All Ears Reports Rumored Changes to Disney Dining Plan

31 Jul

For many months, the interweb’s been abuzz with rumors about changes to the Disney Dining Plan in 2008. Today, Deb Wills of AllEars.net, a reasonably reliable but not official source, posted a summary which includes the following information:

  • Two new versions of the Dining Plan will be introduced: “Deluxe,” which gives you more food, and “Plus Wine,” which gives you, well, wine.
  • Gratuity will no longer be included in any variety of the Dining Plan.
  • The regular Disney Dining Plan will no longer include appetizers at table service meals.
  • The regular Disney Dining Plan price will be a dollar cheaper.

I strongly recommend checking out AllEars.net for the details (and while you’re there, check out the rest of the site . . . I find it incredibly helpful for researching the Disney resorts and restaurants).

Deb predicts official information will come from Disney some time in August.

9 Responses to “All Ears Reports Rumored Changes to Disney Dining Plan”

  1. Eric August 1, 2007 at 12:47 pm #

    I really hope that the idea to not include tips is not implemented. The cost of a meal including appetizer, entree and dessert at some sit down locations can be upwards of $100 for 2, and adding a $20 tip for my wife and I doesn’t seem advantageous economically. We could just as easily skip the appetizers and grab a Mickey bar of churro in the parks for dessert. Sad, but it seems the House of Mouse is trying to nickel and dime us once again.

  2. Kitty-chan August 1, 2007 at 1:48 pm #

    I gotta admit, the Dining Plan’s never made sense to me finally in the first place, and these changes would make it less likely that I’d ever pay for it.

    Of course I say that now, but my kid’s just 11 years old, and we’re both light eaters. I hear the plan can be pretty popular when one’s got ravenous teenagers!

  3. Eric August 1, 2007 at 3:18 pm #

    I look at it this way: a nice steak at Le Cellier is about $28.
    Using the DDP with my DVC would be about $39.
    So for another $11, I can get the steak, an appetizer, dessert, drink, tip, a quick service meal with drink & dessert and a snack.
    Plus, it’s nice to have the food paid for at check in, and not have to worry about the food budget.

  4. Kitty-chan August 1, 2007 at 3:42 pm #

    I do see how it makes sense for people who’ll eat at the more expensive restaurants . . . for those of us who usually will grab a burger at the Sci Fi or a basket of chicken strips at some CS place, it just doesn’t add up.

    But of course that’s not stopping me from using the Dining Plan later this month, during the Free Dining promotion! 🙂 Even figuring in the fact that we have to pay rack rate for the room, and buy 1-day MYW passes that we don’t need (since we have APs), it’ll save us some money and let us try Le Cellier and Chef Mickeys!

  5. Eric August 1, 2007 at 4:07 pm #

    Without the DDP we never ate at the more “upscale” restaurants. Maybe one meal at Ohana or Chef Mickeys, but that was it.

    So, for just a bit more than we’d spend on 2 counter service meals and a snack or two, we figured we could get the DDP and enjoy better food. There are only so many burgers and chicken fingers that I can eat.

    Alas, now I’m spoiled on “Scopa Specials” and The Skillet at the Whispering Canyon.

  6. Biblioadonis aka George August 3, 2007 at 11:17 am #

    Ugh…

    We used the DDP last December and it was horrendous!

    We were ignored by waitstaff and the moment that they found out we were on the DDP, they kinda frowned at us.

    I waited 20 minutes for the bill at the Kona Cafe. 20 minutes after my family had gone back to the room.

    It was too much food and the restaurants were so crowded. Honestly, we didn’t enjoy the two hours a day spent at a restaurant that we were missing in the parks.

    BUT…my brother went in April and they had a great experience with the DDP.

    As far as the tip–it is a way to force better service, in my mind. I didn’t find out until the end of our stay that we could have removed the gratuity from the bill if the service was bad. I wish we had done that.

    It is not just about saving money. I think the more important issue is enjoying yourself and the uninterrupted time with your family while at WDW.

  7. Kitty-chan August 3, 2007 at 1:46 pm #

    I’ve heard very mixed reviews about quality of service while using the DDP. I’ll definitely be interested to see what my experience is like at the end of this month. I can understand why some feel the built-in tip creates a lack of incentive for good service.

    I’d be very interested to hear what Cast Members think about the built-in tip for the DDP . .. anybody reading this who’s a CM? Can we encourage you to chime in?

  8. Christina September 7, 2007 at 10:38 pm #

    Supposedly, the gratuity part was requested by the union that represents those CMs working in restaurants.

    We just came back from a week with the DDP, and had a mostly wonderful experience. I was afraid waitstaff would rush us or it would feel too crowded, but our table service meals were very nice. The only ones that did feel rushed and off were the buffets. I hate buffets and would never have chosen those, but it was a large family trip, and it worked for 11 people. My mother and I went to several table service meals separately and they were all excellent.

  9. Kathryn Payne December 24, 2007 at 9:02 am #

    We love the DDP–when you are taking children to character meals you cannot beat it—-we have been 4 times in the last 5 years and would be sad to see it change, as it is the most cost effective if you do a lot of character meals

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