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  1. #1

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    DLR regulars making second trip to WDW - questions about dining, etc!

    Hi all,
    I posted some questions several months ago before my friend and I took our first trip to WDW last September. We have both been AP holders for several years for Disneyland, and this year we have the Premium Pass and decided to make two trips to Orlando. We had such a great time in September, and I really appreciate all the fantastic information and advice I got from everyone the last time!

    We will be in Orlando a total of 8 days in March. One of those days, however, we won't be at WDW (going to make the trek over to Universal Studios for one day for the whole Harry Potter thing). My mom and my friend's mom are also joining us there, but they will only be there for the second half of the week. Neither of them have ever been before.

    We basically started planning for this trip as soon as we got back in September, and made lots of dining reservations for all the places we had wished we could eat at the last time. But I do have a few questions I thought you all could maybe help me with...

    First, I'm considering whether or not we want to add the Dining Plan to our package. Can we do this even if we have not added park tickets (so we only have the room now - see second question below)? Also, can we add the Dining Plan for fewer days than our total stay at the resort? Two of us are checking in on March 11th, but would be arriving late in the evening, spending one day away from the park, and then checking out and heading to the airport on the 18th. The other two are only there from the 14th to the 18th. So I was wondering if it is even possible (and worth it) to add the Dining Plan for all four of us but for only 3 or 4 days instead of the full time of our reservation. Has anyone done this? Also, are there limitations to what you can order off of the menu at table service restaurants with the Dining Plan?

    Next, I'm trying to figure out the best and most economical way to get park tickets for the two in our party who do not have an AP (the moms). Right now, we just have a room reservation because my friend and I did not need tickets. Is it possible to add park tickets for only two people in our party and for only part of the time (3 days total of tickets)? Is the savings worth it? Also, do the options have to be the same or could one person choose to add park-hopper option but not the other person?

    Geez, this all sounds so complicated when I am asking it all at once I already had a lengthy and interesting conversation, first with the reservations people at Disney and then directly with the "Magical Express" people, in order to get all of the arrival information correct (since two people were coming on a day other than the first day of our reservation, they could not figure out how to get it accurately in the system).

    Thoughts or suggestions?

    Thanks so much!

    Carrie

  2. #2

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    Re: DLR regulars making second trip to WDW - questions about dining, etc!

    We have both been AP holders for several years for Disneyland, and this year we have the Premium Pass and decided to make two trips to Orlando.
    I'm going to proceed under the assumption that you actually meant Premier - the AP for both CA & FL - rather than a Premium that would only apply to one or the other.

    First, I'm considering whether or not we want to add the Dining Plan to our package. Can we do this even if we have not added park tickets (so we only have the room now - see second question below)?
    To my knowledge, Dining Plan only comes with a complete MYW package which includes park tickets. So if that's the case, no, but I would suggest called WDTC to confirm.

    Also, can we add the Dining Plan for fewer days than our total stay at the resort?
    Yeah this wouldn't work for the same reason as above. My understanding has always been Dining Plan must be purchased for all nights of stay regardless. It's one of those conditions that always prices the Dining Plan out of my consideration.

    There's really only one or two ways Dining Plan actually saves, and a plethora of ways you end up spending more than you otherwise would without it. Then there's the consideration of added value because it provides less worry and less calculation, but that's a different discussion than price-savings.

    Also, are there limitations to what you can order off of the menu at table service restaurants with the Dining Plan?
    Exceptions are rare, but they do exist. I would suggest asking about exceptions/limitations when you're asked by the restaurant check-in desk if you're on the Dining Plan or not.

    Next, I'm trying to figure out the best and most economical way to get park tickets for the two in our party who do not have an AP (the moms). Right now, we just have a room reservation because my friend and I did not need tickets. Is it possible to add park tickets for only two people in our party and for only part of the time (3 days total of tickets)? Is the savings worth it? Also, do the options have to be the same or could one person choose to add park-hopper option but not the other person?
    I'm in a similar situation where I have a Premier, but the 3 others I'm going to WDW with next week do not. The others bought their tickets online, but you can also wait until you arrive and buy tickets from your Resort's conceirge desk where all your details can be ironed out and fulfilled the way you want them to be.

    Economically, it might be best for the moms to visit their local AAA office and get discounted tickets on their own. Just make sure they get park hoppers and/or water park fun n' more options and not just base tickets, unless you're planning on visiting one park per day.

    "Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom." -- James 3:13

  3. #3

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    Re: DLR regulars making second trip to WDW - questions about dining, etc!

    Quote Originally Posted by cdwatts View Post
    First, I'm considering whether or not we want to add the Dining Plan to our package. Can we do this even if we have not added park tickets (so we only have the room now - see second question below)? Also, can we add the Dining Plan for fewer days than our total stay at the resort? Two of us are checking in on March 11th, but would be arriving late in the evening, spending one day away from the park, and then checking out and heading to the airport on the 18th. The other two are only there from the 14th to the 18th. So I was wondering if it is even possible (and worth it) to add the Dining Plan for all four of us but for only 3 or 4 days instead of the full time of our reservation. Has anyone done this? Also, are there limitations to what you can order off of the menu at table service restaurants with the Dining Plan?
    There are no menu restrictions on the DDP (kind of). Depending on the type of DDP you get, you will be allowed 1 entree, 1 dessert, and 1 non-alcoholic beverage. That will be included at every meal (QSR or TSR). If you want anything in addition to that, it will not be included. But there are no restrictions as far as what entrees, desserts, or non-alcoholic beverage you can choose.

    From what you're telling me of your plans, I would strongly suggest that you get Tables In Wonderland instead. Only one person in your party needs it, and your entire table will get 20% off (as long as you pay together) of everything, no matter what you order (including alcohol), at any Disney-owned TSR. This will also apply to any quick service restaurant at DAK or the value resorts. With an AP, a one year Tables In Wonderland membership is $75. I can almost guarantee you that you will spend less money total with TIW (even if you count the membership fee) than on the DDP. DDP really only saves you money if you eat at the most expensive restaurants possible and always order the most expensive items you can. Most people are lucky to break even on the DDP. This has been documented over and over again at tons of different Disney sites. (I think Kevin even did a feature on it here about a year ago.) The DDP is really a marketing gimmick Disney uses to convince people they're saving money, but what is actually happening is that they're being locked into eating 1 QSR meal, 1 TSR meal, and 1 snack per day at Disney and pre-paying for it - usually a little more than they would if they paid out of pocket.

    Trust me, you want TIW, not DDP.

    If you weren't planning on paying together, I'd recommend you do what I did last time I was at WDW with a large group of my friends - I put everything on my credit card (as I was the TIW-holder) and then later did all the math so my friends could reimburse me for what they ordered. It was a little extra work, but was by far the cheapest way for us all to eat at Disney. It also meant that I got a lot of reward points

    Quote Originally Posted by cdwatts View Post
    Next, I'm trying to figure out the best and most economical way to get park tickets for the two in our party who do not have an AP (the moms). Right now, we just have a room reservation because my friend and I did not need tickets. Is it possible to add park tickets for only two people in our party and for only part of the time (3 days total of tickets)? Is the savings worth it? Also, do the options have to be the same or could one person choose to add park-hopper option but not the other person?
    I don't believe you can buy a room/ticket package where only some of the guests are purchasing tickets. What I would recommend is sticking with the (hopefully discounted) room reservation you have, and purchasing your tickets from a reputable, well known discount ticket reseller like Undercover Tourist. You may find this link helpful: MouseSavers.com - Disney World Ticket Discount Info - Save on DisneyWorld Tickets
    I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
    -Walt Disney



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