No free dining the last 2 weeks in August?

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Plan' started by matt&jakesmom, May 6, 2013.

  1. bartleby1

    bartleby1 DIS Veteran

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    I wonder how this is going to affect their August bookings? As of last week, their were no standard rooms available for the last 5 nights of our trip at POR. They haven't been available for weeks. However, I just checked now, and standard rooms are now available for all nights. I wonder if people are canceling their trips due to no free dining? Or maybe they are moving their trips to September to take advantage of free dining?

    Maybe this means lower crowds for those of us who are stuck with going in August, LOL!
     
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  3. black562

    black562 DIS Veteran

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    If that's the case, them it means lots of people booked in anticipation of free dining...only to cancel when it wasn't offer and book dates in September. Maybe if that time period doesn't pick up, maybe they will do something. Or maybe they'll learn their lesson for next year.
     
  4. DisneyMom5

    DisneyMom5 DIS Veteran

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    That's exactly right. There were three hurricanes the year before. The DDP was rather new, and that June they offered it for free for August/September.
    We went that August.
     
  5. TheDisney411

    TheDisney411 DIS Veteran

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    This :-)
     
  6. brymolmom

    brymolmom DIS Veteran

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    Yes, they knew that far in advance their bookings would be down. 2011 is when they started closing attractions/doing more construction on the New Fantasyland. They wanted to get people's reservations on the books BEFORE they found out exactly what was going to be closed when they arrived.
     
  7. StitchesGr8Fan

    StitchesGr8Fan DIS Veteran

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    All that will do is cause Disney to offer free dining in August instead of September. Then all the people who book in September will cancel and book for August FD.

    Disney doesn't want to offer as many discounts because A) they don't need to and B) they aren't getting as much bang for their buck when they do it.

    FD is an administrative and customer satisfaction nightmare. How much time is wasted by CM's trying to explain how the dining plan works? How much slower is table turnover because of the time it takes to explain how it works and then process the credits at the end of the meal (we've used the DP twice and because of errors had the payment process take twice as long as paying OPP for multiple meals. Slower turnover means less paying customers are served. Guest services has to deal with angry guests complaining that they couldn't get in to restaurants because they were too full thanks to FD. Some of those paying customers won't come back to Disney because they get so mad. All of these things have opportunity and real financial costs.

    I'm sure Disney compares how much they lose from empty rooms to how much FD costs them and determines how much FD should be offered a year. Apparently it is not generating enough revenue to offset some of the costs or they would be offering it more.
     
  8. black562

    black562 DIS Veteran

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    September is one of the slowest times, that's why it was offered in the first place. Kids are starting school, and its hurricane season. Traditionally it has included the last week of August as well, but not this time. Either the two conventions that week had enough rooms booked, or lots of folks booked expecting free dining. If they get mass cancelations in August, it will hurt their bottom line to have empty rooms sitting for a week...that's all I'm saying, and I'm not saying that will even happen.

    Free dining takes no more time than the paid dining plan in terms of explaining the plan and table turnover, except its being paid for. They have to offer a sweeter deal to fill rooms during that part of the year, so they could've done a better room discount, but they obviously feel that free dining does the best at filling their rooms in September. Remember too that September free dining predates the recession, all the way back to 2005. Even as they cut back on free dining in other parts of the year, September is a different animal altogether.

    Just my thoughts...
     
  9. Emteach

    Emteach DIS Veteran

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    Free dining was a big seller for our family of 5, as it saved quite a bit. In 2006 and 2012 we vacationed in Disney and received Free Dining. I don't imagine it will make a huge difference but know it will for us. Unfortunately as teachers we cant get time off come September. It was also great for those who were not yet back to school as it was less busy.
     
  10. TheDisney411

    TheDisney411 DIS Veteran

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    Free dining has done nothing but make the Disney corporation millions and millions of dollars during what were previously historically low crowd weeks. Disney doesn't view free dining as a nightmare, it's viewed as a genius marketing program that continues to make them money - or they would not be continuing it for the 9th consecutive year.

    Dealing with guests and overall customer satisfaction is what Disney does best. Wait staff are going to have to explain the DDP to some guests, free or not and CM managers are going to have to deal with unhappy diners every single day, free dining or not. And I'm sure you are not suggesting they are getting rid of the DDP? Because they certainly aren't getting rid of that money maker either.

    Trust me, Disney is getting plenty of bang for their buck with FD and laughing all the way to the bank. I've said it on here and I guess I will say it again, the end of free dining is not in the cards just yet. They may experiment with different weeks and see how it tweaks their numbers, but they know it is still a huge money maker for them.
     
  11. StitchesGr8Fan

    StitchesGr8Fan DIS Veteran

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    I can see your point. But there is a reason that FD has been almost non-existent this year except for this one promo and BB's from last year. We can only speculate at this point. Either they don't think they need it, it's not making as much business sense, or something else is working better to get rooms filled.
     
  12. StitchesGr8Fan

    StitchesGr8Fan DIS Veteran

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    And a few years ago when there was tons of free dining, people on here were LIVID that the restaurants were so packed with people on the dining plan and they couldn't get a reservation or a walk-up, and had to wait in insane crowds for counter service meals and then fight for seats. People were even threatening not to go back if Disney didn't do something.
     
  13. bartleby1

    bartleby1 DIS Veteran

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    I can understand some people being upset about not being able to get ressies due to free dining but being upset over crowds at counter service? People have to eat - with or without free dining. Without free dining, I would think there would be less people eating table service, but wouldn't that make the counter service even more crowded?
     
  14. sgrabin

    sgrabin Mouse Junkie

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    Those dates might actually work well for us. We'd always planned to go on September 28th. I'm hoping a lot of people that had made reservations late Sept/early Oct will move up their vacation to fit the free FD window, thereby making it a little less crowded when we get there!
     
  15. TheDisney411

    TheDisney411 DIS Veteran

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    Actually, if you check in on the last day of a FD promo, you can apply the FD discount to your entire stay, so this current FD promo actually goes through October 9 and a lot of people are checking in on the last day so they can be there for the Food & Wine Festival and still take advantage of free dining. Also, the next FD promo, that will most likely release dates in July or August, should pick up with FD dates around October 1.
     
  16. sgrabin

    sgrabin Mouse Junkie

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    D'oh!! :mad:
     
  17. tripplanner2

    tripplanner2 DIS Veteran

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    You are totally correct.:thumbsup2
     
  18. TDC Nala

    TDC Nala <font color=red>1937, what a year that was<br><fon Moderator

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    There were three instances of park closures due to hurricanes in 2004 - Charley (partial closure), Frances (2 full days closure) and Jeanne (1 full day closure).
     

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