"Free dinning" or not

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mitchejj's picture
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"Free dinning" or not

Thanks all for your sane advise.

I this will be my first F&W visit and I truly have no idea how adventurous I'll be. I do know I'll eat at least one table service meal a day, as I think thats really the only way to get a normal of normal eating habits will visiting WDW... otherwise I'll spend my time eating deep fried fats... tasty deep fried fat but I can't allow myself do head down that path for an entire week. I know I want revisit Kona & Citricos when in the MK area... UGH the choices! I'm sure either way I go the alternative option would have been wiser Wink

mitchejj's picture
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I'm looking for some expert advice... or some reassurance I'm sane. I love the idea of the dinning packages as it means I don't have to worry about paying for food since I already paid for. On the same token I don't want to waste money...

I will be flying in to MCO the evening of the September 28th and leaving the afternoon of October 5th. So I am eligible for free dinning the length of my stay...

If I book a package, with free dinning upgraded to plus (extra 10 per night) I will pay around 1115.
If I book the same room with out the package I can pay around 553 for the room buy discounted park hopers for 230ish (7days).

Netting me a savings around 367... or $50 a day. I would be a fool go with a package correct? Am I forgetting something... besides not having my park tickets tied to my room key... or could I still manage to do that?

I should also note, I haven't made any ADRs nor do I think I will making and dinning plans... I'm going solo and Food and Wine will be ramping up.

dsoup's picture
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I think if you're not making any ADRs there's not much sense in even considering the Dining Package. You might come out SLIGHTLY better in a best case scenario with the dining plan, but that's only if you make full use of it, which is always dicey. I say take the savings and the you can eat whatever you want without feeling like you have to make use of all your credits.

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Well..honestly ask yourself if you are going to spend over $300 on food during your trip. If the answer is yes..then book the free dining package. If the answer is no then I think you're good with the the room only reservation.
With no ADR's and mostly eating at the F&W Fest I think your plan of not getting the package are right. I think you'd have to eat A LOT to eat $300 worth of food.

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This is a tough one, because you can use dining plan credits to purchase food from the booths at the food and wine festival and that could be a meal in itself.

If you're a big eater and think you'll eat 2-3 meals per day, I'd say get the dining package. If you usually just graze anyway and don't do a lot of table-service restaurants in general, it's definitely best to go with the piecemeal plan.

Really hard decision, though!

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dsoup's picture
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Bella wrote:
Well..honestly ask yourself if you are going to spend over $300 on food during your trip. If the answer is yes..then book the free dining package. If the answer is no then I think you're good with the the room only reservation.
With no ADR's and mostly eating at the F&W Fest I think your plan of not getting the package are right. I think you'd have to eat A LOT to eat $300 worth of food.

Even if you spend $300 on food, it needs to be $300 on food that the Dining plan will cover. Depending on how you do it, if you're eating your way around the F&W you might run out of snack credits and still have TS credits left. Or you might want to eat some things that aren't on DDP. They really just need to have an "eat whatever you want while you're here" plan. They probably do, but I can't afford it...

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mitchejj wrote:
Thanks all for your sane advise.

I this will be my first F&W visit and I truly have no idea how adventurous I'll be. I do know I'll eat at least one table service meal a day, as I think thats really the only way to get a normal of normal eating habits will visiting WDW... otherwise I'll spend my time eating deep fried fats... tasty deep fried fat but I can't allow myself do head down that path for an entire week. I know I want revisit Kona & Citricos when in the MK area... UGH the choices! I'm sure either way I go the alternative option would have been wiser Wink

Yum! Kona and Citricos! Any suggestions for menu items from those places?

Keep us updated on what you choose re: dining plan. awesome

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mitchejj wrote:
Thanks all for your sane advise.

I this will be my first F&W visit and I truly have no idea how adventurous I'll be. I do know I'll eat at least one table service meal a day, as I think thats really the only way to get a normal of normal eating habits will visiting WDW... otherwise I'll spend my time eating deep fried fats... tasty deep fried fat but I can't allow myself do head down that path for an entire week. I know I want revisit Kona & Citricos when in the MK area... UGH the choices! I'm sure either way I go the alternative option would have been wiser Wink

I wouldn't worry too much about it. I think the difference will be fairly small either way so go with what makes you the most comfortable.

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I'm feeling of so official now that I have my 6-day 7-night booking at the scenic All-Star Sports offering gran magnification vistas of... okay maybe not.

I opted not to go with the free dinning, I figured if I'm watching the food budget I'm bound to watch what I'm eating. Now I just need to figure out what to do with all that "free" time Smile

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Yummy..Kona Cafe is one of my favorites!! To me that place just smells like chocolate..the deserts are all amazing..and the steak I had there was really good too..man I'm hungry!!

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mitchejj wrote:
I'm feeling of so official now that I have my 6-day 7-night booking at the scenic All-Star Sports offering gran magnification vistas of... okay maybe not.

I opted not to go with the free dinning, I figured if I'm watching the food budget I'm bound to watch what I'm eating. Now I just need to figure out what to do with all that "free" time Smile

That's a good point. If you have credits you're likely to want to use them, even if you're not that hungry.

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Hey Guys!

I have never used the dining plan before. Personally, I never thought it would be a good option for me, because I thought I would still end up paying out to pocket for food. It wasn't until a few years ago that we even started trying some of the table service restaurants. (Hey, we were young and wanted the fast option to hit up more rides)

Now we are in talks for the honeymoon planning and the free dining option so happens to fall on when we will be there. We haven't booked yet, but I am curious, if we should. I was hoping to wait and see if they come out with a room discount closer to summer next year, but there is this organization freak part of me that says it is free and then at least you know you have something booked for your honeymoon and you can always change it later if you need to.

Also, as we will be celebrating, we are hoping to do a LOT of nicer restaurants. How much does it usually cost to upgrade the free dining plan to the deluxe or premium? Have any of you done this?

I would love some opinions and options so that when we sit down and talk about it some more I have information for my fiance, before I make the call to Disney. Thanks for all your help!

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It should be around $30 per person per day to upgrade to the deluxe plan. Trust me, if you upgrade there would be no reason to pay for any food out of pocket. The deluxe plan is the way to go if you want to do the nicer restaurants.

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I say definitely book the package with the free dining. As you said, you can always change it to a room-only with discount later as long as you're still 45 days out from your trip! A bird in the hand... Smile

As Scrappy said, the upgrade is basically the difference between the original costs of the two plans. So, if standard dining costs $30 per day and deluxe costs $60 per day, your cost to upgrade from free dining to deluxe dining would be $30 per day. Same with premium package I believe.

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Thanks for the advice guys. I think we are going to book and if a room discount comes along later, we can always change plans. I had another question, but I don't want to get off topic in this thread, so I started a new thread.

Poly Views

Thanks again for the help!

Sarah mickey

dsoup's picture
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I agree with what everyone else said. Lock in a "worst case" plan now and change it up if better options become available.

mitchejj's picture
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I know my first ever stay at a Disney resort was at the Poly, just like your honeymoon... and it was a room that basically looked towards the parking lot... if it wasn't for the vegetation and the mono rail post. I LOVED that room nice and peaceful and honestly I don't care about the view.

That trip I also had the deluxe dinning plan three sit downs a day plus the snacks... I used every single credit and loved every second of it. I never did and ADR and after the second day of doing the math I knew I was going to come out ahead.

But that trip was vastly different than my up coming shoe string budget trip.... its your honeymoon go with the dinning plan, go with a cheaper room... play the honeymoon card and hope for an upgrade and relax and enjoy the trip.

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mitchejj wrote:
play the honeymoon card and hope for an upgrade and relax and enjoy the trip.

I like this idea, but I think I'd be scared to use it! I'd want to book the nice view and KNOW I had it laugh

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Last year we went during the W&F fest and had the regular dining plan, I thought it was a life saver. We made our ADR's so we knew what park we were going to each day and that was it. We wandered around the Fest and if something grabbed my eye it was only 3-5 dollars so it didn't bother me. We still used our snacks for drinks.

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JustCar wrote:
Last year we went during the W&F fest and had the regular dining plan, I thought it was a life saver. We made our ADR's so we knew what park we were going to each day and that was it. We wandered around the Fest and if something grabbed my eye it was only 3-5 dollars so it didn't bother me. We still used our snacks for drinks.

Do you have plans to hit the Fest again in the near future? I think the free dining plan gets added bonus points during the F&W Festival. Using all those snacks at the festival is a great idea and can easily make a meal in itself.

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Bella's picture
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Upgrading to the deluxe for your honeymoon..totally do it! You'll have a lot to celebrate..I say go for it.

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Bella wrote:
Upgrading to the deluxe for your honeymoon..totally do it! You'll have a lot to celebrate..I say go for it.

I'm with you on that... plus the Poly has great rooms. I would rather have a great room with great food that an over the top view with okay food.

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We loved our stay in the Poly! Looking forward to doing it again someday!

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