For you who do deluxe dining..

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Hardy0109's picture
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For you who do deluxe dining..

I'm looking to get free dining and then upgrade when I go to WDW. It's my knowledge that you get 3 table-service credits, 2 snack-credits, and a refillable mug. How do you guys typically use your credits? It seems usually you would use a table-service for lunch or dinner and then for your other meal you would spend on a signature dining, is that correct? Then how do you usually use your snacks? Breakfast and in between meals? Thanks for the info again!

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JoAnn C's picture
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You receive three meal credits which can be counter service or table service. I have found to get your money's worth you should use at least 2 credits a day on table service meals. This is my second year using deluxe dining. Most days I used one credit for breakfast at Pop (counter service) and lunch and dinner both at table service resturants. I did schedule a couple of table service breakfasts as well as signature dining for dinner. Last year I ate at two signature dining restaurants. This year I have three booked. The price for 2013 went up a lot more than it did between 2011 and 2012. My plan for deluxe dining may not work. You're best bet is to check the menus at places you would like to eat and see if you can get your money's worth. You may need to go for all table service resturants.

For the snacks I plan to use those at the F&W Festival and Dole Whip. Last year I didn't use as many as planned so I had a few left over and bought snacks at Pop before I left.

One thing to keep in mind - don't count on free dining. While you may plan to go when free dining is historically offered it can change from year to year. And depending if there are any room discounts offered, they may be a better value than free dining. This will the third year in a row I have gone, and each trip has been at the same time of year. The first year I was eligible for free dining. Last year I wasn't. Free dining started the day after I checked in. This year I was eligible.

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Hardy0109's picture
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That does make sense JoAnn. This year, our dates we are visiting, we would not have had free dining. Would have gone with the resort discount. That answers my question on another thread..you can only use one discount. I have a feeling that they won't have free dining during the week I'm going next year once again, so the resort discount will do.

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Kristen K.'s picture
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I am a breakfast person, so we often eat a decent meal then.

A big late breakfast (10am), Snack Credits for lunch & early signature dining (5pm). = 3TS /2SK
Sometimes we just do table service for Breakfast Lunch and Dinner. = 3TS
We have also been known to use the deluxe credits at a counter service during lunch after a Table Service Breakfast.

I usually use my mug for coffee from the counter service on the way to the park in the morning and stash it in a locker during the day.

If we don't go during F&W I commonly have extra snack credits, which I use to buy snacks in the gift shop for the trip home.

Like JoAnn I also always pull up the menus for the restaurant and take a guess at what we'll be eating. That way I have an idea of the meal's value and I can put aside enough cash for an appropriate tip to pay my server.

angels444's picture
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We love deluxe. I have used it every year. Even though I questioned it this year.

We do the same. We either do 3 tables a day 9 am, 2pm, 7 pm or 10 am breakfast and an early signature dinner.We love the buffets for breakfast and there are so many to choose from in parks and resorts. My last 3 years I had 1 or 2 tables left over before we left so we would pick someone in the restaurant with us and buy them dinner. I figure I paid for the dinner why waste them. It is fun to walk up to someone and say "Excuse me are you on the Disney Dining Plan?" "No? Good. I would like to buy you dinner." You get an appetizer each, an entree each and a dessert each" They usually stare at me open mouthed until I tell their waiter I am buying dinner minus alcohol. I usually save it for table services. Last two years we bought dinner for 2 and a dinner for 4 at Wolfgang Pucks. We did a family of 4 at Tusker house once. One year we were just in a hurry so we bought lunches for 6 people in line at Earl of Sandwich. I refuse to walk out of there with meal on my card. It seems like a waste but most of the time it is just 1 or 2 meals per person in our party. Our friends last year loved giving their last meal away as we all ate lunch.

We always spend our last day in DTD so we hit goofy's candy shop for our snack leftovers.

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Oh my gosh I love that idea! What a fabulous random act of kindness at Disney! Last year I had 2 extra credits at the end of the trip, I could have totally done that. It never even occurred to me that it would be allowed. Next time I will for sure!

Hardy0109's picture
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That is a great idea. Just another way to spread the Disney magic.

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Hardy0109 wrote:
That is a great idea. Just another way to spread the Disney magic.

I'm all about spreading the magic. mickey muchlove

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Hardy0109's picture
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My dining plan is all going to depend on if we get free dining plan most likely. We'll see as we get closer..but I think I'm going to plan like we're getting deluxe regardless. Maybe I can give a few meals away? Hmm. mickey

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Hardy0109's picture
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I just thought of a question: We are staying at the Disney resort for ten nights, but are buying only 8 or 9 park tickets..So do we get the number of park tickets for days of deluxe dining, or are we getting 10 days, the number of days at our resort?

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Actually..after looking over everything, it looks like that will be out of our budget. We might go with no dining plan and just pay as we go. That'll end up being out likely choice. What I want is 2 table-service and a counter-service and a snack..that'd be perfect, but isn't on there Sad We'll decide as we get closer.

Would it be better to just go with regular dining and if we run out of credits just pay out of pocket? I want in between regular dining and deluxe dining..ugh.

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The dining plans, which ever one you pick out of the three available whether they are free or not it is based on the nights you stay not the park tickets. Say you want to stay 10 nights but you can only afford the dining plan for 5 night they would make you book two different resort reservations.

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angels444 wrote:
The dining plans, which ever one you pick out of the three available whether they are free or not it is based on the nights you stay not the park tickets. Say you want to stay 10 nights but you can only afford the dining plan for 5 night they would make you book two different resort reservations.

Ahh. I see. So if I wanted the deluxe for 2 or 3 days, and the rest just on the standard dining plan then I can do that? I might actually do that. If I book early I should be able to book both. Thanks for this advice. NEver even crossed my mind.

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Hardy0109 wrote:
angels444 wrote:
The dining plans, which ever one you pick out of the three available whether they are free or not it is based on the nights you stay not the park tickets. Say you want to stay 10 nights but you can only afford the dining plan for 5 night they would make you book two different resort reservations.

Ahh. I see. So if I wanted the deluxe for 2 or 3 days, and the rest just on the standard dining plan then I can do that? I might actually do that. If I book early I should be able to book both. Thanks for this advice. NEver even crossed my mind.

If you wanted to do deluxe for 3 days and standard for 7 days (example) you would need 2 different reservations.Lets say Sunday to Wednesday That includes the day you arrive plus 3 nights. Then your next reservation starts on the 4th day Reservation 1 (deluxe) would have to be used Sunday to Wed 9 table services in 4 days. Starting Wednesday afternoon for the next 7 nights you use the other plan. Any left over table service from the first reservation have to be used but Wednesday midnight or they are lost. You cant carry them over.

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Also, when you book your reservations in two like that you may have to change hotel rooms in the middle of your stay. Now, some people don't mind that, but I find it a bother. Disney will TRY to keep you in the same room, but there is no way to know if they can or will until that first departure day arrives.

Here's the thing about paying out of pocket for an additional table service meal. You need to run the numbers with menus in hand to see if it will save you money. The way my family eats on vacation, it's usually less expensive for us to upgrade to the deluxe rather than pay for an additional meal. The upgrade for 2 being roughly $80 a day, and one more nice table service meal dinner for us often being more like $100-$150. However, if your paid for table service meal was say, breakfast at BOMA for 2, that's only an extra $50 so out of pocket saves you more money. Dinner at BOMA would be $80 for 2, so that makes it an even trade. If you pay out of pocket would you be ordering just an entree and a drink, or would you also order appetizers and desserts like the dining plan gives you?

To really see what is going to be most cost efficient you need to weigh 1) where you want to be eating, 2) how much you will spend eating there and 3) how that cost compares to the deluxe dining upgrade.

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I think I may just go with Angels plan. If we have to switch rooms that will be ok I suppose. I guess it will be a bit of a pain, but I find it easier than doing all that math and what-not. Lol. I do have time on my hands since I've got 14 months..so I guess at some point I may just figure out which will be better.

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Kristen K.'s picture
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rolling Disney planning is usually the only time I really enjoy math.

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I mean, if you look at my google docs page (can't post a link now, but can later), I've basically got all of my meals already panned, sit-down and counter service. So it might not be all that hard to figure out.. However, once I planned all those meals out, I think we're going to be good. So I'm going to go with Angel's plan of booking two different rooms back-to-back and just hope for the best. Luckily, early december is one of the best time of the year to travel because of low crowd level, so maybe we'll be able to get that same room or a room close to it. That's all I can ask. Like I said, I think deluxe all 10-days would be over the budget, so we're going to stick to 7-days standard and final 3 days will be deluxe.

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If you call Guest Relations ahead of time they will link the reservations together and there will be no change in rooms.

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angels444 wrote:
If you call Guest Relations ahead of time they will link the reservations together and there will be no change in rooms.

I've been told that that's still not a guarantee that you can stay in the same room. That's not saying that it's not correct, we all know that you can call three different reservations agents and get three different stories. What I was told is that even if they link, Disney will try their best to keep you in the same room, but sometimes other needs of the resort take precedence.

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angels444 wrote:
We love deluxe. I have used it every year. Even though I questioned it this year.

We do the same. We either do 3 tables a day 9 am, 2pm, 7 pm or 10 am breakfast and an early signature dinner.We love the buffets for breakfast and there are so many to choose from in parks and resorts. My last 3 years I had 1 or 2 tables left over before we left so we would pick someone in the restaurant with us and buy them dinner. I figure I paid for the dinner why waste them. It is fun to walk up to someone and say "Excuse me are you on the Disney Dining Plan?" "No? Good. I would like to buy you dinner." You get an appetizer each, an entree each and a dessert each" They usually stare at me open mouthed until I tell their waiter I am buying dinner minus alcohol. I usually save it for table services. Last two years we bought dinner for 2 and a dinner for 4 at Wolfgang Pucks. We did a family of 4 at Tusker house once. One year we were just in a hurry so we bought lunches for 6 people in line at Earl of Sandwich. I refuse to walk out of there with meal on my card. It seems like a waste but most of the time it is just 1 or 2 meals per person in our party. Our friends last year loved giving their last meal away as we all ate lunch.

We always spend our last day in DTD so we hit goofy's candy shop for our snack leftovers.

OMG they really let you do that??

We are eating a few meals during our stay with my BF's parents. They are using teh regular dining plan, we upgraded to delxue. Will we be able to buy them dinner and use our credits? I thought this was a no-no? Details please angels if you don't mind? LOL I am so excited as this thought I might upgrade some of our restuarants to two TS credits!!! haha

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We would use my husbands card to pay for our meal and use mine to pay for their dinner. When we did lunch at earl of sandwich I just kept swiping my card for all of the lunches. I just made sure to sign the bill before we left.
I would ask the people first, talk to their server next and as I'm about to leave I make sure both bills are paid. A couple of times the server has run my card right after the order was placed. I guess to make sure no one got stuck with an unpaid bill. You could always ask for them to swipe your card for their bill as soon as they can just to make sure. The trick is to find someone that has not ordered yet. That way they can get all the app's and desserts and the server doesn't have to change the way the order was done. You notice every time during free dining they ask if you are on the Disney dining plan. I guess they enter it into the system differently if there is a dining plan. I am just guessing.

If any of you have traveled in groups you know that your party can be in separate parks or separate parts of the park and people can eat without being together. It is the same idea.

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Nikki -

Angel is right, dining credits are attached to your room reservation, any room key is able to access all of the credits at any time.

If you're dining together and want to pay that's even easier. When you're seated your server should ask if you're on the dining plan, say yes and that you're all on one ticket. All you have to do is give your server your key card and let them know that you're covering the whole table with dining credits.

I've used my credits to buy dinner for local friends we were having dinner with before. It was no big deal, in fact it was our server that suggested that I do it that way. It's much easier for them to just ring up one ticket.

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angels444 wrote:
We love deluxe. I have used it every year. Even though I questioned it this year.

We do the same. We either do 3 tables a day 9 am, 2pm, 7 pm or 10 am breakfast and an early signature dinner.We love the buffets for breakfast and there are so many to choose from in parks and resorts. My last 3 years I had 1 or 2 tables left over before we left so we would pick someone in the restaurant with us and buy them dinner. I figure I paid for the dinner why waste them. It is fun to walk up to someone and say "Excuse me are you on the Disney Dining Plan?" "No? Good. I would like to buy you dinner." You get an appetizer each, an entree each and a dessert each" They usually stare at me open mouthed until I tell their waiter I am buying dinner minus alcohol. I usually save it for table services. Last two years we bought dinner for 2 and a dinner for 4 at Wolfgang Pucks. We did a family of 4 at Tusker house once. One year we were just in a hurry so we bought lunches for 6 people in line at Earl of Sandwich. I refuse to walk out of there with meal on my card. It seems like a waste but most of the time it is just 1 or 2 meals per person in our party. Our friends last year loved giving their last meal away as we all ate lunch.

We always spend our last day in DTD so we hit goofy's candy shop for our snack leftovers.

Its so awesome that you spread a little of your own Disney Magic!

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For those of you planning on "sharing " your meals, do not get upset if you are refused to do this.

From the 2012 Disney Dining Plan pamphlet. This is the first Frequently asked question:

Q. Can I use my Disney Dining Plan to redeem meals for friends or family members who
are not included in my reservation or have not purchased a Disney dining plan?

A. Sorry, you may not use your Disney Dining Plan to redeem meals for friends or family
members who are not included in your reservation or have not purchased a Disney
dining plan.

Just something for you to know before hand. I'm not say that they won't let you do it, but ............................
I'm all for spreading the "magic" when ever I can, and we gave a number of our desserts away when we first started using the dining plan because we were to full, and it was a CM that first mentioned to us to do that, but they can refuse you.

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It has always said that, but I have always had success but that is me. We are a party of two we buy dinner for a party of two no big deal. You are right though make sure the CM says ok before they order because if the cast member says no then there is a problem. I can say we usually dine in DTD our final day so we are buying meals at non disney restaurants

As far as the desserts go I don't give those away, yum. I do give away my appetizers at disney restaurants if there is nothing on the menu that I want or I am just too full to eat another one. I find someone sitting really close to us for that and ask them what they would like and I order it and have it delivered to them.

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angels444 wrote:
I do give away my appetizers at disney restaurants if there is nothing on the menu that I want or I am just too full to eat another one. I find someone sitting really close to us for that and ask them what they would like and I order it and have it delivered to them.

I love how much you share the Disney magic angels!

I'm planning for both situations -- being able to buy all 4 meals on our DDDP and having to split them.

I'm sure you're all crossing your fingers for me that all 4 on my DDDP work! awesome

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