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Annual Passholders get Dining Plan for Room-Only Ressies

#1 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 12:05 PM

AP holders can now book the Disney Dining Plan with a room only reservation and still get their AP discount rate at the resorts.
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#2 User is offline   Jeanine 

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 12:44 AM

I saw this, but I was unsure of a few things: They still refer it it as a "package," I suppose because it's a room and dining plan, so does it have the cancellation window of a room-only or a package reservation? I've also seen some specific dates mentioned in conjunction with it, so it's not clear to me whether this is a limited promotion or a permanent change.
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#3 User is offline   queenofthehouse 

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 12:46 AM

QuickGold said:

AP holders can now book the Disney Dining Plan with a room only reservation and still get their AP discount rate at the resorts.

Very exciting news, I'll have to look into it.
Maureen
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#4 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 10:58 AM

Jeanine said:

I saw this, but I was unsure of a few things: They still refer it it as a "package," I suppose because it's a room and dining plan, so does it have the cancellation window of a room-only or a package reservation? I've also seen some specific dates mentioned in conjunction with it, so it's not clear to me whether this is a limited promotion or a permanent change.
Annette mentioned it on Friday's podcast and you can only cancel up to 45 days before you arrive.
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#5 User is offline   Jeanine 

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 09:13 PM

OK, can you tell I've just today finally caught up with the podcasts? I guess my next question would be whether the same policy will apply to regular packages, where you can add the dining plan up to 72 hours of arrival. If you can, then it seems like you could just book the room as a room-only reservation, and add the DP at the last minute if you don't cancel.
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#6 User is offline   ADP 

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 10:57 PM

Jeanine said:

OK, can you tell I've just today finally caught up with the podcasts? I guess my next question would be whether the same policy will apply to regular packages, where you can add the dining plan up to 72 hours of arrival. If you can, then it seems like you could just book the room as a room-only reservation, and add the DP at the last minute if you don't cancel.


The AP discount in combination with the DDP has to be booked as a package. The package policy rules apply. If you cancel within 45 days there is a penalty.

You can add the DDP to your room only reservation, but your existing reservation will be cancelled and rebooked as a package.

According to the CM I spoke with at CRO today you can add the DDP 72 hours prior to your arrival.
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#7 User is offline   JediGamer 

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 07:08 AM

I was listening to Lou's show and he mentioned that someone booked the package and it averaged out to a rack rate with the DDP costing $25 per night (approx). Sounds like a decent enough deal.
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#8 User is offline   ADP 

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 09:29 AM

JediGamer said:

I was listening to Lou's show and he mentioned that someone booked the package and it averaged out to a rack rate with the DDP costing $25 per night (approx). Sounds like a decent enough deal.


In reality you can do the math anyway you want since its a true package. I like to look at it as I'm getting my AP room discount and paying regular price for the basic or deluxe dining plan.

Editing to add a comparison:
In April I'm staying at AKL for 3 nights. The AP discount for my standard view room is $164 + tax, or $184 per night. The total for the room only reservation is $552. When I added the dining plan and made it a package the total came to $811.

Rack rate for the standard view room is $275 + tax, or $306 per night. The rack rate total for 3 nights is $918 with no dining plan.

If you look at it from these terms I'm basically getting the free dining promotion everyone touts in August and September plus saving another $100 off of that price. I think Matt's said it before, but the free dining promotion offered in August and September isn't everything its cracked up to be. Getiting the AP discount can turn out to be a better deal over the free dining promotion.
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#9 User is offline   Jeanine 

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 12:19 AM

ADP said:

You can add the DDP to your room only reservation, but your existing reservation will be cancelled and rebooked as a package.

According to the CM I spoke with at CRO today you can add the DDP 72 hours prior to your arrival.


So I guess the downside would be that the AP rate may no longer be available if you try to rebook as a package adding the DP at the last minute.

I think whether the free dining is a bargain depends heavily on where you stay and how many people are staying in the same room. If you have two people, then you figure the free dining saves you around $80/day--if your AP discount saves you more than that, then clearly that's better. At the values, I find that the AP discount is almost never more than around $10-30/day, in which case the free dining saves more.
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#10 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 12:16 PM

Free dining (and the dining plan in general) has always favored the value resorts in terms of saving the most amount of money. It requires a great deal of planning and to maximize the value by ordering expensive menu options.
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#11 User is offline   Jeanine 

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 12:02 AM

You know, everyone always talks about how much work is required to do the DDP, and there are all kinds of spreadsheets and things to help out with it, but I've never really understood exactly what makes it so complex? It may be because I've never had to plan it for more than 2 people at a time, but it never seems like it's any more work than making the dinner ADP that I would normally make anyway.

I can see for people who have never been there that it might be too much information to process, but that seems more related to the whole logistics of dining in general at WDW, rather than the specific requirements of the DDP.
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#12 User is offline   Figaro 

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 09:13 AM

I think it becomes more involved when people start thinking how can I get the most out of it? They want to book the most expensive meals so they get more "value". They research every menu in every restaurant to find out where to do this, including counter serve. I tried to do that one trip and it drove me insane!

I'll stick to the DDE :)
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#13 User is offline   ADP 

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 09:26 AM

You guys make great points. The whole dining plan thing can create a lot of work. This is the first time I'm trying the Dining Plan (I've always just used DDE) and I have to agree I've spent a lot of time analyzing everything to get the most out of the plan. It's definately a strike against the Dining Plan in my opinion.

However, some Disney World fans like planning their Disney trips as much as possible. So it may not bother them to analyze menus and figure where they will be on a given day. I guess its just a matter of perspective.
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#14 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 12:48 PM

I agree with Kim. You have to figure out where it makes the most sense to eat and you also need ADR's for each day of your trip, which may be a change for some like myself who ordinarily may not eat at a sit down every day of their trip. And as Kim pointed out, you also want to maximize value by making sure where you ear has an entree where it will make the DDP worth it.

Aaron, I agree with you about how some people like planning out all the ADR's and such and I would probably be one of those folks. But it's still a lot of work :)

I prefer the flexibility of DDE
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#15 User is offline   queenofthehouse 

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 10:48 PM

My problem is that I hate making advanced reservations; that means I have to be at a certain place at a certain time. It's okay once in awhile for a special character meal or a show, but to have to make reservations everyday would make me crazy.

I've looked into the dining but I was never willing to give up the AP resort discount. But it sound like now AP holders can add it. I'll look into it and add it if the cost isn't to outragious. We mostly eat at counter service and only do sit down a few times during our stay. My son isn't will to give up the time it takes to eat at a sit down.
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#16 User is offline   TiggerRay 

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 11:06 AM

JediGamer said:

I was listening to Lou's show and he mentioned that someone booked the package and it averaged out to a rack rate with the DDP costing $25 per night (approx). Sounds like a decent enough deal.



This person's analysis is flawed....the actual "cost" to an AP holder would the the increased cost over what the room reservation would cost with an AP Discount not the rack rate.

I've used my AP to get reservations at the Wilderness Lodge and the Polynesian and gotten rates near Moderate rack rates....there's no way if I'm paying rack rate for a Deluxe Resort this is paying for itself.

Sorry...I'll stick with my DDE card.
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