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Wednesday, July 30 2014 @ 02:02 AM CDT

Episode 951 - 2012 Disney Dining Plan....A Preview

PodcastEpisode 951 is now available for Download and Instant Listening.

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Show Notes

Hosts: Matt Hochberg, Len Testa, Mike Newell & AJ
Topics:

  • Episode 951 - 2012 Disney Dining Plan...A Preview

  • Today, AJ from the Disney Food Blog joins the panel to preview the the changes to the 2012 Dining Plan at Walt Disney World.

  • Running Time: 29:10

Episode 951 - 2012 Disney Dining Plan....A Preview | 10 comments | Create New Account
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Episode 951 - 2012 Disney Dining Plan....A Preview
Authored by: frandog on Thursday, November 03 2011 @ 10:47 PM CDT
-As for why people would continue to use the Dining Plan despite the significantly diminished value, I would think a majority of of the people who still use it are the first time/one and done WDW tourists. I doubt many hard core WDW fans still use it although the prices at WDW restaurants are so high anyway, maybe it is worth buying for the convience factor?
-I'm skeptical Disney would give you back your money even if you had a good reason. Frankly, if they really had the guests' best interests in mind here, they would shorten the reservation window. The major reason imo people are double booking is because they have no clue where they will be 180 days out (nor should they).
A couple of comments
Authored by: AquaViola on Friday, November 04 2011 @ 04:33 AM CDT
You raise a good point in the episode re the Deluxe Dining Plan - the lack of time to do anything else.

I wonder if it would be better value if Disney offered another perk with the Deluxe Dining Plan to counteract this; unlimited FastPasses.

I also wonder, if Disney could offer a discount on the Standard Dining Plan of 20% if you have the Tables in Wonderland card, would that make it better value?

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Episode 951 - 2012 Disney Dining Plan....A Preview
Authored by: Kfischler on Friday, November 04 2011 @ 09:27 AM CDT
I agree with you Matt. We started voting with our wallet a few years ago when we gave up table service dining due to the combination of increased prices, lackluster food quality and menu selection, and noticeable decrease in service. I just didn't feel I was getting any value for what I was paying. Also, when calculating whether the DDP is right for you, even if ordering the most costly entree on the menu, remember to factor in gratuity.

I think over the years, the company has kept to a fairly conisistent cost increase for tickets and hotels to not scare off people looking to see if they could afford a Disney vacation, then combined cost-saving measures in quality and quantity for food and merchandise with significant cost increases to ensure profit at the theme parks. It would certainly explain the generic menus and merchandise with less cast members on hand to provide service.
Episode 951 - 2012 Disney Dining Plan....A Preview
Authored by: ADP on Friday, November 04 2011 @ 01:09 PM CDT
The reason the Dining Plan seems like a good value (even though we know it isn't) is because Disney is raising the menu prices at the same time they are rasiing the Dining Plan prices. Disney is artificially creating value by raising the menu and Dining Plan prices at the same time. First time visitors will gravitate towards the Dining Plan because they didn't realize the Dining Plan value prior to 2007. When planning your trip and considering the Dining Plan you look at the menu prices and realize the Dining Plan might provide a good value. But again, it's an "artificial value" because Disney has raised both menu and Dining Plan prices at the same time.
Episode 951 - 2012 Disney Dining Plan....A Preview
Authored by: disneydad24 on Friday, November 04 2011 @ 02:03 PM CDT
I think one thing that is not usually brought up when evaluating the cost of the Dining Plan is the cost for children under the age of 9. This is typically the age group that will enjoy the character meals. Most of these meals cost more than the daily price of the Dining plan for children. For myself, the character meals are worth it due to the interaction with my kids. I know that I can see the characters in the park so I suppose a convenience factor plays in here.

Also, for some people like myself, I rarely go out to eat during my normal life at home. A trip to Disney allows for me to go out to eat which has some value as well.

I think that yes the price of the food in Disney is not worth what you get, but then again show me a them park across the country where the food is worth the price. I can go to my local theme park and order the same pizza I can get outside of the park for 1/2 the price.

I noticed a previous comment stated that the gratuity is not included so that needs to be factored in. I disagree with this statement. The gratuity is not something I factor in when evaluating the cost of the Dining plan because it is something I have to pay out of pocket whether I am on the Dining Plan or not.

Every trip, I do the math (usually without desserts because yes I don't usually order dessert), and the cost of the dining plan still is a lesser expensive option. I know that Disney keeps raising the cost of the food at certain restaurants, but what is one supposed to do. I guess we could not eat Table service, but that is a big draw for my family. I know some people could eat off site, but some people fly and don't have a car. Maybe I could rent a car. Is it worth it to spend the extra money and take time out of my vacation to travel locally to restaurants in the area? I guess for my family that is not something I would like to do.
  • Gratuity - Authored by: frandog on Friday, November 04 2011 @ 02:50 PM CDT
Episode 951 - 2012 Disney Dining Plan....A Preview
Authored by: llastovica on Saturday, November 05 2011 @ 08:57 AM CDT
Just a simple example of why we do "out of pocket"- On our last trip, we returned to the resort around 6:30 to get a little rest before our 8:30 ADR at California Grill. We basically fell asleep until the next morning and missed our ADR. ( The $10 charge was not in place at this point) If we had been on the DDP, we would have "wasted" that table service credit, or felt it neccessasry to find some place to use it the following day to avoid wasting it. Since we were paying OOP, we not only avoided wasting a TS credit, we saved $100+ by simply not eating at CG. I do not see DDP as convenient. It is actually the opposite, it locks you into a rigid schedule of dining options.
Episode 951 - 2012 Disney Dining Plan....A Preview
Authored by: havoc315 on Wednesday, November 09 2011 @ 08:40 AM CST
The panel missed several key points. They essentially discussed the case of an adult guest who just wants a handful of TS meals over a week long visit. For such a guest, the DDP is indeed a very very bad value.
And I think it's a mediocre/poor value for many guests, but they missed:
1-- Kids, especially families with kids who want a LOT of character meals. The character meals themselves may be ridiculously overpriced. But if you have kids under 9, and they want to do several character meals, the pricing is more reasonable using the dining plan.
2-- Deluxe dining --- was dismissed quickly as 3 meals per day, being too much food and too much time. There was no discussion of using it for a nightly signature meal, as well as a ts breakfast or lunch. (so 2 meals per day). While it's still quite a bit of time and food, it isn't as totally ridiculous as 3 full sitdown meals per day. And it can produce a bit of value (though not nearly as much during peak 2012 pricing).
3-- They assumed that people don't want to spend a lot of time doing sit down meals while at the theme parks. This is certainly true of many people, but it was much too broad of a brush stroke. Les Testa of Touringplans should know better-- as the touring plans recommend an extended mid-day break --- Certainly a relaxing sit down meal can be part of that break. Not everyone wants to run around the park for 10-14 hours per day. 6-7 hours of park touring is plenty of many people, giving plenty of time for a relaxing sit down meal.

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