View Full Version : Dining plan worth it or not?
10-03-2011, 08:51 PM
We are me,DW, DD 14 and DD 11 turning 12. The DW and I are Normal eaters the DD 11 eats everything with a good appetite and the DD 14 does not have a great appetite. Since both daughters are considered adults I was wondering if the dining plan would be worth the money and if it was a savings. I would not mind breaking even but I don't want to lose money. Getting the mugs in the plan would be a plus since I always get at least one and I drink my share of coffee.
10-03-2011, 09:14 PM
If you are talking about 2012, that would be over $200 per night for your family.
It *can* be a savings, but really depends how you like to eat, how you like to order. If you want 4 desserts at every meal for your family, lots of dinner buffets, 4 mugs, etc., then it will save you money.
If you eat sandwiches and salads at TS, if your family doesn't eat 8+ desserts per day (combined), etc, then you could potentially lose a ton of money. The only way to know for your family, is to go through the menus and do the math.
10-03-2011, 09:58 PM
It is getting harder to figure a savings in the dining plan. Ideally you can book free dining...then it does not matter. This past trip we had the regular dining plan on a free dining special.
Our dinner bills averaged $150.00 for 4 adults. Lunch or other counter service meals averaged $60.00 for 4 adults. Our mugs were not included so we spent roughly $65.00 on those.
The thing here is that if we were not on a dining plan we would not have had dessert at lunch nor would we have had 4 desserts at dinner. We probably would have had no desserts and probably eaten more counter service meals--possibly even splitting some of them.
A lot of the counter service meals are actually large enough to feed 2 people.
With the price of soda being $2.75 a bottle I would always purchase the refillable mug. Not only is it cheaper than buying soda or juice it also saves you from purchasing a drink with any meal you eat at the resort.
There are some sit down places that we must do but I really don't think I need to have a table service meal every night. On top of that, the tips cost me more than $200.00 out of pocket. No need to tip at a counter service.
10-04-2011, 10:18 AM
Will both of your daughters eat their own, adult-sized entree? Or would they split, or one of them order a kids' meal? If either of them would NOT eat an adult-sized entree almost all of them time, then that right there tells me you'll probably lose money on the dining plan.
I haven't added it up, but I just got back from going on a free dining promotion. Even paying to upgrade to the regular DDP from the QSDP, and forgoing room discounts, it was the best decision for my party, for this trip. That said, I don't think paying for the DDP would have been a good decision for us. We were generally too stuffed to eat dessert after our TS meal, we often ate CSes that we didn't really want because we HAD to, we threw away a TON of food, and we had a number of credits left over at the end of the trip. We find the basic DDP to be TOO MUCH FOOD. (I am not a terribly bird-like eater, either.)
Before our first trip on the DDP, I was a) really excited about having desserts with each meal, as I am a sweets-girl but don't normally order dessert out, and b) concerned about not having enough food, as it just didn't sound like enough. By the end of the trip we were so stuffed that I was sitting at the table going, "No, not another dessert, I can't eat another one!"
So, I don't think I'd counsel a family to get the dining plan, unless they are confident they would really use ALL of it, and be hungry for all of it. If you would eat $47/pp worth of food, every day, in a counter service (entree, drink, dessert,) table service (entree, drink, dessert,) and a snack -- then yes, it makes life easier and I do like the plan. It's kind of fun not to look at the $$$ on the menu and just order what you WANT to eat.
10-04-2011, 10:27 AM
Also wanted to throw out there that just because you all sit down at a TS meals doesnt mean you need to use 4 TS credits (unless it is a buffet or character meal). But if you all have similar taste in food you could order 3 meals and share all three meals equally or maybe 2 DD can share a meal. Then that leaves you with 1TS credit leftover and after 3 meals you would be able to add another TS in there. Of course if you are planning on doing a lot of character meals this doesnt work although the cost of those meals really adds up so would give value to your plan.
You could also use the sharing approach at CS meals. If you are a 3 meal a day family you could do 2CS breakfast and 2CS lunch and share them between all 4 and use some snack credits to supplement.
Sit down and take a look at the menus and add up what you would normally buy is you were paying OP and see what the savings are.
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