No free dining

Discussion in 'DVC Member Services' started by Cruella 66, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. Cruella 66

    Cruella 66 DIS Veteran

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    We had to add a day to our cash paid vacation at the end of the month. We had points to use so I added a night at our home resort BLT. We can use ME but they said DVC members were not eligable for the free dining offer. Hmmm...how sad....is this the way it normally is or just an exclusion for this particular offering?
     
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  3. disneynutz

    disneynutz DIS Veteran DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    "Free" dining is a marketing ploy by Disney to bring people to the parks. They pay full price for their room and get average food and a sub par dining experience.

    DVC members don't need an additional incentive to come to WDW. It's in our blood. :goodvibes
     
  4. MouseMomx2

    MouseMomx2 DIS Veteran

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    No, we aren't eligible for the promotion. "Free" Dining is not really free. You must reserve a WDW resort at full, rack rate and park tickets through WDW Reservations in order to get the "free" dining. Rest assured that Disney is still getting their money, they are just using creative accounting in order to call the dining "free". It is a way for them to fill unsold hotel rooms in this sluggish economy.

    With DVC you pay much less than Rack Rate for your hotel room. Even if you were to reserve a DVC stay and pay cash for the dining plan you'd still be way ahead of those who get the "free" dining.
     
  5. Cruella 66

    Cruella 66 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you both for clearing this up! We are first time members and the 29th; just the one night, will be my first time staying any DVC. We are using the bulk of our first set of points next June. Thanks again for your help!:goodvibes
     
  6. LIFERBABE

    LIFERBABE DVC MEMBER @ BCV BWV OKW SSR BLT AKV

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    Free Dining also has a 3 nite minimum stay so even if you paid cash for your night @ rackrate you would not qualify unless you extended.
    I also agree that you really have to run the numbers for your stay to compare. I could not find a deluxe resort free dining package for less than 2k for 3 days!

    Welcome Home
     
  7. sparkyboy

    sparkyboy DIS Veteran

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    After several stays as DVC member, the free dining promo does not even enter our mind when we start to plan our vacation. As others have stated, the ploy is to market rooms at full cost with "dining" as incentive to help the economy. Enjoy your stay and Welcome Home.
     
  8. DebbieB

    DebbieB DIS Veteran

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    DVC members are eligible for free dining. The catch is you have to book your room at full price through CRO plus buy a ticket. DVC Studios start at $269 plus tax per night, 1 bedrooms start at $385 (value at AKV). So you can still get DVC accomodations and free dining.
     
  9. rsinj

    rsinj Mouseketeer

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  10. disneynutz

    disneynutz DIS Veteran DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    I am happy that you enjoyed your "free" dining experience, but apparently we have different expectations. As a long time visitor to WDW who vacations there several time a year we have noticed a difference.

    Prior to Disney offering "free" dining the menus had a much better offering. Better and bigger cuts of meat, and even lobster. Now the menus have been modified to allow for the preparation of food in a shorter amount of time and the wait staff are instructed to turn over tables as soon as possible.

    A few weeks ago while we were at Disney, Cast Members in preparation for "free" dining were actually replacing menu boards that had fewer items on them and increased prices. Wolfgang Puck Express West Side removed all pasta from their menu and the Pepper Market removed their Chinese food and beef fillet from the menu.

    "Free" dining can be a good value but it has definitely affected the crowd level, quality, and quantity of food served.
     
  11. rsinj

    rsinj Mouseketeer

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  12. Tara

    Tara Bad Influence

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    Justification works both ways. Aren't you justifying your choice here?

    The trade off in room size and amenities from DVC to moderate is simply not worth it to me *unless* I have no more points to use and HAVE to take a trip. And if you're talking about paying rack rates at a deluxe or DVC resort just for the "free" dining, then it is no longer a good deal IMO. I'd rather use my points and pay for the plan outright.

    I've done free dining before and I've paid for the DP. I've stayed at every leve of WDW resort. My situation is that my vacation experience is greatly impacted by my resort, and I feel no need to justify that situation.

    And "average to subpar" are subjective terms - each person will have her or his own opinion on the quality of food. I'd call Ohana and Coral Reef average. I can't comment on The Wave or Les Chefs. In fact, I'd say that most of the food is average at best with a few exceptions. The exceptions are where we tend to concentrate our dining, and then mix in restaurants that are more about experience (CRT, Chef Mickey's) than about quality of food.
     
  13. TDC Nala

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

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    Free dining can be a major deal for anyone staying at a value resort and can be a really good deal for anyone staying at a moderate. For a deluxe, one needs to start factoring in how many people and how much they'll eat before paying rack rate on a deluxe to get free dining starts to pay off.

    Most of the food I considered "excellent" on my long trip a week ago (not on DDP except for 1 night on QSDP) turned out to be from special events not covered by DDP, 2 credit restaurants, and Tchoup Chop at Universal. Everything else was pretty good and I wouldn't call most of it subpar. My biggest disappointment at WDW was actually Wolfgang Puck Express. (Biggest overall was Mythos at Universal - they're cheaping out far more than anything at Disney). I was glad not to have the DDP for the full trip, many of the things I thought were best would not have been covered.
     
  14. Chuck S

    Chuck S DVC Boards Co-Moderator Moderator

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    There is no way to compare an All Stars or POP stay to a DVC stay, even in a studio. My two experiences at All Stars were awful. I stay off site if POP isn't available with an AP discount on the nights we arrive early for our DVC stays. I like POP Century OK, it is what it is, small value rooms, double beds, no TS restaurant (though they do have a very good food court). That said, I wouldn't mind POP for a night or two to bookend a DVC stay, we often do that as we tend to drive and arrive a day early. For a week or longer, I like the full kitchen and in room laundry, though we do sometimes settle for a studio to save points for extended family trips.

    Since the DDP limits what I can choose to eat, the paid version is never of any use to us, it does not fit our dining style, even though we usually have a TS meal daily, sometimes more. For instance, we usually have a nice TS lunch at Brown Derby including 2 appetizers, entrees, 2 beverages, 2 adult beverages, and split a dessert. This generally runs about $100 including tip. Now, BD is a 2 credit DDP meal, so it would cost $100 (if you figure the TS meal credits at $25 per) PLUS appetizers, adult beverage, and tip. Not a good deal on the DDP.

    If you're perfectly happy in the smaller accommodations and only food court food at the resort for an extended stay, perhaps DVC isn't the best option for you. If you stay mostly at deluxe class Disney resorts, like having a TS restaurant at your resort, prefer larger beds, then DVC makes sense.
     
  15. rsinj

    rsinj Mouseketeer

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  16. rsinj

    rsinj Mouseketeer

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  17. Princess Disney Mom

    Princess Disney Mom DIS Veteran

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    To each his own. I spent aprox $80 per night for a whole family of 4 (2 teens) with free dining. We had spectacular dinners and averaged $200 in food a day. Great vacation at a great price!
     
  18. Anthony1971

    Anthony1971 DIS Veteran

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    We have and still will on a very short trip purchased the DP and want to eat at places that are more expensive... However there are still a lot of sit downs that are reasonable and we make out fare better paying cash.
    With that said the menus have by far changed Kona to give a fare comparison to Ohana had a Filet Mignon on the menu and a strip steak... The Filet is gone and the strip steak is now the price of the Filet. Also Ohana did change its menu a few years back and we do not eat there anymore.. We still eat a Kona but thier prices are way inflated from what they were. This is common however for the more popular places. Le cellier gets 35.00 for a Filet Mignon or Strip steak, I live in NY I can go to a REAL steak house here for a few $'s more (sometimes less with promotions) that will make their steak look sorry and there are much better steak houses on Dinsey property.
    Free dinning for me is not a good reason to pay cash not when I pay less than 60 a night for a studio at OKW durning most of the FD promotion. For dinning there are many sit downs that are very good and the prices are not highly over inflated
     
  19. dianeschlicht

    dianeschlicht <font color=blue>DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Hon

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    I concur!!! "free" dining has clogged the restaurants with folks who don't usually expect 4-5 Star quality, so even those 4 star places at WDW have come down more than a few notches to accommodate the masses. Those "special" places like Jiko, California Grill, and Artist Point are no longer special. Oh, if you're not on the "dining plan" you still pay the big prices for them, but the menu and quality and most of all variety has suffered greatly. Add to that the screaming shrieking highchair set in a white table cloth atmosphere, and something doesn't fit right.

    Don't get me wrong, I think Disney is for kids, and kids are certainly welcome there, but there are some places that are meant to be relaxing for adults, and the afore mentioned venues were a few of them. Not so anymore. I had several pricey meals ruined our last trip because I couldn't even hear my DH for conversation over the screeching. It SHOULD be a great time for parents to teach children public etiquett and manners, but our society has become so "fast food" oriented, that sometimes I think even the adults don't know those things, so they can't teach them to the youngsters.

    I know I'm going to get blasted for that last statement, but it's how I feel. It is also a SIGNIFICANT change from 10+ years ago at Disney. I'm slowly getting back into the practice of utilizing the kitchen in our unit in the same way I would at home. It saves my sanity and definitely my wallet.
     
  20. jodifla

    jodifla WDW lover since 1972

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    Yep, free dining is a NIGHTMARE! We should all just say NO to "free" dining, as it has been terribly costly to the quality of Disney Dining, which was at it's heyday in the late 90s.


    We are resort people. I could stay a night....maybe two...at a value, that's about it. Those Rooms are definitely for people who don't spend any time in them.

    After going to WDW for almost 40 years, we spend a lot of time relazxing at the resorts. We have our APS, hit the park for a couple hours, swim, have cocktails in our room.

    We save dining for a few signature restaurants, like Jiko, Boma, Yachtsman and Sanaa.
     
  21. daisygirl902

    daisygirl902 DIS Veteran

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    I sit on both sides of the fence here - Until 2 weeks ago when I bought into DVC I used to say it would never work for me as I LOVE POP Century, and often travel during free dining. Regardless of paying rack rate for the room or not...getting an 8 day trip with food and park passes included for $1250 is pretty darned good. So much so that I am planning my Disney wedding next year during free dining time so my guests can take advantage of the promotion...for those that stay at value resorts the free dining is a great promotion! It is allowing friends of mine to travel down from eastern Canada that normally just would not be able to afford the trip...

    That being said I find that I was starting to grow out of the atmosphere of POP...although I will always love their food court and decor...I am very happy to have made the decision to switch over to DVC and have the upgrades on resort stays. I have no regrets and am really looking forward to our new "home" at BLT. But with that comes a few additional costs - the yearly upkeep fee, annual passes, and food as well.....it was a change I had to think about many times, and unfortunately the hard-core DVCers who "hate" free dining and are so vocal about it had left such a bad taste in my mouth for ages I almost didn't consider DVC at all!

    I totally disagree with the people who say dining has gone totally down hill - you can still get very good food at many Disney restaurants....we have many many favorites at Disney - and we eat out as a family a lot in our normal day to day lives. We enjoy fine dining - but let's face it unless you are going to all signature dining places you shouldn't expect them all to be "fine dining establishments". Teppan Edo, Whispering Canyon, Kona Cafe, The Wave, Cape May, 50s Prime Time, Rose and Crown, Marrakesh...and those are just a few that we've really enjoyed...

    Alhough I did find Ohana was quite overblown - it did feel very rushed due to the free dining madness but that's the only one I've had any major complaints about...

    What is right for one family may not be right for everyone, but to claim that a promotion has "ruined everything" is just a bit over-dramatic IMHO.
     

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