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View Full Version : Is it worth it for us to pay for the DDP?


cmurray234
10-25-2011, 08:27 AM
We're going in February (DH, me, DD11, DS9) and we booked a Beach Club villas 1 BR with the 35% off room discount.

We are trying to decide whether it makes sense to purchase the DDP or not. We like to do a sit-down dinner every day...mostly because there are so many restaurants we love and we like the convenience of pre-paying for food so we don't have to worry about it while we're down there.

OTOH, we would have to pay "adult" price for my 11 yo daughter, which is imo, a complete waste of money. And since we have a full kitchen, we could very easily eat some meals in the room and do the Garden Grocer.

Opinions? Has anyone stayed at a Villa and still bought the dining plan?

goofyintoronto
10-25-2011, 08:43 AM
My son doesnt always eat as much as i do, and some food does go to waste...but i ALWAYS go with the dining plan out of convenience. Its so much easier having everything paid, so you dont have to worry about it while your there. There's nothing worse than having to watch your money while on vacay. If you plan on having 1 TS a day, then i say go for the DP. Just my thought.

TDC Nala
10-25-2011, 08:52 AM
I don't like the plan and don't find it convenient at all. Different strokes.

If you really are interested in eating meals in your villa, and you will have trouble using the plan's CS meals, it won't be worth it to have the plan from a monetary standpoint.

As far as the TS goes, if you are doing lots of buffets or family style, lean toward the plan. Your daughter will pay the full adult price at those no matter how much she eats or doesn't eat.

loganpaulsmom
10-25-2011, 08:58 AM
I have used the dining plan the past 2 times I have gone.. and I definitely got my money's worth.. i am not a CS type of girl.. I like to sit down, so for us, it was worth the money.. it is ALOT of food though..
If you have a full kitchen, I may re-think the plan.. buy stuff for breakfast and then maybe pay OOP 1 TS a day..

SnipsNSnails
10-25-2011, 09:00 AM
ITA with Nala - if you are doing buffets or family style, there is no choice but to pay adult for her. At other TS meals you could order 3 meals instead, 2 A 1 C and all share, if you do that for 3 meals, you can have another TS and share 3 A meals between the 4 of you and have another meal. So it just depends on if you really want to eat in your room. If not, you could easily stretch the plan to have all 3 meals by sharing CS and TS meals.

NMAmy
10-25-2011, 09:00 AM
I don't like the plan and don't find it convenient at all. Different strokes.


I agree completely. I find it incredibly inconvenient and I'd be anxious about getting our money's worth if I used it.

OP--You should probably check the menus, grab a calculator, and start doing the math. When we have a villa, we eat all our breakfasts and usually either one lunch or dinner per day in the room. My dd and I often share CS meals and at TS meals, we'll sometimes share a couple of appetizers and desserts. We could never get our money's worth out of the plan. We don't like 3 meals a day in restaurants--I often just prefer a sandwich or some fruit in the room.

Your family may find it makes sense financially to get the dining plan. But since you know your eating habits, you will be the best judge as to its cost efficency for you.

BayouMickey
10-25-2011, 09:55 AM
I just don't get why people insist of viewing the DDP as black or white when it should be viewed as gray...
DDP can be a very useful offering if used wisely.
I love the DDP and DDxP but i don't use them all the time it depends on the circumstances.
example, you are staying at a villa w/ kitchen, personally i would either forego or stick to the basic ddp. if i were staying at a regular resort i would def utilize the dining plans.

disneyfav4ever
10-25-2011, 10:12 AM
I don't think the DDP is worth it if you pay for it. I use it when it's "free" because it works out better for me then a room discount, but I would never pay for it. I just think you don't save that much money, and there's also a lot of things included that I wouldn't pay OOP for, like dessert at every meal.

lucyem
10-25-2011, 10:13 AM
Some people find the dining plan very convenient. Personally we find the thought of it too stressful. I would rather eat what I wanted and not be stuck to a plan and worrying about credits. Also you really need to run the numbers yourself to see if it is even worth it anymore with the 2012 prices and with the 11yr old having to pay as an adult.

We get a 1 bedroom each trip and having a kitchen is wonderful. We make our own breakfasts. We take leftovers back to the room for future meals. I sometimes take counter service to go when leaving a park, throw it in the fridge while we go to the pool for the afternoon and then reheat for dinner.

Two years ago we thought about the dining plan for our family of 4. 2 adults & 2 children. I added up what we would eat and discovered a few things. 1. It would save me $100 over paying out of pocket. 2. It required us all to eat in a way we do not normally eat, and eat a lot of food. 3. My then 4 yr old would have to get meals he would not touch at all. We skipped it and glad we did. My 4 yr old ate off my plate a lot or shared with his older brother. I often got appetizers as my meal. My DH and I share big meals. Since then we have had the TIW card which worked much better for us.

For our next trip in April it will be the last trip with 2 children. My oldest will be 10 shortly thereafter. We considered the dining plan again because we are doing HDDR and a couple of buffets. I figured it out and even forcing us all to eat meals we would not normally eat I had a very hard time coming out ahead with the dining plan with the new prices. To come out barely ahead I would have to change where we wanted to eat for a few meals. So we will get a new TIW card to cover the next 2 trips.

Sandy321
10-25-2011, 10:20 AM
The value when paying oop is declining in my style of dining - since the price will increase in January... of course so may the price of Buffets, and other restaurants...

stenmarks
10-25-2011, 10:23 AM
It definitely depends on your dining style. We like the DxDP because we enjoy character meals and "nice" TS restaurants, and the meals give us a time to relax.

cmurray234
10-25-2011, 10:26 AM
It definitely depends on your dining style. We like the DxDP because we enjoy character meals and "nice" TS restaurants, and the meals give us a time to relax.

The time to relax thing is one of the reasons that we prefer to do one sit down per day. We've been to WDW many times and we enjoy the break.

May I ask about this price increase? I am rarely able to find the individual cost of ANYTHING on disneyworld.com. That thing is my worst nightmare when it comes to websites. :rolleyes:

TDC Nala
10-25-2011, 12:10 PM
The Dining Plan board has sticky threads with the prices for 2011 and 2012. This should be moved there anyway.

nklooz
10-25-2011, 12:30 PM
Personally, I can't imagine not having the DDP. I'm trying to decide if I want to try the DxDP this trip. We like to do at least 1 TS/day, and we like to do character dining for the kids.

I am one of those who find it to be very convenient. I want to have the option to get dessert if I want, get whatever I want off the menu, etc. And, if you're eating TS meals, I can't imagine it isn't going to put you out ahead. But, the 11 yo issue does make it more complicated. I, however, would also not want to use the kitchen for anything other than a bowl of cereal, I wouldn't be cooking, etc.

I would say decide which restaurants you want to make sure you'd eat at. But, for me, I would always choose the DDP. Like a PP stated, different strokes for diff folks, you will find ppl at each end of the spectrum on this. So, decide what convenience is to you (not worrying about bills and what prices are, what to order, etc., knowing in advance what you'll spend on food OR feeling "free" to eat whatever amount in CS or TS and not feel like you have to use meals). I know my family well enough to know that we will do at least 1 TS a day. We will want to, so the second one isn't inconvneint to us. And, decide what you want to spend on food. If the DDP is more than you want to spend on food, you can defn. do it cheaper, just understand what type of eating that means you're doing.

OnlyDisney
10-25-2011, 02:39 PM
I love planning so I make a spreadsheet with all sorts of different scenarios. I plan out which park we'll be at on each day then I decide where we'll be eating, whether in our room, CS or TS. Next I look at the menus on allears.net. I then price out each meal for our family. Even with about 10 TS meals on our next trip it is better for us to use the room only discount. Planning is so much fun! :cool1:

havoc315
10-25-2011, 03:04 PM
We're going in February (DH, me, DD11, DS9) and we booked a Beach Club villas 1 BR with the 35% off room discount.

We are trying to decide whether it makes sense to purchase the DDP or not. We like to do a sit-down dinner every day...mostly because there are so many restaurants we love and we like the convenience of pre-paying for food so we don't have to worry about it while we're down there.

OTOH, we would have to pay "adult" price for my 11 yo daughter, which is imo, a complete waste of money. And since we have a full kitchen, we could very easily eat some meals in the room and do the Garden Grocer.


For less than the price of the dining plan, you can easily eat 1 sit-down meal per day..... For less than the price of the dining plan, you can easily eat 1 signature meal every day (which you can't do on the dining plan).

To get value out of the dining plan, you need to use all the entitlements -- the CS meals, the snacks, the desserts. If you use your Villa kitchen to replace some of these items, then it would make more sense to skip the dining plan. And you may especially want to skip the plan, if your 11 year-old would eat kids meals or the cheapest entrees.
If you still want to get a TS + CS + snack per person, every day, including 2 desserts per day, then the DDP can still make sense.

But.... Let's say you plan on eating breakfast in the Villa. Packing snacks. And eating most of your desserts from Garden Grocer.
So you do a CS lunch without dessert --- About $10-$15
Then let's say a signature dinner without dessert -- California Grill, entree plus beverage plus tip, -- using the Pork tenderloin at $34 as an example, total CG meal at about $40-- So for about the same price as the DDP, you got to still have your CS lunch PLUS a sit down signature dinner.
Or, to compare apples to apples -- lets look at the same $10-$15 lunch, and dinner at Captain's Grill -- Entrees are $15-$30. So for about $5-$15 less than the cost of the DDP, you still had your CS lunch and your sit down dinner.

nklooz
10-25-2011, 07:28 PM
I love planning so I make a spreadsheet with all sorts of different scenarios. I plan out which park we'll be at on each day then I decide where we'll be eating, whether in our room, CS or TS. Next I look at the menus on allears.net. I then price out each meal for our family. Even with about 10 TS meals on our next trip it is better for us to use the room only discount. Planning is so much fun! :cool1:

You can use the room only discount and add dining if you want, right? I am a plan-aholic like that too, so fun!

LuJoy
10-26-2011, 01:46 PM
A few years ago, the dining plan COULD be a real bargain if you really "worked it." Today, I find it much more difficult to get the value -- especially since, IMO, restaurant value has declined tremendously in the past 10 years. I'd suggest planning two REALLY SPECIAL sit-down dinners (signature restaurants) during your stay, a few "regular" sit-down dinners, and then plan on doing a couple of dinnertime meals in your room. If you really do the math and take a hard look at it, I think you will find you save by NOT doing the dining plan ......AND eliminating the stress of wondering if you are getting your value and "working it" properly.

OnlyDisney
10-27-2011, 05:03 PM
You can use the room only discount and add dining if you want, right? I am a plan-aholic like that too, so fun!

I'm not sure if you can add the dinning plan to the room only discount. I know if you want the free dinning you need to pay rack rate and add on park tickets for at least 2 days.

Right now I'm thinking we'll try for a room only discount and get our park tickets through Undercover Tourist.

gretchenohar@hotmail
10-27-2011, 05:25 PM
Yes - you can add the dining plan to a discounted room reservation - or even to a DVC property rented via points from the owner. You just have to pay full price for whichever dining plan you choose to purchase.
HTH.

nklooz
10-27-2011, 06:58 PM
I'm not sure if you can add the dinning plan to the room only discount. I know if you want the free dinning you need to pay rack rate and add on park tickets for at least 2 days.

Right now I'm thinking we'll try for a room only discount and get our park tickets through Undercover Tourist.

Yep, I ended up making one of our ressies this way. So, if both are offered around the time you want to go, you can just see what makes the more sense for your family. Free dining or room discount pay for DP if you want it. If you're staying Deluxe, room discount way and add DP will probably always be cheaper.

jennyf2
10-28-2011, 04:20 PM
My son doesnt always eat as much as i do, and some food does go to waste...but i ALWAYS go with the dining plan out of convenience. Its so much easier having everything paid, so you dont have to worry about it while your there. There's nothing worse than having to watch your money while on vacay. If you plan on having 1 TS a day, then i say go for the DP. Just my thought.

I agree! We have had used the dining plan many times & love it :)

amyr1
10-28-2011, 05:30 PM
We have been having this same debate at our house.

I haven't run the numbers but I think unless the QSDP is free for us (and possibly even the DDP...still need to crunch the numbers) we won't be paying for the dining plan.

We have a 12 yo "disney adult" and he only eats "kid food" so the adult meals are of no use to him. My 6yo and I can easily share many entrees.

Another thing I am thinking about is the drinks. My kids just don't really need soda multiple times each day. Just ordering water would save us a good $8/meal.

Instead of paying for the plan I think we will just put $$$ on a gift card and pretend we have a plan.

Amy

OnlyDisney
10-29-2011, 05:34 AM
We have been having this same debate at our house.

I haven't run the numbers but I think unless the QSDP is free for us (and possibly even the DDP...still need to crunch the numbers) we won't be paying for the dining plan.

We have a 12 yo "disney adult" and he only eats "kid food" so the adult meals are of no use to him. My 6yo and I can easily share many entrees.

Another thing I am thinking about is the drinks. My kids just don't really need soda multiple times each day. Just ordering water would save us a good $8/meal.

Instead of paying for the plan I think we will just put $$$ on a gift card and pretend we have a plan.

Amy

I love that idea! We might use that one.

beachbug79
10-31-2011, 09:42 PM
First off, let me say, everyone has a different opinion, that why we were not all created equal, and we all have different views. And I respect everyones opinion, not one family is alike, so what may work for one, may not work for another.:goodvibes
With that being said, for our family, we did the deluxe and it worked out perfect. My daughter are 6 and 8, so we didnt have to pay adult prices. They were fine eating what was offered, pizza, chicken nuggets, etc, and sometimes steak was offered.. ($2 extra).
We did a one credit late breakfast or early lunch and did a 2 credit signature restaurant each night. We had incredible meals. There were a few we werent thrilled over (Aloha show, hddmr, but they are shows and that what you are using your credits for). We were able to bring our kids to every restaurant, although we did put them in the neverland club and mousketeer club just for some alone time, but kids were at the restaurants we went to, and it wasnt a problem.
I wouldnt hesitate to do it again. We ate very well. I probably gained 10 pounds on that trip, but worth it..

diskids2
11-01-2011, 02:02 PM
We have been having this same debate at our house.

I haven't run the numbers but I think unless the QSDP is free for us (and possibly even the DDP...still need to crunch the numbers) we won't be paying for the dining plan.

We have a 12 yo "disney adult" and he only eats "kid food" so the adult meals are of no use to him. My 6yo and I can easily share many entrees.

Another thing I am thinking about is the drinks. My kids just don't really need soda multiple times each day. Just ordering water would save us a good $8/meal.

Instead of paying for the plan I think we will just put $$$ on a gift card and pretend we have a plan.

Amy

I really like that idea too!