Saying my piece about FP changes


#1

Just got off the phone with a fellow Disney freak, and I have a little steam coming out of my ears.
I usually don’t rant, at least not in public like this. But the FP changes that are heading to DL and WDW do not bother me at all, while the DDP aggravates me a great deal. I hear lots of moaning about the new FP plan, but why? For the record, as far as I can tell, the “new” FP plan is exactly the same as the old one, but they plan to actually enforce the time slots. Gee, you mean people will actually have to use the FPs like they were meant to be used? Aw.
So what if some people take a moment to figure out how to maximize their FPs, while others just don’t bother? It’s a valuable tool, short of cheating, I mean (using old ones, buying a bunch online, using facsimiles, etc…). Seriously if those people were to all just hop in the standby line, the wait for everyone would be longer, and the queue miserable!
To me, it’s sort of like voting… if you don’t vote, you don’t have the right to whine. If you don’t FP, you don’t have the right to whine either.
The DDP (especially when it’s free!) has always bugged me, however, for several reasons. First, we don’t eat dessert and the DDP doesn’t have an appetizer-or-dessert option, Why? Because sugar and flour are cheap. Second, the DDP packs people into the restaurants like sardines, which means PSs are harder to come by for everyone, including those who are OOP.
So can I make some arrangement in which the new FP plan is ushered in and the DDP goes away?
Thanks for letting me rant. All better. :blink:


#2

Let your friend know that it really will not impact them at all… I thought it would us, but it has not… No worries.

Now the Next Gen stuff that is being talked about will have an impact, I think but I will reserve judgement on it until it really enters the parks.


#3

Hanwill, you are so nice!
But actually, I just want the whining to stop. I want them to stop complaining about FP. They need to get off this issue. If they really want an issue that seems unfair, they ought to head up to US/IOA, where people who stay at their onsite hotels can FP (they call it Universal Pass, or something) any ride, any time, all day long. That doesn’t seem right, even to me.
Anyway, this particular person needs no handholding about FP – he seems to love to wallow in Disney woe (usually his issue is how they will survive their trip if a particular ride is being refurbed).


#4

I agree with you. I don’t see why anyone would complain about FP. Wow - they want you to follow the rules - what a concept. We’ve never attempted to use a FP if the time has expired. It wouldn’t even occur to me to try.

As for the DDP - I hate it. Hate it, hate it, hate it! Every year since they introduced it the quality of food is getting lower and lower, service worse, restaurants more crowded. We tried to get with the program, but found that it caused us more stress than enjoyment. Dining at Disney used to be fun.

There - I feel much better.


#5

[QUOTE=llama;1107886]I agree with you. I don’t see why anyone would complain about FP. Wow - they want you to follow the rules - what a concept. We’ve never attempted to use a FP if the time has expired. It wouldn’t even occur to me to try.

As for the DDP - I hate it. Hate it, hate it, hate it! Every year since they introduced it the quality of food is getting lower and lower, service worse, restaurants more crowded. We tried to get with the program, but found that it caused us more stress than enjoyment. Dining at Disney used to be fun.

There - I feel much better.[/QUOTE]

NO JOKE!!! I had hoped that not automatically including the gratuity would mean better service…not so much :angry: I’m sorry but I don’t believe that expecting a drink refill and a waiter/waitress that doesn’t disappear is asking too much yet that is the attitude we’ve encountered the last two trips.


#6

Miss Disney,
Thank you. I try to be nice, but it does not always work. I agree though that there are bigger fish to fry than not being allowed to cheat the system anymore. Hope they wise up…


#7

AGREED! As well as the parks are designed to handle crowds, the restaurants were never meant for the cosmic shoe-horning of absolutely everyone in for dinner!

When we have booked rooms, I always ask when DDP and free DDP are… and then I don’t book our trip at those times!!! :pirate:


#8

I complained about FP two months ago when they announced the change. Then I sucked it up and got over it. Our vacation was fine. We were still able to maximize our FPs. We had to be a little more logical on how and when we got them (instead of FPing a ride first thing in the morning before riding, we’d stand-by line first, then pick up FPs on the way out so we had at least an hour before our return time and could take advantage of short waits for other attractions in the first hour of park opening) - but the strategizing was fun.

I’ve never been when free DDP was offered, and DDP isn’t something we take advantage of. I don’t really have a problem with it. I don’t think it’s nearly as valuable as it used to be.


#9

I have always used the FP system to my advantage, but by the rules. It’s a game for me to get as many as I can without going outside the times.

I am mixed about the DDP. I LOVE the Quick Service plan. I love having everything paid for in advance and just walk up and get my food. I usually have one of two tables planned, but I am fine with just them. I really can’t stand the dinners there any more. Even with the free DDP, I end up uses them for counters. I don’t need to be served. I need to eat and run. I also think you should be able to choose between an appetizer and a dessert. I am not a dessert eater.


#10

I also don’t see the big deal with the current FP changes. We always used our FPs within the time limit listed on the FP so the enforcement of the window doesn’t really change the way we visit the parks.

I am mostly neutral on the DDP. I think I am still waxing nostalgic for that first year when it was offered and included appetizer AND dessert AND the gratuity. We had free DDP that first year they offered it and it truly was an amazing deal. It is definitely NOT the same deal it once was and now that we are DVC members, we can’t take advantage of the free DDP deals anymore.


#11

I can handle the FP changes.

But I take exception to the DDP issue. Before the DDP, we ate the same counter service meals day-in & day-out. We stayed in off-site hotels, and our “big” meal of the week was at a Pizza place in the Maingate area. That’s all we could afford.

DDP created an entirely new magical experience for us. The free plan allowed us to stay on site. It gave us access to places we would not been able to experience. It gave us Pop Century and Fort Wilderness, and all the perks of staying on-site. DW & I often say to each other, “We’ve done the parks. It’s the unexpected new dining experiences that excite us.”

Without the DDP, WDW would have been an amusement park that we’d eventually stop going to.

My two cents. Won’t buy you much.


#12

Like many, our trip times never match up with free DDP. And when I have taken the time to compare our overall spending to what we would have spent with free DDP, our OOP works out better. And we do some very nice high end meals on our trips. Spent hours doing a spreadsheet after a trip a few years back and was suprised with the result.
But as Cavey noted, it works out for his gang. Just shows, we all do Disney differently and still enjoy our trips.


#13

Cavey, the FP has not been changed!!! People are being held to their “appointments”

I, like Dana, have mixed feelings about the DDP. I love having everything included and paid for before our trip and then I only have to “worry” about tip and purchases.
deluxe DDP works for us this way:
We mostly have breakfast at the GF Cafe, mostly ( :happy: ) 1 point
Dinner is most often at a signature restaurant 2 points
and when we travel, we don’t even have to make ADR’s if we don’t want to. The food is very good as well as the service.

I don’t like that the signature restaurants all have the same basic dishes, different preparation. Boring after a while.


#14

[QUOTE=Pam&Rich;1107919]Like many, our trip times never match up with free DDP. And when I have taken the time to compare our overall spending to what we would have spent with free DDP, our OOP works out better. And we do some very nice high end meals on our trips. Spent hours doing a spreadsheet after a trip a few years back and was suprised with the result.
But as Cavey noted, it works out for his gang. Just shows, we all do Disney differently and still enjoy our trips.[/QUOTE]

Looking for that “like” ^ button again.

On FP policy change, I could take it or leave it. Doesn’t bother me either way. If CM’s allow it, I will do it. If they don’t, I won’t. No biggie either way since it’s Their procedure i’m following.
DDP doesn’t appeal to me as much because we eat at sit-downs every week at home. When on vacate I want to experience as much as I can and spending 2 hours every night at a TS doesn’t allow that. I really dis-like going to bed on a full tummy and that’s what would happen by the time we stopped to eat.
Since we always drive we’re able to take extras with us so being dependant on buying everything there doesn’t apply to us, plus with Disney’s on-going discounts the room rate we qualify for comes out less than free DDP. When adding those two factors, paying OOP is the better deal for us.

But as Rich said, we all do Disney differently.


#15

We always do DDP due to we also like everything paid upfront but I TOTALLY agree that we should have a choice between app or dessert!


#16

In all our trips to WDW…and I think there are some missing in my “signature” here…we have never had any sort of Dining Plan…we go on the fly…and have never been shut out of dinner anywhere…you just have to be flexible…

We like the idea of deciding where we want to eat at the last minute and asking guest services to book us…we have been during the busiest of times (New years eve and July 4th) and have never had any issue with finding a good place for dinner.

We have friends who always do the dining plan, and they have to plan way ahead of time where they are going to eat dinner…that’s not us. I prefer the idea that today I can decide what I feel like eating tonight.

The only exception we make is that occasionally on a trip, we will make a reservation for a dinner and show type evening…but I hate the constraint that puts us in time wise.

Just my 2 cents worth…To each his own…:slight_smile:


#17

[QUOTE=smallworld;1107933]In all our trips to WDW…and I think there are some missing in my “signature” here…we have never had any sort of Dining Plan…we go on the fly…and have never been shut out of dinner anywhere…you just have to be flexible…

We like the idea of deciding where we want to eat at the last minute and asking guest services to book us[/QUOTE]

Sounds like us. Our last 5-6 trips have been with only a max of 1-2 must do special ADR’s before we arrive. And we always find someplace to eat. It has made us get out of the same old meal rut each trip.


#18

OK.

First to Cavey – Your point is very valid, and I understand completely. The DDP is an excellent option for you! I have an idea that would make it more convenient for guests and less of a strain on the restaurants and the reservation system: wouldn’t it be cool if they had a tiered system, probably best
by rotating resorts to be DDP eligible, maybe one from each price range for a certain period of time each? Just a thought.

Second – Everyone should do a bit of math to see if Tables In Wonderland is a better option. It is for us. Here’s why. We drink often on vacation, and we eat a lot of appetizers. When you take 20% off the top of every meal and every drink, the TIW card pays for itself very quickly. The TIW card is $75 if you have an AP (and when we take a long trip the cost of the TIW and th eprice boost of the AP will still result in huge savings), and it applies to every single cocktail/beer/wine and bite of food you buy, except when you are in an establishment that is just a bar. Cava de Tequila, for instance.


#19

First, fastpass: the rules being enforced on fastpass attractions is ok by me. It shouldn’t effect us too much. Most of the time we come back within our hour window. It was nice to know that if something happened and we couldn’t make it back, we could still use our fastpasses, but oh well. It’s their policy and I will do as they say.

Second, DDP: we don’t like it. We’ve only done it once and that was because free dining happened to fall during our already scheduled trip so we added it to our package. The amount of food they expect you to eat is ridiculous. I can’t imagine actually ordering that much food if it weren’t “free”. I think we feel it’s too much food because we are not dessert people so after we’re stuffed from our meal, we don’t want to be forced to eat dessert. I’ve done the math on several trips and would have to work hard to actually save money by using the DDP. We always spend less on food than what the plan would have cost us. And we always eat 1TS, 1 CS, and a couple of snacks each day, so we’re eating the same way we would if we had the plan. It’s just too expensive for what you get.


#20

Totally agree with your TiW note. TiW is a must with us OOP. We have usually spent well beyond the $375.00 break even point by the third day, so everything after that is a 20% savings.