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Old 12-21-2008, 11:39 AM   #1
notsogoofy
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The Dining Plan, why I'll never/always do it.

We have been to the world twice this year. The first time with 6 and then 4 of us just went. While at the pool, a lady was talking about all the money she saved, and just how great the dining plan is. She talked about how they ALWAYS have credits left over, and that its just soo much food. This didnt sit well with me.
First off, Ive tried to figure out how much we spend on food, how many times we eat, and what types of meals we do. For one, a lot of the times, the meals have too much food,and often, we are able to buy one meal to split between the younger two. Having credits for each of them would be silly. Secondly, we dont do ADR's..ever. Im not scheduling my day around a meal reservation, only to wait in line to eat. Seems like its a real inconvenience. We rarely eat 3 meals, and snacks, and all that. Its easier to grab something quick and easy, buy a few meals, split em up and eat. Even then, food gets tossed.
Financially, its cheaper for us to just buy when the mood hits us, compared to purchasing a plan. If I want, I can charge to the room, which eliminates carrying cash. I just dont see how someone can say 'we always have food left over, and cant eat everything on the plan' and think theyre shopping wisely. I know it works for some, but not for us..
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Old 12-21-2008, 11:45 AM   #2
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Like every thing at Disney, what is great for some folks is poison for others.

I try to encourage vacationers to not just look at the bottom line ( a bargain is really not a bargain if you're unhappy with it). We tried the DDP the 1st year it was offered and it just didn't suit our life style or the way we like to tour, so we never went back. For us, changing the way we tour just to save 200 bucks is really not worth it.

I have a DDE card that gives me 20% off on my meals and alcohol and gives me more flexibility on how I tour and tip so I use that instead.
Works for us but I'm glad other vacationers can get more out of it.
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Old 12-21-2008, 04:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eliza61 View Post

I have a DDE card that gives me 20% off on my meals and alcohol and gives me more flexibility on how I tour and tip so I use that instead.
I too use the DDE card, (now TIW) along with DDP at times, but I can't see how the DDE card gives you flexibility in how you tip. With the DDE, it is an automatic 18% gratituty, plus any more you care to leave. With the DDP, at least you have an option in the amount of the tip.
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Old 12-21-2008, 04:40 PM   #4
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Funny how differently everyone enjoys their vacation. I find the basic DP one of the best features of the trip to WDW! Even if I'm not saving tons of $, I love having it paid in advance, and I LOVE a sit down meal each day. A CS meal for breakfast or early lunch and then a sit down when we are about to drop and need a break. Oh, and a mickey ears ice cream in between. Perfect! I think Disney had me in mind when they designed the plan!

No matter how you eat/tour, enjoy your next trips everyone!!!
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Old 12-21-2008, 04:58 PM   #5
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It's not for us. We tend to eat and run at WDW. We're too excited planning what we're going to do next. We do slow down for one buffet: the character breakfast at Park Faire.
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Old 12-21-2008, 05:03 PM   #6
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We are trying the DDP for the first time in 3 weeks! Not sure if we'll like having all those ADRs, but honestly, right now I love that everything is paid before we go. We are taking the entire family, grown kids, spouses, and grandkids. We decided to give the DDP a try just for the simplicity of it all. Our meal times will be our meeting times as well. We can all do our own thing for most of the day, then meet for our evening meal. I'm pretty excited about trying it out.
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Old 12-21-2008, 05:51 PM   #7
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My parents did the dining plan on their last vacation and liked it but thought it took too long at sit-downs when they could be enjoying the parks. DH and I opted not to do it on our honeymoon because we are both picky and not at all adventurous eaters, so a lot of the TS restaurants didn't appeal to us. After checking the menus on allears.net we thought we'd probably end up eating steak every single time, and even too much of a good thing can be bad! We have no problems eating burgers, pizza, chicken, etc. for our meals with a little something different every now and then. Plus, we liked to eat and run. The new QS dining plan might have worked for us, but we'll be staying off property next year, so that's out. I always still encourage it though to those who would find savings and enjoyment out of using the DDP. Now the deluxe plan, man, I just don't know how people can eat so much food!! To each their own, I guess...
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Old 12-21-2008, 06:00 PM   #8
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Funny how differently everyone enjoys their vacation. I find the basic DP one of the best features of the trip to WDW! Even if I'm not saving tons of $, I love having it paid in advance, and I LOVE a sit down meal each day. A CS meal for breakfast or early lunch and then a sit down when we are about to drop and need a break. Oh, and a mickey ears ice cream in between. Perfect! I think Disney had me in mind when they designed the plan!

No matter how you eat/tour, enjoy your next trips everyone!!!
I agree
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Old 12-21-2008, 07:02 PM   #9
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For us we love the DDP. When I'm on vacation for a week or more the last thing that I want to do is drink out of a paper cup and get quick serve food lug a food tray and hope to find a seat.

In August was our first trip to WDW. We stayed at the WL and were upgraded to the club level. This was great because we were able to grab our breakfast in the lounge(not a big breakfast eater) enjoy a very large CS lunch at one of the parks or resort, come back to the pool for a spell, go up to the lounge enjoy a few appetizers, and then in the evening have a nice TS dinner. And yes we took advantage of this and ordered something other than a burger and fries on the menu.

We are going to do the same thing again in January. This time we will be at the YC club level and will also have the DDP. It's a good deal for my family and myself.
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShannonMB View Post
Funny how differently everyone enjoys their vacation. I find the basic DP one of the best features of the trip to WDW! Even if I'm not saving tons of $, I love having it paid in advance, and I LOVE a sit down meal each day. A CS meal for breakfast or early lunch and then a sit down when we are about to drop and need a break. Oh, and a mickey ears ice cream in between. Perfect! I think Disney had me in mind when they designed the plan!

No matter how you eat/tour, enjoy your next trips everyone!!!
That's how we felt on the pre-08 version of the DDP. When they took away the appy (which we love and won't do without) and the tip, that meant it wasn't paid in advance--the $38.99 was, but we were still going into pocket at the meal for the appy and tip. It also increased the daily cost for us when you factor those things in--it was more like $48-$50 dollars/day. We can eat cheaper than that, even doing a TS meal each day. So we don't do the DDP anymore.
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Old 12-21-2008, 11:45 AM   #11
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We tried the DDP this past trip - it was the basic one - one counter, one sitdown and a snack - in order for us to get the value out of it, we did have to have an ADR each evening at a fairly expensive place.

What we found is if you want a sit down nice meal each evening, it could make sense - for us, I think we found we just about broke even, so we paid in advance for our meals.

This time we are not doing the DDP because we really don't feel the need to sit down and eat a formal meal every night nor do we want to be tied down to a reservation every night. We did book ADR's for 4 of the 6 nights and the others we will wing it.
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Old 12-21-2008, 11:53 AM   #12
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I can't see us doing the basic plan again. I was already hesitant but this past trip really sealed the deal. We were left w/ 5 CS, 2 snacks and TEN TS with 2hrs to go before they expired. We were able to order CS to use and then management was able to turn our TS credits into 2snacks each but seriously...2 snacks??? Should have been a CS and 2 snacks IMO. So now I own the most expensive rice krispie treats ever!

Anyway it was way too much food for the way we eat in the parks...actually the way we don't eat in the parks!

I'm considering the quick service one as that might actually work for us. We drink a lot of bottled drinks so at least the snacks would get used up pretty quickly.
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Old 12-21-2008, 11:58 AM   #13
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I never thought the dining plan would work for me. I'm a small person who doesn't eat a lot at one meal. While the deluxe plan is a bit more then the base, it gives me the chance to eat at places I'd never pay oop for. I wouldn't pay for a buffet because I don't eat enough to make the $18-$30 worth it, but with the plan I can eat there and be happy. I enjoy sitting down for at least 1 meal a day, and my trip next week I'm sitting down for at least 2 a day.

Yes, the dining plan isn't for everyone. You need to figure out your vacation style and if it saves you money.
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Old 12-21-2008, 11:58 AM   #14
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Glad to see im not the only one. Nice stats on the 38.99/day. I wouldnt even come near that. As for the water issue, I think I paid about 5 bucks for a case of aquafina from GGrocer, and left half of it in the room when we left..
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Old 12-21-2008, 11:49 AM   #15
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I just dont see how someone can say 'we always have food left over, and cant eat everything on the plan' and think theyre shopping wisely. I know it works for some, but not for us..
As long as she's eating more than $38.99 per day of food, then she's saving money and has shopped wisely, regardless of what credits are unused. That's not hard to do if you're ordering expensive entrees, or eating at a lot of buffets and/or character meals.

That said, for some, the DDP (TiW) is a better fit.
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