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Old 02-19-2009, 05:30 PM   #1
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WOW! 7 days on the DDP & SIGNIFICANT $avings for us!-even with credits left over!

Working on uploading pictures but I just did the math and we saved QUITE a bit of money on the DDP. Savings to the tune of about $450.00 Which, would have been more but we did lunch OOP one day and due to flight schedules knew we'd have a CS meal we would likely not use. As it was we left with 11 CS credits unused and still saved that much. Which, more than covered our OOP "adult" drinks, a refillable mug, all of our tips, our OOP lunch and almost $100 left over after that. It was more than enough food, we ended up not using some of the groceries I'd ordered to our cabin as people were more than full every day. If we'd have used all the CS credits we would have likely saved another $150 as our lunches consistently ran $80.

6 of us on the plan, a 7 night package but really only there for 6 days to to the west coast travel time loss. Hence the extra CS. Able to use up the TS by doing one signature and we did not have a problem using up the snacks but...oh well. Still a very good deal for us and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Reviews, and a few pictures coming for

TS
Biergarten
Kona Cafe
House of Blues (OOP)
Teppan Edo
Prime Time Cafe
Hoop De Doo Review
Boma

General note on the TS. In MOST cases, if they offered a non-alcoholic smoothie of some sort,shake or float that was allowed as the adult beverage. Boma was the exception to this.

CS
Cantina De San Angel
Tangeriene Cafe
Gasparilla Grill
Cosmic Ray's
Starring Rolls
Roaring Forks
Yak and Yeti Local Foods

General note on the CS. In MOST cases we were allowed to switch the dessert for a side. Yak and Yeti Local foods was the only exception. In MOST cases they didn't care if the kids got adult CS meals instead of the "kids" picks if kids picks were offered at all. Roaring Forks was the only exception.

A few noteworthy snacks
Yak and Yeti Local Foods
Goofy's Candy Co
Main Street Confectionery
Roaring Forks
Starring Rolls

Adult beverage reviews
Biergarten and the "bier" cart: Spaten Ocktoberfest
Teppan Edo: Sapporo
Prime Time Cafe and its lounge: Yuengling and Mom's picnic Punch
Yak and Yeti Local Foods: African Amber
Wilderness lodge pool bar: Red Hook ESB
Boma: Bahama Mama
Kona Cafe: Agave Margarita, Passion fruit mojito, Bahama Mama

A General note on the snack credits. DHS and AK in particular does a good job of labeling the snack items with the little symbol. Some of the resort locations label with signs which works too, like Gasparilla and Roaring Forks. MK was hit or miss with the symbol and we didn't see it once at Epcot. Snacks in general were hard to find in Epcot but plentiful elsewhere.

Overall we were very very pleased with our choices and impressed with the quality of the food and overall value for the plan. For the most part, we had outstanding service everywhere we went. Dinners were all ADR's, lunch was winged based on what people felt like at the moment and where we happened to be and breakfast was mostly in the cabin. Which, left over breakfast groceries aside, I did LOVE having a full kitchen and being able to make a pot of "real" coffee everyday.

Next, a full day of dining in Epcot.
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Old 02-19-2009, 07:03 PM   #2
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I'm in!! I can't wait for your reviews!

Thank you...Trish
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:53 PM   #3
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look forward to reading your review!
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:11 PM   #4
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i'm in too... i cannot wait t read your reviews. Thanks for taking your time and sharing with us.
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:57 AM   #5
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cant wait to see pics
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
CS
Cantina De San Angel
Tangeriene Cafe
Gasparilla Grill
Cosmic Ray's
Starring Rolls
Roaring Forks
Yak and Yeti Local Foods

General note on the CS. In MOST cases we were allowed to switch the dessert for a side. Yak and Yeti Local foods was the only exception. In MOST cases they didn't care if the kids got adult CS meals instead of the "kids" picks if kids picks were offered at all. Roaring Forks was the only exception.

.
Hello, wow, glad you were able to maximize your savings, can't wait to see the picture!! Question on your above comment; what strategy did you use to get the Adult CS meal instead of the Kids CS meal? Did you simply ask the CM if this was possible? Thanks!!
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:23 AM   #7
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:53 AM   #8
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Day 1: A full day of DDP at Epcot and the World Showcase

Ok first, a little bit about our diners. We have...
  • Belle and Scrooge McDuck otherwise known as the parental units
  • Steven Tyler, DSS16, the smoothie king
  • Tink, DSD12, and a very picky eater. She'll take the kids meal if she can get it, and if we let her. We are working on her eating habits!
  • Goofy, DS9, who will eat off of the adult menu and beg to do so, if allowed. Bored easily with kids food. Works out well when and if Tink will trade.
  • Wall-E, DS8, who is easily pleased. He'll eat off of the kids menu or try new things, low maintenance that one. A good thing.

For our first day we headed to Epcot. It was EMH and we were still on west coast time. Sadly we were unable to get off west coast time all week which meant a week of late arrivals, grabbing fast passes, then eating lunch and then finally hitting rides. But we did close down the parks every day, some of which were quite late thanks to EMH and for the most part were able to do everything we wanted.

Our trip was 2/12-2/19, Presidents Week and I have to say, the place was PACKED. To the gills. One would NEVER know there was a recession at the world during this time. It was unreal. In 4 trips to the world, several to DL for me, and DH growing up near DL, AP and all, neither of us had ever seen the parks this bad. I am sure twirl mania didn't help things, nor did the opening of American Idol but wow. We thought Epcot was nuts but MK ended up being by far far far the worst the whole trip.

After grabbing our FP's for Test Track we headed to the world showcase for lunch. We'd had breakfast at the cabin but a 5 minute wait for spaceship earth had grabbed our attention and now it was past one and we were hungry. After much deliberation we split in 2. Tink, Wall-Eand I headed to Tangerine Cafe in Morocco and the rest of the boys hit Catina De San Angel.

Tangerine Cafe:

We had Chicken Schwarma (me), Fafalel platter (Wall-E) and a kids burger meal (Tink). The Schwarma was delicious. On the verge of dry but the sauce (not tzatziki but tasted awfully similar) remedied that. Great sides. The 2 platters had different sides (couscous and then several other things) and the Schwarma came with a non-pita bread that was quite good. Wall-E liked the fafalel but was just as happy with the pita bread as he was the actual fafalel. Tinks burger on the other hand was a bit pathetic. Small, no cheese, and we didn't think to grab condiments before we headed back to Mexico to eat with everyone. No issues here on DS8 ordering an adult meal but since we did get one kids meal that might have resolved it. Dessert was baklava which I loved but no one else was into.


Cantina de San Angel
The rest of the gang got nachos (Steven Tyler and Goofy) and a Burrito of some sort (Scrooge Mc Duck). I didn't actually see any of it as they were done eating by the time we made it back to Mexico where they'd snagged a great lakeside, shaded table. They'd all opted for some kind of cookie instead of churro for the dessert, something they all regretted, they thought the cookie (a bagged pinwheel type thing) was pretty awful. Goofy loved his nachos and there was no issue with him ordering them although at 9 he could possibly pass for 10, I didn't even think of that until now. Steven Tyler on the other hand thought they were pretty bad. Scrooge said his burrito was pretty good and he's pretty picky so that was a good sign. The Mexico diners warned us about the ducks/geese attacking food but our Moroccan contingent didn't have any issues. They did likely because some diners next to them apparently thought it would be cute to feed the ducks. and so it became pretty crazy (according to them...I think they might be exaggerating). lol.

Done with lunch, we took off to hit the park. Around snack time it became a bit of a challenge. We really didn't want to go back to the world showcase but that's where the best selection on the DDP seemed to be. We looked for the elusive DDP snack icon on carts and such but none were to be found. The line at Fountainview was insane so we skipped that. Finally we just headed to Sunshine Seasons which worked out well for 5 out of 6 of us.

DH and I each got a cold mocha, Tink got a Chocolate Chip Cooke, Wall-E some special valentines decorated cupcake and Goofy got a big brownie. Anything in the pastry case or the coffee/espresso drinks were fair game as long as they were under $3.99. Scrooge and I are coffee snobs and while I can't say the cold mocha was outstanding (as it came from a machine and wasn't on ice) it really wasn't bad either. Needless to say we both drank the whole thing and I hadn't been expecting to find "real" espresso much of the trip anyway so for us it was nice to be able to get the drinks instead of something sweet.

We had taken long enough getting to Sunshine (hit Nemo) and after (hit Honey I shrunk the Audience) that the line was down at Fountainview and Steven was able to get his smoothie. Strawberry I think. The first of many smoothies for Steven on this trip. I had NO idea he was that obsessed with smoothies. None. He thought it was ok.

Back to the rides. Test Track, Mission Space, and all of a sudden it was time to head back out to the world showcase for dinner. We had 7:25 reservations. At the time I booked it, I had chosen the time based on a 9pm Illuminations followed by EMH. Imagine my dismay when we walked in the park that day to find out that for that day only, Illuminations would be at 8pm. Which meant, we'd miss them. 4 out of 6 of us had seen them before but the little guys were too little to really remember a whole lot (4 and 5 at the time) but Scrooge and I were not happy. The moving fireworks time became a recurring theme for the trip as several dates and times changed from what they showed as being when I'd made my ADR's. We popped into Mexico on the way to Germany, where our ADR's were waiting at the Biergarten. Did the totally cheesy 3 caballeros boat ride which was so cheesy, we liked it. Loved the atmosphere inside and the family kept asking me why we weren't eating at San Angel Inn. Sadly the Mexico carts, nor anywhere in the world, seemed to have a Scrooge McDuck pin. I'm sure it exists, I just apparently need to hit ebay. I did end up finding Scrooge a pretty appropriate grumpy "extra stout" pin...always bitter, never boring, to decorate his daypack which was almost as good.

Back outside to head to Germany and it had cooled off quite a bit so Scrooge and Steven headed to the locker to grab our jackets. We knew we'd be out late each day due to the time change and our past experience showed us that we rarely or never go back to change for dinner so we did lockers 4 out of our 6 days and it really really helped as the weather was gorgeous...but nights were cool.

While they were doing that, the rest of the kids and I went to check in. We could have been seated right them but...our party wasn't complete. Back out to the courtyard to wait so I hit the little bier cart in the court to get something for DH and I. They had 2 on tap but one was broken so I opted for the Spaten Ocktoberfest. We'd both wanted a beer earlier in the day but Scrooge balked at the prices in Mexico. And, while those margaritas are supposed to be good, we are "on the rocks" kind of people. At any rate... wow did that beer taste good! Very very yummy. I purchased just one in case there was something on the inside beer menu that sounded more appealing. Scrooge and Steven seemed to take forever but given how slow the bier cart line moved, it worked out ok.

The Biergarten

The Biergarten is adorable inside. We were taken to our table, told they were completely booked and we'd likely be sharing. This didn't end up happening so we had our table to ourselves which was nice. We ordered drinks, another Ocktoberfest for us, this time the 20 oz to share as it was such a better deal than getting the single ones and then off to the buffet.

It was a very large selection of items and most were quite good. We were slightly dissapointed by the selection of hot sausages (though there were several cold as well) but the two they had (a brat and soemthing else) were quite good. Our favorites were
  • German Potato Salad. Yum yum yum. I think I had thirds, Scrooge maybe had 4th's. Creamy, rich, full of flavor but not dry at all. Wonderful texture. It looked almost soggy, but wasn't at all.
  • Potato Dumplings. I was obsessed with these. Definitely had the traditional dumpling texture of a biscuit dumpling but perfectly rounded and slightly firm (but not crisp) on the outside. Hard to describe. Very filling. They made up for the disappointing spaetzle. Scrooge and I love spaetze and this was nothing special.
  • Bavarian Pot Roast. Melt in your mouth, nice and vinegary which I'd expect from this. Mmnn!
  • Pork Loin. I didn't have any but Scrooge and Steven had seconds. Although Scrooge kept telling Steven I make this all the time at home, it apparently tasted a lot better in Germany!
  • Beet Salad (ok this was just me but I love beets!)
  • Schnitzel. The kids thought it was a nugget or something based on the appearance and kept eating it with their fingers which was kind of funny but they liked it. Needless to say they did not put any gravy on it which to me, made the dish.
  • Bavarian Cheesecake. As Scrooge said, it was the bomb. Like a cheesecake mousse. So light and melt in your mouth. Seconds all around.
  • Pureed raspberries with vanilla sauce. I also liked them poured on top of the Bavarian cheesecake!

About half way through dinner the show started and we all really enjoyed it. Overall it was a good meal with plenty for everyone, including boring kids foods like mac and cheese for those who wanted it. It did not end up being one of our "top" restaurants for the trip but we all liked it and would eat there again. Good service, good food, good show and great for a larger group like we had.

I did not do a good job of food pictures here, at all. I got better as the trip went on. They are still uploading but I'll post what little I have, next.

Day one savings $73 over the per day cost of the plan. After figuring that out back at the room I did stop keeping track as well and consistently as I might have as DH and I were more than sold on our decision to do the DDP at that point. Occasionally we found ourselves hamstrung on snacks but that was about it.

Next...Valentines Day! Gasparilla Grill, Cosmic Ray's, Main Street Confectionery and Kona Cafe.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verolovesdisney View Post
Hello, wow, glad you were able to maximize your savings, can't wait to see the picture!! Question on your above comment; what strategy did you use to get the Adult CS meal instead of the Kids CS meal? Did you simply ask the CM if this was possible? Thanks!!
Well... I can't say we had a strategy. I had read here that all CS was treated equally on the receipts so went into the trip with that assumption. We just ordered what we wanted and no one commented or asked if they were all for adults so it wasn't like we were deliberately trying to do anything we shouldn't have been. It was only when we went to Roaring Forks where they were clearly asking, at the grill, if they were for adults that we went hmmmn. Now, truth be told the kids were dripping wet so were not with us when we placed their grill orders so frankly we went ahead and got the adult CS options for them. The kids ones would not have filled them. Knowing we were not going to use all our CS on this trip anyways it seemed fair to do but probably not 100% kosher. I'll talk more about that in that review. Next day, at AK I did ask at Yak and Yeti local foods and they said they didn't care about that, we just couldn't switch dessert for a side. So in that case we got one adult CS with CM approval.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:58 AM   #10
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I saved more than I said!

I take it back. I was thinking about it last night and it sounded wrong. We netted more than $100. The $450 was AFTER I deducted tips. Which, as a party of 6 was an automatic 18% except at Teppan Edo where they didn't auto add it. And got a better tip as a result. So really we saved $450 but after adult drinks and the oop lunch and a couple of oop kid snacks or drinks we still netted closer to $300! Which almost paid for (justified) our big activities (2 pedicures, a massage and the searaycers).

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Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
I just did the math and we saved QUITE a bit of money on the DDP. Savings to the tune of about $450.00 Which, would have been more but we did lunch OOP one day and due to flight schedules knew we'd have a CS meal we would likely not use. As it was we left with 11 CS credits unused and still saved that much. Which, more than covered our OOP "adult" drinks, a refillable mug, all of our tips, our OOP lunch and almost $100 left over after that. If we'd have used all the CS credits we would have likely saved another $150 as our lunches consistently ran $80.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:59 AM   #11
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Enjoying your reviews--thank you for sharing.
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:10 PM   #12
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Hello, just sent you a PM.
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:18 PM   #13
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Great start! I can't wait for Biergarten! Everything sounded so good.
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:40 PM   #14
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Great start! Can't wait to read more. I'm surprised that you were able to get adult meals using kids CS credits. If that's the case on our trip next month it will save me from having to hear a lot of whining!!
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:07 PM   #15
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