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Old 10-24-2012, 01:34 AM   #1
Franrose
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Dining plans (paid)

What are your thoughts on the WDW dining plans? Are they worthwhile? I'm kicking myself because I can't find all my invoices/printouts for our last trip to nut out exactly what we spent on food.

My gut says, not worth it, but I'm not sure :rofl:

We could get the regular dining plan for $145/day next December, that would get everyone in our party one table service and one quick service meal, and a snack. I guess what concerns me is that we do tend to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at Disney and we'd be a meal short... though we could get milk and cereal easily enough if we have a fridge (oh the things I can't remember, lol) and I think we'd do this next trip regardless. Wish I could remember off the top of my head how much we used to spend at counter service or table services places, that would be so helpful!

Thoughts, oh learned ones?
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:48 AM   #2
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Wait... found an old thread that's a goldmine. Ta!
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:04 AM   #3
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We paid for the dining plan on our last trip.

My gut feeling was that I think we broke even or came out slightly ahead. It did mean that I could let my 15 year old DS pick whatever he wanted on the menu instead of reigning him in ( he has an unerring tendency to pick the most expensive item on the menu.. )

The thing I really liked was that our meals were all paid for months ahead of time, it was one less expense sitting on the credit card when we got home

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Old 10-24-2012, 03:13 AM   #4
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I wouldn't pay for it, but if free dining comes up its a great bonus. I would take that $145 per day and put it on a Disney gift card, and pay for your meals that way, I would also add20% to allow for tipping and remember alcoholic drinks are additional as well. You may not always want dessert, or may share sometimes. We had free dining but ended up with a lot of unused credits.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by battymum View Post
I would take that $145 per day and put it on a Disney gift card, and pay for your meals that way, I would also add 20% to allow for tipping and remember alcoholic drinks are additional as well. You may not always want dessert, or may share sometimes.
I have been thinking of this for a couple of reasons actually, not least because our credit card got swiped somewhere last year (not necessarily the US - but it does seem coincidental that we travelled in September/October and it was duplicated and 'tested' in December).
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:27 AM   #6
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we didnt do it this time
numbers
7 nights...DDP $700
we paid for all meals etc $450....so saved $250..and that was doing TS when we wanted

so for us, its OOP from now on
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:34 AM   #7
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It used to be better when it cost less per day. Now, I think the DDP has priced itself out of the 'value for money' bucket for my family. We'll be going OOP for the next trip.

And if anyone is interested, Cafeen has put together a great spreadsheet that does the calculation for you during the planning bit if you wanted to run the numbers. You should find it somewhere on the PTR section.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:58 AM   #8
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I found that, it was VERY comprehensive so a great tool!

I think you guys (and my initial gut feeling) have swayed me, I think we'll OOP it. It means too we have some flexibility, if we want to save money on our eating we can, if we want to splash out and eat only the best we can. Can leave those decisions until we go.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:18 AM   #9
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I don't know if they still do it, but we did it at Disneyland years ago. We came out about even, but we liked paying for it up front
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:54 AM   #10
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I loved having the DDP but we did get it free with a deal. It meant we would have to buy one meal a day, but we had a villa so had cereal and milk and bread delivered and some morning we had that. We also found that after eating a sit down breakfast, no one was really hungry at lunch time (and my kids usually have to eat 3 meals a day or they think they are dying) sometimes they used the snack but generally we would just have dinner. It worked out we never had to pay for any extra meals and we had 2 quick service meals left that we didnt use. We also had 11 snacks unused but I just went to the shop and bought those cute disney cookies so that solved the presents problem for all my nephew and nieces (saved me money) I think if I had to pay for the DDP I would seriously sit down and work out the money like suggested.
My kids did love the fact that they were able to order dessert as usually after paying for 6 meals and drinks its usually over the budget to get dessert so they though it was christmas (and so did I, they were so Yummy!)
I have my fingers crossed that free dining comes up again for our next trip.
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:33 AM   #11
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With 3 boys who were then 13,10,5 plus 2 adults we felt the ddp worked for us. This was in conjunction with club floor breakfasts which were continental and light. Part of our enjoyment was a sit down meal each night and being fussed over so loved the TS meals and restaurants . We finished our eight days with only 4 snack credits left so we certainly enjoyed ourselves . I think even if we broke even it was all paid up front before we left which is good piece of mind . The only annoyance was that tips were not included for TS meals and were an add on to the end bill. Based on tips alone I think out ddp covered dinner and drinks , meaning our qs lunch and snacks were free ( and the supposed 20% saving claimed). We would do it again just for the convenience.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:51 AM   #12
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Oh dear, it sounds like the DDP is not such a good option anymore. For convenience sake and the pleasure it gives me, I'd still get it if we broke even but it would be silly to buy if it ended up costing more money. I also got DDP free dining but I had already booked to include a QS dining plan (with the plan to do a few special TS meals OOP) before free dining came out. I just so much loved the pleasure of never having to look a menu prices - that was such a treat for all of us knowing we could pretty much order anything regardless of the price. Oh and being able to let the girls get a yummy Disney snack now and again was such a luxury (most of them are so expensive when you look at the prices - remember we have to convert to NZ$) . It was quite different from our DL holiday when we had to limit the F&B spend in the parks and try to time our meals to be purchased outside of the parks because Disney prices were so $$ for us. I think that was a major factor in my enjoyment of my WDW holiday and I believe I would really miss that. Darn you Disney
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:07 AM   #13
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We had FD for WDW and i dont think we would pay for the DP we used all our credits in the end but only because we met people for lunch and used it for them as well and on our last night i used it for some random people in the ques meals we ended up using most of snack credits for lollies to bring home and we got 8 chicken wraps and 2 pizzas the night before checkout just so we could get bags of lollies and drinks to take home with us we actually took 20 drinks with us in our checked in luggage that we used at DL the luggage guy at the airport jokingly asked us if we had a drink for him and we gave him a couple of wraps and Gatorade he couldn't stop thanking us. There is no way we would of broke even if we had paid for it we also gave away most of our desserts.

AT DL we used the giftcards we had purchased earlier in the trip and i loved that we didn't have to carry cash around we also purchased vouchers from Getawaytoday for our character meals and we would most certainly do that again so next WDW or DL trip OOP with a giftcard is the way to go for us.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:54 PM   #14
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We like the DDP when we have had it "free" however I just wanted to point out that when you have the DDP you will want to "get your money's worth" so you will do TS meals when you could easily and quickly have CS. You will eat more snacks to get bang for your buck.

We found that with the "free dining" we made more ADRs and spent way too much time waiting for servers to bring checks and finalise DDP and that's on top of the extra time spend dining at TS.

Upside is we can pick whatever we want without care for the budget and my DH doesn't continually complain about doing character meals (because we've already paid for them, we're gonna do them)!

For my family we'll take it free but prefer OOP dining.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:57 PM   #15
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FWIW - disney fans in the UK have already been offered Free Dining for all dates except Easter in the whole of 2013 (must book by 15.11.12)...so much for phasing it out!
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