Cheap Eats at Disney

Monday, November 19, 2012 4:49 PM

The dining plan works well if you eat the way the plan says you "should". We often don't, in a variety of ways. We just eat what, where, and when we want. At the end of the trip we've usually spent a little bit less than the dining plan would have cost, but had the flexibility of paying cash. For example, we'll often split a couple of appetizers and a couple desserts between the four of us, but the regular plan doesn't cover apps. Likewise, I almost never get dessert in the counter service places (most of them aren't very good) and will instead grab some random treat later in the day.

I do make an exception for the Tangierine Cafe baklava though. That's pretty good right there.

Edited to add: It's worth pointing out that I don't pay attention to the prices as we go---I know about what the total will come to at the end of the week, give or take, and am ready to spend it. If you are subject to sticker shock, the dining plan is a great way to make the trip a lot more pleasant.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Monday, November 19, 2012 4:50 PM
Monday, November 19, 2012 5:06 PM
Jeff's avatar

I suppose that was the point I was making... that our habits tend to align pretty well with what the dining plan prescribes. So if it comes to paying even $60 a day per person, instead of $50, well, why wouldn't you pay less?

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

Monday, November 19, 2012 10:58 PM

I do like the Tables in Wonderland card. $75 for Passholders, and in return you get a 20% discount at most table service locations and lounges on property---including booze.

Monday, November 19, 2012 11:28 PM
LostKause's avatar

I always look at vacations costing less than one might think. You are going to spend money eating whether you are on vacation or you are at home. You are going to spend money on fuel whether you are driving to work or driving to the airport. I always subtract my weekly spending money (gas, food, entertainment, ect.) and add that money to the amount I can spend when I go on vacation.

Does that make sense?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 9:53 AM

Madison_K said:

...are you on my board of directors? They're the only other people I've met who think that a team of kids excelling in their sport is a crisis.

In what way are you required to book a package through Pop Warner? I attended a large event at WDW each year from 2000-2002 and, while there were packages available to us, lots and lots of teams booked on their own and saved.

It was a financial crisis... I didn't have an extra 2 grand laying around right before Christmas when they cut all my overtime.

If you are participating in the Pop Warner superbowl, Pop Warner requires that your team lodge together in the same resort, and you have to take one of the PW prescribed lodging options...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 9:56 AM

In order to participate in the Pop Warner national football and cheerleading championships in December, children on teams nationwide were required to stay at Disney hotels and buy tickets to other parks within Walt Disney World. Pop Warner stands all but alone among organizations that impose such requirements on teams competing for national titles at the Disney complex. The vast majority of other child athletes travel there either to participate in invitational events with much less at stake than a national championship, or in competitive tournaments in which they face less restrictive requirements for lodging and amusement passes.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 10:34 AM
rollergator's avatar

billb7581 said:

The vast majority of other child athletes travel there either to participate in invitational events with much less at stake than a national championship, or in competitive tournaments in which they face less restrictive requirements for lodging and amusement passes.

I like how they make it sound like the "restrictive requirements" are a bonus...other kids may play for a NC title as well, but they don't have to stay on-site or go to Disney-only parks! ;~)

Last edited by rollergator, Tuesday, November 20, 2012 10:35 AM

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 2:39 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Here's a PDF from the Pop Warner site detailing the entire 2012 Championship Packages.

Page 6 shows the pricing.

I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Seems nuts that a Disney stay that includes theme park tickets is required. But given what you get, the price doesn't seem unreasonable and that's a hell of an experience for a kid.

Mixed feelings.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 3:08 PM

I'm not sure the prices are all that great. Early December at WDW, the rack-rate on those rooms is only about $100-115/night, including taxes. The general public was offered a 20% discount on those resorts, taking us down to $80-92. At quad occupancy, four people pay about $1680 for a four-day/three-night stay. Take out the $270 for a three night stay, that leaves $1400, or $350 per ticket. A 4-day park hopper, bought at the ticket booth, costs only $334 per adult, including tax.

Oh, and they have to compete during some of that time, too, so they probably aren't in the parks every day.

Edited to add: I got the room rates wrong. They are more like $106-$123, discounted down to $85-$100. Still, looks about like what a "regular person" would pay for four people in a Value room during that time under the "regular promotion".

Last edited by Brian Noble, Tuesday, November 20, 2012 3:11 PM
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 3:28 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

So they're (as I said), not unreasonable. :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 3:34 PM

As a condition of playing in the tournament? I'd say at the very least grey-area unreasonable.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 3:52 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Well yeah, there's that little nugget to consider, I suppose.

Again, mixed feelings. Seems crazy to require the stay, but if you have to stay, the pricing is pretty standard.

(Why do I keep posting just to repeat my thoughts with different wording?)

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Tuesday, November 20, 2012 3:57 PM
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 4:06 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

(Why do I keep posting just to repeat my thoughts with different wording?)

You're strange? ;-)

Brandon | Facebook

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 9:56 AM

Well, now I understand why a lot of the Pop Warner parents start out with a negative outlook on the trip and are so irritable/short with Cast Members. ;)

Original BlueStreak64

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 11:08 AM
LostKause's avatar

Couldn't the kids do some fundraisers to raise the money? People love to give money to kids.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 2:02 PM

When comparing the package pricing to what is available to the public, you can't forget to consider that the package includes a private party for the event participants. That probably accounts for some of the discrepancy.

I am curious as to how Pop Warner knows if the entire team is booked through a package. Our events were open to the public and there was no way of controlling whether participants were staying on property, though access to the private party was more controlled in later years.

Friday, November 23, 2012 1:02 AM

LostKause said:

Couldn't the kids do some fundraisers to raise the money?

Having been in a similar situation before, the logistics of pulling off a last minute fundraiser that amounts to much of anything is near impossible. Particularly since the deadlines for paying for everything is often way sooner than the actual event, which makes it even harder to pull that sort of thing off. Although our community only seems to care about kids sports teams, and since we weren't a sport, it was difficult to get any attention at all. Maybe sports teams have it better off.

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

Friday, November 23, 2012 11:53 AM

This is also Peak Fundraiser Season. Every single activity/school your kids are involved in runs a fundraiser, and they probably run it now, selling over-priced crap that no one wants for "the holidays."

It drives me nuts.

Every time one comes across my desk, I ask my child's coach/teacher/administrator how much they have budgeted to earn from each kid's sales. I then write a check for 2X that amount, and forget about it until the next one comes.

Friday, November 23, 2012 1:06 PM

My wife's school did a "write a check" fundraiser this year. Granted they are in a somewhat affluent area, but it made almost double the take from the last fundraiser where they actually sold something. It just goes to show that the majority of parents would rather just do the above than sell something they have to keep up with.

Friday, November 23, 2012 3:47 PM
rollergator's avatar

I thought "fundraising season" for schools was everything but summer.

It's good I don't have children, because if my kid came home with a "sales goal", I would go ballistic on some school administrator.


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