PDA

View Full Version : Farewell DDP, I think it's going to be OOP


Caitriona
10-05-2011, 11:12 AM
I've been having a VERY hard time deciding between the DDP, QSDP and paying entirely OOP..

It'll be me, DH, DD7, DS3 & DS1 for 7 nights in mid-April.

Cost of QSDP = $637
Cost of DDP = $931

We'll be celebrating the kids' birthdays and we really want to do character meals, so we decided to go with the DDP, but it has been really bothering me. I don't want our schedules to be dictated by ADRs. We figure that we'll all have a much more magical time if we can just go with the flow and follow a very loose and flexible touring plan.

So I then decided that we'll just stick to the 2 most important ADRs (CRT breakfast + Crystal Palace dinner on DD's actual Birthday) and just buy the QSDP plus pay for the 2 TS OOP. Only thing is, is that it costs MORE than the DDP , even though we'd be getting 3 CS meals more (about $960). That just feels like too much food for me and what if we're not THAT hungry?! And I started to worry that I'd think, "since we're paying more than the DDP, why don't we just get it. Yikes - I don't want to do that, even though the temptation was there!)

So, I went through all the menus and tried to figure out where we'd eat and what we'd most likely order. There are very few times that DH & I would share since I'm obsessed with salads & grilled chicken and he likes burgers and fried chicken. DD7 will want to eat off the kids menu and DS3 will share with me at times, since he LOVES the kind of food I eat.

However, I calculated how we'd eat if we're all very hungry ordering the most expensive options we'd likely choose & in my calculations I did not consider sharing. I added in sodas for me & DH (even though I'll be bringing water into the parks, but just in case we need a caffeine kick..), added $30 for refillable mugs (which we'd use and want as souvenirs) added $100 for snacks & extras & then also decided to add Donald's Safari lunch so that the boys can have a celebration meal, as well. I told DD that I will buy her snacks, but if she wants candy & things, i.e the build-a cup slushie from Goofy's, then she'll have to buy it herself (she already has a nice amount saved up and thinks she's rich :) )

It works out cheaper paying OOP and eating at CRT, Crystal Palace and Tusker House by $50 (after tax) than it would have cost to get the QSDP + 2 TS AND we'll be eating the way we want to. Plus, the added bonus is, is that I WAY over-budgeted, so I'll use any money I save to go towards souvenirs for myself, but since I'll put the money on a gift card, it'll be pre-paid in the sense that the money has been set aside. Also, since I already accounted for the most expensive options, the family can order whatever they want (and even DH says that he doesn't have a huge appetite when it's hot outside & on vacation, so he might order the smallest & cheapest thing anyway... )

And after months of planning, I think I'm FINALLY happy with our decision!! :)

sharonabe
10-06-2011, 12:01 AM
Good for you! Now don't go second guessing yourself. You've done the math and it looks like it will be a great plan for you.

Besides, if it doesn't work out in reality as well as it looks like it will on paper, you can always do it another way on your next trip!!

aubriee
10-06-2011, 06:33 AM
I go to WDW several times a year and have always used either the DDP or the DxDDP every single trip since Disney first introduced them. Being an AP holder I qualify to buy the TiW card though (which gives 20% off TS meals and some counter service meals), so this last trip (Sept 10th-18th), I ran the numbers and decided the TiW card would be more cost effective and would let me eat when, where, and what I really wanted. I prefer TS over CS and appetizers over desserts. I am also not a soda drinker at home, but found I was drinking alot of sodas at WDW and my feet swell every trip.:rotfl: For my Sept trip I ordered exacly what I was in the mood for at each meal, without even looking at the price and found I spent less than I would have if I had been on the DDP. For me the main draw of the DDPs was having eveything paid for in advance, so for my Sept trip I put money on several Disney gift cards and used them for meals, gratuities, and anything else I wanted, so everything (including tips) was still prepaid. As much as I've always touted the DDPs and said how wonderful they were, I doubt I'll ever go back to using them. Gift cards used in conjunction with the TiW card guarantees me 20% off and I don't have to worry about using meal credits wisely or skipping a meal and then worrying about finding a place to use that credit. I can order two appetizers or an appetizer and dessert, or all three courses and still get 20% off, so I love the freedom of not being on a DDP.

Bete
10-06-2011, 07:41 AM
from the way it looks is that you didn't include resort tax on the food. If you are not on the dining plan you pay tax. That adds a lot to the cost in Florida.

Also, I would rather have too much food than not enough. Also, on the plan you can order more expensive items and it's included; whereas, you are more hestitant doing so if you are OOP. It's vacation afterall and I like to do some extras that I wouldn't ordinarily do.

I've been through this over and over again and it's still better most of the time for us to get the plan. You're lucky right now; because, you don't have to pay for all the kids. I think you are feeling the pangs of one of your children turning 3; so, you feel it's not worth it anymore.

If you did the QS with some OOP TS meals you could always have a few extra breakfasts with the saved credits. If hubby is more hungry he could always have a meal while you saw a show with the kids.

I would rethink this and make sure it's not economical to be on the plan. If it's close to break even then it's still worth it to have a plan; because, you get more choices for food and so forth.

E&K's Dad
10-06-2011, 08:44 AM
OOP with TiW is by far the best option for my family. I have looked at the math many times and it's only even close if we eat at the most expensive TS and CS and order the most expensive items on the menu. If we calculate as individuals there is a lot of value on the kids DDP if we eat in the "flat rate" TS locations. We will not eat desserts at lunch so the DDP is often a waste of food for us. Plus we like the 20% discount on appetizers and "adult beverages" that we get with TiW.

OP, I hope it all works out for you too!

Bete
10-06-2011, 09:22 AM
OOP with TiW is by far the best option for my family. I have looked at the math many times and it's only even close if we eat at the most expensive TS and CS and order the most expensive items on the menu. If we calculate as individuals there is a lot of value on the kids DDP if we eat in the "flat rate" TS locations. We will not eat desserts at lunch so the DDP is often a waste of food for us. Plus we like the 20% discount on appetizers and "adult beverages" that we get with TiW.

OP, I hope it all works out for you too!

No where does the OP mention being an annual passholder or a Florida resident to qualify for a TIW card. The card is not free, either. Unless, they get the card they don't qualify for the 20% off.

I can understand how in your case it could be better to use the card. Disney advertizes a 20% savings by using the dining plan and that's based on getting a dessert. You don't have to get a dessert or whatever with the TIW card; so, you are money ahead based on skipping dessert. If the card was available to everyone and free I could understand your logic.

It is vacation and I think a few desserts and snacks are part of the fun.

Caitriona
10-06-2011, 09:33 AM
from the way it looks is that you didn't include resort tax on the food. If you are not on the dining plan you pay tax. That adds a lot to the cost in Florida.

Also, I would rather have too much food than not enough. Also, on the plan you can order more expensive items and it's included; whereas, you are more hestitant doing so if you are OOP. It's vacation afterall and I like to do some extras that I wouldn't ordinarily do.

I've been through this over and over again and it's still better most of the time for us to get the plan. You're lucky right now; because, you don't have to pay for all the kids. I think you are feeling the pangs of one of your children turning 3; so, you feel it's not worth it anymore.

If you did the QS with some OOP TS meals you could always have a few extra breakfasts with the saved credits. If hubby is more hungry he could always have a meal while you saw a show with the kids.

I would rethink this and make sure it's not economical to be on the plan. If it's close to break even then it's still worth it to have a plan; because, you get more choices for food and so forth.

Thanks so much for your reply. I actually did include tax and it does feel like a tough pill to swallow, since it narrows down the difference.

I have a huge spreadsheet that I had been working on, and the results were:

OOP + CRT, Tusker House, Crystal Palace (after tax) = $889
QSDP + CRT & Crystal Palace = $965 (however, I did NOT calculate the tax in Crystal Palace this time, but it's already included in CRT cost, as is the gratuity paid at CRT. I also still need to account for tips at both Tusker House & Crystal Palace)
DDP=$931 (which we don't want, but if we did, I originally budgeted roughly $120 in tips based on the TS locations I would have chosen)

Bete
10-06-2011, 09:46 AM
Thanks so much for your reply. I actually did include tax and it does feel like a tough pill to swallow, since it narrows down the difference.

I have a huge spreadsheet that I had been working on, and the results were:

OOP + CRT, Tusker House, Crystal Palace (after tax) = $889
QSDP + CRT & Crystal Palace = $965 (however, I did NOT calculate the tax in Crystal Palace this time, but it's already included in CRT cost, as is the gratuity paid at CRT. I also still need to account for tips at both Tusker House & Crystal Palace)
DDP=$931 (which we don't want, but if we did, I originally budgeted roughly $120 in tips based on the TS locations I would have chosen)

I would really include your husband's opinion in this choice. If he's a heavy eater I still think the plan is better. I think with all the walking and carrying the children on and off rides and so forth that hubby could get pretty hungry. He could eat so many snacks that this can add up, too. We just like the idea of enjoying ourselves without watching every penny on food.

If you are budgeting every cent spent then the DP may not be for you. This is why there are choices for everyone. I'm glad you included tax in your analysis; I just wanted to make sure you did think about it.

Caitriona
10-06-2011, 10:45 AM
Thanks. I love hearing from others who have experience with the DP and it gives me a lot to think about.

DH went to WDW with his sister when he was a teen (since she won a trip to Orlando and they decided to do Disney on a major budget) and they survived off bologna sandwiches for a week. So, right now he's just really excited that we're going to eat food other than bologna.

And we are looking forward to snacks, especially in Epcot. I'm the type of person though who will probably just eat a small meal though if I have a huge snack, but I'm also the kind of person who finds getting to eat a salad whenever I want to be a huge luxury, since I don't think that the family would enjoy only eating salads all the time at home ;) And when we go out to eat, I also tend to order appetizers as my entree, because it's more than enough food for me.

Since the DDP would have cost us over $1000 after tips, I'm thinking about putting $1000 on a gift card in case I do end up with a VERY hungry DH (and because we're going to add on an extra day, room only, and we haven't yet made any dining plans for the extra day). Yes, he'll be the one needing to carry the double stroller onto the bus and carry any sleeping kids LOL. I really do like the idea of use any money we save towards souvenirs, but I won't stop him if he decides that he wants 'edible souvenirs" ;) otherwise the remainder will be used towards gifts at the end of the trip

I've not yet called to remove the DDP from our package, but it kind of helps with having a mental budget that I can see visually. My 45 days isn't up until early March, so I have time :)