Is the Disney dining package worth it?

(18 Posts)
MakingAnotherList Mon 04-Feb-13 06:34:35

I usually book direct with Disney but there are lots of good travel agents.
The free dining offer ends on 5th February.
Disney require a £50/per person deposit for hotel booking only. Not sure how much the deposit is if you book flights through them too, I have a feeling it's £150 each.
Old Key West 1 bed villa isn't showing as available for the random dates that I've tried in August and if you wanted to stay at Saratoga Springs you'd need to book a 2 bed suite as it only accommodates 4 in a 1 bed.

ImpatientOne Sun 03-Feb-13 23:03:02

Topcashback.co.uk is the one I use as no fee. You sign up with your email address then literally just click through there to the site. It's all done with cookies - you get cash back rather than a discount, or Amazon vouchers if you prefer.

I average about £150 a year back grin

Virgil Sun 03-Feb-13 22:12:43

Definitely saratoga or old key west if there are five adults. Saratoga rooms have all just been refurnished and the new rooms are really nice.

Do you have to go in August? You're less likely to get free dining in August plus it will be hot and busy.

triplets Sun 03-Feb-13 22:06:53

excuse my ignorance but what is a cash back site and how do I join?

ImpatientOne Sun 03-Feb-13 20:55:50

Doesn't seem to matter who you book with. Obviously through Disney but I know through Virgin you also get the free dining - only condition is that you have you buy the park tickets at the same time. Definitely worth going through a cashback site!

triplets Sun 03-Feb-13 19:40:06

Thank yousmile who would I book that with to get the free dining?

MakingAnotherList Sun 03-Feb-13 18:17:06

Or a 1 bed suite at Old Key West also sleeps 5 and includes free dining plan.
Nice boat ride to Downtown Dismay but quite a large resort.
Huge living area and a full kitchen for snacks. Laundry room and a jacuzzi too smile

MakingAnotherList Sun 03-Feb-13 18:14:17

Not Port Orleans then. Beach Club is usually cheaper than Fort Wilderness and you'd get free dining, saving a LOT of money with teenagers.
My 15 year old DS is very happy to sleep on the daybed at Beach Club.

triplets Sun 03-Feb-13 17:21:10

Hi I have 15yr old triplets!!! Girl/boy/boy. So its basically 5 adults.

MakingAnotherList Sun 03-Feb-13 17:06:23

No dining plan at swan ir dolphin.
How old is the youngest?
Port Orleans Riverside is much cheaper than Fort Wilderness but has a trundle bed for the 5th.
Fort Wilderness is really nice but quite large and takes a while to get around.
Beach Club sleeps 5 and is walking distance to Epcot (MGM too but probably too hot in August to walk to MGM)

ImpatientOne Sun 03-Feb-13 16:56:10

I always understood you can't do dining plan at Swan/Dolphin as they are partner resorts rather than Disney resorts. None of their restaurants were on the plan when I went.

You can try the American Disney site as they do different offers but rarely have the free dining - when they do they sell out quickly!

Other option might be to split stay to reduce costs? It does seem to miss good prices unless you book miles in advance angry

triplets Sun 03-Feb-13 16:44:21

Yes have joined the dis an dibbs forums. So are you saying you can`t use the dining package at the Dolphin? I did phone Virgin this morning, they have the accom but no flights left in Aug, only is you fly premium and up! Oh I so want to go, there must be a way!

ImpatientOne Sun 03-Feb-13 16:18:35

Although location of Dolphin is good you don't get dining package.

Have you looked through the Disney website or Virgin? There isn't usually much variation in prices and you can get cashback (Top cashback or Quidco) on the official ones or Virgin.

Fort Wilderness is deceptive - it can be more pricey than some of the hotels! I would seriously look at Sarasota Springs as you will get a 'villa' there, or the new family suites at the Art of Animation resort. At the moment the offer is only for the quick service dining plan or you can pay for the standard one as an upgrade.

It is expensive there is no way of glossing over that but the upgraded service and convenience of being onsite are well worth it if you can stretch to that.

Have you looked on the DIS, it's a really good forum and has a UK part on the Disboards.

triplets Sun 03-Feb-13 16:11:38

Oh I can you find me a holiday please??? So far through my eputable travel agent we have been offered 14 nights at the Fort W lodges, 5 flights +park tickets +basic dining package. Option 2 is thru Netflights, don`t know them and just read some scary reviews. They have offered 5 flights +2 weeks in The Disney Dolphin for £5500. This is all for Aug. I know a villa would be cheaper but I want to be able to stay out in the evening and not cook. My concern with the Dolphin is its one bedroom with 2 doubles and a roll away, bit of a squeeze and no kitchen facilities. B/fast is priced in one of their restaurants at $22 each!!!!! The Dolphin also does not offer airport pick up. Just don`t know what to do, desperate to go as dh is in remission from cancer.

Virgil Sun 03-Feb-13 15:31:15

SO worth it. We saved over £2k by using the dining plan and had so many credits left over that we managed an extra table service meal for four on the final day and I bought six stocking fillers for the DCS for Christmas.

The value on the dining plan can't be beaten if you're staying on site. In fact i dont know how people afford to stay on site without it since the meals are so expensive. They must end up eating junk food all the time too just because of the cost of a "real" meal.

The other bonus is that you get so much time with the characters and so never have to waste time queuing in the parks for photos.

We stayed at saratoga in October and it was great. animal kingdom lodge is also amazing but pricey.

ImpatientOne Sun 03-Feb-13 15:23:28

I can't really comment on the value as we got in included when we went on our honeymoon.

We found it A LOT of food although we made that part of the holiday ifswim. We did a few 2 credit meals - Cinderella's castle and a couple of the more adult restaurants - bit we were child free so this wouldn't work for everyone obviously.

My biggest problem with is is the desserts. We were overloaded with sugar as you get a dessert with every meal! We saved a lot of ours and had them as breakfasts or snacks in the room (we stayed delux so had a fridge) some did get thrown away though.

On the onsite/offsite we have done both and to me it is worth the extra £££ to be onsite - especially with children. The transport was so easy and we enjoyed seeing the other resorts and being able to eat anywhere on the inclusive plan. It just wasn't the same for me when we went in a villa but it does depend how much non Disney stuff you want to do.

There's some good deals at Saratoga Springs where you can get the dining plan and they have kitchenettes so at least you can have breakfast. You can walk to Downtown Disney from there which has some great restaurant choices too.

dinkydoos Sun 03-Feb-13 15:22:50

When are you looking at going as there are deals at the minute with free dining included which is great and we did that last year

triplets Sun 03-Feb-13 15:15:57

Hi trying to cost up two weeks in Florida where I don`t end up in the kitchen! We haven`t been since 2006 and I am horrified at the prices. I really didn`t want to go back to a villa, would be nice to have a resort to walk around in in the evening. Any tips please?

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