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Episode 244 Now Available

PodcastEpisode 244 is now available for download.

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Show Notes

Hosts: Mike Scopa, Len Testa, Matt Hochberg, Mike Newell, Mary Waring & Sue Pisaturo


  • Free Dining 2007
  • Sue says Free Dining will return between August 26 through September 22 and must be bookd by June 24th and is good for stays of at least 3 nights
  • Sue has found already limited availability at Pop Century and Wilderness Lodge for free dining packages
  • Sue says Wilderness Lodge is the cheapest of the deluxe resorts and Pop Century is the most popular of the value resorts so that could explain that
  • Sue mentions if you're staying at a suite at All Star Music, you cannot get the free dining package and Sue recommends getting 2 value rooms instead to get around that
  • Sue says each person must be on the package and each person must get the same theme park ticket with a 3 night minimum stay are the requirements to get the package
  • Matt mentions a verbal altercation he had with Sue and Mary last year
  • Mary thinks the free dining package's value depends on your pattern of eating
  • Mary reminds guests free dining occurs during the peak of hurricane season and kids are also going back to school
  • Matt doesn't think there's a benefit of free dining for annual pass holders because of the additional cost
  • Matt mentions free dining has a lot of food
  • Mike Scopa says the value of the dining package depends on where you go and what you order
  • Mike Scopa advises on not using your table service credit on lunch, but to use it on dinner
  • Sue advises not to use your table service credit on a buffet
  • Mary believes the worst value on the dining plan is to use your table service credits on Cinderella's Royal Table
  • Len says he has received a lot of negative feedback from readers regarding Cinderella's Royal Table
  • Holli of MD wants to know if a DVC member can get free dining
  • Mary says DVC members cannot get free dining
  • Mike Scopa says the room rates aren't terrible considering it's value season
  • Sue suggests for DVC members to get a room at the Value resort in addition to their room at a DVC resort because the benefit of free dining outweighs the cost of the room
  • Mary thinks Sue's idea would work out considering she has 2 juniors
  • Mary says if you have an annual pass and want to get the free dining package, get a one day ticket as your ticket admission with the package and save the ticket for when you need to renew your annual pass and put it towards the renewal cost
  • Sue says this year everyone on the package must be present at check-in
  • Mary says the reason was because people were putting fake children on their rooms to get extra dining credits
  • Mary says you cannot run that scam anymore
  • Mike Scopa says it's rumored that Magic Express will not be free starting in January 2008
  • Sue explains the current situation with booking for 2008 and magical express
  • Mary mentions in an earlier press release by Disney regarding the extension of Magic Express, it mentioned that Disney had "no current plans to charge for Magical Express"
  • Matt thinks they should just build the price into the room
  • Len would prefer that they don't build the price into the room because he doesn't use the service
  • Len thinks maybe if they charged for Magic Express, it would cost between $10-20
  • Mary won't use Magical Express anymore because of a bad experience
  • Mary says being used a rental car makes it hard to use Magical Express
  • Len mentions a side effect of Magical Express has been rental car prices have dropped
Running Time: 22:32
Episode 244 Now Available | 23 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Episode 244 Now Available
Authored by: Chuck3 on Monday, April 16 2007 @ 09:28 AM CDT
Matt, the link in the main section refers to episode 241 (MAIN). I was still able to download the new episode from the recent podcasts section on the left side of the page though. --- Chuck3
Episode 244 Now Available
Authored by: Tikiman on Monday, April 16 2007 @ 10:34 AM CDT
Great as always to hear Sue and Mary.

Thanks for the tip on Magical Express. I was going to try it in May but I will skip it and trust your judgment. I am all for a rental car but this next trip I am just going to take a cab.


Free Dining
Authored by: martinmcintosh on Monday, April 16 2007 @ 02:10 PM CDT
Well I got my free dining booked and as discussed on the show, I was not able to book "Scopa Towers Resort and Spa", so All Star Music here we come. All ADRs are in place and now I think that I may rent a car, but I really don't want to.
Last week we booked Scopa Towers!
Authored by: YpsiWilly on Monday, April 16 2007 @ 05:07 PM CDT
Last week we booked Scopa Towers for 9/9 through 9/15, with the help of Small World Vacations (of course)! As soon as we heard that free dining was going to be offered, we jumped at it this year. This was my first experience with using an agent; they booked my table service meals and everything, which saved me from calling at 7:00 a.m. FANTASTIC! We were even able to squeeze into Le Cellier for dinner.

There are 3 of us, and we are light eaters (well, my wife and daughter are at least), so we figured week could use 2 table services each night (with them sharing), and use the credits we saved on Hoop Dee Doo, since we've never done it. For one of the meals, we are having breakfast at the Crystal Palace (I can't pass up the made-to-order omeletes and Mickey pancakes). That leaves us with a stray table service and I have 5 months to figure out how to use it.
Episode 244 Now Available
Authored by: swbmom on Monday, April 16 2007 @ 06:32 PM CDT
First time posting!

Love the podcast, guys - I am constantly refreshing the link in iTunes at 9 am every M, W, and F!!

Just have to say that I totally agree that the dining plan is wayyyyyy too much food. We had free dining in December 2005, and felt like we just wasted so much. They boxed up desserts and stuff a couple nights, which then got thrown out anyway because there was MORE food the next day! Even with character meals, it wasn't worth it (of course at that time they were mainly one credit, and not two).

Keep up the great work! I have the touring plans on my palm and keep trying out downloading new ones in anticipation of our next trip, probably not until January 2008, but it never hurts to be prepared!!! :)

Free Dining
Authored by: MayorWeaver on Monday, April 16 2007 @ 07:19 PM CDT
Just a note on the popularity of free dining. Mary had said that the other discounts weren't as well recieved. But the free dining works in the opposite way of the other discounts. With the percentage off discounts the amount of money you save increases as you spend more. (larger amounts taken off the deluxe resorts). The percentage of your room rate which you could consider a discount with free dining increases as the room rate decreases. So instead of getting $20 off your value resort room, with free dining the discount approaches the room rate. I think that explains the popularity. That and all that free food!
Look out for Wednesday's Show!
Authored by: lentesta on Monday, April 16 2007 @ 10:43 PM CDT
It has another classic blooper between me and Scopa. Destined to be one of the running gags for future shows.

Episode 244 Now Available
Authored by: Tiki_Guy on Wednesday, April 18 2007 @ 09:18 AM CDT
Last year I booked the free dining promo after listening to WDW today talk about it.

Last week, I called and booked my trip while it was still only available to Disney Visa card holders. Even then Scopa towers and All Star Movies was booked for the last week. I ended up booking All Star Music again. I did the dining plan while it was free last year. I also got an AP, which I used my one day ticket as a credit. If you have 4 people (adults are anyone over 9) in the room you can get $156 credit, even with 2 people the difference between the price of the room and the value of the dining plan is only about $8 for a standard value room.

I also have friends and family going for the same week because they want the free dining too. In the podcast you talk about wasting food on the dining plan, yet how many Scopa Specials would it take to make up the cost of the dining plan? two NY strips, two Crème Brulees, and a cheese soup & and field of greens salad, plus two non-alcoholic dinks, tax and tip would be at least $100! The trick is to not try a maximize value. I did that last year, getting the chicken & rib plate, the biggest most expensive drink, and the biggest desert every meal will kill you. Sure it’s a $20+ value for free at a quick service but it will just make you sick. Once you realize that you can get a nice salad or wrap for lunch and something better then you ever would have bought at dinner, plus a free dole whip float every day. What could be better?

This dining promotion makes it much easier for people to bring others to Disney without all the problems that dining could cause without it. My uncle is bringing his 3 adult children, their spouses and grand children to WDW during this promotion. If not for this promotion either the kids would have to pay for their own food or he would foot the bill. Those who are doing better would probably want to eat at Le Celier or the Coral Reef, while those with less money would prefer to eat only on the cheep. If my uncle was paying and one of the kids ordered the most expensive thing on the menu he might not say anything, but I know it would bother him. This way no one care what anyone orders. Maybe by getting the cheapest tings on the menu you are only getting $30 worth of food per day, it’s still a good deal for free most of the time you will get at least $35 worth of food even if you just do a breakfast buffet and have a counter service burger with drink, and a snack, once you factor in tax, and tip.

As for needing to get a MYW ticket the way I look at tickets, they are like money. I ordered two 7 day park hoppers this time, though I will probably upgrade to a 10 day no expire ticket with water fun & more and use it for my next two trips, including Mousefest. There are 3 things that are certain in life, Death, Taxes, and Disney raising the price of park tickets. So getting one today even if you don’t use it now, is a good thing because the price will go up in the future. Also last year I bought my one day ticket before the price increase but when I used it against my AP they gave me credit on the higher current value of the ticket. I spent $67 and they gave me a $71 credit.


Charging for Magical Express?
Authored by: DisneyConvert on Thursday, April 19 2007 @ 09:07 AM CDT
They effectively used to do that -- it was called Mears Transportation (who ironically, still operate it).
The a la carte price was approx. $29 r/t - or something in that range - a bit cheaper than taxi, unless you had a family of 4+ (hence the popularity of the town car option). Mears was a popular option, but not overwhelmingly so.
Now it is "free," sort of ... and all the value that is being given away "free" to the 10%~20% of Mears-users who otherwise would pay for the service, is not being captured by WDW Inc (which they may not necessarily like).