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Old 04-22-2013, 04:21 PM   #1981
TheDisney411
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Originally Posted by RUSTYGATOR View Post
The question I'm wondering is Free Dining really worth it? Do you end up paying full rack rate for the room or do you get the current discount price when you take advantage of FD?

I mean for late summer the discount is supposed to be 30% off. If I add in a 10% coupon for a online travel site and cash back (from a referral site) on the main room rate (fees don't qualify for cashback) I get the hotel for about 60% off rack rate.

If it is the rack rate, aren't you better booking through one of the online travel sites where you can get a 10% off coupon and 6-7% cashback on the purchase?

I know if you book through Disney Agency or with a TA you get the Magic Your Way Package, but it doesn't seem to have anything that is a groundbreaking offer or a must have. I also know if you book directly, you can get a dining package which you can't if you book with a online travel site, it's hotel only.

Don't you get early morning hours if you stay at a Disney hotel regardless of how you book it? I've looked at the ticket discount you get if you combine hotel and tickets and for a family of 2 adults/2 kids, it looks to be about $40 on a 10 day ticket. You probably can get that discount with one of the recommended ticket sellers.

I'm not trying to start a war over free dining, but just wondering if the discount is that much or if I'm missing something.
We are a large family and usually get 2 connecting rooms at a value resort and usually stay for 8 nights. A typical value resort discount is 15%, so a room only discount would save us roughly $240 total off rack rates. A fee dining discount, even after paying the difference to upgrade from the quick service DDP to the regular DDP, saves us roughly $1500. So unless I could find a way to feed my family for less than $240 for 8 days in Disney, I can't see how we would ever come out ahead with a room only discount.

Generally, a room only discount is only going to come out better if you are staying at a deluxe and if your kids are under 10. If your kids are over 10, it's probably a wash.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:26 PM   #1982
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If free dining does come out, does Disney normally offer a R0 discount as well or is it one or the other?? Coming in Oct, staying deluxe and hoping for either one (I am aware you can only pick 1 discount)
Thanks!
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:29 PM   #1983
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Originally Posted by flinkerfrosch View Post
If free dining does come out, does Disney normally offer a R0 discount as well or is it one or the other?? Coming in Oct, staying deluxe and hoping for either one (I am aware you can only pick 1 discount)
Thanks!
Yes, they usually have simultaneous room only discounts out when free dining is going on.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:32 PM   #1984
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Originally Posted by RUSTYGATOR View Post
The question I'm wondering is Free Dining really worth it? Do you end up paying full rack rate for the room or do you get the current discount price when you take advantage of FD?

I mean for late summer the discount is supposed to be 15% off for value. If I add in a 10% coupon for a online travel site and cash back (from a referral site) on the main room rate (fees don't qualify for cashback) I get the hotel for about 72% of the rack rate.

Does free dining in a value work out to about a 50% discount for a family with 2 adults and 2 kids.? About $110 for a hotel and $104 for dining (basic package). If FD is worth it, is it better to upgrade to the Mid-level hotel to get the better dining than to stay at a value and get the casual dining plan and then to pay $40 more to upgrade it to the one sitdown a day meal plan?

I know if you book through Disney Agency or with a TA you get the Magic Your Way Package, but it doesn't seem to have anything that is a groundbreaking offer or a must have. I also know if you book directly, you can get a dining package which you can't if you book with a online travel site, it's hotel only.

Don't you get early morning hours if you stay at a Disney hotel regardless of how you book it? I've looked at the ticket discount you get if you combine hotel and tickets and for a family of 2 adults/2 kids, it looks to be about $40 on a 10 day ticket. You probably can get that discount with one of the recommended ticket sellers.

I'm not trying to start a war over free dining, but just wondering if the discount is that much or if I'm missing something.
This is why no single discount is the best for everyone. We are a family of 5. Two of our kids are now Disney adults. Our cheapest room option is at POR, roughly $200 per night. Even if I were to get a 30% off room discount (which isn't likely), that would only be $60 off each night. I couldn't even feed my family counter service for the day on $60. If we were to pat for the dining plan, it would run us roughly $230-240 per day. Free dining is definitely the better deal for us. However, we usually travel with my parents. For them, the room discount is a better deal because they don't eat a lot and would be content eating counter service which wouldn't run them $60 for the day.

Everyone needs to figure out what works best for their family and situation. When my kids were little and all of them ate kids meals, our meals for the day were reasonable. Now that two of them eat adult meals (usually eating more than I do!), meals have become really expensive!
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:32 PM   #1985
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Yes, they usually have simultaneous room only discounts out when free dining is going on.
That's great to know, thanks! 30% off would be great!! At least that's what I'm hoping for
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:33 PM   #1986
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Okay

So this is the way we look at it. Yes free dining would save us a lot of money. This is why. If there was no free dining we probably would not get the dining plan (I have a child that isn't 3 yet and he eats a lot). We could probably scrimp and watch what we were eating and save money that way. But we would still be paying at least $700 for food for 8 days at Disney. (That is just an educated guess) If we get free dining we will have some stipulations in our orders but we don't have to get the cheapest thing on the menu every time, share meals, and pack snacks. I've never seen another discount that would save us that amount of money. And this way my 2 year old can just eat off of our plates. And I'll say it again. Some of us have a specific amount we can spent and thats it. If there is not free dining we can't afford to go. Now we can probably save a little longer and go next year, but not this year.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:49 PM   #1987
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I can see how fd can save a family of four over a room discount but some say that it saves them over 2000.00 dollars over the course of a 8 day trip. Are people taking the amount disney charges for there dining plan and multiplying it by the amount of days they will be there ? I remember going to disney back in the day before fd when you went to one character breakfast during your trip and paid out of pocket for the rest of your meals and we did not even come close to 2000.00 dollars. I'm going with my 15 year old son in November and I probably won't spend any more than 500.00 dollars and we will be doing a couple of sit down meals and the dessert party
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:51 PM   #1988
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That's great to know, thanks! 30% off would be great!! At least that's what I'm hoping for
It's usually 30% at value resorts, 20% at moderates and 15% at values, but can depend on the resort also. Some deluxes could only get 20% or a particular value resort might only get 10%, it will depend on the occupancy rare and how many room they need to fill for a particular time frame.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:55 PM   #1989
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I can see how fd can save a family of four over a room discount but some say that it saves them over 2000.00 dollars over the course of a 8 day trip. Are people taking the amount disney charges for there dining plan and multiplying it by the amount of days they will be there ? I remember going to disney back in the day before fd when you went to one character breakfast during your trip and paid out of pocket for the rest of your meals and we did not even come close to 2000.00 dollars. I'm going with my 15 year old son in November and I probably won't spend any more than 500.00 dollars and we will be doing a couple of sit down meals and the dessert party
Well I for one eat well on my vacations. For me, eating is a big part of the trip. So yes free dining very much is saving what I would pay for the dining plan or pay out of pocket for the meals. In fact when I go on the dining plan I still many times order an appetizer. I love to have unique food and desserts and vacations are one of few times I treat myself to this. Last trip was around eight days for two people and I would have spent around a thousand dollars had I paid for the food. I kept track of the receipts and how much the bill was for each meal just as a test.

If you enjoy the fast food and no splurging on meals then a room discount is more your speed.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:59 PM   #1990
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babydoll65
I can see how fd can save a family of four over a room discount but some say that it saves them over 2000.00 dollars over the course of a 8 day trip. Are people taking the amount disney charges for there dining plan and multiplying it by the amount of days they will be there ? I remember going to disney back in the day before fd when you went to one character breakfast during your trip and paid out of pocket for the rest of your meals and we did not even come close to 2000.00 dollars. I'm going with my 15 year old son in November and I probably won't spend any more than 500.00 dollars and we will be doing a couple of sit down meals and the dessert party
Party of 8...almost $3000 savings! Yes we will do a few character meals...some seafood dinners...all the meals that we wouldn't do if we paid OOP. That is the point of vacation to me...doing what we normally wouldn't do. Having a large family we don't dine out very much. The DDP lets us get spoiled and not have to worry. If FD comes out we will have 7 adults, 1 child, 2 rooms at POR for 7 nights, 8 day base tickets, meals inluded for around $5500. That to me is great deal. We are booked full price right now for the exact same package and its over $8000.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:19 PM   #1991
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I can see how fd can save a family of four over a room discount but some say that it saves them over 2000.00 dollars over the course of a 8 day trip. Are people taking the amount disney charges for there dining plan and multiplying it by the amount of days they will be there ? I remember going to disney back in the day before fd when you went to one character breakfast during your trip and paid out of pocket for the rest of your meals and we did not even come close to 2000.00 dollars. I'm going with my 15 year old son in November and I probably won't spend any more than 500.00 dollars and we will be doing a couple of sit down meals and the dessert party
A room only discount saves us $240. A free dining discount saves us $1500. If I could somehow come up with a way to feed my family at Disney for 8 days for less then $240, I would. I guess we could eat PB&Js the entire time and might come in under $240, but I doubt it. With free dining we get to eat at all of our favorite Disney restaurants and character meals, which is a big part of the whole magical vacation for us, and still have a fairly economical vacation.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:38 PM   #1992
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Originally Posted by babydoll65 View Post
I can see how fd can save a family of four over a room discount but some say that it saves them over 2000.00 dollars over the course of a 8 day trip. Are people taking the amount disney charges for there dining plan and multiplying it by the amount of days they will be there ? I remember going to disney back in the day before fd when you went to one character breakfast during your trip and paid out of pocket for the rest of your meals and we did not even come close to 2000.00 dollars. I'm going with my 15 year old son in November and I probably won't spend any more than 500.00 dollars and we will be doing a couple of sit down meals and the dessert party
Yes, you are exactly right. We are determining how much FD saves us by taking the cost of DDP for each person in party and multiplying it by # of nights staying. Savings can be substantial and that is why FD is such a big deal. And another valid point you made is why many people decide not to purchase DDP. Many decide they do not eat/want that much food and it can be cheaper to pay OOP versus purchasing DDP.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:48 PM   #1993
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I can't pay for myself, my daughter and my mom for $500 even $750. I wasn't raised eating fast food. I honestly don't even eat it at home. It's a sacrifice to eat the one counter service meal. I've got to have a sit down meal. I've priced it and with tips total etc. I can't spend less than $600 pp, not including alcohol.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:55 PM   #1994
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With a second child becoming a Disney adult right before vacation, I thought long and hard and ran all kinds of #'s trying to decide to add DDP to package or not. Because we love the dining experiences, especially character meals and places like 'Ohana, we would NOT be losing money purchasing DDP. More like breaking even and with the convenience the DDP offers, we added it to our package. With FD, we would save over $1400 for 4 Disney adults and 1 Disney child. A room and ticket discount of 15% for 6 nights at AOA Finding Nemo Suite, will save us $540. A RO discount even less.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:11 PM   #1995
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As it turns out, Disney is going to make an announcement Thursday (April 25) regarding a summer event involving Monsters Inc which will include another 24 hour party at Magic Kingdom on May 24. Not exactly the announcement we wanted to hear on that date, but if anyone will be there during that time, it could be exciting.
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