View Full Version : Please help! Opinions needed - Which option would you choose?

05-02-2009, 01:42 PM
We are going to be in WDW May 24-29. We are trying to decide which Dining Plan to choose or to choose NOT to do the Dining Plan.

Here are our plans. I would love opinions on what you think are the most practical options money wise and value wise...

Option 1
Use the quick service plan and save for the 2 character meals we really want to go to most: Chef Mickey's and The Storybook breakfast in Epcot. We might have extra CS credits this way. (We could use them on arrival & departure days)

Option 2
Pay 100-150 more and get the plan that includes a TS, CS, and snack.

Option 3
No Dining Plan at all

What do you think?

05-02-2009, 03:16 PM
Anyone?? Pretty pleeeasee???:flower3:

Smiling Cheshire Cat
05-02-2009, 03:35 PM
I've been doing the same math as you but I've got until December to figure it out.:rotfl:

I crunched numbers for us, we are party of 3 Disney adults and one child, and quick service didn't make sense if we were going to do any TS. By the time we paid OOP for the 2 TS meals that we wanted to do, it was less than $100 to just by basic DDP.

I am so OCD about my Disney planning that I looked at menus trying to guess where we would eat, what everyone would order, and then I put in about $10 a day for snacks which is probably on the low side and we were just about $100 less than the cost of the regular DDP.

So I think that is what we are going to do. It is worth $100 to me to not have to worry about what the cost of something is when I order. We did DDP on our last trip and I really liked this convience and I liked having TS once a day. It was too much food, but I think we'll try it again.

05-02-2009, 03:42 PM
I personally would do option 2....I'm sure that in 5 days you will eat more than $90 in food, drinks and snacks a day...unless you don't eat at all...lol..

05-02-2009, 04:50 PM
We are the same "family" 2A, 1C going for 5 nights. We've enjoyed the Basic DP and are doing it again.

The math says do a DP and Do the Basic Plan:
Cost Savings by choosing QS Plan: $110 ($22/night, 5 nights)
CM's Breakfast - $53.25
PSB Breakfast - $80.92

I chose breakfasts as those would be cheapest meals to pay for OOP. If you chose Dinner or Lunch those meals would cost even more. When you pay OOP you have to pay taxes. When you use a DP credit the taxes were included in the DP fee. That is a 6.5% "discount".

I would suggest these other TS meals:
Boma - Breakfast or Dinner
Coral Reef - Lunch or Dinner (might be hard to get now, but your daughter will likely enjoy the aquarium and it isn't a buffet, so a nice treat meal for you and DH too.)

If you decide not to do CR or Boma treat yourself to a Signature meal. We chose Narcoossee's. Our 5/6yo was very comfortable there and the food, service, etc. were awesome. By far the best meal of the trip and we had good meals all around.

05-03-2009, 11:24 PM
Allison, I spent a good bit of time tinkering with the same questions you've dealt with, and any way I could figure, the basic plan was the best. Like a PP said, any out of pocket table service meals throws the whole thing out of kilter.

I'm a native Alabamian, btw. I miss my home state! (which is probably unfathomable for anyone north of the Mason-Dixon line).

05-03-2009, 11:37 PM

1. It is nice to not have to worry about the price for dinner.
2. When the kids want an ice cream or a smoothie it is nice to say yes and again not worry
3. By the middle of the vacation, you are really going to be tired of the QS options. They seem to be similar for kids everywhere...

05-04-2009, 12:01 AM
I'd go for the regular plan. Like others have said, just one TS meal is pretty close to the cost of the plan per day.

I would do Chef Mickey for dinner not breakfast and swap around for the Storybook one. Like use your TS for the breakfast, have a bakery item around lunchtime, and then do a CS dinner at Wolfgang Puck or Pepper Market.

The one thing I would say is not to use snack credits for pop or ice cream. Pay for that stuff oop, and use the snack credits for breakfasts. Unless you absolutely need a huge morning meal, most of the bakery type snacks + an oop drink can easily sub for a decent breakfast.

05-04-2009, 07:35 PM
The one thing I would say is not to use snack credits for pop or ice cream. Pay for that stuff oop, and use the snack credits for breakfasts. Unless you absolutely need a huge morning meal, most of the bakery type snacks + an oop drink can easily sub for a decent breakfast.

This may vary greatly from family to family. We used SC for snacks which sometimes meant ice cream treats or bottled beverages. You could also spend a CS credit for breakfast, get two beverages and either an entree platter or couple of bakery items. My mother was a great spender of our snack credits, made her happy, which made me happy!

05-04-2009, 09:14 PM
Thanks for the ideas... Very helpful. We are still trying to decide. I don't like to eat heavy meals at night (indigestion:sick:), and don't like to eat alot of fried foods for the same reason. DD eats very little, but loves breakfast foods, so breakfast ADR's would be good for us. Then again, I think about the possibility of bringing our own sandwiches w/ snacks , fruit, etc. for lunch or dinner and eating at 1-2 character meals and the rest QS meals to save $$. To be more clear -Have 2 favorite Character meals during trip. On those days, eat a sandwich / snack. On the days we don't have a TS meal, have a QS meal and a sandwich / snack. Part of me hates to spend all of that $$ on the DDP if we might not finish all of our meals. I just can't seem to get the math right to see what is the better deal. That's $90 x 5 nights. I just don't know what to do... I worry WAY too much. I am very budget conscious - which is good - but I tend to OVER analyze, which I hate. I hope I will eventually figure this out!:rolleyes1

Thanks for all of your help. Any more suggestions / comments are much appreciated!

05-04-2009, 10:10 PM
We are doing the QSDP with one ADR-Breakfast at Ohanas that we will pay for OOP. We chose this plan for the flexibility. We have two very young boys and being tied to ADR's aren't always a good idea or even feasible unless we want a meltdown/disaster.

I crunched numbers, looked at menus and analyzed last years receipts (I also tend to be a bit of a fanatic) I know we will save money with this and eat all the food because our youngest (under two) will be sharing from the adult meals and we plan on printing the snack list out so I can maximize those and use as meals for youngest DS.

05-05-2009, 02:33 AM
On the Basic DP the fact that your child eats so little is kind of a moot point.

Cost for one child at Chef Mickey's and PSB Breakfast meals: $33
Her total DP cost for the week is $55, so for $22 she gets to eat
3 More TS meals, 5 more CS meals and 5 more snacks
In other words she's pretty much eating for free that week.

It is easy to skip fried foods at WDW, I think I had 2 fried items on a 5 night trip.

You can book breakfasts or lunches for TS meals to alleviate the indegestion issues. Often lunch can be as late as 3pm.

I hope you've already booked CM's and PSB. :thumbsup2

05-05-2009, 08:21 AM
My first question is have you made your ADRs? If not you are not likely to get them. Those are the 2 most popular.

Personally I would go with the Quick service plan. We don't like to be held down by ADRs. Plus I am spoiled I got used to Tips being included, now they aren't. Another thing about the Quick Service Plan is that you get a resort mug and that would cover your coffee every morning. A $13+ value per person. The extra CS credits you would have because you are paying out of pocket for the TS you could use at Earl of Sandwich for the ride home. I see it says you are from Alabama so I am guessing that you are driving. The extra Snack Credits could be used to bring friends and family Disney Lollipops. Thats what my girls do. I'll pay out of pocket for a $2 coke and she'll use the snack credit for a $3.95 lollipop.

When we went last year we stopped at CSR many times to get Pepper Market takeout, to take back to ASMu. They seem like the only restaurant that offers a real salad. Its considered CS though dessert is either a muffin or cookie. At All Stars you can ask them to "hold" your dessert, meaning you will be back for it within the hour if you want ice cream. We liked getting the apples and caramel. For the drinks we always get juices to save for breakfast the next day.

First thing to do is call and see if you can get those ADRs. If you go with Quick Service let us know how it worked out for you.

Have Fun!

05-05-2009, 09:09 AM
If you have not booked your ADRs yet.....I think your only option would be the QS plan. Many of the character meals you want needed to be booked 2 months ago.:confused3

05-05-2009, 07:41 PM
I have already made all of my ADR's. actually have 6 ADR's right now. I am just trying to decide if I want to keep all of them & use the DDP, or just pick 2and pay OOP. Decisions, Decisions. I just can't decide if I can justify the cost of the DDP w/ no tips and no mugs. We are on a tighter budget this trip, so it is making the decision a little harder.

05-05-2009, 08:57 PM
Glad you already have ADRs booked! First, are you willing to part with four of them? But I think that if you are going for the most cost effective you should should just keep your two character ADRs and pay oop for the rest. I bet that if you do what you said, have 1 qs and then bring a sandwich or snack, that it would end up being cheaper than the qsdp. If you're on a tight budget, then even that extra 100 dollars can be a lot. Good luck with your decision!