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Dining Discuss Who has used the deluxe plan? in the Vacation Planning forums; I'm taking a girls trip Nov 09 and we are seriously considering using the deluxe plan. I've used the regular plan before and loved it. We will be staying 4 ...
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    princessariel's Avatar
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    Who has used the deluxe plan?

    I'm taking a girls trip Nov 09 and we are seriously considering using the deluxe plan. I've used the regular plan before and loved it.

    We will be staying 4 nights(hopefully fly in the night before and make it 5 nights). We are strongly considering this as we'd like to do the Hoop De Do Review as well as eat at a signature restaurant or two.

    We are also fans of the characters breakfasts and I know we would be able to do as many on the regular plan.

    How did you like it? Did you feel it was worth your money?
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    We have dear friends that have used the Premium Plan. First, they are both 55 years old, DD25 and travel with Grandma 75. They travel to WDW annually for l0-14 days and have for 20 years, stay at the Floridian since it is a hub for good transportation to $$$ restaurants with direct access to 4 hotels with premium restaurants by monorail or launches. To them food has taken priority over mega hours in each park and have time on their side to hit all the attractions they wish to see. They figure they spend 6-7 hours each day traveling to and from restaurants and dining and just love it. They dine at least one signature restaurant each day and very good restaurants the other two meals. If you do this or hit HDR dinner show you'll get your money's worth according to DF. They truly love to eat.

    We have done the Hoopie De Do Review on Christmas Day with a 4 yr old to an 80 yr old. We all loved it. Food was excellent and truly as much as you wish to eat. My DS was picked to go on stage to participate with the cast, he has yet to forget how special that was.

    I think the many question is not if Premium is a good value but more if you are willing to forfeit park time for dining.
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    SuzyQ's Avatar
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    We personally have not tried the Deluxe Dining Plan as of yet, but I have had quite a few clients who have. At first, when it was initially introduced I spent some time looking at menus and numbers to see if it really would save money or be a good value.

    Now that many have returned after using it, I must say that I have only received glowing responses.

    A couple things that were shared with me is that they really appreciated receiving the souvenier mug to obtain drinks at their resort whenever they felt like it. Also, two snacks per person per day was perfect - mostly used for a sweet treat and a beverage.

    Most of those who used the plan did not use it for three meals per day, but similar to your thoughts: signature dining, dinner shows - usually a character breakfast with a nice dinner in between. I had one client who used a couple of dinner credits for counter service meals when they did not wish to dine full service and she still saved money.

    The last thing - and this is what Disney banks on - is that many simply appreciate knowing that most of their dining is pre-paid when they arrive. More time to just relax and not have a care in the world about what to order.

    Have fun planning those meals!
    Suzy
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    Love That Duck's Avatar
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    On our first two trips (2001 and 2002) we booked packages equivalent to what is now the Premium package without the snacks. We were two adults traveling without children and really enjoyed the dining portion and definitely used it up. We ate 3 TS meals most days but it was great to have the option for CS the days we had just 2 TS meals. We did not use the unlimited recreation options as much as we thought so for me its best to go with Deluxe Dining and pay out of pocket for an occasional recreational activity. I kept our meal receipts from both of those trips and the dining tab came to more than we paid for the dining AND unlimited recreation on each trip. As mentioned, it is wonderful to arrive at WDW knowing the entire trip is paid for except for bottled water and gifts, etc.

    From 2004-2007, most trips were room only with my AP but I did do a 3 night package in Dec. 2005 with the Basic Dining plan. I personally did not like it. I did not being limited to 1 CS and 1 TS per day. I would rather pay more more for freedom to choose and use my meal coupons as I like. I went home with unused CS and TS meals.

    My AP expires in May so I bought a package with Deluxe Dining for my December trip. I am planning ADRs for 1 Signature meal at least 4 nights of the trip leaving me with 1 TS meal on those days. Snacks can be used for bottled water, coffee or tea, not just food items (but I'll have to enjoy a Mickey bar once or twice). I do not spend every possible hour the parks. I like to enjoy my resort, browse DTD, resort hop to see holiday decorations, etc. I am an early riser even on vacation, and I do not like skipping meals (I eat 6 small meals every day). So, it is easy for me to eat 3 TS meals a day with ample time between meals. I was looking at WDW menus yesterday afternoon pricing what I would eat from those menus. I would definitely spend more out of pocket on dining than I paid for Deluxe Dining Plan not counting the 2 snacks each day. For me, the Deluxe Dining Plan is perfect.

    I guess if your style is (like most Disney fans) arriving at the parks an hour before they open and stay through evening EMH every day to enjoy every minute possible in the parks, I would venture to guess Deluxe Dining might not be the best option.
    ~Jerry & Nancy~

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  5. #5
    EyerishEyes's Avatar
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    Perhaps you all can help me....my husband, father, mother and I will be going for the first time in December with the deluxe dining plan. We are going to arrive early on the 2nd and leaving late on the 9th. How many TS meals does this give us (have to eat regular meals as my father has some medical issues) and when do the meals expire? I appreciate all tips, hints, answers, etc. you can give me.
    EyerishEyes

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    Love That Duck's Avatar
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    Hi EyerishEyes!

    I purchased the Deluxe Dining plan for my December trip as well. Just last night I reviewed the Deluxe Dining Plan on WDW.com.

    For your family it will look like this:

    (4 people x 3 meals per night) x 7 nights = 84 meals

    The meal "coupons" will be issued upon check-in on Dec. 2 to your Key to the World (room keys).

    Meal "coupons" expire at midnight on check-out day, Dec. 9.

    On the Deluxe Plan, meals can be used as you like, counter service or table service.

    Signature dining, dinner shows, and room service use 2 meal coupons per person.

    Tax is included in the Deluxe Dining Plan but Gratuities are NOT included.

    I have been unable to determine if gratuities must be paid with CASH monies or if the gratuities can be charged to a credit card or room key at the end of the meal. If it the gratuity must be paid with cash, I'm going to carry enough cash for tips for the entire week. Hopefully, someone will come along soon with an answer to this for us.

    An 18% gratuity is automatically included for parties of 6 or more and to non-meal plan items (i.e., alcoholic beverages).

    I printed out the pdf file for the Deluxe Meal Plan and I am completely satisfied with the 2008 Delxue Plan participating restaurants.

    The Deluxe Meal plan appealed to me because of the freedom to use my meals however I choose, CS or TS, and the days I choose Signature Dining using 2 coupons, I'll still have 1 meal coupoln that I can use for CS or another TS meal.

    Enjoy your trip!
    ~Jerry & Nancy~

    Sept. 3 - Sunrise WEDDING Vow Renewal then Drive to WDW
    Sept. 4-16, 2011 - WDW HONEYMOON:
    Sept 4-9 - Pop Century
    Sept. 10-16 - Caribbean Beach

  7. #7
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    We opted for Sept to do the regular dining plan instead of deluxe but to touch on what you said Love That Duck and to help Eyerish and others understand a bit better.

    You do not recieve "coupons" for the meals. As in pieces of paper you hand over to get a meal for it. They are known as meal credits. The cards are simply scanned by the CM at the register and handed back to you.
    Each person (in one room) does not have to have their card scanned if you are all eating at the same time and place. The credits are pooled together (look at your receipt to see how this is done)
    As for the tips...from what I understand it can be done any of the ways you mentioned. I personally prefer to pay cash for so I dont have to worry about paying a bill at the end or something being double billed.

    Hope y'all enjoy your DDP
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  8. #8
    EyerishEyes's Avatar
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    Thank you for all of the information, Love that Duck. That makes making the ADRs a "little" simple...lol. Maybe we'll see you there.
    EyerishEye:

    and my main man

  9. #9
    Love That Duck's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info on gratuities, Vixen, 101485. That's good news. I like charging everything to my Key to the World leaving one lump sum that I can pay off when I get my credit card statement. I've never had double-charges at WDW and I always charge everything to my Key to the World. Since I'll be traveling and, for the most part, dining solo this trip, the gratuity will not be automatically included so no worries about a double-charge there.

    True, meals are "credits" not paper "coupons". I could have stated that better. Yes, the total number of meals is linked to the room/reservation, not to each individual Key to The World. That's why I calculated the total number of meals they have coming to them.

    I've twice gone to WDW on what is now called the Premium Plan (includes recreation) and we loved it! I opted for Deluxe over Premium this trip since I'll be busy with MouseFest events leaving little time for recreation. I went with the Basic Dining Plan in Dec. 2005 and did not care for it at all. I do not like being restricted to X=CS meals and Y=TS meals.

    EyerishEyes, I believe you are going to enjoy the Deluxe Plan. And, WDW in December is just beautiful with so much to see and do. You mentioned your father has health concerns. I do not skip meals either and its why I prefer Deluxe or Premium plans.

    For a 7 night stay I'll typically book 3 or 4 days with 3 TS meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and 3 or 4 days with 1 signature meal and 1 TS meal. If I cannot make an ADR or decide on a CS meal I just call from my room or cell phone and cancel the ADR. Since I'm not one to spend every minute in the parks, I don't often cancel ADRs.

    Oh, almost forgot about the 2 snacks per person per night. Don't forget that you can use snack credits for a bottle of water, a piece of fresh fruit, coffee, tea, etc. Snack credits don't have to be used for sweets, popcorn, etc.

    Looks like I'll be arriving the morning after you guys leave. I know you will have a wonderful time! It's wonderful to arrive at WDW with room, park tickets, meals, snacks, and a few discounts paid for!

    Hey, EyerishEyes, are you a fan of The Duck too!? I see your "main man" is

    I just "Love That Duck!"
    ~Jerry & Nancy~

    Sept. 3 - Sunrise WEDDING Vow Renewal then Drive to WDW
    Sept. 4-16, 2011 - WDW HONEYMOON:
    Sept 4-9 - Pop Century
    Sept. 10-16 - Caribbean Beach

  10. #10
    EyerishEyes's Avatar
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    Yes, Donald is my other main man...besides Goofy and my husband. As a matter of fact, don't tell my husband this but one of the reasons I married him is because he spoke "Donald" to me on one of our dates...You just gotta love a man who loves Disney. We have matching Donald jackets now and I am trying to talk him into buying a Donald hat when we go to the parks. He says all he wants is a tie but I want him in anything Donald I can get him in. Sorry that we will be missing you by a day..would love to meet some members of the forums while we were down there. Oh well, maybe another time.
    EyerishEyes

    and my main man

  11. #11
    Love That Duck's Avatar
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    EyerishEyes, it's certainly good to run into others who love the Duck as much as I do! Too bad we'll just miss each other this time around.

    I have Donald items all around my house as well as some Donald clothing items, and my Donald flip-flops. One Donald fan to another, I think it's great that your husband spoke Donald to you! Yep, I agree, your husband definitely needs a Donald hat. And, maybe, since it will be holiday season, you can buy him that tie as well.

    You all are going to have a wonderful time at WDW. How are those ADRs coming along? It's a bit difficult planning ADRs without park hours up but I pulled up historical December park hours as a guide.
    ~Jerry & Nancy~

    Sept. 3 - Sunrise WEDDING Vow Renewal then Drive to WDW
    Sept. 4-16, 2011 - WDW HONEYMOON:
    Sept 4-9 - Pop Century
    Sept. 10-16 - Caribbean Beach

  12. #12
    EyerishEyes's Avatar
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    Love that Duck,
    Haven't started making the ADR's just yet. Can't start until June 5 so that gives me three more days until I can start pulling what little hair I have left out. I have looked up places where I can get winter park hours and can't seem to find any place. Any suggestions? Sorry it took so long to reply to your reply. My modem got hit by lighting last week and just got a replacement today. Yeah, I'm back online!
    And like you said....it being the holiday season, hubby will be getting a Donald tie. I can't deny my guy anything
    EyerishEyes

    and my main man

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