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Old 09-05-2012, 12:27 PM   #1
sweetdana
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TO dining plan or not..

I have a hard time with Char meals.. I always to DP or DDP due to I cannot justify a 110$ bill at a Char buffet.. but somehow a 700$ bill I paid for 3 months ago.. is a vacation expence and is okay .. ..

.. anyway I have a new DD who will be 1 at her 1st trip.. if I do DP or DDP I will have 1-2 sit downs every day .. if I skip it.. I would assume we would end up with only maybe 3 through whole trip. .. and instead waiting in lines for Char on Spring break. I like DP due a huge part to .. I can meet all characters without lines.. Princesses, Mickey, Winnie to Pooh ect.. then we only wait for 1-2 every 2-3 days instead of spending an hour waiting to see Tigger..

Is a 1 yr old capable of doing sit down char meals, at say 1 -2 a day? .. I also have a DD7, who is pretty well behavied and she is great. truly enjoy the sit down break with air conditioning.

(I could do TIW I will have AP, but I know I will end up cancelling most of the ADRs 2 days out and saying screw it.. I am not paying that much $$ for the 1900 affair, and end up eating a terrible burger at Sunshine instead.. )
Thoughts?
Do the DP or DDP... and just enjoy it.. or there is zero chance you will enjoy the DP as the 1 yr old will not sit still.
... she is curently only 5 months old, so it is hard to tell her personality yet.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:36 PM   #2
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Unfortunately, I think you're stuck between a rock and a hard place. Your little one is too young right now to know how she's going to be at 1, and you can't really base what your experience will be on other peoples experience with their little ones, because kids are SO different. When my oldest was 1, we could take him anywhere, he was so laid back and go with the flow, he was awesome in restaurants. My youngest, hated being around people at 1, and we couldn't take him anywhere, he screamed bloody murder in restaurants. We would never have been able to take that child to Disney at all at that age. If I was in your position, I think I would do the DP, make reservations for a few sit downs, then see what happens and cancel the ADR's if you need to.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:53 PM   #3
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I say go for the dining plan. You'll enjoy the character meals and less standing in line. It doesn't really matter if she remembers or not just think of all the good pictures you'll get with DD and the characters. I would do the standard DP with 1 TS meal that way you won't have to stick to a strict schedule.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:01 PM   #4
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The dining plan sounds like the way to go for you. I love the plan. I too have a huge problem thinking those prices when we eat at Disney ...especially a character breakfast. On the dining plan we prepay as a vacation expense & thus we enjoy getting to eat without price watching. We always come out ahead on the dining plan..we order whatever we wish & love it.

Also, if you want to see Tigger & Pooh...go to Epcot at the United Kingdom bldg. We go see them there every year & there is never a wait...I think most folks don't know they are there.

And last year the Mickey line beside Tony's restaurant averaged a 5 minute wait when we were there at lunch so we waited it that line too.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:18 PM   #5
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Ok, I will be the disagree-r. I would do TIW. 20% off, DDP you would still need to tip, so that is a wash. However, if your daughter doesn't like the characters & won't sit through a meal, you still have options & it is not costing what you paid for DP. I find for our family of 4, we pay MUCH less OOP with TIW, than we would with DP. When we went to character meal with DS at age 1, he was not too into the characters at all, was pretty disappointing. At 18months, screamed like nobody's business when he was there & character came near. 2&1/2 he LOVED the characters. TIW let's you use discount at a wide variety of places, some food court-y which is a great option with a 1yo, but not so great for DP value. Wolf gang Puck Express & Saratoga Springs have higher end TIW offerings. Just think it is more flexibility, also get the discount on alcohol, at least you used too......
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagicalMawMaw View Post
The dining plan sounds like the way to go for you. I love the plan. I too have a huge problem thinking those prices when we eat at Disney ...especially a character breakfast. On the dining plan we prepay as a vacation expense & thus we enjoy getting to eat without price watching. We always come out ahead on the dining plan..we order whatever we wish & love it.

Also, if you want to see Tigger & Pooh...go to Epcot at the United Kingdom bldg. We go see them there every year & there is never a wait...I think most folks don't know they are there.

And last year the Mickey line beside Tony's restaurant averaged a 5 minute wait when we were there at lunch so we waited it that line too.
I am so glad I am not the only moron who somehow.. upfront is different than.. the bill on the spot..
We have seen Tigger n pooh in UK, and would do CP if we DP or DDP..
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:52 PM   #7
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Have you considered the idea that goes around here of putting money on a Disney Gift Card for buying food while in the parks?
I know it's not quite the same, but you could still mostly ignore the bill. The money would already be gone, and if there's any leftover, you could use it for something else.

Personally, I feel opposite about the Dining Plan. I hate paying ahead of time for a whole bunch of food I'm not sure I will eat. Now that we have a 2 year old, that feeling has intensified. When we took him at 3 months, we did end up canceling a meal, and probably should have cancelled another one. If we had been on the dining plan, I would have felt compelled to keep them, because we "already paid." He slept through a lot of our meals, but I was exhausted.
When the numbers came back for that trip, we saved $100 by not getting the dining plan, and we ordered exactly what we wanted when we wanted it.

For us, I doubt it would be the meal that would be the problem, but everything in general. DS does fine at sit down meals, but there's no guarantee that he would make it to that point at Disney.

Here's a question for you: If you don't think your child will be able to handle sitting at a table eating while waiting for characters, what makes you think the lines for the characters will be anymore pleasant?

I would probably err on the side of the character meals to avoid the lines with or without the dining plan. At least the restaurants are all air conditioned, while the character spots are not always.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsneprincess View Post
Ok, I will be the disagree-r. I would do TIW. 20% off, DDP you would still need to tip, so that is a wash. However, if your daughter doesn't like the characters & won't sit through a meal, you still have options & it is not costing what you paid for DP. I find for our family of 4, we pay MUCH less OOP with TIW, than we would with DP. When we went to character meal with DS at age 1, he was not too into the characters at all, was pretty disappointing. At 18months, screamed like nobody's business when he was there & character came near. 2&1/2 he LOVED the characters. TIW let's you use discount at a wide variety of places, some food court-y which is a great option with a 1yo, but not so great for DP value. Wolf gang Puck Express & Saratoga Springs have higher end TIW offerings. Just think it is more flexibility, also get the discount on alcohol, at least you used too......
hmmmm.. that is kind-a what I thought... but I KNOW myself. I KNOW I will skip a couple I might otherwise splurge on with the DP..
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danceintherain View Post
Have you considered the idea that goes around here of putting money on a Disney Gift Card for buying food while in the parks?
I know it's not quite the same, but you could still mostly ignore the bill. The money would already be gone, and if there's any leftover, you could use it for something else.

Personally, I feel opposite about the Dining Plan. I hate paying ahead of time for a whole bunch of food I'm not sure I will eat. Now that we have a 2 year old, that feeling has intensified. When we took him at 3 months, we did end up canceling a meal, and probably should have cancelled another one. If we had been on the dining plan, I would have felt compelled to keep them, because we "already paid." He slept through a lot of our meals, but I was exhausted.
When the numbers came back for that trip, we saved $100 by not getting the dining plan, and we ordered exactly what we wanted when we wanted it.

For us, I doubt it would be the meal that would be the problem, but everything in general. DS does fine at sit down meals, but there's no guarantee that he would make it to that point at Disney.

Here's a question for you: If you don't think your child will be able to handle sitting at a table eating while waiting for characters, what makes you think the lines for the characters will be anymore pleasant?

I would probably err on the side of the character meals to avoid the lines with or without the dining plan. At least the restaurants are all air conditioned, while the character spots are not always.
I Had not considered the gift card option.. .. but maybe that will help.. If it is already a gift card.. I'd better spend it. ...

and the lines part is why I was REALLLY considering the DP.. as a 15 min sitting on a bench for the CP, waiting for the light to ding is WAYYY EASIER than a 45 min back and forth while DH waits in line and kids wait nearby.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:47 PM   #10
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could try Crystal Palace as Pooh and friends and Tigger to are there and then do counter rest of the day then maybe do Cape May with Goofy and friends as they come around a lot at breakfast only. easy way to get there is if you are at HS then take the boat to Beach Club and Cape May in there then take boat back (before 8 PM if at night) and take a bus back to resort.over to AK have Donalds breakfast at Tusker House and it is very good. when we have little ones with us we like to do the character breakfast as they up early and in good moods (well generally) then do counters as they get hungry. all I have suggested are 1 TS. to us 1900 Park Fare is nice but lud and chef Mickeys is and has been off our list for four years it was just thorrible last two times we there. whenus adults just go we like to do at least three character meals as that what we there for and this trip pne dinner is at Garden Grill with Mickey it is served family style in Epcot and in the land and is also 1 TS and only serve dinner there now. at HS they have Hollywood and Vine with Handy Mandy and they sing and dance and food good. whan I do ours I do where we are going on what days and then do my ADR'S in or close to that park as I do not like running all over the place so understand what you saying. nor park hopping as it waste to much time and just wears ya out and with little kids even more so. IMO
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:38 PM   #11
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could try Crystal Palace as Pooh and friends and Tigger to are there and then do counter rest of the day then maybe do Cape May with Goofy and friends as they come around a lot at breakfast only. easy way to get there is if you are at HS then take the boat to Beach Club and Cape May in there then take boat back (before 8 PM if at night) and take a bus back to resort.over to AK have Donalds breakfast at Tusker House and it is very good. when we have little ones with us we like to do the character breakfast as they up early and in good moods (well generally) then do counters as they get hungry. all I have suggested are 1 TS. to us 1900 Park Fare is nice but lud and chef Mickeys is and has been off our list for four years it was just thorrible last two times we there. whenus adults just go we like to do at least three character meals as that what we there for and this trip pne dinner is at Garden Grill with Mickey it is served family style in Epcot and in the land and is also 1 TS and only serve dinner there now. at HS they have Hollywood and Vine with Handy Mandy and they sing and dance and food good. whan I do ours I do where we are going on what days and then do my ADR'S in or close to that park as I do not like running all over the place so understand what you saying. nor park hopping as it waste to much time and just wears ya out and with little kids even more so. IMO
we are staying at the beach club our favvvvvvvv resort. We are going to Cape May for EASTER BREAKFAST assuming ADR works out. Donalds safari breakfast is a fav too.. the jungle juice is sooo yummy!

Chef M is off our list as well.. 2 times and done..
I LOVE the ambiance of GG but leave hungry

I don't think we are planning any time at HS. Due to even the best ride is ruined with the wait time.
AGREED we do ADR at park we are in .. and RARELY do 2 parks in a day unless 2nd is Epcot after lunch and a swim and then walk over for dinner.


TY for your thoughts.. on the same page.
I am leaning towards DP even to pay almost 1K (9 nights) that is alot of character lines I can skip.. and we would do CP, and Cape May for sure.. I will add the Mickeys BBQ cause DD7 LOVES it. and that will be a great night out. ty all!
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:11 PM   #12
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Just throwing in my $.02 here; when we went to DW, our kiddos were 2 and 6. I spent a lot of time going back and forth on the dining plan and finally decided for it. Then, I spent a lot of time planning where to eat. And WE LOVED IT. Planning ahead meant that I didn't have to try to get somewhere at the last minute. By far, our entire family enjoyed the Breakfastsaurus the most. The food was great and the chars didn't seem in a hurry to leave each table. But, my kiddos enjoyed the breakfast at Cinderella's castle and it was extremely magical for me to walk down a nearly deserted Main St.

We ended up with 3 snacks left, even after I made sure to get a few to take home. I gave my card to someone to use because I had paid for the meals! AND, the look on her face for someone just giving her it for free was worth it.
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