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TheCharmingLizard
06-01-2009, 11:04 AM
It's me and my husband and my 3 and 5 year old. The 3 year old is a camel - basically eats one big meal a day :laughing:, and my 5 year old won't eat breakfast, but is ok the rest of the day.

We'll be in the parks for 5 1/2 - 6 days.... we already reserved one character dining experience, and that's all we really want to do.

Am I making a foolish, fooish mistake?

And if I am... is it too late to fix?

Thanks in advance!!

chirogrrl
06-01-2009, 11:17 AM
I don't think it's foolish at all! Actually, I think you have a very good handle on your family's eating habits ;)

On our first trip, when our kids were 3 and 5, we didn't do the dining plan. We had 2 character meals and then just ate when we were hungry. We only spent about $300 on food for 5 days and nobody went hungry :) It was also nice to not be tied to reservations everyday...our kids' appetites were kind of unpredictable at that time!

Last time, we decided to try the dining so that we could do more character meals. We honestly had a hard time eating all of the food and really didn't need to have a sit-down meal everyday. So we are not doing it on this trip!

If you don't care about sitting down for a meal everyday, you may even prefer not having the dining plan.

Have fun!

chirogrrl
06-01-2009, 11:20 AM
Oh yeah, I should also mention that we stopped for a few groceries on the way to our hotel. We often ate a light breakfast in our room and usually snacked there as well. So that helped keep costs down and it was really convenient!

TheCharmingLizard
06-01-2009, 11:30 AM
Thank you so much!

We do plan on picking up breakfast items to eat in the resort, and I was thinking of getting a loaf of bread and some peanut butter / small snack items for desperate NEED FOOD NOW moments.

I never took kids with me before - and last time I went they still had the voucher system.

I always tend to under do it or over do it - neither being a good alternative when it comes to food. :goodvibes

onejellyshelly
06-01-2009, 11:40 AM
We like the DP because it allows us to take breaks and do a sit down meal.

DT83097
06-01-2009, 11:42 AM
I second the "it's not foolish" from chirogrrl. We are traveling with an almost 7and almost 4 year old for 6 full days and we decided against the plan too. We booked 3 TS meals (one character) and the rest will be QS and we will have breakfast foods from Garden Grocer in the room.
My DH and I used the free DDP 2 years ago and it was an incredible amount of food - way more than we would eat normally (but it was free so we tried it)! However, when traveling with little ones we tend to be more 'go with the flow' becuase you never know when the heat, crowds, entertainment overload is going to hit them! Not having set reservations everyday allows us a little more flexibility. Also we ran through some of the menus at the restaurants we would likely eat at and ran the numbers - for our group we think it will be cheaper to just pay OOP for what we will eat on any given day.
Trust your gut and enjoy!

snykymom
06-01-2009, 12:57 PM
The DDP is not for everyone. Last time we went, we did do a sit-down meal every day, but were not on the plan. Even then, it worked out better and cheaper for us. We shared entrees. We got appetizers. Sometimes I got 2 appetizers instead of an entree. We ate what we wanted, when we wanted. I didn't have to keep track of credits. I didn't care if something was on the plan or not. I didn't care if the restaurant we wanted to eat at was on the plan or not. I wasn't tempted to "get the most" out of something I'd already paid for. I estimated what we'd spend for food, and then decided to see if I had been right without keeping track. I was, and we had a better time than trying to fit our eating habits into the plan.

I don't think you're making a mistake at all!

TheCharmingLizard
06-01-2009, 01:08 PM
Thanks for the input! I was reading all the threads extolling the virtues of the dining plan, and just wanted to be sure.

You have all helped ease my mind!

tortoni
06-01-2009, 01:12 PM
I think you'll be fine, especially with young children. The DDP gives you a lot of sit-down dining experiences that might be too much for the little ones. You know what your kids like and you can add or delete food experiences as they work for you without feeling like you are not getting the full value of DDP. We have used and not used it and I feel it is easier without it because it gives us the freedom to choose and we don't eat as many desserts.

B-Ride
06-01-2009, 04:11 PM
Our first two trips when our kids were younger we ate all CS and never regretted it. Half the time for lunch I didn't even get anything and just finished what the kids didn't eat.

Once your kids get older and enjoy a sit down meal then the Dining Plan starts to make sense. Also, once you have been to the park a few times you aren't as rushed to see everything and are willing to sit down every day for a meal and relax a bit.

BelleBway
06-01-2009, 04:32 PM
The DDP is not for everyone. Last time we went, we did do a sit-down meal every day, but were not on the plan. Even then, it worked out better and cheaper for us. We shared entrees. We got appetizers. Sometimes I got 2 appetizers instead of an entree. We ate what we wanted, when we wanted. I didn't have to keep track of credits. I didn't care if something was on the plan or not. I didn't care if the restaurant we wanted to eat at was on the plan or not. I wasn't tempted to "get the most" out of something I'd already paid for. I estimated what we'd spend for food, and then decided to see if I had been right without keeping track. I was, and we had a better time than trying to fit our eating habits into the plan.


I just want to thank you for this post, since this is pretty much my approach to my upcoming trip. I've been debating whether I should add a dining plan because we did end up booking an average of 1 sit down meal a day. But I keep going back to the fact that I like having flexibility- and I don't like the idea the fact that if, say, someone gets sick and we have to cancel an ADR or something, I'd be losing money because I'd be left with unused table service credits.... or else I'd have to scamper to try to fit in something else that we may not really want to do just to get my money's worth (not that I plan to cancel ADR's of course!) I also generally don't like eating dessert with my meals- I'd rather grab a snack later.

I don't think the dining plans are necessarily bad for everyone- but I'd just rather just pay as we go and not worry about credits. Until now, I guess I thought I was the only one who felt that way.

Unrelated, but funny question from dn :flower3:, age 11, this wknd: "Do they have ice cream at Disney World?" :rotfl: I can't wait to spoil them with Disney magic! :)

brittsmum1998
06-01-2009, 05:05 PM
You are not making a mistake at all. This is the first time we are doing the dining plan and thats because it is free. We have been more than 20 times. We really don't like to be confined to a certain time/place for sit down meals. You never know where you might be. Your children are still young and you want/need to be flexible. My dd11 stll wants to be flexible.

Again, if it wasn't free I wouldn't waste my time.

Enjoy your flexible schedule.

winterman
06-01-2009, 05:28 PM
We like the DP because it allows us to take breaks and do a sit down meal.


You don't need to be on the DDP to do that. If you are not on the DDP you can make as many or as few ADRs as you choose.

:cheer2::cheer2::cheer2:

dburg30
06-01-2009, 05:33 PM
We like the DP because it allows us to take breaks and do a sit down meal.

You don't need to be on the DDP to do that. If you are not on the DDP you can make as many or as few ADRs as you choose.

:cheer2::cheer2::cheer2:


I agree with the above reply, not sure what the exact point was of saying that you need to DP to be able to take breaks and do a sit down meal?? If anything the DP makes it harder to take breaks because you almost HAVE to schedule meals to make it worth while having. It's not like you can just waltz in anywhere and have a sit down meal if you are on the DP, you still have to make ressies and such.

tiffany2009
06-01-2009, 07:43 PM
We have three kids: DS 5.5, DS 5.5, DD 3. We went during free dining last year and got the quick service plan this April. Next time no dining plan for us! Overall it is too much food.

For the regular plan we ate TS once per day. That was too difficult for us to be at a specific place on time and in a great mood.

On the quick service plan we found ourselves eating a lot of desserts we did not want.

I think it makes economical sense when your kids are older and eat more.

Have fun!

Princess Disney Mom
06-02-2009, 12:09 PM
Stick with what you are doing. When my kids were younger we did 6 nights at Disney and spent about $350 for food. Now that they are teens, yikes!!!
Save your money for later.