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Old 03-14-2012, 02:06 PM   #31
tndisneyfan
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Originally Posted by pgianna View Post
Thank you for your feedback everybody, once thing still kind of confuses me though. The standard Disney dining plan covers one table service and one counter service per day night. For the people they donít spend anything on food when they have free dining, what do they do about the third meal, do they just skip it. I assume they arenít including tip either. For my family, 2 adults and a 7 and 11 year old, we may have a sit down breakfast or just bagels coffee or juice in the hotel coffee shop, depending on how we feel that morning, than quick service meal at lunch and a table service for dinner. So for us I think we would still pay a 150-200 for a week stay out of pocket if you include breakfast and tips. So for me, I would add about $200 even though I am getting free dining. Thatís the point of this thread I guess.
I have read on the Dis about people using snack credits for breakfast items. We are not big breakfast people, so we pack pop tarts and cereal from home and eat in the room before we leve for the parks. It is still a cost even though we bring everything from home, except for milk of course.

I would think you could easily add up to $200 for tips and extras. So no it's not totally free. Also we always seem to run into a few things here and there that aren't on the plan like mixed drinks, bags of caramel corn, or appetizers at the TS if the mood strikes us.
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:36 PM   #32
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Ummm. After reading thru this thread it got me thinking.. Did I miscalculate??? I helped 3 families calculate and decide if free dining was a better deal or not ... Each family of 5 , disney adults, was staying at deluxe and using their resort discount of 30 to 35% off, we came to conclusion room discount saved more money..yet I am reading here it fd is more worth it?
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:43 PM   #33
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When we went last September we had the free dining. It was the best discount for us because we would have bought the dining plan otherwise.....mostly because my grandparents were going with us and we wanted to eat decently for the week, not CS the whole time which is how it would have ended up if they'd have had to actually plunk down the money for their meals each time! Anyway........the only things we paid OOP were the tips (which you have to pay DDP or not) and a pair of suckers that my DH bought the first day because he didn't understand that he could use the snack credits for them and a pair of refillable mugs. We didn't bring any food with us either. We had 6 adults and 1 child and 1 under 3. Personally I can't eat a whole CS meal for lunch and then eat a TS meal for dinner. So my mom and I shared a CS meal at lunch and my grandparents did as well. My dad and DH had their own CS meal for lunch and everyone their own TS at dinner. My boys shared the child's meal and bits of other people's meals and we always had way more than enough food. We did not use any CS on our arrival or departure day (well sort of we did end up using some yo grab breakfast for the last day beause we had some leftover). We had it figured out that with people sharing lunches and those extra 6 CS credits, we had enough for 3 adult CS meals for breakfast for the 6 full days we were there and 1 extra child CS meal. Then it quickly became apparent that we didn't even want that many CS meals each morning necessarily and sometime used a couple snack credits for muffins or pastries along with using the mug for something to drink because we also weren't hardly using our snack credits. And then on our MNSSHP night we did TS lunch and I think only one CS credit was used in the evening for a meal, everyone else used a snack or two. It was just way too much food, even sharing. We were never hungry the whole trip. At the end I think we had 1 CS meal that wasn't used and we used a ton of snack credits for things to take home. I do think that the larger your group the easier it is to share etc. and have enough food. I wouldn't consider myself a light eater either.

So that's how we did it without paying hardly anything out of pocket. We all agreed that it was great, we had as much as we wanted to eat, it was easy and worry free. I'd definately do it again.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:12 PM   #34
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Hi Everyone!

I think the QSDP is a great value and really is the only way that my mom and I are able to visit WDW. With the QS we use our meals primarily for lunch and dinner. We bring instant oatmeal from home and mix it in our refillable mugs with hot water, and this works really well for breakfast. Overall we spend about $50 on food for 11 days which is so cheap!
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:44 PM   #35
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free ddp

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Originally Posted by pgianna View Post
What have people's experiences been with free dining. How much have people spent on food amd drinks even though they have free dining. My theory is that you still pay a significant amount even though you have free dining. Plus you pay a higher hotel rate if I understand it corectly. Am I totally wrong.
You are always going to have ppl tell you FREE DINING IS NEVER FREE since you pay rack rates for the rooms. But it is free and I will tell you why.

Last year around February or April we booked our 10 day family vacation staying at the All Star Music family suite with 5 day tickets for October. (we had days at IOA and US too not just Disney) Our trip was paid for. We didn't have any room pin discount code or any public offer that would have saved us money. But we we re planning on coming anyway and we booked the trip we could afford and didn't look back.

I looked into BUYING the dining plan but for us, there were 5 of us and all 3 kids are considered Disney adults, so even for just the QSDP it would cost us $200 a day TIMES 9 days $1,800. That's what it would cost us to pay for the QSDP for 5 ppl for 9 nights/10days. We decided we could eat out of pocket a whole lot cheaper than $1,800 for 9 nights so we didn't add it to our package.

However, over the summer last summer a general public offer came out for free dining that perfectly lined up with the dates we were going to be there. The family suites were included in the free dining promo so I called and had it added on to my existing reservation and got FREE QSDP $1,800 worth that I would have otherwise had to pay for anyway since we didn't have a room discount either.

We knew we were going to pay rack rate for the room whether we got free dining or not, so when it came out and we were able to get it, we were thrilled. That technically saved us $1,800. SO for us, it really was FREE.

We enjoyed the QSDP and didn't want to upgrade to the DDP because we didn't want to be tied to ADRs and have to plan our days and nights around eating reservations. I loved the freedom of the QSDP. We didn't really use the resort mugs they give you to use for free. We might have used them once or twice while sitting out by the pool.

I wish they hadn't taken the second snack away from the QSDP but I suppose they did that to keep from raising the rate on it.

So to answer your question, yes free dining is really free. Especially if you have 4 or 5 ppl in your party or if your kids are 10 and over and considered big kids who can eat off the adult menu, free dining will always be the better discount over a room discount. A 20% off PIN code would have saved us $46 a night off our room. We got $200 worth of dining plan free every day. It was very obvious which savings was the better savings.

Disney is never going to let you stack discounts, so you have to price your room and see how much a %off discount would save you per day and how much the free dining would save you per day and take whichever discount is the better deal. But for 5 Disney Adults, the free dining is always going to be the best discount even if you were staying in a deluxe, you save more not paying for 5 adults ddp than the percent off the room.

As for how much we still spent on food even after getting the free dining, we went to Walmart our first night in and bought breakfast items, snacks for the room and drinks and bottled water. We spent about $200 at Walmart on all the groceries (half of which we ended up taking home because the QSDP gives you a lot of food) We went out to eat at Planet Hollywood one night and paid OOP for that $100 for 5 ppl, and one night we went out to eat at CHili's $100 for 5 ppl. The nights we didn't use our dinner credit at Disney we used it the following morning to have a hot breakfast in the resort food court. On the days we went to US and IOA and had to pay OOP for our lunch there, we used those lunch credits for breakfast at the resort food court as well. So most of the days we were suppose to eat our breakfast groceries in the room we were having hot counter service breakfast meals anyway and took a lot of breakfast items back home after the trip.

Last edited by DisneyLoverUSA; 04-01-2012 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:20 PM   #36
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We love DDP for a few reasons but foremost is me : *I am CHEAP!
If I'm on DDP I eat with reckless abandon but if paying OOP I eat like a bird. That behavior drives DH mad, so for us DDP makes sense;-) Yes, I know it's entirely psychological but, oh well
Also, when we have a room *discount and buy DDP or have free dining and pay rack *(for us, 2 adults/no kids) the costs come out in not the same then in the ballpark*
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:49 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgianna View Post
Thank you for your feedback everybody, once thing still kind of confuses me though. The standard Disney dining plan covers one table service and one counter service per day night. For the people they donít spend anything on food when they have free dining, what do they do about the third meal, do they just skip it. I assume they arenít including tip either. For my family, 2 adults and a 7 and 11 year old, we may have a sit down breakfast or just bagels coffee or juice in the hotel coffee shop, depending on how we feel that morning, than quick service meal at lunch and a table service for dinner. So for us I think we would still pay a 150-200 for a week stay out of pocket if you include breakfast and tips. So for me, I would add about $200 even though I am getting free dining. Thatís the point of this thread I guess.
I haven' read the whole thread, I just wanted to share how we used the plan.

We would use the CS meal for breakfast - with that you get a meal, drink & dessert. We would have a full breakfast and use our refillable mug, we would then get a bottled drink and for dessert a muffin or something - these we would take to the parks with us. After a big breakfast, we wouldn't eat lunch, we would snack on our (huge) muffin and drink from the morning. We would then have our TS meal at around 6pm. The snack credit we would use on ice-cream or another drink. We were never hungry.

Yes, you have to factor in tips but thats the same wherever and whenever you eat out be it a paid meal or free through a coupon or something.
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