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  1. #1

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    2012 Disney Dining Plan - Far Fewer Third Party Restaurants?

    The initial list of 2012 DDP restaurants is out (http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-dining...rticipatingddp). In past years, this initial list would later fill out with more 3rd-party participants (Via Napoli, San Angel Inn... any restaurant Disney doesn't own). But I've heard second-hand that for 2012 there may not be many 3rd party participants, because the DDP makes them lose money. The 2011 list of restaurants is much longer (look in particular at Epcot - http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-dining-plan.htm#ddp2012http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-dining-plan.htm#ddp2012).

    Assuming the list of restaurants is shorter in 2012, that could change the calculus for the DDP. If the prices stay the same (or inch up, as they usually do), it will be a case of the customer getting less for the same money - classic declining by degrees. That's the one side of the coin.

    On the other hand, if this change happens it will be GOOD for locals, who can now saunter in to a restaurant on the day-of without reservations. For that matter, tourists who didn't plan ahead will win, also.

    On balance, therefore, I find this to be a good thing. I'm against the "scheduling" of every last facet of a vacation (how fun is that?) so I hope those third party restaurants do stay out of it. Maybe their menus will improve again.

    This is all contingent on the list really staying shorter - I don't have secondary confirmation of that yet, so grain of salt and all.
    Kevin Yee
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    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  2. #2

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    Re: 2012 Disney Dining Plan - Far Fewer Third Party Restaurants?

    I also very much hope that this is true - unless you have kids or can get the DDP at a discount, the DDP is a horrible deal for most people at this point. Even the "free dining" is usually a terrible deal because you often pay much more in the rack rate on your room than you would if you got a discounted room and paid for DDP out of pocket. Aside from the fact that most people lose money on the DDP, it punishes those not staying on property with inflated restaurant prices, and as Kevin said results in overcrowded restaurants with watered-down menus.

    The more restaurants that leave the DDP the better. Being able to once again just walk in to San Angel Inn, Via Napoli, or Yak and Yeti - or get day of reservations - would be amazing.
    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



  3. #3

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    Re: 2012 Disney Dining Plan - Far Fewer Third Party Restaurants?

    I hope this is true too. I would like to be able to dine in Epcot again! lol
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  4. #4

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    Re: 2012 Disney Dining Plan - Far Fewer Third Party Restaurants?

    Agreed!

    While we're at it, can we get rid of the princess dining at the Norway restaurant?

  5. #5

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    Re: 2012 Disney Dining Plan - Far Fewer Third Party Restaurants?

    Wow I beat Kevin Yee to the punch about some Disney news! I feel honored . All kidding aside though, before I almost always wanted to go with deluxe dining as I knew even though I may be paying a little more then I normally would (I'm a big eater and have a very good system with DDP that always sees me pretty close to the total per day) I was paying for a convenience. I don't like to have to shell out money day after day on vacations and knowing that almost everything is already payed for and within budget give me peace of mind. I know some don't feel this way but that's just how I feel personally. I also love full service dining at Disney and go many times throughout my vacation as I do things at a leisurely pace over a longer vacation. However with recent cuts, Its not even worth my time. I refuse to pay EVEN MORE money for EVEN LESS dining options and possibly not even my appetizer which I enjoyed so much. Its alright though, to sweeten the deal Disney will probably give me another refillable mug and a third desert per day. Just ridiculous, Kevin I agree this is declining by degrees.

  6. #6

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    Re: 2012 Disney Dining Plan - Far Fewer Third Party Restaurants?

    The only aspect that I like about the DDP is as goofy donald put it everythings all paid for already...I usually go to WDW in the off season anyways, because it's easier for me to fly down there anyways...but if you remove things then it makes the DDP much less enticing to me, I will have to review this before I go ahead and purchase the DDP on my next trip after the FLE...
    The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
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  7. #7

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    Re: 2012 Disney Dining Plan - Far Fewer Third Party Restaurants?

    I'm fine with this happening; in fact, I think it might be the perfect opportunity for some of the non-participating restaurants to increase their menus back to full length!
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  8. #8

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    Re: 2012 Disney Dining Plan - Far Fewer Third Party Restaurants?

    Kevin - Where can I find the actual price-per-day of these dining plans? That is, how much these plans would add to a week-long trip?
    Thanks!

    ---------- Post added 08-04-2011 at 01:10 PM ----------

    One more thing - I've wondered, since we are already Disneyland Premium pass holders, is it cheaper for someone (knowing they were going to WDW before their pass expires) to upgrade to the Premier Pass and just book the room by itself at WDW. After all, it would only be an extra $300 per person.

  9. #9

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    Re: 2012 Disney Dining Plan - Far Fewer Third Party Restaurants?

    Quote Originally Posted by KENfromOC View Post
    Kevin - Where can I find the actual price-per-day of these dining plans? That is, how much these plans would add to a week-long trip?
    Thanks!
    You can find 2011 DDP pricing at: Disney Dining Plan Restaurants 2011 & 2012 - wdwinfo.com

    Quote Originally Posted by KENfromOC View Post
    One more thing - I've wondered, since we are already Disneyland Premium pass holders, is it cheaper for someone (knowing they were going to WDW before their pass expires) to upgrade to the Premier Pass and just book the room by itself at WDW. After all, it would only be an extra $300 per person.
    AP hotel rates vary so it's kind of hard to definitively gauge the AP savings; however, as a general rule - the money you save going with a discounted room rate is usually greater than the value of the DDP when they offer "free dining." Also, only one person in your party needs to be an AP holder in order to get the AP discounted room rates. If that's what you're going to do, make sure you leave enough time to book the room at that rate. I would call and find out ASAP when AP holder rates will be released for the time of your stay. Generally AP rates are released 3-4 months beforehand and there are a very limited number of rooms available at that rate and they tend to go fast.

    On a related note, being an Annual Passholder will make you eligible for Tables In Wonderland which is (generally - again it varies based on your eating habits) a much cheaper way to eat at WDW than the DDP. Tables In Wonderland will give 20% off your food and beverage cost (including alcohol) at all Disney-owned table service restaurants and most 3rd party table service restaurants (the only exceptions I'm aware of are those owned by Landfrey's - Yak & Yeti, T-Rex, and Rainforest Cafe). You'll also get 20% off on all quick service restaurants at locations where there are no Disney table service restaurants (Animal Kingdom and the Value Resorts). An 18% gratuity will be automatically added to your bill at all Table Service locations.

    The cost of a one year membership in Tables In Wonderland for an AP holder is $75. Only one person in your party needs Tables In Wonderland and your whole party will be able to take advantage of it (as long as you only pay one bill and not separate checks). If you're there for a week, depending on how often you eat at Table Service restaurants and the size of your group, this will easily pay for itself and then some.
    Last edited by PSUMark; 08-04-2011 at 05:09 PM.
    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



  10. #10

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    Re: 2012 Disney Dining Plan - Far Fewer Third Party Restaurants?

    Retraction time - my source knows about the usual pattern of late restaurants, but where he/she heard it from appears not to have known this! In other words, nothing to see here. It's probably the usual pattern.
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  11. #11

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    Re: 2012 Disney Dining Plan - Far Fewer Third Party Restaurants?

    Seems like the Normal pattern the list has not been updated since June. Like last year the rest came onto the list around Oct/Nov.

  12. #12

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    Re: 2012 Disney Dining Plan - Far Fewer Third Party Restaurants?

    Quote Originally Posted by Virtual Toad View Post
    While we're at it, can we get rid of the princess dining at the Norway restaurant?
    A big ol' AMEN to that! I used to love this restaurant, but I haven't been back since the princess thing.

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