Booking a trip, advice desperately sought

Discussion in 'UK Trip Planning Forum' started by rhysd2, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. CAL2

    CAL2 DIS Veteran

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    Counter service no problem, not so sure about the restaurants, I'm sure someone will know, but most of the character meals are buffets or family style so will take a credit for each of you. Did you know the counter service and dining plan have changed. They have upped the snack credits to 2 but no longer include a desert with your meal, just mains and a drink,which now includes alcohol :drinking:. I think when we booked our ADR's most of them were for 7 and 8 as that was all we could get. As you can imagine the children were often tired and not wanting to eat so late. With hindsight I think we would have been better off booking sit downs for lunches and counter service in the evening.

    cal
     
  2. Tash87

    Tash87 DIS Veteran

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    We found them very helpful with regards to the kids sharing. Our son was a few days off 3yo so he wasn't on the DP but had a bigger appetite than our 7yo daughter, sometimes she would have just a fruit bowl and he would eat hers. Sometimes he would eat her fries and she would eat the chicken tenders etc

    Even in Cinderella's Royal table they brought him out his own meal and dessert, which took us by surprise!

    I know your situation is different but on the whole they are very accommodating.

    No matter how you do it, it IS a lot of food :) Buffets and family style will take a credit from each of you.
     
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  4. Tash87

    Tash87 DIS Veteran

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    Sorry just read my post back and I didn't mean I upgraded to the deluxe dining plan ( whoah too much food ) I meant I upgraded from the QS to the standard DP
     
  5. LVSWL

    LVSWL I miss my tags...

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    We have used touringplans.com since our first trip in 1989. Back then the crowd calendar was listed in the book "The Unofficial Guide to WDW". We have had great success with using the site. I hope you have a wonderful trip!
     
  6. rhysd2

    rhysd2 Let's have popcorn and dippin' dots

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    Thanks thats great to know. Yea totally expect them to deduct a credit in a buffet but in a order from a menu place if they arent hungry they'd prefer to share. And yes I also thought lunch time might be a smart idea for the table service meals some days. Will help the kids and give us more flexibility in the evening.

    Awesome to know thanks. Good to hear they are so accommodating.

    Ahh ok that makes more sense. While the flexibility of the deluxe sounds nice the idea of that much food is too much. With some planning im sure the table service meals will be fine just may have to shift the odd few.

    thank you :) I've taken a look at touring plan and will give it a whirl. If anything just to use the info on busy days etc. But will look at all the features too see how it works.
     
  7. LVSWL

    LVSWL I miss my tags...

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    We mainly use it to determine which park to go to on which day. :D
     
  8. rhysd2

    rhysd2 Let's have popcorn and dippin' dots

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    That will likely be my main use but may well try it's planning tool some days also out of interest to see how it works.


    So just to throw a huge spanner in the works the travel agent just emailed me to say a regular room just opened up in wildernesss lodge which was our original first choice due to theming and park proximity. He's pricing the difference now.... gah what to do.
     
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  9. elaine amj

    elaine amj DIS Veteran

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    Yep - I think regular dining plan is a great fit for you. Typically, people would use it as snack for breakfast, QS for lunch, and TS for dinner. It's also easy to switch it up. If you share some meals at QS and TS places here and there or have snacks for lunch sometimes, your credits can easily stretch to cover breakfasts too.

    If you are very flexible over where to eat and what time you eat, there's usually same day reservations to be had. You do have to be flexible though as sometimes it just doesn't work out. Its very hard to do this at MK and DHS though - both have very limited table service restaurants that are always fully booked (except maybe Hollywood Brown Derby in DHS, which is a signature). If you decide to try for same day at these parks, go right when the restaurant opens and ask. I have successfully gotten 50s Prime Time this way. When I tried for Tony's Town Square in MK for dinner (not at opening though), I waited 1.5 hours. It really helps if you are willing to go to resort restaurants as they are sometimes less busy.

    I would also suggest getting the Landry's membership card. You pay $25 and get $25 in welcome credit plus a $25 birthday bonus that is valid for the month of your birthday + 15 days after (both can be stacked for a $50 credit). You get a new $25 birthday bonus every year forever. My DH's birthday is in mid July. We ate in Yak & Yeti on Aug 13 and were able to redeem his birthday bonus. We used it for apps since that is not normally part of the dining plan. The best part - you get priority seating without a reservation at any Landry's restaurant - WDW has 3 on-site - Yak & Yeti and Rainforest Cafe in AK, along with Rainforest Cafe and T-Rex in Disney Springs.

    Y&Y was soooo good. Especially if you like Asian food. We ended up eating there 2x over 2 weeks and it was delicious both times. Our new favorite.

    Most don't sign their contracts until the end of the year. 99% of them will eventually be added. I wouldn't worry about it at all.

    90% of them will have no problems with children or adults sharing credits. We have done so multiple times (and did a few times in our last trip). That said, in 2012, I was not able to share 3 credits between 4 people at T-Rex. I have been trying to pay attention but have not heard any reports about sharing there. I have not returned since. I have also heard that Via Napoli doesn't allow credits shared for their personal pizzas. I have stayed away due to these reports so am unsure. Every other restaurant, including Yak & Yeti, Sanaa, Whispering Canyon Cafe, Turf Club, Le Cellier, etc have all been extremely gracious about it. In fact, the best service I have ever received at WDW was at Chefs de France where the 4 of us sat down and only my 2 children ordered meals with child TS credits. We gave him a huge tip after that! I do usually tip based on all 4 of us ordering.

    If the price is right - go for it! But I'm biased - I absolutely LOVE the theming of WL and it is my dream resort. The price difference shouldn't be that big as WL will have full DDP for free included as a deluxe. Also, their food court has the BEST snacks - many unique things you cannot find in other resorts/food courts. And two QS options, both of which get great reviews. Whispering Canyon Cafe has really great food and is so much fun for kids. The BBQ skillet is always yummy - but also, my SIL had the absolute best fish of the trip at WCC.

    I'm very price-sensitive though...so we stuck with SSR.
     
  10. rhysd2

    rhysd2 Let's have popcorn and dippin' dots

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    Thank you Elaine that is all amazing info! Good to hear more about credit sharing. Hadn't thought about using snack credits for breakfast great tip. I can see the children sharing qs and table credits plus probably myself and my wife at times so I'm sure we'll build up a surplus.

    Also good to hear about some recommended restaurants I hadn't read up on yet.

    If we move the reservation to WL then eating at resorts would be tons easier. Though at FQ Disney springs is a stones throw away.

    As for the reservation I'm torn. Wilderness lodge was my original choice. The locations amazing. And I love the theming. But I'm a sucker for New Orleans stuff also. I may let my children decide lol.
     
  11. elaine amj

    elaine amj DIS Veteran

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    It won't be that much of a surplus as you need to stretch it to cover 3 meals a day (many people just buy groceries for breakfast and eat in the room - and I can totally seeing having wayyy too many credits then!). If you do enough sharing though, you would then be able to use your TS for more signature (2 credit) meals if you like. If your kids like Mickey and are not shy to dance with characters....Mickey's Backyard BBQ was amazing! It doesn't get much love on the Dis, but I was blown away. REALLY amazing character interaction, neverending entertainment, and while the food was simple BBQ food, we really enjoyed it - best ribs of the trip for me.

    We also did signature meals like brunch at Cali Grill which is normally $80/pp, and Le Cellier (which is a huge must-do favourite for us). I don't do that many signature meals since I'm basically only getting one meal instead of 2 - but for certain things if I have managed to save up extra credits, I feel it is worth it.

    I really like sharing because then it feels like we have an overabundance of food. As a very frugal person, I confess - that contributes a lot to my enjoyment of a Disney trip :)
     
  12. rhysd2

    rhysd2 Let's have popcorn and dippin' dots

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    Sorry I meant a surplus before I start spending them on 2 credit items or lunch/breakfast.

    My general plan was use QS for breakfast. Maybe a surplus QS for lunch, or buy a shared lunch plus use snack credits, then have a table service dinner. But lunch and dinner can interchange. Odds are the children and maybe even us will be sharing a QS credit and a TS credit so we should have some spare. Plus I've budgeted to buy lunch where needed at times.

    That's interesting as I'd heard a lot of bad about the backyard BBQ. I hear the hoopdeedoo review is good also.

    I looked at signature meals but think it can wait for next time with the children's ages being what they are.
     
  13. elaine amj

    elaine amj DIS Veteran

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    I know - Mickey's Backyard BBQ gets slammed here on the Dis. I didn't consider it for years because of the bad rep it has on here. I think it is mostly because it used to be very cheap but the price has gone up, up, up. It is a VERY expensive meal for stuff like BBQ. That said, I was incredibly impressed and now highly recommend it. With a few caveats...It's good for kids who are not shy and would enjoy dancing with the characters. The kids should be able to handle the free-for-all-type scrum. Kids do need to be able to handle that it is not tightly organized into neat lines - the characters come out and everyone just runs around.

    One (about 7/8yr old) child I met there was sooo excited to see Mickey but was a bit freaked out with kids all over the place. His Mom kept screaming at him (she was a nnice lady I chatted with but got a bit overexcited) to just go up to Mickey and dance/whatever and he got completely overwhelmed and ended up wailing. It was so sad. Interspersed throughout the night, the characters also had traditional meet n greet lines and the kid got his photo and left happy. I don't know that it was worth it for them - he would have done better with a free fastpass to meet Mickey in MK.

    That said, the characters come out and dance 3-4 times. The first round everyone is in the middle dance floor. Some of the other rounds they split up to smaller dance floors scattered around the pavilion. In between these sessions, the characters do traditional meet n greet lines off the the 2 sides while there is busker-style entertainment in the middle. My 3 yr old niece loved it, loved it, LOVED IT!

    Also, there are Photopass photographers everywhere before and during the meal, many standing around with nothing to do at various points. I got sooo many amazing photos just by going up and asking for them.

    I feel they really step it up to make it more "worth" the signature price.

    My one "beef" is that there is NO TIME to eat!!! Hahaha...the entertainment went on nonstop until it was over 2 hours later. Thankfully, niece didn't notice the busker entertainment so we ate during those times. I was absolutely exhausted (since i chased after my niece almost nonstop) after the meal was over. I thought it was going to be a relaxing early night, but I crashed hard by the time we made it back to the room!

    Hoop Dee Doo is also amazing. I've done it twice and it is so much fun for all ages. It's perfect for people who like musical-type shows, lots and lots and lots of puns, and old-timey country-style music. The performers are FANTASTIC! Very much a traditional (extremely well done) dinner show.

    I would suggest considering doing both. Basically the same food for both meals so I hope you like BBQ. Both are 2 credit meals. With free beer/wine/sangria.
     
  14. CAL2

    CAL2 DIS Veteran

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    Forgot to say if you have any cs credits left you can exchange them for 3 snacks. We had quite a few left over last year and bought lots of treats home with us .

    cal
     
  15. rhysd2

    rhysd2 Let's have popcorn and dippin' dots

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    That's a useful tip thanks Cal. I'm guessing I can't use a table service credit for a quick service meal?

    And thanks Elaine that's a very useful review. I'm not sure if my youngest could handle the scrum at the BBQ. But will start with hoopdee and go from there I think. I do however love BBQ food and have my own very large hot smoker after spending time in Texas a while back :D
     
  16. Tash87

    Tash87 DIS Veteran

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    We got over $200 worth of snacks on our last day with leftover QS and snack credits!

    We enjoy our food and still didn't manage to use all the credits.
     
  17. rhysd2

    rhysd2 Let's have popcorn and dippin' dots

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    Fair enough. I figure if I add a few character meals I may need to buy the odd meal later but that’s no drama.
     
  18. elaine amj

    elaine amj DIS Veteran

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    Most character meals are 1 TS credit. A few specialty meals like Hoop Dee Doo and Cinderella's Royal Table are 2 TS. With 2 weeks and a willingness to share, you'll have plenty to spare for a couple of 2 TS meals and highly unlikely to need to pay anything OOP.
     
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  19. Tash87

    Tash87 DIS Veteran

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    We ate at Cinderellas Royal Table ( 2 credits ) and lots of other character meals, no dinner shows though. Im starting to make a list of place we would like to eat, with a fussy child it's tricky :mad:

    Have you decided which resort to book yet? I'm not sure who you're getting prices from but when I was looking to book sometimes the prices would increase on a daily basis.
     
  20. CAL2

    CAL2 DIS Veteran

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    Yes you can use a table service for a counter service. You may also be able to use a table service on snacks but not 100% sure on that one.
     
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  21. rhysd2

    rhysd2 Let's have popcorn and dippin' dots

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    Ah I didn’t not realise most were 1 ts credit thank you! Sounds like we’ll be fine.

    We’re currently booked at port Orleans French quarter. Though I am still checking now and then to see what other hotels pop up. There’s a great deal on animal kingdom lodge but it’s too far out for us. The wilderness lodge room went before I could get my agent to price it. There is a Disney beach club lake view room showing up.

    Have any of you stayed at the beach club? The pool looks good and walking distance to Epcot and studios is handy though not the same as being near MK. Was curious how the themeing and atmosphere was? Main reason for asking is I’ve stayed in the Newport at DLP and found the themeing a bit bland and dull. Not sure the whole white north eastern USA style is for me but wanted to at least consider it as it’s probably a better location than POFQ plus has the amazing pool.

    Perhaps I just need to stop looking and second guessing myself lol

    Awesome to know thank you
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017

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