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Old 01-05-2013, 12:18 PM   #1
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Free Dining or Room Discount

DH works for an Airline so we get a interline (40%) discount. For our last couple of trips we have opted for the Free Dining Discount. I've never really done the math. But which is actually the better offer of the two?
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:24 PM   #2
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For us it depends on how many people go. We usually stay moderate. If just DH and I go the room discount is better. If I take all 5 of us the free dining is the better deal.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:33 PM   #3
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Is "interline" discount mean you get 40% off on your room?

There are a lot of factors - what level hotel are you staying in? If you are staying in a deluxe then I would think that that the 40% off on the room would be the better discount. However, that might be offset by the time of season. But I think even in the value season that 40% off a deluxe hotel room would be more of a value than the free dining. Let's assume your hotel room in a deluxe is about $400. This is just a random number because during value seasons the deluxe hotels, depening on the room, can be as low as say $270, but during peak season and room category it could be as high as $500+. I'm using $400 as an example but you'll have to do the math to see what hotel and room category works for you. You can go to the Disney site and price out hotels to figure out your price. But...40% off of a $400 room is $160 in savings a night. That's more of a discount than FD. If you stay at a value though and you're paying $200 a night or less then 40% would only save you $80 a night and then FD would be more of a savings.

What level dining do you want? The basic ddp is $111.18 a night for two adults. It's a little more during peak season but by just a few dollars a night. The deluxe ddp is $199.94 a night for two adults. If you do free dining and want the regular dining plan then you'd save $111.18 a night x's the number of nights you are staying. If you want the deluxe ddp then you'd pay the difference between the two plans and still basically save the $111.18 a night but pay the difference for the deluxe option.

Also, what/how do you like to eat? The FD can be worth it if you eat at character meals and table service for many of the meals and take advantage of the snacks. Otherwise it can be cheaper to pay for meals out of pocket. We are doing the deluxe ddp in January and have a signature restaurant every night and a TS for breakfast or lunch everyday. When I did the math the cost of the dxddp doesn't really save us a ton but it saves enough that it makes it worth it for the extra snacks and the 2% back on our Disney Visa Card in rewards.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:26 PM   #4
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The short answer is there really isn't one. You kind of need to run the math, but 40% is a really good discount.

The price of DDP is $55 for adults much of the year, and I think it's $17 for kids age 3-9. That's also a good estimate of the VALUE of DDP. It maybe saves $5 per person per day, maybe slight higher for kids ages 3-9.
That's for regular Disney dining, at the values, FREE DDP means you'd get the QS dining plan- so far less of a deal.

When I run the math, room discounts usually work out better at deluxes. It's sort of a toss up at mods, and if you pick the right season, then DDP is usually a quite a bit better deal at values - though DIsney doesn't usually run 40% at the values. You should run the numbers! It's not that hard to price the value of DDP VS. what a 40% discount is giving you.

40% is a rather good deal.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:15 AM   #5
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The answer really depends on what resort you book and the type of dining you're interested in. But I can tell you from my experience that when I was a TA and could get 50% off the room, Free Dining was always a better deal for us since we stayed at value or mod and we booked a TS meal for every day of the trip. I think Deluxe would be different.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:48 AM   #6
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If you are getting a 40% off on a $150 room, that's $60, less than free dining. If you are getting 40% off on a $500 room, that's $200 off, which could be more than free dining depending on how many people.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:18 AM   #7
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I would suggest the room discount. When I figured out the Free Dining the only one it would benefit would be our soon-to-be 8 y.o. GD. For us the $55/day did not add up to much of a savings. When you figure the price of even 1 character meal and CS meal a day most came to under the $55....so how would the DP benefit me? I guess like other posters said it would depend on where you're staying and who you're bringing. I was offered 35% off deluxe or Free DP. Staying at the POLY LV for 8 nights saved us $1735.00! If you add up how much a TS meal would cost you like say approx. $35-$40 pp, then add on a CS roughly $9 (?) that might be $49 plus a snack say $5 we are at $54. See what I mean? Also, in our case, we sometimes go to TS and only order a table full of appetizers to share as our meal. DP doesn't do appetizers. And... if you are doing a Character Breakfast for approx $24 and that counts as a TS, just add to that a CS and snack and you're losing money that day. So again, in that case, DP doesn't work. So after I priced our meals that we are booking it was a hands-down decision. Hope this helps.

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Last edited by Cindie-rella; 01-06-2013 at 11:28 AM. Reason: Wanted to add on.
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