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Disneycuse
11-29-2008, 06:52 PM
It's will be my first time on the Dining Plan and would like to get some good tips that I can use.
Thanks for any help.

kkmickey
11-29-2008, 07:19 PM
Have you made ADRs (Advanced Dining Reservations) for your table service (sit down) meals?

If you give us a little more information - when you are going? how many people are in your party? have you been go WDW before? it will be easier to help you.

oregontraveler
11-29-2008, 08:54 PM
Yes need more info. But I'll pass along what I have found out so far. I made
my ADR's 85 days out from my trip. My top 2, a 7:20 seating at the
California Grill, they have a wonderful view of the MK Fireworks at 8pm.
I also did a 7:50 seating at the Rose & Crown, since their patio is a good spot
for Illuminations at 9. There are 3 restaurants that make ADR's 180 days out
including Cinderella's Royal Table at MK. My other ADR's I pretty much was able to get the times I wanted. But remember this is for late February. I can only imagine the rush to make ADR's as soon as possible during the summer.

mom22gls
11-30-2008, 05:39 AM
Include ages of the kids, also. Kids count as "adults" on the plan at age 10, and, before that, they are limited to kids' meals, if meals are plated (versus family style or buffet). I found that buffets and family style meals were a better deal for the kids, because they had the same selection as the adults. The kids' meals were mostly the mac and cheese and chicken nuggets variety. Places like the Cape May Buffet were great for my daughter, who, although counted as a child, could suck down more steamed clams than most adults. The waitress was shocked to see this slender child emptying plate after plate. She turned a definite thumbs down on the kids' meals, although my younger child was OK with them. To get the most bang for your buck, make your AR's first, figure out what the meal would cost paying cash (this site and the allearsnet site have menus with prices), which is easier with buffets and other, single-priced places, and then figure out if the plan will save you money. It used to include tips, which made it a better bargain, but not any more. We stopped using the plan, because of the new limitations and coverage, but we get Annual Passes, and get the dining discount card available to AP holders.

Wendi
11-30-2008, 10:13 AM
Which dining plan did you purchase? I have used it in the past and it was really great, but they did change it this year and it's not as much of a deal as it used to be. One thing to note is that tips are no longer included on the dining plan, so you will need to budget for tips. There are ways to maximize your savings, but honestly, the best way to use the plan is to order what you really want to eat. There are also some places with large servings and you can share meals and then save up the extra credits for another meal.

Since the plan changed this year, I was not planning to purchase it because we would've been able to eat better for about the same price or a little bit cheaper than the plan... but then we got a PIN for free dining PLUS a discount... so I upgraded to the deluxe plan for about $300 extra for our entire trip, I couldn't pass up that deal, but if I were paying for it, I would not purchase it this year... it just wouldn't be worth it for us.

Disneycuse
11-30-2008, 11:00 AM
I am going with 3AD, March 28th - April 4th. the basic dining plan is what we have.

looking at Crystal Palace -breakfast
LeCellier dinner (3/29) Birthday dinner
Cheif Mickey's (4/1 dinner at 5:05p)
50's primetime
tusker House
Sci-fi
Tutto Italia

Let me know if there is something better and not sure for tips on snack and counter services as well. I did see a link for snacks you can get, however i saw you can't get the donuts

Wendi
11-30-2008, 05:22 PM
No tipping on counter service or snacks. We used to be able to get the big box of Entemann's donuts because they were just under $4, but another thing they changed this year was that the snack must be a single serving... I guess we wouldn't be able to convince them that a dozen donuts are a single serving, huh?

Disneycuse
01-03-2009, 06:23 PM
Looking to see how good I can make the Dining Plan work for myself. It's a goal/test to see how well it can work!! Any help would be great.

oregontraveler
01-03-2009, 09:39 PM
There is a WDW section including menus and pricing. (Right under the Mouseplanet logo) That should lead you in the right direction. For $40 a day,
the regular DP looks pretty good. A counter-service meal will run you about
$13-15. There are plenty of snack options, not all listed on the official site.
If you plan on dinner as your table service, most entre's and desserts will
put you over the $40 mark.

petesimac
01-04-2009, 01:47 PM
Looking to see how good I can make the Dining Plan work for myself. It's a goal/test to see how well it can work!! Any help would be great.

Take a look at the menus, either here or at allears.net, and tabulate what you think you would order. I did this, allowing desserts for my kids and an occasional one for myself, and usually, in my hypothetical cases, we'd burn through the cost of the dining plan at dinner alone (includes entree, dessert and drink -- excluding alcohol or special drinks), giving us our lunch and one snack per day as gravy! I thought briefly that we'd save money by not using the plan, but it's still a very good value, even with the changes made last year.

tinkmom2
01-04-2009, 04:22 PM
We had the Deluxe dining with the 3 meals a day. It was almost too much food! It was my Mom, DH, and 2xDD, and I . We went during Easter this last time and had a nice Easter brunch in Epcot's World Pavillion. We would stuff ourselves with breakfast (Ohanna's, Crystal Palace, Breakfast at the Grand Floridian..etc...) Then we would eat midday at quickservice stops around the park and our dinners were at Primetime Cafe, The Spirit of Aloha Dinner, Jiko's, and a lot of quick service. We found ourselves taking food back to the hotel with us because we felt so bad throwing it away.
I highly recommend making the reservations the 180 days before because we were not able to get some of the dinners and breakfasts we wanted. Also character breakfasts sometimes take 2 meals off your dining total. We were fine with that because we didn't feel like eating all the time.
It really was a good value for the money. Our dinner at Jiko's just for the two of us was around $130! For what we would have spent out of pocket it was well worth it! Our first time at Disney we used cash and came home penniless lol!
Just remember alcohol is extra and gratuities aren't always included!

We really didn't care for Tony's in the Magic Kingdom but one of our favorite QS is the barbecue at Animal Kingdom. Have a great time!
PS the disney.com site has discriptions of all the food venues and I also used allears.net alot too!

jenniebean
01-06-2009, 07:41 PM
Sorry to piggyback on this thread, but this seems to be where the people who know the dining plan like pros...

I was looking at a list on a different website (http://allears.net/pl/packages08a.htm) of which restaurants are on the dining plan & which ones are how many TS credits each place is, & is it just me, or were places that used to be considered Signature Dining (two credits) are now not (one credit)-- like Coral Reef Restaurant, Le Cellier Steakhouse, & The Crystal Palace. I could have sworn they used to be SD...

GusMan
01-06-2009, 08:23 PM
As far as I know, LeCellier and Crystal Palace have always been one credit and not considered signature dining. While I have never been there, the same would go for Coral Reef.

TinaMouse
01-07-2009, 08:51 AM
They are one. I think Coral used to be two. They've "dumbed down" the menus, though and aren't as adventurous and unique as they used to be. That being said, the food is consistently good......(personally, I didn't like coral reef, but I hope I hit it on a bad night--same for San Angel)

danyoung
01-07-2009, 08:53 AM
I've always loved the Coral Reef, but they have indeed simplified the menu, IMO mostly due to the dining plan. My last meal there (lunch) was pretty terrific, but the one before that (dinner) was pretty lame by CR standards. I'm hoping they get their act together - the atmosphere in this restaurant is pretty awesome!

jenniebean
01-07-2009, 10:03 AM
the atmosphere in this restaurant is pretty awesome! I've never eaten there, but when I went diving in the tank, I thoroughly enjoyed waving to everyone :D

danyoung
01-07-2009, 10:36 AM
I did the same thing, jenniebean - I took my first dive ever on my 40th birthday in the tank. Very special day! By then I'd eaten many times in the Coral Reef, so it was totally cool to be on the other side of the glass for the first time.

wishiwasthere
01-07-2009, 10:57 AM
I hope I hit it on a bad night--same for San Angel)


I go to San Angel usually on every trip and it isn't very consistent. Sometimes we love the food and other times it is just 'eh'.

TinaMouse
01-07-2009, 08:05 PM
Yeah, I like the cantina much better. The meat I had "inside" was much fattier and less flavorful than I was expecting....

danyoung
01-08-2009, 07:44 AM
I was extremely disappointed with my last meal at the San Angel Inn. I really love the environment, and am willing to let some things slide to eat there. But they've been steadily declining over the last 3 years or so. The fact that they serve plain ol' Tostitos as their chip of choice, and a bland salsa that's not much more than tomato paste, is completely unacceptable. And the meal itself was just blah - steam table meat, bland beans, just not at all what you'd expect from a fine dining location. I'll hold off on returning here for a few years and hope they get their act together.

KJSJpipe
01-08-2009, 08:30 AM
I was extremely disappointed with my last meal at the San Angel Inn. <snip> And the meal itself was just blah - steam table meat, bland beans, just not at all what you'd expect from a fine dining location. I'll hold off on returning here for a few years and hope they get their act together.


My family and I were really looking forward to our first meal there in October 2007. We left very disappointed. The chips were actually the only saving Grace of the meal (not including my Margarita which was Yummy). The rest of the meal was beyond horrible and the service was pretty bad as well. I get that they like to hire people who are Native to what ever Country your at but could they speak maybe one or two words of English? It was very hard to understand him and he had a lot of trouble understanding us too, we all had to point to what we wanted on the menu so he could read it.
I doubt we would ever go back.

GusMan
01-08-2009, 11:57 AM
The rest of the meal was beyond horrible and the service was pretty bad as well.
With a description that includes the word "horrible" I sure hope you said something to the manager...

Im not one to waste a lot of time nit-picking at a restaurant, as bad meals happen at times. But to cross the line into "horrible" territory deserves some sort of attention.

KJSJpipe
01-08-2009, 01:18 PM
With a description that includes the word "horrible" I sure hope you said something to the manager...

Im not one to waste a lot of time nit-picking at a restaurant, as bad meals happen at times. But to cross the line into "horrible" territory deserves some sort of attention.

Should I have said something? Certainly. Did I? No. (insert old rolly eye guy here)
Actually it was the second bad meal of a loong day. I just wanted to go back to the room and forget about it. We had done the Chinese CS place for lunch and were not impressed, nothing was wrong per say...just not that good and the children's option (as in the only thing they had for the kids) was a bit of a joke.

It was overall a bad day being rushed to get to things in time and I think it was raining....:|

danyoung
01-08-2009, 01:38 PM
I'm not one to go out of my way to complain when faced with a bad meal - I just make note and don't go back there again. The one exception in recent memory was a meal at the Brown Derby, normally one of the great restaurants. They had some special of a huge cut of meat, and I was particularly hungry so I ordered it done medium. It was medium on the outside, and totally raw on the inside (about 2/3 of it was raw!). My waiter didn't seem to care much, and didn't offer any recourse. So I asked for the manager. I told her that I ate about 1/3 of this, so I think I should be charged 1/3 of the menu price. She agreed, and everyone was happy (well, except the waiter, who got a ZERO tip from me!).