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Since the advent of free dining

Discussion in 'Restaurants, Dining, Dining Plans' started by Dawn, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Dawn
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    Dawn carpe diem-ing Forum Host

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    How is the dining experience at Disney now? Is it harder to get an ADR now? What about a walk-up? And how has service been affected?

    Is the Disney Dining Plan a positive or negative addition?
     
  2. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    For me personally, it's been a huge negative

    We can't just walk up anymore in fact, we can't usually even book anything whilst we're there! That means booking things way further out than we'd like. In fact recently, we phoned up exactly 180 days out and had trouble getting le cellier for any day of our holiday!

    Service has definitely got worse too... hard to blame servers when they're rushed off their feet, but it's been a definite downturn
     
  3. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    Let me couch my words in gentle terms. I hate, loathe and despise the dining program. Is that gentle enough?

    It's taken away the ability for local folks (like us) to spontaneously decide to have dinner with Disney. One of our "things" to do was to have dinner (monthly) at a Disney restaurant. We cannot do that at all now.

    When we do make an ADR for something like a birthday, or whatever, the service is terrible and the food is not nearly as nice as it once was. I will say, when they ask if we are on the dining plan we can happily say no, and they do seem a touch "kinder" but not enough to make a huge difference.

    We do have the DDP and we use that, but there are new problems with that now. There is the automatic gratuity, and the servers know that, so we are now in the position of paying for our food, and for a gratuity that may not be earned. Soooo...

    We dine offsite now. Lovely places too. We've found some terrific restaurants and happily give them our money.

    Disney is definitely not the place to dine/eat for people who do no want a rigid schedule. :shrug:
     
  4. Johnie
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    Johnie Budget Queen Forum Host

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    They've raised prices and quality has gone down the tubes. It is virtually impossible to get in anywhere without an ADR.

    That being said, we have gone during free dining every year and love not having to pay for meals.
     
  5. ukwdwnut
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    ukwdwnut Director of Recruitment Forum Host

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    mmmm so i reckon i will have no chance of getting anything now, but will call anyway to see
     
  6. Taja
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    Taja Earning my ears

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    Have to agree with difficulty getting ADRs at preferred times/venues during popular times/seasons. Also, menu selections have been reduced and overall quality doesn't seem to be quite as good.

    Some of the servers are terrific, others are awful, most are okay. That's pretty normal!
     
  7. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    I must say though, I can understand how people who get on this program for free would like it. I mean, not to have to pay for your food is a pretty sweet deal! Then again, you are paying rack rate for the stay, aren't you? :unsure:
     
  8. Dorothy
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    Dorothy Smiley Herder

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    Yep the free dining makes a big difference in the quality of food offered and the service too. However, I won't be able to afford to go next year if I don't have the free dining. I'll be paying for half the room and airfare on top of my park hoppers and that's about all the budget can handle for awhile. So for me the free dining makes a huge difference in if I can go or not go.
     
  9. SleepinCatz
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    SleepinCatz Fluffeh Disney Fan

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    unfortunately free dinning wouldn't be enough to get us back in right now...can only afford the campsites so cooler weather will be the only time we go...now we pay for the dinning plan....and still spend less that what we did to stay in the all stars with free dinning....
     
  10. Tinker
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    Tinker Earning my ears

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    Nut, you haven't made ADR's :eek: try resort restaurants , Sppodles, Whispering Canyon Cafe, Trails End, and Artist Point always seem to have something last minute .
    Now to answer the ? I, too, dislike what the dining plan has done to the service we first had in 99 and we didn't need reservations . But since Disney did ruin that wonderful dining with this distasteful idea ... I do take advantage of it when its free .
    I wonder when they ask me this trip coming up if I'm on the dining plan, I should respond does it make a difference in service ? LOL
     
  11. Johnie
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    Johnie Budget Queen Forum Host

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    Yes, which is why we always stay at a value. It's much cheaper to do it that way.
     
  12. Taja
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    Taja Earning my ears

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    Mick, if you're looking for an ADR and have time planned at DTD, the Turf Club Bar & Grill at SSR is a good option. Not as busy as most of the others--you'll still need an ADR--but you may have a slightly better chance of getting a lunch or dinner ADR there.
     

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