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Old 01-19-2013, 10:22 PM   #1
sunnydays28
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Is this math correct?

I don't think we are doing the dining plan, but ran the numbers just in case.
We are mom, dad and child staying for 8 nights off season:

8 x $55.xx = $440 x 2 = $880

8 x $17.xx = $136

$880 + $136 = $1016

Correct?

That is unbelievable to me, there is no way, even a vacation, that we would spend $55/day on food for the adults and absolutely not $17 on my daughter. Granted we are only doing 2 character meals and are not into fancy food or restaurants, but I have been to WDW before and do not recall any of the food being that expensive, so why do people use the DP? I am truly curious how this is a cheaper, easier way to buy meals.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:00 PM   #2
disneybliss2
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I just checked menu prices because we're trying to decide if we'll do the dining plan for our next trip. Our daughter will be 11 so we'll be charged an adult rate for her, but I think we could pay out of pocket cheaper and she'd be happier with the kids meal and we would too because it wouldn't be as expensive.

Some of the buffets are expensive. Take Boma for example; it's 39.40. If I spend $40 for this dinner, $10 for lunch at a counter service, $2.50 for a drink with lunch, and then $3.99 for a snack (some cost more, some less--took a standard snack rate average), I've already spent $56.50 and with dining plan I would have spent $55 and gotten an additional dessert with my counter service lunch, so I'm money ahead on the dining plan (only by $1.50; around $5.50 ahead on dining plan if you add in the dessert you'd also get with the lunch that I wouldn't pay OOP).

With other restaurants, like Via Napoli, that I can get an individual pizza for $19, my dinner is less expensive and at the end of the day I'm money ahead if I pay OOP.

For kids, we've always been money ahead with the dining plan. Example: the kids' plan is $17 per day. One meal for dinner alone at Boma or Ohana is $19.16. It costs more to pay for that dinner OOP than it would have to pay for the meal plan for the whole day. Let's say lunch is $5.49 for kids' meal. Then a snack at $3.99. Then the meal at Ohana for $19.16. You're better off to do the meal plan ($17) vs. OOP you would pay $28.64. You'd save $11.64 by doing the meal plan.

Besides being potentially money ahead (depends on where you eat & I don't think you'll be money ahead every day; you'd have to calculate out where you'd go and what you'd order), it's also very convenient to have the dining plan. It's nice to know it's all paid ahead of time and you don't have to worry about the money while on vacation--no bill shock when your bill comes at the end of the meal.

We also like having the dining plan so that we can book up to 10 meals at one time. That's nice being able to set your reservations all at once. We look forward to eating at a TS meal each night so the meal/dining plan has worked for us in the past.

While we've always done the plan (it's always been money ahead for us because of the restaurants we've chosen), it's never been this high and now that my oldest daughter will be charged a huge amount now, it may be time for us to pay OOP. We can forgo some of those expensive TS meals and eat CS for lunch and dinner for some of the time and find some savings.

Anxious to hear what others have to say...
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:15 AM   #3
davedmaine
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[QUOTE=disneybliss2;47245108]

We also like having the dining plan so that we can book up to 10 meals at one time. That's nice being able to set your reservations all at once. We look forward to eating at a TS meal each night so the meal/dining plan has worked for us in the past.
QUOTE]

You don't need the DDP to book reservations..
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:29 PM   #4
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Alway run the Numbers

I always advise people to check menus and run the numbers. Just 5 years ago the DDP was a good value at only $38 per day. Now $55 is hard to do unless you do the higher cost but not Signature restaurants.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:40 PM   #5
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I did not think it would be a good deal, but when I ran the numbers, we will save about $200 using the ddp. So even if we don't order the most expensive meals at each place, we should still come out ahead. Now when DD8 turns 10, I am thinking it won't be a good deal for us. The best way to decide is to look at the menus. We decided where we want to eat, looked at the menus, figured out what everyone would order, and priced it out. Plus, my DH does not have to worry about what he is ordering. He would hate to "have" to pick the cheapest item on the menu if that is not what he wants.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:10 AM   #6
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I just ran the numbers for a 10 day trip since I'm on the fence with my oldest daughter being charged an adult fee for the first time. I plugged in the restaurants we ate at on the last trip and what I felt we would order. I would order differently if I was paying OOP. I wouldn't order a dessert at each CS for lunch. I also would probably order a kid's meal myself for lunch a few times. I ordered a kid meal for my daughter a few times and an adult meal a few times, whereas on the dining plan she would be able to order off the adult menu each time. I tried to think realistically what we would do. I also did not get a dessert each time after every TS meal. I did have a TS meal each day like we would if on the dining plan.

I was VERY surprised by the results. We were only $80 cheaper by paying OOP. (And I did not calculate tax. I wasn't sure if you were charged that. I know that sounds silly that I'm unsure of that, but it states specifically on the buffets, like Boma, that the tax is included with the set price; I wasn't sure if that was with all meals or just the buffets since that wasn't mentioned on the other meals). If tax is not included on all meals (which I'm assuming it's not), then that $80 difference will be eaten up with tax.

Also, I gave us a CS meal our first night vs. a TS so I skewed it by one less TS. When I added in one additional TS and took out what I would have paid for the CS, I actually would pay MORE OOP. Shocker!

Plus, the way I added it up was with me eating a kids meal a few times, my daughter eating a kids meal, etc. If I went with the dining plan, I wouldn't have to make her stick to the kids meal. She could get an adult meal of a food she prefers but just not eat all of it because the portion was too large for her. That makes me cringe because it's wasteful, but what do you do?

For only $80 difference, I have more freedom to always order off the adult menu if wanted. I can book my meals all at one time for the entire 10 days. We get the extra desserts and snack that I didn't add in every day and the additional TS that we would have paid OOP MORE for. Plus, I'm very frugal with our money. While the $80 would be nice to save, it might be nice for my peace of mind to pay it ahead of time. There's nothing like sticker shock as you're presented with your bill each time. Since we've always been on the dining plan, I'm accustomed to being able to order and not worry about the money. I'm afraid seeing the bill and having to pay each time would put a slight gray cloud over me and damper how I felt each time.

I was very surprised by the numbers!!!!
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:58 AM   #7
julie4423
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If you're only planning to do a couple sit down meals, the DP wouldn't be a good choice for you. If you plan to have one every day, it very likely is. If you haven't been in awhile, you might want to check the menus. Prices have indeed gone up EVERYWHERE. You need to get at least a rough plan of where you want to eat, look at the menus, and price it out to really have an answer. The prices make my chest hurt when I'm ordering at the world, so it removes stress for me as well.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:36 PM   #8
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OP - it's just different for everyone. My family eats a sit down breakfast/dinner each night. The DXDP ends up saving us a couple hundred bucks not including any snack credits we'd use. Just depends how you eat. We also got a discounted DP which helps with the cost versus OOP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by disneybliss2 View Post
I just ran the numbers for a 10 day trip since I'm on the fence with my oldest daughter being charged an adult fee for the first time. I plugged in the restaurants we ate at on the last trip and what I felt we would order. I would order differently if I was paying OOP. I wouldn't order a dessert at each CS for lunch. I also would probably order a kid's meal myself for lunch a few times. I ordered a kid meal for my daughter a few times and an adult meal a few times, whereas on the dining plan she would be able to order off the adult menu each time. I tried to think realistically what we would do. I also did not get a dessert each time after every TS meal. I did have a TS meal each day like we would if on the dining plan.

I was VERY surprised by the results. We were only $80 cheaper by paying OOP. (And I did not calculate tax. I wasn't sure if you were charged that. I know that sounds silly that I'm unsure of that, but it states specifically on the buffets, like Boma, that the tax is included with the set price; I wasn't sure if that was with all meals or just the buffets since that wasn't mentioned on the other meals). If tax is not included on all meals (which I'm assuming it's not), then that $80 difference will be eaten up with tax.

Also, I gave us a CS meal our first night vs. a TS so I skewed it by one less TS. When I added in one additional TS and took out what I would have paid for the CS, I actually would pay MORE OOP. Shocker!

Plus, the way I added it up was with me eating a kids meal a few times, my daughter eating a kids meal, etc. If I went with the dining plan, I wouldn't have to make her stick to the kids meal. She could get an adult meal of a food she prefers but just not eat all of it because the portion was too large for her. That makes me cringe because it's wasteful, but what do you do?

For only $80 difference, I have more freedom to always order off the adult menu if wanted. I can book my meals all at one time for the entire 10 days. We get the extra desserts and snack that I didn't add in every day and the additional TS that we would have paid OOP MORE for. Plus, I'm very frugal with our money. While the $80 would be nice to save, it might be nice for my peace of mind to pay it ahead of time. There's nothing like sticker shock as you're presented with your bill each time. Since we've always been on the dining plan, I'm accustomed to being able to order and not worry about the money. I'm afraid seeing the bill and having to pay each time would put a slight gray cloud over me and damper how I felt each time.

I was very surprised by the numbers!!!!
Yes, you are charged tax. Tax is included with a DP credit.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:17 PM   #9
disneybliss2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarcher86 View Post

Yes, you are charged tax. Tax is included with a DP credit.

Ok, so my $80 savings paying OOP just went away. Meaning, we can eat using the dining plan cheaper and get more food (extra desserts, snacks, and my daughter, who will be 10, could always order from adult menu. While I don't think she'll always want that portion size, it will expand the options that I know she'll want).

Wow, I'm surprised that after running the numbers that even with the crazy, high price of the dining plan I'm money ahead using it.

Out of curiosity, what is the tax % charge? Thanks!
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:42 PM   #10
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Well I can tell you why we use the DDP

The 1st ye we stayed on site nearly all of our money was spent on food! Lol we didn't know about the DDP as even though I had done Disney many times I'd never stayed on site! And this time our kids was only 1,1,3 lol.

The next time we paid for DDP as it was our wedding and honeymoon we didn't want to worry about prices of food and wanted to eat out every night/day,
I kept our receipts and even though we never used up all our snacks ( we took home over 30 gifts) the total in food price was inane most meals we went to that was just normal TS cost us at least $150 just for the TS meal not including signatures

The next trip we did 3 wks and got the DDP free as we stayed at AKL therw was a few nights where my mum would have the boys and hubby & I would eat at signatures those meals alone just for 2 cost us over $100 and every character meal we did came to around $300 for the 6 of us
No way with out the Dining plan could we afford to do any of the restaurants the tips cost us enough without even adding in the meal price lol!

If you think you can eat QS for the whole trip for each meal then you might ....only might get away with it being reasonable but for us although we have had some fab QS meals like sunshine seasons and wolf gang puck it's not enough I need my TS meals and I enjoy the signatures and so for us no matter the cost we will ALWAYS get the Plan free or not!!
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:11 AM   #11
davedmaine
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What happened is Disney played a beautiful long game. They gave the DDP away for free for years while they continued to raise the price. Now when most people make reservations, they think they should add (pay for) the dining plan. That's all they've ever heard people talk about and it became part of the collective planning psyche. The truth is that there are very, very few scenarios now where anyone could come out ahead. And don't use those spreadsheets; there's never been once that's been proven accurate (i.e. not taking into account that you're going to be paying a lot more in tips on the dining plan than you would be OOP)

Last edited by davedmaine; 01-25-2013 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davedmaine View Post
What happened is Disney played a beautiful long game. They gave the DDP away for free for years while they continued to raise the price. Now when most people make reservations, they think they should add (pay for) the dining plan. That's all they've ever heard people talk about and it became part of the collective planning psyche. The truth is that there are very, very few scenarios now where anyone could come out ahead. And don't use those spreadsheets; there's never been once that's been proven accurate (i.e. not taking into account that you're going to be paying a lot more in tips on the dining plan than you would be OOP)
There are people who spend more buying the dinning plan. There are people who spend less. It does work to the advantage for some. It does not work for everyone. Nothing does. I figured our costs using menus, not a calculator and I know for certain it helps us to use the dining plan. Do we save a lot of money? No we do not. We break even or maybe save $100. But we do not spend more. Of that I am certain. And you need to consider the "cost" of peace of mind. For some that's worth quite a lot
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngiTN View Post
There are people who spend more buying the dinning plan. There are people who spend less. It does work to the advantage for some. It does not work for everyone. Nothing does. I figured our costs using menus, not a calculator and I know for certain it helps us to use the dining plan. Do we save a lot of money? No we do not. We break even or maybe save $100. But we do not spend more. Of that I am certain. And you need to consider the "cost" of peace of mind. For some that's worth quite a lot
We are lucky enough to eat in a way that comes out ahead on the Deluxe plan. We came out hundreds of dollars ahead on a 10 night trip last summer. I kept the receipts and figured it out after we got back, just to make sure it was worth it. We do all meals TS and a daily signature, always get appetizers and desserts, generally tip well, and we do the same when we pay OOP. With the new pricing for this year, it's a lot closer, but we decided if we project it to be anywhere close, we'd do the Deluxe plan again for the convenience of it.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:17 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the input. We have looked at almost all the menus for restaurants that would interest us and other than maybe adding hoop dee do or the luau, we are going to be very content with snacks or counter service. We have no interest in doing a TS type meal every day, we are going to be easily under $700 so there is no way we will need the DDP.

We will address the allergies at each of the 2-3 TS we will have, we have done that before and they are extremely helpful and yummy. But snacks would be a total waste for us--other than the fresh fruit, which we will have ourselves there is not a snack she can have.
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