View Full Version : Ever priced out the deluxe dining plan?

08-26-2007, 11:59 AM
I am trying to decide if we should do the regular dining, deluxe dining, or none at all for our upcoming trip. I put pencil to paper on the deluxe and where we would likely eat and order. The food and tax would cost roughly $1500, on the plan we would pay $1400. I did not include the snacks or refillable mug in our costs, so that would add another $150 or so to our costs. So basically I am comparing paying $1650.00 out of pocket to $1400.00 on the plan. It is a savings, but I'm not sure we can eat that much. Seems like all we would do would be eating.

Now that the regular plan does not include an appetizer we won't be able to share 3 meals between four people and that really makes it much less appealing. Last year we would split 3 table services meals between the four of us and then used the extra credits toward a signature meal at CG.

But I know if we pay for it all out-of-pocket I will be less likely to want to spend as much on meals.

Is anyone else dealing with this dilemma? I don't know what to do!!


08-26-2007, 12:03 PM
If you come out ahead $-wise and get more bang for your buck, I am not sure why there is a dilemma. :confused3
The deluxe plan seems to offer a lot more options and sounds great.

08-26-2007, 12:37 PM
We are planning a trip for 2008 and I too have been going over the dining plans and trying to decide. We used the plan in 06 and loved it. So I know we will be using one of the plans. It was just nice having meals payed for in advance and everyone being able to order what they wanted without worrying about the cost. The deluxe plan sounds very interesting. I would say that your decision would have to be made by deciding if you would really stop and eat that many times. I think the way we will decide is to sit down and decide exactly where we would like to eat and if we would need that many credits to include everyones choices.

08-26-2007, 02:01 PM
Last time we went to WDW with DDP we our TS meals for two averaged about to be $120 which included tip. If you eat 3 TS meals a day (could be too much food!) you'd save way more that $100-$250.

Even conservatively OOP costs would be about:
2xBuffet Breakfast = $40
2xTS Lunch = $60
2xTS Dinner = $100

Thats $200 per day. Deluxe plan is $70x2=$140? So you save $30 per person per day. A 7 night stay would save at least $420 for 2 people.

The only issue would be that many people can't eat that much in a day!

08-26-2007, 02:50 PM
I did the math, and we came out ahead. I definitely had to plug this plan though to get my mom to agree as she is a little eater and the Deluxe Plan is not exactly for the lighter eater;) However, when you look at the menus, the appetizers that tend to be more expensive are the shrimp cocktails - things like that - well, that's little. And again, your seafood entrees are more $$$ than your pasta dishes - again smaller dishes. And sorbet is less filling than that piece of chocolate cake. And my mom and I both like that type of thing. And wouldn't it be nice to try all of the signature restaurants that you haven't tried yet? That's how I talked my mom into trying the deluxe plan. :rotfl2:

She sat down and looked at every single menu and really had to think about it for a few days. It definitely isn't a good idea for everyone, but it made sense for us. We're going for 12 nights, trying every single signature restaurant, and probably skipping some meals or sub snacks for them (we'll have to - our credits won't stretch to allow 3 meals a day with so many 2 credit places). We'll figure out the savings when we get back, but I've never done a plan yet where I haven't "saved" $, including the Premium and Platinum plans.

08-26-2007, 02:52 PM
I did. It comes out a little less than we paid for food last year, considering we paid for the ddp and spend about $300-375 OOP for extra meals. It will work fine for us.

Disney MAINEiac
08-26-2007, 02:56 PM
the way we eat and dine at disney the plan has never been a bargain for us and i've never had the desire to spend that much time planning my schedule around all that dining.

besides wouldn't you save more by just doing the DDE card (assuming you have an AP)

08-26-2007, 03:05 PM
The tip is not included on the Deluxe Dining Plan so you have to add at least another $30 - $40 per day in tips for 2 people. This would bring the cost of the dining plan to approximately $180 per day for 2 people.

08-26-2007, 04:17 PM
I would say it all comes down to your eating habits, what you want, and what time of the year.
As example, during the hot summer months people will be two types. Those who want to sit inside, cool down, relax and have a nice meal.
Then there are those who will be drinking so many liquids because they are outside on the go. They will probably eat less because of filling up on cool beverages.
But I could see having a great time -- a half decent breakfast to get the day started, Garden View Tea in the afternoon :thumbsup2 and then a nice signature meal at the end of the day.
However if you are park people and want to move around camando style, then all that dining may be an issue and just get in the way.

08-27-2007, 03:24 PM
You also need to consider in the what if factor.

What if someone gets sick?
What if someone doesn't want another meal today?
What if you skip 2 scheduled meals? Is your savings gone?

We did the DDP once. While the budget part of me really really wanted to add it on, my saner DH keeps reminding me why we didn't like it.

I was obsessed with credits. Felt we couldn't skip a scheduled meal because then we would have leftover credits.

We also tend to be what do you want to do today people. We usually book (for a week's stay) 3-4 must do's then wing it the rest. (Yes, even with the ADR situation what it is today)

We will hit B&C, maybe somewhere at the Swolphin, or Flame Tree Barbecue.

The big thing that makes it not worth it to us was the MUST feeling we had all trip. (We are also DVC'ers so it was not free dining even though we were there and used it during the free DDP timeframe). We didn't use the majority of the credits. Bought things (things we normally wouldnot have bought) from Goofy's DTD. We also don't eat 3 courses at every meal.

We will stick with the DDE card and be able to dine more casually and stress free (at least for me!):cool1:

08-27-2007, 03:48 PM
We used the DP in Dec. 06 and really loved it. Normally, we don't eat at TS much at home or get appetizers when we do but when we go on vacation, we love to splurge and eat like Kings so this plan worked out wonderfully for us.

I am upset however that they removed the appetizer and now we have to pay the tips. We enjoyed not having to carry money around at all. If anything, they should have reduced the price of the regular DP by at least $5 instead of only $1.

Regarding the Deluxe plan, It sounds great and I plan to try it Dec. 08. Since I know my family cannot possibly eat 3 TS meals a day, I plan to do 2 meals per day by eating at 1 signature restaurant and 1 regular TS restaurant. The Deluxe plan gives you great flexibility on where you can eat. Now we can try different cultured food, more character meals and just have lots of relaxing time in between the park touring.

I'd try it. I just want to stress that I am not pleased with the fact that we have to pay for the tips now with all of the plans.

08-27-2007, 04:56 PM
I priced out the difference for our Nov 08 trip. It would cost $700 more than the basic dining plan for the deluxe dining plan plus all of the tips for those expensive signature restaurants.:scared1: Also, it would take at least another hour or two per sit down meal from our day. Maybe if the kids were not going:confused3

08-27-2007, 08:04 PM
As Luv2Roam keeps saying, this plan isn't for everyone. If you would normally eat 2 or 3 TS meals a day (and many people enjoy this), this plan is for you. This is how we like to eat on vacation, plan or not, and we'd have to pay for tips either way so saying that is an extra expense is moot. The 2 times we did the basic ddp we still had to pay OOP for meals b/c we like to eat 3x a day.

If you wouldn't eat like that, its not a savings. But if you do eat a couple TS meals then the savings is clear. I like a character b'fast since I don't want to wait in character lines. You don't have to eat everything at the buffet, just enough for the meal. I hate CS meals and would rather take a midday break in a restaurant than back at the hotel. I also enjoy a late and relaxing dinner, signature or otherwise. These likes and dislikes don't change depending on what packages disney offers. I'm glad to finally have a more inclusive meal option for trip where I don't book the premium package because I won't use the recreation.

08-27-2007, 08:24 PM
It really does depend on your vacation style.

For our January trip, the deluxe plan is perfect - we can have character meals just to meet the characters without fretting over the cost/value (normally the thought of $20 for me to eat a little yogurt and a cup of tea while DH has coffee and a croissant rules out character breakfasts), try all the signature restaurants, and relax knowing all our food costs for the week are covered. But we're going for a longer trip - 11 nights, with at least 2 full days for each park - so we don't mind taking time out for two sit-down meals each day, and we'll be there during the cooler weather so the heat won't interfere with our regular eating patterns.

And it helps that I'm not the type to fret over unused credits.

I worked up a spreadsheet to evaluate the plan for us. Between my ADRs and the handful of CS meals I anticipate having, I figure on about a dozen credits leftover for using between ADRs. Even if none of them get used, I come up with a savings of about $325 before taking into account snacks and the refillable mugs. Given those numbers, I'm not worried about wasting credits, because I'm already getting my money's worth and then some out of the plan. I'll use up the extra snacks, if we have them, at Goofy's on the day we check out, because we always leave our shopping for last, but if some meal credits go unused, it won't bother me.

08-28-2007, 10:20 AM
So many of you have already done the figures--I have a quick question for you. We would not want to do 3 TS a day, but maybe something like an early character breakfast, cs lunch, then a TS dinner. Would the deluxe plan still be a good deal? Or is the cost such that you would have to do all three meals as TS to at least break even? I like the idea of being able to use the credits anyway you choose, to give more flexiblity. Plus, I can certainly see that with this plan you shouldn't have any OOP meals (just the tips).

08-28-2007, 11:06 AM
So many of you have already done the figures--I have a quick question for you. We would not want to do 3 TS a day, but maybe something like an early character breakfast, cs lunch, then a TS dinner. Would the deluxe plan still be a good deal? Or is the cost such that you would have to do all three meals as TS to at least break even? I like the idea of being able to use the credits anyway you choose, to give more flexiblity. Plus, I can certainly see that with this plan you shouldn't have any OOP meals (just the tips).

I don't have more than 2 TS meals planned for any one day, and the deluxe plan makes good financial sense for us. We do have a lot of signature dinners planned, so there are days where we'll use all 3 credits for 2 meals.

The best way to decide is to do the math yourself. If you clik on the spreadsheet link in my sig, there is a spreadsheet I designed just for this purpose. Each line represents one person's order, and I figured out likely choices and set up the spreadsheet to calculate tax and the total value. I also set up a column for OOP tips to get an idea of what I'd have to budget for that.

08-28-2007, 11:08 AM
When I origianlly priced out the plan I did several signature meals, several breakfast buffets, and some table service lunches. It would save us some money. I'm just not sure that the savings justifies eating like a pig for a week. But hey it is vacation :goodvibes :goodvibes


08-28-2007, 11:09 AM
For adults a character bfast is about $20, CS lunch $10, 2 snacks for $5 which leaves $35 value for dinner. Even a dinner buffet will run about $30. I don't think you'd have hard time breaking even without a TS lunch.