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View Full Version : Help! Which trip is the better deal?


rmjkharrisfam
01-11-2010, 10:26 AM
Hi -
So I REALLY want to get to Disney this year and I almost have my DH convinced. I've had 2 trips quoted for me with the different offers that are out there right now (%off room or gift card). Which is the better deal?

Here are the details: Both trips are for 5 of us (me, DH, DS7, DD5, and DD1)

Trip #1
Dates: May 8th - 15th
Resort: Pop Century
Tickets: 6 day park hopper tickets
Dining: Disney basic dining plan
Total: $2,500.76

Trip #2
Same as above except no dining plan but a $300 gift card at check in that we would use for food.
Total: $2,004.30

Is $300 enough for food? I haven't been without the dining plan in years. I'm also EXTEMELY flexible on dates and resorts. So if anyone knows of a better time/resort/etc feel free to let me know.

Help me Budget boarders!

jmb120
01-11-2010, 10:30 AM
I just did almost the same calculations for my family for April 30th through May 7th. We decided to go with the room discount since I don't think that the gift card will cover all our meals especially if planning some sit down meals. Also I liked knowing that I didn't have to worry about the cost of food and how much money would be left on the GC.

kaytieeldr
01-11-2010, 10:33 AM
$300 probably isn't enough for food - but look at it this way. You'll have that $300, pluse up to the $500 difference between the two packages, to apply to food.

java
01-11-2010, 10:35 AM
wouldn't you have $800? A $300 gift card plus the $500 savings on the package?

We are not fans of the dining plan. We like to eat the way we want how we want maybe just all appetizers? Or whatever.
So I vote Plan B

rmjkharrisfam
01-11-2010, 10:44 AM
Hmmm, I didn't think of it that way - $800 savings. I'm torn though, because I do like not having to worry about paying for food.

Other opinions?

momof1princess
01-11-2010, 10:45 AM
my family of 3 spent approximately $620 on food and snacks (very few) in 6 days in June, 2009, and that was only 3 sit-down meals. with a family of four (baby eats free) the price would, of course, be higher. you might be able to come out about even, depending on the # of TS meals you were planning. we did biergarten (supper), crystal palace (lunch) and tusker house (breakfast). i had $650 in disney gift cards to use for food and there was about $30 left on them after our last meal. HTH!

DawnM
01-11-2010, 10:48 AM
It sounds like you are leaning towards the dining plan.

Dawn

Hmmm, I didn't think of it that way - $800 savings. I'm torn though, because I do like not having to worry about paying for food.

Other opinions?

hedgehog2owl
01-11-2010, 10:59 AM
I booked almost the exact trip, at pop. we went with the room only discount, and will buy tickets from Undercover tourist. Even though buying the room at rack rate with the dining added on WITH the $300 figured out was about $100 saving BUT it was more out of pocket and I wasn't convinced that the dining plan would save us money on food.

skw444
01-11-2010, 11:02 AM
For me the deciding factor would be how many sit down meals you want and how many character meals you want.

For our family of 4, we love sit down meals to relax and really enjoy the character meals. Our last trip, we did 4 character meals and 3 sit down dinners. It was at least $100 per meal for the character meals and sit down dinners. So, $700 for us...this was not including breakfast, lunch or snacks. For us, the dining plan is well worth the cost.

If you plan on sit down meals or character dining, $800 might not be enough to cover you for the week.

rmjkharrisfam
01-11-2010, 11:13 AM
It sounds like you are leaning towards the dining plan.

Dawn

Am I that obvious?? ;) I am but DH wants to be VERY cost conscious this trip. I thought it would be interesting to find out what others have spent on food. I wasn't sure $300 would cover. Doesn't sound like it will.....

hedgehog2owl
01-11-2010, 11:20 AM
when I calculated it for our 5 day trip for our 2 adults one child (sharing CS breakfast, sharing CS lunch, 2 TS dinners, 2 character meals) it did not cover our meals, but what I calculated cost less than the dining plan...so its a danged if you did, danged if you don't. I see it as the GC is compensation for the money you would of saved booking room only....so no big diff in anything really. I guess it depends if you want to eat TS everyday or not, and if you will share CS meals and whatnot, or if miday 'snack' could be your lunch, etc.

either way no (or slight in one way or another) big savings over one or the other. :confused3

Smile4Me
01-11-2010, 11:20 AM
Why not create a fake menu of what you think your family might eat during that time and price it out using the menus here on the DIS? That would be a more accurate way to estimate, since you'll know what your family's needs are better than anyone else. Good luck!

3boymthr
01-11-2010, 11:30 AM
I was debating DDP vs. no DDP last year and was glad I did it. I did create a spreadsheet to see if it was worth it. I also went back after the fact and determined that I actually saved about what I predicted tho the costs were higher some places and lower in others. Let me know if you want the spreadsheet and I will e-mail it to you.

My kids are slightly older than yours so our daily costs were slightly higher but our total cost for 5 people was approx $52/QS meal and just under $100 for TS meal. Breakfast was primarily snacks options but the OOP cost would have been $30/meal. Which is a cost of $180/day. This doesn't include additional OOP costs of $200 for the week for extra drinks/snacks not covered by the DDP; DH wouldn't let me bring food from home - that cost would have gone down to about $80 if he had let me bring juice boxes, water, etc.

momof1princess
01-11-2010, 11:43 AM
Why not create a fake menu of what you think your family might eat during that time and price it out using the menus here on the DIS? That would be a more accurate way to estimate, since you'll know what your family's needs are better than anyone else. Good luck!

OP, this is what i did. i used menus and prices on allearsnet.com to estimate what we would spend each day on food, then allowed an extra $15 per day for snacks (DD and i rarely eat them, and DH only gets the occasional soft drink). make sure you figure in the cost of tips for TS meals, no matter which trip you choose-they're not covered on the dining plan anymore.

MagicalMawMaw
01-11-2010, 11:50 AM
I love the dining plan too because we can eat wherever we want w/o worrying about cost.

Just a thought...but want about not going hoppers & save that $ on the tickets & use the difference toward dining? I'm always too tired to hop to a different park & that is even going w/o kids.

rmjkharrisfam
01-11-2010, 12:11 PM
Why not create a fake menu of what you think your family might eat during that time and price it out using the menus here on the DIS? That would be a more accurate way to estimate, since you'll know what your family's needs are better than anyone else. Good luck!

That's a great idea!

rmjkharrisfam
01-11-2010, 12:16 PM
I love the dining plan too because we can eat wherever we want w/o worrying about cost.

Just a thought...but want about not going hoppers & save that $ on the tickets & use the difference toward dining? I'm always too tired to hop to a different park & that is even going w/o kids.

I've considered but that's DH requirement. He really likes to jump back and forth. Plus we typically won't spend an entire day at EPCOT for example but will instead go at night to walk the countries when it's cooler. We'll usually do that a couple times a trip.

tzolkin
01-11-2010, 12:35 PM
Will you have a car?

We drive, so we always go to the grocery store our first day. We eat breakfast in the room (or on the way to the bus stop ;) ), bring snacks with us into the parks, and also have food in the room for when we return for our afternoon break and in the evening. We only drink water in the parks (but we have milk, juice, and soda in the room).

This saves us hundreds of dollars on food and just works better for our family. DH & I don't like to eat a full meal when we're hot and we have little kids who would prefer to snack throughout the day as well. We usually eat about one full CS meal per day. (We often stop twice, but just get a few meals to share each time.) We will also order a pizza at the hotel a few evenings. Even just eating one CS meal per day we still spent about $250 on food (not including the cost of the groceries), but we stay for more days.

If you're planing to eat like you would on the dining plan (one full TS, one full CS meal, and snacks per person each day) than $300 will not go very far. I would think even the full $800 savings might be cutting it close.

TheCampbells
01-11-2010, 01:28 PM
Let me know if you want the spreadsheet and I will e-mail it to you.

.


I would love to see this as your family is almost the same as mine. :)

BTW I see your from SE Ma, did you drive or fly?

poohfriend
01-11-2010, 01:40 PM
the spring room only discount + dining
vs
gift card offer + dining
difference $272

or spring only+ tickets 1745.04
vs gift card offer + tickets 2004.30
difference 259 slight edge to gift card

If you'll eat sit-down meals...the dining plan is a better choice. If you only want 1 or two sit-down meals and will eat some in your room the gift card option may save you money. (One sit-down character meal will be around $100 for your family!)




My theory is this...Disney will get the money out of you one way or another. Determine if you want your meals pre-paid. If so, get the meal plan on either offer.


I've spent more time doing the math problem here than you'll save on your trip by worrying over it.

Select the meal plan since that's what your heart wants to do. And then be careful about buying extras there. (Be sure to factor in tips for sit-down meals if you choose the meal plan.)

I personally am an advocate of the meal plan. Will save you 30% if you do sit-down meals and enjoy dessert. You have nicer vacation meals than if you pay out of pocket and "deny" yourself certain items with budget in mind.

kellydizfan
01-11-2010, 02:21 PM
I would go with the Dining plan - Counter Service even. I wish I had done it in July but my kids are older but they really don't eat that much. We spent more on food then it would have cost with the dining plan. We at at Chef Mickys the first night, then we had lunch at Prime Time and dinner at Rainforest and one night at T-Rex for my Son's 9th B-day. The rest of the time we went off site and also at breakfast in the room and lunch carried with us also. What a pain in the butt to have to track down food like that. I won't do it again. Dining plan all the way.