Not to add to your sadness, and I don't want to be overly nosey - but why couldn't you use the free dining?
The CM I spoke to said I could split my stay, do a one day room-only reservation, and then the rest of the days and tickets, but he told me I couldn't use the park tickets until the 2nd day when the package started.
Okay, I'm not wanting your children to miss any time either.
Thanks for the advice anyway.
We are staying 5 days/4 nights.
I agree with this!
Of course not sure how much you'd actually save - on one hand you would save over $100 a day with the free dining, but then you'd have to buy single day tickets for everyone and STILL pay for your food the first day.
BUT go into the vacation happy with what you get for the price and don't let the "special" things others get spoil your fun!