PDA

View Full Version : A DDP Observation


Mickey1122
08-08-2006, 03:35 PM
This may have been posted before, but we noticed that when we used the DDP, it was much less "credit efficient" to go to buffets. You get more bang for your buck at standard TS restaurants. I keep reading about how people are flocking to buffets because they have free dining.

Lostgirlz
08-08-2006, 04:06 PM
We are on the ddp for our upcoming honeymoon in Feb. We are doing many buffets all but one are char breakfasts. We have decided to pay oop for the buffets and the wcc. We are also considering paying oop for sci-fi or Primetime, or both. I do believe with all the confusion the dining plan has now caused we may pay oop for fantasmic dinner package at the h&v and then replace the epcot 2 that are pulling out or MIGHT be pulling out of the plan, and use those ts for primetime and sci-fi, but I keep thinking might be better off paying oop for either sci-fi, or 50's, and using the plan on just one. everything on how we will work the plan is still up in the air. Only thing I am trying to stay on top of is what is going on with the plan and what needs to be changed if they opt out. :bride:

beth_cam
08-08-2006, 04:08 PM
Happily satisfied with a full tummy having enjoyed your food and the characters, what does it then matter if the meal OOP would have cost you more or less than at another restaurant. Eating at lecellier while my food was more than edible and so much more $$ than the buffett, it did not give me enjoyment, barely filled my tummy (filled it enough but had I wanted more it would have cost more and definitely didnt give me the chance of doing what people say - having one large meal and not eating much else for the day) that the character meals do.

Amyrlin
08-08-2006, 04:17 PM
I think that too much isnmade of maximizing $$ value, as long as it worksnout better for you then I look at maximising enjoyment :)

We will do some buffets, CP as well as a family style (LTT) and some table serrvice.

LizinSTL
08-08-2006, 04:22 PM
This may have been posted before, but we noticed that when we used the DDP, it was much less "credit efficient" to go to buffets. You get more bang for your buck at standard TS restaurants. I keep reading about how people are flocking to buffets because they have free dining.


It's unlikely you'll lose money eating at buffets (even if you pay for the plan). You do get more "benefit" from the ddp eating at a la carte restaurants, but buffets work better for some families.

A Chef Mickey breakfast for a family of 4, 2a, 2c, will cost over $80 with tax and tip. If you are free dining, enjoy character meals and don't mind buffet dining, then why not go there? Even paying for DDP, the daily cost would be about $96- surely you'll spend the $16 on 4 CS meals and 4 snacks over the course of the day.

Lostgirlz
08-08-2006, 04:24 PM
We felt by going by the prices and what cm have suggested paying oop was a better and overall more resonable way of using the dining plan. We are doing a bit of everything at the parks. Boma, tony's, epcot, dtd, and so forth. Either way we were going to end up paying for one meal per day in any which way unless we just wanted a small small snack for breakfast. My DFH likes to have breakfast foods and we rather use our cs for lunches and just pay oop for breakfast and maybe a dinner here or there. :bride:

DaisyD
08-08-2006, 06:00 PM
I would hope people are planning their meals according to what they actually want to eat and not to ge the most bang for the buck. The DDP is either cheap or free so there is no "moneys worth" to get. You eat what you want and have a great time.

Figment's friends
08-08-2006, 06:11 PM
We are planning a couple of buffets as well as our regular TS meals. I figure they might go by faster than a regular table service.

jeni1072
08-08-2006, 08:11 PM
We are doing buffets 5 out of our 6 TS's. For one thing we have a 2.5 year old and sitting in a restaurant setting after a day at the park, is not an option. We need to move things along in a timely manner, and having the characters there makes it even that much easier.

We made a spreadsheet (nerds!) to get a complete side by side comp of DDP cost and OOP cost, and even with 5 buffets, we are still saving a few dollars. Even if we broke even, thats fine with us- its all about the convenience of everything being paid for up front.

disneyjunkie
08-08-2006, 08:21 PM
I would hope people are planning their meals according to what they actually want to eat and not to ge the most bang for the buck. The DDP is either cheap or free so there is no "moneys worth" to get. You eat what you want and have a great time.

:thumbsup2 :thumbsup2

I refuse to worry about maxing out the plan. We dine where we want and order what we know we'll eat. Our next trip is 11 nights. I'm planning to make ADRs for at least 7 buffets. :cheer2:

It's hard not to come out ahead when using the dining plan.

LSchrow
08-08-2006, 08:31 PM
Happily satisfied with a full tummy having enjoyed your food and the characters, what does it then matter if the meal OOP would have cost you more or less than at another restaurant.

yup, full tummy is good.
happy family is good.
relaxed vacation is good.

a year from now, most families will remember the great times together, very few will remember how/where they squeezed every penny's worth out of the plan

book what feels good

:sunny:

shaycamp21
08-08-2006, 08:39 PM
I still think you get out ahead even doing the buffets. We are doing mostly buffets and family style meals (Ohana, Boma, Cape May, 1900 Park Fare, Chef Mickey's, Princess Storybook Breakfast and Crystal Palace and the only non all you can eat ones are Mama Melrose and Le Cellier) because I found many of the child ts choices quite limiting (not to mention quite unhealthy). The buffets allow my dd's the oppportunity to sample many adult items which they may have not been able to do at some a la carte ts restaurants. I am not worried about maximizing the plan rather I just want to do what is best for my family. I would like my dd's to eat something a little more sophisticated than a chicken nugget and still have fun too. Somewhere like 1900 Park Fare they have fun character interaction and great food. I think the dining plan offers great value for families. Everyone just has to do what's best to suit their needs. :)

dreamalittledream
08-08-2006, 09:16 PM
we are doing the buffets so my 2 yr old can eat for free. 4 for 3 is a great deal to us and it helps us out with the length of the meals as well.

PortieOwner
08-08-2006, 09:46 PM
Some of the buffets have great food and between meeting the characters and the quick in and out they are a very efficient use of time/money. Because breakfast buffets are relatively cheap I paid out of pocket last year for at least one of them (Crystal Palace) and possibly a second (Breakfastsaurus).

Nancyg56
08-09-2006, 05:38 AM
I think that the people who are stressed using the DDP may be trying to max the value by choosing restaurants based on the price of the food rather that the food offered. If the choices are based on where you like to eat, the credit value should not matter, and you will still come out a bit ahead. We booked several character buffets because my DGD loves the atmosphere, and we love to watch her. It is more important to enjoy the food and the atmosphere rather than to tally your savings at the end of the trip, but end up hating your dining experiences after all of the work you put into the plan.

CamColt
08-09-2006, 06:10 AM
On our upcoming trip we will need to pay for 1 meal OOP for DH and myslef as we have a 2 credit meal to go to. At first I thought maybe Chef Mickeys Breakfast would be the one, since it is breakfast, but after looking at prices we have found that paying OOP for ESPN lunch will be less expensive. What we order there would be around $10.00 each, so it only makes sense to use the credits for the buffet.

With that said, we are getting the plan for free, dining where we want...where we had planned before getting the free dining, and are not worrying about gettting the most out of it. I recently went through my meals and wrote out what I think I will get to use the credits and OMG! It is so much food!

ReneeA
08-09-2006, 07:23 AM
It's way too stressful to try and "maximize" your DDP. Trying to run here and there and order the most expensive thing on the menu - even if it's not necessarily what you want makes NO sense to me.

We ate where we wanted and what we wanted last year - including buffets and other not so expensive TS and still came out way, way ahead. It also cut down on the running around and overplanning.

calypso*a*go-go
08-09-2006, 12:06 PM
With our 7 TS credits each, we will be using three of them at buffets (2 breakfasts, 1 dinner). I know it might not be the best use in some people's eyes, but we go to WDW to enjoy the rides and attractions...we really don't want to spend anymore time than we have to waiting to be seated, and waiting to finish our meal at TS restaurants. At least with a buffet we feel like we can get in and out fairly quick and continue with the rest of our day.

Sammie
08-09-2006, 12:36 PM
I think that too much isnmade of maximizing $$ value, as long as it worksnout better for you then I look at maximising enjoyment :)

We will do some buffets, CP as well as a family style (LTT) and some table serrvice.

I agree, we are here now using the paid plan and we keep ending up with too much food. Several meals we have not even ordered dessert as basically we are sick of them. We don't ever eat this much dessert.

I did not even look at the menus for prices before booking we simply booked what we would like to eat, irregardless of cost. We figured after 3 TS in a a week we have recovered our cost.

I can say I have enjoyed not paying for CS more than the TS part of the plan.

Lewisc
08-09-2006, 12:55 PM
I'd like to see the CS dessert become a second snack, if Disney wants to save money just make guests use their snack credit if they want dessert with their CS meal. What would you suggest Disney do about "too much food"? Give guests the choice of appetizer or dessert? Get rid of a full appetizer in favor of just soup or salad? Get rid of dessert, out of pocket if you want it? Reduce the portion sizes of all three courses? Assume the actual savings in food cost is small enough so the price of the plan will stay the same no matter what option Disney decides to do.

I look at the dining plan as a buffet. You're not going to eat everything that's available.



I agree, we are here now using the paid plan and we keep ending up with too much food. Several meals we have not even ordered dessert as basically we are sick of them. We don't ever eat this much dessert.

I did not even look at the menus for prices before booking we simply booked what we would like to eat, irregardless of cost. We figured after 3 TS in a a week we have recovered our cost.

I can say I have enjoyed not paying for CS more than the TS part of the plan.

Sammie
08-09-2006, 01:03 PM
I'd like to see the CS dessert become a second snack, if Disney wants to save money just make guests use their snack credit if they want dessert with their CS meal. What would you suggest Disney do about "too much food"? Give guests the choice of appetizer or dessert? Get rid of a full appetizer in favor of just soup or salad? Get rid of dessert, out of pocket if you want it? Reduce the portion sizes of all three courses? Assume the actual savings in food cost is small enough so the price of the plan will stay the same no matter what option Disney decides to do.

I look at the dining plan as a buffet. You're not going to eat everything that's available.

The QS/quick service meal with a snack instead of the dessert would be great. We have found the snack credit to be the most flexible part of the plan.

As to the too much food, I don't have a problem with it, I am sure it is fine for some and would not want Disney to change it, just an observation on our experience.

We have enjoyed a few desserts at the TS but one at QS and one at TS on the same day is too much for us personally.

We have gotten some to go, but find ourselves not wanting them later either.

As you said we look at as a buffet, sometimes we don't get dessert on the buffet. I guess for some of us who were raised not to be wasteful of food, it's hard to throw it away. So a few times we simply did not order the desserts. That is harder to do on TS as the servers really want you to order everything.

Mickey1122
08-09-2006, 03:32 PM
I didn't suggest that we purposefully ordered the most expensive thing on the menu to maximize the plan. What I meant was that we used the opportunity to go to restaurants that we hadn't tried before and taste new things. I was shocked to hear a poster say that a drink, appetizer, entree, and dessert was just enough food to hold you over. We found it to be too much and ended up sharing meals. Figuring out ways to go to many restaurants and maximize the DDP was fun for us.

beth_cam
08-09-2006, 04:13 PM
at some places the full meal is tiny. At le cellier i had a fruit & cheese plate that I didnt like a whole lot of but it probably was decent size. My meal I cant remember exactly but it was a small steak and 1 serving of veggie i mean a real one serving not the huge serving. Then the desert was a slice of cheesecake. It was a full meal that lasted till the next meal time no problem. My point was that many people consider the buffets/ayce a way to eat a snack for breakfast, buffet for lunch then maybe share a cs or have another snack for dinner cause they still arent really hungry. I personally couldnt do this cause to eat enough to truely go without a substantial meal at all before sleeping for the night I would be way too uncomfortable the rest of the day. So then meals like what I got at le Cellier definitely wouldnt allow this.....So while it would be more $$ for the one credit you would still be hungry later. And I didnt go cheap we only ordered 2 meals at le Cellier for over $120.

QueenT
08-09-2006, 06:24 PM
For our 7 night stay, I have ADRs at buffets every day except our Ohana day & our Fantasmic Dinner day (Brown Derby). For one thing, we have an 18 month old with us who doesn't sit still for long. Even beyond that consideration, my ds17 & dd11 & dd21 & dh all prefer buffets so they can pick & choose their food. I am the only hold out that prefers a sit down restaurant.

The compromise is that dh & I will eat 2 sit-down dinners (one after we leave WDW) by ourselves while the kids eat counter or buffet, their choice. That way we all get what we want.

As to which restaurants, all of my choices are based on the kinds of food we like to eat, or something we want to try.

The DDP does make it easier to try foods where you might not otherwise do it (BOMA, for us).