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View Full Version : Am I the only one who *hates* the DDP??


*TheWigs*
09-01-2012, 06:00 PM
I remember the DDP being a MUCH better value several years ago...BIG bags of candy/multi-serving foods were sometimes considered a "snack" and there were few restrictions on what you could order at a TS restaurant ::yes::. Nowadays, unless we BY CHANCE were to book our trip during free dining, I would ABSOLUTELY bypass the DDP! It's inevitable that I or one of my family want something from the menu that ISN'T included on DDP :rolleyes2 or we have a TON of snack credits left over :faint:. Two years ago, we did DDP and just weren't happy with all the "rules and restrictions" that were so different from years past. I'm not saying that one can't get a good value with the DDP or knock the convenience of being able to budget your food $ to the dime, but for the way our family eats and orders, it's just not for us...anyone else?? :confused3

Amy&Dan
09-01-2012, 06:13 PM
There are plenty of people on this board who will agree with you and plenty of threads through the years to prove that!

I too will never pay for the DDP again. I am okay with the restrictions, but its very expensive. We also frequently go during peak periods so its even more expensive. We can eat way cheaper and for a ten night trip, I refuse to pay over $200 a day plus tips for food. Especially since its more food than we want or really can eat.

I don't want to spend time maximizing my money spent on the DDP and since we would never eat two desserts a day (three if we use a snack credit for a dessert), the value isn't there, if we are paying for the DDP.

Now when its free, given that we stay moderate and are a family that are all "adults" by Disney standards, I love the DDP. But we found in March we felt over full and ended up trading in our last four ts credits for cs credits. Which is not a good deal, but since it was free and we just couldn't face another ts meal, it was worth it. Had I been paying, it would have been a different story.

When we go when its not free dining, we pay out of pocket, eat a few ts at places that are not buffets and at our favorite cs places.

Like everthing else that is a set "plan" or package, you have rules and guidelines associated with it and if those rules don't fit, you can always not get the plan or choose a different discount because if free dining is around, so generally are room discounts. Which in many cases will save more than free dining depending on where you stay and how many/how old your party is.

Scrappy_Tink
09-01-2012, 06:32 PM
Me and DH have never used DDP, and probably never will. We like our appetizers too much for one thing (someone please tell me why kids get appetizers, but adults don't? :confused3 ) We usually skip breakfast, so I guess 1 qs and snacks would be okay.

Now what we WILL do, is take advantage of the TIW offer to DVC members. At least the 20% counts on appetizers and drinks! :thumbsup2

Qltrgrl2
09-01-2012, 07:05 PM
W are trying the DDP in November because it is free with our three night stay. With numerous trips to Disney, we have never thought it would be good value, but for a short trip we are giving it a try.

daisy112878
09-01-2012, 07:14 PM
I think it serves it's purpose for some people. We are not those people. We like apps and not dessert so right there we don't like it.

Cheshire Figment
09-01-2012, 08:13 PM
I hate the DDP with the power of 10,000 Suns. The only thing I hate more is "free" dining!

dizneyjill
09-01-2012, 08:15 PM
I don't understand why you can't have a choice of either a dessert or an appetizer. It makes so much sense...you could share an app and a dessert. I just can't eat a whole dessert.

minnie mum
09-01-2012, 08:28 PM
I don't have the vehement hate for the DDP that Cheshire Figment does, but we're no longer fans of it either. It just doesn't work for the way we prefer to eat. I understand that any plan will have its rules and restrictions. And I understand that it just isn't practical to come up with a bazillion different types of plans to suit everyone. So for us it's strictly pay OOP for all our meals.

Quite frankly, I won't even do the FD thing- give me a good room only discount any day.

LockShockBarrel
09-01-2012, 08:51 PM
I don't mean this to you OP but this is just coming along at the "right" time...does there need to be so many threads scattered through the boards about this? All of the dining plans are an option, not a necessity, and it was never intended to work for everyone. If you hate it so much, don't get it. I'm at a loss why so many people get it only to kvetch about it when a little simple research would show if it would work for you or not. Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I don't disagree that the plans are not always the best option but like I said, if you don't like it there's no one forcing you to get it.

OK sorry, vent over. For those who would flame, I add this little guy :firefight.

Ro Z
09-01-2012, 09:00 PM
i hate the ddp with the power of 10,000 suns. The only thing i hate more is "free" dining!

agree!!!

Ro Z
09-01-2012, 09:11 PM
I don't have the vehement hate for the DDP that Cheshire Figment does, but we're no longer fans of it either. It just doesn't work for the way we prefer to eat. I understand that any plan will have its rules and restrictions. And I understand that it just isn't practical to come up with a bazillion different types of plans to suit everyone. So for us it's strictly pay OOP for all our meals.

Quite frankly, I won't even do the FD thing- give me a good room only discount any day.

Or an AP discount and I can eat what I want. And the TIW helps us too.
But in Nov. I am buying the dining plan because DH likes to eat around the world during F+W. We saved enough on the room with our AP that buying it is 'worth' it to me on this trip. We did this last year too and using snacks at F+W we thought it was a good deal. He got things like the lobster claw that was $8. for a snack credit :lovestruc
but any other time we skip the DDP!

goofyintoronto
09-01-2012, 09:25 PM
I don't mean this to you OP but this is just coming along at the "right" time...does there need to be so many threads scattered through the boards about this? All of the dining plans are an option, not a necessity, and it was never intended to work for everyone. If you hate it so much, don't get it. I'm at a loss why so many people get it only to kvetch about it when a little simple research would show if it would work for you or not. Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I don't disagree that the plans are not always the best option but like I said, if you don't like it there's no one forcing you to get it.

OK sorry, vent over. For those who would flame, I add this little guy :firefight.

I couldnt agree more. I dont get it either. :confused3 If you do your research beforehand you can decide if its worth it for you or not. I dont get why ppl feel the need to create a thread about it. You tried it once, hated it, end of story. Move on. Dont get it ever again. Why post a thread about it? I paid OOP for two nights/three days (just got back today), and had the DDP for the rest of our 6 night stay. I gotta say, we spent a forture paying OOP. How do ppl save money? I thank god for the DP cause it saves us a ton of cash. To each their own right?

usd2bmd
09-01-2012, 09:39 PM
For the way we vacation in Disney, it works for us. But even if it didn't I would
Not be posting about how much I hate it or how much more I hate free dining. We are lucky that it is offered when we go. Plus I love the fact that I don't have to worry about budgeting for food.

To each his own.

Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards

TrulyMadlyDisney
09-01-2012, 10:07 PM
I never understand the need of some ppl to bash Free Dining. Disney has many promotions, ppl chose the one that works for them. Why make ppl feel bad cause they chose a promotion you don't like?

I'll be enjoying my Free Dining in 7 days! :cool1:

goofyintoronto
09-01-2012, 10:11 PM
:thumbsup2 Well said!! :hippie: I love free dining and always take full advantage. In all my years, i think i only travelled once without free dining (by choice). As you had mentioned, there are other promotions ppl can use if they dont like free dining. Thats the beauty of it, you have a choice! nobody is forcing you to get the DP.

I never understand the need of some ppl to bash Free Dining. Disney has many promotions, ppl chose the one that works for them. Why make ppl feel bad cause they chose a promotion you don't like?

I'll be enjoying my Free Dining in 7 days! :cool1:

Ro Z
09-01-2012, 11:01 PM
I don't understand why you can't have a choice of either a dessert or an appetizer. It makes so much sense...you could share an app and a dessert. I just can't eat a whole dessert.

An app costs more than a dessert. Period. Thats why it is not offered!

si-am
09-01-2012, 11:22 PM
I think a lot of people hate the dining plan and free dining because of the perception/belief that it has been the reason for the dumbing down of menus. I'm one of those people.

Tricia's mom
09-01-2012, 11:38 PM
I think a lot of people hate the dining plan and free dining because of the perception/belief that it has been the reason for the dumbing down of menus. I'm one of those people.

I have to agree with this... I also don't like the dp....It does NOT work for my family. I can't imagine eating that much food or having to manage whats a snack credit.. Just one less thing I want to manage.
Sometimes DH and myself split a meal or I eat just an app.Way to much food.

A co=worker recently went with her whole family ( her parents were treating everyone) They were using the DP... I thought how stupid it was to waste the money but then I remembered the Parents were paying and it was a way to just make sure dinner was paid for... NO awkward moments when the bill came.
I guess for some it has its privileges.

And Everyone is entitled to their own opinion....Even if they DIS like something...Don't read it if you don't want to read others opinions.

*TheWigs*
09-01-2012, 11:40 PM
I don't mean this to you OP but this is just coming along at the "right" time...does there need to be so many threads scattered through the boards about this? All of the dining plans are an option, not a necessity, and it was never intended to work for everyone. If you hate it so much, don't get it. I'm at a loss why so many people get it only to kvetch about it when a little simple research would show if it would work for you or not. Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I don't disagree that the plans are not always the best option but like I said, if you don't like it there's no one forcing you to get it.

OK sorry, vent over. For those who would flame, I add this little guy :firefight.

This is why I stressed at the end of my post WHY some may like the DDP...it just doesn't work with our WDW vacay style and was looking for like minded Disers...:blush:

*TheWigs*
09-01-2012, 11:45 PM
I couldnt agree more. I dont get it either. :confused3 If you do your research beforehand you can decide if its worth it for you or not. I dont get why ppl feel the need to create a thread about it. You tried it once, hated it, end of story. Move on. Dont get it ever again. Why post a thread about it? I paid OOP for two nights/three days (just got back today), and had the DDP for the rest of our 6 night stay. I gotta say, we spent a forture paying OOP. How do ppl save money? I thank god for the DP cause it saves us a ton of cash. To each their own right?

I posted a thread because I CAN...I was not intending to sway others to or against the DDP (I even stated reasons why one may LIKE the DDP) but rather was wanting input from others that find the DDP does not fit their particular WDW vacay style. Thanks for your post, tho! ;)

Ro Z
09-01-2012, 11:50 PM
This is why I stressed at the end of my post WHY some may like the DDP...it just doesn't work with our WDW vacay style and was looking for like minded Disers...:blush:

Ya. Someone who goes to WDW once every few years may find the dining plan a good choice because they may not get a better deal. No AP, TIW or whatever. But for me, except for F+W it is not our best option.

Tricia's mom
09-01-2012, 11:51 PM
Dining Plan sucks and is for pigs.....




























:rotfl2::rotfl: :lmao:

danceintherain
09-02-2012, 12:03 AM
I don't understand why you can't have a choice of either a dessert or an appetizer. It makes so much sense...you could share an app and a dessert. I just can't eat a whole dessert.

Money.
Even if an appetizer didn't cost more than a dessert, if given the option, people would probably do exactly what you're suggesting. They would end up spending more time at their table without actually spending more money. It's beneficial to Disney's bottom line to turn over as many tables as possible.

I don't *hate* the dining plan, because it just doesn't work for me. That would be the same as *hating* coupons, because I don't use them. It's one option.
It is, however, frustrating that DH *loves* it. This makes it difficult for me to convince him that we don't want it.

emmabemmainc
09-02-2012, 12:11 AM
I also don't really understand why this thread was started. Obviously, if you've been on this board longer than a day, you would have known that no, you are not the only one who hates the DDP. End of story.

Ro Z
09-02-2012, 12:19 AM
I couldnt agree more. I dont get it either. :confused3 If you do your research beforehand you can decide if its worth it for you or not. I dont get why ppl feel the need to create a thread about it. You tried it once, hated it, end of story. Move on. Dont get it ever again. Why post a thread about it? I paid OOP for two nights/three days (just got back today), and had the DDP for the rest of our 6 night stay. I gotta say, we spent a forture paying OOP. How do ppl save money? I thank god for the DP cause it saves us a ton of cash. To each their own right?

Like I said before. We save enough $ using our AP DISCOUNT that paying oop for meals works for us most of the time. Add our TIW 20% discount and we save even more. I have friends who swear by free dining and they spend more than 10 days in WDW. And I think they should get an AP. BUT they don't have one. IMO if you pay full price for your room, unless you have 4 adults in one room. Free dining is not a great deal.

goofyintoronto
09-02-2012, 12:31 AM
Quote: IMO if you pay full price for your room, unless you have 4 adults in one room. Free dining is not a great deal. I dont agree at all. My preteen son eats like a machine. We spent a fortune paying OOP. We think its a terrific deal. Plus it works for us. We dont have AP or TiW thou. Not an option for us.

Posted from DISboards.com App for Android

DisneyFanJon
09-02-2012, 02:07 AM
I wonder how many people that "hate" (which is a strong word for an optional discount offer) the dining plan are frequent visitors, and hence don't need to try and cram in as much as possible to a vacation ? Or are US residents and have a decent chance of getting PIN codes or suchlike?

For us, the DDP at a discounted rate (generally for each trip the DDP has been free with stay, and been able to upgrade to the next level for a small cost) is a big thing. especially as flights etc continue to rise in costs. We very rarely have an appetiser when dining out at home, and that is, to myself and most friends here in England, pretty common. Yet most of us will always have a desert.

Like others say, it's optional, and when it's free its usually got a fair few conditions attached, and even then, certainly going off the prices of Travel Agents and Disney here in England, it's also at the cheapest times of year.

Even with the plan being free when we are on our next trip, I've got each restaurant thats bookable booked, and all were our first choice.

But then again most of the stuff at Disney seems good value compared to the rip-off prices here so :rotfl2:

LaurenT
09-02-2012, 06:36 AM
Hate is a strong word, but I wouldn't do the DDP. And, FD...well, it isn't really free, is it? You're paying rack rate to get that "free" which could be a substantial difference from another discount you could be taking advantage of.

I use TIW. My friend and I just took our girls. We were there for 9 days. Ate TS everyday, drank wine or margaritas every day, got the appetizers we wanted, etc.
In the end it averaged out to $80 a day for each of us ($80 for me and my DD and $80 for her and her DD), so that's $40 per person per day for all meals with drinks, appetizers and tips included. We ate at Le Cellier, Marrakesh, the Wave, Mama Melrose, Sanaa, Flame Tree Barbecue, Restaurantasaurus, Rose and Crown, The Fountain (discount honored due to mix up), Cape May breakfast, San Angel Inn, Wolfgang Puck, Captain's Grille, Big River Brewery and Bongos (I may be forgetting some).

I'm pretty sure if I added in the tips, alcohol and appetizers to the DDP (since they're all OOP on DDP) the cost would be significantly higher. Or, I could just make myself eat dessert and avoid all alcohol and appetizers....that would be a big drag on my vacation.....

jekajekalynn
09-02-2012, 07:28 AM
Meh, after reading some touring blogs about it I'd rather skip it. For one , the free one isn't really "free", the cost of the dining is being distributed amongst other items like lodging , ticket prices, etc etc..(although I can understand wanting it just for the convenience of it)

buzzrelly
09-02-2012, 08:31 AM
We have done the DDP many times in the past but I don't think I'd get it again due to the price increases and the fact that my kids would now have to be "adults" on the plan. It just wouldn't be worth it for us. We just don't normally eat that way anyway. We'd be perfectly content sharing snacks and CS meals.

And I don't understand why people are jumping all over the OP and getting offended by her post. People are allowed to come here and voice their opinions...that's what they DO here. She's just voicing hers....don't take it so personally people.

LockShockBarrel
09-02-2012, 08:52 AM
Just to be clear, I'm not arguing anyone liking the plans or not, if it works for you, grand, if not, peachy. For me this was just one "I hate the DDP" thread too many.

eliza61
09-02-2012, 09:23 AM
I don't hate it. I treat it just like any other mass market discount, some times they work for me, some times they don't.

I too am in the camp that it was a better deal when tips and appertizers were included. that was more in line with how my family dines.

Now that it's about 50 bucks a head, no way does it ever save me money. that's 200 bucks a day for my family (actually more because you must pay tips) While maybe 2 days out of 7 we spend more, last year we average 163 bucks a night including tips and 2 days where dh and I had adult beverages (beer and wine).

I do think its negatively effected food quality.

All and all though, I'm glad some folks can benefit from it.

eliza61
09-02-2012, 09:28 AM
Just to be clear, I'm not arguing anyone liking the plans or not, if it works for you, grand, if not, peachy. For me this was just one "I hate the DDP" thread too many.

I can understand, but why read them then? title was pretty clear. I sympathize though. for a while there were tons of threads on the budget board along the lines of "welfare abuse". seems like everyone had a friend, relative, neighbor who was on welfare while living la vida loca (including multiple deluxe wdw trips), while they themselves were struggling to make ends meet.

I had the same complaint until some one mentioned the same thing to me.

Now I completely avoid them, they are the same rant to me and I'm just a happier person if I skip the conversation all together.

We always get some topics that go through cycles. nothing new.

wdw&sonny
09-02-2012, 10:00 AM
Hate is a strong word, but I wouldn't do the DDP. And, FD...well, it isn't really free, is it? You're paying rack rate to get that "free" which could be a substantial difference from another discount you could be taking advantage of.

The same people who think FD is "free" probably also buy trip insurance for their package of room, tickets and dining.:confused3

Cheshire Figment
09-02-2012, 10:47 AM
The real problem with the DDP is each restaurant gets a fixed dollar amount for each meal served no matter the menu price of the meal. These amounts, of course, are separate for signature dining, regular table service, quick (counter) service, and snacks.

This has led to unreasonable pricing for buffets for people paying OOP as the amount paid to them by DDP is significantly less than the menu price and they have to make it up by charging more for those paying OOP.

And also for the regular meals, the top-end food is limited. I have noticed there tends to be about a $15 range between a restaurant's lowest and highest priced entrees. The restaurants cannot afford to increase this range, so the upper end quality is limited.

And they can't have a separate menu for DDP as people will complain about discrimination. And they cannot mark items on the menu that are not subject to DDP and must be OOP as people on the DDP will claim they did not notice the restriction.

And, of course, human nature being what it is, many people taking advantage of "free" dining will look to the high end of the menu.

JimmyV
09-02-2012, 11:13 AM
I don't "hate" it, but am more disappointed in its inflexibility. I am frustrated by the fact that Disney has selected one format of dining and created a plan that caters to that model and leaves everyone else behind. Families like ours that enjoy appetizers, split a dessert three ways and never snack between meals are left out in the cold. If apps cost more than desserts and they wanted to bump the price $5 per person per day to allow us to have apps and a main and pay OOP for a dessert, I'd consider it. Or charge me the same price and allow apps instead of desserts and scrap the snacks, I'd do that too. With everything being computer coded, it can't be hard to build a "Dine Your Way" plan. But the current model of the DDP is just too many snacks and desserts to be workable for us. (And I don't need the: "but you can get a banana or apple as your snack" lecture. Yes I could. But I can also bring those into the park for next to nothing.)

As for free dining, we are only a family of three and prefer Deluxe resorts. Paying rack rate and only getting three DDPs does not work out economically. Toss in the great rates that you can get at the Swan and Dolphin which are not DDP eligible and free dining at Deluxe rack rate is a no-go.

Amy&Dan
09-02-2012, 11:19 AM
I couldnt agree more. I dont get it either. :confused3 If you do your research beforehand you can decide if its worth it for you or not. I dont get why ppl feel the need to create a thread about it. You tried it once, hated it, end of story. Move on. Dont get it ever again. Why post a thread about it? I paid OOP for two nights/three days (just got back today), and had the DDP for the rest of our 6 night stay. I gotta say, we spent a forture paying OOP. How do ppl save money? I thank god for the DP cause it saves us a ton of cash. To each their own right?

I do notice a lot of people who hate the DDP go to WDW quite often. And its the "dreaded" free dining that amps up the hate even more. And that is what I am more posting about this time around, "the I hate FREE dining", which if I went to WDW more often might apply to me, but for at this point in my life, does not!

I do feel that the menus have definitely changed, they do feel more standardized and I now know what works for restaurant choices for us to mix and match where it doesn't come out feeling like we ate the same thing night after night. I miss some things I used to get at a few restaurants, but overall the menus are fine for us and we enjoy pretty much all our meals.

For us, when free DDP is offered, this is hands down our BEST discount. We are intelligent enough to know its not free per se but it works for us when its free. When its not, we do manage to save money although we certainly don't eat as well! And for us, having done the DDP most of our last trips since 2006, and having it be free dining at that the last four trips, it would be really hard to go without it. Just paying OOP for a couple of nights this past March reminded us of how much nicer it is to be on the plan and while we didn't spend that much, we shared alot and my kids in particular had a countdown going when our "free" dining package would begin!

We fly from Denver, airfare is always very high for us, and free dining allows us to save money in a way that makes it possible for us to come and really have a great time, living it up with meals that to us, are a very nice change of pace and a real treat. We know they aren't all going to be "gourmet" but we do enjoy the food and admittedly are not foodies on a mission to create our own version of a Food Network show. Its much more fun for me to set my two teenagers off on their own, knowing their KTTW cards have all those handy "credits" on them to get what they want. No "okay kids, here's a $20 bill, go find something to eat and bring me back the change". Or at a ts "you can have x, y, but not z since its too expensive".

Just as the DDP won't work for a lot of people's eating styles, for many of us it allows to vacation on a whole different level if we get it, whether we pay for it or get it discounted.

And while I won't "buy" it anymore, its not because I hate it, but rather that its very pricey for the four of us. Well over $200 a day and we can eat for half that if we really scrimp. Which is no longer fun and why we do what we can (and so far so good in getting this discount over our dates) to come during free dining.

The attitude that those of us who love this discount are somehow not quite smart enough to understand how it is in fact a discount, frankly come off as condescending.

All discounts Disney offers are about getting you to come to Disney and hopefully spend above the discount. Free Dining is no different. TIW is no different. AP's and the disounts they offer that are so coveted, are no different than Free Dining, they are just covering a different dynmaic of customers.

To each their own.

Not opposed to the thread,or the many others, just opposed to when some seem to think you are somehow just not able to grasp what it really is whether you are paying for it or getting it for "free".

Princess_taffy05
09-02-2012, 11:45 AM
This will be my first time using the "free dining." It actually is my first time using the dining plan period, but in my past Disney travels, my patents were footing the bill. I think it is pretty convenient for us because we are big drinkers and this is a way to have our actual meals already covered ahead of time and we can spend oop for our adult refreshments. The thing I am concerned with is the "too many desserts." I do not have a big sweet tooth and tend to fill up very quickly on meals and wine/beer. I'm hoping I can at least take some of these desserts back to the hotel, but I'm not sure I will even eat them.
I can see everyone's point of view here. If this weren't my first trip back in 5 years and we went annually like I used to as a kid, I probably would skip it if it weren't being offered for "free."
I was shocked when we booked by how cheap this trip is...

Princess_taffy05
09-02-2012, 11:46 AM
*parents

goofy78
09-02-2012, 12:17 PM
I'm a little confused. As someone who has never used DDP these threads along with threads praising the DDP are very helpful in deciding if we would be interested in a "FD" offer or RO for our upcoming trip. Someone mentioned being able to spend less than 200 a day if they scrimp, but I am on vacation and am not going to scrimp at all. Someone else mentioned the not included items on the DDP. I thought you could order anything on the participating restaurants menu. Of course apps and alcohol would be OOP. Was I wrong about this? If I can't order what I want off the menu it's definitely not for us. So thank you to everyone who starts these threads!

AndiSlamberg
09-02-2012, 12:30 PM
I've never used the DDP, I just haven't stayed long enough to warrant using it. However, I've also tried not to use it because reading all these posts makes it seem so confusing.:confused3 Maybe we'll try it for our next trip when we are there for 2 weeks.

*TheWigs*
09-02-2012, 12:46 PM
I also don't really understand why this thread was started. Obviously, if you've been on this board longer than a day, you would have known that no, you are not the only one who hates the DDP. End of story.

Posts about "done to death" topics such as tour groups, school aged children in strollers, and lying about your child's age to get something for nothing are useless posts! My post was genuine and I wanted others' opinions on how the DDP works into their Disney style...the DDP can be kinda tricky, but some people still *love* it. I like to hear both sides... Sometimes the search option isn't that great to find that ONE good answer that may make sense or that you can relate to. When that happens to me, I post. Isn't that what the Dis boards are for? :confused3 But thank you anyway for your comment...even opinions of grumpy people are welcome on the Dis! :thumbsup2

Lintasare
09-02-2012, 01:05 PM
I don't get it. The Dining Plan is not a recent invention. There has always been some form of the Dining Plan in place for as long as I can remember. Back when my family went for the first time in 1985 there was a Dining Plan. Only you got real paper tickets with restaurant names printed on them.

When I was a CP in 2002 there was a Dining Plan only it was called something like the Discovery Plan which was the regular plan and there was The Grand Plan which was like the Deluxe DDP. I remember because when cards were swiped the receipts were forever long.

When we visited in 99 before a cruise we were asked if we had a Dining Plan. It is not a new thing. And I personally don't think the dumbing down of the menus is a DDP thing. More a Disney cost cutting thing overall.

tarheelmjfan
09-02-2012, 01:07 PM
I personally don't see all promotions equally. Room discounts don't affect my hotel stay. DDP, especially free dining, has made a major impact on my dining experience. I would love it, if they went back to the old hotel/ticket promotions. I realize some people couldn't afford the same type vacation w/o free dining. For them, I wish they offered a hotel & ticket discount that equaled what they would have to pay for food. I just think the promotions offered shouldn't negatively affect the vacations of others. We can see how much WDW pays for food now. Apparently, it's cheaper to give it away than offer the type of hotel discounts they once did. If everyone was paying for exactly what they eat, they could charge the price necessary to offer more than the cheapest product they can find.

eliza61
09-02-2012, 01:10 PM
I also don't really understand why this thread was started. Obviously, if you've been on this board longer than a day, you would have known that no, you are not the only one who hates the DDP. End of story.

I guess for the same reason some post a thread saying they "love" the ddp?
Why not have a thread for your side?

tarheelmjfan
09-02-2012, 01:17 PM
I don't get it. The Dining Plan is not a recent invention. There has always been some form of the Dining Plan in place for as long as I can remember. Back when my family went for the first time in 1985 there was a Dining Plan. Only you got real paper tickets with restaurant names printed on them.

When I was a CP in 2002 there was a Dining Plan only it was called something like the Discovery Plan which was the regular plan and there was The Grand Plan which was like the Deluxe DDP. I remember because when cards were swiped the receipts were forever long.

When we visited in 99 before a cruise we were asked if we had a Dining Plan. It is not a new thing. And I personally don't think the dumbing down of the menus is a DDP thing. More a Disney cost cutting thing overall.

The previous dining plans weren't as cheap as the current plan. Plus, few guests used them. Those who did paid well for the privilege. Those plans didn't affect the dining scene at all. DDP & DxDDP are a different story. The cost is too low for WDW to continue to offer the quality product they once did. They simply can't afford to at those prices. Those paying OOP are now paying too much for the quality received to subsidize the low DDP/DxDDP payout. Counter service locations haven't seen the same decline, because the QSDP costs more in line with OOP prices. They're not losing money left & right on that plan, unless they're giving it away.

goofyintoronto
09-02-2012, 01:26 PM
OMG im so sick of hearing: "oh but the dining plan really isnt free since you have to pay rack rate for the room".

I can easily argue that your room discount isnt much of a discount since you have to pay OOP for food!

Paying OOP works for some but not for us. To each their own right? We dont benefit from room discounts. We save much more $$$ with free dining offer. Thats just us. We paid OOP for a couple days and spent A FORTUNE on food. Never again OOP!


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maxiesmom
09-02-2012, 01:35 PM
Just to be clear, I'm not arguing anyone liking the plans or not, if it works for you, grand, if not, peachy. For me this was just one "I hate the DDP" thread too many.

:thumbsup2

No one is forced to use the dining plan. If it doesn't work for you, or make sense to you, don't use it.

goofy78
09-02-2012, 01:45 PM
OMG im so sick of hearing: "oh but the dining plan really isnt free since you have to pay rack rate for the room".

I can easily argue that your room discount isnt much of a discount since you have to pay OOP for food!

Paying OOP works for some but not for us. To each their own right? We dont benefit from room discounts. We save much more $$$ with free dining offer. Thats just us. We paid OOP for a couple days and spent A FORTUNE on food. Never again OOP!

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I agree!

JimmyV
09-02-2012, 01:52 PM
OMG im so sick of hearing: "oh but the dining plan really isnt free since you have to pay rack rate for the room".

I can easily argue that your room discount isnt much of a discount since you have to pay OOP for food!



Posted from DISboards.com App for Android

To be fair, this aspect of the DDP is fairly easy to compare apples to apples. At the higher end of the spectrum, a couple might have to spend $3,500 for seven nights to qualify for seven days of free dining worth $700. So as long as they can get a room for $400 per night or less without the plan, and eat for $700, they break even. From there it is easy to play with the numbers to see how you will come out. So paying rack rate at the higher end of the resort spectrum is a big deal. Especially if you are only getting free dining for one or two people.

goofyintoronto
09-02-2012, 01:56 PM
Quote:

To be fair, this aspect of the DDP is fairly easy to compare apples to apples. At the higher end of the spectrum, a couple might have to spend $3,500 for seven nights to qualify for seven days of free dining worth $700. So as long as they can get a room for $400 per night or less without the plan, and eat for $700, they break even. From there it is easy to play with the numbers to see how you will come out. So paying rack rate at the higher end of the resort spectrum is a big deal. Especially if you are only getting free dining for one or two people.

Thats why i said to each their own...because we would never stay delux. Room discount at value or mods is minimal...we save more with free dining.

Room discounts at delux level is huge. But again, it doesnt apply to us.


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goofy78
09-02-2012, 02:26 PM
Thats why i said to each their own...because we would never stay delux. Room discount at value or mods is minimal...we save more with free dining.

Room discounts at delux level is huge. But again, it doesnt apply to us.

Posted from DISboards.com App for Android

But even with 30% RO discount at BC for 7 nights is not as good as a discount as FD for 5 Disney adults. Saves us an extra $1000 if we got FD. And last trip we spent at least $2000 on food alone. We don't skimp at all.

JimmyV
09-02-2012, 03:15 PM
Thats why i said to each their own...because we would never stay delux. Room discount at value or mods is minimal...we save more with free dining.

Room discounts at delux level is huge. But again, it doesnt apply to us.


Posted from DISboards.com App for Android

But even with 30% RO discount at BC for 7 nights is not as good as a discount as FD for 5 Disney adults. Saves us an extra $1000 if we got FD. And last trip we spent at least $2000 on food alone. We don't skimp at all.

And that is why the "to each his own" is the best advice. What works for 5 adults in a deluxe may not work for a couple in a deluxe. Way too many variables to make generalizations about price. You just have to get out your calculator. But as I posted earlier, if the DP does not mesh with your style of eating, the price comparison is irrelevant.

davedmaine
09-02-2012, 03:22 PM
The DDP and free DDP have truly ruined the dining experience at Disney..

davedmaine
09-02-2012, 03:24 PM
But even with 30% RO discount at BC for 7 nights is not as good as a discount as FD for 5 Disney adults. Saves us an extra $1000 if we got FD. And last trip we spent at least $2000 on food alone. We don't skimp at all.

You'd actually be much better off with TiW and a room disocunt..

eliza61
09-02-2012, 03:24 PM
But even with 30% RO discount at BC for 7 nights is not as good as a discount as FD for 5 Disney adults. Saves us an extra $1000 if we got FD. And last trip we spent at least $2000 on food alone. We don't skimp at all.

Wow that's alot. I have 2 teenage boys and we don't spend 300 bucks a day on food. Can I ask how many ts are you guys are eating a day.

Last year, we ate a ts almost every day including appertizers and tip and we average only ~170 a night (average) We only had really 2 nights where we approached the 250 buck mark.

But let me ask you, with the free dining if you are eating that much you are you some thing OOP or do you upgraded to deluxe dining, do you guys do a lot of character meals?

goofy78
09-02-2012, 03:28 PM
You'd actually be much better off with TiW and a room disocunt..

I was thinking that too.

eliza61
09-02-2012, 03:30 PM
And that is why the "to each his own" is the best advice. What works for 5 adults in a deluxe may not work for a couple in a deluxe. Way too many variables to make generalizations about price. You just have to get out your calculator. But as I posted earlier, if the DP does not mesh with your style of eating, the price comparison is irrelevant.
Great point Jimmy,

The cost comparison always comes up on the budget board and the first bit of advice I like to give is to always go to allears and look how you would normally eat.

davedmaine
09-02-2012, 03:30 PM
This will be my first time using the "free dining." It actually is my first time using the dining plan period, but in my past Disney travels, my patents were footing the bill. I think it is pretty convenient for us because we are big drinkers and this is a way to have our actual meals already covered ahead of time and we can spend oop for our adult refreshments. The thing I am concerned with is the "too many desserts." I do not have a big sweet tooth and tend to fill up very quickly on meals and wine/beer. I'm hoping I can at least take some of these desserts back to the hotel, but I'm not sure I will even eat them.
I can see everyone's point of view here. If this weren't my first trip back in 5 years and we went annually like I used to as a kid, I probably would skip it if it weren't being offered for "free."
I was shocked when we booked by how cheap this trip is...


Don't worry ; the desserts are nothing special

cluvsdisney
09-02-2012, 03:32 PM
I remember the DDP being a MUCH better value several years ago...BIG bags of candy/multi-serving foods were sometimes considered a "snack" and there were few restrictions on what you could order at a TS restaurant ::yes::. Nowadays, unless we BY CHANCE were to book our trip during free dining, I would ABSOLUTELY bypass the DDP! It's inevitable that I or one of my family want something from the menu that ISN'T included on DDP :rolleyes2 or we have a TON of snack credits left over :faint:. Two years ago, we did DDP and just weren't happy with all the "rules and restrictions" that were so different from years past. I'm not saying that one can't get a good value with the DDP or knock the convenience of being able to budget your food $ to the dime, but for the way our family eats and orders, it's just not for us...anyone else?? :confused3

It's not for us either. It doesn't include items we enjoy, has too many snacks/desserts than we need and costs us more than OOP so it doesn't occur to us to purchase it any more.

goofy78
09-02-2012, 03:36 PM
Wow that's alot. I have 2 teenage boys and we don't spend 300 bucks a day on food. Can I ask how many ts are you guys are eating a day.

Last year, we ate a ts almost every day including appertizers and tip and we average only ~170 a night (average) We only had really 2 nights where we approached the 250 buck mark.

But let me ask you, with the free dining if you are eating that much you are you some thing OOP or do you upgraded to deluxe dining, do you guys do a lot of character meals?

We only ate dinner at TS other than a few TS breakfasts which included CRT. But like I said we didn't look at the menu and say "you can't get that it's too much money". We only go on vacation once in a while and don't skimp on anything. If we want a snack we get a snack. If we need a drink we get a drink. I'm pretty sure our dinners cost your nightly average alone. I know everyone's eating is different but I would rather eat a nice sit down dinner than a QS meal three times a day. Next trip I think we will end up doing more Character meals as well.

TrulyMadlyDisney
09-02-2012, 03:58 PM
For us, when free DDP is offered, this is hands down our BEST discount. We are intelligent enough to know its not free per se but it works for us when its free.

The attitude that those of us who love this discount are somehow not quite smart enough to understand how it is in fact a discount, frankly come off as condescending.


To each their own.".



Well said. I agree.
We can only go to WDW in Sept and Free Dining is only promotion offered at that time. AND we don't go to Disney for the food.
QS for breakfast, snack for lunch, TS for dinner, not compicated at all. Works for us.

:earsboy:

goofyintoronto
09-02-2012, 04:28 PM
For us, when free DDP is offered, this is hands down our BEST discount. We are intelligent enough to know its not free per se but it works for us when its free.

The attitude that those of us who love this discount are somehow not quite smart enough to understand how it is in fact a discount, frankly come off as condescending.


To each their own.


very well said. :)


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DoryDorito
09-02-2012, 05:00 PM
Hate is a strong word, but I wouldn't do the DDP. And, FD...well, it isn't really free, is it? You're paying rack rate to get that "free" which could be a substantial difference from another discount you could be taking advantage of.

I use TIW. My friend and I just took our girls. We were there for 9 days. Ate TS everyday, drank wine or margaritas every day, got the appetizers we wanted, etc.
In the end it averaged out to $80 a day for each of us ($80 for me and my DD and $80 for her and her DD), so that's $40 per person per day for all meals with drinks, appetizers and tips included. We ate at Le Cellier, Marrakesh, the Wave, Mama Melrose, Sanaa, Flame Tree Barbecue, Restaurantasaurus, Rose and Crown, The Fountain (discount honored due to mix up), Cape May breakfast, San Angel Inn, Wolfgang Puck, Captain's Grille, Big River Brewery and Bongos (I may be forgetting some).

I'm pretty sure if I added in the tips, alcohol and appetizers to the DDP (since they're all OOP on DDP) the cost would be significantly higher. Or, I could just make myself eat dessert and avoid all alcohol and appetizers....that would be a big drag on my vacation.....

I'm so happy you posted this! We just decided yesterday that we aren't going to do the ddp. We did the math (and calorie count) and TiW is a much better choice for our family. One question though, the tips are included on your bill for TiW, no? It's added in automatically I thought.

scrappinam
09-02-2012, 08:17 PM
You'd actually be much better off with TiW and a room disocunt..

Tiw isn't available to everyone. Don't you have to be a Florida resident or an annual pass holder to purchase a Tiw? Also do all restaurants offer a Tiw discount?

Pakey
09-02-2012, 08:22 PM
Tiw isn't available to everyone. Don't you have to be a Florida resident or an annual pass holder to purchase a Tiw? Also do all restaurants offer a Tiw discount?

DVC members can also get the TIW. We much prefer it over any of the dining plans and one meal at V&A pays for the card.

tinkerbellandeeyor
09-02-2012, 08:47 PM
The real problem with the DDP is each restaurant gets a fixed dollar amount for each meal served no matter the menu price of the meal. These amounts, of course, are separate for signature dining, regular table service, quick (counter) service, and snacks.

This has led to unreasonable pricing for buffets for people paying OOP as the amount paid to them by DDP is significantly less than the menu price and they have to make it up by charging more for those paying OOP.

And also for the regular meals, the top-end food is limited. I have noticed there tends to be about a $15 range between a restaurant's lowest and highest priced entrees. The restaurants cannot afford to increase this range, so the upper end quality is limited.

And they can't have a separate menu for DDP as people will complain about discrimination. And they cannot mark items on the menu that are not subject to DDP and must be OOP as people on the DDP will claim they did not notice the restriction.

And, of course, human nature being what it is, many people taking advantage of "free" dining will look to the high end of the menu.

But from my understanding they still have to tip for that item right?

momofkids
09-02-2012, 09:16 PM
Food at Disney is extremely overpriced. It was overpriced in 1980 and it still is in 2012. Disney isn't losing money on their restaurants. Restaurants are making money from the dining plan. Quality isn't suffering because restaurants can be higher end as signatures. If you can eat in Disney restaurants for less than the dining plan costs per day, then the restaurants are definitely making money on the plan. Guess what....If Disney wasn't making money with free dining then they would stop offering it. The dining plan keeps people on Disney property and spending money at Disney (instead of say Universal).