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Thread: still confused about dining plans

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2009
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    Im so confused

    Are there more than one dining plans now with different offers? do they still pay the gratuities?

    Are they even worth it? and can you buy a full dining plan if you only stay at a value resort, people are saying I cant? or do they mean if the plan is free and how do I get a free plan?

    it's not easy

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    May 2009
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    Cambridgeshire
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    dining plans

    A free dining plan is usually only available at time of booking. Personally I would eat off site if you have a car, itís far cheaper and gives you a wider choice. I have never used the dining plan, however I have noticed people at our hotel using one and the choice is limited. Some of them were getting drinks or desert just because it came with the dining plan and they had paid for it.


  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2008
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    Arizona, USA
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    None of the dining plans include gratuities these days.

    I'm working from memory, so I'm sure someone will come along soon and correct any errors.

    There are essentially three dining plans: counter service (quick service in WDW terms), DDP (includes 1 QS, 1 TS & 1 snack daily), and DxDDP (Deluxe Dining Plan), which includes three TS meals daily--or you can elect to use QS, if you choose.

    There also is a wine package available as an add-on--not sure if applies only to the DDP and DxDDP. It would make sense if it did--most QS venues don't offer wine, except in EPCOT. I believe you can purchase any level dining plan at any of the WDW resorts, but I could be wrong!

    Free dining is offered by WDW during slow times of the year if bookings are down--or they expect them to be. It usually encompasses the latter part of August and September, sometimes a few days into October. They usually have specific booking windows--I think the US window for 2009 free DDP is about to close--if it hasn't already. I haven't been paying too much attention to it.

    Is it worth purchasing the dining plans? If you think of it as a prepaid meal plan, it can be worthwhile. If it's used intelligently, it's possible to save a few dollars each day over strictly OOP. But it can be rather restricting, as you have to make the TS ADRs well in advance and there frequently isn't much wiggle room to change plans at the last minute--or even after arriving at WDW! It's really a matter of personal preference.

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