View Full Version : Disney Dining Plan a Bust???

02-11-2008, 10:15 AM
I was just wondering if anyone else has tried out the new 2008 Disney Dining Plan or Deluxe Plan and what your thoughts and experiances were.

We did the dining plan last year and loved it. However, this year we had a miserable time with the 2008 Deluxe Plan. Once home I added our receipts and found that we paid an average of $30 MORE a day on the plan than the actual food cost! We also had SEVERAL servers become very aggressive about getting a tip. (the new 2008 plan doesn't include tip) We live in Florida so it is customary for us to leave a tip. However most of our servers didn't even give us the chance. As soon as they brought the bill they became very aggressive about us filling out the tip line before they would check us out. We paid cash for most tips. However one server in particular would not check us out until we put a tip on the line and she could charge it to our room! I explained that I didn't want it charged to my room, that I wanted to pay cash. But she said I HAD to write in the tip. So I put 0. (I was intending to still leave cash, she did her job serving us). When she saw I put 0, she said "no, no...you have to put in this or this (she actually pointed to the 18% and 20% guide on the bottom of the receipt)!!! By that point I didn't WANT to leave a tip anymore. (we still did, principle of the thing and all)
That was only our third meal on our 6 day trip! I have to say she was the MOST aggressive server, but she wasn't the ONLY one. We also noticed that the level of friendliness went down as soon as we mentioned we were on the dining plan. I think most servers just assume they aren't going to get a tip, so they just stop working for it from that moment on!

A good note: we had amazing service at Le Cellier, Teppan Edo, Mama Melrose, and The Brown Derby. These servers didn't even point out the tip guide. Which after our horrible experiance with the "aggressive server" made us that much more impressed. We tipped a little extra for these servers(they deserved it) and spoke with the managers about the wonderful service.

We have two more trips planned to Disney this year including the dining plan. I have since cancelled the dining plan, we won't deal with that headache again!

02-11-2008, 10:37 AM
Wow! I'd be really fuming if a server treated me like that! We never did the dining plan because we don't do many table service meals so it was never worth it for our family, but it always sounded like a great plan for those families who did. I'm sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience with the tip situation. Sounds like the servers might be getting stiffed by some guests and are getting frustrated from their end too - not that it makes that behaviour acceptable in any way. Hopefully disney will get enough complaints to make some changes if this is a wide spread problem.

02-11-2008, 11:46 AM
I would definitely complain to Disney about it. I agree with Debbie that it is probably going to take a lot of people complaining about it before they make any changes. I would be LIVID if someone pointed out the tip guide to me!

02-11-2008, 01:08 PM
I waitressed my way through High School and college, so what that server did to me is incomprehensiable. I would have never dreamed of doing that. I worked in all different types of restuarnts and that is something that you just don't do. That said, look at it from their point of view, they live off their tips (not saying she had ANY excuse, bc I would have called hte manager over right then and there) and basically Disney has really stuck it to them the most with this new plan. They the ones who are getting shafted bc customers are unhappy. So while I can understand their frustration and can't do anythign about it, I do not condone that type of behavior.
Having done it for so long, I always tip well when we go out. Always 20% unless the server was beyond horrible, then I still leave 15-18%, bc you never know if they were having a bad day. I always base it on their service, not how long the food took whether the food was correct (although it IS their responsiblity to make sure when it leaves the kitchen it's correct, but no adays they have a lot of runners who bring the food out). If it's good service it stays at 20%, if it's beyond great I'll leave more AND request to speak to the manager and let them know how good it was. On the same note DH has gotten used to it, I won't hesitate to talk to a manager if something is wrong and the server hasn't been able to correct it.

I'm sorry you had such a bad expierence she/they weren't right and shouldn't have acted that way.

02-11-2008, 03:06 PM
Well, I have read on the Disboards(so take it with a grain of salt) that the servers themselves requested the change to the 2008 dining plan. Supposedly the servers felt that they could get better tips on their own than what the plan included.

02-11-2008, 03:28 PM
I totally agree with Askomsky! I'm sure the servers are getting "stiffed" by a lot of people thinking the tips are included, and by some who are just plain mean. However, if I had that aggressive waiter, I would have refused to fill out the tip after explaining that I was leaving cash. If that didn't work (as it didn't for you), I'd ask for the manager prior to signing anything. If the waiter refused to get the manager, I'd get up from the table and make it look like I was leaving. THAT should get some action, FAST! I also think a complaint to Disney is in order, including as much detail as you can remember.

02-11-2008, 08:22 PM
I use the Disney Dining Experience card. Do you have an AP? It might be worth is to look into that. 20% off every meal (some exceptions). We make up the price of the card in our first few meals! Alcohol is also included in the 20% off!

02-11-2008, 09:30 PM
Wow, I'm sorry (and surprised) you had such a bad experience. We were down there January 21-25 and had AMAZING service on the Deluxe Dining Plan at EVERY meal, bar none. I never had a server ask me about the tip, other than to mention that we needed to total the check including the tip amount if we wanted to charge it to our room (of course I read the DIS and knew the procedure before we left, and don't have a problem tipping 18-20% and intended to charge everything to our room to make it easy on them).

I totalled the food we ordered vs. what we paid for the 4 nights and the savings were in excess of $500. I give a huge thumbs up to the deluxe plan!

Places we ate: Mama Melrose, 'Ohana (twice), Spirit of Aloha, Cinderella's Royal Table, Liberty Tree Tavern, Yak & Yeti, Coral Reef, Le Cellier.

02-12-2008, 12:49 AM
Wow! I hate to hear about your service. I LOVED the dining plan in the past, and I hate to hear anything bad. You are most certainly more patient than I am because I would have demanded to see the manager right then before I would have acted as she wished and wrote in the amount.

I second that you should contact Disney still though and let them know about your dissatisfaction.

02-12-2008, 12:04 PM
I use the Disney Dining Experience card. Do you have an AP? It might be worth is to look into that. 20% off every meal (some exceptions). We make up the price of the card in our first few meals! Alcohol is also included in the 20% off!

We had the Dining Experience card before becoming DVC members. It worked out great because we didn't always stay at Disney, sometimes just there for the day or stayed at other resorts. It's been a few years since we had the card, but I do remember the card paying for itself within two meals. Thank you for reminding me, that is def the way for us to go from here on out! :cooldance: