said that, we are staying at WL bunk bed room and if a RO discount comes out of at least 30% we are taking the RO and dropping the dinng plan all together and paying OOP. We end up saving money. Someone posted on a different forum that they went to Via Napoli and each ordered a pizza and they only ended up eating the equivalent of 3/4 of ONE Pizza. So if you were paying OOP you would have only ordered one instead of everyone getting one.
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:05 PM   #6
Son of Gadsden
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It's looking to me like sticking with the free plan is our best option...and just paying OOP for Park Fare and anywhere else we decide to go. The more I go, the more I begin to realize that I don't believe it's actually possible to save money at Disney. They're genius enough to just make you think you are, while diverting your funds to something else.

Yeah, we get free quick service dining...but since we have more money in our pockets, we want to go to Ohana, Boma, and Park Fare...places we would not have gone otherwise.
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mckelvey72 View Post
Just remember that with the dining plan (whichever you choose) you will still need to pay OOP for tax and tip.
Tax is already included in the dining plan. The only time you have to pay tax is if you order something that has to be paid for OOP such as adult beverages or appetizers if you're on the regular DDP.

Gratuity is also included at CRT and the dinner shows. For any other TS meals it is OOP.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:58 PM   #8
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do you have AP's? If so then forgo to DP and get a TIW and eat what and where you want and get 20% off with the tip included. Then you can also use an AP discount (if available) for your room
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