Dining Discuss Question for DDP-ers in the Vacation Planning forums; My next trip to Disney will be my first trip while on the DDP!! My family has never been really big on table service meals at Disney - we always ...
Question for DDP-ers
My next trip to Disney will be my first trip while on the DDP!! My family has never been really big on table service meals at Disney - we always say we will next time, but we always find ourselves having too much fun in the parks! So basically what I'm trying to say is that I'm not too skilled in the table service area.
Since I'm new to this area of Disney, I have been doing a lot of research on which places will be good for us to eat at, the best times to eat, etc. While doing research (mainly reading reviews on allears.net) the general and common complaint among the reviews (especially at the buffets) is that the services is less than stellar (not getting drink refills, having to ask multiple times for things, etc). A lot of these reviews where the customers are not happy say that that the server asked them when they came to the table if they were on the DDP. I know that the DDP doesn't include gratuity any more, so I can see where the servers would get frustrated with getting meager tips (or no tips at all). However, I do expect great service (especially from Disney) and tip 20% (or more) if I receive great service.
I was reading a trip report in another part of the forum and he said that when asked by his waiter if they were on the DDP, he joked, "Yes, but we're still good tippers!" He then said that they did get good service. Is this good advice? Should I just expect the excellent service? Are there any other good tips to ensure that we get the same great service as the people who are dining who are not on the DDP?
Here is a list of where we are eating and the times we are eating at:
12/14 - 50s Prime Time Cafe 8:15 PM
12/15 - Crystal Palace 7:45 PM
12/16 - Liberty Tree Tavern 5:20 PM
12/17 - Whispering Canyon Cafe 5:10 PM
12/18 - Chef Mickeys 7:40 PM
12/19 - Garden Grill 5:00 PM
12/20 - Ohana 6:05 PM
I expected great service, period. I got it at every restaurant except one and that had more to do with them being short staffed and very busy. I still tip a minimum of 20 %, and usually closer to 35 if the service is even halfway good. Your restaurant choices look good and as long as you have read the menus to make sure there is something for everyone in your party, you should be fine. You may want to make or get some of the magical moments cards several of the other members have mentioned, being nice never hurts.
P.U.S.H.-A mantra MOST will not understand.
Disney rocks, Walt was a genius.
I'm not sure how it's worked for everyone else, but I didn't have a need to mention the DDP prior to my dining, only at the time of paying the bill. So, if indeed that was what caused the bad service, my best advice to you is to not do the same thing.
Unfortunately each experience when it comes to table dining can very greatly. Me, I had a horrible experience at Chef Mickeys but most people rave about it. I had a wonderful experience at the Garden Grill and it is often panned. So ultimately you'll want to try your best to just take in the reviews as informational and not let them sway your decision too much.
Remember, this is Disney Dining and like everything Disney does, there's nothing quite like it. You can certainly get out of it what you put into it. Remembering that the cast members serving you are dealing with a daily packed house full of screaming children and giving them that little bit of extra magic in return as a thank you, will always result in a great experience!
Sometimes all you need is a reminder that out there lies a better place... a better world... a Walt Disney World. Visited In: 1983, 1988, 1989 x2, 1991, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 (passholder), 2007 (x2), 2008, 2009 (x2), 2010, 2011 (x2)
“Detail is there to make you believe in the reality of the story you’re immersed in.” - Joe Rohde
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Great tips - thanks!!
Keasmom: What are the Magical Moments cards - I don't recall ever hearing about them.
I just spent 6 days on the Free DDP promotion. We had excellent service at each and every restaurant we ate at. Better, in fact, than any other trip. In contrast, last month I was *not* on the plan and was very disappointed in the service at every restaurant I ate at - specifically the length of time it took to refill drinks.
This time, however, we ate at Cape May, Yak & Yeti, Cap'n Jacks, Teppan Edo, and Tutta Italia, and every single server we had was at our table constantly asking us if we needed anything, automatically refilling our drinks without asking, etc. I was thoroughly surprised and impressed with the service.
And yes, the servers are now asking people if they're on the DDP, and then to see their card, so that they can see if it's the Basic DDP or Deluxe DDP, since the Deluxe includes appetizers. Easier than trusting the guests to know what they're on and dealing with upset people at the end of the meal, I imagine.
No, we never once said anything along the lines of "we're still good tippers". I would consider that grotesquely offensive to the server, implying that they'll give you crappy service otherwise.
Like mritty said, they ask so they know how to prepare the bill at the end of the meal, otherwise they may end up redoing it, thereby slowing down service for you and everyone else. Its the same as when the server asks if there are separate checks. It's just easier to know beforehand, and speeds up the check out process
We have used the DDP in the past and LOVED it!!! We are using it again for our trip in March. It is nice knowing that your meals are already paid for! We had excellent service, I could not complain at all.
"When people laugh at Mickey Mouse, it's because he's so human; and that is the secret of his popularity."