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Old 12-21-2008, 01:02 PM   #16
DisneyWisher
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During free dining we stay at the value resorts. This past Sept a FL rate for value was $64 a night. I paid $82 because of the free dining plan. $18 for 3 people to eat, not bad. I was able to upgrade my 1 day ticket to a FL 3 day ticket. Since they changed the menus at Ohana 3 yrs ago and no longer have Concourse Steakhouse there are only a 2 TS we enjoy. We stayed 5 nights in Sept and only used 3 TS each, 2 for HDDR and 1 for Chef Mickey (DD25 met us there with DGS2, he loves Mickey) This was the second year that they would allow you to change a TS into a CS plus 2 snacks. We ate twice a day and enjoyed the snacks, Sodas or water we'd pay out of pocket. On our last day we had 8 snack credits left and DDs went to DTD to Goofy's Candy and bought lollipops to take home to friends. Enjoyed it more in 2007 because you could get multiple small lollipops but they changed it to single serving only. Snack credits can be used in a lot better ways then just soda, water and popcorn. Would I ever pay for the Dining plan probably not even for CS only. I think its $30 a night. a cheeseburger with fries is about $7 plus a coke $2 and a dessert is about $3 (though we get the sliced apples. but basically you are breaking even no real value there. The only exception is Pepper Market at CSR thats considered CS though they are tipped (we didn't have to tip it was included in the CS credit). But for dessert its either a cookie, churro, or muffin. We got muffins and saved them for the next day. They have the best margaritas onsite. I ordered the frozen and DD23 ordered on the rocks mine was loaded with tequilla, I poured 1/3 of it into DDs. Awww wish I had one right now.
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:11 PM   #17
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My family is the opposite. If we're going to eat at CS, we still have to wait in line, carry an overly crowded tray through a sea of people, on a few occasions wait for a table to open up and we like to linger over the meal.

This trip we're going with the deluxe DDP because we love to take time out of the hustle and bustle to be pampered by the waiters (or at least have some one else bring our meal) We've also been to the parks enough that we don't have to be running from ride to ride anymore. I also love the idea of having an all inclusive vacation. It works better for our budgeting.
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:13 PM   #18
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I know when I got a CS at Sunshine Seasons (the place in the land) it was $12.xx for my CS meal. So 2 of those would be $24 so I'd need to get at least $3 snacks to break even on the quick serve plan. You also get a refillable mug on that plan so I guess take off $13 for that from the total.

I'm trying it out this Jan for 2nights so $60 - $13 (mug that I'd buy anyway) = $47 / 2nights = 23.50 for each night. Basically makes the snacks free?
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:25 PM   #19
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This is why I am really liking our split stay idea for this next trip. We'll have the DDP for the first 5 days of the trip and then the last 5 we won't. This way we can take advantage of the nicer TS and character meals the first 5 days and then try places like Sci Fi and Beaches where the DDP is not a deal.
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:37 PM   #20
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I know when I got a CS at Sunshine Seasons (the place in the land) it was $12.xx for my CS meal. So 2 of those would be $24 so I'd need to get at least $3 snacks to break even on the quick serve plan. You also get a refillable mug on that plan so I guess take off $13 for that from the total.

I'm trying it out this Jan for 2nights so $60 - $13 (mug that I'd buy anyway) = $47 / 2nights = 23.50 for each night. Basically makes the snacks free?
We don't buy the mugs. We are not coffee drinker and to us they just aren't Convenient DDs never liked walking all the way to the lobby to refill a mug. Buying (2) 12packs of coke cost $6. We bought a mug at HS that has mickey on it cost $5 and you got your choice of favorite soda. Much cheaper than the refillable mug if you are looking for just a mug. Just my opinion.
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:46 PM   #21
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We just returned from our trip Fri. with Free Dining. We were going to go in Jan. but with Free Dining we switched our dates and am very glad we did. I do not eat much and ended up getting an upset stomach one day so hardly ate anything. But my DH and I shared most of our TS meals so that we didn't have to pay OOP on any meals while we were there. My DD7 and DD5 did the same. Many times we kept our dessert for our snack later in the day. We would never have paid to eat at CRT but with the free dining we got ressies and thought it was excellent. I didn't care for the time that it always took to sit down for the meal, but the break was usually needed. Some of the counter service meals were huge where our whole family ate from one plate. We were very against the dining plan b/c we don't eat much but after this trip, DH said that is the only way to go. I would agree. We didn't have to bring extra money for food it was all taken care of. We already started a list of where we would like to eat on our next trip. Food at the World is awesome!!!
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:47 PM   #22
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we LOVE the ddp!! we stayed at AKL club level and with the food in lounge and meal credits we spread them out and used them for our check out day AND went to a 2 TS meal .All of our meals were at 7 pm so we never had to rush to get there because we are done with the parks by 5 pm at the latest!We also had our 2 yr old with us so we shared food with her except at ohana and 1900 park fare where they gave her a meal...
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:09 PM   #23
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Cool OOP Basic and Deluxe

I have done the OOP basic and in 2 weeks will do the Deluxe. I am a FL resident so I can get good deals on rooms. We generally do the CS at POP and then 1 sit down meal a day. I do get ADR. In Nov I paid $30 for the basic DP for the 2 of us. We were just staying 1 night and wanted to do the plan since we awere coming with the 2 nephews in Jan and it had been awhile sicne we had done that. Dinner was at Rose and Crown was $60 and that had an appy to it and a beer (10) out of pocket. plus 2 waters for snack $4 plus breakfast at the Mara at AKL $20. We saved over $40. We had a split stay at POP and AKL with 3 nights Deluxe at Pop and 5 with basic at AKL. AKL is beautiful but the Mara was small not manyDDP snacks as compared to Pop. So we swapped pack to totally Popl with Deluxe and saved $350.
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:12 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rentayenta View Post
This is why I am really liking our split stay idea for this next trip. We'll have the DDP for the first 5 days of the trip and then the last 5 we won't. This way we can take advantage of the nicer TS and character meals the first 5 days and then try places like Sci Fi and Beaches where the DDP is not a deal.
We have done this three times now and it works well. We usually only do a CS or TS on the day we get there so we have the other one on the day we start the second half of our stay. It also means we can take a little break from Disney and go offsite on the second part of our stay. We're probably not going to do DDP next year though and concentrate a little less on meals.
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:20 PM   #25
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We don't buy the mugs. We are not coffee drinker and to us they just aren't Convenient DDs never liked walking all the way to the lobby to refill a mug. Buying (2) 12packs of coke cost $6. We bought a mug at HS that has mickey on it cost $5 and you got your choice of favorite soda. Much cheaper than the refillable mug if you are looking for just a mug. Just my opinion.
Ah see I use the refillable mug. I drink a ton of coffee and soda every day and make good use of the refill stations. They are good at any of the resorts too so I bring it along with me to the parks so I have it if we end up at a resort.
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:25 PM   #26
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We're firm believers in the DDE as the way to go for dining at WDW It allows us a straight discount on the total bill, a huge selection of choices to dine at, an average of $300 savings per trip, and we eat only what we want to eat. as a family, we usually share courses, so it would be such a waste to pay for several courses per person per meal as some of the plans offer. We do only TS or resort food court, so all purchases qualify. Every situation is different, thank heavens for choices
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:34 PM   #27
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We like the dining plan. It isn't a matter of the money. For us it is stopping and taking a breath for a little while. DS has Asperger's and he needs the down time. He loves the character meals and to me those alone are worth the DxDP. I also like to eat at 2TS restaurants for dinner and it works for us. But that is what is so great about it. There are several levels and to each his own. Last time I had some CS meals and snacks left over. We were able to convert them all to Snack Credits and we brought back treats for friends.
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:51 PM   #28
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Dining plan affecionado here, as well. I totally see why it's definitely not right for everyone, but I have two kids on the autistic spectrum and a "mature" DM. And I have RA as well and need frequent breaks. For us, the hassle of trying to get back and forth to the hotel is so not doable, but the break from the meal is very relaxing for all of us. And like the pp said, for my kids, the character meals are a must. This coming year we're trying DxDDP for the first time; it's free dining, so not too much for us to upgrade, and we're going to try more breakfasts and two TS credit meals while DD is still not quite 10. After that, I don't know that it would be worth it any more, because she doesn't eat that much. As far as the planning goes, yes, it's effort to plan meals ahead, but it's effort we really enjoy; we love the planning for where we're going to eat on the next trip as much as what attractions we're going to ride, etc.
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:59 PM   #29
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There are some trips that DDP would be a huge money saver for me..

But for most trips, it would end up costing me money based on my eating habits and choices.

Different strokes.. etc.

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Old 12-21-2008, 03:06 PM   #30
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We're firm believers in the DDE as the way to go for dining at WDW It allows us a straight discount on the total bill, a huge selection of choices to dine at, an average of $300 savings per trip, and we eat only what we want to eat. as a family, we usually share courses, so it would be such a waste to pay for several courses per person per meal as some of the plans offer. We do only TS or resort food court, so all purchases qualify. Every situation is different, thank heavens for choices
If you are an AP holder or a Florida resident then the DDE (TIW now) is the way to go but for those that an AP doesn't make sense or aren't florida residents and would like to eat one full service meal a day then the dining plan is a good option
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