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Old 10-10-2012, 09:08 AM   #1
jodeeb
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What Dining Plan Should I get?

We have just made plans to go to WDW from November 16 - 22. I am trying to figure out what Dining Plan we should do if any. We would like to do table service, but do you think there is a chance that we can still get Reservations? I wouldt mind winging it, but dont want to pay for a bunch of table service and not be able to use them. Can you convert them to CS?

Any advise and opinions would be greatly appriciated.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:14 AM   #2
ghtx
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My advice is simple: don't ever get any dining plan.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:17 AM   #3
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If you are paying for the dining plan, and you use your TS meals for CS, then you're pretty much removing the possibility of saving money on the dining plan. While it can be done, you'd need to examine your reasons for buying a dining plan in the first place.

Ideally to save money you would need to commit to a TS meal every day, preferably at dinner (dinners generally cost more). If you love character meals and want to do several, a dining plan can work out. I'd go online right now and see what the availability is at restaurants you might want. If you can book any, book them, then buy the dining plan.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:18 AM   #4
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You can use TS credits at CS but you still paid for TS so you end up wasting money. I'm sure you'll be able to get reservations at places but maybe not your first choice this late in the game.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:26 AM   #5
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Like a PP said, I would look online for availability, and book anything that looks good before I bought the plan. We are going during that time frame, and I know I've still got an extra ADR or two lying around that I will cancel before we leave. I'm sure there are others in my same position. If you have time to stalk dining reservations online, you may end up with something decent. I think you can wait until just a few days before you leave (maybe 3 days??-- not sure, hopefully someone else will jump in) to add the dining plan, so stalk the online reservations for a week or two, and if you feel like you have enough ressies to make it worth while, then buy the dining plan. --Katie
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:39 AM   #6
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I suggest you look at what might be available since your trip is close, and also check out menus to see pricing. For our family, we've found that the DDP doesn't really work out to be a money saver, convenient yes but not necessarily saving money. Last trip we budgeted the same amount the QSDP would cost us, put that on a gift card, and we ate TS as well for the same budget. Each family is different as far as dining styles, so compare prices and make the decision based on what is best for your family.

Enjoy your vacation!
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:53 AM   #7
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You really have to check to see if anything is available and then do the math to see if works for your family.

Realize that your DD 9 will only have the options of kids meals and your DD14 will only have the choice of adult meals.

Things to look at are like do you always have dessert with every meal. Also will you feel you have to get your money's worth so you would order something you don't normally eat. Like you must get the more expensive steak even though you really only wanted the salad.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:56 AM   #8
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You can make dining reservations now, I'd suggest it. If you can't get the TS meals you'll be happy with for your stay, you can decide from there.

Generally though, you don't want to be using your TS credits for QS.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghtx View Post
My advice is simple: don't ever get any dining plan.
I like your advice. We are on the same bandwagon!
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chartle View Post
Realize that your DD 9 will only have the options of kids meals and your DD14 will only have the choice of adult meals.
True that the 9-yr-old will have to order from the kids menu. The 14-yr-old will be charged for an "adult" dining plan but most restaurants will allow her to order from the kids menu if she prefers that food, though it will still "cost" an adult TS credit. Not cost-effective if you are paying for the dining plan.

And as other stated, not cost-effective to waste a TS credit by getting a CS meal, though it may be allowed.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghtx View Post
My advice is simple: don't ever get any dining plan.
I agree!

We did the dining plan a few years and it was SO MUCH food that you feel obligated to eat because you've already paid for it all...by the end of our trip we felt horrible.

I thought the dining plan was a good deal back when tax and gratuity were included...but they have since done away with that...and raised the prices.

We found it's better for us to go with no plan....eat when we're actually hungry...and eat wherever we want when we are. We would still do a TS everyday....sometimes twice a day....but not being on a plan gave us the option of ordering just one entree to share...or multiple appetizers instead of an entree....we felt so much better at the end of our trip and really didn't spend anymore than we would if we got the plan.

Now, if you can score Free Dining then that's a no brainer.

Hope this helps!
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:22 AM   #12
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Tax is still included in the dining plan. There is always the QS option. We liked that and used it to also cover breakfast by ordering three meals instead of four at each meal and then two adult breakfast platters to split. It was perfect. We also didn't really eat burger and fries ever - something I was afraid would be the only options on QS.

Cookes of Dublin and Wolf Gang Puck are two of our favorites when doing QS dining.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:39 AM   #13
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My mistake about the tax...sorry about that!

Is that something they brought back? I would have sworn a few years ago that tax wasn't included....

Hope I didn't confuse anyone!
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:39 AM   #14
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In general, I don't like the dining plan either.
But particularly at this juncture, the stress over getting desirable ADR's is not worth any potential savings.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:45 AM   #15
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We've only ever paid tip. I guess I could be wrong - we haven't used dining since august 2011 -maybe they added it?
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