2020 dining plan changes- game changer! DxDP - any plan changes or credit sharing issues?

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siren0119

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 26, 2018
No, MY point is that it doesn’t matter whether you’re on a dining plan or not. Disney is forcing adult prices on children of 10yrs old at table service restaurants. For example, I have an “average” 10 yr old that may eat a couple nuggets and some fries or corn dog bites along with fruit and ice cream bar at Hollywood n Vine. It’s more about the portion size than it is about the specific foods. So one plate of food. While my husband and I will be making multiple trips up to the buffet to try a variety of foods. Now, is it really fair that we must pay the same price for our 10yr old? I don’t think so. And you might say that it’s our choice to eat there... and of course that is true. But my point is that we have no other options if we want to do table service character meals which is really, I would think, created for the enjoyment of kids in the first place! It’s not just the dining plan that I’m frustrated with... although that too deserves its own debate with the whole alcohol addition... since we do not drink yet still pay the price for those that do 😏 But at least there we have the option not to purchase the dining plan and not to pay for alcohol. We have no options at Hollywood N Vine or any of our other favorites... other than to just not go altogether... which really isn’t an option when we’ve been going every year since our kids were born and they expect it!
Disney isn't doing anything differently from basic restaurant industry standards. There has to be a cutoff somewhere between child and adult meals....some places cut off at 11, some 12, some 9 depending on their business model. Just for comparison's sake (not in price or quality but in structure) - Old Country Buffet cuts off kids pricing at 11. My 12 year old eats like a young child - smaller portions and mostly "kid" food. My 10 year old eats more like an adult - big portions and much more adventurous tastes. If I was just taking my older kid out to eat, I'd be "forced" to pay the adult rate for him even though he'd eat more like an "average" 9 or 10 year old. Is the pricing structure fair for everyone in EVERY situation? No of course not. But nothing ever will be. There are other ways to meet characters, and TS character meals aren't just for the kids. They might be a more convenient way to meet characters, but you're going to pay a premium for that convenience.
 

AngelaWag

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Actually there were plenty of restaurants that did, however there were some that did not. We CHOSE to visit both, bit when we were required to order an adult entree for Kady because of our choice, we did. You can do the same in reverse. Visit restaurants that do not force your 10 YO to order from an adult menu. That means you avoid fixed cost restaurants that are age based.



Again, you are personalizing this. DDP or not, you have choices. You go to restaurants that your 10 YO can order off of the kids menu, stay away from those that do not. You keep fixating on age, however there are a number of people whose dietary concerns are not age based but medically necessary. They pay adult price even if they use a feeding tube if they are 10 and older. The alcohol was a bonus. the price increased $1, and you can order all kinds of specialty beverages. Fair is fair. Everyone 10 and older pays the same price. People 9 and under pay a reduced price.

You really need to determine what works for your family. The plans are not for everyone. The buffet and character restaurants really are not for everyone either.
It’s nice that you had options while in NYC. Unfortunately, there are no character dining options in Disney parks that do not require us to pay for our 10 yr old as an adult. And actually, it’s sounding like Disney may be slowly leaning towards making 10+ order from adult menus even in non-buffet situations 🤦🏻‍♀️ I hope that’s not the case. And if Disney is going to use “averages” for height/age correlations, then they should also use common sense averages on the portions that 10 year old children eat. It’s not even a matter of WHAT they’re eating but more of HOW MUCH. Perhaps a “jr meal” would make sense? As far as the changes with alcohol being added to the plan, even though the cost may not have changed as far as dollars, they did take the dessert away which equates to dollars lost for those of us who do not drink alcohol... like 10 year olds paying to be on adult dining plans!! 🤔 And no, there are many many places that do not offer any specialty dessert type drinks to sub out for alcoholic.
 
  • AngelaWag

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 2, 2020
    Disney isn't doing anything differently from basic restaurant industry standards. There has to be a cutoff somewhere between child and adult meals....some places cut off at 11, some 12, some 9 depending on their business model. Just for comparison's sake (not in price or quality but in structure) - Old Country Buffet cuts off kids pricing at 11. My 12 year old eats like a young child - smaller portions and mostly "kid" food. My 10 year old eats more like an adult - big portions and much more adventurous tastes. If I was just taking my older kid out to eat, I'd be "forced" to pay the adult rate for him even though he'd eat more like an "average" 9 or 10 year old. Is the pricing structure fair for everyone in EVERY situation? No of course not. But nothing ever will be. There are other ways to meet characters, and TS character meals aren't just for the kids. They might be a more convenient way to meet characters, but you're going to pay a premium for that convenience.
    I agree that there has to be a cutoff somewhere. I just don’t think 9 years old is a reasonable one 🤷🏻‍♀️ I think the majority of establishments use “12 and under” or “under 12” because it’s reasonable to consider a 12-13 year old a young adult. It’s reasonable because that’s the age when they’re moving onto middle school and going through puberty and actually becoming an adult. Whereas I cannot think of a single 10 year old that I would consider a young adult... even the mature ones are still just children. It’s just my opinion and honestly I’m surprised that there’s so much disagreement in this thread because I converse about Disney all the time with all sorts of people and everyone feels the same way as I do... 10 years old shouldn’t be considered an adult 🤷🏻‍♀️
     

    siren0119

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 26, 2018
    It’s nice that you had options while in NYC. Unfortunately, there are no character dining options in Disney parks that do not require us to pay for our 10 yr old as an adult. And actually, it’s sounding like Disney may be slowly leaning towards making 10+ order from adult menus even in non-buffet situations 🤦🏻‍♀️ I hope that’s not the case.
    That IS the case with dining credits. It has always been the policy that adult credits are used for adult meals and child credits for child meals, but it wasn't strictly enforced until this year. A loophole in the policy was closed, but it's consistently been the policy. Restaurants have been allowed to use individual discretion regarding allowing people over the age of 9 to order from the kids menu if paying out of pocket, experiences have been inconsistent. Some places will allow over-9 to order kids menu FOODS but bring adult portions as a work-around (this has worked for us in a few places for my picky older kid, we always pay out of pocket for meals).

    At the end of the day, whatever policy they settle on is not going to be the best for everyone's circumstances. In the case of Disney and other theme parks where dining packages are available (Sea World has the same age cutoffs for their all day dining deal, as one example), things are intertwined when you create ticket/dining packages and so a decision has to be made on where the age cutoff will work for all aspects of the package. And the reality is that the age cutoff for the ticket takes priority. By 10 years old *most* children can access all of the rides in the theme park, and should be charged the full rate entry ticket.
     

    kaytieeldr

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2005
    And actually, it’s sounding like Disney may be slowly leaning towards making 10+ order from adult menus even in non-buffet situations 🤦🏻‍♀️
    :confused3 What is Disney doing that makes you think this?
    As far as the changes with alcohol being added to the plan, even though the cost may not have changed as far as dollars, they did take the dessert away which equates to dollars lost for those of us who do not drink alcohol.
    Disney found or realized that enough QS diners were either not ordering dessert (or wanting to order it later, which couldn't be done), or were taking the dessert to eat later, that they removed the dessert and added a snack.
    I agree that there has to be a cutoff somewhere. I just don’t think 9 years old is a reasonable one 🤷🏻‍♀️ I think the majority of establishments use “12 and under” or “under 12” because it’s reasonable to consider a 12-13 year old a young adult.
    The majority of establishments don't operate or sell admission for the number one vacation destination in the world. And look at all the posters here wanting to age their children up (from nine, or eight, or even six) so they get adult credits to order from the adult menus.
     

    DrunkJam

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 1, 2016
    Personally, I was pleased that my son would be an "adult" for DDP purposes when we went when he had *just* turned 11. He has complex food issues due to being autistic, and access to the adult menu made things MUCH more flexible, and more nutritionally sound. In effect, he had access to MOST of the kids food (we never had a problem using adult credits to get kids menu items, even if they did usually offer bigger sizes, which was also helpful) AND all of the adult food, which created a MUCH bigger pool of menu possibilities!

    Taking the dessert off the DDP QS meal is way better, even without the alcohol, because, you no longer have to eat the dessert right WITH the meal, you can now use the additional snack to have dessert later, somewhere else (WAY more and better options than QS desserts) or get an extra drink or savoury item.

    I can see the problem with closing the DXDP loophole, and for sure the DDP doesn't work for everyone. I *personally* would like to see more kids meals reflective of the adult meals at any given restaurants, but, I also see a LOT of kids actually need the more basic options too.

    I guess the only way to prevent the child vs adult by age thing is to do it by height, but that causes way more problems than it solves, and most places do set an age for kids menus, often around the 10 mark.
     
  • jessiegirl1982

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 1, 2015
    Disney wouldn‘t close the loophole if they were not losing money. Remember, it wasn’t just the adults eating on kids’ credits, but the kids too. I’ve read multiple reports of servers who encourage children to eat off of the adult me instead of the children’s menu. The tips are significantly bigger on adult meals over kids meals.
    I don't think Disney is losing money with the Dining Plan.. they may not be maximizing profits, which is why they closed the loophole they created. There is a huge markup on food at table service restaurants. Disney is still making money off every single diner that comes through their door, guaranteed!! They just want to make more money, hence the changes.
     

    TwoMisfits

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 21, 2002
    It’s nice that you had options while in NYC. Unfortunately, there are no character dining options in Disney parks that do not require us to pay for our 10 yr old as an adult. And actually, it’s sounding like Disney may be slowly leaning towards making 10+ order from adult menus even in non-buffet situations 🤦🏻‍♀️ I hope that’s not the case. And if Disney is going to use “averages” for height/age correlations, then they should also use common sense averages on the portions that 10 year old children eat. It’s not even a matter of WHAT they’re eating but more of HOW MUCH. Perhaps a “jr meal” would make sense? As far as the changes with alcohol being added to the plan, even though the cost may not have changed as far as dollars, they did take the dessert away which equates to dollars lost for those of us who do not drink alcohol... like 10 year olds paying to be on adult dining plans!! 🤔 And no, there are many many places that do not offer any specialty dessert type drinks to sub out for alcoholic.
    And I'm an adult, out-eaten now by all of my kids, even my boys who are in the "child" range. And I haven't had bariatric surgery or any major issue that would prohibit my food intake - I just can't do it...not like my kids. I'm a "1 and done" at buffets. So, it's all anecdotal...and all that Disney can't individually accommodate b/c the accommodations would get overwhelming.

    Instead, Disney has set a standard. And now, it's a totally fair one. Everyone knows what to expect every time. They know going in, that like in the rest of the industry, a kid's meal TS price and meal is for kids. And adults and teen/tweens have the run of the rest of the menu, whether they order a bowl of soup, a slice of cake, or a 3 course meal...or decide to share a plated meal between 2.

    Now, I do agree - their pricing in their restaurants is astronomical. So, don't pay it more than you want to pay it. My kids have known when we had to stop doing something b/c we couldn't afford it, but I had a new option they might like...and they've rolled with it and enjoyed all the new options. Kids are more adaptable than you think when it's a choice of "old fun a" and "new fun b"...
     

    DGsAtBLT

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 10, 2017
    The 10 year old adult problem at buffets and AYCTE restaurants is just frustrating,
    period. They have to draw the line somewhere and I get that, I just wish there was some middle ground between the child’s price at 9 (which let’s be real, is already quite expensive, no loss leaders at Chef Mickey’s at $35 per kid😂) and $60.

    This isn’t really a dining plan issue though, the dining plan just reflects the insanely priced restaurants.
     
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