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Rumor: No Free Dining at Values this fall...

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by Marionnette, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Marionnette

    Marionnette <font color=deeppink>Wishing On A Star<br><font co

    ...and the free dining at the mods and deluxes will be the QSDP.

    That's the latest on the Codes and Rates subforum of the Resorts Board. FWIW, Danny25 is usually right on the money with his advance info.

    So, how will this affect your vacation plans for next fall? Will you still go to Disney if there is no free dining at the Values? Is it worth it to you to pay rack rates at a moderate or deluxe resort if the free dining plan is just the QSDP?

    For me, it makes no difference and in fact, it may make me more likely to travel to Disney in the fall if there are fewer "free diners" crowding the TS restaurants. I haven't thought that the dining plans were any kind of value since they did away with the gratuity and appetizers. Free DDP for my family of 5 never made up for paying rack rate at a deluxe. So the QSDP makes it even less appealing now that the kids are grown.

    I'm just interested in hearing what other Dis-ers think.
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  3. mommy2twingles

    mommy2twingles New Member

    We are staying deluxe room at Wilderness Lodge. Since you can never get any type of room discount on these rooms any free dining is worth it to us
  4. jrmasm

    jrmasm <font color=blue>Last time I checked, it was still

    I hope they get rid of it forever and return the menus to what they were before "Free Dining".
  5. Marionnette

    Marionnette <font color=deeppink>Wishing On A Star<br><font co

    Thanks for your insight. I had never considered that there are certain room levels that are never discounted. Even GF club level rooms are usually included in the room-only offers but I never thought about the suites at the deluxes. When you're paying $700-$900 per night for those WL Junior Suites, I can understand why even free QSDP will help your budget.

    I agree. The quality at the TS restaurants has declined and the prices have skyrocketed. But I don't think that ditching Free Dining will reverse that trend. As long as people like my brother continue to purchase the dining plan for the mere convenience of it, Disney dining quality will suffer.
  6. snarlingcoyote

    snarlingcoyote <font color=blue>I know people who live in really

    Hmm. .. now I'm left wondering why Disney would do away with something so profitable. We've all run the numbers and from what I've seen posted by people, unless you're a family with bottomless pits known as teenagers, it's usually cheaper to just pay for the same meals and use a PIN, but we're a tiny sliver of the Disney population. I'm sure most people see "FREE" and just jump on it without doing all the math.

    One wonders what this says for PINs. . .which in turn makes me wonder about the DVC rental market. . .
  7. DawnM

    DawnM Dawn

    It won't affect us at all. We don't use it and never have.
  8. eliza61

    eliza61 <img src=http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

    I don't stay value and like you the ddp stop being of value once they got rid of the apps and gratuity.
    Non issue for me.
  9. Darcy03231

    Darcy03231 New Member

    It won't bother me. I find we do better with a room discount and paying for our own meals OOP.
  10. maggiew

    maggiew If she hates to be wet, then how does the survive

    We've never used free dining. We usually go with a room only code.

  11. Disney Addicted

    Disney Addicted New Member

    Staying at a mod and having the DDP was worth it to our family. Kept crunching the numbers between a room discount & OOP or FD and FD came out on top. But we enjoy eating a TS meal each day. And with our picky kids - the buffets were great value.

    It will not really matter the next time we go back though as I already worked out and decided that we will stay off-site at Bonnet Creek. 10 nights in a cramped CSR room was hard. I can hardly wait for a 14 night trip in a large 2-bdrm unit at BC! :goodvibes Whenever we go again that is.. lol

    However a friend of mine... her work is bringing 3 or 4 nursing residents to the World in October. I know she is really hoping for FD as it would make things so much easier for them.
  12. Gee, you won't have a chance to overpay for a hotel room. That's a shame!

    For most folks "Free Dining" really is not a good deal, but since the word "FREE" appears people jump all over it. Then they overpay for a room and think "we got a good deal" As several posters on here point out you can often do better with a discount and eating reasonably out of pocket (Do you REALLY need desert with every counter service meal?)
  13. ceecee

    ceecee New Member

    We no longer go in the fall or stay at the values anymore, but I do purchase the dining plan and it is convenient. It was especially nice when DD's bff's family went down at the same time. The girls could go out together and use their own cards. A few of our favorite places would easily put us over the cost of the dining plan.
  14. wiigirl

    wiigirl New Member

  15. ThisIsTheYear

    ThisIsTheYear Too far from Mickey!<br><a href="http://www.disboa

    We don't rely on free dining. We factor the cost into our budget and if they come out with free dining then that's a big plus. But it never has for us and looks like it never will. Lol.
  16. trinchick

    trinchick New Member

    Wow, thanks for the heads-up. DH and I were just discussing our 2013 vacation plans, and we thought we'd go for the first week of free dining in Aug/Sept. We previously stayed at a value but upgraded to DxDP and had a great week with tons of character meals. We just talked about doing that again this year, only this time renting a car to go to restaurants at other resorts (hate, hate, hate the food court at the values).

    I think having just the QSDP available for moderates/deluxe will actually drive us off the property. We may still go the same week (low crowds and school isn't in session yet for dd), but I think we'd stay offsite, renting a town house with our own little pool. I am done with Disney transportation, so we'd be renting a car anyway. We can still do character meals oop, just fewer of them, and we won't have to deal with making tons of ADRs in advance because we'll take advantage of the many restaurants offsite.

    I envision a vacation of breakfast in the townhouse as we get ready (maybe a character breakfast or two during the week), a QS or character lunch, and then dinner at a local restaurant or pick up pizza to eat by the pool at the rental.
  17. Marionnette

    Marionnette <font color=deeppink>Wishing On A Star<br><font co

    You have a very valid point about people responding like Pavlov's dog to the word "free". But I also think that Free Dining has become less profitable at the Value resorts over the past few years. I don't think there's as big a profit margin at the Value level as there is at the Moderate and Deluxes, which is why they stopped offering free DDP at the Values and replaced it with just QSDP over the past couple of years. Perhaps, in an effort to keep the rack rate of the Values more affordable (not that I think they are a great value for what you get), they've shaved the profit margin too thin to be able to absorb the cost of the QSDP. I've also noticed that the room-only offers at the Values have a very low percentage off, too. The most recent ones have only been in the range of 15% off the rack rate.
  18. eliza61

    eliza61 <img src=http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

    Also remember a lot of people seem to like it for the convenience. Even if they don't save money it's prepaid (or free) and once at the world they don't worry about what they order.
    I never understood that but I have heard that used as a reason many still purchase the ddp.
  19. LisaInNc

    LisaInNc Succulent Wild Woman

    I have tried every way to make free dining work for us but it just does not. If I look at the menus and price what we would actually order or really need not just the most expensive thing to get a better deal.

    I never drink soda and I have wine or water with meals. I never eat dessert so I have to deduct those charges.

  20. Stinkerbell1973

    Stinkerbell1973 New Member

    Our fall trips are always to Fort Wilderness where they have never offered FD. Ever. We can't participate due to that.

    In September 2011 we went to POP instead of FW for the sole purpose of taking advantage of FD. We upgraded to TS since the Values were only offered QS. It was a GREAT way to take advantage of eating at many TS restaurants that we would not normally eat at; especially character meals (4 out of 7 that week were with characters). It was fun to do but I honestly don't know that we'll ever do a TS dining plan again. We are discussing adding QSDP to our Sept. ressie at FW. There's just so many CS places we enjoy eating at! The only TS I imagine we'll do is BoG. :)
  21. PrincessDana

    PrincessDana <font color=CC66CC>See missed attractions or revis

    We have hit the "sweet" spots with FD the last 2 times we have booked it.

    This past October, there were 2 adults and 2 teens (17) and we stayed 6 nights at POFQ, standard room, 6 day tickets, with dining plan for under $2300. I ran all the numbers and even when adding back in tips, it worked out great. We took my daughter's boyfriend with us and I knew it would be great for him, being able to order anything at mealtime and not worrying about the "cost." I ran the numbers all the way around and just could not get a better deal for our particular situation at that time.

    In 2009, I had originally booked at All-Star Sports and then got a free upgrade to SSR 1-bedroom resort. That was when the values still got regular dining for free. That trip was wonderful because it was just 2 adults and the 1-bedroom was so much fun!!

    While I have taken trips in between 2009 and 2012, they have actually been off-site for various reasons.

    However, losing free dining doesn't bother me too much. My daughter will be starting college this fall and that means we are no longer locked into the school system for travel dates, plus we have already decided to do a little more traveling to the rest of the world.

    I do understand though that it will be a pinch for some people...especially for those that fall right into the perfect situations for savings like I have in the past.

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