PDA

View Full Version : Justification for Spending $1,000 + dollars


Rangerusa1111
12-23-2010, 09:43 PM
Anyone else come to this conclusion: 3 Adults and 1 Young Child

After consdiering the DDP's, I just can't justify spending over a thousand dollars for seven TS Dinners and Seven QS lunches. I am not cheap and have no problems spending money. We have no interest in having a dessert at every meal. Maybe one every other day.

Nadjalu
12-23-2010, 10:04 PM
You have to really do the math on the meals before you will truly know if it is too much money or not.

If you are staying onsite, not leaving the property and relying solely on eating at the resorts and parks...it isn't cheap.

Basically you have to go thru the restaurants you are wanting to eat at, pick out something (or look at prices and do an average) for everyone. Do this for every meal, for every day of your vacation. Total it (add tax) and see if you come out ahead paying OOP.

When DH and I go we eat as we normally would (with maybe 1 extra snack a day each) and total it up at the end of every day.
We easily hit $160 for the 2 of us. But we have gone with the DDP both times and came out ahead. ~$20-40 ahead per day!! That is a good savings, so for us the DDP is worth it.
But as I said, you really have to work the numbers for your party in order to know if it is worth it or not.

Mrs D
12-23-2010, 10:17 PM
Anyone else come to this conclusion: 3 Adults and 1 Young Child

After consdiering the DDP's, I just can't justify spending over a thousand dollars for seven TS Dinners and Seven QS lunches. I am not cheap and have no problems spending money. We have no interest in having a dessert at every meal. Maybe one every other day.

While some people don't eat in a way to get value from the dining plan I do find value in it. Using your 3 adults and 1 child a day at Epcot would look like this for my family:

Lunch at Sunshine Seasons - $46 (I also love Tangierine Cafe which would come to $56) included 2 meals @ 9.99, a kids meal and drinks. No desserts

Dinner at Chef de France - $144. Three entrees, drinks and desserts - kids meal & dessert (dinner at Akershus would be $177).

Your daily cost for the regular dining plan is $157 even for peak times. Dinner and a single CS meal and you've broken even. I haven't factored in desserts for lunch or the snack credits.

If you like a nice dinner out each night, don't want to split meals, take a bit of time to plan the TS meals that's when DDP becomes a good value. And to many there is also value in having those restaurant meals paid for and not counting pennies while on vacation (because we all know what the sticker shock could be like).

Is it a value for every person, every time? No. Can it a value? YES! :thumbsup2

vicki_c
12-23-2010, 11:22 PM
On one of our trips in the past year or so, I took all my reservations that were already made, priced them out with my best guesses at what we would order, etc., and compared that to the price OOP w/our 20% Tables in Wonderland discount.

The DDP would have saved us about $100 - we decided not to do it anyway, but same as you, 3A (one who was 10) and 1 C - my OOP estimate w/a discount was around $1100.

And that wasn't for 7 TS meals and 7 QS lunches - we weren't even there 7 nights that trip. I think it was 5 nights but I did include $$ for eating breakfast as well as lunch and dinner.

So all that is just to say - you might spend $1000 anyway.

catne
12-24-2010, 12:57 AM
Why would you need to justify spending your own money? Justify to whom? Are you getting an allowance and someone is checking up on your budget and making judgements about how you choose to spend their money?

I always figure my money, spend it the way I want and I don't have to justify any of it to anyone.

We've learned to enjoy the fruits of our labor:)

Firefly09
12-24-2010, 01:07 AM
Why would you need to justify spending your own money? Justify to whom? Are you getting an allowance and someone is checking up on your budget and making judgements about how you choose to spend their money?

I always figure my money, spend it the way I want and I don't have to justify any of it to anyone.

We've learned to enjoy the fruits of our labor:)

I think OP is simply justifying the expense to themselves. Laying out $1000 before the trip just for meals seems like a lot of money, but I'm sure after OP sits down and calculates just how much it would cost to eat onsite for 7 days it won't seem as outrageous.

CathieArms
12-24-2010, 09:13 AM
Why would you need to justify spending your own money? Justify to whom? Are you getting an allowance and someone is checking up on your budget and making judgements about how you choose to spend their money?

I always figure my money, spend it the way I want and I don't have to justify any of it to anyone.

We've learned to enjoy the fruits of our labor:)

I'm sure your question is rhetorical, but I'm sure the OP meant "justify" to herself. If I can't justify something to myself, then I just can't do it in good conscience.

jmhazlett
12-24-2010, 09:49 AM
Once you look up the prices on the menu's and do the math you will see it works out. We had four adults and two kids over seven days and I figure we easily saved over $300. Its also nice knowing your meals are already paid for.

stayhomemom77
12-24-2010, 10:37 AM
Our first time doing the DDP was this past April. We had a split stay so we did 2 nights on the DxDDP and six nights on the regular DDP. We paid for it and thought it was a good value, but we had LOTS of leftovers in the fridge back in the room the entire 8 nights. We ended up throwing a fair amount of food away. I'm glad I tried the plans and DH was on :cloud9:

We leave January 1st for our next trip and we're getting the dining plan for free on our trip. Actually, we got the QSDP free and decided to pay to upgrade to the regular DDP. Upgrading wasn't a lot of money, only $22 a day and since DH is a foodie, we decided to go for it. I wanted to try out the QSDP to see if we liked it any better (heck, we've done the other two plans) but DH's insistence that this was a better value won me over.

I'll never pay for the regular DDP again. While a TS meal every day on vacation sounds nice...the reality is that I get burned out on all that food pretty fast. The portions are at least double what I normally eat so most of the time I brought food back to the hotel in a take out container.

I've decided that all future trips will have us paying OOP, eating out for dinner every other day, getting apps instead of dessert (I can't do that much dessert :scared1:) and saving the leftovers for a meal the following day. My DD7 and I can easily share a CS meal (in fact, I prefer it that way...less waste on my part) so I know we WILL save money this way but more importantly I'll be happy with the freedom of choice that OOP brings.

I think you are perfectly right to both question and decide against going with the dining plan if it doesn't work for you. :thumbsup2

elainesj
12-24-2010, 10:56 AM
like the others said, you'll have to decide based on what you would normally spend OOP.

we can manage eating cheap, sharing meals, etc but even then for our family of 4 with 2 adults, 2 kids....it costs us about $50 a day to eat on a fairly tight budget. For a more relaxed (budget-wise) trip, I was looking at about $100 a day. DDP worked for us (well...free dining helped out a whole lot!)

E

MSLRAC
12-24-2010, 11:40 AM
You really have to do the math and see if it works out for your family. We spent $1300 on the DxDP but it saved us well over that when I did the math. We knew going in that we wanted to do 3 TS meals per day, numerous 2 credit dinners and that we would eat the majority of the food at each meal (appetizers, entrees and desserts). So the DxDP is really a no brainer for our family but the same can not be said of the DDP. That one ends up costing is money in the long run.

nrpofp
12-24-2010, 01:51 PM
I completely understand what the op means by justify. I just got off the phone booking 12 day trip with dxdp. 2400 dollars upfront for food seems like a lot, but we have traveled enough and been to enough theme parks to know that we would probalbly spend that much anyway. Were not huge eaters. We just don't like fast food and well most likely eat at the signatures. Its just hard wrapping your mind around spending that much up front. Once I'm on vacation I don't care what anything cost, but I do stress out about in the planning stages.

3Minnies1Mickey
12-24-2010, 02:31 PM
With 2 Adults and 3 kids our average TS bill will be about $100 with tax (less for some like the Plaza, more for others and this doesn't include desserts), for CS $45 (also didn't include desserts). Considering 2-3 kids meals is almost equal to 1 adult meal, I think $1000 for a week for 3 adults and 1 child is quite reasonable for a theme park. Now if you aren't doing a TS everyday, or steering clear of buffets then maybe you'll come out less. But that just means the DDP doesn't fit your eating style.

GovieMom
12-24-2010, 05:08 PM
The DDP was more justifiable when it included appetizers and gratuity. Now, not so much.

chocovrdmicears
12-24-2010, 05:42 PM
I think OP is simply justifying the expense to themselves. Laying out $1000 before the trip just for meals seems like a lot of money, but I'm sure after OP sits down and calculates just how much it would cost to eat onsite for 7 days it won't seem as outrageous.

I totally agree with this. :thumbsup2
It sounds like a crazy amount upfront..but if you sit down and add up what it will cost you to eat paying OOP..you will probably be shocked to find out it really isn't that far off. Now can you eat for a lot less than that? Absolutely! It really comes down to your eating habits. But if you are all going to eat 1 QS meal, 1TS and have 1 snack a day...you are probably closer than you think.

sophie832
12-25-2010, 04:53 PM
We did the DDP a few weeks ago, which was about $800 for 10 days. Now we're going deluxe in January, totaling about $1100 for 7 days. We absolutely loved using DDP on our last trip because our dining was paid for (except gratuities), and we just ate what we wanted. Would we normally eat desserts with every meal? No, but we're on vacation! We're treating ourselves.

This time around, we'll be eating appetizers and desserts with every meal. Plus, we're dining at 7 signature restaurants. Pricing out all of what the DxDP gives you vs. OOP, we will come out ahead. Would we normally eat all of that? Again, no. To us, the justification is the experience of eating a lot of great food and snacks on our trip. We are foodies, so dining is a big part of any vacation we take.

If we didn't care much about food, I would probably forgo DDP all together or just do the QS plan. You have to decide what your priorities are. In the end, DDP probably isn't financially a better choice than TIW or just OOP, but for us it made our trip a lot more relaxing and delicious!

Sandisw
12-25-2010, 06:56 PM
As many have said, what you will spend on food vs. the cost of the DDP really depends on what you want to eat and how much time you want to spend trying to maximize the value.

We have done the plans several times and for the most part, I like them for the convenience more than I do for the "savings". It is just so nice to know what we have credited to us and not have to worry about how much it is costing. While we did pay before we went, it was just different than plunking down that CC every time.

Having said all that, we decided last summer that it really is too much food for me and I can get away with eating 1 CS meal a day with a few snacks like fruit and muffins.

This summer, we are going to just put the money that the DDP would have cost on a Disney Gift card and take that with us. When we get to the world, we will then eat the way we want. If someone wants to get dessert with every meal, like on the DDP, they can--but, if they want to save it for later, they can do that too since there were some things we always got that were not part of the plan and had to pay OOP for them anyway.

Worst case it costs a bit more than the DDP but at least we will eat the way want and not the way the plan forced us to the past few trips.

apulk
12-28-2010, 02:28 PM
I'm on the exact same fence...only with more $$$ at stake. We are a family of 6 with all being adults for Dining plan (youngest is 12). That's a ton of money to pay up-front...which is why I haven't done it yet. We leave Jan 1st so I really only have another day or so to think about it.

We have all of our ADRs made and we do like to have a sit down meal every night so we would probably do that anyway if paying OOP. Really still on the fence though....paying nearly $2000 more for food is a sobering thought.

I'm not really sure it will save us money...just thinking that we won't spend any less OOP so just sucking it up and prepaying may lead to more stress when I give them my debit card at booking vs. pulling it out every meal.

nrpofp
12-28-2010, 11:22 PM
I'm on the exact same fence...only with more $$$ at stake. We are a family of 6 with all being adults for Dining plan (youngest is 12). That's a ton of money to pay up-front...which is why I haven't done it yet. We leave Jan 1st so I really only have another day or so to think about it.

We have all of our ADRs made and we do like to have a sit down meal every night so we would probably do that anyway if paying OOP. Really still on the fence though....paying nearly $2000 more for food is a sobering thought.

I'm not really sure it will save us money...just thinking that we won't spend any less OOP so just sucking it up and prepaying may lead to more stress when I give them my debit card at booking vs. pulling it out every meal.

I'm spending $2400 for 12 days on deluxe dining for 4 people. I have never prepaid for food on a vacation so its kind of strange. I decided to live it up since I don't know if we will be back more than maybe once again. We live 2 hours from disneyland so its hard to justify flying all the way to florida on a regular basis, but will see. I am finding it less stressful knowing that all my food is paid for. I have been to disneyland and other southern california theme parks enough to know how ridiculous the prices are. We just returned from universal studios in Hollywood and the prices at the counter service places were beyond belief, but thats california everything is overpriced. Goodluck with your descision.

ConniegB
12-29-2010, 12:04 AM
:banana: I think you'll be pleased, knowing that all the hard decisions have been made already, and you won't have the hassle of where and what to eat, and standing in the long lines for counter service, you'll be able to enjoy sitdown meals. :dance3:

Arenita
12-29-2010, 12:15 AM
Just did 5 day QSDP. WAY too much food for us. My niece was nine so on the kids' plan. Now that she is ten, it would not be a savings for me. We can take food for breakfast in the room (and avoid the chaos), then split a QS meal for lunch and snack for dinner. It got ridiculous with the desserts! My SIL and I would just laugh - a bit hysterically - when they would ask what we wanted for dessert. (I have about 10 cookies in my freezer.) For those who have the appetite or for those who like to eat TS, it's a great deal...just not for us and our Disney style.

MyTwoPrincesses
12-29-2010, 11:45 AM
As others said, do the math and don't forget to add tax. It's a good value if you plan on eating all of those TS anyway and don't share meals normally. DH and I have NEVER shared a meal going out, so we know that wouldn't happen on vacation. We also like TS meals. I actually am paying OOP for some extra TS even with the DP (we're not spending enough to justify an upgrade to DxDP). We like to unwind with a TS meal. With kids, each TS character meal is more than the entire daily cost of the DP and the cost of a regular TS kids meal comes close.

Also, you don't need to get cookies etc. for all of your desserts. We never (or almost never) got QS dessert. Instead, we'd sub a water bottle for the dessert or some fruit. We'd drink the water while touring or the fruit for breakfast the next day. We'd often use the snack credit for pastries for breakfast breakfast, smoothies, or even coffee. Thus, we'd still only get 1 dessert a day. You don't HAVE to get dessert just because it's included.

DisneyFamily123
12-29-2010, 12:33 PM
Our Dec. 2010 trip was the 2nd time doing the deluxe DDP, did the Plus DDP in 2008. Do we need all that food? No. Would ordering less and paying out of pocket save money? Not much.

But I can see how a family could eat for much less money if staying off site. Even concierge level at a Disney resort might save money with a lot of people on each reservation but that only works if you're at the resort. We would be at the parks usually when concierge food is out. If we drove to Disney, we would probably pack up cereal, soda, snacks, and get a room with a fridge or bring a cooler.

For us, the deluxe DDP is worth it for several reasons.

We stay on Disney property without a car. We need to eat. Where else can we go?
Counter service isn't cheap either, the cost would add up fast and I can't eat that for 10 days straight.
We like dining out at Disney. There are many fun themed places to eat including character meals. And we enjoy being able to take DS with us to the signature restaurants.
For us, there isn't much difference in cost between the Plus and the Deluxe DDPs. It's not too much eating because we use dining credits on our arrival and departure days, and go to the shows and signature meals that charge 2 credits. The deluxe includes appetizers so we get to try different foods and also includes the refillable mugs and more snack credits that we use for drinks, popcorn, and treats (fudge, caramel, etc.) to take home.
It's nice to sit down at a restaurant with it all prepaid and not have to faint at the prices. We just order what we want.


The deluxe DDP cost us $1486 for 2 adults and 1 child, 9 nights. The actual out of pocket cost for all our meals was $2431 plus $39 for 3 refillable mugs and $149 for snacks/drinks (estimated at $2.75 each). The deluxe DDP includes the refillable mugs (1 per person) and 3 snacks x # nights x #people. Add in those costs and we saved $1043. So, on average, that's about a 41% savings. The DDP includes tax (I think it is 6.25%) but not tips.

The average out of pocket cost by meal type (if not on dining plan) for 2 adults and 1 child was:
$157 Signature Restaurant
$92 Other Dinners and Lunches
$74 Character Meals

Bradsdadg
12-29-2010, 12:43 PM
I think you have to sit down and crunch the numbers yourself. What you would eat in a typical day as a family and what it would cost for one day on the DDP for your family. When I crunch the numbers for my family of 3, we either break even or have to pay a little more on the DDP. We don't eat desserts (Maybe once a week of vacation) and you also have to factor in the tip and taxes that I don't think they include on the DDP. I suppose if you break even you could see it as a convienence to have it paid up front. Then there is also the fact that not every restaurant is covered on the DDP, and some spots are 2 credits per meal, etc. Good luck!

markpenske
12-29-2010, 01:08 PM
we have this debate every time we go. Dining plan of no dining plan.
We are AAA members.
It makes more sense to get the AAA room rate and buy our own meals. However, it's fun to be on the meal plan. You order what you want and dont worry about the price.

Mrs D
12-29-2010, 02:13 PM
Too bad RangerUSA1111 never came back to let us know their thoughts after receiving all these insightful comments.

3Minnies1Mickey
12-29-2010, 02:14 PM
we have this debate every time we go. Dining plan of no dining plan.
We are AAA members.
It makes more sense to get the AAA room rate and buy our own meals. However, it's fun to be on the meal plan. You order what you want and dont worry about the price.

AAA room rates can't be made into a package? I know you can't get FREE dining, but can't you still pay for it OOP?

lblume91
12-29-2010, 02:48 PM
For us, the biggest perk of DDP is that the meals are all paid for in advance. We love arriving at WDW with everything paid for except gratuities & souvenirs. It's also so nice to say yes to the kids when they ask for "treats" such as ice cream or whatever snack every afternoon or desserts at meals. Do we need to eat all that? No but it sure is fun for that one week out of the year!! My super tightwad DH always saves all of our receipts & then compares the total food costs to what we paid for the DDP. We have always come out ahead. However, we wouldn't order desserts at lunch & dinner, soft drinks at TS meals, etc if we were paying OOP. For our upcoming trip, we got free dining so it was a total no-brainer. We love the DDP, whether we're paying for it or not. :)

Luv2Roam
12-29-2010, 05:43 PM
AAA room rates can't be made into a package?
You can book a WDTC dining package through AAA.
Historically, booking in January gets a few extra little perks from AAA offices, I think. January has been Disney Month for AAA for quite awhile.
I don't know what the travel dates are usually. So if anyone is booking a WDW vacation in January, wouldn't hurt to see if AAA is offering anything extra besides the usual AAA package perks.

lilandvisma
12-31-2010, 11:18 AM
The justification for us are the Character meals. We don't have to wait in line for autographs and pictures for for the kids AND we get to sit down and have a decent meal, away from the action of the parks. With 3 kids in tow anything that saves me time and kills two birds with one stone does it for me ;)

We also enjoy eating in WDW. Where we live there is hardly a variety to choose from so it's very exciting to have the opportunity to try different types of cuisine.

Last year was our first time on the DDP and though it seemed like a lot of $$ up front, it really turned out to save us quite a bit in the end. I am tight when it comes to my money, I'll admit it...but to me it is worth it to go with the plan.

managerdreamer
12-31-2010, 11:37 AM
For us, the biggest perk of DDP is that the meals are all paid for in advance. We love arriving at WDW with everything paid for except gratuities & souvenirs. It's also so nice to say yes to the kids when they ask for "treats" such as ice cream or whatever snack every afternoon or desserts at meals. Do we need to eat all that? No but it sure is fun for that one week out of the year!! My super tightwad DH always saves all of our receipts & then compares the total food costs to what we paid for the DDP. We have always come out ahead. However, we wouldn't order desserts at lunch & dinner, soft drinks at TS meals, etc if we were paying OOP. For our upcoming trip, we got free dining so it was a total no-brainer. We love the DDP, whether we're paying for it or not. :)

I have to agree getting there and not having to pay for the food feels GREAT!!! then the money you have can go to other things. I would take my desserts back with me and have them for breakfast. Yes, you can eat desserts for breakfast of vacation that is my motto! Plus you burn it off with all the park walking! I know it seems like a lot now but you will be happy you did it in the end. I remember on our last trip we had the DP but the people next to us didn't they got 2 cheeseburgers a pop and fries at it was $35.00 I thought that was a lot of burgers so it is great to have the food paid for if your like me there is so much to do at the park why leave?
Have a great trip :santa:

catne
12-31-2010, 12:24 PM
we have this debate every time we go. Dining plan of no dining plan.
We are AAA members.
It makes more sense to get the AAA room rate and buy our own meals. However, it's fun to be on the meal plan. You order what you want and dont worry about the price.

you do realize you can get the AAA room rate on a AAA package including room, tickets & dining plan. You still get the discount. Your AAA agent will have to book the package for you, though (Disney will not book a AAA package, only a AAA room discount.)

We've done that a couple of times, but the last few years we've found much better deals booking directly with Disney...far better discounts on the room than AAA's typical 10-15%. You might want to shop those prices a bit.

williamson_ja
12-31-2010, 09:00 PM
I only do dining plan when it's free. When we don't have free dining, we can eat a lot less expensively without it. I enjoy having it, but don't have to. I am a cheapy most of all. So, I do whatever works out cheapest for me. We can have fun either way.

momof2gr8kids
01-01-2011, 08:53 AM
If you are planning to do some character meals or buffets, tor dinner shows, then I think it's definately worth it. Those can be pricey.

While we lucked out and got FD for our trip, I'm not sure we would pay for it once our kids are "adults" on the DP. We had quite a few snack credits left over and a couple of CS. It was a lot of food, and I found I was eating things just to make sure we used up our credits. Sometimes I would have been happy with an appetizer, but had to order an entree and it was just too much food.

I think next time we go we would do OOP and be more flexible.

NMW
01-01-2011, 09:09 AM
It depends on how your family eats. Food is not cheap at WDW. If your family is fine with CS meals every meal, every day of your trip, than maybe the dining pan is not worth it. However, if you plan to do even a couple TS meals, a character beakfast, etc. you will probably spend more money OOP than if you had the plan.

havoc315
01-01-2011, 09:46 AM
I may be one of the few to agree with the OP. If you want a lot of TS meals, or signature meals, the DxDP can be a good value.
But the DDP is only a good value if you like to eat in a very narrow way. You can easily put together a mix of CS/TS meals that are cheaper -- and more flexible -- than the DDP.

For OP, can the 3 adults and 1 child obtain decent meals for under $140 per day?
Assuming this family doesn't want a lot of "snacks" or desserts... You could do 1 CS and 1 TS meal like this:
Lunch at the Plaza restaurant -- 3 adult sandwiches for under $35. Children's meal for under $9. So family total -- About $44. If you order beverages, still only about $50.
Dinner -- Cosmiic Rays -- 1 kids meal = $5. Burger for 1 adult, $7. Another 2 adults share the massive chicken rib combo - $14. Total $26. Order a couple beverages, still under $35.
For the OP's family, let's assume a couple of desserts per day -- Another $10.

So OP can get their 2 meals, plus the desserts they want -- About $95. But the same 2 meals would cost $140 on the DDP. If they drink tap water, can save even more. In fact, the DDP may be $50 or more per day, than simply paying OOP for the same TS/CS meals you want.

Arenita
01-01-2011, 10:01 AM
For our eating habits and park habits, the DP does not work. Too much food! We did QSDP on our recent trip and we would groan when they would ask what we want for dessert! :) I have about ten cookies in my freezer still. I could have very easily split every meal I had with one or both of my traveling partners. HOWEVER, for those with growing kids or big appetites - or for those who like Table Service/Character Dining - it can be a great saver. I hope to do an Adults Only trip soon where we Eat Around the World. YUM!

I bring breakfast and snacks from home and we use the refillable mugs - In my calculations, it costs about the same as if we were on the DP, but we are not over-stuffed and there is no waste.

I'm glad there are various options available - that way EVERYBODY can be happy!

over50visits
01-01-2011, 10:49 AM
Savings are kind of fictitious. You will only save if you accept their inflated "list" prices of meals and then think the amount off is a discount, plus you accept that you would purchase such expensive meals every day of your visit.

Given both of those, you will spend less money. We spend a lot less by having a nice meal every other day by ordering off the menu of a nice restaurant, then use less expensive options on the other days.

Minnie Lor
01-02-2011, 10:39 PM
Also, you don't need to get cookies etc. for all of your desserts. We never (or almost never) got QS dessert. Instead, we'd sub a water bottle for the dessert or some fruit. We'd drink the water while touring or the fruit for breakfast the next day. We'd often use the snack credit for pastries for breakfast breakfast, smoothies, or even coffee. Thus, we'd still only get 1 dessert a day. You don't HAVE to get dessert just because it's included.

I didn't know that. :thumbsup2 We're doing DP for the first time. I crunched the numbers and it works for us. I had all of the ADR's before I even thought about adding the DP. So i didn't change what we would order or where we would eat based on DP or non-DP. The only thing that I was double thinking was the pre-packaged desserts with CS. I love my desserts and my snack credits will be going towards desserts. Good to know that I can get a pc. of fruit instead of dessert at CS.

Gmouse
01-03-2011, 01:10 AM
We have had many trips to WDW and easily spent $1,000 in 7 days for 3. We tried the DP (1 snack,1 quick, 1 table serv) last trip and it was great. We saved having the plan and went to places we typically wouldn't have, because of the cost. We usualy ended up eating burgers and hot dogs all week...still spending a fortune! It adds up really fast at Disney! With the plan you can get your unused pnts for snacks and take them home! You can use them at Germany for some AMAZING chocolates, and at amost all of the "countries" you can get unique "goodies" to take home to those as souveniers:) or to keep! We had several left since we had a quick serv and table serv-it was PLENTY to keep us full and running around Disney! We would eat breakfast in the room, cereal and what not....except in the days we used our table serv at Chef Mickey's. The deluxe plans are ALOT of food...3 table servs??? Unlesss you plan on eating all day long, it is not worth it. So...if you want to eat nice meals each afteroon, or breakfast or lunch, save money and not be stuck with only cosmic ray's and pizza planet all week (although they are pretty good:) go with the plan! We are going in Nov for 10 nights! WHOOHOO and wil have the plan again:)

Missytara
01-03-2011, 01:18 PM
I can say I used the dining plan for the first time last year, since I was traveling with two college students that liked the idea of having our meals paid ahead of time.

I wasn't so savvy about the plan last time, and while we had some very expensive meals, we also had some less expensive meals that barely matched the daily cost.

Also, next time, I would not use two credits for each of the three of us to do a Character meal. When I look at the meals we were getting other nights and added it up for the three of us - we paid about $60.00 a piece for the character meal. Next time, I will definately pay OOP.

But this year, I really squeezed the dining plan for what it was worth, and found that I was either getting my snack for free or half of my breakfast. You can really work it, if you try.

pilferk
01-03-2011, 01:40 PM
Anyone else come to this conclusion: 3 Adults and 1 Young Child

After consdiering the DDP's, I just can't justify spending over a thousand dollars for seven TS Dinners and Seven QS lunches. I am not cheap and have no problems spending money. We have no interest in having a dessert at every meal. Maybe one every other day.

Question:

Is your 3rd adult REALLY an adult, or an additional kid over the age of 10?

If your 3rd adult isn't really (or doesn't eat like one), the DDP might NOT work for you. Our upcoming Oct '11 trip will be our LAST on the DDP for awhile, because our eldest daughter will likely be 10 for the following trip. She would not consume $45-ish worth of food in a day and, at that point, we will no longer see any savings on the plan. It will be cheaper to feed us OOP than to pay for the DDP.

But for right NOW, with 2 adults and 3 kids, it's a pretty decent value...though the savings largely comes from the kids side. Still, I recently ran a cost analysis and DDP was the way to go for us. We saved a couple hundred dollars over our 10 day stay (so, 9 nights on the DDP), based off of estimations of where we'd eat and an average value (or actual, if it was a buffet) of the menu items.

Retail (not including snacks) price was around $1675.

With the TIW discount (again, not including snacks and keeping in mind our next trip would not be within 365 days of the upcoming trip, so I would have to upgrade one of the adults to an AP AND pay the $75 annual TIW fee for a total of about $180..which I added to the cost): $1621

Note: If you are ALREADY an AP holder, you'd only need to add the cost of the $75 annual fee (and you can pro-rate that if the card is going to be with you for more than one trip during it's "life span").

DDP: $1424 (which was the price of the DDP and 2 out of pocket TS meals...one of them breakfast at Cinderella's Royal Table).

We save about $200 AND get the snack credits.

For us, it was worth it.

Next time, though.....not so much as our DDP cost would be 1728.68 (3 adults, 2 kids on the DDP + 2 OOP meals). That's a hundred dollars MORE than the TIW discount option.

Vickis3js
01-04-2011, 11:17 AM
We did the DDP for 8nights and we had 3 adults 2 kids and the total was $1199. The daily cost was about $150. I know our meal at CM was over our daily total and we still were able to get a CS and a snack. I came home and added our meal totals up and our total was about $400 more then the DDP cost and that didn't include some snacks that had gotten.

I know a lot of times the desserts were too much so we would ask for a fruit cup to go. At CS places we would maybe get 1 dessert to split and then 2 fruit cups. The kids would always grab a bag of grapes that they wouldn't be able to eat with their meal so in the bag they went. If they got hungry they would snack on that. We had 12 snack credits left over the day we left and we happily grabbed bags of candy and rice krispy treats to bring home for friends and family.

Now I can say that next year our DS will be 10 and we will probably not do the DDP. He is not a big eater so it would be WAY too much for him and I can't justify the price per day for him.

Minniemouse07
01-04-2011, 01:25 PM
We generally do the DDP. It works out best for our family (2A/2C) because we like one TS meal per day to sit and rest and eat something that isn't "fast food."

Dd and I used the DxDDP on a girls trip. It made sense because we were doing some signature dining. We had breakfast or an early lunch each morning (TS) and a signature dinner each evening. We definitely came out ahead w/ DxDDP rather than the DDP or OOP.

This past June we took advantage of the kids play/stay/dine free deal. This gave the kids the QSP and since it was a last minute budget trip we didn't upgrade to the DDP. It was a HUGE mistake! The couple of TS meals we opted for were WAY more (like a few hundred $$) than it would have been for us to upgrade. We will never do the QSP again.

Dd will be a new 10yo when we go this summer, but we scored Free Dining so it takes some of the hurt away. :thumbsup2

I should add that we are smart w/ our ADRs. We never do a signature meal on the regular dining plan (OOP is a better deal), rarely do anything other than dinner (breakfast and lunch are less expensive and you get more w/ dinner) and we maximize our snack credits for use throughout the day.

As always, different families will have different needs...thereby making it a deal for some and not others. Everyone really needs to crunch the numbers themselves to see what works.

As in our case... different plans work better for different kinds of trips.

jbrnhrt
01-04-2011, 01:27 PM
I was in the same boat as op, we are doing 7 nights, with 3 adults, 2 kids. our dining plan will be about $1100-$1300(don't remember exactly), so I took the time to plan out our meals and figure out how much we would be spending out of pocket. It worked out for us just like a pp, the cost of the qs and ts meal, without desserts was the same as paying out of pocket. so with the ddp we also get desserts and a snack each day. on our last visit we brought snacks into the parks to save money, adn we ended up having sticker shock with the meals, we ended up just getting the kids a qs meal to split(they're only 2 and 6) each day in the parks (btw breakfast was included in our off site resort). we just couldn't bring ourselves to hand over that kind of money for each meal, so we're going to do ddp on our next visit. having more adults than kids seems to be how we're going to be realizing savings. For our family one week of meals at disney costs us about 2 months of regular grocery shopping whether we do ddp or not. I also think not having to worry about managing meal money is worth is, one less thing to worry about. hope this helps!

wdwmom0f3
01-04-2011, 01:40 PM
I only do dining plan when it's free. When we don't have free dining, we can eat a lot less expensively without it. I enjoy having it, but don't have to. I am a cheapy most of all. So, I do whatever works out cheapest for me. We can have fun either way.

We have been on the dining plan a few times. The very first time I saved like 600 on our rooms, so I applied that savings to the dining plan and added it to our trip. After everything was said & done, I saved over 600.00 by using the plan.

The last time that I used it, we had free dining. Now that my kids are all considered adults, this was a HUGE savings. Actually, we are going again in May and we will be on free dining again. Like you, I am not sure I will ever pay for it again. $250.00 a day for 5 people to eat is insane!! We will just have lunch or dinner in the parks and eat off site!;)

LuvLuvLuv
01-04-2011, 01:56 PM
for us... we love it. we will always have a dining plan. we prefer to use the dxddp.

normally when we go to eat, we get one appy, 2 entrees and one or 2 desserts. (theres 2 of us)

its peace of mind to go and not have to worry if we'll have enough money to eat on day 8, or to really want that steak--but have to order the burger instead. it also lets us try new things that we may have not ordered if we were paying OOP.

keep in mind, you have until the week you leave to add the plan. (you don't have to pay it at the 45 days prior)

mindyd
01-04-2011, 02:27 PM
My kids are both considered adults this year so its 4 of us at the adult plan and I have decided just to do it because I like having stuff paid for ahead of time. We are doing some buffets which will help break even but I think its going to be close normally I figure it all out but decided just to go with it and not worry. I love not having to worry about how much the food costs and how relaxed it makes me.

3pletprincesses
01-04-2011, 02:41 PM
We changed our travel dates yesterday and free dining is not available those dates. We debatted getting the dining plan and I won. when we did the math, it was about $26 for each of us to eat a day if we took and plan. $26 is not alot when I think that we would probably still do 1 TS a day and 1 QS a day. Plus I won't have to worry about getting the extra mickey ear ice cream since it's included in the plan (one snack). $1300 sounds like a lot of money for 6 days for 5 people but I averaged it, it's not so bad. Quick services opp are roughly $8-9 per adult and doesn't including drinks so maybe $10 per adult an no desert time 2 meals.. about $20. the extra $6 was worth to us for the extra snack and peace of mind that TS was no extra then QS KWIM.

I went last fall and we were 4, myswelf and my triplet 4 yo. The average QS tab was $45 not including desert.

It all depends on the family.

AimeeMichele
01-04-2011, 03:15 PM
The dining plans are totally worth it! When we went in October, every time I would get the bill I would think "thank goodness for the dining plan" because I would have had a very hard time paying what they were charging. We did a character breakfast each day, a signature dinner, Hoop Dee Doo and some other sit down meals. It was fantastic! We were on the Deluxe Dining Plan and saved I believe over $500 with it. I've already booked for Nov 2011 and am trying to talk myself into upgrading to the Deluxe Plan again since we have to go to Cinderella's Royal Table, Hoop Dee Doo and have a character breakfast each day (this is per my nephews and niece and I let them be the boss of Disney) :rotfl:

Like some others suggested, go over the menus and price out what you think you'll spend and compare it to the price of the Dining Plan. I'm doing that again myself right now

twooley2
01-04-2011, 03:20 PM
I'm spending $2400 for 12 days on deluxe dining for 4 people. I have never prepaid for food on a vacation so its kind of strange. I decided to live it up since I don't know if we will be back more than maybe once again. We live 2 hours from disneyland so its hard to justify flying all the way to florida on a regular basis, but will see. I am finding it less stressful knowing that all my food is paid for. I have been to disneyland and other southern california theme parks enough to know how ridiculous the prices are. We just returned from universal studios in Hollywood and the prices at the counter service places were beyond belief, but thats california everything is overpriced. Goodluck with your descision.

I hear ya. I am having a problem with 3200 dollars for 5 people for 8 days for food alone. I am really thinking this is a lot of money an dwondering if it is sane