View Full Version : Disney Dining Experience versus Disney Dining Plan

Didney Daddy
04-01-2006, 09:41 PM
Does Disney Dining Experience still exist or do we just have the Disney Dining Plan option? If the DDE still exists, do we as DVC folks get a discount on the purchase of that discount card?

04-01-2006, 09:46 PM
The DDE still exists. You are eligible to purchase the DDE if you are a Florida resident or an annual/premium annual passholder. DVC membership alone does not qualify you to purchse the DDE.

Best wishes -

04-02-2006, 08:57 AM
We are DDE holders and love it. I did an analysis of the DDE and the Dining plan and although the Dining Plan would have saved us a total of $20.00 (from the DDE) we felt it would have been WAY too much food for our family.

I'm not sure if we will be renewing our AP next year, so I hope DVC could add the DDE. That would be great!

04-02-2006, 03:57 PM
We have our DDE card until the end of May...love it. I think we saved about $400 last year, 3 trips total. And I have one in May just before it expires. However, I will be renewing it. I go again in Oct and have already saved $40 with it on my HDDR tickets (which I will lose if I don't have my DDE card to show when I get to HDDR)..so it would behoove me to renew it. That's only $30 I'll have to make up at that point. I did think about doing the DDP in addition to the DDE but using the DDP didn't save me any more money. In fact, based on the exact same meal choices, we would have had to spend about $100 more with the DDP. I like being able to eat what I feel like..rather than feel like I have to eat more in order to get my money's worth. And when I sat down and figured what I would actually end up eating, the DDE card made more sense for us...2 moms and our two 12/13 y/o dd's.

04-02-2006, 05:47 PM
For short trips I think the DDP is terrific. We have booked it for our Oct trip. However our DDE has worked out brillantly for 4 trips since April 05. Sometimes it may have only have paid the tip, but that is still a savings. You have to crunch the numbers to see which plan works for you.

04-02-2006, 06:22 PM
For short trips I think the DDP is terrific. We have booked it for our Oct trip. However our DDE has worked out brillantly for 4 trips since April 05. Sometimes it may have only have paid the tip, but that is still a savings. You have to crunch the numbers to see which plan works for you.
I think this is a great point. The length of your trip definitely makes a difference.

We have DDE through December (1 trip down, 2 more to come) and we love it. We've already made money on it, but we will be trying the DDP on our May trip. For us, the clincher is the character meals. DDnow4goingon24 loves character meals, and the DDP offers a great bargain for those -- for our family, for this vacation.

We'll continue to use the DDE for restaurants which don't participate in DDP, for extra meals (yeah, right!), and also for those adult beverages and other items not covered by the DDP.

For our family, both plans are great. I don't think I would buy the DDE just to use it as we are now using it, but it is definitely a great plan for folks who don't want the dining plan.

04-02-2006, 09:58 PM
The DDE is better for multiple trips, longer stays, use at signature restaurants, lighter eaters and those with more expensive tastes and the like. The DDP MAY be better for shorter trips, those with multiple rooms, those where they can pay the kids price for those kids that eat like adults, those who eat a fair amount, etc. For anyone who has past experience eating at WDW, a tour of menus from favorite and likely restaurants and a few calculations will likely answer the question fairly well.

04-03-2006, 05:43 AM
Provided the Annual Pass is something that you will use enough to justify the purchase, the DDE is an excellent value. We saved several hundred dollars in just one trip, and will use it TWICE more prior to expiration.
Plus--it's pretty easy to use. No need to figure out how many TS/CS credits a salad will cost you etc etc. A 20% discount on everything, including any alcoholic beverages.

04-03-2006, 08:06 AM
I think everyone should do a little sample math with the menus. The DDE can save you money, even on a short trip, if your party is large and you eat at a lot of sit down restaurants and drink alcohol - a party of six or seven that will be eating dinner together each night might benefit from one person getting an AP and a DDE even if the trip is only five days.

But the DP can be a good deal as well, especially short trips, don't already have an AP, don't drink.

And don't forget the cash option. The DP is a good deal, but if you would normally eat a lot of counter service or eat in the room, the DP isn't necessarily the cheapest way to go.

04-03-2006, 09:35 AM
For us, the DDE is the only thing that makes sense. We saved enough on three meals to pay for it, so the rest of the year is pure savings. Since we like wine with dinner, the savings really add up quickly.

04-03-2006, 11:50 AM
We considered the DP for our upcoming trip.

We have the DDE from last year and it will still be valid for our next trip. I agree the DP would be a better option if we were only staying 3-5 days. Next trip we are staying 12 nights so that would cost us $1200 for the DP.

That $1200 with the Dining Plan is worth $1440 cash with the DDE. Based on reviewing our must do restaurants and splurges, we wont come close to $1440 even with tax and tip. We will have great flexibility and won't want for anything and stay within our budget.

We did the free Dining last year for 3 nights and we spent the bulk of our time at restaurants. It was great, and Im glad we had the opportunity to to do HDDR for the first time. We also tried Concourse steakhouse.

I just don't want to be tied to ADRs everyday. We will have a loose dining plan based on our DDE.