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View Full Version : Advantages of NOT doing Disney Dining


Tigger031266
11-16-2011, 09:01 AM
We have wavered back and forth on Disney Dinning and had trips with it and without it. Lately, we determined that we are much happier without Disney Dining because of several advantages:

- BIG BUFFET'S v NICE SIT DOWN RESTAURANTS - On Disney dinning, we tend to push for big buffets (Cape May, Chief Mickey's) where we feel we get our sit down money's worth. We tend to skip places like Kouzzina, captains, Oliviaís and ESPN for breakfast because it is NOT comparable to those big buffets. Kouzzina and ESPN just don't feel like I am getting the value for sit downs. But we love it when we eat there without Disney dining.

- SIT DOWN BREAKFAST - We tend to not be able to have any sit down Breakfast because its not worth using sit-downs for breakfast compared to dinner.

- CROWDED RESTAURANTS - The restaurants perceived to be the best values (again Chief Mickeys, Norway, Crystal Palace) are usually packed. Disney Dining tends to force more people to those restaurants. Places like Kouzzina, Flying Fish, California Grill (2 sit downs) seem to be easier to get into.

- TINY MEALS - We love to grab tiny meals based on appetizers (wings, cheese plates, pizza)... the little bars around Disney. All of which are not ok on the Dining plan. We feel guilty when going to them on the dining plan.

- MEALS IN ROOMS - DVC is all about big kitchens. It just seem like a good thing to use these kitchens. Disney dinning makes it tougher.

- OFF SITE - There are some great restaurants within 10 minutes of Disney. Very reasonable prices.

- RESERVATIONS TAKING UP VACATION TIME - Many times, we are forced into reservation times that either delay or rush our vacation times. It takes up valuable vacation time. Example: 9AM chief mickey reservations, can take up the whole morning. Any particular day, we maybe up earlier or later, going to breakfast when we like is more efficient and a better use of vacation time.

- OTHER DISCOUNT PLANS - There are a bunch of nice discount programs that DVCers can't take advantage of on the plan.

- OUR KIDS SOMETIMES EAT LIKE BIRDS - Nothing is more frustrating to showing up to an expensive sit-down and having our 9 year old saying "I am not hungry". or just plain eating like a bird.


We usually spend about the same amount of money either way but the added flexibility actually makes our vacations better. I also admit that there is a bit of a sting not being on the plan and paying cash for a restaurant like Cape May (about $150)

Does anyone else feel like this? I expect about 15 replies saying something like: "to each his own"....thatís pretty obvious. I am interested in

MinnieGi
11-16-2011, 09:05 AM
It depends on our trip, but we usually do NOT do dining for many of the reasons you listed. Our number one reason is that those reservations take up valuable fun time!!! Our kids after a few days of sit-down meals do not want to take up more time with eating when they could be doing: swimming, golfing, park time, etc...

We leave in four days are again are not doing the plan. We only have three sit-down meals planned for a 8 day trip and that is perfect for us. We use cs, and easy meals in our villa so we can eat and get back out there to the action.

photobob
11-16-2011, 09:17 AM
We don't use DDP for several reasons many you mentioned. The main thing for me is that it just doesn't fit our normal eating/ordering patterns. We usually have a light or snack type bfast in the room, a moderately priced TS meal in the parks for lunch and usually a sandwich or other brought from home quick meal in the room for supper.

If you do have a QS and a TS meal everyday it is a good deal, but we don't so it isn't for us. We don't usually dine at the more expensive restaurants and don't usually order the most expensive entrees nor do we usually have dessert at every meal, so it just isn't set up for us.

Degli
11-16-2011, 09:18 AM
We just don't eat that much food. Don't like being on the clock also.

disneynutz
11-16-2011, 09:28 AM
The novelty and value of the DDP for repeat Guests is wearing off. Now we need to wait for their next big deal.

:earsboy: Bill

Simba's Mom
11-16-2011, 09:46 AM
I used to like the DDP, but I got upset with the lack of flexibility. One time I was in a resturaunt where a person on the plan wanted an appetizer and dessert instead of a main course and dessert, because she wasn't overly hungry. The server insisted that since she was on the DDP, she MUST get a main course, no appetizer. She even called over the manager, who reiterated the policy. Back when appetizer was included, I wanted two appetizers, no main course, soup and side salad. No can do, I was told! And occasionally I get a kid's CS meal, which I couldn't do on the DDP. I just really wanted to be able to get whatever I wanted to eat, and not have to take what I didn't want.

cvjw
11-16-2011, 09:50 AM
Our family of 4 has done the disney dining plan for years. We decided to try something new on our most recent Disney trip. We purchased the Tables in wonderland card. It changed the way we ate at Disney. We went to our favorite TS restaurants, and ordered appetizers, salads and entrees to share. We didn't have to get one for each member of our family. It was the perfect amount of food, it costs less than paying for the DDP, and we didn't throw away tons of extra food. With TIW, we found that we can eat at some of the "lesser $" TS - ones that we never ate at on the DDP, because the entrees were so inexpensive. It has opened up new places to eat for us. We eat what we want at the restaurants, and then can have snacks later in the day - we aren't too full from the huge DDP TS meals. I'm not sure we will ever buy the DDP again.

queendisney
11-16-2011, 10:20 AM
We also have done Disney with and without the dining plan. We like the DP but only the Quick Service one. We are park hoppers and hate to have a restriction of a reservation to keep! We are not in any shape or form people who plan a vacation as to what we are going to do on day one, two, three etc because we just know that we won't keep to the plan. So the qsdp is perfect for us so we can just grab and go where ever we are that day. Yes we like to do some nice meals and have never had a problem getting a table (ok so we may have to wait for it a while). What we don't do is plan to go on vacation because its on offer, if it is all well and good if its not, so be it! :)

Muhlenberg
11-16-2011, 10:26 AM
It doesn't really sound like DDP fits your style of eating.

We've used the DDP in the past, and it was too much food. We'd end up using the snack credits on water. We still eat a CS for lunch and TS for dinner, but TIW works better for us. Then we're not tied to the appetizer/main course requirement.

BEASLYBOO
11-16-2011, 10:55 AM
I totally agree, I know that for some it works out great but not for how we eat on vacation. Spontaneity is a big part of our vacation fun, the DDP and ADR's don't fit into that plan!

1. TIW Card, great because though we are not big drinkers, we do enjoy a glass of wine and/or a cocktail more so on vacation!

2. I simply don't know in the morning how, when, where and what I want to eat. Sometimes at Epcot, MK Etc. I graze around, but then I have to consider OMG I have to save room for dinner, without the DDP I just blow dinner. Then we're free to head to the Swan/Dolphin for a cocktail and bit of sushi, or to the Blue Zoo for Tuna Tartare, or just return to the villa for microwave popcorn, salsa & chips, whatever. Every once in while I plan a dinner and then plan my day around it, but it's not the norm.

3. We very seldom eat dessert, and that incl. the kids. We often share a multitude of appetizers. The DDP is not accomodating!

4. I despise buffets. Boma is the only one I will consider and at the price charged it's once in a great while.

5. If I'm going to outlay huge sums of money to eat, then I'm going to Todd Englishs' Blue Zoo, etc. where I feel that the cuisine is still the most important part of the restaurant! Furthermore, Orlando has many wonderful restaurants who offer great cuisine, yes they charge as much as Disney but the quality and the diversity is there! I'd rather eat a sandwich at Chick-Fil-A than a hamburger at Pecos Bill with a stale bun. I've been to Disney 50 times, I enjoy time away from the parks, I know my way around and I like the savings and I'm still enjoying being on vacation.

6. I love my villa kitchen, our family and friends enjoy the resorts, the parks are no longer the biggest attraction, so sharing a meal that I have lovingly cooked is greatly appreciated by all. Most of all we like the relaxing time together in a nice setting!

7. Thankfully done with the Character stuff, kids have outgrown it.

8. We are not big breakfast eaters, never have been. Disney coffe is crap, I bring my favorite blend! I can't ride if I'm full, it's not pretty!

I did the DDP once and I just can't vacation regimented by where and what time I have to eat. We came home with un-used credits, too much planning. Our vacation is not driven by food and so free dining has no appeal either!

Great thread!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)

Dizny Dad
11-16-2011, 11:01 AM
Flexability!!!

stocker1042
11-16-2011, 01:22 PM
The wife and I never do the DDP. We are 43 and 37, and don't do it for the multitude of reasons you posted. We eat breakfast in the room, a nice CS lunch somewhere for around $30 for both of us, and then spend the rest of the day snacking...or once in a while, sporting the $100 or so for a nice TS dinner.

If you drink, like we do when on vacation, the DDP does not work well. It also does not fit F+W festival well at all.

dvcforme1993
11-16-2011, 02:09 PM
doesn't fit my eating schedule. also, i do not need to gain five pounds in a week at disney. during my september 2011 trip, i noted how many overweight and obsese people were at disney. i have been trying to lose 10-15 pounds (some success, down about six since sept). i'm sure the dining plan has not helped folks with their weight. i don't hear this discussed much though.

marynvince
11-16-2011, 02:51 PM
The DDP forces you to eat more than you would because you don't want to lose what you've prepaid for.

It's like becoming a DVC member if you really prefer to stay at the all-star resort.

tjkraz
11-16-2011, 02:57 PM
We have wavered back and forth on Disney Dinning and had trips with it and without it. Lately, we determined that we are much happier without Disney Dining because of several advantages:


How about 1) keeping more dollars in your wallet and 2) not gaining 5 pounds while on vacation.

Seriously, who needs two desserts per day for a week straight?!?!

TiggerFan3590
11-16-2011, 03:01 PM
We did the DDP for the first time on our last trip.... It was fun to try something different and we did go to some restaurants that we had never tried before.... However, all of the planning and reservations did limit our ability to enjoy the day and evening.... having to be somewhere at a specific time put a bit of a damper on my vacationing style.... I know that the plan works for most families, but for ours, it was too much food and too much planning..... But that is the beauty of WDW, something for everyone.....

MrsNick
11-16-2011, 03:25 PM
Agree that no DDP is more flexible. That's the primary reason I don't think we will have it on our upcoming trip. I've been kicking it back and forth, but I think we will pay for our meals OOP.
I considered TIW, but on our trip, TIW is blocked out for 2 days of our weeklong trip and isn't accepted for the Candlelight Processional dinner package we have on another day of our trip. So, in essence the TIW card won't work for close to half our trip.
Based on that, I think no DDP and no TIW. We'll wing it.

ssawka
11-16-2011, 03:43 PM
Our family of 4 has done the disney dining plan for years. We decided to try something new on our most recent Disney trip. We purchased the Tables in wonderland card. It changed the way we ate at Disney. We went to our favorite TS restaurants, and ordered appetizers, salads and entrees to share. We didn't have to get one for each member of our family. It was the perfect amount of food, it costs less than paying for the DDP, and we didn't throw away tons of extra food. With TIW, we found that we can eat at some of the "lesser $" TS - ones that we never ate at on the DDP, because the entrees were so inexpensive. It has opened up new places to eat for us. We eat what we want at the restaurants, and then can have snacks later in the day - we aren't too full from the huge DDP TS meals. I'm not sure we will ever buy the DDP again.

It doesn't really sound like DDP fits your style of eating.

We've used the DDP in the past, and it was too much food. We'd end up using the snack credits on water. We still eat a CS for lunch and TS for dinner, but TIW works better for us. Then we're not tied to the appetizer/main course requirement.

The problem with the TIW card is that you have to have an annual pass to buy it. We go to WDW once a year, so for us it is not worth getting an AP. We are much better off buying a 10 day MYW NE pass.

We have mixed emotions about DDP. For us, it does fit the way that we eat. We are not the comando type tourists. We will always have one TS a day, although I wouldn't mind cooking in the villa once in a while.

Like, OP said, we are not big fans of buffets, but there are a lot of other options for the DDP. We always find ala carte, or family style places to eat. Contray to OP, I really don't think the buffets are the best bang for your buck with DDP. The buffets tend to have cheap starchy food. I think using the plan for a steak or a seafood entree is a much better deal.

We almost never rent a car, so eating off-site is not really an option for us. Besides, I'm not sure that we would want to. DD(10) has celiac disease and needs to have gluten-free meals. Nobody handles food allergies better than Disney!

That being said, there are some things I really do not care for with DDP. For one thing, on our most recent trip, we had 6 people on the DDP. On our last day, we had 16 snack credits and 5 QS credits to use. We did use them, but we brought most of the snacks home with us. We used to use the snacks for breakfast, but now that we are DVC members, we bring cereal down with us to eat in the room. I also don't feel that I need desert at lunch. Dinner yes, but not lunch.

[Edit]

Just wanted to add that saying that the DDP is less flexible is not really true. It is not having the DDP or not that causes a lot of planning. It is having a TS or not. For us, a TS meal every day, whether at a restaurant or in the villa is a must. We need that "time out" from what we are doing every day!

Rest&Relax
11-16-2011, 08:26 PM
We have been members since 93 and we have never done the DDP. :scared1: I have looked at the numbers many of times and over the years it was never worth it. We do the TIW card and it just works much better for us. We have enjoyed eating at different restaurants when we want to without overeating and enjoy Disney more without all the planned ADR's in between.

Tigger031266
11-16-2011, 09:12 PM
So glad I am not alone. DDP popular restaurants are just unpleasant. The have downgraded the plans so much by dropping appetizers and not including gratuity.

Hopefully, less DVc people will take the plans and Disney will give us better deals.

DizBub
11-16-2011, 10:16 PM
Please don't forget about the DVC discounts. They are mostly 10% but there are a few 20% ones. House of Blues for instance, NOT on the DDP. We had an awesome dinner there.
We really like to have a sit down breakfast some days, a huge waste of a TS on the DDP. Olivia's at OKW and Grand Floridian Cafe gave us 10% discounts. Many restaurants at Dolphin/Swan offer 20% off.

There are other options other than DDP. Too much food and becoming pretty expensive with the price hike next year. Plus we already have more refillable mugs than we will ever use.

I guess we are officially OVER the DDP. :)

Wedgeh
11-17-2011, 06:58 AM
How about 1) keeping more dollars in your wallet and 2) not gaining 5 pounds while on vacation.

Seriously, who needs two desserts per day for a week straight?!?!

Me! And coming from the UK you can make that 2 weeks popcorn::

WDWMom
11-17-2011, 11:24 AM
We just don't eat that much food. Don't like being on the clock also.

Exactly! I would gain too much weight and not feel well if I ate all the food that was offered.

TravelingJen24
11-17-2011, 01:27 PM
We have never done DDP before, but are taking a shot at it this time. We are going with to other families and will be having a few sit down meals with them. We made a collective decision to all get the DDP. This was so no one would feel ackward when the bill came. Our family has a tendancy to say you get this one we'll get the next. This should make it easier.

With the prices changing in January for kids, this seemed like a better deal. We use our kitchen a lot when we typically go, but I didn't want to hassle with groceries and cooking this time around. My life is so busy typically and I want to just go and not worry about the cost of groceries, issues with meals, etc. I am hoping it is a good choice for everyone.

I'll let you know how it goes. :confused3

TDC Nala
11-17-2011, 02:18 PM
I assume you mean using the Disney Dining Plan.

If you are not on the Disney Dining Plan, you have the option to order what you want. Appetizers? Go get 'em. Don't want dessert? Don't order it. Don't feel like eating that big table service meal you wanted? You can skip it (keep an eye out regarding credit card guarantees for restaurant reservations though) and you don't have that dining credit left over. Kids don't like the kids' meals? You can order them whatever they want. Want to try Il Mulino or Bistro de Paris or some other restaurant that doesn't take DDP? You can! Not hungry for snacks? You don't have to stock up on stuff to bring home at the food court so you don't waste those snack credits.

2binak
11-17-2011, 03:06 PM
We used the DDP on this last trip, but only because we had some expensive meals planned & we had an entire extra day on property after check-out (6pm flight home) in case we missed an ADR, we could make it up that day.

We usually don't get the DDP because we like the flexibility of hopping from park to park on a whim and we don't like the pressure of having to make every ADR or lose money. If someone's not feeling well, we don't want to feel forced to sit down for a meal. Also, it's alot of food and really cut into our ability to truly enjoy F&W Fest :sad2:.

This was a 1-time thing for us. We won't be using the DDP again.

lisaviolet
11-17-2011, 03:31 PM
Funny story.

About a week or two after using the DDP at WDW - I was ordering dinner here. And the internet page did a pop up and suggested a dessert. I actually felt sick to my stomach. Instantly. It was cheesecake. I LOVE cheesecake. Adore it. And I went "what?" "why?" ""why is this happening?".

Oh yeah that DDP isn't quite out of my system yet. :laughing: The ramifications are lingering. I need to give it another week or two. :lmao:

And despite using many fruit choices as snack options I refer to my time on it as my *stoned on cupcakes* holiday.

get_us_to_WDW
11-17-2011, 06:04 PM
We have always been a group that favored DDP for the convenience it offered a large group. But, after several years of doing DDP with our large group of 12 we have decided against it for 2012. In fact, of our 9 nights in WDW we have only planned 4 group "sit down" dinners. None of these are buffets because paying $$$ oop at buffets for small children who eat very little seems like a waste - so we're dining at Tutto, O'hana (special occasion and price is not as bad as most buffets), Le Cellier and Chefs De France - where the adults can eat as they want, kids can get a meal for around $10 (1/2 of buffet prices) and we can use TIW.

What really excites me about this plan is that our normal routine in warm weather is to tour parks in the AM and then come home once we've had enough and hit the pool - usually by late afternoon. It will be sooooo nice to be at the pool at 4:30pm and not need to leave to go get showered and rush to a 6:00pm ADR! Several nights of wide-open freedom! Grab a hot dog at Hurricane Hanna's and keep swimming! Head back to the parks later in the evening - OR NOT!

We always have groceries delivered to the room for breakfast items and snacks, so this year we will likely order some lunch-meats or other casual dinner foods.

Definitely looking forward to the freedom, less spending and not feeling so stuffed from so much DDP food!! :thumbsup2

jekjones1558
11-17-2011, 06:38 PM
I am on vacation. I do NOT want to be tied to an eating schedule. I do NOT want to predict 6 months ahead of time when I will be ready for dinner and what I will be hungry for and where I will actually be located at dinner time. I don't give a rip about the cost. I want to eat on MY terms. DDP does not allow for that.

Serkazong
11-18-2011, 04:38 PM
How about 1) keeping more dollars in your wallet and 2) not gaining 5 pounds while on vacation.

Seriously, who needs two desserts per day for a week straight?!?!

Me! And coming from the UK you can make that 2 weeks popcorn::
:laughing:Me too! Well, not need, but since when is eating at disney about what you need?

huey duey & luey
11-18-2011, 05:36 PM
We just don't eat that much food. Don't like being on the clock also.

we did the DDP for the first time this past trip, and this is why we won't be doing it again. We were ledt with so many extra snack credits and a few counter service. Just not right for us, I am glad I tried to while my kids were still "kids", to see for myself

TSMMANIAC
11-19-2011, 07:23 AM
My husband and I did the dining plan in 06. At that time it was only ~30$ and included appetizer, entre, dessert and tip. we had 5 reservations at table service restaurants in 5 days. By the end of the trip we felt like all we had done is eat and plan every day around a reservation. I would never do it again!

Since then we have done a counter service meal plan and it worked out much better. Just don't really feel it has much value these days. Food isn't great at the WDW. If we could still segment I would try it again.

dvcforme1993
11-19-2011, 07:45 AM
i have never seen the benefits of the dining plan. i have, though, seen the adverse effects on food quality at disney and. i suspect, obesity. in september i was at vwl for a week, trying to lose at least 10 pounds for a month or so (now down about five)...i was extremely conscious of the overweight folks, many of whom were handing in coupons at RF. i even remarked to my sister: "if you want to feel 'thin," make a trip to disney." i didn't gain weight on my trip, but didn't lose any either. about the best you can hope for on vacation. i expect that most adults on the dining plan gained 4-5 pounds during their week's visit, eating lots of less-than nutritous food "tastied up" with lots of fat and sugar.

schedules to eat? give me a break. i would hate that.:surfweb:

Doug7856
11-19-2011, 07:56 AM
We did the dinning plan twice -- paid for it once and got it free once. My kids hated it and now that my oldest is turning 10, I can't see getting it again. He still eats like a kid. My son felt that it was a terrible use of time when he could be riding the attractions LOL.

We limit ourselves to a few table service meals, eat in our villa a few times and have a great time! I agree that food quality has diminished and a sameness has spread through many of the restaurants. I don't find the quality poor, just not worth what Disney is asking me to pay. Prices are inflated so everyone can feel that are getting a great deal on the dining plan.

The dining plan is all about marketing and a way for Disney to compete with cruising.

dianeschlicht
11-19-2011, 08:26 AM
We find the dining plan to cost too much for us and require us to eat differntly than we want to. We NEVER do counter service, and we found we only used the table service options and snack options, so it was not a good value for us. On top of that, once they took away the option of choosing dessert or appetizer, we nixed it completely. We did a cost comparison for two trips...one using DDP and one without. We spent several hundred dollars more with the DDP than we would just eating the way we prefer. Our preference is one table service a day plus a snack. With the TIW card we always come out ahead over what it would cost to do the DDP, and we don't feel like we are "leaving food on the table" so to speak.

Now, beyond that...I HATE what the DDP has done to the quality of WDW dining. It used to be a special place to find special menus. That's not true anymore.

otterpop
11-19-2011, 11:55 PM
I'm going to go against the majority on this one...with two under 9 kids, the DDP works out great for us. We have a light breakfast in the room, QS for lunch, and a TS for dinner. My kids love the character meals and there is always a good variety of food, so there is always something for everyone. I agree that it is a ton of food, but we probably lose weight for the duration of the trip, rather than gain, because we are always on the go (and my family is all average weight or even under weight). We plan our meals at the times when we know we all need to take a break and re-energize. I agree with others, that I could probably do without the QS desserts and we generally have a few snack credits left, but it all gets put to use and makes for great snacks for the plane trip home. I have calculated the cost every time, and we always come out ahead versus paying out of pocket. Many people will say that it might be saving you money, but would you have spent (and ate) that much if you were not on the plan and paying out of pocket? My answer is probably no, but then we aren't at Disney every day of the year either. It's all part of being on vacation and it works for us.

The nice thing about the the DP's is that you know how much they cost and you know your dining habits, so you can easily sit down and figure out if they are right for you.

Now once my kids turn 10 (or is it 9?), then it will be a different story. I will probable pay out of pocket at that point.

Doug7856
11-20-2011, 05:21 AM
I'm going to go against the majority on this one...with two under 9 kids, the DDP works out great for us. . .

I agree. I believe that the children's price of the DDP makes it a deal for a family if you eat at buffet locations. If I'm not mistaken, the children's price per night is less than one character meal. It becomes less valuable at non buffets for families in my opinion. The last time we were on the DDP, my son complained about the sameness of the children's options at the non character meal restaurants and especially the counter service restaurants.

ML_LovesDisney
11-20-2011, 05:28 AM
I totally agree with OP. DDP was nice for our first 2 trips, we tried a lot of buffets/restaurants, but I would rather be able to order what i want, not waste dessert that I don't eat and not feel like I'm losing money if I eat 2 CS in a day and not any TS.

allshookup
11-20-2011, 11:03 AM
ITA with the majority of posters. We have also done both & made the comparison & since we tend to have pastries for breakfast in the room for breakfast, eat 1 sit down meal per day (sometimes we share a dessert) & the other meal usually consists of a light snack, so the DDP is just too much food for us & not a value.

That being said, DH & I are going on our first adults only weekend in January & have decided to do the deluxe plan since we don't really plan on doing the parks except wining & dining through Epcot. We also plan to do a couple of signature meals which require 2 credits, that means we still won't be eating 3 sit down meals per day.

So I don't think the DDP is a savings when we take the kids or stay for more than a couple of days, but OTOH I will utilize the plan if it's just an adult weekend. I just really wish Disney would go back to more variety & quality in their menus & get rid of those stupid wheat buns. :crazy2:

Disney Spaz
11-20-2011, 11:25 AM
Add us to the won't do it again group. We had Free dining this past May and all agreed it was not something we wanted to do again. Like most we planned our days around TS meals and that made for some unhappy people on several days. The only real positive was it got us to try a few restaruants we had never tried before. But of all the restaruants only 1 we agreed to do again. Either way we much prefer using the kitchen to make food at least a few times.

bobbiwoz
11-20-2011, 02:37 PM
We're doing the DDP for our NYE stay largely because the TIW card isn't valid for 2 of the nights. Will we get our money's worth, I don't know, but we are going to try it. I also will have a car and want to go to the Pepper Market at Coronado Springs, and I doubt we would ever get there without having some counter service credits to spend!:goodvibes We're also doing the HDDR and I have lunch at Le Cellier on my birthday!

Obviously, we don't do the DDP often. This is probably the 3rd time since we've been members, since '03.

DenLo
11-20-2011, 03:06 PM
I can see using the DDP especially when you have children under age 10 and you are doing character meals like Cinderella's Royal Table. The cost for a child is $36 and a DDP for a child is $11.99 that's less than $24 for a $36 meal and you still have two QS meals and snacks. So for a family of four with two young children it could really save some money when doing character meals.

And like bobbiwoz said some nights are blocked for TIW card.

The killer is when your 10 year is considered an adult. Yikes and they still eat like a bird.

zalansky
11-20-2011, 03:24 PM
Agree with everyone else. Likely won't be using the DDP any longer after this year. For starters, the cost just isn't a savings any more. It's more like pre-paying for the food. The quality also has gone way down, IMO.

As other have mentioned, most times you feel the urge to order the more expensive items on the menu, so you get your moneys worth! So many times I have really wanted something that was on the cheap end of the scale but it could have meant me losing money. :laughing: Then there is the dessert factor. We never eat desserts, except when on the DDP. Honestly the desserts (with the exception of the creme brulee) are not that good.

My son is almost 9, another reason we won't be using the DDP going forward. Not paying $46+ for him to eat!

Nope, DDP and me, we're over!

murmkc
11-20-2011, 07:41 PM
Unless it is for the F&W where you can use your snack credits for awesome F&W grub - I will NOT be doing the dining plan again.

In the past I have done the standard and the deluxe versions and it the cost does not justify...

rjvose17
11-21-2011, 05:15 AM
I don't really have anything new to add, but I thought that I would add my opinion as well.
We got free dining back in 09 when we stayed onsite at Coronado. This was pre-DVC, and we liked it because it was "free". It gave us a chance to try places that we wouldn't have normally paid out of pocket for. We again tried it this passed Sept 2011 because we were DVC members.
Although it probably saved us a bit of money what happend was we felt like we were ALWAYS eating. We had to leave things early to get to our ADR's in time. Even with ressies we had long waits some times, and we never seemed to be able to use all our snack credits. So for the last portion of our trip we called and cancelled the dining plan. We were refunded our money and I had recently (at the beginning of the trip) upgraded my ticket to a AP so I bought a TIW card and that worked out SOOOO much better IMHO.
We don't normally eat a TS everyday and don't like being held down to such a time restraint when it comes to eating. DH and I are going just the two of us in a few weeks, the kiddos are staying with grammy, and we are very happy with NO ressies, and our TIW card. We will eat where we want when we get hungry if that means off property because we can't get in anywhere then so be it....I don't want food dictating my vacation again. :thumbsup2

uncw89
11-21-2011, 09:46 PM
We're doing the DDP for our NYE stay largely because the TIW card isn't valid for 2 of the nights. Will we get our money's worth, I don't know, but we are going to try it. I also will have a car and want to go to the Pepper Market at Coronado Springs, and I doubt we would ever get there without having some counter service credits to spend!:goodvibes We're also doing the HDDR and I have lunch at Le Cellier on my birthday!

Obviously, we don't do the DDP often. This is probably the 3rd time since we've been members, since '03.

Like you, I'm going to do the DP for my NYE trip for the same reasons. I've been debating whether or not to do it but since the TIW will be blocked out on NYE. My DS is 10 and this is the first time having to pay adult prices for him! UGH!!!! We've done the DP many times in the past and felt that it was a much better deal when it first started, but with the kids price only being $10 or so, it was a better deal. At least DS is a good eater. Last year we tried the Deluxe DP and that was definitely way too much food.

supernova
11-22-2011, 02:31 PM
I haven't scrolled through four pages so I don't know what has already been said. To me, the Dining Plan just doesn't make any sense. Usually if I eat a large enough breakfast, I am good to do an early dinner and that'll do it for me. The dining plan forces you to eat more than you might want to anyway. Even if you do the two-meal-and-a-snack plan, figure out the cost before you jump at it. I have never spent a hundred dollars per person a day for food, so the meal plan doesn't add up for me.

uncw89
11-22-2011, 03:03 PM
I haven't scrolled through four pages so I don't know what has already been said. To me, the Dining Plan just doesn't make any sense. Usually if I eat a large enough breakfast, I am good to do an early dinner and that'll do it for me. The dining plan forces you to eat more than you might want to anyway. Even if you do the two-meal-and-a-snack plan, figure out the cost before you jump at it. I have never spent a hundred dollars per person a day for food, so the meal plan doesn't add up for me.

The basic plan is $46/day for adults for 2011 and $51 (includes refillable mug) for 2012.
But yes, the DP doesn't work for everyone! :)
We don't do it all the time but I think during the holidays with the TIW blackout dates (that's when we will be there) and some restaurants charge a few $$ per meal on top of their normal $$!
We usually have at least one TS meal a day and sometimes two. We don't really like the CS meals. And during the holidays it's nice to be able to sit down and relax and not fight for a seat at the CS places.
33 days for me!!!!!:banana:

Sammie
11-22-2011, 03:32 PM
It all depends on personal choice. I don't agree with the comments about making you eat more though.

We don't eat food just because it is there, I considered a meal on the Dining Plan no different than a cruise or buffet. I don't stuff myself just because it is there.

uncw89
11-22-2011, 03:36 PM
It all depends on personal choice. I don't agree with the comments about making you eat more though.

We don't eat food just because it is there, I considered a meal on the Dining Plan no different than a cruise or buffet. I don't stuff myself just because it is there.

Us too!

TheIncredibles!
11-22-2011, 03:46 PM
We don't do it because it makes no sense for us. 2 of my 3 kids are considered adults. That's absurd for our family and how we eat. If they allowed people to buy adult points or kid points - regardless of age - and restricted the kid points to the kid menu then we'd go for it.

WolfpackFan
11-23-2011, 09:16 AM
We don't do the dining plans. It is just way too much food. We don't pig out like that at home so why should we do it when on vacation? Just doesn't make sense. We usually only eat 1-2 TS meals per trip. The rest of the time we eat in our room or share something at a CS restaurant.