View Full Version : not doing a lot of TS meals . . . get QSDP or just pay OOP?

05-27-2010, 03:54 PM
I'm considering limiting our TS meals on our next trip (Jan 2011) to mainly character interactions for our 4yo daughter. Not that I don't enjoy the meals/restaurants, I'm just thinking we'll need a little more schedule flexibility (also traveling with a roughly 3.5 mo old infant). Before I sit down to do the math, I was wondering if anyone had figured out if it's worth getting the QSDP and paying OOP for a few TS meals or if we're better off just paying OOP for all of our dining this time around? We have been twice, both times on the "regular" DP, so this is uncharted territory for us.


05-27-2010, 04:20 PM
We recently were at Disney with a free QSDP. There were things about it that we really liked, such as not having to worry about how much money we were spending on food. We also loved having the refillable mugs. We did have a few problems with the QSDP. I like dessert as much as anybody I have ever known, yet by the end of the week, I was getting sick of dessert at every meal plus two snacks, which are usually sweet as well. It was also difficult for us to use the right amount of snack credits everyday. We wanted to make good snack choices, and not waste any credits, but since we were traveling with our little boys, it was not always convenient to stop and have a snack. So we had to happen to be at a place with a good snack option, when the boys were cheerful enough to stop, and when we were actually hungry, which was not that easy. We kept worrying we would get to the end of our week and have to use our snack credits on silly things. We decided that the QSDP is great when free, but we would not pay for a QSDP. We would rather buy what we want, when we want and not have to make sure to use all the credits.

I will say, it is a very good idea not to do many table service meals with a baby. We were really glad to not have to try and be on time for any ADRs.

05-27-2010, 08:03 PM
I have done the regular DDP, as well as the QSDP and I was truly surprised at how much I enjoyed the QSDP. There are so many great choices for CS and we never had a hamburger the whole time [which I actually missed because I love cheeseburgers]. As the PP mentioned, the desserts at the majority of the CS did get a little tiring . . . I can't believe I am even saying that ;). . .but I still highly recommend the plan. I have been a long time dis'er and, due to the boards, was able to really maximize my value by eating at higher end CS places. We made out like a bandit on the plan. :thumbsup2 To get the most for your value, with good quality food, I highly recommend:

Sunshine Seasons [any full size dessert for adults]
Tangierine Cafe [I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed the cuisine]
Cosmic Rays
Flame Tree Barbecue
Wolfgang Puck Express
Pepper Market
Cookes of Dublin

This is not to say that many of the other CS places do not have good food; these were some of the more expensive CS that have excellent food - in my opinion.

Some great ways to use your snack credits:

Dole Whips
Ice Cream Cookies [some people have reported this is no longer a snack credit; others say it still is]
Pastries at Boulangerie Patisseire

Because I knew how to make the most of the plan, I truly found it to be too much food. :eek: For this trip, my DS and I are doing it for the 3 nights we are at BLT so we can eat at the more expensive locations. When we move over to AKV, we are not doing any dining plan. By that time, I will be ready to stop gorging myself. :laughing:

05-28-2010, 07:44 AM
Thanks :) Those are some of our preferred CS locations, too. Good thing I have lots of time to decide!

05-30-2010, 08:31 AM
We are considering the same thing as we have older children who would like more variety than most kid menus offer, but I am not sure how they keep track on that plan. When you are on the regular dining plan a table service restaurant gives you a paper with 2 separate allotments tallies - 1 for # of adult meals left and 1 for number of child tallies left. Does anyone know if they break it down that way at a counter service restaurant?

05-30-2010, 08:39 AM
As for the original poster, when our kids were little we definitely did character meals, but also craved the flexibility of fewer reservations. A good compromise for us was QS dining plan, with a character meal out of pocket. As breakfasts are cheaper than dinners we would have a lite meal early using snack credits than book as late a character breakfast as possible (we have a 10:55am at ohana) so that just as the park is very crowded and hot we relax with the characters. At that hour the restaurant isn't busy so the kids get great interaction with the characters.

05-30-2010, 12:44 PM
I would pay OOP unless you expect to eat all of the QS meals you would get by purchasing in the plan.

05-30-2010, 02:24 PM
Kids are expensive at the buffets, I'd do the math on reg DDP before making a decision, if more than 3 TS Character meals I'd go with DDP, if 3 or less than QSDP. I have done both and love QSDP for the convenience and flexibility. I plan on QSDP this year with only 2 ts planned for each week we are there.