Anyone NOT on free dining Aug. through Sept? I need your support.

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by DeterminedOne, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. DeterminedOne

    DeterminedOne <img src=

    Oct 25, 2004
    We will be at Disney during free dining but are not using the free dining plan. We booked the Premium plan whereas meals are inclusive of the price paid for the package. Even though we have every single adr we wanted, I can't help but worry about the effects of free dining. I am most concerned about slow service and frazzled CM's. I feel like I am the only one worried about this because we are the only ones NOT on free dining. I need a hug. :scared:
  2. PoohGal05

    PoohGal05 DIS Veteran

    Dec 28, 2004
    My mom and I aren't on the dining plan. We booked our trip in November. When the dining plan came out, I called our TA and asked her if we could get on the dining plan. She made some calls and found out that we would have to cancel the land portion of our trip (hotel and park passes) and rebook that part PLUS pay an additional cost. We have a preferred room and wanted to keep it. If we would have rebooked in order to get the dining plan, we would have had to take a standard. After looking at all the food there is to offer, we decided that it wasn't any big deal for us to have the dining plan. Neither my mom nor I eat that much. We also tend to do a lot more CS anyway. My mom is a picker eater than I am anyway. There are several places that I would have liked to try, but in thinking, it wouldn't have made any sense to book a TS where only I would have eaten and then have to find something for my mom to eat.

    I read somewhere that DIS only represents a small portion of people who go to Disney at any given time. We have always gone to Disney in July. As we are headed there in 3 weeks, it'll be Value Season. I have read the crowds are low during this time. Having said all of that, I'm hoping for the low crowds as I have read, but I'm also preparing for the crowds.

    Here's a :hug: for you!
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  4. Aimeedyan

    Aimeedyan <font color=blue>Why get all excited about somethi

    Feb 22, 2004
    They had free dining last year, too, and numerous people came back and said that they had good service so I am not too worried... however...

    I am going during free dining but am not so worried about service for myself but for some friends of ours - they are going on their first WDW vacation ever and booked too late to get the free dining but they chose to buy it anyways. Part of me wonders if they will be treated differently because CMs will assume that everyone on the dining plan got it free and that's not true - some bought the DDP because they missed the promotion and others are on the upgraded plan like your family. I really want our friends to have a magical trip!

    I hope that what happened last year happens again and that no service is different for dining guests. Let's cross our fingers!
  5. disneybride96

    disneybride96 Yacht Club Gazebo- 11-2-96

    Jan 12, 2004
    Here's a hug. We are not on the "free" dining for Setember since we are DVC members. We did purchase the dining plan. My DH is a "sit down to eat" kind of guy...we do fast food as a last resort. Even when paying for the plan, it is still a value for us.
    We visited WDW in January when there was no "free" dining and could not find a sit down place at Epcot without an ADR, however we did get right into Spoodles. The night we had LeCellier, we watched party after party turned away while we waited for our table.
    So, my theory is that the good restaurants are always busy, so they know how to deal with they are prepared for the "free" dining.
    Have a great time!
  6. kimntrent

    kimntrent Mouseketeer

    May 15, 2006
    We are not on the plan either, however, we are going with some folks that are for three days. I am in the same boat as you worry wise.
  7. Harambe

    Harambe I miss Tapestry of Dreams!

    Mar 30, 2003
    We were there last August (last week) without free dining. Doesn't wash out for us - we were staying concierge (so breakfast and snacks were kinda taken care of), and we had our own tickets through a broker. We would have had to purchase another (extra!) ticket, AND give up our AAA discount (which is pretty hefty for a concierge room).

    We noticed absolutely NO craziness last year, but was glad that we had our ADRs in place before we left. And even so, I was able to get Boma one night, about two hours beforehand!

    We will be at WDW 8/23 - 8/31 and guess what? We aren't doing free dining this time either!

    Have fun! Don't worry about a thing.
  8. ZachnElli

    ZachnElli <font color=green>Is it Spring yet?<br><font color

    May 21, 2001
    We'll be there too and using the dining plan, but we are DVC members so it's not free for us either.
  9. newholidayx2

    newholidayx2 <font color=green>Searching for the perfect tree<b

    Nov 28, 2004
    We're staying 8/12-17 VWL, 17-20 AKL and 20-26 BCV
    We only have the DP for our 3 nights at AKL - the other 11 nights we're using our DDE card. We're DVCers and 9 of our nights are on pts, 2 on mbr cash discount.
    Didnt want to buy the DP as I honestly think its going to be too much food. Will try it for 3 nights in the middle of vacation however.
  10. jpolak

    jpolak DIS Veteran

    Mar 28, 2005
    We are also DVC members and will not be using the free dining plan. We will be using DDE though. The free dining plan doesn't really work out for us. We typically have two sit down meals a day. We do a "brunch" and a dinner so if we were on the plan we would have to change our ways, and we can't have that. :rotfl:
  11. goofie4goofy

    goofie4goofy My Baby Cosmo

    Aug 17, 2005
    :confused3 What are you worried about?? Very confused :confused3

    If you are worried about service in the restaurants due to FD, there is nothing to worry about.
    We are going in Sept, we are not on the free dining plan or any other plan. We got every ADR we wanted too (GC, Blue Zoo, Shula's, Citricos, V&A's) We just booked 2 weeks ago. Sept is very slow. We have been going every Sept for years, way before FD. Free dining has no impact on service.
  12. tink55

    tink55 Mouseketeer

    Dec 25, 2005
    We're going Sept 1-4, and we're not on free dining because we're AP holders and already had a DDE card for restaurant discounts. We're not worried, because we got the ADR's we wanted with no problem. The only down side of free dining is CMs having to field a million questions from folks who have never used it before!
  13. tyandbash

    tyandbash Mouseketeer

    Feb 25, 2001
    We are also DVC members and will be there during free dining, but had to purchase ours, so it isn't free. It is still a savings for us though!!
  14. FigmentsBiggestFan

    FigmentsBiggestFan Mouseketeer

    Jul 22, 2006
    According to a server we spoke to, they don't mind the dining plan because it helps to even out their tips. They don't care if you paid for the plan or not - they get paid either way. Plus, if they are busier they get more $$ and the night tends to go a lot faster!
  15. Luv2Roam

    Luv2Roam DIS Veteran

    Jun 3, 2000
    I don't think there is any need to worry.
    I think Disney is being proactive in what is obviously a busy dining time coming up. They are making some temporary changes that will help guests enjoy their meals and use their credits.
    I would be concerned for those without ADRs. But Disney is even being proactive on that too.
    Just enjoy! :wave2:
  16. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha

    Aug 26, 1999
    Same here! I went last year during the free dining, ate at several sit-down restuarants, and I didn't even know it was free dining. Nothing seemed noticeably more hectic at all. I had an ADR at Chefs de France, and as I was leaving, I saw another family come up without ADRs and they were told to wait about 30 minutes. I got lunch at Rose and Crown with no ADRs (although come to think of it, it was right at opening, and they said they'd just "fit me in") Generally, things seemed about the same as usual.
  17. Cool-Beans

    Cool-Beans <marquee behavior=alternate><font color=deeppink>F

    Apr 24, 2006
    I did the Dining Plan once and that was enough...scheduling nightmare for me and who can eat all that food?! Never have a problem. :)
  18. Gina35

    Gina35 DIS Veteran

    Feb 25, 2006
    Ditto for us (next week)
  19. Kycha

    Kycha <font color=peach>I'm a grouch with a heart <font

    Jul 4, 2005
    DH and I had free dining last September. Le Cellier was the only restaurant that I thought the wait was a little long(50 minutes, even with ADR), and the service was slow. We were even able to be seated about an hour before our scheduled ADR at CRT. It was our arrival day and I had been up since 4:00 am and there was no way I would make it to our 7:30 pm ADR.
    Enjoy your trip!
  20. LuluLovesDisney

    LuluLovesDisney <font color=red>If you're not outraged, you're not

    Feb 28, 2005
    I am staying at the Swan and we have annual passes and DDE, so we are not doing free dining either. I am also a little worried, but I am trying to be optimistic. I have all my ADR's so I'm hoping for the best. You're not alone! :goodvibes
  21. Christopher5927

    Christopher5927 Mouseketeer

    Feb 4, 2006
    We are staying August 10 - 24 and are not on free dining. We thought DDE would benefit us more. We stayed the exact same dates last year during free dining and noticed no difference.

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