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Old 03-09-2013, 12:19 AM   #31
Suzanne74
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Originally Posted by puppawuppa

I agree . For us it isn't a good deal. We don't eat that much when in the parks.I mostly get kids meals anyway. Mostly we "graze". Give me my room discounts and I'm a happy camper.
Yes, I often wonder how families can eat that much food on a hot Aug day. We get room discounts, eat breakfast in the room, light lunch and get good counter service and occasional sit down dinner, We often split meals or eat kid's meals. More than plenty and we don't waste massive time with ADR's, waiting for tables and worry about snack credits. We eat what we want, when we want it.

Free dining was great back in the day but the expectation of it and drop in tips included no longer makes it worth it.
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:42 AM   #32
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This will be our first time on the deluxe dining plan and we will eat 3 meals a day. I hope for free dining.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:32 AM   #33
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We have APs so obviously we don't get FD. We did get DDP on our last trip and were disappointed. We didn't like how Disney stopped offering salad or appetizer with DDP. We could have done without the desserts. Who needs chocolate or carrot cake with lunch everyday. DDP is just too inflexible for us. But I dislike FD because restaurants are more crowded. And, I do think it will impact crowds because many people are waiting to take advantage of it, if it's offered. (I'm going in September.)
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:56 AM   #34
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I would much rather have a deep room discount than free dining. I do like the dining plan but I'm not bothered about whether it comes free or not!
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:34 AM   #35
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I dislike FD also.. I would much rather have a deep room discount. We always go in September (slow down season for hubs, hes an airline pilot) and last year Disney had free dining and it was madness.. We aren't dessert eaters and we always felt bad not eating all our food.. This year we aren't doing the dining plan.. Im a tad nervous about it but hoping that it will work out.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:45 AM   #36
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I had always heard about "free" dining and thought wow we should go sometime when they have it. Long story short, went November '11 with free dining on Thanksgiving week and while I loved the trip, I didn't love the dining. I felt like our entire trip was scheduled around ADR's and always felt like I was stuffed. We ended up spending 15 snack credits at Goofy's candy store because we were so full during the day we didn't use them--and we ended up never eating breakfast because we still weren't hungry!---and some of us in our party are not small people.

I'll take a room discount, thank you .
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:43 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzanne74 View Post
Yes, I often wonder how families can eat that much food on a hot Aug day. We get room discounts, eat breakfast in the room, light lunch and get good counter service and occasional sit down dinner, We often split meals or eat kid's meals. More than plenty and we don't waste massive time with ADR's, waiting for tables and worry about snack credits. We eat what we want, when we want it.

Free dining was great back in the day but the expectation of it and drop in tips included no longer makes it worth it.
It depends on WHAT you eat. Yes, you can easily over eat, especially at the buffets. We stopped doing character buffets since the kids aren't all that interested anymore and the food quality isn't as good as a regular sit down location where you order off the menu.

We tend to split CS credits at many of our lunches so that cuts down on the amount of food. That way we build some up credits for some light breakfasts or a lunch on the day we leave.

For the TS meals, we tend to eat fish and seafood options which tend to be smaller portions, lighter and less calories.

The food quality between a CS and TS meal is huge in our opinion, with exception of a few CS locations like Wolfgang Puck Express.

I totally agree about the deserts at the CS locations though. We tend not to even order them anymore. They generally aren't that good, or necessary at all.

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Old 03-09-2013, 05:31 PM   #38
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Some might enjoy a Disney Cruise
Non discounted cabin, free Deluxe dining and don't forget FREE soda








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Old 03-13-2013, 08:32 PM   #39
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I know it doesn't make sense but we like the DDP because it's nice to have it paid in advance. I know it's not cost efficient but it's makes our vacation easier. That being said we have always paid to have the dining. I purposely booked this year's vacation to coincide with Pop Warner week because I know that discounts aka free dining are not offered during this week. May sound stupid but it makes sense in my head anyways
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:26 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by kiddisney
i agree - it creates extra crowds when it's supposed to be a 'slow' time - and it's not even worth it - we never did a dining plan before - but tried one on our last trip & it's way too much food - for the cost we could be fully satisfied for less - and free dining isn't really free - just a hassle all the way around for us
This statement has irritated me more than anything else I've read on the boards. Can you please back it up if you are going to say it? How is free dining not free? There are no hidden costs or fees. Free is free. It may not be the most beneficial discount for your family or you may not enjoy the plan but it IS free. How exactly is it a hassle as well? You walk into one of a zillion restaurants and get free food.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:30 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by raven69david
Free dining isn't free. We avoid FD like the plague. The bad part about booking several months out in advance, before these promo pop up, is that you need to be ready to be flexible to either move your reservation or book at 180 days out to be sure you get what you want. This is what we do and have only been thrown into the FD crowd once. MK at night watching Wishes, from town square, was a nightmare. You couldn't even walk down main street.

Rack rate is for suckas! I've done many comparisons with and without FD and using a room discount on a Deluxe room and the percentage off always wins. FD came out to more $ in every comparison using my family of 3. YMMV
Not everyone gets a Deluxe. Actually, most people who need a good discount go with a Mod or a Value. FD vs Room Discount for my family of three, 7 days I'm a Mod or Value... FD wins by hundreds of dollars.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:46 PM   #42
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This statement has irritated me more than anything else I've read on the boards. Can you please back it up if you are going to say it? How is free dining not free? There are no hidden costs or fees. Free is free. It may not be the most beneficial discount for your family or you may not enjoy the plan but it IS free. How exactly is it a hassle as well? You walk into one of a zillion restaurants and get free food.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:04 PM   #43
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Not everyone gets a Deluxe. Actually, most people who need a good discount go with a Mod or a Value. FD vs Room Discount for my family of three, 7 days I'm a Mod or Value... FD wins by hundreds of dollars.
Exactly. There are thousands of more moderate and value rooms than deluxe rooms. In most instances if you are staying at a value or a moderate, a free dining discount is going to save you a much more significant amount of money than a room only discount. A couple staying at a mod might come out about the same and if you are staying deluxe an all of your kids are 10+, free dining will still save you more money.

We have a large family and have been going to Disney once or twice per year for the last 10 years and we have stayed at all levels of resort on property. The Polynesian will always be my favorite, but we just don't stay deluxe anymore. The prices are outrageous, even with a room discount, and our kids are old enough now that they want to be in the parks from open to close, so we just need a place to sleep and shower. We, generally, get 2 connecting rooms at a value now and try to travel during free dining weeks. We've been doing free dining since the fall of 2006. A room only discount saves us about $$320, total, off package rack rates for an 8 night stay. A free dining discount saves us about $1,550, total off package rack rates for an 8 night stay - even after paying the difference to upgrade from the quick service to the regular plan at a value during a free dining promo. Also we love the food and the character meals - it's part of the whole magical vacation for us and we have NEVER found it to be too much food, ever.

So, free dining saves us over $1,200 more than a room only discount. So, it's a no brainer to go with the free dining discount.

I will concede that free dining weeks are more crowded than they used to be, but really isn't that the point? Disney has found a way to fill their parks and resorts during previously "dead" weeks. Those Disney execs know this and they aren't going to shoot themselves in the foot, so to speak, by getting rid of free dining discounts anytime soon. And really, free dining weeks are still better than going during peak season and WAY cheaper.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:24 PM   #44
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Well I know for a fact that I will be on my knees praying for free dining lol.

We go for 3 wks at a time due to flight costs from the UK,we have 5 in our family but always take my mother in-law too so it makes 3 adults and 3 kids, my oldest on our last trip turned 10 so was on the adult plan! We upgraded our twin boys who are 7 to the adult plan also as we knew how much they hated the god awful kids nuggets and enjoy adult desserts,
We managed to have the twins share at nearly every meal which meant plenty of TS credits left over to do either signatures or to get breakfast with!
Now the 1st time we stayed on property with no DDP the boys was 1,1,3 and even then food cost us a fortune for what we wanted to eat " we enjoy as part of our holiday to sit down most days and have a good meal" the next trip we paid for the DDP and LOVED it!! No wondering if we should have the cheaper option at dinner, no having to choose how many restaurants we can afford to eat at, yes I know we might have paid the same OOP but we wouldn't have chosen the more expensive meals knowing it was coming out of our spends!!!
The last 2 trips we have had free dining and it's been brilliant its saved us a fortune! Our boys still love character meals and those alone have rocketed in price, we enjoy not saying NO to them, my wife normally does not eat snacks but likes saving up the snack credits to bring home gifts from the sweet shops, our boys will have a few ice-creams or slush drinks throughout the trip but always choose to share since they are so big, they really enjoy buying lots of treats at the end I the trip to take home, in fact 5 months on and we still have loads of sweets left from our trip
My wife has been going to Disney for over 20 years and still enjoys the restaurants as much today as she did back then! We also always go in September and yes it's got busier but I think that's because others have realised that September is a slower time others was bound to clock on at some point!
We also as a family of 6 have been able to either book that morning or get a walk up many times still, so unless your very selective about where you want to eat there is always normally a restaurant you can get into without doing the 180 ADRs.

So for us free dining is great! We rarely get room discounts in the UK, so it's dining or nothing.

Free dining is FREE just because you could have gotten a better discount on the room does not mean that the free dining is not free!?!?!
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:27 AM   #45
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I am just greedy and want a great discount, room only, free dining, whatever...
This. For us (2 adults, mod resort), FD works out to be the biggest discount. I'll take whatever I can get though!
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