To all those who hate free dining

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Plan' started by palavra, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. palavra

    palavra DIS Veteran

    Jun 8, 2007
    I do understand some of your concerns such as difficulty getting ADR's, lower quality of food in restaurants, and having to choose alternate restaurants because the ones you want are booked. However, for some families, like mine, Disney is offering us the chance to eat at nice restaurants without having a major food budget. We didn't choose to got oDisney because of free dining. We were already going, but we were going to stay off site, eat out of the park for most meals and scrimp and save for a couple of character dining experiences for our daughter. Yes, we are paying about $30.00 more a night on site than we were off site, but that difference doesn't come close to what it would cost to eat at the seven restaurants and CS places that we now have ADR's for. No, food isn't really what Disney is about, but for some families, free dining will make the difference in a trip where worrying about food costs causes strain during the vacation, and a trip where we can actually sit down and relax while eating. Thanks Disney!
  2. daleswife

    daleswife DIS Veteran

    Jun 14, 2008
    I wouldnt have gotten to go this year had it not been for the free dining offered while we will be there....NEXT WEEK!!!!! Im glad they have it.
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  4. JackJack08

    JackJack08 DIS Veteran

    Feb 25, 2008
    You are right! And really, the dining is always an exciting part of the trip for us. We always pick resturants with the kids in mind (10 and 6). Something fun and silly, bright, get the drift! The dining is a great part of the magic. Hoop de doo, Sci-Fi, Coral Reef, CRT....soooo many!
  5. WebmasterJackie

    WebmasterJackie Community Manager for The DIS Staff Member

    Dec 19, 2008
    We are renting DVC points for our vacation from another DISer so we are not getting our dining free, we chose to purchase the dining plan though because as much as we saved off of rack rate room prices, it's really the same difference! We're pretty excited because the crowds are very slow compared to April when we used to go even though you can't get an ADR to save your life!!! :lmao:
  6. Christine9125

    Christine9125 DIS Veteran

    Mar 19, 2008
    I am right there with you and I am so glad you will be able to show your daughter a good time.
  7. rlahsin

    rlahsin Mouseketeer

    Jan 18, 2008
    Yep, I agree. We were booked off site as well, and when the free dining promotion was extended, we jumped on it. It's allowing us to stay at the Beach Club without over-extending our budget.
  8. MyTwoPrincesses

    MyTwoPrincesses DIS Veteran

    Sep 1, 2009
    My sentiments exactly. Free dining is what pushed us over the edge to book our vacation. We talked about going to WDW but Free dining made it affordable. Yeah, we could stay for a bit less off-site, but then we'd rent a car. Plus we'd only get 1 TS meal - Akershus princesses - and maybe 1 more and that's it. Now we get to have a bunch of fun (relaxing) dining experiences that we wouldn't otherwise have because DDP is too expensive for us and TS is just too expensive for us to get 6 TS meals in one trip.
  9. Nadjalu

    Nadjalu DIS Veteran

    Jul 8, 2009
    I couldn't agree more with you!

    Very well put. My husband and I went in March of this year, I splurged and budgeted for this trip, thinking "when will I ever be able to go again".
    Then I got a pin code for FD and wham things fell into place and I am blessed to be going again already!

    I feel terrible when people can't get the ADRs they desperately want but it truly is a blessing to have this wonderful chance again with Free Dining. We paid last time for it and still came out ahead but it is a luxury for us to do it again.
  10. wolf2961

    wolf2961 Mouseketeer

    Sep 1, 2009
    I've been absolutely astounded by the amount of complaints about free DDP. Yes, ADRs are more challenging, but certainly it's possible to get seats in whatever restaurant we wish, just not 10 days before our visit. I've seen posters express anxiety, stress, even disdain for the plan. We would certainly go to WDW even without free dining, but this sure makes things much easier for me. I'm a single Dad, with 2 sons. We would never have the dining opportunities without the Plan that we have available to us. I don't have to worry about explaining that we can only go to 2 or 3 Character Meals, instead we can try any and all places that we might like. I don't have to study menus and figure out where we can afford to eat, worry about spending $10 when we want ice cream or brownies. I'm appreciative that I have this opportunity and can't understand why more are not.
  11. LoraJ

    LoraJ <br> I need a vacation!<br><font color="blue">Want

    Aug 17, 2004
    We don't do the dining plan because it doesn't work for us. We like a couple of meals where they do not accept it. Before the dining plan came along (not just the free one, but the regular one too), we could be spontaneous on our trips and figure out where we wanted to eat that day. It was much more relaxing that way.

    I hate that it's going back to 180 days out again. I didn't even know we would be able to make this trip until about 90 days out. Even 90 days out is too far in advance to decide where you want to eat, especially when they change the menus. Last year I made an ADR at Coral Reef and he had his heart set on a certain dish. But of course when the time came, the menu changed and it was no longer there. He ended up hating that meal. If they extend free dining again next year, and we know 90 days out we'd like to go, but can't get reservations anywhere, we may choose to go elsewhere. So while they may be getting you in the restaurants, they may be forcing others to different vacation destinations.

    Sure it may sound crazy that we'd base our vacation on restaurants, but it's part of the whole vacation experience for us.
  12. LaurenT

    LaurenT DIS Veteran

    May 27, 2009
    I agree with the posters and have another way to look at it for those who complain!
    I am not going during free dining....We will stay at our AKV unit in Feb and will pay for the DDP. We will go AFTER presidents week and I therefor anticipate that the crowds will be manageable.
    Part of the reasdon the crowds won't be bad, is not just that we're going after a holiday week, but also because other families that may have gone during that week and going this fall BECAUSE of free dining. They get a more affordable vacation and they help take the load off of the crowds the rest of the year.
    So, in short, if you hate free dining, go at a different time of year and thank Disney for making free dining available to the rest of the country!
  13. LoraJ

    LoraJ <br> I need a vacation!<br><font color="blue">Want

    Aug 17, 2004
    We usually go in October but I had to change due to a family event. My husband likes to go for the Halloween stuff. Free dining was extended even during the time we would normally be there without it.

    We got everything I wanted reservation-wise, but only because I made the ADRs before we even had the plans confirmed. However, now there is not much flexibility to change. I wanted to switch the nights of two of the restaurants and keep checking but it's not happening.

    It's silly to say we should just go another time of year and HHN at Universal is the reason why we are coming down. October was the time of year we really enjoyed going. So like I said, in the future, if they extend free dining through October again, and we are unable to book so far in advance and unable to get dining reservations, we just may do a different trip or maybe stay at Universal and eat off property.
  14. mickey2000

    mickey2000 Pin trader

    Jan 2, 2000
    Your correct !!!
    People are upset with all the dumbing down of the menus over the years.
    If you compare it to several years ago the plan is just fair in my oponion.
    I cancelled my November trip to Disney and am doing this instead :thumbsup2:thumbsup2

    I still have to pay tips, however each night I will get a 3 course meal on my 10 day non disney cruise. Two people, 10 day cruise, deluxe balcony room, for under $2000. Thats a bargain :banana::banana::banana:
  15. clc053103

    clc053103 DIS Veteran

    Mar 13, 2009
    I have to say, I see the point of those who complain. The initial poster confirms that they would have eaten off site for most meals if not for free dining- so now Disney has given food to a party that would not have paid for their food otherwise, while those of us who eat every single meal on Disney property and pay for it have to deal with the crowds and fighting for ADR's with people who wouldnt be eating there if it wasn't free.

    I think it's great that people have been able to afford staying on site or an extra day or just the joy of eating on Disney property due to free dining. But it isn't great for those of us that pay cash for dining plans.

    I would rather see Disney give steeper room discounts and keep their free dining- so the restaurants are available for those wishing to pay the prices, and families that otherwise couldn't afford a Disney vacation can now afford one.
  16. TDC Nala

    TDC Nala 1937, what a year that was

    Jun 22, 2001
    I don't really mind it since I don't use the dining plan at all - most of the time I just go to places that don't take the dining plan or cost 2 credits.
  17. thebeesknees

    thebeesknees DIS Veteran

    May 29, 2009
    I can understand why people who usually pay for dining would be annoyed with the rest of us who are getting free dining for making ADRs harder to get, and the restaurants are more crowded. However, it is the free dining that made it possible for us to stay on property this year. We've always stayed off property and made our own meals or eaten outside the parks. The only meal we've ever purchased inside the park was a kid's meal for my DH one night because he was so sick of the PB&J that I'd packed for the rest of us all week. After comparing what it would have cost us to stay off site and rent a car for the week vs. stay on-site and get the dining, it was cheaper to stay on-site. I doubt we'll ever be able to do these character meals and experiences again, since next time my youngest will be old enough for us to pay for him and we will have to get 2 rooms if we stay on-site (not happening with our budget!). So, I'm going to go and enjoy every minute of these meals, be thankful that it worked out that we can do it this time, and hope things aren't too bad for the people who are upset with us for filling up the restaurants!
  18. preciousmama45

    preciousmama45 Truly Devoted.....

    Jun 19, 2009
    Honestly guys, there are pros and cons to both having and not having the DDP. It just depends on who you are asking and what their needs are.:confused3 It is just an option. One that does not have to be taken. For people who can benefit from it, it's great.:love: For people who may have no need for it, it may be a pain. :headache: One of the coolest things about living in America is that we have options and the chance to choose what works best for us.:thumbsup2

    In order for someone to win, someone must lose.....................................
  19. Don Disney

    Don Disney DIS Veteran

    Sep 23, 2008
    Freedom of choice is a wonderful thing-Go during "free-dining",or DON'T go during "free-dining"!:rolleyes1 Either way,Disney will get their hands on our money!!;)
  20. RMulieri

    RMulieri DIS Veteran

    Jul 5, 2001
    The thing about the free dining that irks me...I deliberately chose MID-late December to avoid it this year.I knew that last year Disney Visa offered it, but I never dreamt disney would extend it to everyone till late December.It makes adrs a circus that quite honestly I am not up to especially since I PAID for the dining plan and can't get it free.I am not anti-Free dining, I often go in Sept FOR free dining .This year I simply wanted a break from the madness...I scheduled and paid for my entire trip in JAN 2009 for December this year, so that was 11 months in advance.I don't begrudge anyone for using the promo, I just was hopeful to not deal with the mayhem I have dealt with the last 3 September trips
  21. mattmommy

    mattmommy Mouseketeer<br><font color=green>My DS loves rice.

    Aug 11, 2003
    Hey, I say go for it with the free DD. BUT when I want to pay cash for a meal and there are 6 empty tables with ressies who don't show up and I can't be seated--we get steamed.

    We learned to eat at odd times so we can sit down for a meal.

    Liberty Tree Tavern opened a dinner annex at the Diamond Horseshoe Review space and we actually got in at 8:30 at night--whoopie!

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