A Complicated and confusing situation. At least for me

ob1thx1138

Member
Original Poster
I am planning a trip with my sister and her son (9 at the time of travel) in September (15-21). I have an Annual Pass and Tables in Wonderland so normally I would just book room only (usually with a discount) and call it a day. However she is wanting to do the dining plan and is also interested in the memory maker option. I am wanting to pay for the room since I am going with them and they adjusted the travel dates so that I was able to travel with them. I guess my question is: what would be the best way to handle this situation. Just let my sister book her package and then pay her for the room and add myself to the room on check in knowing that I would have to pay out of pocket for my meals which is not a problem at all. Or would we save more by just paying for the memory maker out of pocket and booking the room only discount and purchase her and her sons tickets individually and then use my tables in wonderland to pay for our meals? I think a big reason she is wanting the dining plan is because that way she knows it is all paid for up front which I understand, but I am willing to help out if it is going to be more economical to just ditch the dining plan and simplify the room booking.
 

DizPlutoFan

Member
i think you should leave it up to your sister if she really wants to try out the dining plan i would let her do it and then u help out but if its not a big deal i would do with the memory maker for sure i will say think in my honest option i don't think the photos are all that great that they take for the most part. But its a personal preference Good Luck
 

SteveW

Active Member
Are you planning on eating most meals together? If you are I would suggest to her that the TIW would save more money. She could still prepay her meals by getting a Disney gift card before you go. I did that last December and it worked out great.
 

harryk

Well-Known Member
If I remember correctly - when purchasing a Disney dining plan - everyone in the party must have the dining plan. Does this hold true for Tables in Wonderland?
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
If I remember correctly - when purchasing a Disney dining plan - everyone in the party must have the dining plan. Does this hold true for Tables in Wonderland?
No. Tables in Wonderland is a discount card. The card holder must be present and it can be used for up to 9 other guests. Now if one person in the party has TiWL and the others have the dining plan, you would just need to inform the server and they will do separate checks.
 

Monty

A legend.
Premium Member
In the Parks
No
It really depends what resort you plan to stay at, how you like to eat and how many people are in your party.

The AP room-only discounts, if offered for the dates you're going, in my experience are about break-even to "free" dining if you're staying at a Value resort with two adults as compared to an AP discount and TiW. At a Moderate or Deluxe resort, the savings [again, if offered] are significantly better for two adults to use TiW rather than "free" dining.

There are a number of other factors to consider: Do the adults like to have alcohol with their meals or elsewhere? Do you always/sometimes order an appetizer? Would you prefer not to get desserts all the time?

I go to WDW either with my now-adult son or by myself. The Dining Plan in any form is of no value to me at all. At best, it is about break-even if we stay at a Value with the "free" dining offer, but I prefer to eat according to my own likes rather than the standard one TS, one QS and a snack you get upgrading from the "free" QS Plan to the regular dining. I wouldn't even consider just getting the QS plan.

My first trip using an AP discount, the savings on an 8-night stay at Beach Club were enough to pay for my AP, my son's 9-day Hopper, the TiW card and all the meals we ate. Basically, we paid less than rack rate and got all of our park admissions and food for free. We also got 20% off all our souvenirs with the then-AP discount.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
I don't think it has to be complicated at all.

If your sister really wants to "pay ahead," tell her she can do your version of the DDP. Specifically, she puts all the money she would have spent on the DDP in an envelope (preferably in small bills, so it's easy for you to make change for yourself later) and gives it to you before the trip. Then, your sister and nephew order whatever they like when you go out to eat at WDW, in a manner generally consistent with DDP rules (except that on your dining plan, one may substitute a salad for an entree, an appetizer for a dessert, etc., because you are just that kind of guy). :cool: You pay for every meal OOP, for the whole party, with your discounts, and take your sister and nephew's "share" of the bill out of the envelope when you get back to the room. On the last day of the trip, you give your sister back the envelope, which will likely contain a nice little chunk of change that she has saved by not purchasing the DDP. Your sister will gave gotten all the convenience of paying ahead and some extra cash to buy you a lovely souvenir out of her overwhelming gratitude, and you will be able to do everything much more simply and have the satisfaction of knowing that thanks to you, nobody overpaid. :)
 
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lunchbox1175

Well-Known Member
I would think that you could book your room, and her room with your discount, then they could purchase their tickets and dining plan separately as the dining plan is linked to a ticket package more than a room. @Master Yoda is that correct. Then when you go to eat, just do separate checks, they would use their dining plan credits, and you could use your TiW card. As for the memory maker it really just depends on how many pics you plan on taking.
 

iluvMainStMagic

Active Member
Everyone in a room has to do the same thing about the dining plan - "on it" or "not on it". With that in mind, if she is willing to either give you the money, or purchase a prepaid gift card that she can use to pay for all her food (as suggested above), that might allow you both to take advantage of the best of everything - the dining you & she want, an AP room discount, & TiW.

Sept is a great time to go! Good luck figuring out what will work best for both of you, & have a wonderful time!!
 

andy773

Active Member
I could be wrong about this, but if you are planning on adding yourself to their room at check-in (and they have the Dining Plan), then you will also need to buy the Dining Plan. I think they require every one in the room to be on the Dining Plan. It's worth checking on at the least.

If you have an Annual Pass and TiW, then I'm assuming you are familiar with many of the restaurants. I found this web site to be really helpful in deciding whether the Dining Plan makes economic sense:

http://www.distripplanner.com/

I really wanted to use the Dining Plan, but based on how we eat, it just made no sense for us. God luck!
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
I would think that you could book your room, and her room with your discount, then they could purchase their tickets and dining plan separately as the dining plan is linked to a ticket package more than a room. @Master Yoda is that correct. Then when you go to eat, just do separate checks, they would use their dining plan credits, and you could use your TiW card. As for the memory maker it really just depends on how many pics you plan on taking.
Not with an AP discount. It use to be that a single AP holder could book multiple rooms with an AP discount. Now you need at least 1 AP holder per room.
 

ob1thx1138

Member
Original Poster
Wow, thanks everyone for the great advice and tips. To answer a few questions. Yes we plan on eating together and we are planning on staying in a single room. I prefer not to stay value so I am looking at the moderates and deluxes but have not decided on one yet. I like to try new resorts each time I travel and have so far stayed at POR, Poly, Beach, and Pop, so I am thinking maybe Boardwalk, or Coronado, but again I have not decided.

It looks like it would be best for us to do the BBDP (Big Brother Dining Plan). That way I can book the room with the hopefully soon to be announced AP discounts and then pay for the meals out of pocket using my TiW card.

My Pass and TiW card expire mid July, but I was planning on renewing them before hand anyway.
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
Wow, thanks everyone for the great advice and tips. To answer a few questions. Yes we plan on eating together and we are planning on staying in a single room. I prefer not to stay value so I am looking at the moderates and deluxes but have not decided on one yet. I like to try new resorts each time I travel and have so far stayed at POR, Poly, Beach, and Pop, so I am thinking maybe Boardwalk, or Coronado, but again I have not decided.

It looks like it would be best for us to do the BBDP (Big Brother Dining Plan). That way I can book the room with the hopefully soon to be announced AP discounts and then pay for the meals out of pocket using my TiW card.

My Pass and TiW card expire mid July, but I was planning on renewing them before hand anyway.
Quick question...will you be using your pass and TiWL card between July and September?
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
Now that you mention it... Probably not. Why do you ask? (curiosity sparked)
That length of time is just about right were it might be better to let your AP lapse and then buy a new one vs renewing. That way your renewal date will be when you first use it in September and not your original date in July.

This also opens up the option of using a free dining promotion if it is available and better than the AP room only discount. What you would do is book the room with the minimum ticket requirement which is usually 2 days. The other members in your party would then pay to upgrade their tickets to however many days they need and you can upgrade it to an AP on day one of your trip.

When it comes to your TiWL card only renew it when you are going to use it as it becomes effective the day you buy it. If you buy one when your old one lapses in July and then don't use it until September you have wasted the 3+/- months.

It will take some number crunching to see what will be the best value but you can always book one way now and then switch to another between if a better promotion comes out.
 

yensid67

Well-Known Member
:DI am beginning to grin from ear to ear! I have begun the task of planning my 50th Birthday Disney Trip...for 2017:jawdrop:! Does anyone think this is too early? Let me tell you the backstory of why planning has to start NOW...

...I went to WDW May 2013 and did not enjoy myself. It was crowded and it just wasn't a fun trip. So to HOPEFULLY make this next trip a successful on, I am planning to go the first week in December. I have always loved Christmastime in Disney. Anyways, I am on disability, so I don't have a lot of money to put into savings, but if I save over a few years, I can afford it! That's why we are starting to plan now.

That out of the way, let me tell you of the preliminary plans as of this post...I have searched all the combinations of flight, hotel and car packages. There are at least 2 plans that could work, but the plan I am leaning towards RIGHT NOW is driving from PA-LBV straight thru(both ways), leaving extra time during each trip to stop and take a nap. This is the cheapest plan I have come up with, but I am sure as the time clicks away, it will change!:happy:

So that's my plan, what do you think? Any suggestions?
 

ob1thx1138

Member
Original Poster
That length of time is just about right were it might be better to let your AP lapse and then buy a new one vs renewing. That way your renewal date will be when you first use it in September and not your original date in July.

This also opens up the option of using a free dining promotion if it is available and better than the AP room only discount. What you would do is book the room with the minimum ticket requirement which is usually 2 days. The other members in your party would then pay to upgrade their tickets to however many days they need and you can upgrade it to an AP on day one of your trip.

When it comes to your TiWL card only renew it when you are going to use it as it becomes effective the day you buy it. If you buy one when your old one lapses in July and then don't use it until September you have wasted the 3+/- months.

It will take some number crunching to see what will be the best value but you can always book one way now and then switch to another between if a better promotion comes out.

Thanks for the ideas. I am going to have to crunch those numbers once the fall discounts are released.
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
Thanks for the ideas. I am going to have to crunch those numbers once the fall discounts are released.
You can do the AP numbers right now. Just take the AP you are getting and divide the price by 12. That will give you a monthly cost. If you want to get real exact (your dates are close so it would be worth it) divide by 365 and break it into a daily cost. Add up the days between your renewal date and your next trip and then multiply them by your per day price. If that number is greater than your discount, then waiting and just buying new will be best. If it is close you still might want to consider it to get the extra time as an AP unused is a worthless AP.
 
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