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View Full Version : Can someone help me? Is the DDP worth it for us?


principessa0ox
05-16-2010, 02:01 PM
I've never been to Disney, but whenever I heard about it I always thought the DDP was a savings. However, whenever I do the math it comes out that we'd pay less without the DDP. Can someone help me? Please? Is it really better for us without it even though we're doing lots of TS meals?

We are doing 7 nights (Prices from wdwinfo.com .. are they accurate?)

Sunday: T-Rex (which isn't on the DDP, so we'd have to pay OOP no matter what)
Monday: Crystal Palace $18.99
Tuesday: Donald's Safari Breakfast (no price? but I think I saw $21.99?) Yak & Yeti, we won't order appetizers but we may get dessert - I estimate $60 before tip)
Wednesday: Akershus lunch $30.99
Thursday: Sci-Fi Dine-In (we probably won't order appetizers, maybe a dessert but maybe not since its lunch. we'll probably end up getting burgers and milkshakes - I estimate $40 before tip)
Friday: Play 'n Dine at Hollywood and Vine $26.99
Cinderella's Royal Table (already paid for)
Saturday: Boma $33.01

So I guess on the days we'll have 1 TS, we'll also eat CS at some point. The days we have 2 TS I don't know if we'd need the CS? I guess we probably would use them later at night, or if our daughter gets hungry during the day. I was figuring $15 each/day for CS and $3/day for the snack. Is that right?

I get $616 for all the meals on the DDP above (minus CRT since we already paid) +$30/day for 2 CS meals & $6/day for 2 snacks.

The dining plan would be $658. Sorry for the novel, but I don't know if I'm estimating right.

larsnshan
05-16-2010, 02:17 PM
Alot of us don't get the dining plan strictly for a cost savings - instead we get it for budgeting purposes (pay off before the trip) and the convenience (not having to carry alot of money or worry about what we are spending every minute). If you have figured out exactly what you think you will eat and it is cheaper it may not be the right choice for you. I just know that if I was paying out of pocket I would constantly be thinking about money. For example I may not get what I really want to eat at a meal, because it is too expensive or skip a snack I really want because I don't want to go over the $6 a day budget. That is just me though. I do think the prices you found are pretty accurate, but the snacks may cost you more than $3 a piece. Also, did you figure in drinks to your non-buffet restaurants? I drink a lot of water, but every now and then I need something else. Finally, remember you will be doing a lot of walking and that always makes me more hungry :). Just my 2 cents.

mari360
05-16-2010, 02:32 PM
When I go to WDW i get the DDP like the PP stated for the convinience of having the trip paid for. Plus at the time that you are going it is going to be HOT so you can use your snack credits for water also. I think the convinience of not having to carry too much money in the parks is great. But if your family is not going to win with it then it would be better for you and your family to just not purchase the DDP.

Cafeen
05-16-2010, 02:55 PM
I've never been to Disney, but whenever I heard about it I always thought the DDP was a savings. However, whenever I do the math it comes out that we'd pay less without the DDP. Can someone help me? Please? Is it really better for us without it even though we're doing lots of TS meals?

We are doing 7 nights (Prices from wdwinfo.com .. are they accurate?)

Sunday: T-Rex (which isn't on the DDP, so we'd have to pay OOP no matter what)
Monday: Crystal Palace $18.99
Tuesday: Donald's Safari Breakfast (no price? but I think I saw $21.99?) Yak & Yeti, we won't order appetizers but we may get dessert - I estimate $60 before tip)
Wednesday: Akershus lunch $30.99
Thursday: Sci-Fi Dine-In (we probably won't order appetizers, maybe a dessert but maybe not since its lunch. we'll probably end up getting burgers and milkshakes - I estimate $40 before tip)
Friday: Play 'n Dine at Hollywood and Vine $26.99
Cinderella's Royal Table (already paid for)
Saturday: Boma $33.01

So I guess on the days we'll have 1 TS, we'll also eat CS at some point. The days we have 2 TS I don't know if we'd need the CS? I guess we probably would use them later at night, or if our daughter gets hungry during the day. I was figuring $15 each/day for CS and $3/day for the snack. Is that right?

I get $616 for all the meals on the DDP above (minus CRT since we already paid) +$30/day for 2 CS meals & $6/day for 2 snacks.

The dining plan would be $658. Sorry for the novel, but I don't know if I'm estimating right.
Last year, I picked it up for my first trip in 18(ish) years, it was a better deal than a room discount though since I got it "free" (I took my friend and her then 2 1/2 year old daughter). This year, I decided on the DxDDP since I'm going solo and I plan to hit a bunch of places.

Last year, we planned quite a few character meals and such. It did end up saving quite a bit of money vs paying OOP (or getting a room discount and paying for the plan). This year, I'm also saving money on the deluxe (which, admittedly is a better value if you can plan it out), but I'm also going for the convenience.

After I made all my plans this year (actually, inspired by a similar post), I went ahead and started developing a fairly comprehensive spreadsheet to estimate not only a single itinerary, but up to four at the same time (One with DxDDP, one with DDP, one with QSDP, and one as OOP) to allow you to enter in what you would get on each plan (and you can skip ones you aren't interested in of course). If interested, the link is in my signature below. I'll also try and run some of the numbers you posted through it (since I can probably work it faster than someone who's never seen it :p) and let you know what I come up with as well.

principessa0ox
05-16-2010, 03:20 PM
Thank you everyone!! I would love it for convenience, because, like you've mentioned, I will probably cheap out once I see the prices of things if we don't have the DDP. However, my fiance only wants to buy it if it saves us money. :p Thank you for the link, Cafeen, I am going to try it out now! :)

Cafeen
05-16-2010, 03:29 PM
Thank you everyone!! I would love it for convenience, because, like you've mentioned, I will probably cheap out once I see the prices of things if we don't have the DDP. However, my fiance only wants to buy it if it saves us money. :p Thank you for the link, Cafeen, I am going to try it out now! :)
And, just for reference, I went in and plopped everything in. Looks like you'd save about 6$ by not doing the DDP assuming you ordered the same stuff. That skipped dessert at Sci-Fi (included in the DDP) would save you another 15 or so dollars.

So, in reality, it's pretty much a wash. One thing you may not have considered in your estimations was the 6.5% tax rate. This is included in the cost of the DDP (and thus, absorbed when paying by DDP), but would be added expense when paying oop.

Note: I also just found a bug on the sheet... it will add tax to the DDP out of pocket cost based on the # of snack credits used (so, it will add $1.07 cents per credit heh, whoops!), that's not going to add a whole lot to the total outcome though, and it'll be fixed in the next version.

ETA: Also, it looks like you'd have 4 total left over QS credits as well, so any use of those (even for cheap/split meals) would add even more savings.

Carl Fredricksen
05-16-2010, 03:37 PM
I would go OOP on T-Rex and Sci-Fi and get the DDP for the rest. You can get the DDP and call to have 2 TS credits used towards CRT, which will get you a refund that you can apply to the DDP. I didn't run your numbers exactly, but you should save about 80 bucks or so I think with the DDP this way, and everything will be taken care of for the most part before you get there.

Also, AllEars is showing some different prices than what you have. You didn't mention your daughters age, but these are the adult prices they have:

Akershus = $35.13
Crystal Palace = $20.99
Safari Breakfast = $20.99

So not huge discrepancies, but could make a difference as close as you are on price. Plus if you go DDP with the CRT included, you get the bonus option of having desert at any of the DDP meals if you want. Call 1-407-WDW-DINE and they should be able to move the CRT and get your credit toward the DDP if you want to go that route.

principessa0ox
05-16-2010, 03:40 PM
And, just for reference, I went in and plopped everything in. Looks like you'd save about 6$ by not doing the DDP assuming you ordered the same stuff. That skipped dessert at Sci-Fi (included in the DDP) would save you another 15 or so dollars.

So, in reality, it's pretty much a wash. One thing you may not have considered in your estimations was the 6.5% tax rate. This is included in the cost of the DDP (and thus, absorbed when paying by DDP), but would be added expense when paying oop.

Note: I also just found a bug on the sheet... it will add tax to the DDP out of pocket cost based on the # of snack credits used (so, it will add $1.07 cents per credit heh, whoops!), that's not going to add a whole lot to the total outcome though, and it'll be fixed in the next version.

ETA: Also, it looks like you'd have 4 total left over QS credits as well, so any use of those (even for cheap/split meals) would add even more savings.

Thank you so much for doing it for me!! :) So if I use those 4 QS credits, it will be a good savings, right? Hmmmm.... :)

principessa0ox
05-16-2010, 03:41 PM
I would go OOP on Crystal Palace and Sci-Fi and get the DDP for the rest. You can get the DDP and call to have 2 TS credits used towards CRT, which will get you a refund that you can apply to the DDP. I didn't run your numbers exactly, but you should save about 80 bucks or so I think with the DDP this way, and everything will be taken care of for the most part before you get there.

You can do that?? I was told that if I chose to get the DDP that I couldn't apply it towards this reservation. Maybe I need to call and speak to somebody else! Thank you!!

disneyworldaddict
05-16-2010, 03:47 PM
Around the time they started DDP we went and didn't purchase it because I felt that I could eat much cheaper, which I did...but I didn't eat like I have with DDP. The next year we decided to "splurge" and purchase it. It was even better then because included appetizers and gratuities. It was wonderful, like being on a cruise but with 100s of choices. We went back once without it, because we didn't go to parks. We still ate well, we used Visa reward points and had a deep discount on our room, but it wasn't the same. Now we always get it. My trip in June is paid in full and I have over $150 Visa reward points for tips, and disney gift cards, so we won't need any money!

The beauty of DDP is that you can have a lovely TS experience every night. we can even use 2 TS credits for a signature experience, and have a complete meal at QS eatery. Some of the QS places offer your choice of meat such as salmon, roast pork or roast chicken with your choice if 2 sides and cornbread. Not your typical burger and fries. The DDP offeres maney ways to actually save money on dinning experiences that you might otherwise not try. Some of our favorite QS are in Epcot, Mexico and Morocco or AKP's Flame Tree.

So if its broken down to a mathematical science you could probably do better with a room discount, but the small savings may not add up to what you will miss of the experience. And of course it depends what kind of experience you are looking for and who you will be travelling with.

Carl Fredricksen
05-16-2010, 03:52 PM
You can do that?? I was told that if I chose to get the DDP that I couldn't apply it towards this reservation. Maybe I need to call and speak to somebody else! Thank you!!

Call the 1-407-WDW-DINE hotline. The worst case will be that they will cancel your CRT (which I did and it took about 4 days before my refund was credited in my bank account), and you will have to pay immediately for the DDP, and they will use your existing ressie for CRT against the new dining plan. Should be a 5 minute call at best.

principessa0ox
05-16-2010, 03:53 PM
Around the time they started DDP we went and didn't purchase it because I felt that I could eat much cheaper, which I did...but I didn't eat like I have with DDP. The next year we decided to "splurge" and purchase it. It was even better then because included appetizers and gratuities. It was wonderful, like being on a cruise but with 100s of choices. We went back once without it, because we didn't go to parks. We still ate well, we used Visa reward points and had a deep discount on our room, but it wasn't the same. Now we always get it. My trip in June is paid in full and I have over $150 Visa reward points for tips, and disney gift cards, so we won't need any money!

The beauty of DDP is that you can have a lovely TS experience every night. we can even use 2 TS credits for a signature experience, and have a complete meal at QS eatery. Some of the QS places offer your choice of meat such as salmon, roast pork or roast chicken with your choice if 2 sides and cornbread. Not your typical burger and fries. The DDP offeres maney ways to actually save money on dinning experiences that you might otherwise not try. Some of our favorite QS are in Epcot, Mexico and Morocco or AKP's Flame Tree.

So if its broken down to a mathematical science you could probably do better with a room discount, but the small savings may not add up to what you will miss of the experience. And of course it depends what kind of experience you are looking for and who you will be travelling with.

Thank you! So it no longer includes gratuities, right? If it did it would definitely be a savings! :) So if I buy QS meals OOP, would I need to pay for the meat & the two sides all separately? Or would they come together as a plate?

dd50
05-16-2010, 04:47 PM
Thank you! So it no longer includes gratuities, right? If it did it would definitely be a savings! :) So if I buy QS meals OOP, would I need to pay for the meat & the two sides all separately? Or would they come together as a plate?

If you are buying the DDP you get a QS for every night you are there per person. Personally I don't think it saves money as I never get dessert with meals as I am full from eating and the CS desserts are terrible at best.

If you can't fit all the meals in you end up loosing money on the plan. If it is your first visit you will be spending quite a bit of it getting to your ressies and then waiting.

MrsLS
05-18-2010, 07:54 AM
I can tell you that CP with tax is $26.50 per adult (as was Cape May & 1900 for breakfast - for 2 adults they were both $53), so I would think the other breakfast buffets, except the castle would be that too.

The plan doesn't always save money if what you would order would be less than what you will pay for the plan. That's why you have to do the math.

ibela
05-18-2010, 08:08 AM
You can do that?? I was told that if I chose to get the DDP that I couldn't apply it towards this reservation. Maybe I need to call and speak to somebody else! Thank you!!

You absolutely can do that. I did it on my last trip. I saw CRT opened up so I grabbed it, then called up when I had time and had my card refunded and the credits applied.

Thank you! So it no longer includes gratuities, right? If it did it would definitely be a savings! :) So if I buy QS meals OOP, would I need to pay for the meat & the two sides all separately? Or would they come together as a plate?

What the PP stated would count as a meal + you'd get a drink and dessert too. I usually share my meals with at least 1 kid so sometimes if I don't want to have the dessert (since DH has 1 too) I'll ask to get another drink instead. They usually do it but sometimes say no.

I've never been to Disney, but whenever I heard about it I always thought the DDP was a savings. However, whenever I do the math it comes out that we'd pay less without the DDP. Can someone help me? Please? Is it really better for us without it even though we're doing lots of TS meals?

We are doing 7 nights (Prices from wdwinfo.com .. are they accurate?)

Sunday: T-Rex (which isn't on the DDP, so we'd have to pay OOP no matter what)
Monday: Crystal Palace $18.99
Tuesday: Donald's Safari Breakfast (no price? but I think I saw $21.99?) Yak & Yeti, we won't order appetizers but we may get dessert - I estimate $60 before tip)
Wednesday: Akershus lunch $30.99
Thursday: Sci-Fi Dine-In (we probably won't order appetizers, maybe a dessert but maybe not since its lunch. we'll probably end up getting burgers and milkshakes - I estimate $40 before tip)
Friday: Play 'n Dine at Hollywood and Vine $26.99
Cinderella's Royal Table (already paid for)
Saturday: Boma $33.01

So I guess on the days we'll have 1 TS, we'll also eat CS at some point. The days we have 2 TS I don't know if we'd need the CS? I guess we probably would use them later at night, or if our daughter gets hungry during the day. I was figuring $15 each/day for CS and $3/day for the snack. Is that right?

I get $616 for all the meals on the DDP above (minus CRT since we already paid) +$30/day for 2 CS meals & $6/day for 2 snacks.

The dining plan would be $658. Sorry for the novel, but I don't know if I'm estimating right.

You need to add tax to the prices listed which I think would take you over to the savings side. For fixed price meals, if you have children under 9 I've found that it's definitely worth it to get the DDP since the price of their 1 TS meal will be more than the DDP for the day and adult prices are fixed so it'll be a wash for you at a minimum. Some/many snacks are more than $3 too. I always bring a box of cereal in the luggage and buy milk at the resort but we somhow usually have 2 unplanned QS credits leftover so it's always a nice treat to use for breakfast (my kids are 4 and 1 so we just share).

Melodious
05-18-2010, 08:20 AM
Hi, just thought I'd pop in here with a suggestion. My mom and I are going to WDW for thirteen nights in Nov. Even though we're doing more TS dinners than we would normally, after running the numbers dozens of times, we didn't come out ahead money-wise with the dining plan. But we still wanted the convenience of having prepaid for the food.

So since we had already run the numbers a dozen times, someone on the boards told me that we could purchase gift cards ahead of time. That's what we're doing, my mom is going to buy one a month based on what we want to eat, and then when we check in to our resort, we're going to have the gift cards put on our resort keycard with our credit card so that we can use a debit system to pay for our meals.

I thought this suggestion was really smart because then it's prepaid, we still only have our room keycard to keep up with, AND we won't feel guilty about ordering whatever we want, because we already spent the money. :woohoo: I just wanted to share the knowledge that there are other ways of having convenience besides the plan. :hug: This way we've even prepaid for all of our 'extras' like drinks and appetizers and meals not on the plan

principessa0ox
05-18-2010, 08:45 AM
Thank you so much for everyone's help!! I really appreciate it! :) I think I am going to go ahead and order the plan, that way we can order the most expensive thing without feeling guilty. :) I cannot get a dining plan for my DD because she is under 3, I think I didn't need to pay for her park tickets. If I want the DDP for her, I'd need to pay for her to get park tickets, right?

ETA: I also switched our Akershus lunch to a dinner to try to squeeze more savings out of the plan. ;)

LilGMom
05-18-2010, 08:53 AM
Somethings to consider when thinking DDP vs. OOP. If you aren't a big dessert fan and prefer an appetizer you will pay OOP for the appetizer and throw away the dessert (even though it is paid for). Add tax and tip to your TS meals. The DDP isn't for everyone and if you leave with CS meals unused than you are negating some of the benifit/possible savings of the DDP. Most snacks are in the $4 range.

For my family of four (DH, Me, DS8 & DS4) OOP or TIW is cheaper. DH isn't a big dessert person but likes to have an appetizer. We've used the DDP a few times (back when it included the appetizer and gratuity and after both were dropped). We felt that there were times when we were practically forcing ourselves to eat a CS because we had so many left. And once we add on tax and tip it practically breaks even between DDP and OOP, we actuall spend less OOP. We don't alter what we eat if not on the DDP despite having some 'sticker shock' occaisionally because we feel that we were going to pay for it regardless of OOP or DDP so we'll enjoy it either way.

When I'm estimating we go to AllEars and see what we'd eat. Put the numbers into my spreadsheet, have the tax and gratuity columns going and see where we come out. For our upcoming four night trip we would spend $620 on the DDP (includes tax, gratuity and the app's that I know DH would get), $545 OOP (same meals that we'd eat on DDP), and $640 with the TIW (that includes the $100 cost of the TIW card). We are going the TIW route since we'll use the TIW card on a few more trips and it will pay for itself mid-way through our next trip.

LilGMom
05-18-2010, 08:54 AM
Thank you so much for everyone's help!! I really appreciate it! :) I think I am going to go ahead and order the plan, that way we can order the most expensive thing without feeling guilty. :) I cannot get a dining plan for my DD because she is under 3, I think I didn't need to pay for her park tickets. If I want the DDP for her, I'd need to pay for her to get park tickets, right?
ETA: I also switched our Akershus lunch to a dinner to try to squeeze more savings out of the plan. ;)

Your under 3 DD will not need the DDP and as long as she eats off of your plate you will not have a cost for her at your tables. Some restaurants won't charge you for juice or milk that you will order her but some will and that will be OOP.

principessa0ox
05-18-2010, 08:59 AM
Your under 3 DD will not need the DDP and as long as she eats off of your plate you will not have a cost for her at your tables. Some restaurants won't charge you for juice or milk that you will order her but some will and that will be OOP.

Thank you for confirming! :) I think I read that sometimes if you put a smaller plate in front of the child they might try to charge you for a child's plate, so I'm a little nervous about that. I guess I'll just have to sit real close so she can stick her dirty little fingers in my plate. :)

LilGMom
05-18-2010, 12:57 PM
Thank you for confirming! :) I think I read that sometimes if you put a smaller plate in front of the child they might try to charge you for a child's plate, so I'm a little nervous about that. I guess I'll just have to sit real close so she can stick her dirty little fingers in my plate. :)

What we used to do was when the CM came to get our drink orders (at buffets) we'd ask if we could get a small plate for our under three child. They never had an issue with it. I think they'd rather clean up a plate rather than a napkin with food on it or a table with food everywhere. :) Same thing at sit-down TS meals, we'd ask for a small plate and were never charged. There are also some self-sticking disposable placemats that you could take with you to put down on the table if the CM was going to charge you.

doberlady
05-18-2010, 01:14 PM
I think more people might add the DDP if you had a choice of app or dessert. we are a family of 5 and we do not need or want 5 desserts are every meal.

dawnmommy
05-18-2010, 03:29 PM
joining this thread to say....Cafeen your spreadsheet is amazing!!! thank you!

Cafeen
05-18-2010, 11:35 PM
Thank you for confirming! :) I think I read that sometimes if you put a smaller plate in front of the child they might try to charge you for a child's plate, so I'm a little nervous about that. I guess I'll just have to sit real close so she can stick her dirty little fingers in my plate. :)
In my understanding "eat off of your plate" isn't necessarily a literal statement, but more of a figurative one. She should be allowed to share whatever food the rest of the party orders without additional charge. Thus taking some food "off your plate" to eat for herself. Of course, my understanding and Disney's way of doing things may be at odds :p

I think more people might add the DDP if you had a choice of app or dessert. we are a family of 5 and we do not need or want 5 desserts are every meal.
Probably, but it would either drive the price up, or have another adverse effect somewhere else (lower quality all around). Typically, apps are more costly than desserts, and you can't really expect them to offer them at the same price. It's a tough game to try and please the masses, I don't envy their position at all. (Note: the masses includes the Disney accountants, the restaurants, and the restaurants' parent companies (where applicable), as well as the guests). This is probably best a debate for a different thread though ;)

joining this thread to say....Cafeen your spreadsheet is amazing!!! thank you!
Thanks :) I still have a lot of work to do on it, but it's come along nicely. If you have any questions or other comments about it, please shoot me a PM or email (address is on the sheet) and I'll see what I can do.