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  • Author
    • FlamingoGirl

      Registered: July 2014
      Posts: 2
      Review Date: Sun July 20, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Easy to Use, Great Variety
      Cons: Wish there was some kind of a deal for campers at Ft Wilderness

       
      We thought the plan was an amazing deal. There was just my husband and I and we stayed in our travel trailer at Ft Wilderness. Even though we had the capability to cook for ourselves, we decided, it was our vacation and we saved for 6 years and we were going to enjoy it.
      We planned ahead. We sat down about 7 months out and looked at all the menus and made our choices for were to dine. We made our reservations at the 180 day mark. We even looked at the counter service meals and had an idea where and what we would like to try. We did our homework. It was so worth it. We had fantastic meals everyday.
      We were there for 12 nights, on day 11, the lady asked us if we knew we had 22 snacks still on our card. We did. We had eaten so much that we waited until the last day and bought snacks to put in the trailer for the rest of our trip. It made the Disney Magic last that much longer.
      The only thing I wish would change is that the camp ground does not have a special dining offer in Sept. We went in Sep and the hotels have free dining but there is nothing if you are camping. Even a 1/2 price deal would be great. (We camp because we have furkids that go everywhere with us.)
      We loved it and would recommend it to anyone vacationing at WDW!
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      Time2Talk

      Registered: June 2014
      Posts: 6
      Review Date: Sat June 14, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 7 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Prepaid
      Cons: Tips

       
      My group had the dining plan with one quick service, one table service, and one snack per day. After reviewing our trip, we decided that we will get a quick service only plan for our next visit. We will pay for two table service meals out of pocket for our next visit. A table service meal each night ended up being way too much food.


      The tips for a group of four really add up and you need to take this into consideration. Tips added about $10 for each person for a table service meal.
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      BabieO

      Registered: May 2012
      Posts: 15
      Review Date: Sun May 18, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Love it! A real bang for your buck
      Cons: none

       
      I highly recommend getting the dining plan. On average our dinner for three adults would have been $120 per night with out the dining plan. We use the quick service for breakfast in the am & sit down meal for dinner. We have tried restaurants I never would have tried with out the plan & all of my meals are prepaid before I arrive at the parks. On the last day of our trip we decided to see if we could change reservations 5 hours before dinner & were able to get into another restaurant with no issue, with the help of guest services
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      DisneyStrong86

      Registered: May 2014
      Posts: 8
      Review Date: Thu May 15, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Great Value
      Cons: Unable to Cancel same day reservations

       
      I really LOVE the Disney Dining but hate the recent change of being unable to cancel without penalty.
      I recently found out that it will cost you $10.00 per person! So if you have a family of 5 and want to cancel, you will be paying $50.00 for absolutely nothing.


      What happens if you have a kid who gets tired and cranky the last minute? You will have to waste $$ to skip the reservation to take care of your child for a nap etc.


      Despite the new 24 hour cancellation debacle, I would really recommend getting the dining plan. One of our restaurants bill came to $109.00 but all we had to pay for the meal was tip of $15.00
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      WDWDad1974

      Registered: May 2014
      Posts: 11
      Review Date: Tue May 13, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Convenience, value
      Cons: You must keep track!

       
      My family of 5 just got back from WDW. My kids are all 7 and under. We got the basic dining plan (1 table service, 1 quick service, 1 snack), and I think it was worth it, and even enhanced our experience.


      Here's the main value: I did not once hesitate to buy my kids any food because of the cost--in fact, because the plan incentivizes the purchase of costlier items, I actually encouraged my kids to get the fancy things they wanted. This was, for me (I do have a tendency to be a tightwad, and to worry about letting spending get out of control), well worth every penny. I did not have a single argument with my wife or kids about spending money on food. And that meant that an argument about food did not turn into an argument about souvenirs ("you got the Dole Whip, so you can't have the mouse ears!"). Maybe that's what your every day is like, but if you're like me, go for it.


      Some details: you really pack the value in on counter service. Some of the options (Cosmic Ray's at MK, Tangierine Cafe at Epcot) are just fantastic, and you can actually get more food than the average value of a counter service entitlement. Table service is a little less valuable for the food I think, but we used all of ours for character meals, which I think ended up balancing out--especially when we chose the buffet meals. And we had breakfast every morning on our snack entitlements--bagels, muffins, fruit, etc., at the resort.


      Some people complain that it is too much food, and I get that. My girls want chicken nuggets and hotdogs at each meal, and that does not always beat the bottom line. But if you're savvy, you can get a big meal to split among your light eaters and reserve your entitlement for a later time. When you factor in all the desserts, fruit, drinks, etc., that you can get and the carry with you for a later snack that come even with the chicken nugget meal, I think it balances out. And my girls tended to eat more than they even knew when they ordered because they were exerting themselves a lot more than usual.


      It is worth noting in this context that although table service restaurants require that kids order off of the kids menu, counter service restaurants do not! So the Mediterranean Slider Combo at Tangierine (highly recommended) comes with 3 pita sandwiches, any one of which will feed a kid (if they'll eat falafels, that is). This is a value that no one explained to me, but which I quickly realized represented real value, and which I wish I had known on day one. I would have done some version of the following each day: have the girls split a counter service breakfast, table service (character meal) for lunch, have the girls split a chicken breast nuggets and fish meal at the Columbia Harbour House. That would have saved us an additional six counter service meals that we could have used to feed adults later, and which would have allowed us to have two counter service meals on most days.


      OK, so there's the downside. To really maximize value, you have to know what you're going to eat. I found some good websites that laid out some of the most valuable eateries, so no matter where I was, I knew a $14.95 counter service meal could feed three people within a 100 yard radius. This is not rocket science, but it could be another source of argument if your kids are hungry and you're making calculations about dinner locations based on value.


      A couple of other things:
      *cast members are very knowledgeable and help explain the system to you.


      *you also get these nifty travel mugs. You can only fill them at your resort (or at park water fountains). They're RIFD-embedded, so you literally can't use them at other resorts. But if you're having breakfast at your resort using your snack entitlements, there's your drink--coffee, lemonade, etc. We carried them to the park (use a "mommy clip" to clip them to your stroller), and left them with the stroller for hours at a time. I was sure they'd get stolen, but they never were!
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      lw

      Registered: February 2007
      Posts: 14
      Review Date: Sun March 16, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 6 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Prepaid meals
      Cons: A lot of food; pay for tip over 6 people

       
      Prepaying for meals are an excellent option when dining at Disney.


      However, after 5 days so much dessert and so many less than stellar snack and quick serve choices you become so full!
      Perhaps, a Baggie of carrots or a garden salad instead of dessert or a bottle of water.


      We were very surprised with the additional gratuity added to each meal.
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      thetony45

      Registered: March 2011
      Posts: 67
      Review Date: Sat January 25, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 7 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Prepaid Meals
      Cons: Almost to much food, no appitizers, tip not included

       
      My recent trip I was given a free quick service dining plan so I paid a small up-charge to get the standard dining plan.


      The standard plan allows you 1 Table Service meal, 1 Counter Service meal, and 1 snack per night of your stay as well as a refillable mug you can use at any resort during your stay.


      After 5 sit down meals, 5 counter service meal, and 5 snacks I never felt so full in my life.


      All the food (with one notable exception. See my Chef Mickey's review for that) was very good but it got to be to much. I had to force myself to use all my counter service meals and snacks to keep them from going to waste and ended up bringing a lot of food home with me.


      The refillable mug is nice if you spend a lot of time at the resort, but I don't and you can't fill it at the parks. Also when you come home what are you gonna do with it? I have 4 of them just sitting around now.


      Also keep in mind appetizers and tips are NOT included and reservations are required for the table service meals so plan ahead.


      The dining plan is not for everyone, but something nice if you eat a lot.
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      kretzklan

      Registered: October 2010
      Posts: 22
      Review Date: Tue January 14, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Allows us to have great family time
      Cons: none

       
      We love the dining plan. It saves us a decent amount of money (we figured it up and saved about 20%)...plus we wouldn't normally splurge for some of the meals we get to choose and certainly not dessert! It's the best time of day when we sit down for a meal and have a chance to talk about the day! Even quick service meals are wonderful. It just really takes a lot off our minds - not constantly price watching...it's prepaid!
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      JerseyShoregirl13

      Registered: November 2012
      Location: NJ
      Posts: 17
      Review Date: Fri January 10, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Meals already paid for
      Cons: Tip not included & no appetizers

       
      I love that meals are already paid for. But have to make sure have money for tips; which I have been told should be 18% even for buffet meals. Also, I would rather have appetizers than dessert or even have the choice of either dessert or appetizer.
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      MeIAm

      Registered: January 2014
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Sat January 4, 2014 Would you recommend the product? No | | Rating: 4 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): ease if in a hotel room
      Cons: cost, cost, planning ahead, cost

       
      I think the DDP could work well for people staying in hotel rooms where they have to buy all their meals in the restaurants, however, if you will be eating breakfasts in your room and some meals off grounds, or you brought some meal items with you then the Plan would not work out for you financially.


      We were at Disney checking in after dinner on a Friday and out on Mon. Cost would be $351 for 3 nights for 2 adults. We ate on property, brought cereal, bought milk on property and spent about $125 on the food we wanted to get.


      We didn't gain any weight this trip because we didn't overeat, which can be a concern when you've already paid for two desserts a day, and buy the most expensive items because you want to get your money's worth out of the Plan.


      I have tried to make the numbers work for us but just can't. Making ADRs can be a pain but need to be done and then you are tied to them.


      I would recommend, if price is a concern, to check menus and see if it works for you. The convenience may be worth whatever the price.
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      memakwed

      Registered: February 2009
      Posts: 53
      Review Date: Sat December 28, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): already pd for or free
      Cons: too many desserts

       
      We really like using the dining plan. We tend to use the snacks for pastries for breakfast, CS for lunch, and TS for dinner. I like that paying in advance gives us the ability to have what we would like without worrying about prices at the moment. We tend to pick higher priced menu items so it does pay for itself and then some. If we picked less expensive items I'm not sure it would balance out so it is important to look at menus for the restaurants you are interested in ahead of time. My child this trip was 9 but turning 10. The children's menu just didn't do it for him for variety this time. Sometimes he was also still hungry. I swapped meals with him most days so I knew he had something he wanted and had a full belly. I liked that the DP could be used with Fantasmic. It was still 1 TS but it gives you the opportunity for seating at Fantasmic without such a long line. It also gives you an appetizer which isn't usually included in the plan. We also used the DP for the candlelight processional. We ate in France and had to use 2 TS credits but again it guaranteed seating and not standing in line for so long. For us it was worth it due to health issues. Our meal was wonderful and again we could get an appetizer. I am not a dessert person so a dessert at every meal is too much. I would love if an appetizer was possible. There is more than enough food on the plan. I found some good deals for snack credits with soup at our resort and fried rice at Yak and Yeti CS in Animal Kingdom. Keep an eye out for free dining for your trip. We actually had free dining and saved over $1500 for the 3 of us based on our receipts. My parent's also had free dining and clearly saved several hundred as well. I'm not sure if next trip we will do the DP because DS will be an adult and I'm not sure if he would spend that much on food. It's a math game that I need to look at. Of course if free a no brainer.
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      tinyallison

      Registered: December 2013
      Posts: 21
      Review Date: Wed December 11, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Paying up front
      Cons:

       
      I love the dining plan. Its such a great way to pay for dinner, but not have to worry if you'll have enough money to spend the rest of your trip. The snack choices are more then just fruit and ice cream. We would decide in the morning if we wanted to use out counter service for breakfast or lunch then pay for whatever we didn't choose. Although the dining plan doesn't include appetizers, we didn't mind paying for them at the restaurant. I will always use the dining plan with every trip I take.
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      NJDzneMom

      Registered: September 2012
      Posts: 13
      Review Date: Sun November 10, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 6 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Convenience of paying upfront for dining
      Cons: Average Food Quality

       
      We received the free dining plan with our most recent trip. I like the convenience of having all of the meals for vacation paid for up front. You have to keep in mind that the meals are awarded per night, not day. So if you're staying in the parks on a travel day, your meals may not be included in the plan.
      I don't think I would ever purchase the plan. I don't like that you can't get an appetizer with a table service meal unless you pay out of pocket. I wish Disney would allow an appetizer OR dessert option.
      We liked the ability to get such a variety of snack options throughout the parks, including items from the Food and Wine Festival.
      I also think the overall quality of the meals at the resorts are not as good as they used to be. The menu selections are limited. The food really tastes like mass-produced and not as good as it was in years past.
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      DisneyJunkie

      Registered: August 2010
      Location: Salisbury, NC
      Posts: 17
      Review Date: Fri November 1, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Get to eat at places otherwise wouldn't due to $$.
      Cons: Tip isn't included. No appetizers included. Only 2 meals per day.

       
      The Disney Dining plan, for the most part, is great.....especially when you book a vacation package that throws it in without cost to you. What really works the best with the DDP is that it affords you the opportunity to eat at some places on WDW property that perhaps one might not normally get to due to the expense.


      Generally, you get a drink, main meal, and dessert. Sometimes that's more than enough to satisfy you, but in other times you might want an appetizer, and those are NOT included in the DDP. Also NOT included in the DDP are tips for the wait staff, and based on the overall cost of your meal, the tips can be up there quite a bit (regardless of whether they deserve that tip or not).


      What also could be improved upon is them adding a third meal, as it only offers two per person per day. Then, there are some restaurants that take two credits instead of one.....and usually the meals in those places aren't good enough to justify that.
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      JerseyShoregirl13

      Registered: November 2012
      Location: NJ
      Posts: 17
      Review Date: Wed October 9, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 5 

       
      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Food is paid for in advance
      Cons: Not the tip. Which I am told should be 18-20%-which was too expensive for me.

       
      It is a great plan. But wish appetizers were included. I do not like a lot of the desserts on certain menus. I loved when both were included. But Disney keeps taking away. Again wish the tip was included.
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