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bnts1993
06-03-2010, 08:56 AM
Is getting the reg or quick service dining plan worth it? Is it cheaper than just going and paying for the meals?

dd50
06-03-2010, 09:05 AM
It depends on where you like to eat and how you like to eat. Take a look at the menu's.

squirrel
06-03-2010, 09:08 AM
It's worth it if you would eat a TS meal each day, order desserts and you order drinks.

If you share meals, drink water and don't like desserts then paying out of pocket would probably be cheaper.

The credits are per night so it shouldn't be too hard to use them. If you arriving late and leaving early then you might have some extra credits-you can always use them for items to take with you.

Avery&Todd
06-03-2010, 09:30 AM
We like the Deluxe Dining Plan - and it works for us but it might not work for you - just like the previous posters have said..

We like starting off our day with a "breakfast", not just a yogurt or a fruit bar in the room - and we like ending our day with a sit down dinner.

I usually make ADRs for breakfast, lunch & dinner - the breakfast is early - we get up and get out of the room - we eat dinner late(r) like 7:00-7:30pm - my boys are almost 11 and 8 and like to swim at the pool late afternoon, so we go back to the hotel, swim, shower and head back out.

My boys are "eaters" - heck the whole family appreciates a good meal - and we dont want to eat just pizza, hotdogs, hamburgers, ribs and chicken nuggets at the various walk up food vendors.

We also appreciate an air conditioned mid day break (lunch) when its hot as the devil out there and there is no shade to be found..

I know lots of people say that 3 sit down meals take up too much "park time" but that's what works best for us!!

GoMegGo
06-03-2010, 10:53 AM
We are doing the QSDP for the first time this August. I thought about upgrading to the DDP, but the more I crunched the numbers and planned out tentative schedules, the more sense quick service meant for us. I don't know your travel style and family needs, but here is my rationale:

I love some of the table service places, but the idea of making so many ADRs, only having one snack a day (DH LOVES his Disney popcorn!), and not having the refillable mug in the DDP made the QSDP the clear winner. Plus, we are staying at a value resort, so any dinning we do at the hotel will be quick service. We are still doing a few table service meals OOP, but we would have had to do that on the DDP, too. Also, we are big EPCOT lovers, by sharing QS meals we can eat our way around the world during our stay without a huge bill or ADRs.

We love food, and are solid eaters... maybe one day we will go whole hog and get the DxDP, but for now, QS seems to work for us.

Try doing a "mock" dining plan. Figure out where you are likely to eat each day of your vacation and estimate the cost of your meals.

Nadjalu
06-03-2010, 10:57 AM
For DH and myself it is very worth it. Food is not cheap and eating 2-3 per day can really add up.

We like the DDP, 1 TS, 1 CS and 1 snack. This works well for us. On a 5day/4night vacay we saved $120 using the plan. On another trip 7day/6 night trip, we saved over $180 than if we would've paid OOP.

As someone said, look at the menus do some research, add it up and see if the plans would save you.

Cafeen
06-03-2010, 11:15 AM
Echoing the above:
If you plan to eat in a manner the plan suggests, then typically you will see some savings. Evaluating what your plans will be is a key step in determining if a plan (and which one) is right for you.

If you plan to eat at least 2 QS meals per night, and may get desserts at a few of them, and plan on spending the snack credits, then QSDP would work out better.

If you plan to do the 1TS, 1QS a night (maybe a signature in there, depending on length of stay), not plan many appetizers, but get desserts, and get a decent snack (3$ or more for the majority), then the normal would work out well.

If on DxDDP you would plan to use at least 2/3 of the credits on TS restaurants, enjoy both appetizers and desserts, and plan to use the snack credits to your advantage, then DxDDP would work out.

Now, if you typically would be sharing meals, skipping desserts, not utilizing snack credits, skipping meals, etc, then paying out of pocket would work out better. Keep in mind that you will nearly always save money on the plans compared to the exact same itinerary and food options paying OOP (assuming planning for the DDP). However, where you go and what you order when paying OOP may differ (and in some cases, greatly) from where you go and what you order when on a plan and thus inflate the perceived savings quite a bit.

Faldred
06-03-2010, 11:28 AM
"Is it worth it?" is a very subjective question. I think it's likely that most people could pay less than what the dining plan costs if they're simply looking to economize (ordering less expensive items, skipping desserts, packing lunches or snacks, etc.). Folks who already prefer to dine in the style offered by the plans and who would gravitate to top-end items will generally do quite well with a dining plan.

For everyone else, the question is really whether or not what the dining plan provides makes for a significantly better total vacation experience, relative to the price you pay.

For example, if you were paying out of pocket, would you order dessert at every meal? Maybe not, but if it's already included, does that make things more attractive to you?

Are you the type who would pass on ordering what you really want because there are cheaper options on the menu? Or afraid to try something new because of the cost? Then a dining plan might give you the flexibility to do things beyond what you would normally do.

So, when comparing costs, also ask yourself the question of what the total value to you of the plan is. Will it make for a better overall vacation experience? For some, the potential cost savings might not be worth it if they feel "locked in" to using the plan credits in specific way. For others, the plan might cost more than the way they could otherwise economize, but they'd be able to have a more enjoyable vacation because of it.

Sienna
06-03-2010, 11:56 AM
We are a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids), and we did the QSDP for 8 nights in January. I didn't keep track of all of the receipts vs how much we paid for the plan, but I'm pretty sure we came out ahead financially. That said, if we were paying OOP for everything, we probably wouldn't have gotten all of the desserts and every single one of the snacks, but it was a nice splurge to get that stuff and not feel nickel & dimed.

I should add that my husband was laid off a week before our trip. It was very unexpected - we talked about cancelling the trip, but it was already paid in full, including the meal plan, and it was a big family trip to celebrate our anniversary so we went ahead with it. It was nice to know that most of our food was already paid for! So for us, yes, it was worth it.

judowoman
06-03-2010, 11:57 AM
"Is it worth it?" is a very subjective question. I think it's likely that most people could pay less than what the dining plan costs if they're simply looking to economize (ordering less expensive items, skipping desserts, packing lunches or snacks, etc.). Folks who already prefer to dine in the style offered by the plans and who would gravitate to top-end items will generally do quite well with a dining plan.

For everyone else, the question is really whether or not what the dining plan provides makes for a significantly better total vacation experience, relative to the price you pay.

For example, if you were paying out of pocket, would you order dessert at every meal? Maybe not, but if it's already included, does that make things more attractive to you?

Are you the type who would pass on ordering what you really want because there are cheaper options on the menu? Or afraid to try something new because of the cost? Then a dining plan might give you the flexibility to do things beyond what you would normally do.

So, when comparing costs, also ask yourself the question of what the total value to you of the plan is. Will it make for a better overall vacation experience? For some, the potential cost savings might not be worth it if they feel "locked in" to using the plan credits in specific way. For others, the plan might cost more than the way they could otherwise economize, but they'd be able to have a more enjoyable vacation because of it.

Excellent post! Ive been looking at the difference in price with adding the dining plan, since we're going to be there 4 nights 5 days, it runs about 306 more to include the dining plan.. figuring 3 adults, a 9 year old who loves to eat and a 5 year old who enjoys a good meal as well, I'm thinking if it will be worth it? just 1 TS meal at a nice restaurant can run around 153 per night.. what do you think? I apologize to the OP for semi hijacking her thread :love:

skier_pete
06-03-2010, 01:25 PM
This question gets asked a lot - and it is a good question! Though it's sort of a "to each his/her own" type question, I would consider the answer to be yes if you plan it right.

The QSDP: I think this is of marginal value. At $31.99 per adult and $9.99 per child, you get 2 QS meals, 2 snacks and resort mug. Our recent trip, we didn't get the plan, but ate QS only. (We actually had two inexpensive TS meals in there.) We spent $367.91 on food - 2 adults, 1 child, 5 days. That's $73.58 per day. With the QSDP, it would have cost us $73.97 per day. Now, we didn't get desserts, shared drinks, and tried to avoid expensive CS, but overall I don't think QSDP saves you much.

The standard DDP: Is a very good value if you are going to eat TS every day. At a cost of $41.99 per adult, $11.99 per child. This is an excellent deal. In 2009, for example, we had 3 adults, 1 child. We got $1357.36 worth of food - 8 days on the DDP. Cost of DDP was $1071.68 ($1 less per person than this year). That was about a 26 % savings on the food versus paying OOP. In 2008 we did the same thing, and the numbers were almost identical, it was a 24 % savings. Neither trip did we do anything to intentional maximize the DDP usage. (Ordering the most expensive food..etc.)

Again, your results may vary...depending on how you choose to eat and plan your trip. We very much prefer a sit-down meal each day, and the DDP is perfect for us.

katybugsmom
06-03-2010, 01:51 PM
We are trying the QD for the first time in December. We paid for the regular DP two years ago because it was our son's first trip to WDW. We enjoyed the meals, but were not as prepared as we should have been for the tips. All of our TS meals were character meals and were well over $100 for the four of us each time. We paid more in tips then what we would have paid for a Counter-service meal. We also like the fact we won't need to make reservations for our meals. We can stop when we are ready to eat and can choose a place close by or go by to the resort.

danceintherain
06-03-2010, 02:16 PM
What I did when I was trying to decide whether or not to do the Regular Dining Plan was map it out for myself.

The Table Service part was easy, since ADRs are recommended. I looked at all the menu, and picked out what we would probably eat at each place. If it wasn't clear, then I picked a middle price and went with it. I'm a picky eater, so it's VERY easy for me to look at a menu and know what I want beforehand. I just guessed for my husband most of the time, but he's a big meat eater, so it was usually something fairly expensive.
Also, he does NOT share meals, so planning to save some money that way wasn't even an option. He will try my meal and I'll try his, but he can clean just about any plate, and then start in on what's leftover on mine.

Another reason why I chose the Dining Plan was that I knew we wouldn't eat like that otherwise, or if we did we would feel guilty about it. It was much easier on me and my husband to know that we could order whatever we wanted AND get dessert. It was our Honeymoon, so we wanted to splurge a little.

My husband loves the Dining Plan so much that he never wants to go back again without it. For him it's the freedom to eat as much as he wants without having to worry about the cost.
I can see us going back in the future without it, but we'll see.

bnts1993
06-03-2010, 08:25 PM
Excellent post! Ive been looking at the difference in price with adding the dining plan, since we're going to be there 4 nights 5 days, it runs about 306 more to include the dining plan.. figuring 3 adults, a 9 year old who loves to eat and a 5 year old who enjoys a good meal as well, I'm thinking if it will be worth it? just 1 TS meal at a nice restaurant can run around 153 per night.. what do you think? I apologize to the OP for semi hijacking her thread :love:

Judowoman no appoligies need that is a great question that I am intrested in too!:thumbsup2

Sandisw
06-03-2010, 08:57 PM
"Is it worth it?" is a very subjective question. I think it's likely that most people could pay less than what the dining plan costs if they're simply looking to economize (ordering less expensive items, skipping desserts, packing lunches or snacks, etc.). Folks who already prefer to dine in the style offered by the plans and who would gravitate to top-end items will generally do quite well with a dining plan.

For everyone else, the question is really whether or not what the dining plan provides makes for a significantly better total vacation experience, relative to the price you pay.

For example, if you were paying out of pocket, would you order dessert at every meal? Maybe not, but if it's already included, does that make things more attractive to you?

Are you the type who would pass on ordering what you really want because there are cheaper options on the menu? Or afraid to try something new because of the cost? Then a dining plan might give you the flexibility to do things beyond what you would normally do.

So, when comparing costs, also ask yourself the question of what the total value to you of the plan is. Will it make for a better overall vacation experience? For some, the potential cost savings might not be worth it if they feel "locked in" to using the plan credits in specific way. For others, the plan might cost more than the way they could otherwise economize, but they'd be able to have a more enjoyable vacation because of it.

This was us! When we went to eat, we always looked at prices and thought about our budget. Many times, we didn't get something becaue of what it would cost.

I love sweets but never order dessert because I know I will take a few bits of it and it is a waste. At Disney, before the dining plans, it was even harder paying $7.00 for something that I might just taste.

Now, I don't worry about it. Yes, I know that I am paying for it in the long run, but it just doesn't seem the same. And, we love being able to allow the kids to just get what they want instead of having to say no to things.

We also found that when we had the plan, no one was every hungry because we had food available all the time.

For us, we will always do the QSDP as it fits our needs--of course, unless they eliminate the dessert and the mug, as is rumored next year, and then it might not.

judowoman
06-03-2010, 10:38 PM
Judowoman no appoligies need that is a great question that I am intrested in too!:thumbsup2

Awesome! Thanks dear! :)

Faldred
06-04-2010, 06:52 AM
Excellent post! Ive been looking at the difference in price with adding the dining plan, since we're going to be there 4 nights 5 days, it runs about 306 more to include the dining plan.. figuring 3 adults, a 9 year old who loves to eat and a 5 year old who enjoys a good meal as well, I'm thinking if it will be worth it? just 1 TS meal at a nice restaurant can run around 153 per night.. what do you think? I apologize to the OP for semi hijacking her thread :love:

It's worth it if that's the way you wish to dine. If you plan on dong roughly 1 TS meal per day, then you're probably going to wind up well ahead of the game on DDP, especially with 2 children. On the whole, the dining plans are great deals for children, in that it's practically impossible to not come out ahead, unless you have unused credits.

But I'll go back to my original point as well. Cost is only part of the equation. What do you want to do on your vacation, and does the dining plan mesh well with that and within the budget you are willing to spend for the experience?

skier_pete
06-04-2010, 07:09 AM
Excellent post! Ive been looking at the difference in price with adding the dining plan, since we're going to be there 4 nights 5 days, it runs about 306 more to include the dining plan.. figuring 3 adults, a 9 year old who loves to eat and a 5 year old who enjoys a good meal as well, I'm thinking if it will be worth it? just 1 TS meal at a nice restaurant can run around 153 per night.. what do you think? I apologize to the OP for semi hijacking her thread :love:

IT sounds to me like you are one of the families that the DDP is certainly worth it. As my previous post stated, we love it and find it a great value. A TS restaurant will typically run you $30 per adult, and $10 per child minimum, and many of them are more expensive than that. Just make sure to make your ADRs well in advance. TS meals are NOT for spur of the moment decisions, as you will be stuck with restaurants and times you don't like if you do that.

judowoman
06-04-2010, 11:43 AM
IT sounds to me like you are one of the families that the DDP is certainly worth it. As my previous post stated, we love it and find it a great value. A TS restaurant will typically run you $30 per adult, and $10 per child minimum, and many of them are more expensive than that. Just make sure to make your ADRs well in advance. TS meals are NOT for spur of the moment decisions, as you will be stuck with restaurants and times you don't like if you do that.

Thank you, I'll definetly keep that in mind, as our trip is in mid july! :-) Since we have to come up with the full disney package money at once, Is it ok to make reservations before I book the package, that way I have a reserved table? Thanks again guys I appreciate it :)

skier_pete
06-04-2010, 12:15 PM
Thank you, I'll definetly keep that in mind, as our trip is in mid july! :-) Since we have to come up with the full disney package money at once, Is it ok to make reservations before I book the package, that way I have a reserved table? Thanks again guys I appreciate it :)

Most certainly you can make your ADRs anytime without a package. If you are going in July I would recommend sooner than later. You are better off to book a restaurant and then cancel it should you change your mind than wait until the last minute to book. (Though it is only polite to cancel as soon as you know you won't be using the reservation.) Certain restaurants (Chef Mickey's for one) will already be hard to get a table at even at this point for you.

The only thing is certain restaurants require either a credit card hold (Akerhaus @ Norway - Epcot) or pre-payment (Cinderella's Royal Table and most of the dinner shows). If you plan on doing one of those last group - they are typically 2 TS credit meals - you would have to pre-pay, but then once your package is booked, they could credit you the money back.

MissionMouse
06-04-2010, 01:25 PM
Is getting the reg or quick service dining plan worth it? Is it cheaper than just going and paying for the meals?You are going to get a full spectrum of answers here on the board. It may even lean toward saying yes, since this forum with located within the DDP thread section.

We normally pay out of pocket. Dine almost entirely table service while staying club level. We tried DDP this time around and found ourselves with a collection of counter service tickets at the end. Overall, we enjoyed the dessert and snack option, but next time will return to paying out of pocket. Dining strictly table service restaurants will save us money in comparison to the DDP, since we discovered we did not care for the counter service restaurant environment that made people act and behave less than magical. :thumbsup2.

One of the reasons for us not liking cs was the common guest issue observed of having a tray of food and trying find a table where it was typical to find at least 1/3 of the tables occupied by people who are just sitting at them with no food. Clearly table hording adds to counter service ugly and kaotic seating environment that backs up the restaurant diners and adds a level of stress not found at TS restaurants.

Overall, if you use ALL the tickets issued within the dining plan, then you will most likely obtain a certain level of financial savings ranging from 5-30%. Monetarly it could be worth it, but don't forget the personal preference aspect of the full dining plan offerings too.

judowoman
06-04-2010, 03:11 PM
Most certainly you can make your ADRs anytime without a package. If you are going in July I would recommend sooner than later. You are better off to book a restaurant and then cancel it should you change your mind than wait until the last minute to book. (Though it is only polite to cancel as soon as you know you won't be using the reservation.) Certain restaurants (Chef Mickey's for one) will already be hard to get a table at even at this point for you.

The only thing is certain restaurants require either a credit card hold (Akerhaus @ Norway - Epcot) or pre-payment (Cinderella's Royal Table and most of the dinner shows). If you plan on doing one of those last group - they are typically 2 TS credit meals - you would have to pre-pay, but then once your package is booked, they could credit you the money back.


Awesome! Thank you for the info Pete! I appreciate it :)

Melodious
06-04-2010, 04:42 PM
As has been said, it depends on how you eat. For us, we don't want to do a TS meal every day so the regular DP wasn't a good value for us. On the other hand, most days we will do CS breakfast and CS lunch and TS dinner so the QSDP wasn't a good value either since breakfast is the least expensive meal of the day.

I will also say that if you do want the benefits of prepaying for food so that you don't worry what you're spending once you get there, we bought Disney gift cards (Disneystores.com has free shipping on them). We had already priced out our meals to figure out if the dining plan was a good deal and once we get to the resort, we will put the gift cards on the room keycard to use as a debit system. I just want to let others know, since this gift card idea wouldn't have occurred to me but seems like the perfect solution for us :hug:.