If you don't like your meal and you are on the meal plan?

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by c3363, Aug 19, 2011.

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  1. c3363

    c3363 Mouseketeer

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    We will be going in September and are having a hard time making dining reservations for restaurants with "normal" food. Our group contains several adult picky eaters which do not eat red meat, exotic dishes and one has a severe food allergy. We also don't have park hopper so we are trying to stick to restaurants in downtown or resorts in case our day-to-day park plans change.

    I made several reservations in which there is probably only 1-2 dishes that we will choose from. Even these choices have ingredients/sauces that we aren't crazy about. We almost never complain in restaurants, but that often ends up in us not eating anything at all. If we order a meal and then find that we just can't eat it (for the taste) will they refund our table service credit? Or will they allow us to modify the choices to eliminate the sauces and substitute some of the sides?
     
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  3. Cheshire Figment

    Cheshire Figment <font color=red><marquee behavior=alternate>Friend

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    1. For the person with the food allergy. They need to contact Special Diets in advance of the trip. I would suggest going to the disABILITIES Forum and look at Post #3 of the disABILITIES FAQs. There is a large section in that post dealing with special dietary needs, as well as many related links. You can get directly to the disABILITIES FAQs by following the link in my signature.

    2. As a general rule at table service locations they will do things as leave off sauces or put them on the side, or make substitutions of side dishes if what you are asking for is somewhere else on their menu.

    3. If you are so worried, why not drop the dining plan?

    4. If you order something and then decide you do not like it (as compared to its not having been prepared properly) why should Disney throw away its money because of your intentional misordering?!
     
  4. snykymom

    snykymom Still tagless after all these years

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    I agree with Chesire - drop the dining plan. That way, if there's nothing in the entrees that someone wants to eat, they might find an appetizer/soup/salad that's acceptable but not on the DP.

    While restaurants will often put the sauce on the side if possible, or leave it off entirely, sometimes it's not possible. Sometimes the food is cooked in the sauce (think beef stew - you can't "leave off the sauce"). And sometimes leaving off the sauce makes the food worse - it's been seasoned so that the sauce complements it; without the sauce, it's bland or one flavor is overpowering. I found that happening frequently - I don't like bleu cheese, but if I leave it off a salad entirely, the flavor is just not there. So I keep the cheese on it, which lightly flavors the rest of the dish, but then just don't eat the cheese itself.
     
  5. sukhakuli

    sukhakuli <font color=darkorchid>I guess I'm funny like that

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    We're a family of picky eaters. I have noticed that most places are fine with making minor changes, like leaving off sauces and stuff. Like, some of the meals will have a steak that dh will eat, but some sort of truffle sauce or butternut squash puree or something that he will not eat. So I will ask for those on the side. Even McDonalds will make a hamburger plain (he won't eat condiments). You should be fine. :) But stay away from places that are exotic, because it is unreasonable to go to like, Jiko or something, and expect plain American food. Although, we ate at Marrakesh, and it was pretty bland, so you will probably be OK there. ;)
     
  6. snykymom

    snykymom Still tagless after all these years

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    One more thing - even if they do refund your TS, where would you then use it? ADRs are hard to come by.
     
  7. DCDisney

    DCDisney On my way...

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    It's very easy to get sauces left off and nearly every place does plain grilled chicken for kids meals that they will serve in an adult portion if requested. For allergies they will make sure that the person gets to eat but it may not be comparable to what others have and they will still charge a ddp credit for it. For example at one place I ended up with a kids meal (tiny steak and fries) and no app or dessert because they couldn't work around my allergies and I was still charged a full TS credit. On sides they will always let you substitute fries and usually will let you sub one side for another as long as they have enough. Maybe buffets would work for your group? They all have kids options that anyone can eat that are plain plus lots of fruit, salad, sides, etc.
     
  8. c3363

    c3363 Mouseketeer

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    Cheshire, I wasn't thinking of it as "intentional misordering." I obviously wouldn't order something I know I won't like. That would be a waste of time for everyone involved.

    Most of the time the reason we don't like the food at certain restaurants (not just Disney restaurants) is because of the quality.

    An example:
    Suppose I order a chicken sandwich and in my first bite I get a huge blob of fat/cartilage in it, only to discover it encompasses half the chicken on the sandwich. That totally ruins the meal for me. I can't eat that sandwich any longer. Now that wasn't due to "how it was prepared" but it is still an inedible meal. I end up not complaining, paying for the meal and then not eating. That doesn't seem right to me.

    We are trying to do buffets/family style meals so that if we don't like something, we can get something else.

    Whether or not it's Disney, there should be some quality control.
     
  9. goofyintoronto

    goofyintoronto I really wanted to like it, but I didnt.

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    I would honestly not do the dining plan if there are several very picky eaters in your group.
     
  10. rachel09985

    rachel09985 DIS Veteran

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    You can complain but I wouldn't expect to get anything out of it. And if the buffet is filthy chances are it just got like that from a child and they are going to be cleaning that. I have never noticed a dirty buffet there. And if you are at a restaurant you should complain if your meal is inedible because a restaurant wants you to leave happy not upset. They will do anything they can to make you happy, at least the restaurants I have worked at.

    Someone brought up a good point- what would you do with an extra table service meal?? If you are the only one who didn't like your meal then you would have one extra credit- what would you do with that? Go to breakfast on your own?

    You just shouldn't go into restaurants expecting to be dissatisfied because then you will be dissatisfied!
     
  11. goofyintoronto

    goofyintoronto I really wanted to like it, but I didnt.

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    Very good points here! As I said, I wouldnt even bother with a dining plan in a situation like this.
     
  12. smitch425

    smitch425 DIS Veteran

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    A saying my son's preschool teacher used comes to mind when reading this thread...

    "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit":rotfl:

    All kidding aside, when you go to a restaurant in your local area, for example, Applebee's, do you ask them if you can have a replacement entree if you do not care for what your originally ordered? My guess is "no". You take a gamble with trying new things, but it will not be Disney's fault if you don't like your meal. If you are really THAT worried about it, I would get rid of the dining plan. Something else you could do would be for a couple of people to decide on two things they might like to try together and then split them up. That way you have more options than just your one individual meal. Good luck with your planning.:thumbsup2
     
  13. MHSweb79

    MHSweb79 DIS Veteran

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    There seems to be a couple of questions here:

    1. Should you complain about food that's poor quality, like a chicken cutlet or piece of steak that's mostly fat or cartilege? Yes - it's OK to send it back and request a new one.

    2. Should you send back a dish because you don't like the preparation, flavoring, spices, side dishes? No - you ordered it, it's not up to the restaurant to keep serving you dishes until you find one you like.

    Disney is really quite good for picky eaters. They'll modify anything they can for you, such as no sauce or sauce on the side, or leaving of seasonings if possible.
     
  14. minnie mum

    minnie mum Unapologetic Disney Fan(atic)

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    Some very good advice from the PPs. Make sure all of your ADRs note the food allergies of the particular guest. Ask for dishes to be served plain. Ask for substitutions where necessary. Be prepared that in some cases your requests cannot be met.

    Read the menus for each restaurant carefully. It is futile and unnecessarily frustrating (for you and the restaurant staff) to try to eat at a place where the menu can't meet your group's requirements. I would never expect any restaurant anywhere to refund my money or table credit simply because I didn't care for the taste of my meal. If something is improperly prepared or the food is 'bad', then you have grounds for complaint.

    If you really want the DDP, then I agree with the PP who recommended sticking with the buffets. Plenty of options at these for even the most unadventurous and restrictive of palates. And on the dining plan the higher cost of these meals won't be a factor. These buffets, unlike some that you have apparently eaten at, serve hot food hot and cold food cold. They are not dirty and quality control is evident. I'm really not sure what you mean by the 'quality of the food' at the buffet. Is it at the level of 'haute cuisine'? Of course not. Why would you expect it to be? They are not signature restaurants. They are your average (or slightly better, depending on the restaurant) places providing a wide range of properly prepared foods from which you can select. Honestly, if you and your group can't be satisfied with the offerings at a buffet, then perhaps you should consider staying at a villa that has full kitchen facilities so you can prepare meals that will make you happy. Good luck with your ADRs.
     
  15. OrangeCountyCommuter

    OrangeCountyCommuter DIS Veteran

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    I get the feeling that OP and thier family are going to have issues.

    If you go expecting "issues" it's self fufilling. You are basically looking for things to be wrong.

    Disney is not "fine dining" it's "basic food" (Overpriced IMHO, but...:) )

    I am not sure that not getting DDP is going to help.
     
  16. TDC Nala

    TDC Nala 1937, what a year that was

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    It sounds to me like your family is too picky to make proper use of the dining plan. If it were just the allergy it will be fine - but there is a huge selection of restaurants at Walt Disney World, many of which are neither exotic nor unusual, and you have already stated that you believe very few of them serve food your party will eat. If it's not just a case of leaving off the sauces and the majority of your group are extremely particular about how your food is prepared, I don't recommend experimenting around WDW restaurants on the dining plan.

    If the meal is inedible and of bad quality, by all means complain...but if it is just not to your taste, I don't know what you can do.

    If they do refund your dining credit, you will have to find another restaurant where you can use it.

    If you are extremely picky about food quality (meaning, you are looking for something gourmet-type or something you might find at a signature restaurant) I can't even really recommend the buffets, but they may be your best bet as far as selection.
     
  17. DCDisney

    DCDisney On my way...

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    One other point to consider is that most menus change a bit each season. September is usually when the Fall changes occur. Planning on going to a restaurant based on just 1 or 2 menu possibilities is dangerous since they may well change. There will always be fish, chicken, beef, pork, pasta at each place but the change in flavoring and preparation can be substantial.
     
  18. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

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    First of all, it is perfectly OK to order something "plainer" with no sauce or a substitute side. Your server and the chef will work with you to provide a meal that your family will eat. Make sure to tip them well for the extra effort!

    Secondly, it is perfectly OK to send back a meal that is (1) poor quality, (2) incorrectly prepared or (3) inedible. However ...
    YOU need to take charge of your restaurant experience. Don't be afraid to order what you want and what you will eat. If you just order what you think will be "close enough" then you will be bound to be disappointed in some way.
     
  19. c3363

    c3363 Mouseketeer

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    No one in our group is going to order something unusual. We are sticking to the options we know we generally like. Trying something new is not on anyone's agenda in our group. Our concern is the quality of the unfamiliar restaurants we are going to.

    We are staying on property and will not be leaving the property. As far as I know, whether or not we have the dining plan makes no difference in terms of getting a reservation. Many of Disney restaurants we love. Unfortunately, we only got one of our favorites 1 time out of 6. The other five (that we were able to get ADR's for) are new to us.

    Like I said, we DON'T complain to the waitress. We end up not eating the meal, paying in full and of course, tipping. This doesn't happen often, but it DOES happen, especially with poultry dishes. This is why we don't eat at McDonalds which is notorious for "slugs" in the chicken.

    As for what happens at a chain restaurant like Applebees, it has been my experience that the waiters often ask if everything was okay and offer at least a partial refund when they notice you didn't eat much of your meal. If it was really bad, (fatty, cold, tough etc.) sometimes we accept. If it was a taste issue, we don't.

    I do think that it is acceptable to complain about the quality, service and cleanliness in a restaurant. Suppose you purchase a new camera and it doesn't work when you take it out of the box. Would you return it? Expect a refund? Or just deal with it? What if you purchase a swimsuit online and it arrives filthy? Would you keep it?
     
  20. nanni

    nanni Mouseketeer

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    I have never had a bad quality meal at Disney. I've had some things that weren't my favorite, but I think the food is pretty high quality. It's not gourmet restaurant or anything, but it's defintely better than a lot of the chain restaurants I know. If there is a problem with a particularly tendony piece of chicken or something, let them know. If there's a big mess, let them know.

    It seems like you are going into this expecting to have problems, which probably means you will find problems.
     
  21. TDC Nala

    TDC Nala 1937, what a year that was

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    If you're worried because you are more comfortable eating at familiar restaurants, I am suggesting going without the dining plan again. WDW doesn't have a lot of chain restaurants of the kind you might have at home, and where they do they are small and not generally nationwide chains; and a number of the chain places like the Rainforest Cafe don't take DDP. I agree, you are anticipating that you will have problems because your group is stepping out of its comfort zone.

    If you're getting free dining, not much you can do about that. And they're saying you need an ADR because if you are paying for the dining plan, when you leave dining credits unused you are essentially giving Disney money for food you never ate. And sometimes if you don't have a reservation, you can't get into a TS restaurant to use your dining credits.

    Go to the TS restaurants you have chosen, ask if you can order in the style you want, if you want plain food without unfamiliar sauces or seasonings. And that is all you can do. If you are doing lots of buffets you may want to keep the dining plan and be sure you have reservations for the buffets.
     
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