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Old 04-06-2013, 09:39 AM   #1
Dimples1973ca
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Staying Club Level. Is dining plan worth adding on?

Staying Club Level. Is dining plan worth adding on? There will be 2 adults 2 seniors 1 seven year old for ten nights at the Poly CL. Is it a waste to add the dining plan?

Thanks
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:56 AM   #2
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Staying Club Level. Is dining plan worth adding on? There will be 2 adults 2 seniors 1 seven year old for ten nights at the Poly CL. Is it a waste to add the dining plan?

Thanks
You will get varying opinions on this as some people love the DDP when staying CL, while others think it's too much food and pay OOP for meals while utilizing the CL offerings. With that said, the CL offerings are not meant to be a replacement for meals, but depending on how one eats, the evening appetizers can be a meal. The breakfast offerings, however, are great for something quick before heading out to the parks. I, personally, can make a meal out of the evening offerings, but my DH and both DSs need an actual meal. We always have a TS meal for dinner every night of our trips whether or not we stay CL, so we would benefit from the DDP with a CL stay. I would look at the cost of the DDP vs what you would spend paying OOP for meals and see how the two compare as not everything works the same for every family. The DDP works for us with CL, but it might not work for you. Good luck.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:04 AM   #3
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Agree with above poster, but for me it would be a waste of money because cereal and fruit and coffee is plenty for breakfast and sometimes the appetitisers in the evening have also been dinner.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:04 AM   #4
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As PP said, the CL food is not meant to be a meal replacement. Plus, I would probably have my judgy pants on if I saw someone taking so much food that there wasn't enough for others to enjoy.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:23 AM   #5
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As PP said, the CL food is not meant to be a meal replacement. Plus, I would probably have my judgy pants on if I saw someone taking so much food that there wasn't enough for others to enjoy.
I understand that it isn't meant to substitute for meals and I would not be impressed if i saw people making a meal out of the night offerings. The club offerings for breakfast are what we normally eat for breakfast. The parents in law are in their 70s and are light eaters. My father in law has just had colostomy surgery so he eats very light. We plan to spend mornings in the park, afternoon at resort and dinner out some where. My DH, DD and I may do a park after dinner.

I have no issue paying for dining out of pocket or through the dining plan but I hate to waste food and the money for the perks of CL or the ddp.

We have used the ddp before. We love the prepayment and ease of it but we found ourselves on the last day having a couple of extra counter service (asDD like to share large salads and such) and 5 or so snack credits.

Going to run the numbers with my mom in law and get her opinion as well.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:17 AM   #6
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We stayed CL and had the DDP in December. IMHO no it was not worth adding it on and I wish I would have not paid extra for it. I thought the CL food offerings were great. We would get a quick breakfast there every morning. That definitely filled us up to either lunch or sometimes we would have a sit down late breakfast. Every evening we stopped by the lounge. Even if we missed the evening apps time we still always picked up some evening dessert items. It also was nice too to stop by during the day if we came back to the resort for some quick snacks. Between the beverages and snacks I definitely feel we got our money out of the lounge! The DDP I found more annoying then helpful. We ended up preferring the table service meals to the QS meals. I hated worrying about how many credits we had left and feeling like I had to make sure we used them all.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:52 AM   #7
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I don't find the dining plan to be worth it for the way that my family eats. We just don't need that much food and prefer wine/beer to sodas, appetizers to desserts, and don't need desserts at lunch. With the changes to dining plan breakfast (don't know when the changes were made but you used to get 2 drinks as opposed to one), the dining plan is just not right for us.

We do love CL and it's a nice complement to how my family eats.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:56 PM   #8
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We stayed CL at the Poly and did not feel the need to have the dining plan. It was just DH and I and we ate breakfast most mornings in the lounge as well as lots of evening snacks and of course the wines and beer. It was a no brainer for us to skip the dining plan.
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:00 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by juliebug1997 View Post
As PP said, the CL food is not meant to be a meal replacement. Plus, I would probably have my judgy pants on if I saw someone taking so much food that there wasn't enough for others to enjoy.
That was my gripe when we stayed at AKV Club. They would bring a tray out and the first 1 or 2 people would wipe it out and take it back to their table.
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:01 PM   #10
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To DP or not to DP really depends on how the family likes to eat. We are staying CL on our next trip. We have the regular DP, which works for our family of 5. We'll eat breakfast most days in the lounge, and then CS for lunch and TS for dinner. There are a couple of character breakfasts in there, too. The Dp works nicely for us as we all have very different tastes in food, so meal sharing is typically not an option, even though amount wise, there's a ton of food. We pick buffets a lot for this reason, and those tend to be very expensive OOP. DP works for us, but I can see it not working for others.

It sounds like OOP would work for you.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:56 PM   #11
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Staying Club Level. Is dining plan worth adding on? There will be 2 adults 2 seniors 1 seven year old for ten nights at the Poly CL. Is it a waste to add the dining plan? Thanks
Yes and No are the correct answers. Paying out of pocket was the option way before DDPs. There seems to be a considerable amount of people who think you can only go to TS restaurants using DDP. CL is not a meal plan. Continential breakfast at the CL is the closest to being a meal. After a few days you might want a little more substantial.

We have always stay at the PR at club level. We have stayed mainly payiing out of pocket and a few times DDP, since we get very good discounts. It all comes down to $$. Room price (discount), your actual dining plans, etc. You have to run a detail estimated comparison between the two options. You don't have to use everything in DDP to make it worth it, if you get good discounts. We book early and capture the limited discounted rooms.

Disney also realizes people have tried to make CL a dining plan alternative, so we have seen offering continue to diminish over the last ten years...maybe to make the point to people that club evening offerings are not a meal. There is a group on this site who will argue you can make the club offerings into meals. Sorry, if you like a real meal, with real food/meat, you need to really consider getting an ADR at a TS restaurant. Club has changed over the years, but it reputation lives on beyond what it actually provides.
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:13 PM   #12
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We do not like combining the DDP with CL.

For one, the DDP commits us to just too much food to get any value out of it, and we just don't eat that much. We have found that the CL breakfast is perfect to get us going in the morning. Then, a TS lunch is good (because the mid-day CL snacks are very, well, snacky...). Then we will head back to the resort for some pool time and have the CL apps before heading out to the park at night. Because of the apps, we are usually good with splitting some QS meals or even just snacking.

But, not every family eats like us, so YMMV.
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:06 AM   #13
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I guess it depends. If half of your group eats very little, then prepaying for a set number of meals may end up costing you more than what you will use.
Definitely would be a waste for the DxDP. I could see where a regular DP could be handy for character buffets, table meals, and counter services, but it would require a lot of planning, and then no deviation from the plan.

I find the club level breakfast offerings more than adequate to be a meal replacement (for breakfast), the cereal, fruit, bagels, coffee, and sweets for me. That is everything I could want, I don't have to have eggs and bacon.
My DH eats a bagel and some coffee and OJ usually, and is hunger an hour later, but that's just him, he just doesn't like breakfast food much - especially the carbs, he really needs more protein than me to feel full. We usually pack Clif bars or builder's bars (double protein than regular clif bar).

For lunch/dinner, I would say that the club level offerings are basically snack food and finger foods, you have cheese, raw veggies, wine, a couple hot appetizers. This is not really a meal replacement, it's just a snack in my opinion. But I suppose very light eaters would find that to be enough.

We do plan an evening meal (usually a table service) when we are staying at club level. We also plan for a midnight snack, we will purchase meals or salads from the resort CS for eating later back in our room. So, for us a basic dining plan would be okay, 1 TS, 1 CS per day.

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Old 04-07-2013, 05:56 AM   #14
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I did the deluxe plan w/ a CL stay for my first Disney trip, and it was complete overkill. Now, we stay CL and pay OOP. It's much better for us. We eat the breakfast in the morning. For lunch we don't come back to the resort to relax, and since we visit in the hot months, we book a TS lunch and relax for a while over lunch. Then we have a drink and some appetizers in the CL before leaving for our TS dinner. Since we've usually already had our appetizers in the CL, we don't usually order any appetizers at dinner, just a main and drinks and then a dessert. We usually don't make it back in time for the desserts in the CL, or the kids are too tired to go.
And I agree strongly w/ most of the posters here, the evening snacks are just that--snacks. Disney states they provide breakfast (as in a meal replacement) and appetizers (as in appetite teasers).
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:31 PM   #15
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I did the deluxe plan w/ a CL stay for my first Disney trip, and it was complete overkill. Now, we stay CL and pay OOP. It's much better for us. We eat the breakfast in the morning. For lunch we don't come back to the resort to relax, and since we visit in the hot months, we book a TS lunch and relax for a while over lunch. Then we have a drink and some appetizers in the CL before leaving for our TS dinner. Since we've usually already had our appetizers in the CL, we don't usually order any appetizers at dinner, just a main and drinks and then a dessert. We usually don't make it back in time for the desserts in the CL, or the kids are too tired to go.
And I agree strongly w/ most of the posters here, the evening snacks are just that--snacks. Disney states they provide breakfast (as in a meal replacement) and appetizers (as in appetite teasers).
This is pretty much our method also. We are not big breakfast eaters, we grab something from CL and hit the parks early. We leave for lunch, hang out by the pool with snacks, hit the lounge for appetizers and drinks and back to the parks where we will have a TS meal or QS depending upon our schedule. CL works well for our family, with DDP we'd be too worried about using the food credits when our priority is really our park time.
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