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Old 06-04-2009, 04:47 PM   #1
cater00
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1st trip to WDW and need help with DxDDP...

Okay me, DH, DD5, DD8 are going on our very 1st trip to WDW. We are going Sept.20-26th and will have free dining but are thinking about upgrading to Deluxe Dining. Also we are not getting the park hoppers, is that a mistake? Should we get the park hoppers? Please let me know if you think our plans so far is too much. We won't to be able to try the different places and see as much as possible because it may be several years before we will get the chance to go again if then.

20th-Check In @ 12-1pm
Fantasmic Dinner package-Mama Melrose @4:30

21st- MK
BBB @ 8 am
CRT @12pm
Plaza Restaurant @6:30pm
SpectroMagic
Wishes

22nd-
Chef Mickey @8am
HDDR @7:15pm

23rd-AK
Tusker House @8am
Mickeys BBQ @6:30

24th-
Ohana @ 7:30am
Chef Mickey @8:00pm

25th-HS
1900 Park Fare @8am
Liberty Tree Tavern @7

26th-MK
Crystal Palace @8am
Check Out @11am

Okay none of these are definite so what do you think? Like I said this is our 1st trip to WDW so not really sure what I am doing.LOL
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Last edited by cater00; 06-05-2009 at 02:02 PM. Reason: Changed a few dining plans
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:58 PM   #2
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Maybe I am doing the math wrong but it looks like you are staying 6 nights, so you will have 18 meal credits per person and it looks to me like you are only using 15. Are you planning to throw in some counter service?

Also about the Fantasmic dinner - is 8:00 the showtime? Fantasmic dinners can't be booked any later than 5 PM and I have even seen posts that you can't get them later then 4:30 for an 8 PM show.
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:03 PM   #3
PrincessTiffany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cater00 View Post
Okay me, DH, DD5, DD8 are going on our very 1st trip to WDW. We are going Sept.20-26th and will have free dining but are thinking about upgrading to Deluxe Dining. Also we are not getting the park hoppers, is that a mistake? Should we get the park hoppers? Please let me know if you think our plans so far is too much. We won't to be able to try the different places and see as much as possible because it may be several years before we will get the chance to go again if then.

20th-Check In @ 12-1pm
Dinner-Liberty Tree Tavern @ 7pm

21st- MK
BBB @ 8 am
CRT @12pm
Crystal Palace @7pm
SpectroMagic
Wishes

22nd-
Chef Mickey @8am
HDDR @7:15pm

23rd-AK
Tusker House @8am
Mickeys BBQ @6:30

24th-
Ohana @ 7:30am
Chef Mickey @8:00pm

25th-HS
1900 Park Fare @8am
Fantasmic Dinner pk-Mama Melrose @8pm

26th-MK
Crystal Palace @8am
Check Out @11am

Okay none of these are definite so what do you think? Like I said this is our 1st trip to WDW so not really sure what I am doing.LOL
Since this is your first trip to WDW you don't really need park hoppers and I would also say you should just go with the regular dining plan. That is a ton of food and it takes up a lot of time to do that many table service meals. We always do the basic dining plan and have found it to be just the right amount of food.
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:06 PM   #4
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You do know that Liberty Tree Tavern is no longer a character meal, right? Just making sure, because they removed the characters fairly recently.

The BBB/CRT morning is such fun! We did that with DD7 on her last trip, and she just loved being a Princess for a day.

Also, for Mama Melrose, expect to eat very early for the Fantasmic package. A recent post said packages were only available between 2:30 and 4:30 or something like that.

You have a lot of character meals, which can be pretty noisy & busy, and I notice you've got Crystal Palace twice. Why not switch the CP dinner to a more relaxing, non-character meal either in the park or at one of the monorail resorts? In the park, The Plaza is good and in a great location for getting a spot for Spectro & Wishes right after dinner. Doing a resort restaurant would probably take tweaking the schedule a bit, pushing CRT up to a late breakfast and planning dinner for around 5-6 to be sure you have time to get back to MK for Spectro.

ETA: About the hoppers... We don't get them in advance. If you find you want to hop, you always have the option of adding the hopper feature at the ticket window at any park, so there's no need to make the decision and spend the money for hoppers up front.
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:20 PM   #5
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I think this looks good, we went in Nov with our 5 and 3 year olds and did the deluxe plan, the restaurants and characters are all part of it and the kids needed a break from the rides and parks, we really enjoyed getting dressed up a bit and doing 2 table service a day Have fun!!
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:43 PM   #6
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I never tried the DxDDP and am planning to try it this time, but we had used DDP a few times in the past.

If the cost is not a big problem for you, I agree on the DxDDP, my girls are 8 and 10 now, but when they were younger, I knew they would much prefer to have a sit down in the middle of the day.

I agree with the suggestions on no need to get Park Hopper now.
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Old 06-05-2009, 12:15 AM   #7
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I found the DDP to be more than enough food.

I think for your first trip, it will take too much time away from the parks eating at all the restaurants. The ADR's take a min of one hour most take an hour and a half.
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
I think for your first trip, it will take too much time away from the parks eating at all the restaurants. The ADR's take a min of one hour most take an hour and a half.
I see this a lot, but I rarely see a comparison to quick service. During free dining with kids that want to eat at normal meal times, in-park quick service generally took us 45min to an hour, so replacing it with a sit down meal didn't really add much total meal time to each day. And the sit down meal is far less hassle, no waiting in line to order, hunting for a table, hopefully indoors for the air conditioning, collecting condiments, cleaning up our own mess, etc.
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colleen27 View Post
I see this a lot, but I rarely see a comparison to quick service. During free dining with kids that want to eat at normal meal times, in-park quick service generally took us 45min to an hour, so replacing it with a sit down meal didn't really add much total meal time to each day. And the sit down meal is far less hassle, no waiting in line to order, hunting for a table, hopefully indoors for the air conditioning, collecting condiments, cleaning up our own mess, etc.

Now you have me wondering again whether I should do the deluxe dining plan!
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:43 AM   #10
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I would NOT do the deluxe plan.

This is your first visit to WDW and you said you may not be back for a few years; you want to see/do as much a possible.

Using TS restaurants will "eat" up a lot of your time. It will cut into your touring plans by locking you into ADR times/places multiple times each day. Also, I think it may be way more food than what you need.

I just read a trip report from a family on the deluxe plan ... they were always eating!!! By the end of the trip they were declining dessert ... they were full after their appetizers because they had eaten a full sit-down meal only 4 hours previous, etc.

Take the stress off yourself and just enjoy the regular dining plan. I think it will free up more time for you and your family to tour the parks in a more leisurely fashion.

Also you will want to factor in some nap and pool time with your little ones.
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colleen27 View Post
I see this a lot, but I rarely see a comparison to quick service. During free dining with kids that want to eat at normal meal times, in-park quick service generally took us 45min to an hour, so replacing it with a sit down meal didn't really add much total meal time to each day. And the sit down meal is far less hassle, no waiting in line to order, hunting for a table, hopefully indoors for the air conditioning, collecting condiments, cleaning up our own mess, etc.
Well put! I totally agree. Some of the worst experiences that I've had at WDW is hunting/fighting/scrounging for a table at a counter service.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VAN View Post
This is your first visit to WDW and you said you may not be back for a few years; you want to see/do as much a possible.

Using TS restaurants will "eat" up a lot of your time. It will cut into your touring plans by locking you into ADR times/places multiple times each day. Also, I think it may be way more food than what you need.
I disagree. Eating at WDW is a big part of the fun for us. Plus it gets you into the AC and out of the heat for an hour or so and you'll get a bit of a break. With a bit of advance planning, you can fit the DxDDP or DDP into you park plans.
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Read my dining report @ For anytime is food time when you set your clock on Pooh time. A LIVE DxDDP Trip Report.
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colleen27 View Post
I see this a lot, but I rarely see a comparison to quick service. During free dining with kids that want to eat at normal meal times, in-park quick service generally took us 45min to an hour, so replacing it with a sit down meal didn't really add much total meal time to each day. And the sit down meal is far less hassle, no waiting in line to order, hunting for a table, hopefully indoors for the air conditioning, collecting condiments, cleaning up our own mess, etc.
agreed.
Not to mention it will save a lot of time in taking pictures with characters.
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:37 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by amandelba View Post
Well put! I totally agree. Some of the worst experiences that I've had at WDW is hunting/fighting/scrounging for a table at a counter service.
That was something I was completely unprepared for on our first trip. I'd read up on FastPasses and touring plans and ADRs and thought I had the while Disney thing pretty down pat, but it never occurred to me that I'd wish for a FastPass at Pecos Bills or that so many CS locations would have only outdoor seating in the 90+ degree FL heat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fac View Post
agreed.
Not to mention it will save a lot of time in taking pictures with characters.
Yep. We'd never do character breakfasts OOP or on the basic DDP because we don't really eat breakfast, but on the deluxe plan I don't mind spending a credit for a meal where DH & I will probably only have fruit & coffee to save the time waiting in line for those characters later.

We did the DxDDP for 11 nights last January, and I really don't think we spent significantly more time eating using the deluxe plan than we did in previous trips on the basic plan, aside from character meals which were time well spent. The biggest difference was that our meal times were more enjoyable for DH & I, since we never had to hassle with counter service or the where to eat debate or any of that. It really fits my general approach to Disney planning, which is to plan like crazy now so that everything runs smoothly with minimal thought once we're there!
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:54 PM   #14
cater00
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Yes on the Fantasmic dinner we plan to eat (I think) @ 4:30pm and show is at 8pm. I also think I will change Crystal Palace dinner on 21st to the Plaza Restaurant. And yes I plan on throwing a few CS meals in for the credits not used. I figure by having character meals for breakfast we do not have to search for characters and it will get the kids off to a great start. Plus most will be booked before parks open. Then if we get hungry during day we have snack credits and a few extra credits that can be used for CS meals. Then at dinner we have chosen a lot of 2 TS meals and scheduled them for as late as possible so that it gives us more time during day. Also in case kids want to go back to room to rest or swim we can during the middle of the day since no lunches or planned.
We decided on Deluxe so we would not have to search for somewhere to eat and sit out in the heat. Plus the kids are really looking forward to being able to eat with the characters.
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Old 06-05-2009, 02:55 PM   #15
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We are going to Disney as a family for the 1st time in Aug. We'll have me, DH, DD9, DS3 and DS2.

We are going with the DxDDP and are sticken to it. We choose that for several reasons. We know it will be a lot of food, but that is okay with us. Considering the size of the kids meals we know we will be sharing some of our meal at least with the 2 yr old and probably some of the 3rd yr old, both of whom can eat like champs.

Your ARDs look very similar to mine and I am totally happy with them. Our kids are very schedule driven and having meals and activities the same time as if at home is going to keep things running much smoother.

We got a ADR for the Fantasmic package, I know I'm supposed to feel lucky to get one, but i think I'm going to cancel. In Aug the show is at 9m, when I called I was told dining times were between 2:30 and 4:15. All they had was 3:45, plus didn't have any at Mama Melrose only at H&V, which is where we will be eating B-fast same morning. Add that on top of having to wait in the regular line with 3 kids, is a big fat joke
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