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Old 12-27-2012, 09:06 AM   #526
natebenma
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Originally Posted by sea nymph View Post
Nice report Ninja!
We are staying at the Beach Club and are waivering on whether to stay on the club level or do the deluxe dining package in a standard room?


When is your trip?



We did the Deluxe Dining plan on one of our trips and it was WAY too much food. My family really loves to eat, so I didn't think it would be an issue, but it was!

However if you are planning several signature meals, the DxDP makes more sense.

Club Level with the regular dining plan fits my family's style perfectly- an early breakfast in the lounge before hitting the parks for rope drop (usually the early opening park), then an early quick serve lunch before the crowds get hungry, then an early dinner somewhere. The only problem with this schedule is that we don't have much time to enjoy the appetizers in the lounge.

Good luck with your decision, and let us all know if we can answer any questions for you.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:27 AM   #527
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When we stayed CL at BC we had the regular DDP and found we missed out on the lounge Appies & desserts too. So when we stayed CL at AKL last August we went without DDP. Had breakfast in lounge, usually a TS lunch, then grazed in the lounge for evening Appies and dessert. That was enough food for us. We thought if we were still hungry we could go out or down to Mara to grab a bite but we never were.
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Aug 2003 WDW Marriott Courtyard, [B]Aug 2005 [/BSeaWorld, Universal, Busch Gardens Hilton Garden Inn, ]Aug 2007 WDW CBR, Jan 2008WDW WL, Aug 2008St. Pete Beach, Universal-HRH, Sea Workd & Aquatica- Hyatt Place & Doubletree, Jan 2009WDW AKL, Aug 2009Key West Sheraton Suites, Cocoa Beach Hampton Inn, & WDW POR/WL, Jan 2010WDW Poly, Jan 2011WDW POR, Aug 2011WDW POR/BC CL, Jan 2012WDW WL, Aug 2012AKL CL, Jan. 2013POFQ Aug. 2013 WDW Pop, GF, YC Jan 2014POR

Next trip August 20-Sept 3 2014 GF & GF CL
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:29 AM   #528
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Well Dee, you can finally add BC/Garden View room to my BOG date!!! Finally booked our reservations And with a nice discount I might add!!!!
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:47 AM   #529
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Ninja TR

Great update. I have to admit I really got addicted to the potato chips in the lounge.. And my daughter loved the Salt Water Taffy they always have in a bowl at the desk. The wonderful CL staff noticed how much she liked it and when we had to leave (yes, those drag marks you may have noticed were mine) they gave her a big bag of the taffy to take with her!
The CL staff are wonderful. can't say it enough.
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Aug 2003 WDW Marriott Courtyard, [B]Aug 2005 [/BSeaWorld, Universal, Busch Gardens Hilton Garden Inn, ]Aug 2007 WDW CBR, Jan 2008WDW WL, Aug 2008St. Pete Beach, Universal-HRH, Sea Workd & Aquatica- Hyatt Place & Doubletree, Jan 2009WDW AKL, Aug 2009Key West Sheraton Suites, Cocoa Beach Hampton Inn, & WDW POR/WL, Jan 2010WDW Poly, Jan 2011WDW POR, Aug 2011WDW POR/BC CL, Jan 2012WDW WL, Aug 2012AKL CL, Jan. 2013POFQ Aug. 2013 WDW Pop, GF, YC Jan 2014POR

Next trip August 20-Sept 3 2014 GF & GF CL
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:10 AM   #530
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Love the trip report! I can't wait until everything is finalized for our trip! Thanks for all the great details on CL
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:15 AM   #531
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A couple more pictures of Lily enjoying Christmas at the World- yesterday was a visit to Hollywood Studios to see the Osborne Lights and have a light snack at 50's Prime Time:






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Old 12-27-2012, 10:18 AM   #532
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great pics!
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Aug 2003 WDW Marriott Courtyard, [B]Aug 2005 [/BSeaWorld, Universal, Busch Gardens Hilton Garden Inn, ]Aug 2007 WDW CBR, Jan 2008WDW WL, Aug 2008St. Pete Beach, Universal-HRH, Sea Workd & Aquatica- Hyatt Place & Doubletree, Jan 2009WDW AKL, Aug 2009Key West Sheraton Suites, Cocoa Beach Hampton Inn, & WDW POR/WL, Jan 2010WDW Poly, Jan 2011WDW POR, Aug 2011WDW POR/BC CL, Jan 2012WDW WL, Aug 2012AKL CL, Jan. 2013POFQ Aug. 2013 WDW Pop, GF, YC Jan 2014POR

Next trip August 20-Sept 3 2014 GF & GF CL
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:25 AM   #533
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I am so torn over whether to upgrade from my GV room at YC to CL instead. We had an amazing time at WL CL in July, and that has been our only CL experience to date. My biggest worry is about the evening offerings...are they too "sea-foody"...??? I love seafood, but the rest of my family is not as enthusiastic about it. From the pictures though, it looks like there is some chicken, etc...are there enough non-seafood items?
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JUL 1985 OFFSITE • JUL 1989 OFFSITE • MAR 2000 ASMO • SEP 2000 ASMU • SEP 2002 ASSP • NOV 2009 POP • FEB 2011 CBR • JUL 2012 WL CL • APR 2013 YC CL • SEP 2013 POFQ
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:26 AM   #534
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Originally Posted by ocalla View Post
Well Dee, you can finally add BC/Garden View room to my BOG date!!! Finally booked our reservations And with a nice discount I might add!!!!
Done!
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:41 AM   #535
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sea nymph View Post
Nice report Ninja!
We are staying at the Beach Club and are waivering on whether to stay on the club level or do the deluxe dining package in a standard room?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue M View Post
When we stayed CL at BC we had the regular DDP and found we missed out on the lounge Appies & desserts too. So when we stayed CL at AKL last August we went without DDP. Had breakfast in lounge, usually a TS lunch, then grazed in the lounge for evening Appies and dessert. That was enough food for us. We thought if we were still hungry we could go out or down to Market Place to grab a bite but we never were.
I totally agree with Sue! Remember, staying at Club level means you get a Continental breakfast, small snacks during the day like chips or trail mix,. At dinner time appetizers like chicken skewers or Chinese dumplings, olive salad or a cheese selection and other types of appies are put out. Then at 8 they put out desserts and cookies along with cordials and other alcoholic beverages. This is accompanied all day by things like bottled water, soda, wine, beer and juices, coffees and teas! The mere fact that you could dash up to the lounge, fill up a plate and eat it in the lounge or take it back to your room meant a level of convenience and relaxation that couldn't be beat. It was great to get off of the restaurant reservation treadmill and kick back and relax with some really great food. With all the time we saved not traipsing off 2 hours early to a dining reservation it was easy to justify hanging around the resort for more relaxation time while waiting for the magical food to appear.

After staying at Club level, we realized the ideal plan from a convenience and money saving stand point was to plan out a table service meal at lunch time (saving money with the lunch pricing!) and hit the lounge for breakfast and appetizers with the supplement of a counter service meal at dinner, IF we needed it. My guys have sweet fangs so they continually opted to wait for the desserts after the appetizers and not eat a counter service dinner. Somewhere in a Florida swamp the Pillsbury Dough boy is shaking with fear at the thought that my boys might still be chowing down on all those club level cookies and brownies! The other thing I really enjoyed was that nobody was ordering a dinner that would go mostly uneaten because they were still full from lunch!


An other way to save money is to combine staying at Club Level with the use of Tables In Wonderland. Since this is the year we went for annual passes (hence the multitude of trips! ) we decided to go for a Tables in Wonderland card. In case you didn't know, Tables in Wonderland is a dining discount program for eligible Florida Residents, Disney Vacation Club members and Annual Passholders 21 and older, good for 20 percent off food and beverage at a number of Walt Disney World Resort hotel and theme park restaurants and lounges. The discount is good for up to 10 guests in your party. Only one person in the family needs to have a card, which costs about a $100 dollars.

Keep in mind that the Tables in Wonderland (TIW) card is only good at TABLE service restaurants BUT it is also GOOD AT THE RESORT FOOD COURTS!!!

Although not valid at the BC Marketplace it does work at Beaches & Cream Soda Shop (eat-in only), Cape May Cafe, and Martha's Vineyard Lounge. We scored a 20% discount on our lunch and drinks at Martha's on the first day of our BC stay. For the Yacht Club it works at Ale and Compass Lounge,Captain's Grille, Crew's Cup Lounge and the Yachtsman Steakhouse.

Here is a link explaining just about everything you need to know about TIW http://allears.net/din/dde.htm

There are also other discounts associated with this card so check out that link!

For this trip the ORIGINAL plan was to save money on dining by, as we call it, "Counter Service Surfing" and biting the bullet and drinking that wonderful Florida tap water supplemented by Mio and Crystal light flavorings. We also had access to the refillable mug plan but that is a dark and tawdry detail best not discussed here . We had also planned to hoof it over to the mini-mart located behind the Boardwalk hotel with a pack of teenage muscle men and some rolling suitcases to load up on breakfast items and Beer for DH. When we got upgraded to Club Level that plan evaporated, saving us much needed relaxation time and a ton of teenage whining!

We knew we'd benefit from the TIW card for the occasional table service meal we had booked. One of the things I was determined to do was ask, every time I got my wallet out, if the merchant accepted either my TIW discount or my Annual Pass discount. Even if I was sure I knew the answer ahead of time I asked anyway and I was pleasantly surprised when on our first day at Pop they took the TIW discount off of our food court meal! SCORE!

After we got home my husband and I were talking about Club level and ALL the MONEY it SAVED. He asked me to estimate what we would have spent out of pocket for breakfast every day, water and snacks for our family. He then compared that to what we would have spent paying for the upgrade to club level. When you combine a resort rate discount percentage of around 30% you will hit the break even point financially. However if you factor in the convenience and ease of staying club level and not having to pay for the Alcohol provided at Club Level you pretty much come to the conclusion that it is totally worth it. My husband is notoriously tight with money so I was surprised when he said that he would definitely consider booking that category for our next deluxe stay.

Years ago we decided to splurge and go for the Deluxe Dining plan (DDP). I never thought with 4 males in the family that could pack away the food that it would be too much but it was. I think the DDP would be good if you could use it strategically, primarily booking the 2 table service credits restaurant meals. Even using this plan it can be wearing not to mention time consuming for stays of more than a couple of days. Also the fancy 2 table service credit restaurants are not kid friendly at all.

For this trip we wanted to minimize the time and money spent at restaurants. We knew there would be plenty of dining options staying at an EPCOT area resort. We figured we would just supplement our table services with counter service meals or snacks paid for out of pocket. Paying Disney Park prices for food items can really add up. Having club level access to treats really made a dent in that Disney Parks food cost!

I realize I am starting to sound like a commercial for staying at Club Level but experiencing it really opened our eyes to a whole new level of convenience and a viable financial alternative to the high cost of Disney dining.

~NM
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:57 AM   #536
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mousemommy1 View Post
I am so torn over whether to upgrade from my GV room at YC to CL instead. We had an amazing time at WL CL in July, and that has been our only CL experience to date. My biggest worry is about the evening offerings...are they too "sea-foody"...??? I love seafood, but the rest of my family is not as enthusiastic about it. From the pictures though, it looks like there is some chicken, etc...are there enough non-seafood items?
I think the only seafoody thing I saw was Conch fritters one night. I don't think that the club level offerings were seafood oriented at all. They also had rolls and peanut butter and jelly out. This was a real kid friendly option and a favorite of the 1 picky eater in our family.

Remember there are only 2 or 3 feature appetizers each night (Example: chicken skewers/ conch fritters/ dumplings) and they change that offering each day. I think I saw little cups of either tomato salsa or gazpacho one night. With 5 varied eaters in my family each of us found something we loved every night so I think they did a nice job with the selection. Also remember to talk to the Club Level Staff to see if they can help you out with any food concerns. The secret to Club Level Satisfaction is TO ASK the Staff!

~NM
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:23 PM   #537
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Tiw

We had the TIW card too, split the cost of $75 with AP discount ( at the time, has since gone up) with girlfriend I travel with! It worked out rather well for our TS lunches.

Next stop POFQ soon! I'm going to start packing next week
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Aug 2003 WDW Marriott Courtyard, [B]Aug 2005 [/BSeaWorld, Universal, Busch Gardens Hilton Garden Inn, ]Aug 2007 WDW CBR, Jan 2008WDW WL, Aug 2008St. Pete Beach, Universal-HRH, Sea Workd & Aquatica- Hyatt Place & Doubletree, Jan 2009WDW AKL, Aug 2009Key West Sheraton Suites, Cocoa Beach Hampton Inn, & WDW POR/WL, Jan 2010WDW Poly, Jan 2011WDW POR, Aug 2011WDW POR/BC CL, Jan 2012WDW WL, Aug 2012AKL CL, Jan. 2013POFQ Aug. 2013 WDW Pop, GF, YC Jan 2014POR

Next trip August 20-Sept 3 2014 GF & GF CL
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:54 PM   #538
sea nymph
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Ninja,
Very good information!
It's making me reconsider my plans and as first timers, it's hard to decide!
This is how we are currently set-up:
2 adults - 3 kids (6-9 years)
Beach Club with Deluxe Dining Plan staying 7 days
Have 9 ADR's made with 4 of them Character Meals (2 breakfast, 2 dinner)
Reservations at:
Cape May Cafe (2)
Cinderella Royal
Akershus
Yachtsman
Brown Derby
Narcoossee
Ohana
Tusker House

Thinking of switching to Package Plus Dining and adding Club Level, but that doesn't give us enough Table Service Dining with Package plus?
Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:28 PM   #539
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Originally Posted by sea nymph View Post
Ninja,
Very good information!
It's making me reconsider my plans and as first timers, it's hard to decide!
This is how we are currently set-up:
2 adults - 3 kids (6-9 years)
Beach Club with Deluxe Dining Plan staying 7 days
Have 9 ADR's made with 4 of them Character Meals (2 breakfast, 2 dinner)
Reservations at:
Cape May Cafe (2)
Cinderella Royal
Akershus
Yachtsman
Brown Derby
Narcoossee
Ohana
Tusker House

Thinking of switching to Package Plus Dining and adding Club Level, but that doesn't give us enough Table Service Dining with Package plus?
Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
Jeanne and Lily are out playing in the sun. It's in the 50's but glorious sunny!!! It feels about 70.

Lots of your ADRs are using 2 credits. Alot of people would disagree with me I'm sure but 1 credit can buy you a super nice steak dinner at a bunch of different restaurants worth around $45 total. So, is Narcoossee's, the Brown Derby and Cindy's Table worth $90 per person??? Not in my head. For the restaurants that take two credits, I personally think if you want to eat there, pay for them. Also, a character breakfast is definitely not something worth $40-45 (the value of one credit). You should pay for that out of your pocket. So, I think the plain old dining plan is a much better value and for those times you want to eat at a "2er", I think paying for it will save you money in the long run. Also, on the dining plan, you are forced to eat soooo much. If you were paying for it yourself, would you really order dessert every meal for every person. Doubt it. I love the regular dining plan IF (and that's a big IF) you use it correctly and smartly. You can really save 20-25%.

There's a website out there that has most of the prices listed for the restaurants. Go to them and figure out what you would order if you were eating there WITHOUT the dining plan. Remember, you probably won't order dessert for everyone at every meal. Don't add tips since they are not included in the plan anyway. Then do a grand total. Then figure out what the deluxe dining plan will cost you and see if it saves or costs you money. Honestly, if you are true to yourself and really look at the menus and figure out what you would order if you were NOT on the plan, I think you might see that you are going to lose money with the plan.

NM ... you've done it both ways. You know the cost of most of their restaurants. Your opinion???

My vote is no dining plan at all, club level for sure and get Tables in Wonderland if you can figure out how to get it since you have to be an annual passholder, a Florida resident and some other restrictions are there.
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:39 PM   #540
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Hello,

I was wondering if I could get some info. regarding BC rooms. I am currently booked at the BWI standard CL for January. But, after bookiing I was informed that the main pool will be closed and the two quiet pools will be available. I decided to change resorts. It just feels like if I'm paying deluxe rates that the main pool/bar area being closed is not the best value for the $.

I've stayed at the BC standard CL room a couple years ago. Although, CL is always nice I was not entirely sold on the BC CL but I want to try and keep the cost the same as my current reservation to make things simplier. So, if I book BC CL room with lagoon view, will this room have a full balcony (I will add that a balcony is important to me. I like to spend as much time on it while in the room). I might also be interested in a lagoon view first floor with a patio. Are these rooms hard to get and are many blocked by bushes, etc.?

We will be in Disney beginning January 17th, so not much time to make a decision. I called this morning and there are rooms available right now.


Any information is appreciated
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