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Old 03-12-2009, 03:23 PM   #151
kaysmommie
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I just read your entire November 2007 trip report since the kids were in school and it was raining out. It was excellent and well written . I see why AB is not going this time and why it is so great that Tricia is going to be spending some WDW with her cousin. I love the pics of Jessica the AG doll too. I have to show Kaylee those since she thinks everyone who turns 10 doesn't play with them anymore . Your trip report was a good read to say the least, wish I had read it last year.
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Old 03-12-2009, 03:59 PM   #152
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Tell Dsis a little white lie. Tell her that she can pay for DNiece's kids dinning plan at $10/day. Then just give that money to DN when you get to WDW so she can have control over buying her own snacks and drinks.
I like that idea too....
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:14 PM   #153
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Originally Posted by kaysmommie View Post
I love the pics of Jessica the AG doll too. I have to show Kaylee those since she thinks everyone who turns 10 doesn't play with them anymore . Your trip report was a good read to say the least, wish I had read it last year.
Thanks for the compliments!

As far as the AG dolls are concerned, Tricia still enjoys dressing them up from time to time. Her cousin Catie also has several of the dolls, so its nice that they can still enjoy them together. It's all about the clothes and the hairstyles!

I'm not sure whether or not they will want to bring any dolls to WDW in October. They may surprise me!


Kathy
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:17 PM   #154
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I like that idea too....
I'm not sure yet if we will be getting the dining plan. We didn't get it last April and it worked out just fine.

It's so much food; even with the "basic" plan!! And Ed didn't like getting "locked into" TS ADRs every day....

Kathy
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:35 PM   #155
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I'm not sure yet if we will be getting the dining plan. We didn't get it last April and it worked out just fine.

It's so much food; even with the "basic" plan!! And Ed didn't like getting "locked into" TS ADRs every day....

Kathy
how about the QSDDP that's 2 snacks and 2 QS meals a night plus you get a refillable resort mug (do they have those in the DVC?) anywyas that's what we're doing this time and then pop for 3 TS meals...besides the groceries I ordered from Garden Grocer and some milk to purchase there...we shouldn't have to spend any other $ on food. JAT
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:09 PM   #156
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how about the QSDDP that's 2 snacks and 2 QS meals a night plus you get a refillable resort mug (do they have those in the DVC?) anywyas that's what we're doing this time and then pop for 3 TS meals...besides the groceries I ordered from Garden Grocer and some milk to purchase there...we shouldn't have to spend any other $ on food. JAT
That is a thought....

My DSis insists that skinny Catie eats like a truck driver!!

Kathy
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:11 PM   #157
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I like the $10/day idea, too! It will help your sister feel like she is contributing to meals and will actually offset your costs without having to think/plan.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:42 AM   #158
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I second/or third the $10/day thang! Hey, what teen doesn't like to buy her own snacks and pop along the way??? I think it might be something DSis could live with too, and what Mom doesn't want to know they are taking care of their kids the best they can??

I just finished costing out our food for the next trip, and it's about $20 under the DDP price INCLUDING taxes, tips, and a few adult bevs.!!! And that is a TS meal everyday, about half being buffets! But, I am curious as to what you will decide. Great planning so far!
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Old 03-14-2009, 04:31 PM   #159
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Arrow A Halloween Adventure in Autism

Deciding on Dining


Dining Plan or No Dining Plan; that is the question!


Our family has done WDW both with and without a dining plan. Now we’re trying to decide if we want to use one in October. I know the plans are popular, and apparently Disney knows it too! There are now three different dining plans from which we can choose. But, will any of them meet our current needs?


Before Aunt Rae joined us on our last two November trips, we ate exclusively counter service meals, with the exception of two or three character meals per trip. Obviously, these buffets/sit-downs were planned because of the character interaction and not because of the food.


Case in point: will anyone really want to eat at Liberty Tree Tavern without all the characters now? It’s a lot of money to spend on Stouffer’s…

Anyway, we thought that the dining plan would work out because:

1. AR was used to “hot lunches” and sit-down dinners. (There are only so many hamburgers a 77 yr old woman can eat.)

2. Since our food was paid for in advance, there would be no hassling over who paid the check all week. AR paid for her own dining plan and we paid for ours.

3. We thought it would be a good way to save some money.


We liked the “traditional plan”, which included one TS meal, one CS meal, and one snack per person per night. We ate at some restaurants that we probably would never thought to have made reservations for: Boma, Coral Reef, `Ohana, to name a few. TS meals are great, but they are time-consuming and take that much time away from the parks. Another factor to consider is that the plan no longer includes gratuities for the TS meals. It’s hard to do one of those for five people for under $100, so that’s at least $20-$25 dollars a day extra.

So, what if we decide to avoid table service meals altogether?

As mousescrapper mentioned, this year there is a Quick-Service Dining Plan that includes two CS meals, two snacks, and one refillable mug per person, per night. This plan would preclude the character meals, however, and since we’re in the DVC villas, the refillable mugs are no longer necessary. In fact, unless we schedule a character breakfast, we eat breakfast in the villa as well. Unless I decide to stop stocking our kitchen with groceries and less-expensive cases of water bottles, we will wind up with an awful lot of snack credits left over.


Either that, or we will wind up drastically overeating! Truth be told, I felt like we overate while on the traditional plan, too. We normally don’t eat desserts at lunch and then again at dinner…several times we saved our lunch dessert for a mid-afternoon snack and didn’t use the snack credit until the end of the week. Then we blew the remaining snack credits on candy and junk just to use them up!


One other important factor to consider is the current need for ADRs for TS meals. Ed didn’t like the fact that we had table reservations every day of our trip; he felt that it made our days more “scheduled”, which he tends to rebel against while on vacation. He longs for the old days when ADRs were a nicety and not a necessity. When I informed him that Disney Dining’s policy had changed; that we could no longer make ADRs at 180 days out, we needed to “wait” until 90 days ahead of our trip, he just laughed at me. He always thought that trying to decide where you wanted to eat dinner six months ahead of time was pretty stupid.


Well, perhaps it was, but at least I didn’t have to spend 30-45 minutes on hold when I called to make them, the way some folks are reporting waiting now!


***************************************


Okay, so this year we don’t have to worry about Aunt Rae and her hot meals. (We also don’t have to worry about taking two hours to eat them…..Yay!) Since it’s going to be Ed, me, and the three kids, we’ll most likely eat quickly and on the run most days. We’ll probably want to do at least two character meals….an early breakfast at Crystal Palace and either a late breakfast or early lunch at Play & Dine (Billy’s favorite.) So we only need two table service meals apiece for the week.


We’ll have the DVC accommodations, which give us a full kitchen to store less expensive snacks and water. And, other than one morning with Pooh Bear , breakfast will be in the room every day. Do we really need to worry about TS, CS, Snacks, Credits, and a week’s worth of ADRs?


All things considered, it looks as though we may just do like we did last April and forgo purchasing any of the dining plans. It just seemed so much simpler.

What do you think?

Kathy
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Old 03-14-2009, 04:42 PM   #160
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Last year was the first year that we had the dining plan. I probably would not have done it, but it was free so we thought what the heck. The one thing that I did find was that it was a LOT of food. We had the basic even but add in those snacks and you feel "obligated" to get them. My family has had the plan over the last couple of years and said that they wouldn't do it any other way.

Without the dining plan we still did make some ADR's, especially for our character meals. The down side was that we had to really budtet ourselves so that we had enough to cover whatever it was that we decided to do.

It's a hard choice and I guess I'm not much help here. I'm interested though in what you decide to do.
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Old 03-14-2009, 04:42 PM   #161
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Sounds like a good plan to me! We are doing the standard dining plan (1TS, 1CS & 1 snack) and I'm a bit worried about all those sit down meals. However, since this on-site stay is experimental and may not happen again, we decided to go for it and check out some new restaurants. At one point after making ADRs I considered the QSDP (briefly) but had gotten attached to my ADRs. I'm really looking forward to the new restaurants!


But if you've been there/done that and you don't need all the snacks, you are probably better off to pay OOP as you go.

I wish you could split up your package and do a combo of QSDP and the standard plan. I'd love to have 3 or 4 TS meals spread through the week with 2 QS meals on the other 3 or 4 days. Wouldn't that be nice?
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Old 03-14-2009, 04:54 PM   #162
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Without AR, seems like you don't need the Dining Plan.

Too much food for you guys....you are eating some in the room and can guy cheap snacks since you are going DVC...

Just plan the few characters meals and do the rest on the fly...



Do you guys ever share counter service meals to save more money?



On a related note...do you think...if they offer "free" dining that it will be this new Quick Service Dining Plan instead of the regular? Just thought about that...
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:07 PM   #163
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We're not doing the dining plan for our next trip. When I looked at all the restaurants we didn't try on our first trip, and took our favorites into account - there simply weren't 5 restaurants I really wanted to eat at...

We decided we'd rather not be obligated to those ADRs for most of our park days. We're going to do two ADRs on our 5.5 day trip

Oh, and the quick service didn't work for us - because we would have had way too many CS credits left if we ate two TS meals.

I actually found the regular DP to be too much food, and too much time out of the parks.

I hope we don't miss the snack credits but I'm fairly certain I won't miss the, "We have 20 minutes until our ADR at LTT, not enough time to ride something, so what do we do?" Instead of just riding until we're hungry - then grabbing something. Not to mention my horribly picky eaters... We can share a lot of CS meals based on how little my kiddos eat!

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Old 03-14-2009, 05:26 PM   #164
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Not a whole lot of advice from me as I have never done the dining plan (we did use the TIW card, formerly the DDE card, for our October trip and that was a big savings since it includes 20% off alcohol in addition to food) HOWEVER, I wanted to add that I did just hear that they are bringing back the characters to Liberty Tree. It hasn't been officially announced, but here is the link: (about 1/2 down the page)

http://jimhillmedia.com/blogs/jim_hi...sney-food.aspx

Good luck with your decision. The QS plan sounds reasonable, with a few cool TS options paid OOP.

Sara
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:32 PM   #165
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We've done both with and without DDP and are going non-DDP this June for a couple of reasons. It is A LOT of food, the gratuity is no longer included so you have to add that into the cost and now that our oldest DD is an "adult" according to Disney it just isn't cost effective. We're much more of a CS type family anyway. We've got 2 ADRs for restaurants we've never done (Plaza and Biergarten) and one dinner for DH and I at Boma while the kids go to Simba's Clubhouse. We're actually going to try and use our DVC kitchen a couple of times for easy meals like spaghetti, chicken nuggets & mac-n cheese, etc. Plus we always eat breakfast in the villa and bring water with us to the parks.
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