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Old 10-11-2013, 04:20 PM   #1
Fivesacharm
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Generally Negative Opinion of DDP?

Maybe it's just me, but it seems that a majority of people on the boards seem to think that the DDP is just not worth the money. This interests me because (though we've been the the World many times) my family did the dinning plan for the first time on our last trip and we definitely felt like we saved money! We loved paying for everything in advance and having the freedom of eating what we wanted wherever we wanted without worrying about a budgeted amount per person.

We will always do the DDP in the future!

Just interested I other people always think they save money and those who don't like it, why?
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Old 10-11-2013, 05:13 PM   #2
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I love the DP but have gotten it for free the last 3 trips. I'm looking to get FD again this coming trip. I love doing TS meals and trying new restaurants. I think if I had to pay oop for these meals, it would cost more than what the DP cost, I've seen the totals before. If you're just comparing DP to oop, I don't like to have to be careful about what I can order to save money, I like the freedom to choose anything on the menu. We've Paid oop on our 1st Disney trip and it was expensive, mostly CS (get tired of those quick) and 1 TS for the whole trip.
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Old 10-11-2013, 06:51 PM   #3
sharonabe
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I started a thread over on the restaurant board using this example:

AK $55.39
Late Tusker House Character breakfast, jalapeno pretzel, soup and sand at Earl of Sandwich, make-my-own chocolate waffle bowl two-scoop sundae at Ghiradelli

MK $56.50
Nutella waffle sandwich, Crystal Palace Character lunch, soup and chilli at Columbia Harbour, corn dog nuggets snack at Casey's

HS $56.20
Early Cape May Character breakfast, antipasta salad and cupcake at Pizza Planet, pretzel dog/chips at Min & Bill's, frozen lemonade and popcorn at Fantasmic!

EP $60.48
Croissant Berry Pudding at Sunshine Seasons, Biergarten Buffet lunch, pizza and zeppole at Via Napoli


Except for the AK day, I have 3 meals a day, extra snacks, snacks and sides that aren't covered by the DDP AND an extra TS meal for less than the DDP would cost.

For ADULTS, you have to want soda and dessert at EVERY meal and order the more expensive entrees and do buffet dinners to make the plan work. If you have children, the plan begins to make much better financial sense.
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Old 10-11-2013, 07:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharonabe View Post
If you have children, the plan begins to make much better financial sense.
Children may definitely be the key here.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:17 PM   #5
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Children may definitely be the key here.
I would probably agree - DH and I don't have kids and we don't eat enough to justify the cost of the DP. For us it is also a hassle to try to get the best deal out of it - for example, figuring out when we should pay OOP for something versus using a snack credit. If you use all your credits up at the beginning of your trip then you may end up paying OOP later for a lot but if you try to hoard your credits in order to try to spend them getting the maximum possible value out of them you may end up not needing them and then using them just so you don't feel like you wasted your money.

I once overheard at family at the BC Marketplace in a very heated four-way argument about paying OOP versus using a snack credit for one item and paying OOP for a second or just using a QS credit. For me, I don't want to spend my vacation trying to extract as much value as possible from the DP instead I would rather just pay OOP as I go and not have to make a calculation every time I want to eat or drink something.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsclark View Post
I would probably agree - DH and I don't have kids and we don't eat enough to justify the cost of the DP. For us it is also a hassle to try to get the best deal out of it - for example, figuring out when we should pay OOP for something versus using a snack credit. If you use all your credits up at the beginning of your trip then you may end up paying OOP later for a lot but if you try to hoard your credits in order to try to spend them getting the maximum possible value out of them you may end up not needing them and then using them just so you don't feel like you wasted your money. I once overheard at family at the BC Marketplace in a very heated four-way argument about paying OOP versus using a snack credit for one item and paying OOP for a second or just using a QS credit. For me, I don't want to spend my vacation trying to extract as much value as possible from the DP instead I would rather just pay OOP as I go and not have to make a calculation every time I want to eat or drink something.
Another thing I've been doing is trying to one up with a snack plan go best optimize things. Where are the bulkier snacks that will allow us to buy three snacks and two drinks to feed the five of us? I want things planned in advance because I don't want to be that family arguing.
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:28 PM   #7
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Not everyone saves money. It completely depends on how you eat and what you order. Assuming that the dining plan will always save money is just as incorrect as assuming it will never save money.

I don't want to eat the way the dining plan requires or order the courses that are included in the plan, so I never do it. Even if it saved me a miniscule amount of money, I would have to order things I may not want (like dessert at every meal) to get that value. The plan would have to save me a whopping amount of money, like it did when it was first introduced, for me to go back to using it, and it no longer saves that kind of money.
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:47 PM   #8
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I used to religiously purchase the DDP. However, my husband and I started wanting more freedom with our food choices. I usually never order dessert with my QS meals and for our TS my DH and I like to split an appetizer, have our own entree's and then split dessert. The DDP would save us money if we ate exactly like the plan, but that isn't the case.

I will say, I took my first trip in May doing TIW and I really enjoyed it. Although I had to pay full price for the QS, I found the 20% off the TS (including alcohol) to be a great deal. Now that I have had the flexibility that TIW offers, I couldn't go back to DDP.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:24 PM   #9
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I priced the plan a million ways to Sunday, but the only way it makes financial sense is for us to get it as a discount. We got it for 5 of us during the s/p/d promo for $800 for our trip (7 days). At that point, yes. It saves us money but otherwise it doesn't. At 22.86/person a day, we really make out, but otherwise, we don't. Even taking into account our two that are under 10 AND taking into account character meals an buffets. It doesn't even out overall.

And, that's from someone who feels our family will eat the way the dining plan is set up (a good breakfast, snack and big dinner)
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:40 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=3Gsandme;49804998]I priced the plan a million ways to Sunday, but the only way it makes financial sense is for us to get it as a discount. We got it for 5 of us during the s/p/d promo for $800 for our trip (7 days). At that point, yes. It saves us money but otherwise it doesn't. At 22.86/person a day, we really make out, but otherwise, we don't. Even taking into account our two that are under 10 AND taking into account character meals an buffets. It doesn't even out overall.

And, that's from someone who feels our family will eat the way the dining plan is set up (a good breakfast, snack and big dinner)[/QUOTE]

Actually, if that's how you're pricing it, it's no wonder it doesn't work for you. The plan isn't set up for breakfast, snack, dinner. It's set up for bring your own breakfast from home or pay OOP, QS lunch, snack and big dinner. If you use your QS for breakfast, you lose the dessert portion of the plan since all you get is your entrée and drink.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:47 PM   #11
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DBF & I have done the DDP twice and absolutely love it. It would have cost more to pay out of pocket for what we ate. Would we have bought dessert with every meal if we weren't on the DDP... yes! We eat, eat, eat when we go on vacation
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:51 PM   #12
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Well, we'd still eat as the plan is laid out. There isn't a way, that I priced, that dining plan works for us if we don't get a discount. TBH, we don't really eat dessert as a general rule and only order it out on occasion. Maybe a few times a year. Adding in the dessert doesn't increase it's value, for our family, because it's including something we'd not normally buy. It artificially increases it's value. If I don't order dessert (I don't) getting dessert isn't a plus.

For me, even if I pretend I order dessert, the savings isn't worth the lack of flexibility.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fivesacharm View Post
Maybe it's just me, but it seems that a majority of people on the boards seem to think that the DDP is just not worth the money. This interests me because (though we've been the the World many times) my family did the dinning plan for the first time on our last trip and we definitely felt like we saved money! We loved paying for everything in advance and having the freedom of eating what we wanted wherever we wanted without worrying about a budgeted amount per person.

We will always do the DDP in the future!

Just interested I other people always think they save money and those who don't like it, why?
The plan is bad news and Disney preys upon the uneducated with it (particularly free dining). Nobody will come out ahead with it. The cost models always factor in nonsense that wouldn't apply to 99% of the people - desserts at CS places for example. And gratuities never factor in; you're going to pay a lot more in tips while on the plan because to maximize the value of it the majority of folks will purchase the most expensive menu items.
If you want to do it for the convenience, dump that money on a gift card before you leave for vaca and use that for your food.
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:02 PM   #14
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The plan is bad news and Disney preys upon the uneducated with it (particularly free dining). Nobody will come out ahead with it. The cost models always factor in nonsense that wouldn't apply to 99% of the people - desserts at CS places for example. And gratuities never factor in; you're going to pay a lot more in tips while on the plan because to maximize the value of it the majority of folks will purchase the most expensive menu items.
If you want to do it for the convenience, dump that money on a gift card before you leave for vaca and use that for your food.
I still can never understand why people say this - The plan is bad news and Disney preys upon the uneducated with it (particularly free dining). Nobody will come out ahead with it.

Staying on-site for 5 days with 4 "adults" (Me, DH, DS13, DD10) and one child (DS7), at POR, with free dining. 20% Room only discount at $261/night is $208.80. 30% is $313.20. Without free dining, the bare minimum I would allocate to meals per day is $150, or $750/five days, for the 5 of us. DDP cost, not being free, is almost $1000. I totally see where paying for the plan is not a deal.

But it is FREE, even taking into consideration what the room discount would be, AND we can get snacks and desserts that I would be the bad guy with and say no (don't be the mom...it's never any fun being the one saying NO! all the time! LOL)

SO, can someone tell me HOW "free" dining is not the better deal for a family of 5???!!!
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:36 AM   #15
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It just depends how, what, and how much you like to eat. Reasons we don't use DDP:

1. COST.
The cheapest dining plan for my family (one adult, two teens) would be $114/day. At Disney, we average $100/day on everything--food, souvenirs, extras. So the DDP is not saving us any money. A room discount is worth more for us.

2. THE FOOD ITSELF.
At home we rarely eat out, and eat quite healthy, so eating "Disney food" (as my kids call it) for too many days makes us feel ill. When we eat sweets it's as a snack, not something that directly follows a full meal. We are also water drinkers by choice. My ds drinks 100% water, my dd about 85%, and me about 95%. So the non-water beverages with every meal would be total overkill for us. On long trips we order groceries to our villa so we have some "regular" stuff to eat.

3. THE AMOUNT OF FOOD.
My dd and I can share a meal and appetizer from a typical CS or TS restaurant and be full for half the day. Maybe if we ate like my 17 year old son we would come out ahead, but we don't.

4. THE NEED TO MAKE SO MANY ADRs.
During a one week trip we will have 1-2 ADRs, during a two week trip 3 or 4. We don't like being tied down by ADRs plus there's a limited number of Disney restaurants we love enough to sit down for at least an hour for.
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