Free dining survey

disneyland_is_magic

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
I actually am going to play devil's advocate. I don't buy it that life is going to change after GE, at least not permanently. Will there be crowds, oh definitely. There will be lots of crowds and there will be 6 hour lines for the two attractions if they don't come up with clever crowd control. For years, I was definitely Chicken Little, running around the boards, having fear and dread that it was going to ruin the Disney experience and DL would cost a fortune forevermore, the sky would fall, etc, etc.

But here is my thing. Disneyland's GE is schedule to open in June, Bob Iger came right out and SAID it and it's was a fairly well established rumor for months anyways. DL will have a monopoly on the Star Wars market for almost 6 full months! And poor DL has just 3 hotels, all together totaling FEWER rooms then Pop Century has.

All logic would say DL owned hotels would be booked out solid for the rest of the year right? Because on-site guests would have hopes they *might* get some kind of priority access to GE? I just did a quick check for week long trips in July, August and September and all three DL hotels had availability and many in standard rooms. Are the rates higher? Eh, maybe a bit, but it is also summer. By September the rates cool off significantly, Paradise Pier is coming in at $339 a night.

WDW has far more rooms and parks, and will be six months later, and once yours is open, the crowds will be split, where there is only one Pandora.

I just don't know you can look at the ample availability at DL hotels in the weeks after GE opens and have the same fear that promotions or availability are going to be gone forever. Yes, Disney will milk it. But ...if you can stay at the Disneyland hotel two weeks after GE opens, I believe you will be able to get free dining and/or other promos at WDW in some room categories next year.
 
Last edited:

rteetz

Rumors and News Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
I actually am going to pay devil's advocate. I don't buy it that life is going to change after GE, at least not permanently. Will there be crowds, oh definitely. There will be lots of crowds and there will be 6 hour lines for the two attractions if they don't come up with clever crowd control. For years, I was definitely Chicken Little, running around the boards, having fear and dread that it was going to ruin the Disney experience and DL would cost a fortune forevermore, the sky would fall, etc, etc.

But here is my thing. Disneyland's GE is schedule to open in June, Bob Iger came right out and SAID it and it's was a fairly well established rumor for months anyways. DL will have a monopoly on the Star Wars market for almost 6 full months! And poor DL has just 3 hotels, all together totaling FEWER rooms then Pop Century has.

All logic would say DL owned hotels would be booked out solid for the rest of the year right? Because on-site guests would have hopes they *might* get some kind of priority access to GE? I just did a quick check for week long trips in July, August and September and all three DL hotels had availability and many in standard rooms. Are the rates higher? Eh, maybe a bit, but it is also summer. By September the rates cool off significantly, Paradise Pier is coming in at $339 a night.

WDW has far more rooms and parks, and will be six months later, and once yours is open, the crowds will be split, where there is only one Pandora.

I just don't know you can look at the ample availability at DL hotels in the weeks after GE opens and have the same fear that promotions or availability are going to be gone forever. If you can stay at the DL hotel two weeks after GE opens, I believe you will be able to get free dining at WDW in at least some room categories, 6 months after yours opens.
I can guarantee you people are waiting for an official date to be announced before booking a room on both coasts.
 
  • disneyland_is_magic

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 16, 2016
    I can guarantee you people are waiting for an official date to be announced before booking a room on both coasts.
    Never said people aren't and anyways you can't really book WDW post GE anyways, since there will only be a few weeks in 2019 likely, but no one knows since it could easily be delayed.

    And maybe it's the California/Disneyland mentality, of not planning trips so far ahead, but it's less then 180 days out, in WDW dining would be booked! Look how planned out people are for the Dis meet two months later. But they aren't booking Galaxy Edge....because they are waiting for more info? If Bob Iger has said it will open in June, why wouldn't say...July be sold out then? Reservations are easily changed or canceled at the hotel, why not keep a placeholder out of FOMO?

    Why are two Disney cruise ships going to Hawaii in 2020 sold out but the hotels right next to a brand new Galaxy Edge in just 5 months not?

    It will be busy, there will be demand, I am not saying there won't be, and I do think the hotels will sell out for the summer. I was just offering another perspective things could get back to normal, maybe sooner then we all expected. I think it's brings up an interesting point for discussion is all, since it's the first real meaningful post-GE crowd data we have.
     

    rteetz

    Rumors and News Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2013
    Never said people aren't and anyways you can't really book WDW post GE anyways, since there will only be a few weeks in 2019 likely, but no one knows since it could easily be delayed.

    And maybe it's the California/Disneyland mentality, of not planning trips so far ahead, but it's less then 180 days out, in WDW dining would be booked! Look how planned out people are for the Dis meet two months later. But they aren't booking Galaxy Edge....because they are waiting for more info? If Bob Iger has said it will open in June, why wouldn't say...July be sold out then? Reservations are easily changed or canceled at the hotel, why not keep a placeholder out of FOMO?

    Why are two Disney cruise ships going to Hawaii in 2020 sold out but the hotels right next to a brand new Galaxy Edge in just 5 months not?

    It will be busy, there will be demand, I am not saying there won't be, and I do think the hotels will sell out for the summer. I was just offering another perspective things could get back to normal, maybe sooner then we all expected. I think it's brings up an interesting point for discussion is all, since it's the first real meaningful post-GE crowd data we have.
    WDW changes their tune from Late Fall to Fall and from what I’ve heard/expect there will be at least a month of SWGE in WDW in 2019.

    The Uber planners like us on the Dis are not the majority of Disney goers anyways.

    I also think your Uber Star Wars fans haven’t all booked yet.
     

    disneysteve

    DIS meet junkie
    Joined
    Sep 29, 2002
    I also think your Uber Star Wars fans haven’t all booked yet.
    I'm sure there is some truth to that. If GE does for Disney what Wizarding World did for Universal, the new land could attract a bunch of people who may have never been to Disney before. It got us to Universal for the first time so I can totally understand that mindset.
     

    rteetz

    Rumors and News Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2013
    I'm sure there is some truth to that. If GE does for Disney what Wizarding World did for Universal, the new land could attract a bunch of people who may have never been to Disney before. It got us to Universal for the first time so I can totally understand that mindset.
    Yep I think that’s exactly what it will do.
     
  • disneysteve

    DIS meet junkie
    Joined
    Sep 29, 2002
    I'm always amazed at how passionate the anti-dining plan segment of the community is.
    I wish the counter service restaurants would have dedicated lines only for dining plan guests so that I could stop getting stuck behind people who need the whole plan explained to them while I'm waiting to order.

    I'm not really against the dining plan. I'm just very budget-minded and like to point out to all the people who are considering doing the dining plan, especially "free" dining, that there is a cost for that. It is almost always cheaper to pay as you go. And with "free" dining, it's important to compare the options and see if a room discount would actually save you more than "free" dining. People hear "free" and they just jump in without taking the time to figure out how much that "free" thing is going to cost them.

    I recently made a hotel reservation (not at Disney). The fine print said there is a $20/day resort fee that includes FREE Wi-Fi, FREE local calls, and FREE in-room coffee. How exactly are those things free if I'm paying $20/day for them?
     

    tguz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2018
    Can somebody explain to me how "free dining" isn't free? I just want to know if I am missing something? We booked free dining at Pop for this Summer. After I did that and the promotion was over, I looked at the same trip but with the room discount and no food and it would be quite a bit more expensive if we took the room discount and paid for all food out of pocket. We always do the park hopper anyway. If we took the room discount and added the QS meal plan, it would be quite a bit more than the "free dining" that we did book. What factor am I missing? Thanks.
     

    rteetz

    Rumors and News Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2013
    Can somebody explain to me how "free dining" isn't free? I just want to know if I am missing something? We booked free dining at Pop for this Summer. After I did that and the promotion was over, I looked at the same trip but with the room discount and no food and it would be quite a bit more expensive if we took the room discount and paid for all food out of pocket. We always do the park hopper anyway. If we took the room discount and added the QS meal plan, it would be quite a bit more than the "free dining" that we did book. What factor am I missing? Thanks.
    You are paying rack rate for the room instead of getting a room discount. That’s why many feel it isn’t “free”. If it works out as a deal for you great. It doesn’t always end up being cheaper than the room discount.

    To me free Dining isn’t worth it these days but I don’t really like the dining plan in general.
     
  • tguz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2018
    You are paying rack rate for the room instead of getting a room discount. That’s why many feel it isn’t “free”. If it works out as a deal for you great. It doesn’t always end up being cheaper than the room discount.

    To me free Dining isn’t worth it these days but I don’t really like the dining plan in general.
    I get that but for a family of 3, the room discount would have to be more than $156 PER NIGHT to make the room discount a better deal since the QS dining plan is $52.50 per person per night. It’s safe to say that free dining is ALWAYS the cheaper way to go for a family of 3 staying at a value or moderate versus taking the room discount and paying out of pocket for food or adding the QS plan.
     

    rteetz

    Rumors and News Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2013
    I get that but for a family of 3, the room discount would have to be more than $156 PER NIGHT to make the room discount a better deal since the QS dining plan is $52.50 per person per night. It’s safe to say that free dining is ALWAYS the cheaper way to go for a family of 3 staying at a value or moderate versus taking the room discount and paying out of pocket for food or adding the QS plan.
    It depends on what the room discount is. It varies from year to year. So I wouldn’t say always but definitely check it out to see which is better.
     

    mudman

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 7, 2003
    Can somebody explain to me how "free dining" isn't free? I just want to know if I am missing something? We booked free dining at Pop for this Summer. After I did that and the promotion was over, I looked at the same trip but with the room discount and no food and it would be quite a bit more expensive if we took the room discount and paid for all food out of pocket. We always do the park hopper anyway. If we took the room discount and added the QS meal plan, it would be quite a bit more than the "free dining" that we did book. What factor am I missing? Thanks.
    I’m in a similar situation. My family of 4 is staying at Pop too. Free dining was definitely the better discount (by a lot).

    To the OP I didn’t get the survey.
     

    samsteele

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2014
    You always have to do the homework and crunch the numbers. Very personal and specific for your family. Usually works out that free dining works for families of 3+ in mods and values. For couples in deluxe resorts not so much and for them, off season room discounts may be better. I'm a solo guest in a value resort. Quick service free dining is a decent deal. I usually pay the up charge for table service. It works for me. Every guest is unique. Every guest needs to get out their calculator and do the math to see what works best for their family.
     

    tguz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2018
    It depends on what the room discount is. It varies from year to year. So I wouldn’t say always but definitely check it out to see which is better.
    There has never been a room discount at a value or a moderate that would be better than free dining for a family of 3 ages 11 and older. The room discount would have to be $156 per night. A 30% room discount on a $200 a night moderate only saves $60 and saves even less at a value.
     

    rteetz

    Rumors and News Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2013
    There has never been a room discount at a value or a moderate that would be better than free dining for a family of 3 ages 11 and older. The room discount would have to be $156 per night. A 30% room discount on a $200 a night moderate only saves $60 and saves even less at a value.
    It all depends on your situation. That’s why it’s best to the math and see if it works for you. It doesn’t always work out best for everyone.
     

    tguz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2018
    It all depends on your situation. That’s why it’s best to the math and see if it works for you. It doesn’t always work out best for everyone.
    Can you tell me the last time the room discount at a moderate or value for a family of 3 ages 11 and older was a better deal than the free dining? I personally don’t it ever has been because the room discount would need to be more than $156 a night.
     

    Disneylover99

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 17, 2012
    I get that but for a family of 3, the room discount would have to be more than $156 PER NIGHT to make the room discount a better deal since the QS dining plan is $52.50 per person per night. It’s safe to say that free dining is ALWAYS the cheaper way to go for a family of 3 staying at a value or moderate versus taking the room discount and paying out of pocket for food or adding the QS plan.
    If you’re happy with quick service and you’re content staying at a Value resort, and you’ve booked a standard room, FD is almost always going to be the best deal.

    The thing to consider is that some people book through Priceline/Hotwire/Orbitz etc...and get pretty steep discounts, even at Values. They buy discounted tickets without Hoppers and prefer to not have a package. They also might prefer to not eat so much.

    I know that my family of four can easily eat for under $100 per day. We typically don't buy Pop and prefer to drink ice water. We also like to share meals and happily enjoy kids meals sometimes as well.

    So if you factor all that in, it can be cheaper not to go with fd.
     

    sjs314

    "Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2010
    I think that perhaps they will still have promotions such as free dining but it’ll be a much more limited basis perhaps no availability at let’s say the Epcot resorts at the resorts service by the new gondola system or at the Monorail resorts that way only offering it up basically The value resorts add a couple of the moderate resorts and animal kingdom and wilderness Lodge
     


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