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Old 12-18-2012, 08:39 PM   #1
JennaDeeDooDah
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Disney needs more dining plan options

My family and I were all discussing this on our last trip. The plus dining option seems to work for a lot of people, but there are others out there who really seem like they would benefit from a plan that has 2 counter service meals and 1 table service. Another good one would be 3 counter service meals. I have no idea who is able to eat all of the food on the deluxe plan, but I'm sure they are out there. Maybe a plan where you can have 2 table service plans instead of 3. Also, having the option to choose an appetizer OR a dessert, rather than just having the dessert option would be nice. Anyone agree, disagree, or have other option ideas?
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:41 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by JennaDeeDooDah View Post
My family and I were all discussing this on our last trip. The plus dining option seems to work for a lot of people, but there are others out there who really seem like they would benefit from a plan that has 2 counter service meals and 1 table service. Another good one would be 3 counter service meals. I have no idea who is able to eat all of the food on the deluxe plan, but I'm sure they are out there. Maybe a plan where you can have 2 table service plans instead of 3. Also, having the option to choose an appetizer OR a dessert, rather than just having the dessert option would be nice. Anyone agree, disagree, or have other option ideas?
The dining plan is a way for Disney to make money. Not to benefit the guest.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:57 PM   #3
JennaDeeDooDah
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The dining plan is a way for Disney to make money. Not to benefit the guest.
Well sure, but then you get guests like my husband and me who don't really see any of these dining options as right for us, so we just don't get one. Seems to me, if they would have some more options, more people would end up getting them.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:05 PM   #4
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If people are given too many options they won't read any of them because it looks overwhelming. A plans makes it much easier for people to comprehend and choose.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:19 PM   #5
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We used to use the dining plans all the time, like 15 visits or so ...but whether we used the regular dining plan or the deluxe, it never quite fit. We either were getting too much food, or not enough, or the wrong types (entrees when we really just wanted apps, for example)

Soooo...we now have found the ultimate dining plan: just pay cash. Order exactly what you want, when you want. Skip meals, or have 4 a day. Nothing but snacks all day? Sure, no problem. And never spend a dime on food you don't want just to get your money's worth.

We've done our last 3 trips as cash for food, and LOVING it. We still eat at all the same restaurants, but now we're getting 2 apps & 1 dessert...or no dessert and get a snack later at a bakery or back at the resort.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JennaDeeDooDah View Post
Well sure, but then you get guests like my husband and me who don't really see any of these dining options as right for us, so we just don't get one. Seems to me, if they would have some more options, more people would end up getting them.
Ahh...but that's the catch! If you don't go on a dining plan, than you wind up paying OOP which could cost you more!!
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:45 PM   #7
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You have some good ideas! I think there should be another option or two to fit more people's style. I don't like getting a dessert with each meal. I would rather have just the meals for the quick service meal, and an extra snack credit. So 2 QS credits and 2 snacks but no desserts - then you can use a snack credit for a dessert later (or then if you wanted). I also would like the flexibility of having either a dessert or appetizer...then I guess in our family half the people would get one and half the other, and share. Maybe that's why they don't do it so you'll actually buy the appetizer.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:49 PM   #8
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Ahh...but that's the catch! If you don't go on a dining plan, than you wind up paying OOP which could cost you more!!
If you couldn't tell, could is the key word. I have found, particularly with this year's price increase, it's become very hard to actually save money with the Dining Plans. You're giving up a lot of flexibility and choices to save money. Recently, I did a rundown of the quick-service plan and was shocked by my own results.

http://www.disneyparksplanning.com/qsdiningplan.htm

Saving just over $9 per person seems to be a small amount of money for eating a really, really small breakfast and tying yourself into eating at those particular restaurants.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:01 PM   #9
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The dining plans work better for us than OOP. Why? Because my husband, who isn't the world's greatest Disney fan anyway, gets enraged at the prices every time he has to pull out his wallet. He complains during the meals and ruins it for everybody. I've found it is much simpler to pay for the dining plan (or better yet go during Free Dining) and enjoy our meals in peace. Another type of plan might be a good thing. We never use all our snack credits anyway.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:10 PM   #10
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The dining plans work better for us than OOP. Why? Because my husband, who isn't the world's greatest Disney fan anyway, gets enraged at the prices every time he has to pull out his wallet. He complains during the meals and ruins it for everybody. I've found it is much simpler to pay for the dining plan (or better yet go during Free Dining) and enjoy our meals in peace. Another type of plan might be a good thing. We never use all our snack credits anyway.
Sounds a lot like my grandmother when we dined at Akershus last week. We had free dining starting Monday, but we had Akershus reservations booked for Sunday for months. We decided that rather than cancel, we would just pay out of pocket. I explained the situation to my grandmother long before we ever left just in case she wanted to cancel. She insisted that she didn't and that she loved the idea of dining with the princesses. So we get there, take our photo with Belle, and are then shown to our table. She notices that there are no prices listed on the menu. Once again, I explain how the meal works, that it is all one price, she has an all-you-can-eat appetizer bar, chooses her entree, and that desserts are served family style. She tells me that she just wants a dessert. I try and go over how the restaurant works again and that you can't purchase the stuff ala carte. Again, she tells me that she just wants a dessert. Losing my patience, I tell her that she is free to only eat dessert, but that she will be paying $50 for that one dessert (again, I had told her about the meal and the cost multiple times before we ever left). "You mean it costs $50 to eat here? Is that per person?" I tell her that yes, it does cost that and that yes, that is per person. "Well let's just leave", she says to me. She folds up her menu and stands up. My mother had to explain to her that we were going to be charged for her at this point because we had already taken our photo. That made her sit back down. Ironically enough, she told me at the end of our trip that that was her favorite meal.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:19 PM   #11
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I don't care if it doesn't save me money on the dining plan, I use it anyway because I am TERRIBLE at budgeting money and I don't want the hassle of it all when I'm on vacation. I'd rather pay it ahead of time. That's why I'm opposed to paying OOP.

As for the dining plan, I love the deluxe because I love so many of the restaurants. We love having two snacks per person too. I think though, that if they had a plan with two meals (whatever kind) and three snacks a day, that'd be ideal for us. My son has autism, and when we were there last month, he would eat nothing but bags of Doritos and food court cupcakes. We blew through our snacks in NO TIME.

I was thinking about that back when we were there, that it'd be nice to have a customize-your-own dining plan. I would love that. But I know it would be more or less impossible to know what to charge people.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:34 PM   #12
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I think the dining plans are great depending on the family, touring style etc. For dh and I the basic dining plan is great. When we go alone, its more about the dining and just vacationing. We aren't planning anything other than that. If we catch a ride we want to ride with a good wait time we ride, if not we don't and we still enjoy our day.

When we went last week with our grandson's though it was different story. The rides were the big deal. Fastpasses and waiting in lines for rides like TSM were the norm. It was hard to have a ADR for somewhere knowing if we got the fast pass it would be useless. They also didn't seem to have a lot of great choices for the kids meals. In the end we ended up leaving with 4 kids meals because we tended to share or pay oop for some things rather than confine them to the plan itself. It didn't work, and both dh and I agreed that it would have been better to just have oop expenses than dining plan prepaid and ADR's made.

I would like to see some choices, but overall understand that until you experience the plan with your particular family and touring style you don't know what is best. I do whole heartedly agree about the app vs dessert. We had to go desserts all week that we didn't eat. But had we been able to choose an app, I think the kids choices would have made better sense as they would have also had the app to eat from.

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Old 12-18-2012, 10:54 PM   #13
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The dining plans work better for us than OOP. Why? Because my husband, who isn't the world's greatest Disney fan anyway, gets enraged at the prices every time he has to pull out his wallet. He complains during the meals and ruins it for everybody. I've found it is much simpler to pay for the dining plan (or better yet go during Free Dining) and enjoy our meals in peace. Another type of plan might be a good thing. We never use all our snack credits anyway.
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:44 AM   #14
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I stopped getting the dining plan. We have no desire to have dessert with every meal and were forcing ourselves to get snacks that we weren't even hungry for much of the time. Now we pay OOP, and just get what we want.
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:59 AM   #15
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If you couldn't tell, could is the key word. I have found, particularly with this year's price increase, it's become very hard to actually save money with the Dining Plans. You're giving up a lot of flexibility and choices to save money. Recently, I did a rundown of the quick-service plan and was shocked by my own results.

http://www.disneyparksplanning.com/qsdiningplan.htm

Saving just over $9 per person seems to be a small amount of money for eating a really, really small breakfast and tying yourself into eating at those particular restaurants.
Which is why I posted "could". We are visiting this January on the SPD plan and found it cost effective for us. Otherwise, we wouldn't bother witht he DDP....
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