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I hate the Free Dining Plan

Discussion in 'WDW Trip Planning' started by Patsfan28, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. Patsfan28

    Patsfan28 Member

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    I have been going to Disney for 25+ years. Never in Mid September has it been so difficult to find a decent place to eat. There is ZERO availability at any halfway decent restaurants. This frustrates me so much as I know half the people who made the reservations back when free dining was originally offered wont even go to their restaurant. For those of you who do keep your reservations let me be the first to thank you for being considerate! I think Disney should punish those who do not keep to their reservations by deducting dining credits from their card( with a few emergency exceptions). If that wont work make it like it used to be without advanced dining reservations. I remember my dad making a sprint to Cinderellas Castle to make a lunch reservation for King Stefans Palace! Enough of my rant i still cant wait to have a great time again at the World... just may be a bit less fulfilling :fork:
     
  2. nibblesandbits

    nibblesandbits Well-Known Member

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    Hmm...I feel your pain...really...I hate that fact too that people will make ressies, not cancel them and then not show up.

    But, with that being said...I was able to score a table for 2 at 50s Prime Time last Wednesday for my upcoming trip on the 21st of this month. And it wasn't like I got the crap times either...I got 6:05 and there were plenty more options to go around. I could have had my pick that day. Granted, we don't have free dining...we're doing it all on our own.

    Now, 50s Prime Time might not be elegant, but it does seem to be one of the places to go when eating at the Studios.

    I never thought I'd get an ADR...but at least I have something. :) I don't know how or why, but I was able to get one. Keep trying. :(
     
  3. Patsfan28

    Patsfan28 Member Original Poster

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    We are long time passholders and dont have the free dining either. We just like going and eating at nice restaurants. I have tried everything the past week for the 14-17. I couldnt even get a crap time at 50's lol. I lucked into one for Hoop De Doo Review at 5pm on the 14th but thats it.
     
  4. nibblesandbits

    nibblesandbits Well-Known Member

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    Something we plan on doing to combat the "not being able to make ressies" problem is eating at places that don't require ressies. So, we're going to Beaches and Cream...maybe Planet Hollywood or somewhere in DTD or ESPN or somewhere on the Boardwalk.

    That seems to be the best option when dining is simply a no-go.
     
  5. mickeyfan1973

    mickeyfan1973 New Member

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    I agree. I hate the free dining plan period because during that entire 2 month span, you are pretty much shut out of eating at almost all of the restaurants on property, unless you made reservations way in advance. Since the inception of the Dining Plan in general, it is definitely harder to get reservations within that 1-2 week period prior to the day you'd like to dine or sometimes if you're just heading to WDW for dinner or something, you can't get in anywhere decent to eat. People who normally would not have eaten at the sit down restaurants are now eating there because of the DDP.

    My daughter's b-day is in December. I made her dinner reservations 5 months in advance just to make sure that we are covered because last year I called 3 months in advance and could not get a character dinner anywhere on property for that time period.
     
  6. Patsfan28

    Patsfan28 Member Original Poster

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    I hope your daughter enjoys her dinner :). I cant wait to have kids to do that with them!
     
  7. pjkdog

    pjkdog Well-Known Member

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    At Tokyo Dining a couple that did not have reservations got seated before we did even though we had reservations, and had been waiting 20 mins. So I think if you go, some of the World Showcase restaurants hold seats aside for not ressie guests or are more accomdating. And hey, Marrakesh was talking walk ins!
     
  8. elcheapo

    elcheapo Member

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    I too hate the DDP....I remember having to get to MK at 9 sharp to run through the park to get reservations to diamond horseshoe review. Most of the ressies don't even show up and screws up all the rest of us who would like to enjoy the Disney experience instead of it only being a "perk" for the mostly europeans who come now
     
  9. partyoffour

    partyoffour New Member

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    now do not shoot me!!

    But may I ask why u dont make ADR at the 180 mark or after to make sure u get the resturants u want?? If u know that it will be busy at that time of the year due to free dining. I know people say they do not know what they will be in th mood for. But i have always made a note of which resturants we like and I make a schedule for what parks we will be at due to EMH then do the resturants according to that. I know OCD and you all want to be free birds at Disney. I can only wish one day I can be like that but for now with 4 kids I have to have a schedule.

    Maybe Disney should hold some reservations for walk ins or people who call 30 days before their trip???
     
  10. Monty

    Monty Who opened Pandora's Box? Premium Member

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    While I understand the upset, you'll get no sympathy from me.

    I took advantage of free dining from 24-31 August and not only used all my credits, ate a number of times at the restaurants of my preference at the times I wanted. I plan ahead and am content to do so. At one point last year I had ADRs in place for three separate week-long trips [incuding one using free DDP].

    Dining Plan's only impact is there are people who book TS that might not otherwise. The planning and booking would be necessary regardless of it being free or not these days.
     
  11. bhg469

    bhg469 Well-Known Member

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    Its only going to get worse when people start having the ability to book online.
     
  12. Patsfan28

    Patsfan28 Member Original Poster

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    They were trying to push Diamond Horseshoe on me can you give me your opinion of the place?
     
  13. Senderella

    Senderella Member

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    I agree it's nearly impossible to get a decent ADR for the Free Dining period. I don't mind the DDP so much. I like the pre-paid portion of it and for our family, planning the restaurants is part of the fun.

    I do think it's BS when people don't cancel their reservations if they know they won't show up. How hard is it to call the dining number on your cell to cancel? :fork: I also hate knowing some people make multiple ADRs for the same date/time frame when they intend on only going to one. It would be nice if they did the credit card hold for all restaurants the way they do for the dinner shows/sig dining. It might cut back on that craziness. Fact is though, even with a 24-48 hr cancellation policy, it wouldn't do any good for the guest going that same week several months in advance. It'd force everyone to do the last minute ADRs which may be good for some, but for the people who like to have everything planned out months in advance, it'd be stressful (not having confirmed plans). I don't think there's a win/win situation for both people who like months out planning and spur of the moment diners. The ADR system is flawed for either side. :shrug:
     
  14. coasterphil

    coasterphil New Member

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    Because they're local and don't plan trips 180 days in advance? If you live nearby and want to eat while visiting the parks, you're pretty much out of luck except for CS.
     
  15. partyoffour

    partyoffour New Member

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    Hmm then Disney needs to have a 30 day reservation hold. But alot of people are going on trips from what I understand and are not local????
     
  16. Patsfan28

    Patsfan28 Member Original Poster

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    now shotting here. we are a peaceful thread :). im a passholder and come and go as i please. When i decide on a whim that i want to go to the World i have no chance to make reservations. Plus mid Septemebr for 20 out of the past 22 years was never a busy time until they started this stupid free dining.
     
  17. partyoffour

    partyoffour New Member

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    I take it back I saw all your locations u all are lucky living in the place i wanna live. But still hold to my statement that Disney should hold some kind of reservations for walk ins and locals
     
  18. coasterphil

    coasterphil New Member

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    There are those that are not local and still don't get ADRs (for whatever reason), but since the OP is local I was just trying to explain why they aren't able to.
     
  19. Patsfan28

    Patsfan28 Member Original Poster

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    Oh i know im counting down the days....
     
  20. Patsfan28

    Patsfan28 Member Original Poster

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    The difference is you are responsible and use your credits and not just make a reservation b/c it sounds like a good restaurant and then not show up! I respect that!
     

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