View Full Version : Question about using your DDP on certain days

05-12-2009, 08:41 AM
I'm trying to get a scope on how we will use our Disney Dining plan - basic. Our first trip is in October, and I'm wondering what combination works out best for your family.

Do you do one sit down meal a day?
Or do you do maybe a Character meal one day, then just counter service the next day?
I'm trying to get a good idea so I can come up with a good combination. We like sit down restaurants and good food. But I don't think we want to spend two hours for a sit down meal every day either. What works best for you? Thank you!

05-12-2009, 08:53 AM
We love the dining plan. For breakfast I bring pop tarts and cereal bars for the room. We then have CS for lunch and then do our TS for dinner. It works out really good. We use our snacks whenever. During our last trip in October we still had a bunch of snack credits left over so we went to World Showcase and used them on the food samples for F&W festival.

05-12-2009, 09:03 AM
we've done basic dining, free dining and deluxe dining. Deluxe was too much food & too much restaurant time for us. Basic/free dining was perfect.

We used the counter service credits for lunch every day - either in the park we spent the morning at, or back at the resort if we were taking a rest/swim break. We used table service for dinner every night. We stopped at park bakery before our mid-day breaks & bought pastries for next day's breakfast with our snack credits (take large zip-lock bags to keep them fresh.) We rarely wanted in-between meal snacks in the park...Disney meals kept us well fed. For the occasional Mickey ice cream bar or dole whip, we paid cash usually. We really liked the air conditioned table service meal every day - great relaxation time & made it feel more like "vacation" to have food served to you in a beautiful setting (all their restaurants are so nicely decorated & themed.)

Couple of things - one, it rarely takes two hours to eat a Disney restaurant meal - they are VERY efficient getting the orders processed, cooked & served. Two hours would be at a Signature restaurant (the two credit places like California Grille, Jiko's, etc.) More common is for people to feel a little rushed. If you are not getting appetizers (they don't come with the basic/free dining meals) it will not take you 2 hours to eat at a Disney restaurant - the vast majority of our Disney restaurant meals were 1 hour or less. And two, most Disney character meals are just one table service credit (only the dinner shows like Hoop Dee Doo or Aloha are 2 table service; also all meals in the castle are 2 table service.) So the Disney character meals are a fabulous opportunity to do character meet & greets without standing in long hot lines in sweltering heat & humidity. Even with having the characters stop at your table for pictures you'll still average maybe an hour & 15-20 minutes for character meals.

05-12-2009, 11:15 AM
We are going for 8 nights in less than two weeks. We have the basic dining plan for 2 adults and one disney adult. We are eating two character breakfasts, two table service lunches and four table service dinners. We figured out where we wanted to eat and then went from there. Based on our eating habits we will still save money. You save nothing if you worry about "maximizing" the plan. Eat where you want and order what you want. That is the point of the plan. Now, we will eat two table service meals, one lunch and one dinner, on the day we are DHS. I figured that it being Star Wars Weekend it would be wise to have ressies and not have to attempt to get a CS meal somewhere.

cheap traveler
05-12-2009, 01:16 PM
I generally plan one counter service and one table service a day. We don't usually eat at 2-credit places, so it works out well. What meals we eat table service changes every year. This year our table service meals consist of 2 character breakfasts, 2 character lunches, and 2 character dinners. Hmm, just realized that ALL of our sit-down meals are character. But with 2 little girls that is perfect for us. All of our other breakfasts will probably consist of something easy in our room, and counter service lunches and dinners are spread out between parks and our hotel.
Last point, I agree with the person who said sit down meals should not take 2 hours. Usually one hour. The exception I have noticed is Chef Mickey's. Don't know why, but we always spend more time there.
Have fun!!

05-12-2009, 02:14 PM
We generally do breakfast in our villa.CS lunch and then a sitdown dinner.OR we do a TS breakfast and CS dinner and snack for lunch.

05-12-2009, 02:29 PM
If you only do a table service every other day are you going to add some signature restaurants to use up your table service credits?

05-12-2009, 09:53 PM
Last time

1st day- cs only as we went to Sea World so didnt check into the resort til late

mon- ts for breakfast, cs for supper

tues, wed thurs- cs lunch, ts supper ( breakfast was donuts in the room)

Friday- ts breakfast, TS supper

Saturday-cs breakfast before heading home

This trip

first day- cs for lunch, then getting a pizza oop

the rest- cs lunch, ts dinner, breakfast in the room of donuts or pop tart

last day ts breakfast

05-13-2009, 12:12 AM
We usually stuck with the one TS meal per day. I think one day we had two planned-breakfast and dinner.

I found that the lunch/early dinner TS were a nice break from the heat.