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View Full Version : Dining Plan vs Paying Cash...help, what's a girl to do??


poly princess
12-10-2010, 08:13 PM
:santa: Seasons greetings all...

I am visiting WDW in February but I am not sure if I should get the deluxe dining plan. We are arriving late at night and 1st thing in the morning on our departure date. We don't eat too many quick service meals at WDW, maybe 1 a visit. We usually eat 2 sit down meals per day and will not be seeing any shows or dining at 2 credit meals. I am not sure if I will loose $$ or save money if I do deluxe dining plan. Has anyone out there every paid (pay as you go), for a weeks vacation at WDW? Any idea how much I should set aside or expect to pay per day. I should mention We are staying club level, so water, beverage and light fare will available for me during the week. Will not eat the breakfast at club lounge since we love morning character breakfast.

Thank you!
Poly princess

precious pixie
12-10-2010, 08:29 PM
Ive always paid cash, we mainly eat at signature or sit down meals. I keep saying I am going to try to deluxe dining plan but I don't want to have to keep track of all those credits.

I think since you are staying club level and don't really eat at signature restaurants that the plan may not be the best option for you.

There is a restaurant board and you may find some more information over there.

DaniB
12-10-2010, 08:43 PM
I think it really depends on which restaurants you choose and what you like to eat.

I thought I would really like the deluxe plan. I wanted 2 TS meals (breakfast & dinner), with a CS for lunch, and both snacks! But when I priced out the menus (based on what I would eat for each meal) and compared it to the total cost of the DDxP... it just wasn't worth it for us. It was cheaper for us to pay OOP for the extra meals & snacks. This was back in Sept with 3 adults & 1 child on the DDP.

Now hubby & I are going Sept 2011 by ourselves, and again I wanted to talk myself in to it. BUt when I price it out once more... it's still cheaper for us go DDP and pay for the extra meals OOP.

Tara
12-10-2010, 08:48 PM
:santa: Seasons greetings all...

I am visiting WDW in February but I am not sure if I should get the deluxe dining plan. We are arriving late at night and 1st thing in the morning on our departure date. We don't eat too many quick service meals at WDW, maybe 1 a visit. We usually eat 2 sit down meals per day and will not be seeing any shows or dining at 2 credit meals. I am not sure if I will loose $$ or save money if I do deluxe dining plan. Has anyone out there every paid (pay as you go), for a weeks vacation at WDW? Any idea how much I should set aside or expect to pay per day. I should mention We are staying club level, so water, beverage and light fare will available for me during the week. Will not eat the breakfast at club lounge since we love morning character breakfast.

Thank you!
Poly princess

Deluxe Dining worked well for us one time when we weren't in a DVC resort, which means we weren't cooking any meals. We had a buffet breakfast each morning (I swear my son never eats as well as he does at a breakfast buffet - you'd think he'd never seen eggs and bacon until that time) and then a signature restaurant meal each night, but somewhat early (like 5:30-6:00). This timing worked well for never feeling like we were missing a meal but not feeling too full. Plus it was June, so we were able to swim at lunchtime during the heat of the day, have a snack if we wanted, then dinner, so by the time we were done, it was slightly less than blazing hot. ;) I calculated our savings versus Tables in Wonderland and we actually were better off with DxDP, but that was kind of an anomaly for us. You really do have to eat 2 meals a day and have fairly full meals (app, entree, dessert) to come out even or ahead. Also remember you'll have to pay tips out of pocket anyway and alcohol isn't included.

All said and done, given what you describe, it's unlikely that DxDP would result in any savings.

Sue M
12-11-2010, 02:57 AM
I think the DxDDP is only worth it if you're going to either eat 3 TS a day, or a 1 credit TS and a 2TS each day. With your plans, it doesn't seem worth it. But you could check the menus on Allears.net and do the math to see if it's a good deal for you.

Eastern
12-11-2010, 08:20 AM
If you are only planning on (2) 1TS meals per day, I would not do the deluxe. You need to eat 3TS meals per day for it to be worth it.

Since you are staying CL I would also not do a plan because I am guessing if you eat any of the breakfasts or snacks you will not be as hungry even if you do 2TS per day.

For budgeting purposes I would pick a figure that is between the DDP and the DxDP pp per day as there is no dining plan that covers 2TS per day only. Of course it is better if you take the time to look at the menus and price it out.

I have only done the DDP once, for a week, and although we did save $200-300 over the week for my family of 5, we used every single snack, CS, and TS that we had, and that was pricing in all of the desserts, many of which were not good and many of which we would not have chosen if paying OOP.

The dining plans are good if you don't like to budget for OOP or if you get a good deal on free dining. I felt constrained by what I could order and several times I ate when I wasn't really hungry because the meals were there.

Our next trip I am paying OOP for everything and booking the restaurants I want. And on days when we are tired or not hungry, we will just grab a snack somewhere.

Sofia's Dad
12-11-2010, 09:01 AM
If you are only planning on (2) 1TS meals per day, I would not do the deluxe. You need to eat 3TS meals per day for it to be worth it.

Since you are staying CL I would also not do a plan because I am guessing if you eat any of the breakfasts or snacks you will not be as hungry even if you do 2TS per day.

For budgeting purposes I would pick a figure that is between the DDP and the DxDP pp per day as there is no dining plan that covers 2TS per day only. Of course it is better if you take the time to look at the menus and price it out.

I have only done the DDP once, for a week, and although we did save $200-300 over the week for my family of 5, we used every single snack, CS, and TS that we had, and that was pricing in all of the desserts, many of which were not good and many of which we would not have chosen if paying OOP.

The dining plans are good if you don't like to budget for OOP or if you get a good deal on free dining. I felt constrained by what I could order and several times I ate when I wasn't really hungry because the meals were there.

Our next trip I am paying OOP for everything and booking the restaurants I want. And on days when we are tired or not hungry, we will just grab a snack somewhere.

There really is an easy answer to this. Call and see what the price is for each one in you party per day. Split that up per meal. Basically you will find its a good deal. Now you can decide if you want to plan your days around those meals. Plan a Rose and crown when you have the illuminations going on. Plan narcoossees or california grill when the fireworks go off. Go to a restuarant which has there own seating for the fantasmic show. Plan around the day you will be at a park...For instance for lunch you can go to the Sci Fi ( its fun, food is burger nacho type but entertaining) and at night go to Brown derby for dinner and a Fantasmic show. But the real reason is if you want to plan around the DDP. Its 3 sit downs and 2 snacks. We do it and its alot of food. Expect to gain weight. I go to the gym the same day i get home. But i would experience the Signature Restuarants also, which count as 2 meals per person. A meal can be expensive at any restuarant. So pretty much look on line at the prices. To me the free diner plans had done something to the meals as of late. I feel they have gone just a bit down in quality. So therefore, should you get the DDP?....Think of the options. I say yes.

Havana
12-11-2010, 09:16 AM
I think it really depends on which restaurants you choose and what you like to eat.

I thought I would really like the deluxe plan. I wanted 2 TS meals (breakfast & dinner), with a CS for lunch, and both snacks! But when I priced out the menus (based on what I would eat for each meal) and compared it to the total cost of the DDxP... it just wasn't worth it for us. It was cheaper for us to pay OOP for the extra meals & snacks. This was back in Sept with 3 adults & 1 child on the DDP.

Now hubby & I are going Sept 2011 by ourselves, and again I wanted to talk myself in to it. BUt when I price it out once more... it's still cheaper for us go DDP and pay for the extra meals OOP.

Same for us. I really wanted to talk myself into the Deluxe also. We sat down with the menu's and it didn't add up for where we wanted to go/eat.

Eastern
12-11-2010, 01:19 PM
There really is an easy answer to this. Call and see what the price is for each one in you party per day. Split that up per meal. Basically you will find its a good deal.

I did it once. I didn't think it was a great deal. It was an ok deal. I would never do DxDP. We just don't eat enough, and I have 3 teenage boys.

s&k'smom
12-11-2010, 01:52 PM
My brother and I were at WDW for a few days and they did the dining plan were happy with it but said there was a lot of food and had quite a few snacks left over, we didn't do the plan as my son has well let's call them issues. So for us it would have been more expensive to do the dining plan as we would have wasted credits on meals he wasn't eating. For example at Trail's End they didn't charge us for him for the buffett as he only ate fries but at Cape May we had to pay the adult price for him so in the end I believe we saved. I'm not sure if that helps but I don't think you'd lose either way, have a great trip.

jalmgiven
05-25-2011, 10:53 AM
:santa: Seasons greetings all...

I am visiting WDW in February but I am not sure if I should get the deluxe dining plan. We are arriving late at night and 1st thing in the morning on our departure date. We don't eat too many quick service meals at WDW, maybe 1 a visit. We usually eat 2 sit down meals per day and will not be seeing any shows or dining at 2 credit meals. I am not sure if I will loose $$ or save money if I do deluxe dining plan. Has anyone out there every paid (pay as you go), for a weeks vacation at WDW? Any idea how much I should set aside or expect to pay per day. I should mention We are staying club level, so water, beverage and light fare will available for me during the week. Will not eat the breakfast at club lounge since we love morning character breakfast.

Thank you!
Poly princess

I all the times we've gone we've never gotten the Dinning plan as we always found it cheaper not to have it. This time we got a free pin and decided why not and even upgraded it.

I wish it was 20 years ago when partial meals came with your package at no extra cost. I guess I'm just aging myself now. :rotfl:

heatherwillmom
05-25-2011, 10:59 AM
We like the dining plans. We have done regular & deluxe. DH likes to eat & the kids (teenagers) eat very well on vacations. The deluxe is nice because of the options that it gives you plus the mugs come with it. We always buy them anyway. As long as you watch your credits(they are printed on the receipts that you get), you can do well. We don't always use all the snack credits, so on the last day, we buy drinks & snacks to take for the drive home. There are menus on the WDW info site. You can price out & see which is the best for you. DH likes the idea of having the food paid for in advance too.

sherabby
05-25-2011, 11:14 AM
We did the deluxe plan last summer and it is a lot of food if you're not using 2 credits. We even did a few dinner shows and we were still finding ourselves eating all the time.

tinkstyle
05-25-2011, 11:41 AM
On our first trip to DW we paid out of pocket for our family of 6, dang that was expensive with 4 teenagers! On our next trip we tried the DP and fell in love with it! We always eat TS and signature dinning so it works for us. This year we are trying the DDP because when we added up the difference between the 2 and what it would cost us out of pocket it was more beneficial to go with the DDP.

AimeeMichele
05-25-2011, 04:09 PM
We did Deluxe Dining our past trip and got it again for our next trip. I like having a character breakfast (we hit every single one) and then a nice sit down dinner. Plus, we do go to signature restaurants. For the left over snack credits (we really don't use them) I buy enough Mickey rice krispies for my nephew to bring back and give out to everyone in his class. Last year it saved us ~$800 and based off of my best guesstimate it will save us ~$700 on our next trip. Can't beat that!

rob4059
05-25-2011, 04:30 PM
do regular dining plan and pay oop for any signature meal. that will free up extra meals to use on the non signature days.

deluxe is too pricey unless you and won't pay for itself unless you are eating a signature almost every day.

rob4059
05-25-2011, 04:38 PM
adding to my last post,

you can actually do the math. regular dining is ~45/day per person. Dx is 30/day per person more. (kids under 10 are cheaper)

count on a table service costing roughly 30-40 per person and a signature costing 40-70 per person.

start calculating based upon your days/ people/ number of meals.

jackparts
11-11-2011, 01:17 PM
Party of 11, we pick the regular dining plan. Love going to character meals, buffet style, and everyone can find lots to eat. Even the picky eaters seem to fill up better than at home. Saves time, rather than waiting for a waiter, waiting for the food to be cooked and served. Naturally, the food usually is not four star, but still is very tasty. I would rather be spending time in the parks.

Dan1
11-12-2011, 05:39 AM
Party of 11, we pick the regular dining plan. Love going to character meals, buffet style, and everyone can find lots to eat. Even the picky eaters seem to fill up better than at home. Saves time, rather than waiting for a waiter, waiting for the food to be cooked and served. Naturally, the food usually is not four star, but still is very tasty. I would rather be spending time in the parks.

Which are the buffet restaurants you go to?

Is there a listing of buffet restaurants (vs having to go through each TS restaurant's menu)?

I am still conflicted. We are going for two weeks (DD who is not a big eater and myself who can be) so I thought we would to OOP for one week and DP for the second.

We don't do signatures and have only one dinner show booked (Hoop Dee Do) since we have never been it it previously.

Thanks for your thoughts,
Dan

Dan1
11-12-2011, 05:40 AM
I should add ... does the DP include the Illuminations dining package and if so does it count as one or two TS? I can't seem to find that answer.

Thanks you,
Dan

Lynne M
11-12-2011, 09:23 AM
Moving to the Dining Plan board.

sharonabe
11-12-2011, 09:43 AM
I should add ... does the DP include the Illuminations dining package and if so does it count as one or two TS? I can't seem to find that answer.

Thanks you,
Dan

If you're talking about the Illuminations Cruise at Epcot, no you cannot use DDP for that.

Also, you said you were thinking of doing OOP one week and DDP the other week. You will need two separate reservations to do that. Since you need tickets to get the DDP, I suggest you do a one week pkg with 10-day tickets and DDP, then do a room only reservation for your second week. Your tickets will still cover that second week.

makthompson
11-12-2011, 02:18 PM
Since you dont want the QS meals then I think it would be better to pay OOP.

Dan1
11-12-2011, 02:56 PM
If you're talking about the Illuminations Cruise at Epcot, no you cannot use DDP for that.

Also, you said you were thinking of doing OOP one week and DDP the other week. You will need two separate reservations to do that. Since you need tickets to get the DDP, I suggest you do a one week pkg with 10-day tickets and DDP, then do a room only reservation for your second week. Your tickets will still cover that second week.

Yes, we have two separate one week reservations back to back. We are renting DVC points at a different resort each week.

Thanks,
Dan

SnipsNSnails
11-12-2011, 05:45 PM
Which are the buffet restaurants you go to?

Is there a listing of buffet restaurants (vs having to go through each TS restaurant's menu)?

I am still conflicted. We are going for two weeks (DD who is not a big eater and myself who can be) so I thought we would to OOP for one week and DP for the second.

We don't do signatures and have only one dinner show booked (Hoop Dee Do) since we have never been it it previously.

Thanks for your thoughts,
Dan

We did mostly buffets in Sept. We did Chef Mickey's, Cape May, Boma, and Crystal Palace. We also did Ohana and Whispering Canyon's skillet which are family style so you get the food very fast and it's all you care to eat.

Other buffets are 1900 Park Fare, Biergarten, Hollywood and Vine, Akershus, Tusker House. Other family style are Garden Grill and Liberty Tree Tavern.