Free Dinning thought..

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Plan' started by Tbiafore, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. Anthony1971

    Anthony1971 DIS Veteran

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    Free Dining was first used only during the slow periods to get more people to come and that is what it is going back to again seemingly.
    I always went in Septmeber however never had FD as we own DVC. before free dining was offered I could eat wherever I wanted when I wanted and most rides had a short wait. With Free dining most rides have a short wait and even shorter at peak dining times I can still eat where I want just now eating TS for lunch and CS at night.
    To answer you main question yes the parks will likely have more people but the DP takes a lot away from the lines as people try to maximize the DP and spent a lot of time eating.
     
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  3. pixidust1976

    pixidust1976 So Thankful

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    I am one of those people who is over joyed to be "scammed" into free dining, but it is because I really want to stay onsite in a value resort and don't enjoy having a bunch of ADR's that never seem to line up well with the ride line that I am in when it comes time to get to the restaurant I am supposed to eat at.

    If Disney used Free Dining to fill a two week low booking period, I will be there during that two week period... crowd and all! :) Disney must like how easy it is to scam me.
     
  4. ryandkris

    ryandkris Earning My Ears

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    We still came out several hundred dollars cheaper using Disney's military discount on the room plus the military discount on the tickets, with the option to add a dining plan. I still can't decide if we will add it or pass on it. Like you, I like the ease of not worrying about the cost of dining, but I am betting I can get a better deal without the dining plan at all. :/
     
  5. tony609

    tony609 "I've Gotta Show To Do"

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    We come out ahead with 2 adults. We stay moderate, get free DDP. We usually do 2 TS meals a day. So two would be OOP each day, this way 1 is free daily, we get a free snack, ANd we share or sometimes get our own CS meal if we're hungry of use it for a Snack like the drink and dessert, or drink and share a burger and fries, it's also free. So we're only paying OOP 1 TS Meal a day. If I can cut back this trip I will. Still trying to decide. I may cut it back s bit, but we enjoy our character meals, and TS restaurants.
     
  6. aubriee

    aubriee <font color=brown><marquee>Chocolate always makes

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    As an AP holder I go to WDW several times a year. Sept and usually Dec are among those times (so times free dining is usually offered). I am not a fan of free dining. We prefer TS restaurants to CS and eat at very few CS restaurants anyway. The free CS DDP offered at the Values would never work for us and even on the DDP we would be paying OOP for more TS meals and then would have CS meals left over. We prefer a nice TS lunch, then go offsite for a nice, quiet dinner. Sometimes all we want are appetizers, so the DDP doesn't work. Frequently my Sept trips were solo and I'd be staying at a mod. For those trips an AP discount was always alot better than free dining. Some of those trips, my husband went with me. Even then though, the 35% off AP room discount (that they offered back then for moderate resorts) beat free dining for us. Now we choose to stay offsite at Wyndham Bonnet Creek. A nice one bedroom villa is cheaper than we could get even a tiny value resort room at WDW. We get a fully equipped kitchen, living room, two TVs, seperate bedroom with a king size bed, washer/dryer, a jacuzzi tub, walk in shower, dining table and chairs, etc at a Deluxe resort with nicer pools, hot tubs, two lazy rivers, and a free mini golf course, cheaper than even a discounted Value room through Disney. My trip this Sept is a solo trip. I ran the numbers using rack rate with free dining and the using the AP discount. My one bedroom villa at Bonnet Creek is still $900.00 cheaper than a Value room with free dining. I can buy all the food I want for that $900.00 price difference and stay in a much nicer resort with alot more space, while I'm doing it. I don't really need that much space, but at the same time can't see paying alot more to stay in a tiny room at a value resort. I would rent a car anyway, but with my AP, parking is still free and Bonnet Creek is inside the Disney gates, so closer to some of the parks than the onsite hotels. For my Sept trip I am paying $74.30 per night and for our Dec trip we are paying $60.00 per night for a one bedroom villa. No way free dining can touch any of those deals. With the money I am saving, I'll just buy Disney gift cards and my meals will still be prepaid. I can eat better than I would on the DDP for alot cheaper and eat exactly what I want, whether that be two appetizers, an appetizer, entree, dessert, or just an entree in one restaurant then grab dessert somewhere later. I don't have a single ADR booked for either my Sept or Dec trip, and have no intention of doing so. With the DDP you feel like you have to book ADRs and keep them. I love flying by the seat of my pants. When we were there in May the only ADR I had was BoG, yet we walked into Biergarten, Via Napoli, Yak & Yeti, Momma Melrose, House of Blues, and Olivias with less than a five minute wait. No way would I take a chance of doing that if I was on the DDP and stood a chance of losing credits I had prepaid for. Plus there are quite a few nice restaurants right outside WDW that have better food, for alot cheaper prices.

    We hate free dining. I remember when most of the rides were walk ons in Sept and restaurants had better and more distinctive menus. Now more and more people are coming in Sept due to free dining. The parks and restaurants are more crowded and the food no where near as good. Now if we were a family of four or five, didn't have annual passes, so needed park tickets, actually liked more CS restaurants, and were willing to squeeze into a tiny Value room, free dining would be a decent deal.
     
  7. Srbright

    Srbright Mouseketeer

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    I, too, do not understand why this is a "scam"?

    We are staying in POFQ in a pool view room. Even at an unheard of discount of 40% on a moderate... heck, lets step it up and say we managed to get a PIN for 50% off our moderate. It would only be a savings of about $1000. With the free dining we save $1455 for a family of 4.

    We upgraded to the deluxe dining and used the calculator. Even not adding in dessert and sharing one app at dinner, we will still come out an extra $100-200 over that for the meals we have planned vs eating out of pocket. And that includes eating OOP for T-Rex the first night. We're just going to drink (not included on the DxDDP anyway) and have an appetizer. DS6 LOVES LOVES LOVES T-Rex, it is the only place he wants to go back to. So we will endure it (and pay oop because we aren't eating much) to save the credits for Cali Grill (if it opens in time), CRT, Fultons and HBD.

    Even when we combine it with 1) free parking and transportation for staying on site, free transportation from the airport which would be $120 round trip... we are still ahead even if it's not free dining vs room rate and it's free dining vs offsite and no dining plan.

    Stacy

    ETA: fixed family of 5 back to 4 where it should be. Don't know where I got the extra kid from.
     
  8. Srbright

    Srbright Mouseketeer

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    Where do you people get these things??? Every time I go to WBC the prices are the same as our moderate. I JUST went there and priced out 9 days starting 9/19 and the rate is $209 per night (which doesn't include the new $5 shuttle usage fee I've read about). Those fees bring that cost up to $240 a night for us.

    We are only paying $230 for POFQ and that includes free parking ($15 per day) and free shuttle from the airport (works out to $12 per night). So that takes my $230 down to $203.

    I would really like to see how you are getting WBC for less than $100 per night.

    Stacy
     
  9. kreckl

    kreckl Mouseketeer

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    Aubriee, how did you get that great price in September? Are there discount codes someplace?? We are thinking of there for Sept 2014~ all booked for this September~ and
    Good for you!
     
  10. darnheather

    darnheather DIS Veteran

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    @aubriee that's awesome that you found those deals. However, this is my girls' first trip to Disney Orlando and I wanted to make it extra special by staying on site, doing character meals, and not having to say no to snacks in the park. Therefor, the free dining was a wish come true for me. We couldn't have afforded the kind of vacation I wanted to have without it. We also probably won't go back anytime soon as we have lots of different vacations that we like to take and go to Europe every few years. If we went every year or twice a year I'd be looking for off site savings for sure, eating off site, and bringing snacks to the park. That's why Disney doesn't force people to stay on-site different options for different vacations. :thumbsup2
     
  11. mrsarbogast

    mrsarbogast Earning My Ears

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    Exactly :)

    and even though the public FD is in September; not all of us are going then. My family received the rest of year PIN and we aren't going until November.

    My girls get to eat what they want; dh doesn't complain; and I don't have to stress over the food bills. To us it's a win, win. :)

    Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
     
  12. aubriee

    aubriee <font color=brown><marquee>Chocolate always makes

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    Never book directly through Bonnet Creek. There are too many third party companies/owners who rent for a fraction of the what Wyndham BC charges. We stayed at BC for ten nights this past May for $89.50 per night by renting through Vacation Strategy (found out after we had already paid our deposit that we could have actually gotten it cheaper through Shelby Resorts, but got their quote too late). For Sept I am staying eight nights and paying $74.38/night using Shelby Resorts. For our Dec trip we are staying ten nights and paying just $60.00/night through Aaron Washburn. Shelby Resorts and Aaron Washburn both list on myresortnetwork.com. Depending on the inventory they have for your specific dates, prices may vary widely from seller to seller, so get multiple quotes before booking. I also got quotes from Vacation Upgrades and Farrell Vacations each time. All get good reviews over on the I Love Bonnet Creek thread over in the Orlando Resorts section here on the Dis. From what I've read on that thread, one (and usually two bedroom) deluxe units pretty much always rent for less than $100.00 per night if you go through a third party (Presidential units are a little more expensive). I know for all three of the quotes I requested, that Farrell offered me a two bedroom for the exact same price as a one bedroom (but his prices were a little higher than the others--like $100.00 per night). For our Dec trip Aaron Washburn offered me a two bedroom for just $10.00 more dollars per night (so $70.00/night for a two bedroom) for ten nights.

    Since we don't use Disney transportation anyway, get free park parking with our annual passes, have no interest in the DDPs, and Bonnet Creek is still within the Disney gates, so closer to the parks than some of the 'onsite WDW resorts', I just can't see paying more for a tiny WDW Value resort, when I can stay in a much nicer one bedroom villa with a fully equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, etc at a Deluxe resort and get the use of much nicer pools, two lazy rivers, multiple hot tubs, and free mini golf and pay less money while doing so. Again if we had a large family, free dining might be worth it and we might consider going back to a small hotel room, but for us the money we save staying at BC more than pays for our dining, with money left over. I did price out free dining at Pop for my Sept trip (as well as the AP discount) prior to booking with BC.

    The Value resorts are 260 sq feet, the moderates (other than CBR) are 314 sq feet. A one bedroom deluxe at BC is 812-902 sq feet and a Presidential one bedroom is 1128 sq feet. We love having all that extra space with a separate bedroom and a fullly equipped kitchen (even if we don't use it except to make breakfast or to heat something up in the microwave) and again pay less for it. I love adding a some bath salts and relaxing in the jacuzzi tub, sipping on a wine cooler, and watching TV while the jets relax my sore muscles and feet after a long day at the parks. How about sitting on the balcony and looking at the lake with Spaceship Earth and Illuminations or Tower of Terror in the distance or if you are on the other side of the building looking at DTD and Typhoon Lagoon, and again paying less money than you would at a Value resort.

    I just checked the prices for free dining: for my solo Sept trip it would be cost me $1233.00 to stay in a standard room at Pop with a two day park ticket (which I don't need) and free counter service plan, compared to the $595.00 I am currently paying at BC. For the $638.00 price difference I could easily eat TS every day and still have money left over. For the ten night Dec trip with my husband, a standard room at Pop with two day park tickets (which again neither of us need, since we have APs) and free counter service would cost $1847.00, compared to the $600.00 we are paying now at BC. For the $1247.00 price difference the two of us can again eat much better than we could on just the counter service plan offered at the values, and again have money left over. Free dining just doesn't always work for small families or solo travelers. Why would we pay more stay in a tiny value room with just free counter service, when we can pay alot less and stay in a one bedroom deluxe villa at a Deluxe resort and eat better and cheaper?
     
  13. Srbright

    Srbright Mouseketeer

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    That's why this doesn't work for (although it seems to work smashingly for you).

    We don't rent a car so we use the transportation both for r/t to the airport and the parks, we don't have an annual pass so we have to buy tickets and would have to pay parking for a car if we rented one. Also, I am not trusting my vacation to a third party. If something goes wrong I don't want to have to depend on someone else to fix it.

    I didn't even figure car rental in. For us, even if we got $100 per night at WBC that would quickly rise back up to $170/180 to account for the car rental fees (not even counting gas).

    Stacy
     

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