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Tuesday, August 30 2016 @ 05:28 PM CDT

Episode 723 - Ways to beat the summer dining surcharge

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Presented by:

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Show Notes

Hosts: Matt Hochberg, Annette Owens & Len Testa


  • Ways to beat the summer dining surcharge
  • Today, we give alternative dining options to avoid the summer restaurant price hike

Running Time: 18:07
Episode 723 - Ways to beat the summer dining surcharge | 9 comments | Create New Account
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Episode 723 - Ways to beat the summer dining surcharge
Authored by: disneymusiclov4 on Friday, May 21 2010 @ 12:05 PM CDT
It is also the most wonderful time of the year because it is high school school and college graduation time right now.
Episode 723 - Ways to beat the summer dining surcharge
Authored by: minniemouse on Friday, May 21 2010 @ 01:19 PM CDT
Great! We are traveling on a last minute (planned at <60 days out) trip to the world next month and were unable to get ADRs at our favorite character meal, Chef Mickey's...so we are trying Garden Grill for the first time.
I feel SO confident in our back up choice now after listening to today's show!
Episode 723 - Ways to beat the summer dining surcharge
Authored by: Kfischler on Saturday, May 22 2010 @ 02:18 PM CDT
Happy Birthday Annette. Enjoyed the show and agree with your perspectives on Special Holiday Pricing. We were inroduced to Special Holiday Pricing two years ago... I guess they were celebrating Flag Day. I did not see any improvement in service when we paid more. In fact, I noted a decrease in service at several TS restaurants as the labor model was scaled back. I wrote Guest Relations citing specifics where cost had increased, but service had decreased. I received a response thanking me for my comments as they are always looking to improve. Bottom line is I told the company that I no longer felt the value of the meal experiences in WDW were worth the cost.

I have not returned to a TS meal since and will certainly not pay extra for a sub-par experience. Instead, we have found great CS options such as the Tangerine Cafe, fish & chips at the Pub (1/2 the price of TS for the same portion), and other options. This year, we are heading to DLR and DCA instead of WDW to try something different. Thanks to the reviews I read in the DL Unofficial Guide and menus on AllEars.net, I've made no PS reservations for our trip. I actually considered the PCH until I went back and listened to Len's review on a previous podcast. Again, thanks for a great topic and maybe you can look at CS options that are a good value as an alternative to TS.
Episode 723 - Ways to beat the summer dining surcharge
Authored by: Paul on Sunday, May 23 2010 @ 10:42 AM CDT
I listened to this podcast this morning with a sense of growing annoyance. All four restaurants I have booked for my July trip with my sister were on your list of those with a summer surcharge. That's an extra $32 I wasn't planning on spending. Not a lot in the grand scheme of things, perhaps, but still REALLY annoying.

Thanks for the heads up, folks!
Episode 723 - Ways to beat the summer dining surcharge
Authored by: gilleska on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 06:58 AM CDT
How about the Garden Grove at the Swan? They have character breakfasts and dinners, and weren't mentioned in the episode as having the summer surcharge.
Episode 723 - Ways to beat the summer dining surcharge
Authored by: Dale-n-chip on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 07:29 PM CDT
Len said Garden Grill is no longer a character meal. Whaaaat?! When did that happen?
Episode 723 - Ways to beat the summer dining surcharge
Authored by: richard on Monday, May 24 2010 @ 08:06 PM CDT
Disney is playing it close to the vest this year -- still no public announcement as of May 24 or even warnings at allears, mousesavers or mouseplanet. This is our first summer trip but I was expecting summer surcharge so I only made one reservation at those restaurants (Tusker House), and I will drop it immediately when there's an announcement. As long as people keep paying the surcharge, it will keep happening. Sunshine Seasons IS great -- the trouble is everyone knows it and you have to be willing to kill to get a table.
Episode 723 - Ways to beat the summer dining surcharge
Authored by: jermsworld on Tuesday, May 25 2010 @ 12:25 PM CDT
Interesting show. My family is going from June 3rd - June 13th. We originally decided to not do the dining plan, and just eat where we want and have fun. As the money issue started to pop up, I decided to estimate the cost of the meals using All Ears menus. Keep in mind, some of the restaurants, I had my wife pick up a kids meal.

For just an entree and a drink, for 11 days, with 1 -2 sitdown's a day, the total cost with tax was 1400 dollars. Just for meals. This doesn't include us eating at The Seas where the kids, who are picky, may not eat and we would have to go to a counter service place to pick them up a meal. This also doesn't include snacks. So we estimated about 100 bucks for snacks (water, soda, popcorn, churros) and that brought the total to 1500 dollars.

Now, for the dining plan, it cost about 1040 for the four of us. The issue was that we were eating too many sit down meals, and the price would go up. The Deluxe Dining plan for us will cost 1,843 dollars and includes 3 meals a day (appetizer, entree and desert per person), refillable mug, and 2 snacks per person, per day. For 350 dollars, we don't have to worry about extra meals, extra snacks, just the tip. If we had thought about this earlier, we also had leftover coupons that we could have eaten a 200 dollar meal at Cinderella's Royal Table.

Our conclusion, if you don't go to WDW often, and you want to hit a lot of the sit down restaurants, the dining plan may be something you should look into. After listening to WDW Today, I really thought we would be saving a lot of money by not going the Dining Plan route. Since discovering this, we have now made reservations at Kona, Ohana and Spirit of Aloha. With tons of meals still available.