Nothings FREE with free dining???

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by ColdNorway, May 18, 2010.

  1. ColdNorway

    ColdNorway Mouseketeer

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    I´kinda confused about the free dining.
    We are gonna stay at wdw in the beginning of September.
    2 adults.

    I see that Animal Kingdom Lounge has this great rate @ 150$ night:thumbsup2,with pool view.
    So when i book 6 night,the total cost are about 1021$ Inc,all taxes.
    If i book this with 7 day magic your way tickets,the add for two persons will be little over 500,inc tax. for the tickets.

    So,Question: Now my total cost are 1530$. This include :
    6 nights. AKL,pool view and 7 day MYW tickets.
    --------
    If i book this with FREE dining, the cost will be 2190$.
    (i do see that Disney change the nightly cost from 150 a night,to, 250 a night,when you book without this free dining package,but,,,,you can book the 150 a night price an any hotel web cite,for hotel only)

    So,again, can someone please let me know whats so great with this free-dining,that everyones talking about.
    I can´t find anything free in this, just an 700$ add,for 6 days of dining for two people.
     
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  3. PixieDustandEeyore

    PixieDustandEeyore DIS Veteran

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    well the big difference is price is due to dining. If you eat at , at least 1 table service a day its worth it. Buffets are usually over 25 bucks per adult. The average table service meal can be over 30 a person (it depends what you order, if you split etc) Its hard to get away with quick service meals for 2 under 25 bucks at some places. So if you plan on two disney meals a day its quite good.

    But if you plan to bring your own food etc do the room rate that is cheaper, but if you are reliant on Disney for all your meals then I'd recommend the dining.

    I love free dining but we stay at the values and eat all our meals at disney so we save alot of money.

    I find the best deal right now is the moderates with Free Dining, I find deluxes the 40% off codes can be more advantageous depending on circumstances. Its all about your family.
    So do you eat your meals at disney or do you bring your own food?
     
  4. StitchandPooh'sMom

    StitchandPooh'sMom <font color=magenta>Now if only I could think of s

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    You have to choose your discount at Disney - you can't have both. You can either get a discount on the room rate, or you can book free dining (if it is being offered for your time frame). You need to run the numbers to see which makes more sense for your family. If you have four adults (age 10+) in a moderate room, the free dining is a much better deal since the DDP is about $42 per day per adult - you save $170 per day for food costs by paying rack rate for a room that doesn't even cost $170 in value season. If you have two adults staying at the Grand Floridian, 40% off is a better deal since free dining would only save you $84 per day, while 40% off in value season saves you at least twice that much per night.

    Edited to add:

    I re-read your post and see that you are a group of two adults. The savings per day for you would be $84 (about - I can't remember the exact price of the DDP) if you opt for free dining in a moderate or deluxe, but you have to pay rack rate. If you book AKL at 40% off, your discount is $100 per day. You can most likely still add the dining plan (paying $84 per day) - you just can't get it free with a discounted room.

    Depending where you want to eat, the DDP may or may not be a good deal for you.
     
  5. kaytieeldr

    kaytieeldr Reserving the right to make jokes out of typos - b

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    You're doing the math wrong.
    The rack rate - the standard, undiscounted cost per room per night - at Animal Kingdom Lodge is, apparently, $250.
    As the above poster points out, the Guest gets to choose the discount from between/among what's offered.
    You choose an offer where the room rate is discounted 40%. You then pay $508.50 for park passes and an unknown amount for food. Total $1530.
    Since you refer to 'this' [same] package with the free dining, that can only mean the same $508.50 for tickets. You would then be paying $1702.50 for the room and $508.50 for the tickets. Total $2211 (maybe the tickets are a little cheaper with the package somehow?). But wait - that's room and tickets AND food - for two people. This time, you know how much your food will cost. Do you think the two of you will eat more than $340 worth of food each over six nights, divided among six snacks, six counter service meals, and six table service meals? I do ;)

    eta: sorry, I had to go out. The reason I say your math is wrong is that Disney isn't adding anything to anything - much less $700. They're subtracting 40% from the rack rate to give you the $150 per night room rate you encountered.
     
  6. ColdNorway

    ColdNorway Mouseketeer

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    Ok. Thanks.
    There are NO sutch thing as FREE dining then.it:thumbsup2
    That was the only thing i was wondering about.
    I thought FREE meant ZERO xtra cost.
    Im from Norway, sorry, here Free means free. = Zero.
    And the rack rate in sept are 144$ & 150 at AKL with the bad view rooms. Click on the expedia link above. There you find the 144 & 150 rate.
    And there are NO web site that can sell discounted Disney Hotels, so that means that it´s 144 & 150$ rack rate.
    Disney´s web site add 100 pr night,if you book with "free" dining. WOW. Nice move.


    Thanks.
     
  7. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

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    Free does mean free. The price you pay with free dining is the full price for your room plus tickets and the dining plan is added for no extra cost (hence the word free). Just because they give you something for free doesn't mean it's the best deal. That's what's confusing you. In order to collect this free benefit you have to pass on any other possible discounts. In your case, you can save more money by saying no to the free offer and taking advantage of a room discount.

    For my family, free dining saves $168/night because my kids are both 10+ and therefore are Disney adults. My room isn't even costing me $149/night which means that Disney would have to not only give me my room for free but actually pay me to stay in order to get as good of a discount with a room discount. Everybody has to do the math to figure out which deal is best for them. It really is as simple as that. There's nothing misleading or underhanded about calling the deal free dining since they are giving the dining plan for free.

    It always comes down to the math.

    Rack rate at AKL standard view is $240/night for value season. The price you're getting is a DISCOUNTED rate, not rack rate. $144 is the 40% discount off rack rate. That's a $96/night savings. Expedia is quoting you the 40% discount that you can get directly through Disney. It is NOT a good idea to book this way. Please book directly through Disney if you hope to get any customer service if anything comes up before your trip. Expedia will own your reservation, not you.
     
  8. Mary•Poppins

    Mary•Poppins DIS Veteran

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    Last year, a DIS podcast talked about "Free Dining" and said that the only time it beat the 40% room discount was when it was the Regular Dining plan and you stayed at a value resort. We did this last year when we were offered a PIN for and stayed at the AllStar Music in December (not the Quick Service Plan).

    I can't find the podcast ... perhaps someone else can find it ...
     
  9. Planogirl

    Planogirl I feel the nerd in me stirring

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    It depends on the size of your group and how much you eat. There's only two of us and we eat few full serve meals so free dining is quite expensive for us.
     
  10. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

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    It all depends on the time of year (therefore the rack rate; fall free dining is value season) and the people in your room and the available room discounts. It really is important to always do the math to figure out which is the best deal for your group. It's never as obvious as it might seem.
     
  11. mistysue

    mistysue DIS Veteran

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    It's not that $150 is the rack rate, $150 is the rate after the 40% room discount that site is adding for you. If you go to disney's site, search for specials and look at "room only" you will get the same rate.

    In your case free dining is a bad deal. For me, staying at POP- the dining we get free is worth $70 in an $82 room. A room discount would mean we pay $65/night, but get no food... so free dining costs us $17/night for two meals/snacks per person per night.
    If you were 4 adults even and liked eating on property- the dining would be a better deal for you than the lower room rate.
     
  12. brymolmom

    brymolmom DIS Veteran

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    I beg to differ - there is definitely IS such a thing as FREE DINING and it is THE BEST DEAL my family has ever gotten. However, it is not the deal that is best for each family - there is the point. I have paid $90 per night for a value room (best discount I could have gotten on that room at the time is $15 per night) - and gotten the dining for FREE saving my family of 2 adults and 2 children almost $100 per night! WOO-HOO!

    Now I agree that the smaller the number of people in the room, ESPECIALLY if you want to stay in a deluxe it is usually NOT A GOOD DEAL for your family - however, it IS still free. It's just that another discount is likely going to save you more.

    And you're already saving $100 per night on that room with that rate - Disney can't give everyone that AND free dining...well, I guess they could but likely not the best business decision.
     
  13. deerhart

    deerhart DIS Veteran

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  14. 3boymthr

    3boymthr DIS Veteran

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    I just checked Expedia. If you read carefully, it states that the rate you are being quoted is an "Expedia Special Rate", which means it is not a rack rate. When it is a rack rate Expedia will state that.

    Another thing with Expedia to be wary of special rates are charged up front so you will have to pay the full amount NOW as opposed to 45 days before for a package or when you check in for room only.
     
  15. kaytieeldr

    kaytieeldr Reserving the right to make jokes out of typos - b

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    Disney's website adds ZERO per night. Period. Disney's website provides the rack rate.

    Wrong. Disney's own website provides the rack rate. Various Travel Agencies will negotiate with various end providers for blocks of rooms at discounted (from the rack rate) prices. Part of this contract - because that's what it is - limits the time span in which the Agency must sell these rooms at these rates or they must return the unsold rooms to the control of the end provider (WDW, in this case).

    Your confusion over the difference between rack rate and discounted rate doesn't mean free dining isn't free.
     
  16. Planogirl

    Planogirl I feel the nerd in me stirring

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    I get the OP's point. It doesn't seem free if it ends up costing you more. How many hotels normally charge rack rate after all?
     
  17. Tiger926

    Tiger926 DIS Veteran

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    As others have already explained, it is FREE, as there is no charge for it in that package.

    It's irrelevant what other hotels charge - Disney always has multiple discounts/promos going on at one time, so you need to do the math to see which promo fits your needs.

    Free dining is FREE - it might not be the best deal for you, but it's still FREE as the food component is added at no charge = FREE!

    Tiger :)
     
  18. brymolmom

    brymolmom DIS Veteran

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    I'm not sure if I just miss out on really great deals or what - I can't imagine getting $100 off PLUS free dining. It just doesn't make sense. When I buy a sweater at JC Penny's - it is USUALLY on sale - 10% off, 15% off...but if I wait for the 'best deal for me' - it is Buy one get one for 1 penney....OF COURSE that's off the FULL PRICE of the sweater. They never offer that deal on the sweaters that are already 15% off.

    So I guess that just makes sense to me since every business I know always charges their discounts off of 'full price' - especially for their best deals.

    I LOVE free dining and OP - price it out at a value room and you will see the true discount and how large it is. Since 'other' discounts on value rooms are so small....free dining almost always is larger than the other discounts. It will show you the true meaning of Free Dining - even if you still want to go with your other discount at AKL.
     
  19. BellePrincessBelle

    BellePrincessBelle <font color=green>Nothing says Thanksgiving like s

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    The OP is not including the price of the PAID dining plan in their figures. You need to do apples to apples. Your original quote does not include dining and as others have said you can not stack discounts. You either get room discount or free dining. For my family free dining was the better overall deal.
     
  20. thebigkahuna

    thebigkahuna DIS Veteran

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    This.

    When I booked my room, it was at a discounted rate. When I got a pin, I called back only to be give a HIGHER total cost.
    I asked, (because that didnt' make sense) and she told me that my room rate was at XXX dollars a night - I stopped her right there - but that's NOT the room rate I booked! Turns out, you have to pick your discount. Free dining = rack rate for the hotel. Discount on the room = NO free dining.
    There is free, but you have to pick what discount you want more. (I wanted the hotel for a lower rate - your views may vary)

    Hope that helps!
     
  21. PinkRhombus

    PinkRhombus need...more...coffee

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    As a family with 2 adult, and 2 kids under 10, the difference in savings between the different offers that have come out has been very small.

    All of these have been early June, mod for 7 nights, with QSDP, base tickets and right around the same $:

    4/3 deal (last year), adding quick service

    30% off, adding quick service

    Free QSDP pin, rack rate for room


    The last one was maybe $100 cheaper than the 30% off one. I'll take the $100 savings, but it's not a deal breaker either way for us.
     

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