Wait times during free dining

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by kool_kat, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. kool_kat

    kool_kat Mouseketeer

    Aug 16, 2008
    We are going to Disney 9/5-9/12 during free dining. We are not on free dining, but have decided to add the dining plan. I've read that your ADR is not a guaranteed time to sit and you may still have to wait. Just wondering what people's experiences with additional wait times after checking in at your ADR time during free dining.

    Not sure if it will vary by time & restaurant, but here is my current list
    9/6 Crystal Palace 6:15
    9/7 50's Prime Time 5:30
    9/8 Le Cellier 6:15
    9/9 Tutto Italia 1:00pm
    9/10 Tepan Edo 2:30pm
    9/11 Cape May Cafe 10:30am
    Raglan Road 3:30 (then need to make it over to the MNSSHP)

  2. RMulieri

    RMulieri DIS Veteran

    Jul 5, 2001
    I have gone during free dining and mostly have been seated on time or after (not early though) Looking at your list, I will tell you Crystal Palace and Le Cellier tend to run behind.
  3. Avatar


    to hide this advert.
  4. Aurora in blue

    Aurora in blue Mouseketeer

    Jul 11, 2003
    kool kat, I am not sure what your resort is but we are going during the exact same week and free dining is still avaiable for most resorts. I dont mean to pry but when I saw your dates I just wanted to share the info. Have a great vacation.
    We have gone before during free dining and the waits have not been too bad. Most of the time we were seated in 10 minutes or so.
  5. TheRustyScupper

    TheRustyScupper Seeing isn't Believing, Believing is Seeing.

    Aug 8, 2000
    1) The OP might have scored a room discount.
    2) Free Dining IS NOT FREE.
    3) It forces you to pay rack rate.
    4) In many cases, a room discount and purchased DDP is cheaper.
    5) Too many people see Free Dining and falsely believe it is a great bargain!

    NOTE: For Moderate and Deluxe rooms, a room discount frequently outweighs the economical benefits of Free Dining. It is just that too many people do not do the math to compare. For a Value resort, Free Dining over a room discount is a "no brainer". For others, it is very possibly you will lose money to take the Free Dining. (This is something we frequently joke about when guests brag about how lucky they were to score free dining.)
  6. fupresti

    fupresti Mouseketeer

    Mar 12, 2009
    I will echo this. I just re-booked a Villa on a 35% Discount and added the Dining Plan. The same vacation on Free Dining was $400.00 more than it was booking the room separate.
  7. jennipooh

    jennipooh Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon

    Jan 6, 2008
    Yeah, we are staying at POFQ with an AP discount and using TIW instead of Free Dining and we are saving money. Room only discount + TIW is saving us several hundred dollars. (staying 13 nights)

    Also, we will waste less food this way. For instance very, very rarely will we eat dessert at a QS. Also, we can choose appetizers instead of dessert or do both at TS restaurants if we want.

    We are off property one day at Sea World, so the dining plan won't do us any good there, instead we'd have to double up on a TS one day and that would be too much for us. Really, the DP is already too much food for us and too much sitting down. We are doing 10 TS instead of 13 and probably sharing some QS and snacks.

    But for Value and some Moderate without a room only discount it is a good deal to do Free Dining. Plus some people like the idea of having it all pre-paid, including snacks. Also, I think it's nice to be able to say to the kids, choose anything you want as long as it's on the DP. Not having to say no to the kids on vacation would be a real plus of the DP.

    But to the OP, I would say that, since Free Dining is still available, it would not be a bad idea to see what it would cost to rebook your room as a Free Dining Package, just to be sure you are getting the best deal. Do not forget to figure in the cost of tickets. (which would not benefit us since I have an AP)
  8. Coconuts

    Coconuts DIS Veteran

    Aug 17, 2007
    We got a pin for a room discount and did the math and we saved $200 more with free dining, and this was on a moderate room.

    Some of your times are prime time dinner times, so you may wait a little bit, but I think you would wait even if it wasn't free dining.
  9. MarkinNM

    MarkinNM NO SOUP FOR YOU!!!!

    May 28, 2003
    1)Ugm, I did the math and I come out on the + of $1100 on the NOT so free dining: laughing:

    2)Not sure what kind of math you guys use claiming the not so free dining, but get over it already, ITS FREE:rolleyes:

    3) VERY much a bargin in saving $1100!!!!! ;)

    4) I will pay rake rates for the rooms and you go ahead and pay rake rates for the FOOD as my food is FREE!!!! ;) :laughing:
  10. portocall

    portocall DIS Veteran

    Jul 22, 2008
    I recieved two PIN's...

    1.) 40% off room (POR).. called to apply this in April and could only apply it to my first two nights for a savings of $150. We are going the week of Thanksgiving. This left me paying rack rate for the most expensive days (of course)

    2.) Free Dining.. called to apply and can use for the whole trip. We are a family of 5, with our oldest being a Disney "adult". Now although we were only planning on doing two ts meals and a few counter service meals, the rest were going to be "in the room dining" (think sandwiches). Just counting on what we planned to pay out of pocket, especially with holiday pricing, we saved $500. In truth, the rack cost of dining was quoted to me as $750. Still coming out ahead.

    Still ahead of the AAA discount too. I am not of the thinking that it is "free" but it was the best deal out there for our family so naturally I snatched it up quite happily!
  11. kool_kat

    kool_kat Mouseketeer

    Aug 16, 2008
    Just to setlle it all, I actually exchanged into the BCV with a timeshare I own, so I am not paying anything for my room (except for my fees which total about 250). Plus, i am getting the discounted military tickets through my parents, so I don't need to buy a ticket.

    My parents are also going and staying at the Beach Club using the 40% military discount. We calculated the savings of using the 40% discount vs. getting free dining for 2 adults, and the 40% was a much better savings.

    When people say that "free dining is not free" what they are looking at is the opportunity cost. Yes, you are not paying for the dining, but what other discount are you giving up to get free dining. If you had no other discount, then the free dining truly is free because you have no other discount available. However, if another discount is available, you're opportunity cost is the amount of that discount. So, if you were able to get a $1000 discount on your room if you weren't using free dining, then the dining plan is costing you $1000 because if you chose the other discount and no dining plan, you would be paying $1000 less.

    Anyways, to get back on topic, thanks for the replys. It sounds like waits are no different during free dining than during any other time? Not only have I never done the dining plan, it has been years since I have eaten at a TS in the park, so this whole thing will be new to me. What is the longest you have waited after your ADR to be seated?

    I also have another question. Our last day (Friday) I am scheduled to go to Raglan Road at DT disney. We are then going to MNSSHP at the Magic Kingdom. From what I have read there is not a direct bus from DT disney to the Magic Kingdom? If not, what is the best way to get there using Disney transportation?

    Thanks again for all the help
  12. jrc-elpaso

    jrc-elpaso Mouseketeer

    Apr 16, 2009
    We're there at the same time - 9/5 thru 9/14 at POR. Did you call Disney to see if you can get free dining? When I booked our trip free dining wasn't being offered yet. Once it came out I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask if we could get it - and the answer was YES!!! Yaaay! I figure it will save us a bundle.
  13. Hallowishes

    Hallowishes DIS Veteran

    Feb 20, 2009
    the only time i had to wait significantly during free dining last year was at BOMA ... i waited like an hour. i still swear they forgot about me :scared1:
  14. devinfl

    devinfl Mouseketeer

    Jul 4, 2007
    this will be my 3rd trip during free dining.
    Most resturants we have been seated fairly quickly.
    coral reef we had to wait 45 min
    Crystal palace 25 min
    chef mickey 20 min

    those were the longest waits we encountered for our ADR's

Share This Page