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Quick Service vs Disney Dining

bektex

Member
Original Poster
Does anyone else feel like you have more time when you just do Quick Service Dining, since you aren't under time crunches because of your dining reservations? My husband and I were trying to tell the difference in some of our trips, and this is the only reason that we could come up with, since we felt like we had so much more time in our first trip than in the rest of them.
 

NeedMoreMickey

Well-Known Member
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If we eat TS we like to eat very late lunch/early dinner. The meals don’t seem to take as long as when the restaurant is full. Plus this way I’ll be ready for a special snack around 8:00
 

bektex

Member
Original Poster
If we eat TS we like to eat very late lunch/early dinner. The meals don’t seem to take as long as when the restaurant is full. Plus this way I’ll be ready for a special snack around 8:00
I always worry about pushing meals off, when I have kids in tow. Do you have kiddos? Are they ok waiting for lunch?
 

NeedMoreMickey

Well-Known Member
Not small kids, when I go with family the youngest is now 17. My sister and family like to eat late. They are pretty easy, they get hungry throw them some food and keep moving.

When just my husband and me we eat a big breakfast then usually share a pretzel or funnel cake while walking around. Sometimes we will share one QS meal if we are really hungry.
 

Minnesota disney fan

Well-Known Member
When free dining first came out, my husband and I took advantage of it. Then it became a "habit" for several more trips.

However, we found out that we frequently didn't use all of the QS or snack credits. We became tired of trying to make it to all our ts meals. We also felt that we couldn't stop for a Mickey Bar, for ex., because we were always too full from utilizing the DP meals. We felt that we had to order the most expensive thing and eat our dessert at every meal. Of course, you don't have to do that, but we did.

Then 2 years ago I talked my reluctant husband into NO DP on our last 2 vacations. We found out just how "freeing" it is to eat where and when you want. Sometimes, we just grabbed a snack and relaxed at our resort instead of a full meal. We found that some of the QS restaurants were terrific with a variety of choices. We shared meals, or I ordered the kids meal at times if I wasn't hungry. When we got home, I found that we paid much less than we would have with the dining plan. I just had my credit card linked to my magic band, and used it instead of carrying a lot of money around, just like with the DP. I totaled all our meals with other expenses, such as a lot of souveniers and miscellaneous items, and we came in under $1000.00 total, for a 9 day trip. We found a love of pin collecting and bought quite a few of those, so that ran the price up. We also didn't feel too stuffed all the time, which allowed us to eat the extra goodies at the parks.

We will never go back to the DP again. As for the original question, yes we definitely have more free time without the DP>
 
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CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
Does anyone else feel like you have more time when you just do Quick Service Dining, since you aren't under time crunches because of your dining reservations? My husband and I were trying to tell the difference in some of our trips, and this is the only reason that we could come up with, since we felt like we had so much more time in our first trip than in the rest of them.
This is part of the reason I don't like the dining plan. We usually do about four TS dinners on an eight night trip, which doesn't work with either the QS or the standard DDP.
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
Does anyone else feel like you have more time when you just do Quick Service Dining, since you aren't under time crunches because of your dining reservations? My husband and I were trying to tell the difference in some of our trips, and this is the only reason that we could come up with, since we felt like we had so much more time in our first trip than in the rest of them.
While I don't do any of the plans, because they don't save me any money (that is well discussed in a number of threads) I long for the days of when you did not need an ADR except for the most popular places during the busiest times. Being able to pick a park to go to that day, be in the park, and at any time say "I feel like eating there" and then getting a table in under 20 minutes was a wonderful experience. Me, I am a type A, planner, project manager, ENTP, engineer - and I still find the whole dining situation with 180 day ARDs to be insane.

-dave
 

NeilHoytPA

New Member
In a few short weeks my family will be visiting WDW. We previously went two years ago with our 2yr old girl and we jumped onto the Disney Dining Plan given as part of the package. Although we thoroughly enjoyed each table service meal, it was a struggle at times trying to plan everything out for the entire week. I am one of those type A planners so for me that meant doing a ton of research, planning, and FP selections around which park we would be at on each day. It's not always a bad thing to have a plan in place but after a week of following semi-strict schedule, i was ready to go-with-the-flow. This time around we chose the quick service dining plan and we are already discussing how it feels like we'll have a lot more freedom to park hop, etc. I'll know more after we get back but without evening starting the vacation, it feels a little more relaxed!

-Neil
 

bektex

Member
Original Poster
Well, thanks to you guys here, and in other threads that you referenced, I ran the numbers, and compared.

I think we are going Dining Planless for our next trip. We are putting the same amount in our bank, and linking a specific debit card that will just have spending money on it, so we can still use our Magic Bands, because we like the convenience. But, when I ran the numbers, eating an average priced menu item at each restaurant we want, and eating the same number of snacks (which we won't do, because you never eat all of your snacks), we will save almost $900 for a party of 7 adults and 2 kids for a 6 night trip.

Thanks for all of your help.
 

Minnesota disney fan

Well-Known Member
In a few short weeks my family will be visiting WDW. We previously went two years ago with our 2yr old girl and we jumped onto the Disney Dining Plan given as part of the package. Although we thoroughly enjoyed each table service meal, it was a struggle at times trying to plan everything out for the entire week. I am one of those type A planners so for me that meant doing a ton of research, planning, and FP selections around which park we would be at on each day. It's not always a bad thing to have a plan in place but after a week of following semi-strict schedule, i was ready to go-with-the-flow. This time around we chose the quick service dining plan and we are already discussing how it feels like we'll have a lot more freedom to park hop, etc. I'll know more after we get back but without evening starting the vacation, it feels a little more relaxed!

-Neil
It is so freeing not to have any dining plan. We go with what we want to eat, when we want to eat.
I think you will like the QS. You can still book any ts meals that you don't want to miss.
We found that paying OOP was a money saver, so no more dining plans of any kind for us.
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
eating the same number of snacks (which we won't do, because you never eat all of your snacks),.
That right there is the key to understanding the "value" of the DDP. So many people say something like "I got $1000 worth of food for $800 so it is a savings". However, when you dig into it, they really had no desire to get the $1000 worth of food. They bought loads of snacks at the end and brought them home just to use up their credits, or they ate a full TS meal when they were not really that hungry and maybe would have been satisfied with a quick bite at a lounge. When all was said and done, they would have spent $600 on the food they really wanted.

It's like saying you went to buy a $100 pair of shoes that you wanted, but this $200 pair was on sale for $150, so I saved $50.

-dave
 

bektex

Member
Original Poster
It's like saying you went to buy a $100 pair of shoes that you wanted, but this $200 pair was on sale for $150, so I saved $50.

-dave
You had me, until right here, because that WOULD be like saving $50. ;) HAHA

But, not only do they get you there, but you are paying as if you are getting the most expensive thing on the menu every time you sit down. I can't believe that I've never done the math, until now.
 

righttrack

Well-Known Member
It's all how you plan your trip. A lot of people go to WDW stay for a week but actually stay like they're going to be there only three days. They need to get every minute of every day on a ride in a park. I know because we were those people, who am I kidding, we ARE those people! Anyway, even with that kind of Disney fervor, we always enjoyed to sit down for a TS meal. It was rest and food. I feel that one TS meal per day, one QS meal and one snack works. Breakfast we always skipped and just took a bar and coffee with us as we exited the room, consumed while we waited for the bus. Getting to the parks for rope drop is an important element in our plan. We rope drop run around and get on what we can get on, and use FP+ for the afternoon peak.
 

winstongator

Well-Known Member
I have only used DDP when we got free dining. Quick service does make the mid-day flexible, which I like. We do TS once in a while for dinner. Of many visits, We have done a couple character lunches, and an 11:30 'breakfast' at 'Ohana. That 'Ohana day took planning. We were staying at the Poly, I took my older daughter to HS for rope-drop, then we came right back. Had a less hectic afternoon, but then had to rush to AK to catch Rivers of Light.

Our usual plan is rope-drop for a couple rides, do our FP, break for lunch. My daughters have very different ride interests, so for some of the morning we are split up. We assess the kiddos as to when to do lunch. Afternoons are usually slower paced, so it's no bother to have a TS reservation. I don't do them every night because if we don't take a break, there are days where my girls are done at 6 or 7. Then we head back to the resort, decompress, and get something quick around there.

Even when we went once a year, I knew we'd get back, so I didn't push the schedule. My 'one-tip' for people is to make your 'perfect' plan for a day, then take out one thing. Pick the lowest priority thing and just let it go. Ending a day well with one fewer attraction is better than taking a chance at a major meltdown due to pushing it. I mix scheduling and keeping flexibility. Schedule FP, and TS meals here and there, especially the really fun ones like BOG, CRT, and other character meals, have an idea what we want to hit if we rope-drop. We have other days where we take our time in the AM, have afternoon FPs, and then decide where to go for dinner. I
 

bektex

Member
Original Poster
It's all how you plan your trip. A lot of people go to WDW stay for a week but actually stay like they're going to be there only three days. They need to get every minute of every day on a ride in a park. I know because we were those people, who am I kidding, we ARE those people! Anyway, even with that kind of Disney fervor, we always enjoyed to sit down for a TS meal. It was rest and food. I feel that one TS meal per day, one QS meal and one snack works. Breakfast we always skipped and just took a bar and coffee with us as we exited the room, consumed while we waited for the bus. Getting to the parks for rope drop is an important element in our plan. We rope drop run around and get on what we can get on, and use FP+ for the afternoon peak.
You sound like you are a planner. We are more of a fly by the seat of our pants, for our own vacations, at least. I have friends who are plan every minute people, and when I help them, I plan, plan, plan.
 

Patcheslee

Well-Known Member
We did a bit of a mix planning and free time. FPs before lunch, TS for lunchs cause non of us are really breakfast people, then whatever we feel like from preaty much 2pm on. It kept us from not taking time to eat, which DH can be bad about. Alot of times went back to resort for a break and if we felt like heading back, hopping to a different park, or just lounging it didn't make a difference.
 
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