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Old 04-18-2013, 05:58 AM   #1
Abharmagic
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Ordering Most Expensive Items while on DDP- Anyone Ever Try This?

MY DH is an eater. LOVES food, all kinds- especially steaks, ribs, expensive foods- lol. Anyhow, he has a goal to order the most expensive (that appeals to him) thing on the menu at every CS and TS restaurant while on our trip. We are keeping his receipts and going to see what he spent in relation to the price of the DDP.

He is doing it mostly for fun, but also b/c he loves food and is excited to not have to worry about budgeting too much while on vacation as it's already paid for.

Anyone ever try this-- what were your results-- did you see any savings or still pretty much break even. He won't be disappointed if he doesn't as that's really not his main goal-- just more of an interesting side activity (for lack of a better word) to keep track of while at the World.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:06 AM   #2
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It's probably one of the few ways to actually save money for those who use the Dining Plan.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:21 AM   #3
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I did it the first time we were on the Deluxe plan and saved a bit but we mostly did a character meal in the morning and had signature meals for dinner and the signature tend to be very expensive. I don't remember how much I saved as it was a few years ago but I can say it was a fair amount of money LOL Considering that the Portehouse at the Yachtman is $52 and it's only the entrée and once you add the app at $11(the cheapest0 and a dessert at $9. It gives you a total of $72 and the deluxe plan is around $100 I think this year. Factor in drink which would be around $2-3 and a character meal which is let's say $25(the cheapest I found) , that brings me over $100 and you still haven't touched your snacks yet. Let's say that Yachtman is not the most expensive place. I would say Narcoosse's would be way ahead if you take the surf and turf is $72 just for the entrée.

If it saves lots depends on the plan and it depends on the place where you are eating. that being said, I did it only at a few place as some higher price items did not sound that great that day and I didn't feel like eating meat all time LOL

That being said, we now use the plan all the time simply because we do lots of character meals and signatures and we always come out ahead as we have 4 kids but we rarely order the higher price item unless we really want it.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:46 AM   #4
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We always do DDP and I always save all my receipts make sure the cost is written on all of them and at the end of trip I add it up and see what I save and we saved EVERY trip!

This was going to Ohana, Cape May, Le Cellier, Cali Grill and many more. DH and DS19 are big steak, ribs kind guys and they ordered it at every meal! Im more of a pasta, chicken kinda gal but I did get steak once or twice..
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Old 04-20-2013, 01:23 PM   #5
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We too, priced out one of our trips for fun and we came out ahead. Add to that my DH doesn't stress when out 14yo orders the most expensive thing on the menu every.single.time. and the dining plan is a win-win for our family.
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:40 PM   #6
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Last October when we were on the DDP (5 Disney adults) the guys in our party ate Steaks every night. They picked the most expensive thing on the menu every night. We had one CS every day and one TS every day and even ordering the most expensive thing on the menu we still only broke even on food costs. If you factor in the cost of the refillable mugs (that we don't use) then you save a little.

DDP for 5 adults is $275 a day ($55 per person) and our dinner ticket was $200 every night and out CS was about $60 a day. Add in 5 $4 snacks and we saved a total of $5 a day.

But considering the DDP was FREE for us we saved $275 a day!! I would never pay for the DDP.
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Old 04-21-2013, 03:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnieLovesMickey12 View Post
Last October when we were on the DDP (5 Disney adults) the guys in our party ate Steaks every night. They picked the most expensive thing on the menu every night. We had one CS every day and one TS every day and even ordering the most expensive thing on the menu we still only broke even on food costs. If you factor in the cost of the refillable mugs (that we don't use) then you save a little.

DDP for 5 adults is $275 a day ($55 per person) and our dinner ticket was $200 every night and out CS was about $60 a day. Add in 5 $4 snacks and we saved a total of $5 a day.

But considering the DDP was FREE for us we saved $275 a day!! I would never pay for the DDP.
I agree with this. The recent price increases to the DDP makes it very hard to get ahead even if you buy the most expensive item.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MinnieLovesMickey12 View Post
But considering the DDP was FREE for us we saved $275 a day!! I would never pay for the DDP.
Do you not ever get a % off room rate? Do you *always* pay rack rate? That's the *only* way you could say the DDP was free and you saved $275 a day.

Most of the time there are discounts on rooms. If so, you would have to subtract the discount amount from the DDP amount to get the *true* savings. I, personally, would never pay rack rate. The DDP is not free.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:41 PM   #9
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I have done that, and we "saved"
I use the quotation marks becaue that is not what we would have eaten if we were on our own.
If we do the dining plan again, I may track what we eat, vs. what we would have ordered if no dining plan, to see if there is still a savings. I dont think there will be.
And also, since you are paying tip on what the bill would be, tip is larger when you oeder the more expensive items. Just something else to factor in for your tracking game.
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I was going to say the same thing. To accurately calculate what you saved you would have to figure out the difference in the amount of gratuity you paid vs. what you realistically would have paid if you weren't trying to max out your bill, then subtract that from your total saved. It appears a lot of people fail to consider this, when pricing out the plan. (I'm not saying the OP did.) OTOH, if you're just doing the calculation for fun & want to feel good about your decision, you could forget that little tidbit. It wouldn't be accurate, but it's your vacation & your rules. Having kids 9 & under + eating at a lot of character meals is the most obvious way to see a savings with DDP. Otherwise, you really need to be creative to save anything.
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by North of Mouse View Post
Do you not ever get a % off room rate? Do you *always* pay rack rate? That's the *only* way you could say the DDP was free and you saved $275 a day.

Most of the time there are discounts on rooms. If so, you would have to subtract the discount amount from the DDP amount to get the *true* savings. I, personally, would never pay rack rate. The DDP is not free.
We have never used a room only discount. And YES the dining plan is actually 100% free. I booked my vacation paying rack rate for 9 nights in a family suite. Booked and paid for. Then the free dining promo came out and I added it to our already booked and paid for reservation. BOOM. FREE DINING IS FREE. It saved us $275 a day not having to pay for the dining plan.

If you save 20% off a value room that would have saved us about $40 a night. Taking the free dining with 5 Disney adults saved us $275 a night.

Just because you pay full price rack rate for the room doesn't mean the dining isn't free. That is just a silly way to look at things. If you go into JCPenneys and pay full price for a pair of jeans to get a tank top free, just because you didn't get a discount on the jeans doesn't mean the tank top wasn't free.

Usually ppl who don't like the dining plan are the ones who will come into these threads and say THE DINING PLAN ISN'T REALLY FREE. Yes it is.

If you have 5 Disney adults in a room there will never be ANY DISCOUNT that is a better discount than free dining. Even if you are in a $400 a night room and get a 35% off room discount the free dining for 5 adults will still be double the discount the room only discount is.

Even if there are only 2 of us and we stay in a mod ($180 a night) a 25% room only discount would save us a little over $40 a night. The free dining would save us $110 a night. So no matter how you look at it, unless you are just 2 ppl and you are staying in a $400 a night room and get 30% or better room discount, the free dining will always save you more. Period.
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by MinnieLovesMickey12 View Post

We have never used a room only discount. And YES the dining plan is actually 100% free. I booked my vacation paying rack rate for 9 nights in a family suite. Booked and paid for. Then the free dining promo came out and I added it to our already booked and paid for reservation. BOOM. FREE DINING IS FREE. It saved us $275 a day not having to pay for the dining plan.

If you save 20% off a value room that would have saved us about $40 a night. Taking the free dining with 5 Disney adults saved us $275 a night.

Just because you pay full price rack rate for the room doesn't mean the dining isn't free. That is just a silly way to look at things. If you go into JCPenneys and pay full price for a pair of jeans to get a tank top free, just because you didn't get a discount on the jeans doesn't mean the tank top wasn't free.

Usually ppl who don't like the dining plan are the ones who will come into these threads and say THE DINING PLAN ISN'T REALLY FREE. Yes it is.

If you have 5 Disney adults in a room there will never be ANY DISCOUNT that is a better discount than free dining. Even if you are in a $400 a night room and get a 35% off room discount the free dining for 5 adults will still be double the discount the room only discount is.

Even if there are only 2 of us and we stay in a mod ($180 a night) a 25% room only discount would save us a little over $40 a night. The free dining would save us $110 a night. So no matter how you look at it, unless you are just 2 ppl and you are staying in a $400 a night room and get 30% or better room discount, the free dining will always save you more. Period.
Agree totally! DH and I will never go without the dining plan, even for just the convenience of prepaying. If we were paying out of pocket I wouldn't get to eat whatever I wanted because I would try to be frugal. It's not for everyone, but we had free dining the past two trips (and I also totally agree that it is free!) and we are even paying for it this year because we love it!
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:01 AM   #12
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I think people see (or don't see) value in the DDP for multiple reasons. We always get free dining (here in the UK it's usually available to us) so in a sense, we always get good value. We do tend to gravitate toward the more expensive choices though to maximize the plan.

I recently priced it all out based on our receipts for previous stays for a friend of ours who is staying at a value resort. (In the UK, we don't get free dining at values at all, we only get QSDP with Mods and regular DP with Deluxe) The price they would have to pay for the dining plan (UK Prices) would be recovered easily even without seeking out higher priced choices.

The problem is, some people wouldn't actually buy all the items they do on when on the DP if they were paying out of pocket. So for some people, they can eat for much less than the DP costs.

For example, my receipt for lunch at Starring Rolls on our last trip was $21.36, which is a good value on the surface. However, if I was paying out of pocket, I wouldn't have bought the chips, I wouldn't have bought a large drink and I would probably have shared the cup cake with someone else. Take all of that into consideration, it would have been cheaper OOP.

For me the value is in pre-paying and not having to worry about a food budget. I feel having saved our receipts that I do get WAY more than the DP would actually cost me if I paid for it, but I don't know that it really saves me money overall because if I paid OOP, I wouldn't buy half the stuff I get when on the DP.

That said, if you do select the most expensive items, you will find that your receipts total much more than you pay for the DP.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:14 PM   #13
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Totally AGREE!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by princessanj View Post
Agree totally! DH and I will never go without the dining plan, even for just the convenience of prepaying. If we were paying out of pocket I wouldn't get to eat whatever I wanted because I would try to be frugal. It's not for everyone, but we had free dining the past two trips (and I also totally agree that it is free!) and we are even paying for it this year because we love it!
I LOVE the DDP!!! I TOO will pay if I don't get the Free Dining! AND we also saved close to $300 a night once we got our FREE Dining pin code on a reservation we had already made! SUPER excited about our Fall trip with Free Dining!!
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:42 AM   #14
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I would totally have to disagree.
I love the dining plan and use it every time we go.
I am doing the deluxe dining plan for my December trip.

I had booked a AAA package for a past trip, using whatever discount the AAA package got me.
When They announced a free dining package, I had them change my package from AAA to free dining, and it only saved me $125 over the course of my 9 day trip.
So it is definitely not "Free" dining when you use one of those promotions, because you are now paying the rack rate for the room.

That being said, I think the dining plan is a great way to prepay the dining portion of your vacation, and I think it allows me to eat at some restaurants that I might not normally have tried, has I had to pay out of pocket for my meals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnieLovesMickey12 View Post
We have never used a room only discount. And YES the dining plan is actually 100% free. I booked my vacation paying rack rate for 9 nights in a family suite. Booked and paid for. Then the free dining promo came out and I added it to our already booked and paid for reservation. BOOM. FREE DINING IS FREE. It saved us $275 a day not having to pay for the dining plan.

If you save 20% off a value room that would have saved us about $40 a night. Taking the free dining with 5 Disney adults saved us $275 a night.

Just because you pay full price rack rate for the room doesn't mean the dining isn't free. That is just a silly way to look at things. If you go into JCPenneys and pay full price for a pair of jeans to get a tank top free, just because you didn't get a discount on the jeans doesn't mean the tank top wasn't free.

Usually ppl who don't like the dining plan are the ones who will come into these threads and say THE DINING PLAN ISN'T REALLY FREE. Yes it is.

If you have 5 Disney adults in a room there will never be ANY DISCOUNT that is a better discount than free dining. Even if you are in a $400 a night room and get a 35% off room discount the free dining for 5 adults will still be double the discount the room only discount is.

Even if there are only 2 of us and we stay in a mod ($180 a night) a 25% room only discount would save us a little over $40 a night. The free dining would save us $110 a night. So no matter how you look at it, unless you are just 2 ppl and you are staying in a $400 a night room and get 30% or better room discount, the free dining will always save you more. Period.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:19 AM   #15
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We are all big steak eaters... And good steaks seem to be costly. Lol so we ALWAYS come out ahead with the DDP
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